Delta Science Fellowship

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Fellowship Type: Research

The purpose of the Delta Science Fellows Program is to train the next generation of science leaders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) by bringing together fellows with research mentors and community mentors in collaborative research, data analysis, and synthesis projects relevant to Delta policy and management. California Sea Grant will administer and manage the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program. This fellowship funds research projects of up to two years in duration that will advance the state of knowledge underlying high priority science issues that affect the Delta and its management as an integrated socio-ecological system.

The Delta Science Fellowship is normally offered every two years, depending on funding availability. Applications for the 2022 Delta Science Fellowship are now open. For more information, visit: 2022 Application. To see the 2020 Delta Science Fellows, visit: 2020 Delta Science Fellows

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Delta Stewardship Council

On February 3, 2010, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 took effect, creating the Delta Stewardship Council (Council) as an independent state agency. The Council’s mission is to advance the state’s coequal goals for the Delta as described in the 2009 Delta Reform Act: achievement of a more reliable statewide water supply and a healthy and protected ecosystem, both in a manner that protects and enhances the unique characteristics of the Delta as an evolving place. Under the same legislation, the Delta Science Program within the Council became the successor to the CALFED Science Program, which previously sponsored the CALFED (now “Delta”) Science Fellowship.

Delta Science Program

The mission of the Delta Science Program is to provide the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental decision-making in the Delta. The Delta Science Program carries out its mission by funding research, synthesizing and communicating scientific information to policy and decision makers, promoting independent scientific peer review, and coordinating with Delta agencies to promote science-based adaptive management (Delta Reform Act 2009, Water Code section 85280(b)(4)). 

Delta Science Fellows Program

The purpose of the Delta Science Fellows Program is to train the next generation of science leaders in the Delta by bringing together fellows with research mentors and community mentors in collaborative research, data analysis, and synthesis projects relevant to Delta policy and management. California Sea Grant will administer and manage the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program. Fellowships will be awarded based on the intellectual merit and broader impacts articulated in the application and the expected contribution of the work to the priority issues identified by the Delta Science Program. Additionally, proposals will be assessed for the degree to which the proposed activity will promote high quality mentorship of the fellow by research and community mentor(s), as well as contribute to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and other beneficial, broader societally-relevant impacts in the sciences.

Goals

The goals of the Delta Science Fellows Program are to:

  1. Engage highly qualified scientific talent to help advance the state of knowledge in social and biophysical science on high priority Management Needs and Science Actions identified by the SAA. 
  2. Provide support for the training and development of social and biophysical scientists to work on research projects that support resource management in the Delta and contribute to DEI in Delta science; and 
  3. Promote scientific partnerships across research institutions, agencies, non-profit organizations, Delta communities, and multiple disciplines.
     

Award

The fellowship provides up to two years of support based on scope/type of projects and contingent upon the availability of funds, for postdoctoral, predoctoral, and master's fellows in the form of a grant/award that includes funds for a stipend and for research-related expenses. 

Guiding Documents

Research topics need to address the science needs identified in the Delta Agency Science Working Group, Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, and others.

Research Mentors

Fellowship applicants must include a letter of support from the research mentor they plan to work with on the proposed effort. Research mentors must be scholars actively engaged in biophysical sciences or social sciences as the primary focus of their position, with a publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Research mentors working at academic institutions must be employed at the tenure-track level of Assistant Professor or higher (academics holding non-teaching, research faculty or extension positions are also eligible to be research mentors).

Applicants for the Ph.D. and master’s fellowships should be working with a research mentor from the academic institution at which they are enrolled. Applicants for the postdoctoral fellowship may work with mentors from any academic or research institution.
 

Community Mentors

In addition to working with research mentors, fellows are required to collaborate with at least one community mentor. The role of this mentor is to help guide research relevance, participate in the co-production of research, and help translate and communicate findings for non-academic audiences. Community mentors must have relevant subject matter expertise and be familiar with existing data and resource issues central to the proposed research. Current involvement with Delta programs or agencies working on Delta issues is preferred. Community mentors may be scientists, managers, engineers, scientific/technical staff, or other subject matter experts in agencies, environmental organizations, community-based groups, tribes, or stakeholder associations. 

Fellows will work closely with community mentors, sharing ideas and progress throughout the project. Fellows may also communicate their findings and request feedback from appropriate scientific/technical groups focused on the Delta system, e.g., the Interagency Ecological Program project work teams.


Articles About Previous Delta Science Fellows