Federal Agency Name(s): Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunity Title: 2025 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-OAR-SG-2025-23655
Deadline: The deadline for application to California Sea Grant is February 15, 2024 5:00PM Pacific Standard Time.
Funding Opportunity Description:
The National Sea Grant College Program was enacted by U.S. Congress in 1966 (amended in 2020, Public Law 116-221) to support leveraged federal and state partnerships that harness the intellectual capacity of the nation’s universities and research institutions to solve problems and generate opportunities in coastal communities.
The Sea Grant Act includes a legislative mandate to provide an educational experience in the policies and processes of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government for students enrolled in graduate or professional programs that have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. In 1979, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) initiated the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program to help fulfill its broad educational responsibilities and meet this legislative mandate. The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program meets NOAA’s mission of “Science, service and stewardship”
This notice announces that applications may be submitted for the 2025 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship (Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program). The National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) anticipates funding no less than 35 applicants, of which approximately 17 will be assigned to the Legislative branch. Application packages will each propose a total of $93,900 in funding.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Sea Grant program in their state/territory at least one to two months prior to the state application deadline to receive application support and provide notification of intent to apply. Following student application submission, the student should allow sufficient time to schedule an interview with the eligible Sea Grant program at the program’s request.
- Website with Information for Prospective Applicants
- Knauss Fellowship Overview
- 2025 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide - detailed guidance on eligibility, important dates, award information, where to apply, and application materials
- Student Applicant Guide to Sea Grant Fellowships - advice and tips on different aspects of a fellowship package.
- Knauss Fellowship Blog
- Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Recruitment Video
- 2025 Sea Grant Knauss NOFO Webinar
For more detailed information about host offerings, applications, selection and placement process in Washington DC, please visit the National Sea Grant College Program Knauss Fellowship Program public website and view the 2024 Executive host fellowship positions for reference only (2024 Legislative host fellowship positions list will be updated and linked when available).
California Sea Grant will host a Knauss Fellowship Informational Webinar on November 29, 2023 from 12:00 - 1:00PM PST. Click here to register for the informational webinar.
Following the informational webinar, California Sea Grant will host a Fellowship Application Workshop for prospective applicants on January 10th, 2024 from 12:00 - 1:30 PM PST. Click here to register for the application workshop.
The 2023 Knauss Fellows will be hosting informational webinars. Click here to register for a session.
The following entities are eligible to submit to this opportunity:
Any student, regardless of citizenship, is eligible to submit to this opportunity if:
(1) The student is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2023 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 15, 2024;
(2) The graduate degree will be awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories, and;
(3) The student has an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.
Application submission is through an application to the Sea Grant program in the state in which the student is earning their degree. If there is no Sea Grant program, a Sea Grant program will be assigned by the Knauss Fellowship Program Manager. Applicants whose state does not have a Sea Grant program should contact the National Sea Grant Office by e-mail (email@example.com) or phone (240-507-3712).
The National Sea Grant College Program champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by working to create a marine science workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We are recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking. We encourage student applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types to apply for this opportunity.
The one year fellowship will take place in the National Capital Region. Applicants must be prepared to relocate to the Washington, D.C. area. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa to allow them to work in the Washington, D.C. area during the fellowship period.
Foreign nationals and dual citizens please note: while this fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of nationality, a significant number of participating federal host offices are unable to accept foreign nationals as fellows. While more offices are able to host dual citizens, there may be restrictions. This may reduce the number of placement opportunities available to foreign nationals. Note: Foreign nationals are eligible for both the Executive and Legislative cohort.
For additional notes on eligibility, please visit the 2025 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide.
STIPEND AND EXPENSES
California Sea Grant receives and administers the overall cooperative agreement of up to $93,900 per student on behalf of each fellow selected from their program. This includes base funding for each award at $76,400, of which $71,400 is to be used by the eligible Sea Grant program to cover the fellow’s salary/stipend and personnel expenses for the twelve months of the fellowship and $5,000 can be used to cover allowable expenses. Allowable expenses could include, but are not limited to, relocation prior to and following the fellowship, academic tuition, journal publication fees, academic- and fellowship-related travel, conferences fees, online trainings, and workshops. Applications should also include travel costs totaling $17,500, of which $15,000 will be budgeted for optional host office related travel and training and $2,500 will be budgeted for optional placement week expenses, which would be provided at the discretion of the National Sea Grant Office.
The anticipated start date is February 1, 2025 for the 12-month fellowship. Projects should have an end date of February 28, 2026. These awards cannot be renewed or deferred. Pre-award spending may be authorized 130 days prior to the start date of the award.
Award dates: February 1, 2025 - February 28, 2026
Fellowship dates: February 1, 2025 - January 31, 2026
Fellows must submit a mid-year and a final performance report (summary of accomplishments and activities) to their Sea Grant program. Fellows must submit their mid-year report to their home Sea Grant program no later than nine months from the start of the fellowship. Fellows must submit their final report to their home Sea Grant program within two weeks of the final day of the fellowship. All reports will be submitted directly to eSeaGrant: https://eseagrant2.ucsd.edu/.
Please upload an electronic copy of all application items, with required signatures. The electronic version of your application must be submitted as PDFs using the California Sea Grant submission link:
If you have never used California Sea Grant's eSeaGrant portal before, you will need to register for an account. You can change the randomly-generated password once you log in successfully into the website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any access issues related to eSeaGrant.
NOTE: We advise not to wait until the last minute to submit your application; when eSeaGrant experiences high user traffic, you may experience page loading delays. It is the applicant’s responsibility to get all required materials submitted before the deadline, and the submission deadline will not be extended.
Instructions for each element/section are included in the eSeaGrant online application form and are described in the 2025 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide. Please make sure to include your last name in the file names for each section of the proposal (e.g., Smith_cv.pdf).
**The applicant should redact all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in the application materials prior to submission. PII that should be redacted from the application includes but is not limited to social security number, date of birth, student identification number (from transcripts), middle name, or other information which if lost, compromised, or disclosed without authorization, could result in harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness to an individual. Do not include web links to external resources (e.g., LinkedIn, articles, blogs, etc.).
|Required Element||Suggested File Name|
|Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum)||1_LastName_CV.pdf|
|Personal education and career development statement (1530 words or less)||2_LastName_Personal.pdf|
|Relevant coursework and future year plans for spring 2024, summer 2024 and fall 2024 (one page maximum, single-spaced)||3_LastName_Plans.pdf|
|Two letters of recommendation, including one from a faculty member associated with the student’s current enrollment who has knowledge of the student’s academic and research (when applicable) performance (2 page maximum per letter, single-spaced) (see below for more info)||
|Clear digital or scanned copy of undergraduate and graduate student transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)||
|For applicants in a state or territory not served by an eligible Sea Grant program, but applying through an eligible Sea Grant program, a written statement from the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program Manager referring the applicant to the most appropriate eligible Sea Grant program must be included. (National Sea Grant Office email: email@example.com or phone: 240-507-3712)||6_LastName_Out_of_State|
For electronic files larger than 300 MB, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make other arrangements. Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation may be submitted directly from the referee to California Sea Grant through eSeaGrant (directions for this are in eSeaGrant) and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered. Please address letters to Dr. Shauna Oh, Director, California Sea Grant. Letter writers must include their name and title/organization in the letter.
Late submissions may lead to the rejection of incomplete applications. Candidates are encouraged to work with referees to meet the deadline.
All applicants will be evaluated on their application package according to the application content. Evaluation Criteria used by the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) may be found in the 2025 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide. (pages 8 - 17)
|Relevant Experience||Curriculum Vitae (CV)||10|
|Personal Education and Career Development||65|
|Relevant Coursework and Future Year Plans||10|
|Recommendations||Letters of Recommendation||5 (each)|
|Overall Cohesion||All Components||10|
REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
State level/individual Sea Grant program review:
An initial administrative review is conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of the application.
After submission to the eligible Sea Grant program, and if the application meets the minimum requirements, the application will be reviewed at the eligible Sea Grant program level. A panel composed of a minimum of three members will individually discuss each application based on the evaluation criteria. Based on the panel discussion, each eligible Sea Grant program may select and forward to the National Sea Grant Office up to six applications from that program’s state/territory based on the evaluation criteria.
National Level Review:
After submission to the National Sea Grant Office, an initial administrative review is conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of the application.
For applications that meet minimum requirements, the application will be individually ranked based on the evaluation criteria by individual reviewers. The selecting official shall award in the rank order unless the application is justified to be selected out of rank order. The selecting official shall make final recommendations for award to the grants officer who is authorized to obligate the funds and execute the award.
Subject to the availability of funds, the eligible Sea Grant programs will be notified of the competitive selection results in June 2024 and awards are expected to start February 01, 2025. After final selection and announcement of Knauss Finalists, the Selecting Official will place applicants into either the legislative or executive cohort. Selection of executive and legislative cohorts will be informed by finalists’ stated preference (solicited after the announcement of the finalist class), recommendations from the eligible Sea Grant program director and independent reviewers, as well as the selection factors.
Applications must be submitted by February 15, 2024 5:00PM PST to the California Sea Grant Program in eSeaGrant. State Sea Grant programs may select and forward to the National Office up to six (6) finalists according to a selection criteria comparable to that used by the National Office in the national competition.
- November 29, 2023, 12:00-1:00PM PST 2025 Knauss Fellowship California Sea Grant Informational Webinar (register here)
- January 10th, 2024 12:00-1:30PM PST, Fellowship California Sea Grant Application Workshop (register here)
- February 15, 2024 5:00PM PST - Application materials due to California Sea Grant via eSeaGrant.
- February - March, 2024 - Interviews by California Sea Grant staff to select up to six finalists.
- March 28, 2024 8:59PM PST - Finalists application materials from California Sea Grant are due to the National Sea Grant Office.
- June 2024 - California Sea Grant is notified of selection results from the National Sea Grant Office.
- November 2024 - Placement Week (exact dates TBD); selected applicants are required to travel to Washington, DC for interviews with potential hosts.
- February 01, 2025 - Start of the fellowship.
For additional information about the John A. Knauss National Sea Grant Fellowship, please contact:
California Sea Grant - Science Integration Team