John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

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Executive Summary

Federal Agency Name(s): Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce

Funding Opportunity Title: 2023 National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-OAR-SG-2023-2007040

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s): 11.417, Sea Grant Support

Deadline: The deadline for application to California Sea Grant is February 18, 2022, 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

Funding Opportunity Description:
The National Sea Grant College Program was enacted by U.S. Congress in 1966 (amended in 2008, Public Law 110-394) to support 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.

This notice announces that applications may be submitted for the 2023 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 $89,000 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. The applicant should allow sufficient time to schedule an interview with the eligible Sea Grant program at the program’s request.

For more detailed information about host offerings, applications, selection and placement process in Washington DC, please visit the National Sea Grant Knauss website. View the 2021 Executive host positions and 2021 Legislative host fellowship positions (for reference only). The National Sea Grant Office is hosting office hours on January 18, 2022 from 11-1pm PST. Please watch the Knauss 101 video on YouTube prior to attending the office hours. Informational Webinar: California Sea Grant hosted an informational webinar and Alumni panel on January 20, 2022 from 12-1pm PST.

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 2021 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 18, 2022; 

(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 ( 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 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.

​Stipend and Expenses

California Sea Grant receives and administers the overall cooperative agreement of up to $89,000 per student on behalf of each fellow selected from their program. 

This includes base funding for each award at $71,500, of which $66,500 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. 

The anticipated start date is February 1, 2023 for the 12-month fellowship. Projects should have an end date of February 29, 2024. These awards cannot be renewed or deferred. Pre-award spending may be authorized 120 days prior to the start date of the award.

Reporting Requirements

Sea Grant Fellows will be administratively responsible to their sponsoring State Sea Grant Directors during their terms in Washington, D.C., but must be responsive to the administrative and technical direction from the host to whom they report. 

Project progress reports are due on a semi-annual basis. Fellows must submit via email a mid-year (due July 31, 2023) and a final performance report including a summary of accomplishments and activities (due January 31, 2024) to their Sea Grant program. All reporting will be submitted directly to eSeaGrant after registering for an account: Contact with any access issues related to eSeaGrant.

Submission Information

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:

Apply Here!

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.

Please make sure to include your last name in the file names for each section of the proposal (e.g., Smith_cv.pdf). 

The student should not include personal contact information or web links to external resources (e.g., LinkedIn, articles, blogs, etc.).


Clear digital or scanned copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts (unofficial is acceptable).

Large files

For electronic files larger than 6 MB, contact to make other arrangements. Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.

Letters of recommendation

To maintain confidentiality, letters of recommendation may be submitted directly from the referee to California Sea Grant through eSeaGrant and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered. Letters may also be emailed to Please address letters to Dr. Shauna Oh, Director, California Sea Grant.

Late submissions may lead to the rejection of incomplete applications. Candidates are encouraged to work with referees to meet the deadline.  

Application Elements

Instructions for each element/section are included in the eSeaGrant online application form and are described in the Applicant Guide.

**The student should not include personal contact information or web links to external resources (e.g., LinkedIn, articles, blogs, etc.).

Required Element Suggested File Name

Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum) 

Personal education and career development statement (1500 words or less) 2_LastName_Personal.pdf
Relevant coursework and future year plans for spring 2022, summer 2022 and fall 2022 (not to exceed one page single-spaced) 4_LastName_Plans.pdf
Two letters of recommendation, including one from a faculty member with knowledge of the student’s academic and research (when applicable) performance 3_LastName_RecLtr1.pdf and 3_LastName_RecLtr2.pdf
Clear digital or scanned copy of undergraduate and graduate student transcripts 5_LastName_Transcript1.pdf and 5_LastName_Transcript2.pdf
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 applicant to the most appropriate eligible Sea Grant program must be included 6_LastName_Out_of_State
Evaluation Criteria and Review Process

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 2023 Knauss Student Guide (pages 8 - 24)

Evaluation Area Component Points
Relevant Experience Curriculum Vitae (CV) 10
  Personal education and career development response 55
  Relevant coursework and future year plans 10
Recommendations Letters of recommendation 5
  Director's letter 10
Overall cohesion All components 10
  Total points: 100

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.

After submission to the National Sea Grant Office, applications that meet minimum requirements 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 2022 and awards are expected to start February 1, 2023. 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 18, 2022, 5 PM 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.

  1. February 18, 2022 - Application materials due to California Sea Grant, 5pm PT.
  2. February - March 2022 - Interviews by California Sea Grant staff to select up to six finalists.
  3. April 1, 2022 - Finalists application materials from Sea Grant programs are due to the National Sea Grant Office by 5:00 pm EDT.
  4. Mid-summer 2022 - Sea Grant Programs notified of selection results.
  5. November XX-XX, 2022 - Placement Week (exact dates TBD); selected applicants are required to travel to Washington, DC, for interviews with potential hosts.
  6. February 1, 2023 - Start of the fellowship.

For additional information about the John A. Knauss National Sea Grant Fellowship (or the California Sea Grant State Fellows program, which matches graduate students with state, federal or municipal agency hosts in California), please contact:

California Sea Grant - Science Integration Team