NOAA Coastal Management & Digital Coast Fellowships

Funding Category
Application Deadline
Proposal Contact:

Fellowship Summary
Submission Information
List of elements for application
Selection and Placement

Fellowship Summary

The NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship was established in 1996 to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management programs. Similarly, in 2012, the NOAA Digital Coast Fellowship was established to provide additional on-the-job education and training opportunities with a focus on technical assistance to help advance the goals of the Digital Coast and its partner organizations. Both programs match postgraduate students to assist on projects proposed by state coastal zone management programs (referred to as hosts) that are selected by NOAA. 

Placement for the Coastal Management Fellowship and Digital Coast Fellowship positions is a singulary integrated placement process. Candidates apply to the Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowship program as a whole. Selected candidates will be eligible to interview with both the state coastal programs and the Digital Coast partnership organizations at the fellowship matching workshop.

Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellows are placed for two years with host state coastal resource agencies on projects proposed by the hosts and selected by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. In a mutually beneficial arrangement, 5 fellows will be placed with a state coastal program. For 2023-2025 fellowships, see the fact sheet and list of host projects on the bottom of this webpage - applicants are eligible for any of the projects regardless of where they live. 

These two-year opportunities offer a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement. The current salary is $42,000 per year. In the second year, a locality pay factor may be added to the salary, depending on the location of the fellowship. 

Eligibility: Any U.S. citizen who will complete a master’s or other advanced degree at an accredited U.S. university between August 1, 2021, and July 31, 2023, is eligible to apply for the Coastal Management Fellowships. Students must be U.S. citizens. Students from a broad range of programs are encouraged to apply. A variety of degrees are applicable to the fellowship because the projects are new and different each year. Previous fellows have had degrees in environmental studies, natural resource management, marine affairs, marine science, geology, public affairs, and regional land management. Only students who received their advanced degree in California are able to apply through California Sea Grant.

The most important prerequisite is an interest in coastal issues. 

For more detailed information about the state projects, please visit NOAA Office for Coastal Management: Coastal Management Fellowship.

For more information on the Digital Coast Fellowship please visit NOAA Office for Coastal ManagementDigital Coast Fellowship. Note: there are no Digital Coast Fellowships for 2023-2025

Submission Information

The electronic files comprising your application must be submitted as PDFs using eSeaGrant, California Sea Grant’s online submission portal:


You will need to register for an account (click on the banner labeled “Register”) in eSeaGrant if you have not done so in the past year. You can change the randomly generated password once you log in successfully into the website.  To apply for this fellowship, follow eSeaGrant instructions specific for this opportunity.

Please make sure to include your last name in the file names for each section of the proposal (e.g., Smith_statement.pdf or Smith_cv.pdf). When naming the document please do not use apostrophes. Once submitted through the website, PDFs may not be edited. To change a PDF, it must be deleted and resubmitted.

IMPORTANT: To maintain confidentiality, letters of recommendation may be submitted directly from the referee to CASG 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. 

For electronic files larger than 6 MB, contact to make other arrangements.

Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.

For technical issues with submitting your application through eSeaGrant please contact Nick Sadrpour at or (858) 246-5269.

Application deadline: January 27, 2023, 11:59 PM PST

NOTE: the eSeaGrant proposal portal will close at the date and time stated above, and late applications (even 1 minute late) cannot be accepted.  It is your responsibility to get materials submitted before the deadline.

List of elements for application

Required Elements

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (not to exceed two pages using 12 point font)
  • Statement of the applicant’s goals with emphasis on what the applicant expects from and can contribute to the fellowship experience. This should also include how the fellowship can help reach goals that may be difficult to reach without the fellowship opportunity. Include any obstacles that have been overcome to reach this point in your academic career (500 words or less).
  • Two letters of recommendation, including one from the student's major professor. If no principal professor exists, the faculty member who is most familiar with the applicant's academic work may be substituted. 
  • Unofficial copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts.

Any additional materials submitted will not be considered in the selection process. If you are selected as a finalist, an additional writing sample will be requested.


Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT, January 27, 2023, to the California Sea Grant Program. California Sea Grant programs may select and forward to the NOAA Office for Coastal Management up to three finalists. In order to increase diversity in the fellowship, California Sea Grant may submit one additional application from a candidate who attended a minority serving institution, for a total of four. The fourth nomination spot is reserved solely for minority serving institution candidates.


Selection and Placement

From the nominations submitted by Sea Grant directors, 12 finalists will be selected by a panel. Final decisions will be made by March 24, 2023, and all applicants will be notified of the decision by the end of the following week. The Coastal Management Fellowship matching process will take place in late April 2023. The process will consist of program orientation by NOAA, project presentations by the hosts, presentations by the finalists, and two rounds of interviews. Please review the fact sheet for additional details and FAQ. 


  1. Friday, January 27, 2023 - Applications due from candidates to California Sea Grant
  2. January - February, 2023 - Interviews held by California Sea Grant
  3. Friday, February 24, 2023- Endorsements from California Sea Grant to NOAA Office for Coastal Management due
  4. Friday, March 24, 2023 - Finalists selected by NOAA Office for Coastal Management 
  5. April 17-21, 2023 - Matching workshop presentations- virtual
  6. April 24-28, 2023 - Matching workshop interviews in Charleston, South Carolina 
  7. August 2023 - Fellowship begins
  8. August 2025 - Fellowship ends


Questions about the fellowship program

Fellowship Coordinator
NOAA Office for Coastal Management
(843) 740-1273

Questions about the application process

California Sea Grant
(858) 246-5269