Scholarships and Fellowships

2017-18 Great Lakes Commission – Sea Grant Fellowship

Application deadline: Feb. 17, 2017, 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT

Download application instructions (PDF)  Download fellowship poster

Position

The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship is sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network. The upcoming year (2017/2018) will be the 18th year of the program.   The selected Fellow will work with members of the Great Lakes’ science, policy, communication and education communities to advance the environmental quality and sustainable development goals of the Great Lakes states. The Fellow will contribute to and benefit from research coordination and policy analysis activities. The Fellow will be located at the Great Lakes Commission offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Assignment

The length of assignment is one year and is non-renewable. The inclusive dates of the fellowship are June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018; however, start and end dates are negotiable to accommodate academic semester or other recipient needs.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants include those who, at the time of application, are enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program in public policy, public health, natural resources, aquatic sciences or related field at a U.S. accredited institution of higher education in the United States, or have completed their graduate or professional degree within the six months immediately prior to the time of application (e.g. graduated on or after August 1, 2016).

Application Process and Materials

Interested individuals must contact and apply for this fellowship through a Great Lakes Sea Grant program (IN/IL, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI) which serves as a sponsor for the applicant. Applications must be submitted to one (and only one) of the Great Lakes Sea Grant program directors (listed in this posting), who will screen the applications and recommend candidates to the Great Lakes Commission. Each application must include:

  • Personal and academic resume or curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages);
  • Education and career goal statement emphasizing the applicant’s abilities and expectations for the fellowship experience (1,000 words or less);
  • Two letters of recommendation, of which one must be from the student’s faculty advisor or major professor. For continuing students, this letter should clearly state the professor’s endorsement of the student’s acceptance of the fellowship, if offered.
  • A personalized letter of endorsement from the sponsoring Sea Grant director that describes what makes the applicant a good candidate for the Fellowship; and
  • A clear scanned copy of undergraduate and graduate student transcripts.

Note: Thesis papers or practicums should not be included

The deadline for applications is February 17, 2017, 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. CST.

Award

The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship award is $42,000 over a one-year period. Of this amount, $36,000 is provided to each fellow for compensation. The remaining $6,000 will be used to cover health insurance for the fellow and support fellowship-related travel and professional development. During the fellowship, the Great Lakes Commission may provide supplemental funds for work-related travel by the fellow. The fellowship is administered by the Great Lakes Commission in consultation with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO).

Selection Criteria

Each Great Lakes Sea Grant program (IN/IL, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI) may recommend up to two applicants to the Great Lakes Commission for consideration. Eligibility criteria include academic status, communications skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, additional skills and experience (e.g., relevant work experience), support of applicant’s major professor, support of a Great Lakes Sea Grant program director, and relevance of applicant’s academic background and/or interests to the fellowship and the work of the Great Lakes Commission. Application materials are reviewed using the following criteria and associated weighting:

  1. Letters of recommendation and/or endorsements of student (15 percent total); which includes the strength of recommendation from the applicant’s major professor, and the second letter of recommendation
  2. Academic record and strength of academic performance (15 percent total)
  3. Statement of career goals and objectives of the applicant (45 percent total)
  4. Additional relevant skills and experience (25 percent total); including previous work experience, diversity of education, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, and exhibited interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills

Selection Process

After the State Sea Grant offices have forwarded their recommended applications to the Great Lakes Commission, a review team evaluates the applications. The review team consists of 1) the executive director and senior managers of the Great Lakes Commission, 2) NSGO Fellowships Manager or his/her designee, and 3) three representatives of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Program Network.

The review team members individually evaluate applications based on the criteria listed above and provide a ranking to the Great Lakes Commission. The rankings are tallied and an average ranking is computed for each application. The top ranking applicants (ordinarily three or four) are invited to interview with the review team.

Applicants will be interviewed via conference call or Skype. Once all interviews are completed, review team members numerically rank their preferred applicants a second time, based on both the application materials and the strength of the interview. The rankings are compiled, an average ranking calculated, and the results shared with the review team.

The fellowship will be offered to the candidate with the highest ranking based upon the aggregate rankings of the review team. If the highest ranked candidate declines the offer, the offer will be extended to the next applicant in rank order of the review team. Additional criteria the review team may consider when selecting the Fellow includes:

  1. Availability of funds
  2. Geographic and academic diversity within the fellowship program
  3. Relevance of applicant background to specific program objectives for the fellowship year

Normally, only one fellow will be selected, contingent upon funding availability.

Fellowship Responsibilities

The fellow will be assigned responsibilities associated with science/policy research and analysis and interjurisdictional coordination. The fellow will work on at least one Great Lakes Commission program area in depth, while also being exposed to a range of salient science, resource management and public policy issues. An emphasis will be placed on networking; the fellow will participate in various activities and events, and will have opportunities to interact with senior officials at all levels of government. Interaction with the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship program will occur as opportunities arise, and the fellow will participate in at least one trip to Washington, D.C. for an introduction to federal legislative, appropriations and policy processes.

2017/2018 Fellowship Program Issue Priorities

The 2017/2018 Fellowship will provide collaborative opportunities for the fellow to work on projects/issue areas of interest to both the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network. The selected fellow will likely work on one or more joint projects between the GLC and Sea Grant in the following areas:

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) – HABs are a national issue and their occurrence is on the rise in the Great Lakes. HABs are a concern in the Great Lakes because they affect not only the health of people and freshwater ecosystems, but also the ‘health’ of local and regional economies. The GLC and Sea Grant are working together on this issue through the Great Lakes HABs Collaboratory. The HABs Collaboratory aims to create a collective laboratory that enables science-based information sharing among scientists, as well as between scientists and decisions makers working on HABs in the Great Lakes. The 2017/2018 fellow may help analyze, aggregate and deliver data and information related to HABs; assist with the establishment and ongoing operation of the HABs Collaboratory; and conduct research and prepare reports, fact sheets, articles, memos, web pages, and social media communications related to HABs that will support both Sea Grant and the GLC on this important issue.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) – Prevention and control of harmful AIS to protect the Great Lakes ecosystem and economic resources is a top priority for the region. The GLC and Sea Grant have a history of working collaboratively on AIS initiatives. The 2017/2018 fellow may provide support to several ongoing initiatives, including working with regional forums such as the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (GLP) and the Invasive Mussel Collaborative, as well as other projects to advance prevention and control of AIS. Through these initiatives the fellow will have the opportunity to interact regularly with Sea Grant staff and other AIS experts in the region. For instance, the fellow may work with the GLP Information/Education Committee (chaired by Minnesota Sea Grant) to carry out activities in the committee work plan including developing a searchable inventory of AIS outreach materials. The fellow may also support regional projects focused on addressing the live organisms in trade pathway of invasive species introduction and spread.

Small Harbors and Coastal Community Development – Small commercial and recreational harbors (and the communities that support them) are exploring new strategies to dredge channels, maintain piers and breakwaters, enhance their resiliency to weather and climate, and maximize their economic potential. Sea Grant and the GLC have worked together on this issue and bring valuable experience to help communities with small harbors. Through their extension offices, the Sea Grant network provides “boots on the ground” in the way of specialized personnel placed throughout the region to provide technical support and access to research and development conducted by major universities in the region. The GLC, representing the interests of the states in the Great Lakes, provides an existing platform to identify and act on collective shared interests as they relate to small harbor viability, including the development of state-based programs and policies to address small harbors issues. The 2017/2018 fellow may help advance efforts to promote small harbors and community sufficiency/resiliency in a variety of ways including working with Sea Grant and the GLC to educate stakeholders and state and federal agencies about the importance of coastal community revitalization in the Great Lakes.

Fellowship Oversight and Requirements

The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship is conducted under the technical and administrative direction of the Great Lakes Commission. The Great Lakes Commission Executive Director and the NSGO Manager for Fellowship Programs share overall fellowship program oversight and will jointly address any issues that arise over the course of the fellowship. Fellows are required to submit quarterly reports (the last being a final report) to the Great Lakes Commission for distribution to the NSGO and all Great Lakes Sea Grant state directors.

Timetable

  • February 17, 2017 (6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT): Applications are due to Great Lakes Sea Grant Program Directors.
  • March 10, 2017: Nominations from Sea Grant Programs are due to the Great Lakes Commission.
  • March 24, 2017: Finalists are selected and phone interviews scheduled within the following two weeks.
  • April 14, 2017: fellow selected by the review team.
  • June 1, 2017: fellowship start date.

Deadline

Applications are due to Great Lakes Sea Grant Program offices by Feb. 17, 2017, 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT. Late applications will not be considered. Thank you for your interest!

For more information

You may obtain more information about the Great Lakes – Sea Grant Fellowship from the following individuals:

You may also obtain additional information from your nearest Sea Grant program (application materials need to be submitted to the Sea Grant program directors, as listed below):


Past Recipients

2016: Michael Polich
2015:
Samuel Molnar
2014:
Bryan Comer
2013:
Elizabeth Lillard and Margaux Valenti
2012: Amanda Sweetman
2011: Cassie Bradley
2010: Julie Mida
2009: Anjali Patel
2008: Kristina Donnelly
2007: Nick Schroeck
2006: Erika Jensen
2005: Lisa Butch and Elaine Sterrett Isely
2004: Ted Lawrence
2003: Jon Dettling
2002: Thomas Jabusch
2001: Elizabeth Johnson
2000: Lisa Koch

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