Scholarships and Fellowships

2015-16 Great Lakes Commission – Sea Grant Fellowship

Application deadline: Feb. 27, 2015, 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT

Download application instructions (PDF)   |    Download fellowship poster


The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellow will work with members of the Great Lakes’ science, policy and information/education communities to advance the environmental quality and sustainable development goals of the Great Lakes states. In so doing, 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. This will be the 16th year this fellowship has been 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 length of assignment is for one year and is nonrenewable. The inclusive dates of the official fellowship are June 1, 2015, until May 31, 2016; however, these dates are flexible to accommodate academic semester or recipient needs.


Eligible applicants include students who, at the time of application, are in a graduate or professional degree program in public policy, public health, natural resources, aquatic sciences or other related field at a U.S. accredited institution of higher education in the United States.


Interested individuals should contact and apply for this fellowship opportunity through a state Sea Grant program. Students should submit their applications to the state Sea Grant program directors (see below), who then screen the applications for forwarding 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 with emphasis on what the prospective fellow expects from the experience in the way of career development (1,000 words or less);
  • Two letters of recommendation with one being 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 letter of endorsement from the sponsoring Sea Grant director; and
  • A copy of undergraduate and graduate student transcripts.

Note: Thesis papers are not requested or desired.


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. During the fellowship, the Great Lakes Commission may provide supplemental funds for work-related travel by the Fellow. The fellowship is managed by the Great Lakes Commission in consultation with the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO).

Selection Process

Each Great Lakes Sea Grant program (IN/IL, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI) may submit up to two applicants to the Great Lakes Commission for consideration. Selection criteria include academic ability, communications skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, additional qualifying experience (e.g., relevant work experience), support of applicant’s major professor, support of a Great Lakes State Sea Grant director, and relevance of applicant academic background and/or interests to the fellowship experience the Great Lakes Commission can provide.

A selection team evaluates each candidate using the above criteria. This team consists of 1) the executive director and senior management team of the Great Lakes Commission, 2) NSGO Manager for the Knauss Fellowship Program or their designate, and 3) two elected representatives from the Great Lakes Sea Grant Program directors. One Fellow will be selected, contingent upon funding availability.


The Fellow will be assigned responsibilities in the area of science/policy research, analysis and interjurisdictional coordination. It is anticipated that the Fellow will work on one or more issues 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 interact with senior level officials at all levels of government. Interaction with the Knauss Sea Grant Fellows will occur as opportunities arise, and travel to Washington, D.C., will be arranged for an introduction to federal legislative, appropriations and policy processes.

Reporting Requirements

The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship will be conducted under the technical and administrative direction of the Great Lakes Commission. The executive director of the Great Lakes Commission and the NSGO Manager for Fellowship Programs will share overall program management responsibility and will jointly address any problems/matters that arise over the course of the fellowship. Fellows are required to submit semiannual reports (and an exit report) to the Great Lakes Commission for distribution to the NSGO and all Great Lakes Sea Grant directors.


  • Feb. 27, 2015 (6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT): Application materials from each student are due to the state Sea Grant Director.
  • March 20, 2015: Nominees from Sea Grant Programs are due to the Great Lakes Commission.
  • April 3, 2015: The finalists are selected by the Great Lakes Commission and phone interviews scheduled.
  • April 24, 2015: Fellow selected by Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant selection team.
  • June 1, 2015 (approximate): Start of the fellowship.


Applications are due at the State Sea Grant offices by February 27, 2015. Late applications will not be considered. Thank you for your interest!

For more information

You can obtain more information about the Great Lakes – Sea Grant Fellowship from the following sources:

Ms. Christine Manninen, Communications Director
Great Lakes Commission
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
Phone: 734/971.9135 ext. 112

Mr. Chris Hayes, Program Manager
National Sea Grant College Program
1315 East-West Highway
R/SG SSMC3, Rm. 11876
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301/734.1085

You can 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):

  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant: 217/333.6444
    Dr. Brian Miller, Director
    University of Illinois
    1101 W. Peabody Drive
    350 National Soybean Research Center, MC-635
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Michigan Sea Grant: 734/763.5834
    Dr. Jim Diana, Director
    Michigan Sea Grant
    520 E. Liberty St., Suite 310
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2210
  • Minnesota Sea Grant: 218/726.8715
    Jeff Gunderson, Director
    149 Chester Park
    31 W. College Street
    Duluth, MN 55812
  • New York Sea Grant: 631/632.6905
    Dr. William Wise, Interim Director
    121 Discovery Hall
    Stony Brook University
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-5001
  • Ohio Sea Grant: 614/292.8949
    Dr. Jeffery M. Reutter, Director
    1314 Kinnear Rd., Area 100
    Columbus, OH 43212-1156
  • Pennsylvania Sea Grant: 814/898.6160
    Dr. Robert W. Light, Director
    Tom Ridge Environmental Center
    301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3
    Erie, PA 16505
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant: 608/262.0905
    Dr. James Hurley, Institute Director
    1975 Willow Drive, 2nd Floor
    Madison, WI 53706-1103


Past Recipients

2014: Bryan Comer
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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