Scholarships and Fellowships

2016-17 Great Lakes Commission – Sea Grant Fellowship

Application deadline: Feb. 15, 2016, 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 17th 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 non-renewable. The inclusive dates of the official fellowship are June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017; however, start and end dates are negotiable to accommodate academic semester or other recipient needs.


Eligible applicants include those who, at the time of application, are enrolled as a degree-seeking student 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.

Application Process

Interested individuals should contact and apply for this fellowship through a state Sea Grant program which serves as a sponsor for the applicant. Applications must be submitted to one (and only one) of the state Sea Grant program directors (listed below), who will screen the applications to be forwarded 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, 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 or practicums 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 Fellowships Manager or her designee, and 3) two representatives designated by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Program directors. One Fellow will be selected, contingent upon funding availability. The Fellowship will be offered to the candidate with the highest score based upon the aggregate rankings of the review team.


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.


  • February 15, 2016 (6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT): Application materials from each student are due to the state Sea Grant Director.
  • March 4, 2016: Nominees from Sea Grant Programs are due to the Great Lakes Commission.
  • March 21, 2016: The finalists are selected by the applicant review team and phone interviews scheduled over the following two weeks.
  • April 11, 2016: Fellow selected by Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant selection team.
  • June 1, 2016: Start of the fellowship.


Applications are due at the State Sea Grant offices by Feb. 15, 2016, 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:

  • Mr. Thomas R. Crane, Deputy Director, Great Lakes Commission
    Eisenhower Corporate Park, 2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
    Phone: 734/971.9135 ext 112, Email:
  • Dr. Julia Galkiewicz, Fellowship Manager, National Sea Grant College Program
    1315 East-West Highway R/SG, Silver Spring, MD 2091
    Phone: 301/734.1067, Email:

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

2015: Samuel Molnar
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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