Knauss Marine Policy Fellow


A webinar will be held on January 17, 2019 at 12:00 to answer questions and provide more information. 

Webinar information:
Topic: LCGS Knauss Fellow Webinar
Time: Jan 17, 2019 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Aiken Center Room 220D (within the Dean's Suite to the left)

Join Zoom Meeting

Information: National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The deadline for the 2020 fellowship is February 22, 2019.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Kristine Stepenuck at Lake Champlain Sea Grant with any questions about the application process or the fellowship prior to the deadline.

Eligibility: This fellowship is available to any student regardless of citizenship, who, on February 22, 2019, is enrolled toward a degree in a graduate or professional program, and who has an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources, and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The applicant's graduate degree must be awarded through a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in the United States or a U.S. Territory.

Deadlines: The new deadline to apply for the 2020 fellowship is February 22, 2019. Applicants from Vermont or from the Lake Champlain Basin area of New York must apply to Lake Champlain Sea Grant. Lake Champlain Sea Grant will convene a selections committee to review all applicants and will forward on highest ranking candidates to the National Sea Grant office for final selections.

Terms of appointment: The fellowship will be for a period of one year starting February 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The Sea Grant program receives and administers the overall cooperative agreement of $61,500 and optional additional fellowship-related travel, relocation and other funds on behalf of each fellow selected from their program. Of this amount, the eligible Sea Grant program provides $47,500 to each fellow for salary/stipend for the first twelve months of the fellowship. Other allowable expenses are: fringe benefits, travel expenses for placement week, health insurance, and academic- and fellowship-related travel expense. Any funds remaining after salary and fringe are accounted for must first be used to support travel of the fellow to placement week, and then to the other allowable expenses indicated above.

Qualifications and application: For 2020 fellowships, students must be enrolled in a graduate or professional program on the application deadline date of February 22, 2019, but may graduate prior to the start of the fellowship. Every applicant's graduate degree must be awarded by a U.S­ accredited institution of higher education in the United States or a U.S. Territory. Applicants will be judged on academic record, stated education and career goals, communication skills (written and verbal), ability to work with people, recommendations, prior studies and work experience in marine or  aquatic-relatted fields, and diversity of academic background.

The full announcement is available here

For additional information: Contact Kristine Stepenuck, Extension Program Leader, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, at (802) 656-8504 or  Please also see the National Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship website for additional information:

Guidelines for Application

Applications must include the following:

  • A completed application cover page.
  • Two signed letters of recommendation, including one from the student's major professor; if no major professor exists, a faculty member who best knows the applicant in an academic context may be substituted.
  • A personal education and career goal statement that emphasizes the applicant's abilities (what you bring to the program), expectations of the fellowship experience (what you expect to get from the program), and how the fellowship supports the applicant's career development (what the fellowship means to you). There is a maximum of 1000 words. Please use standard margins and fonts. Please include your placement preference in the Legislative or Executive Branches of the federal government. This preference will be honored to the extent possible.
  • Personal and academic curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages).
  • Copies of all official undergraduate and graduate student transcripts. 
  • Listing of classes and/or plans for spring, summer and fall 2018 (not to exceed one page).
  • For applicants from states not served by an eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, but applying through an eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, a written statement from the national Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program Manager referring the applicant to the most appropriate eligible Sea Grant Program or Project, must be included as part of that applicant's application package to the state Sea Grant Program or Project.

Applications should be professional in appearance and must be carefully checked for typographic errors, spelling, and grammar. 

Applications should be sent electronically to Dr. Kristine Stepenuck ( by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 22, 2019. Please use the subject line "Knauss Fellowship."

Letters of recommendation may be sent by email or, alternatively, by mail to:

Kristine Stepenuck
Lake Champlain Sea Grant
RSENR, Aiken Center
81 Carrigan Dr
Burlington, Vermont 05405

Confirmation of application receipt will be sent by email.  If you do not receive a confirmation within several days, please contact Dr. Stepenuck (802-656-8504).

Evaluation Criteria

In the primary program-level review, the following evaluation criteria and their relative weights will be as follows:

  • Recommendations and/or endorsements of student (15 percent total): Endorsement/content of the letter from the applicant's major professor, and the second letter of recommendation.
  • Academic record and statement of career goals and objectives of student (45 percent total): Quality of the applicant's personal education and career goal statement (30 percent); strength of academic performance (15 percent).
  • Additional relevant experience (40 percent total) related to diversity of education, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, and interpersonal, written, and oral communications skills. For the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship Program, relevant experience should be in marine or aquatic-related fields.

At the national review, the evaluation criteria are identical to those used at the state level, except that in criteria (1), the letter of endorsement from the sponsoring Sea Grant program director will also be considered.