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Scholarship and fellowship opportunities

Fellowships

J. Philip Keillor Wisconsin Coastal Management Sea Grant Fellowship
Application Deadline: March 26, 2021

Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program fund this science-policy fellowship for candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to increasing the resilience of coastal communities across the Great Lakes region.

The fellowship is named in honor of longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert Phil Keillor, who passed away in 2009, to celebrate his legacy in building resilience in Wisconsin communities. This fellowship provides a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate who is interested both in aquatic resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. It places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state agency full-time for one year, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to benefit water issues and challenges and receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who serve as mentors.

This mutually beneficial partnership helps advance science to support policy decisions, and it provides valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force. Read more here.

Wisconsin Water Resources Science-Policy Fellowship with a focus on Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms
Application Deadline: March 28, 2021

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Aquatic Sciences Center (UW), home to the University of Wisconsin Water Resources and Sea Grant Institutes, and in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) seek postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling timely science and policy challenges related to water resources management and human health in Wisconsin. Together, these programs will fund a Wisconsin Water Resources Science-Policy Fellow position. This program places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state program full-time for one to two years, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to address water issues and tackle related public health challenges and receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who will serve as mentors. This mutually beneficial partnership will result in advancing science to support public health policy decisions as well as valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force.

This fellowship offers a placement within the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Program at the WDHS in downtown Madison to learn about and help address the important public health challenges of cyanobacterial HABs in Wisconsin. This unique position entails working with both people and data on an emerging One Health issue, focusing on protecting and promoting the health of people, animals, and the environment through bloom-related illness investigation and public health response and outreach efforts.

We seek applicants from a variety of backgrounds including public health/epidemiology, water resources, climate sciences, social sciences, communications, etc. to conduct ongoing surveillance, detection, investigation, and reporting of human and animal illnesses resulting from exposure to cyanobacterial blooms in Wisconsin and related outreach and education efforts.  Read more here.

John A. Knauss Marine (and Great Lakes) Policy Fellowship
This is not an active opportunity. 

The National Sea Grant College Program’s John A. Knauss Marine (and Great Lakes) Policy Fellowship Program was established in 1979. It provides a unique educational experience to applicants who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C., area, for a one-year paid internship.

Placement opportunities are numerous and diverse, and have typically included offices within Congress, the Executive Office of the President, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Navy, and departments of State, Treasury, Transportation and Energy, in addition to others.

Applicants from a variety of backgrounds including natural and social sciences, law, engineering and communications can be competitive for this fellowship.

Learn more. 

It is strongly recommended that applicants set up a meeting with the Wisconsin Sea Grant Director James Hurley (via jennifer.hauxwell@aqua.wisc.edu) one to two months in advance of the application deadline. Completed applications should be sent to jennifer.hauxwell@aqua.wisc.edu.

Wisconsin Sea Grant Keillor Fellowship in Aquaculture 
This is not an active opportunity. 

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), seeks postdoctoral candidates interested in addressing scientific challenges to advance aquaculture in Wisconsin. Together, these programs fund a Keillor Fellowship in Aquaculture, named in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert J. Philip Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in providing science to help support informed decisions for the sustainable use of Great Lakes resources. This Fellowship provides a unique educational and career opportunity for a postdoctoral fellow by placing them at the UWSP-Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (UWSP-NADF) for two years, with the fellow bringing technical skills to address aquaculture issues and challenges and receiving valuable real-world applied science experience from aquaculture professionals serving as mentors.

This mutually beneficial partnership advances the science to support aquaculture in Wisconsin as well as provides a valuable training opportunity for a new aquaculture professional. This position offers a unique opportunity for analyzing data and publishing manuscripts on a variety of species and systems from past projects as well as future research to be conducted at this internationally recognized, state-of-the-art research facility for applied aquaculture research. 

J. Philip Keillor Flood Resilience – Wisconsin Sea Grant Fellowship

This is not an active opportunity.

The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program (housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center), in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS), seeks postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to climate change, water resources, flooding adaptation, social science, urban planning, or preparedness and mitigation in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. Together, these programs will place a recent master’s or doctoral graduate at the Department of Health Services, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to address Wisconsin flood resilience issues while receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who will serve as mentors. Read more here.

National Marine Fisheries Service – Sea Grant Joint Graduate Fellowship 

This is not an active opportunity.

The NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and Marine Resource Economics places Ph.D. students in research-based fellowships that provide support for up to three years. The program is designed to fulfill workforce development needs identified by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and since 1990, has provided opportunities for 144 Ph.D. students.

University of Wisconsin-Madison – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Postdoctoral Fellowship With a Focus on PFAS Toxicology
This is not an active opportunity.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Aquatic Sciences Center in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Toxicology and Ecology Division has sought postdoctoral candidates interested in tackling toxicological challenges related to water resources management and human health. Together, these programs support a postdoctoral fellow to provide technical expertise to advance toxicological research while receiving valuable support from EPA scientists who serve as mentors. This fellow  is placed at the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development lab in Duluth, Minnesota, and works directly with Drs. Dan Villeneuve and Gary Ankley in addition to researchers from across Wisconsin and the region.

J. Philip Keillor Great Lakes – Wisconsin Sea Grant Fellow
This is not an active opportunity. 

The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program (housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Office of Great Waters Program has sought postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to water resources and climate change in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. Together, these programs fund a state Science-Policy Fellow position, named in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert J Phillip Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in providing science to help build resilience in Wisconsin. This fellow position provides a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate interested both in aquatic resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. This program places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state agency full-time for one year, with the fellow bringing technical skills to benefit Great Lakes water and climate change issues while receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who will serve as mentors. These mutually beneficial partnerships advance science to support policy decisions and advance valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force. 

NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship
This is not an active opportunity. 

The 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. The program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs to work on projects proposed by the state and selected by the fellowship sponsor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. This two-year opportunity offers a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement. 

Learn more on the NOAA Office for Coastal Management website.


Assistantships

Research Assistantships

Researchers who are funded through a competitive grants process often support graduate students as part of their projects. Students do not apply directly for these awards. To find Wisconsin researchers who are current funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant, visit our most recent Directory of Projects and People in our publications store.

More than 650 graduate students have received this type of support.


Scholarships

Carl J. Weston Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1995, the Carl J. Weston Memorial Scholarship fund provides support for deserving undergraduate students working on Wisconsin Sea Grant-supported projects. Funding source: Dr. and Mrs. Carl B. Weston.

Undergraduate students who are conducting research, under the guidance of a principal investigator (PI) on a Sea Grant-supported project, are eligible to apply to this scholarship. Scholarship recipients will be awarded $750. The scholarship application must include:

• A copy of the student’s academic record (transcripts)
• A personal statement from the student explaining their career goals and how the research that they are conducting contributes to their personal and academic growth, and future career goals
• A letter of support from the PI

The section will be updated when the Weston Scholarship is offered again. View a list of past scholarship winners.


Conference travel fund for Sea Grant-supported graduate students

Periodically, Wisconsin Sea Grant offers funds to support conference travel for graduate students who are affiliated with Sea Grant projects. This section will be updated when this type of funding is again available.


Tips on applying for fellowships

Our three-part podcast series offers useful advice on applying for fellowships. Save time and worry by listening before you apply for a fellowship. Listen to the “On Fellowship” podcasts.

Curious to learn about the fellowship experiences of past fellows? Wisconsin Sea Grant hosts webinar series especially for graduate students in water-related fields. These webinars are geared towards helping graduate students apply for and learn about fellowships, learn to become more impactful aquatic researchers, and to optimize their graduate experiences to prepare them for the next steps along their career paths. Read more for details and links to recordings!