John A. Knauss Marine Fellowship Program 2021/2022

John A. Knauss Marine Fellowship

Applications are for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program 2022 are now open.

The Fellowship, named after one of Sea Grant’s founders and former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss, 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 fellowship.

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

Benefits of John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

The Fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Requirements for John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program Qualification

  1. Be enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2021 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 19, 2021.
  2. The graduate degree must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. territories.
  3. Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply.
  4. Have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Checkout: 100 Study Abroad Frequently Asked Questions

Interview date, Process and Venue for John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

  1. You will be notified if you are a selected finalist in mid- to late-summer.
    1. Note you are a called a selected finalist, not a Knauss Fellow, until after you are placed in a position during placement week.
  2. After finalists are selected, a webinar will be held to describe the next steps, including difference between executive and legislative placements. You will then be asked to write a 300 word or less justification for wanting to be placed in the executive or legislative class. The National Sea Grant Office will announce the split of the classes in late summer.
  3. There may be several other informational webinars to help you prepare for your fellowship year.
  4. In October (executive fellows) or Late November/Early December (legislative fellows) finalists will participate in placement week. Placement week is filled with interviews, happy hours with potential hosts, and then host position-fellow pairing.
  5. To learn more about the types of placements available through the fellowship program please review the list of potential 2021 executive and legislative Knauss positions.

Documents Required for Application

  1. Curriculum vitae (C.V.)
  2. Personal statement
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. List of plans for the upcoming year (classes and/or work, internships, etc)
  5. All transcripts

Application Deadline

February 28, 2021

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to John A. Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship on to apply

The application process requires several steps and differs from many other fellowship opportunities. You apply first to the Sea Grant program in your state, NOT on You will then interview with them, and the state Sea Grant program can select up to six applicants to submit to the National Sea Grant Office. Recipients will be selected by a panel at the national level.

  1. Reach out to the Sea Grant Program in your state at least one to two months before the state application deadline (February 2021). Let them know you plan to apply and ask for advice navigating the process.
  2. Go to the main Sea Grant website and look for your state Sea Grant program. If your state does not have a program, email the National Sea Grant Office and they can direct you to the appropriate state.
  3. Read the “Federal Funding Opportunity” (FFO) that has details for the grant on Click “related documents” to find the full announcement.
  4. Draft your personal statement, touch up your C.V., order official transcripts, and ask for recommendation letters. One letter must come from your major academic advisor, the second letter should be from someone who knows you well.
  5. Double-check the Federal Funding Opportunity to make sure you have met all the requirements.
  6. Ask questions of your local Sea Grant program and/or the National Sea Grant Office *before* the deadline.
  7. Submit your material to your state’s Sea Grant program, NOT They will contact you to schedule an interview.
  8. Prepare for the state selection process, which will include an interview with your state’s Sea Grant program.
  9. The Sea Grant programs can each select up to six applicants to elevate to the National Sea Grant Office competition. Each program is different; they may or may not notify applicants if they have been elevated.
  10. The National Sea Grant Office holds a selection panel to determine Knauss finalists (you are not referred to as a Knauss Fellow until after placement week–see the next question in this FAQ). Your state Sea Grant Program will notify selected finalists in mid- to late summer

If you have questions about the process, contact your state’s Sea Grant program or email the National Office. You can also watch this recorded webinar for more information.

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