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Applications Open for Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships to Start in February 2023

Contact: John Fear,

Knauss Fellowship Student Guide (PDF)

North Carolina Sea Grant is accepting applications from North Carolina graduate students for the 2023 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy FellowshipThe deadline is Feb. 18, 2022, at 5 p.m.

NOAA offers the prestigious fellowship through the National Sea Grant Office in honor of John A. Knauss, who was a Sea Grant founder, NOAA administrator and dean of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. The program places graduate students in Washington, D.C. to work on federal policies and processes that affect ocean, coastal and Great Lakes issues.

“We are seeking a wide pool of applicants, with experience in a range of disciplines and interdisciplinary studies,” says Susan White, executive director for North Carolina Sea Grant. “We value diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and accessibility in our organization and the communities we serve. Through the Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, we strive to provide an educational and employment opportunity for current and recent graduate students of all backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives.”

The 2023 Knauss fellows will serve from Feb. 1, 2023 to Feb. 29, 2024. Fellows may work in host offices in the  U.S. Senate and House,, as well as in departments in the executive branch, including many NOAA programs. More than 88 graduate students from North Carolina have served as Knauss fellows throughout the program’s 40-year history, including four current fellows serving in 2021 and four finalists for 2022.

“We are honored to nominate strong North Carolina students for this opportunity every year,” says John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant deputy director. “Current and past fellows cite this vital professional experience in marine policy as key influences on career paths in science, policy, communications and other fields.”

Eligible applicants are any student, regardless of citizenship that: 1) is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2021 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and Feb. 18, 2022; 2) will have that graduate degree awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories; and 3) has an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

North Carolina Sea Grant is able to nominate up to six students from North Carolina-based schools for the 2023 Knauss competition. As part of the state-level application review process, North Carolina Sea Grant will review applications and invite some candidates for personal interviews, which will occur in early to mid-March 2022. Those sessions may be virtual.

All prospective fellows from North Carolina must submit their applications through the eSeaGrant online portal, which includes detailed instructions and requirements: “The application elements have been updated this year. Please read the requirements and start your application early,” Fear reminds interested graduate students.

For more information, contact John Fear at, with email as the preferred initial contact method. Phone and Zoom calls can be arranged if needed.

Additional information also is available at the National Sea Grant fellowship website, which includes biographies of current Knauss fellows, and guides for the updated application packet requirements:

An informational video from the national program offers a brief overview of the fellowship.

To learn more about other North Carolina Sea Grant graduate fellowships, visit