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Applications Open for the 2025 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships

Contact: John Fear,; or Katie Mosher,

An image of the U.S. Capitol building, taken from the side, with trees in front and cloudy, blue skies above.

North Carolina Sea Grant is accepting applications from North Carolina graduate students for the 2025 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The deadline is February 15, 2024 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

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 of North Carolina Sea Grant. “Through the Knauss Fellowships, we strive to provide an educational and employment opportunity for current and recent graduate students of all backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives.”

More than 95 graduate students from North Carolina have served as Knauss fellows throughout the program’s 40-year history, including six current fellows serving in 2023 and six finalists for 2024.

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

To be eligible for the 2025 fellowship (which lasts February 1, 2025 through January 31, 2026),

  • A student must be enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2023 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 15, 2024; The student’s graduate degree program must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories;
  • Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply; and
  • Applicants must have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

North Carolina Sea Grant will invite the state’s top candidates for interviews in March 2024 and then nominate a small handful for consideration at the national level.

All students from North Carolina must submit their applications through the eSeaGrant online portal, which can be accessed now and includes detailed instructions and requirements:

“NC Sea Grant applicants have fared very well over the past few years at the national level competition, so we look forward to continuing the momentum,” Fear notes. “Please start your application early and reach out to us with any questions.”

Additional information also is available at the National Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship website, which includes biographies of current fellows, a video, and a guide for preparing a strong application:

Contact John Fear at