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Fellowships to California Graduate Students for Research Related to Marine Concerns

Graduate Research Fellowship


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
University of California San Diego
California Sea Grant
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: California

Important Dates
LOI Date: 03/01/23
Deadline: 06/22/23 5:00 PM PT Save

Grant Description
Fellowships of up to $45,000 per year to California graduate students for research related to marine concerns. Applicants are required to submit a pre-proposal prior to a full grant application. Funding is intended for mentor-guided research that will address issues relevant to California communities, and of importance to coastal and marine science – broadly defined (e.g., natural and social sciences, engineering and design, policy and legal analysis).

The purpose of the California Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellowship is to support exceptional graduate students engaged in education and research that furthers the strategic goals of California Sea Grant. By working with a research mentor and community mentor, the fellowship provides hands-on experience in translating research results to coastal and marine communities. 

This Request for Proposals (RFP) focuses on proposals that respond to and target objectives specific to Resilient Communities and Economies (RCE), and Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (SFA). California Sea Grant’s 2024-2027 Strategic Plan contains complete information on goals and desired outcomes of California Sea Grant’s Strategic Focus Areas. See Supporting Documents, below. An outline of RCE and SFA goals are provided below (see Priority Research Goals section on the Full Grant Text RFP button.)

Applicants must propose to conduct research that addresses objectives of the RCE, and/or SFA Focus Areas of the strategic plan.

  • Resilient Communities and Economies (RCE):
    • RCE Goal 1. California’s coastal communities are better prepared for extreme and chronic weather and coastal hazards, climate change, economic disruptions and other threats to community health and well-being with support from science partnerships and the (co-) production of knowledge.
    • RCE Goal 2. California’s coastal communities have the information, partnerships and tools needed to support planning, policy and actions for emerging marine and coastal industries and resource management that ensure an equitable and resilient path forward.
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (SFA): Please note that only SFA projects related to fisheries will be considered for this funding opportunity.
    • SFA Goal 1: California's fisheries, aquaculture, seafood systems and the environments that support them are environmentally, economically and socially more sustainable and resilient to future change through the facilitation of partnerships and the (co-) production of knowledge.
    • SFA Goal 2: California’s fishing, aquaculture and seafood industries have evidence-based information, partnerships and tools needed to support decision-making and a sustainable path forward through community engagement, collaboration and education.

Proposals should, as much as is feasible, aim to address California Sea Grant’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility (DEIJA) Strategic Cross-Cutting Focus Area Goal 2 and Goal 3 (below).

  • DEIJA Goal 2: Across their staff and network, California Sea Grant builds a program where a diversity of lived experiences are represented, particularly Indigenous, underserved and underrepresented identities in marine and coastal sciences, thereby facilitating a culture of belonging and equitable support.
  • DEIJA Goal 3: California Sea Grant and its network co-produce knowledge, create access to scientific information and support research and scholarship priorities of value to a diversity of communities, focused on Indigenous, underserved and underrepresented peoples.

For additional information regarding research priorities, see:

Each fellowship provides funds to support student academic expenses and professional development opportunities during the fellowship period, focused on science communication, science-to-management processes, outreach, and other California and National Sea Grant mission priorities.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Full-time Masters and Ph.D students at any California academic institution who are engaged in coastal and marine research relevant to California are eligible to apply.

Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a California academic institution prior to the award of the fellowship, beginning no later than Fall 2024 (provisional acceptances are allowed, however, acceptances will need to be confirmed before any award can be made). Prospective Master's and pre-doctoral fellows must, at the time of applying, be in or have recently been admitted to a Master's or Ph.D. degree program at a California academic institution in natural resources or environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, engineering, social sciences, or coastal, aquatic or related sciences. Candidates must remain associated with an accredited California institution of higher learning for the duration of the award. Applicants must be eligible to receive federal funds; it is the responsibility of the applicant to check with their institution if they are eligible to receive federal funds and (if applicable) obtain the appropriate VISA to work at their institution during the fellowship period.

To be eligible, the applicant must have a research mentor and a community mentor participate in the application. For additional information, see the Full Grant Text (RFP) button.

In addition to working with a research mentor(s), fellows are required to collaborate with at least one community mentor familiar with existing data and/or resource issues central to the proposed research.

Pre-Proposal Conference
California Sea Grant will host an informational webinar to answer questions about the proposal process on January 31, 2023 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM PT.


This presentation will be recorded and made available on the Sea Grant websites.

*If this is your first time using Zoom, you are encouraged to log in at least five minutes before the webinar starts, as you may need to download software.

Pre-Application Information
- January 31, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 PM PT: - Informational webinar and Q&A
- March 1, 2023, 5:00 PM PT: Pre-proposals due via eSeaGrant
- March - April, 2023: Technical panel and RASGAP reviews of pre-proposals
- Early May, 2023: Feedback on pre-proposals sent back to applicants
- June 22, 2023, 5:00 PM PT: Full proposals due via eSeaGrant
- June - August, 2023: Technical panel and RASGAP review of full proposals
- September 2023: Applicants notified of recommendations to fund projects
- On/after February 1, 2024: Projects expected to begin

Only applicants who have submitted a pre-proposal may submit a full proposal.

For this solicitation, fellowship research projects are required to provide 25% in matching funds from non-federal sources.

Strategic Plan and Services:,STRATEGIC%20PLAN,-By%20identifying%20important

Webinar recording from Jan. 31, 2023:

Number of Grants
California Sea Grant expects to fund up to 9 fellowships from this call.

Estimated Size of Grant
Each fellowship provides an award of up to $45,000 per year.

Term of Contract
- The start date for the fellowships is February 1, 2024.
- Contingent upon available federal funding, the fellowships are available for one or two years.

Contact Information

Proposal Content & eSeaGrant Questions
Lian Guo, Research Coordinator
Shauna Oh, Director

Budget Questions/Matching Funds Questions
Rose Madson, Assistant Director

California Sea Grant
Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
(858) 534-4440

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