The Sea Grant Knauss 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.

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.

“The Knauss Fellowship is the best decision I have made in my career… It gave me the tools to make my technical science background more meaningful by teaching me to put my conservation science in the context of both politics and policy.”

-Erika Towle, 2016 Knauss Fellow placed with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Learn more about becoming a Knauss Fellow.

2023 Notice of Federal Funding

Quick Overview

Application Opens
Fall 2021
Application Closes
February 18, 2022, 5 p.m. ET
Fellowship Begins
February 1, 2023

Meet 2022 Knauss Scholars

Wondering 'Weather' To Apply?

In 2019, Renee Richardson, a PhD. candidate at Florida State University, had doubts that her passion and research for meteorology would fit the Knauss marine policy mold. Now, in her 2020 Knauss fellowship placement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Program Office, Richardson is utilizing her subject matter expertise to advocate for weather-related priorities and assist in decision-making that mitigates impacts on coastal regions and beyond.

“I am surrounded by incredible research scientists from all sectors of meteorology, and I am constantly broadening my knowledge outside my specific area of expertise.”

Scholarship Eligibility and Selection

Eligibility Information

A student must 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 18, 2022. 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.

Application Process

  1. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to Florida Sea Grant at at least one to two months before the application deadline (February 18, 2022) to receive application support and to notify us that you intend to apply.
  2. Read the applicant resource documents to help you prepare your application: 2023 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide and Student Applicant Guide to Sea Grant Fellowships and watch the 2023 Knauss 101 Webinar.
  3. Begin working on your application materials including your CV, responses, plans, transcripts, and identifying individuals to write letters of recommendation.
  4. Create an account on eSeaGrant ( to begin uploading your materials.

Selection of Finalists

Florida Sea Grant can select up to six applicants to elevate to the National Sea Grant Office competition. Florida Sea Grant will notify state-level nominees by mid-March. The National Sea Grant Office holds a selection panel to determine Knauss finalists, which will be announced in June. After finalists are selected, a webinar will be held to describe the next steps, including the difference between executive and legislative placements. To learn more about the types of placements available through the fellowship program, you can review the list of 2021 executive and legislative Knauss positions.