Work-ready training in marine science, policy, management, and outreach

NEW! 2017 Host Descriptions available: 2017 Host Descriptions

Purpose: To contribute to a diverse ocean workforce that understands technical and social challenges facing coastal communities and the natural environment, and prepare undergraduate students for graduate school and careers in marine science, policy, management, and outreach.

Applications Due:

Deadline for Winter 2017 passed. Next opportunity available Winter 2018. 

Oregon Sea Grant is excited to announce our seventh annual undergraduate Summer Scholars Program.  This PAID ten-week program running from June 19th to August 25th places high caliber junior and senior undergraduate students from around the country with a variety of Oregon-based host organizations (public agency, non-profit, non-governmental) to provide a diversity* of students with hands-on experience under the mentorship of a career professional.  Scholars can assist host agencies with field work, lab work, analysis, research, policy development, and/or outreach and public engagement efforts.

In addition to aligning with Oregon Sea Grant’s vision, mission and values, the goals of the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program are:

  1. Prepare students for graduate school and/or careers in marine science, policy, management, and outreach through funding support and hands on experience.
  2. Support host organization program initiatives and facilitate scholars’ understanding of their work’s importance in accomplishing the broader host organization goals.
  3. Promote integration of diverse perspectives into problem solving for coastal Oregon to provide richer and more inclusive solutions.

Additional goals for the Summer Scholars Program encourage student success during and after their internship through cultivating an inclusive environment, creating a broad professional network in the marine field, offering professional development opportunities with an emphasis on science communication, and fostering a supportive mentor/mentee relationship. For a complete list of the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program vision, mission, and goals, as well as Program-specific goals and objectives: 

*Diversity refers to persons from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds that contribute a diverse perspective stemming from various lived experiences, skills, and interests.

Here's a video that provides an overview of what the Summer Scholars Program is all about: 

What to Expect

Summer Scholar Expectations: Scholars will be placed with the Oregon Sea Grant Program, a federal or state agency, or non-governmental organization, and will assist host agencies with field work, lab work, analysis, research, policy development, and/or outreach and public engagement efforts. They will be assigned to a specific project under a mentor and will be expected to dedicate at least 40 hours a week to the program. The program will provide students with training on subjects such as ecosystem-based management, professional and scientific communication, field- and lab-based scientific methods, natural resource policy development, public outreach, and roles of federal, state and local governments in natural resource management. The program may include field trips within Oregon and an opportunity for students to present their summer work. Scholars will be expected to participate in all program activities and complete a final project report during the last week of their experience.

Eligibility: Any undergraduate student who will have completed the equivalent of two years of full time study by June 19, 2017 and who is currently enrolled in any U.S. college or university, or who will have graduated during the 2016-2017 academic year may apply. Students from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Important Dates:
February 24 – Applications due by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
Late March – Interviews with top candidates
Mid-April – Notification of Awards and Placement
June 19 – Summer Scholars Program Begins
August 25 – Summer Scholars Program Ends

Application Process

How to Apply:  Oregon Sea Grant is using a new system, called eSeaGrant, for submitting fellowship applications. In order to access this system, and therefore submit your application for this fellowship, you must email eseagrant@oregonstate.edu by February 10, 2017, declaring your interest in applying. Once you announce your interest in this fellowship, an eSeaGrant account will be created for you (stating your interest in applying does not make you obligated to apply). All components of your application, including letters of recommendation, will be submitted through this system. This is a new system that may take some time to figure out, and we are here to provide assistance as needed, but please do not wait until the last minute to apply. All application materials (see Required Application Components below) should be uploaded to eSeaGrant by February 24, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Please be sure to provide recommendation writers with adequate time to complete and submit their letters. While we encourage electronic submission of your application, if this is not a possibility, please contact Haley.Epperly@oregonstate.edu by February 10, 2017, and we will provide accommodations.

Required Application Components:

A complete application will include the following 4 components. The personal statement, résumé, and transcripts must be uploaded to eSeaGrant as one combined PDF in the following order. Letters of recommendation are submitted directly by the letter writer.

1. A one or two-page résumé describing your work and/or volunteer experience. Please use 12 point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins. The résumé must include your name, contact information (including phone and email address), GPA, and educational history. The résumé should also detail your work and volunteer history, particularly as it relates to the Summer Scholars opportunity. Certain host opportunities are only available to U.S. citizens. To help the selection committee identify eligibility, you may include your citizenship in your résumé. Indicating your citizenship is optional.

2. A personal statement in essay style not to exceed 1,500 words.  Use 12 point Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins, and 1.5-line spacing.  The statement should have:

a. one or two paragraphs that tells us about your personal/professional/academic background including your related experience, your major and why you chose it, and why you are interested in marine science, policy, management, and/or outreach
b. one or two paragraphs about how your experience with people from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds will contribute to the Summer Scholars program
c. one or two paragraphs about your academic and professional goals, including your plans for the next academic year and your graduation date or anticipated graduation date
d. one paragraph on how you think this scholarship would help you reach these goals – you may choose to indicate which projects you are interested in and why

3. Unofficial transcripts showing all college level education. Official transcripts will be requested at a later date if selected for an interview.

4. Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from someone who supervised you in a work or volunteer position and can describe your qualifications for the scholarship program. The second letter should be from a college professor or advisor and focus on academic achievement. The applicant will request letters of recommendation directly through the eSeaGrant system, and the letter writer will upload their digital letter of recommendation onto eSeaGrant. Letters of recommendation must be received by February 24, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Note: Please include only the required components in your application packet (i.e. do not include a cover letter, additional recommendations, or photos). Failure to follow all guidelines may result in disqualification of your application.

Selection Process:  Applications will be reviewed by the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program Leader, Program Coordinator, Program Assistant, and a small selection committee. Top candidates will be interviewed via video conference by the selection committee. Up to ten students will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement, including GPA and extracurricular activities, especially in natural and social sciences, communication, policy and outreach
  • Writing and ability to articulate academic and professional goals including alignment of goals with the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Ability to articulate benefits derived from this opportunity and how this opportunity will help you reach your goals
  • Verbal communication skills, as demonstrated during the interview
  • Alignment of applicant interests, goals, and skills with the needs of host agencies and mentors

Award:  Selected students will be awarded a $4,000 stipend to offset living expenses during the ten-week fellowship. Student housing will be provided at no cost to the student.  A small number of need-based assistance grants may be available to offset travel expenses; these will require a supplemental application once students are selected.

Host Descriptions:  The following document details 2017 host agencies and assignments: 2017 Host Descriptions

Contact Information

We strongly discourage potential applicants from contacting host agencies.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Oregon Sea Grant.

For questions about the application or Summer Scholars experience:

  • Research and Scholars Program Assistant and 2015 Summer Scholar: Haley Epperly, 541-737-3722, Email

Additional contacts:

  • Research and Scholars Program Leader:  Sarah Kolesar, 541-737-8695, Email
  • Research and Scholars Program Coordinator:  Mary Pleasant,  541-737-0661, Email

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