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

Applications Due: Feb. 22, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time for summer 2016 program Closed. Next Deadline: Winter 2017

Purpose: To prepare undergraduate students for graduate school and careers in marine science, policy, management, and outreach.

Oregon Sea Grant is excited to announce our sixth annual Summer Scholars Program for eligible undergraduates. This ten-week program places high caliber undergraduate students from around the country with public agencies (federal, state, and local) to provide students with hands-on experience under the mentorship of a career professional. In addition to supporting agency programs and initiatives, the goals of the program are to offer students professional skills, agency workplace experience, and real life practice in marine science, policy, management, and outreach.

Ultimately, the Oregon Sea Grant Undergraduate Summer Scholars program aims to increase the number of graduates who are work ready, trained in public agency marine program areas, and able to apply marine science, policy, management, and outreach skills to the most pressing coastal and ocean issues facing Oregon and the nation.

For a complete list of the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program vision, mission, and goals, as well as Program-specific goals and objectives: PDF iconsummerscholarsvmgoalsaccessible.pdf

What to Expect

Summer Scholar Obligations and Activities:  Student 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 will 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 final week of their experience.

Eligibility:  Any undergraduate student who will have completed the equivalent of two years of full time study by June 13, 2016 and who is currently enrolled in any U.S. college or university, or who will have graduated during the 2015-2016 academic year, may apply. Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Important Dates:

February 22 – Applications Due by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
Mid-March – Interviews with top candidates
Early April – Notification of Awards and Placement
June 13 – Summer Scholars Program Begins
August 19 – Summer Scholars Program Ends

Application Process

How to Apply:  All application materials (see Required Application Components below) should be sent to Oregon Sea Grant at the email or mailing address below. Either digital or hard copies will be accepted, although digital copies are preferred. All components must arrive at the address below by February 22, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Please be sure to consider processing and mailing time for all materials, and provide recommendation writers with adequate time to complete and submit their letters.

Oregon Sea Grant Scholars
Oregon State University
1600 SW Western Boulevard
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Email:; Subject: Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars 
Required Application Components:

A complete application will include the following 4 components. The personal statement, résumé, and transcripts must be sent in one email or mailed letter. If emailing your application, application materials should be attached in PDF (preferred) or MS Word file format.

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 Scholar opportunity.

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 outreach
b. 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
c. 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 or official (preferred) transcripts showing all college level education. If not submitted with the initial application, official transcripts will be requested at a later date if selected for an interview. When sending unofficial or official transcripts as part of your initial application, please ensure they are received by February 22, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

4. Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from someone who supervised you in a work or volunteer position and can describe your suitability for the scholarship program. The second letter should be from a college professor or advisor and focus on academic achievement. Hard copies of letters should be sealed in an envelope, signed across the seal, and sent to the above mailing address. If you are mailing your application materials, you may include the sealed letters with your application. Digital versions must originate directly from the recommender’s email address and sent to Letters of recommendation must be received by February 22, 2016 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). 

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

  • Academic achievement, especially in natural and social sciences
  • Writing and ability to articulate academic and professional goals
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Verbal communication skills, as demonstrated during interview
  • Alignment of applicant interests, goals, and skills with 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 to those students who need it at no cost to the student.  A small number of need-based assistance grants may be available to cover travel expenses; these will require a supplemental application once students are selected.

Host Descriptions:  The 2016 host agency opportunity details are available, click here.

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:

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

For questions about the Summer Scholars experience:

  • 2016 Summer Scholars Program Liaison and 2015 Summer Scholar: Haley Epperly, 541-737-3722, Email

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