Graduate students work with Oregon lawmakers on ocean and coastal policy issues

Applications due: August 20th, 2018, 5:00 pm PST Deadline passed; next deadline August 2019

NEW Webinar recording now available! Click HERE. Webinar slides available HERE.

Oregon Sea Grant will sponsor a State Legislative Fellowship during the 2018 Oregon Legislative Session for a graduate student with an interest in marine and coastal issues.

The Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program has focused on broadening participation and diversity by restructuring our recruitment and review processes to make them more equitable. Our intent is to be more inclusive of applicants from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds with unique lived experiences, skills and interests; including applicants that may have had fewer opportunities in the marine policy field. In line with initiative, applicants will have the opportunity to demonstrate how their experience with diverse stakeholder groups and communities might apply to this fellowship, and how they think this fellowship will advance their long-term career goals.

Purpose: The objectives of the Fellowship are:

  • to provide technical expertise on marine and coastal issues to legislators;
  • to provide timely reports on current coastal issues for Sea Grant and other interested parties;
  • to help a student develop knowledge of the legislative process as it relates to coastal and ocean issues;
  • to encourage a student to develop skills necessary to work with various levels of government and with private and state resource organizations.

Duties of the Fellow
The Legislative Fellow will provide a variety of professional services to the legislature, but will not assume a political position or take the role of advocate or lobbyist on any issue.

The Fellow is expected to be objective and cooperative on issues where personal opinions may differ and to maintain a non-partisan position.

Between November and January, the Fellow will need to prepare for the legislative session. That preparation must at least include:

  • Studying the Oregon legislative process and the Oregon Coastal Management Program.
  • Studying the results of the previous legislative session that address issues pertinent to coastal communities.
  • To the extent possible, Sea Grant will also arrange preparation that may include:
    • Attending an orientation meeting in Salem for new legislators.
    • Attending an Emergency Board meeting or Interim Joint Legislative meeting.
    • Attending a meeting with coastal legislators (the Coastal Caucus) prior to the Session.
    • Attending a meeting of the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association (OCZMA).
    • Attend meetings with coastal stakeholders and community members identified by the Coastal Caucus, OCZMA, and others

When the legislative session begins, the Fellow will be expected to work full time with primary duties in Salem until the end of the legislative session or August 31, 2019, whichever comes first. The Fellow will:

  • Provide some direct staff support to the host legislator, but not routine clerical work.
  • Provide professional services, as a marine and coastal expert, to the Coastal Caucus and to natural resources committees.
  • Serve as a resource for communication with coastal constituents and key stakeholder groups.
  • Monitor and research legislation and legislative issues affecting marine resources and the Oregon coast.
  • By arrangement of the Coastal Caucus, draft timely reports on significant legislative issues and a summary of important happenings on issues affecting the Oregon coast.
  • Through frequent visits, maintain contact with the staffs of the Caucus members and the staffs of committees handling coastal resource issues.
  • Staff weekly meetings of the Coastal Caucus, which includes working with the Coastal Caucus Chair to manage the agenda, incorporating requests by Caucus members and others for agenda items/speakers, preparing copies of documents relevant to agenda items, and ensuring that meetings run smoothly through proficiency with the teleconference and projector systems.
  • Organize informal meetings of the Coastal Caucus staff at regular intervals to maintain a flow of information on the progress of coastal issues and bills through committee hearings.
  • Produce informal quarterly reports and a final scholarly report analyzing the progress and outcomes of marine and coastal issues dealt with during the session and discussing potential implications for Oregon Sea Grant and other interested parties.
  • Serve as a resource for communication with coastal constituents and key stakeholder groups.
  • Attend Oregon Sea Grant meetings, as appropriate.
  • Other duties may be assigned during the course of the fellowship by Coastal Caucus members.

Schedule of Dates:

  • Informational Webinar: June 15, 2018 at 10:00 – 10:30 am PST
    • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Note that a recording of the webinar will be made available if you cannot attend.
  • Submit intent to apply to by August 13, 2018 (strongly preferred) - Include “OSG Legislative Fellowship” in the subject line.
  • Application due: August 20, 2018 by 5:00 pm PST
  • Interviews at OSU: Late August – Early September
  • Decision announced: mid-September
  • Fellowship begins: November
  • Orientation Period: November – February (meet with coastal caucus legislators and staff)
  • Legislative session begins: February 1, 2019
  • Fellowship ends: Ten days after the end of the legislative session, no later than August 31, 2019

Fellowship Duration
The fellowship will begin three months prior to the beginning of the Oregon Legislative session and conclude 10 days after the session ends or on August 31, 2019, whichever comes first.

Fellowship Award
The stipend provides $2,700 per month from November until 10 days after the session ends or until August 31, 2019, whichever comes first. In addition to living expenses, the stipend may be used to support fellowship related professional development, educational supplies, health insurance, and travel expenses. All Oregon Sea Grant fellows are required to have health insurance.

Eligible Applicants
The applicant must be enrolled in a Masters, Ph.D. or professional degree (e.g. law school) in any discipline at an accredited college, university or non-profit academic institution of higher education physically located in Oregon, or have completed his/her degree after December 2017. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. Previous Legislative Fellows are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications in their application:

  • Suitable professional background and interest in coastal and marine policy issues.
  • Excellent academic ability.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to deal objectively and tactfully with a wide variety of people under stressful and hurried conditions.
  • Ability to maintain a non-partisan, non-political position.
  • Flexibility in time scheduling and willingness to work long, irregular hours during the legislative session.

How to Apply
Oregon Sea Grant uses eSeaGrant for fellowship applications submission. In order to access this system, you must email declaring your interest in applying. Please include “OSG Legislative Fellowship” in the subject line. Email registration at least one week prior (August 13th) to the application deadline is strongly preferred. Stating your interest does not obligate you to apply. Once you submit your interest in this scholarship, an eSeaGrant account will be created for you. 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 learn how to navigate, and we are here to provide assistance as needed; however, please do not wait until the last minute to apply.

Application Materials
Incomplete and late applications and applications that do not follow the formatting guidelines will not be considered. A complete application will include the following four elements:

  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV). The résumé/CV must be in 12 point font with 1” margins, must not exceed two (2) pages in length, and must include the following elements:
    • name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email);
    • education history, including current or final GPA;
    • work and volunteer history;
    • any publications;
    • if applicable: any funding support, either current or pending, and any previous awards; and,
    • any other résumé /CV information you wish the reviewers to consider.
  •  The personal narrative statement must be in 12 point font with 1” margins, use 1.5” or 2” line spacing, and must not exceed three (3) pages in length. A personal narrative statement should express:
    • Why you are a good fit for the Fellowship, and why you want this particular position
    • How the fellowship relates to your career goals
    • Your experience interacting with diverse communities or stakeholder groups and how this experience will help you succeed as a fellow
    • How you would address the purposes and duties of the Fellowship
  • Clear, scanned copies of up-to-date transcripts for all graduate and undergraduate coursework. At the application stage, unofficial copies are acceptable. If you are selected for this fellowship, official transcripts will be required at that time.  If possible, please redact your birthdate, social security number, and/or student ID number, if included on your transcript. Please do not have these sent separately, but include the copies of your transcripts with your application.
  • Two letters of recommendation (one must be from the student's major professor or advisor). The second letter of recommendation can come from anyone of your choosing familiar with your abilities. 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. Make sure your recommendation writers have sufficient time to get the letter to us by or before the application deadline; letters of recommendation must arrive by the application deadline for the application to be considered.

Additional Information
Any questions related to this fellowship can be directed to:

Sarah Kolesar
Research and Scholars Program Leader