Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships

knauss fellow receiving award from jane lubchenko

Jane Lubchenco, a former NOAA administrator, with former MDSG Knauss Fellow Maria Murray

See lists of current and past graduate fellows supported by Maryland Sea Grant.

The Knauss Fellowship, established in 1979, provides a unique educational experience to students interested in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

The program matches highly qualified graduate students with "hosts" in the U.S. Congress or executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C., area, for a one-year paid fellowship. Fellowships run from February 1 to January 31, with the application due to Maryland Sea Grant approximately one year before the fellowship begins.


Any student, regardless of citizenship, is eligible to submit to this opportunity if:

  1. The student is 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 19, 2022;
  2. The graduate degree will be awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories, and;
  3. The student has an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Students from a broad range of environmental programs are encouraged to apply.

Award Amounts and Schedule

The award for each fellowship will be in the form of a cooperative agreement covering salary/stipend for the twelve months of the fellowship and other allowable expenses. The total fellowship award amount varies depending on the fellowship year and individual. Support for Class of 2023 fellows will be $66,500 with an additional $5,000 to cover allowable expenses. Additionally, up to $15,000 for host office travel and up to $2,500 for placement week expenses may be available depending on the year and placement.

Find specifics about award amounts and a calendar of key dates for your class:

Application Process

Applications are due to the Maryland Sea Grant office in February the year before the fellowship commences. View our application information page for detailed deadlines and guidance. Applicants are asked to interview with Maryland Sea Grant during December or January before the deadline.

Knauss Legislative Fellowships

Maryland Sea Grant prepared this video and a fact sheet that describe the benefits of requesting this kind of Knauss fellowship placement.

Information for Finalists and Current Fellows

Current and prospective fellows can find important details about the Knauss Fellowship in this comprehensive overview. Learn about finding a host, pay, expense reimbursements, and more.

Where Are They Now?

Four alumni of the Knauss fellowship program who were sponsored by Maryland Sea Grant describe how the experience helped their careers in this Q&A.

Maryland Sea Grant Contact

Dr. Michael Allen, Associate Director for Research and Administration
Maryland Sea Grant College
(301) 405-7500

More Information About the Knauss Fellowship

  • The Knauss Fellowship program is funded through a cooperative agreement between Maryland Sea Grant and the National Sea Grant College Program (NOAA). The funding announcement and full description of the program can be found at
  • Visit the National Sea Grant Knauss website, which provides information on program rules, housing, former and current fellows, and information to strengthen your application.
  • Read an article about John A. Knauss, for whom the fellowship was named. Dr. Knauss was founding dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and was instrumental in the development of the National Sea Grant College Program.

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