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Applications are now due March 23 at 5:00 p.m.

North Carolina Sea Grant is accepting applications for the 2021-22 NC STEM Policy Fellowship. Graduate students trained at North Carolina institutions of higher education will be placed into high-level state government offices focusing on policy topics related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, often known collectively as STEM.

Sea Grant oversaw a pilot program in 2020-21. Funds provided through Sea Grant and a generous matching grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund allow for new fellows to begin Aug. 1, 2021. The fellowships are full-time positions at 40 hours per week working for one year with the host offices.

“The North Carolina fellows gain valuable experience and professional development opportunities while working in host offices engaged in STEM policy and policymaking processes,” explains Susan White, North Carolina Sea Grant’s executive director.

The 2020-21 host offices have been: N.C. Department of Environmental Quality State Energy Office and  N.C. Department of Commerce Office of Science, Technology and Innovation. A new host office in 2021-22 will be the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Office of the Secretary.

Host offices also benefit from access to impartial, science-savvy fellows to help them make critical decisions. We have seen the success already with our first two fellows,” she adds.

“I was hoping to find a job somewhere that combines a broad range of topics and projects with direct outcomes and impacts in local communities, work similar to what this office does,” comments James Withrow, a graduate of NC State University and placed in OSTI.

Danielle Costantini, also a graduate of NC State University and placed in the State Energy Office, notes, “This position is allowing me to apply my knowledge in science policy and natural resources to real-world challenges.”

The 12-month fellowship includes a competitive stipend, reimbursement for health insurance costs, and associated travel and training opportunities during the year. Total value of the fellowship is $54,500. For details, go online to:

North Carolina’s program is modeled after successful national-level fellowships — the National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Science and Technology Policy Fellowship — as well as the California Council on Science and Technology’s Science Fellows Program.

In addition, professional and network development opportunities for fellows are expanding in partnership with Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering. Some sessions may be provided in Summer 2021.

“We value diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and the communities we serve. Through this state-based science and technology policy fellowship we strive to provide an educational and employment opportunity for current and recent graduate students of all backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives,” White adds.

Eligibility for the 2021-22 NC STEM Policy Fellowship:

  • Applicants must receive a graduate degree no later than Dec. 31, 2021, and no earlier than July 31, 2020.
  • The master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM or related discipline must be earned through one of North Carolina’s accredited, public or private institutes of higher education.
  • Students are eligible regardless of nationality. Domestic and international students may apply.
  • Applicants must have an interest in state and national policy decisions on STEM topics.

Deadline: Completed applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 23, 2021.

Apply through the eSeaGrant portal, Requirements include a resume, career goal statement, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.

The NC STEM Policy Fellowship program, including its funders and host offices, is committed to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion by proactively recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce; and engaging and serving communities that are representative of the populations where this program operates.

For more information on the fellowship, or if you represent a state office interested in hosting future NC STEM policy fellows, contact Sara Mirabilio:, or 252-475-5488.

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