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Opportunities for Students

Graduate students retreive a water column profiler, sitting inside a rosette sampler
We have an active intern program: in 2012 they worked on projects ranging from field sampling for harmful algal blooms to developing an office blog to making our reports e-reader accessible.

NCCOS and NOAA welcome the chance to train, energize, and challenge the next generation of scientists, especially those interested in our planet's ocean and coastal ecosystems. There are internships, opportunities with our partners at the Environmental Cooperative Science Center, as well as scholarships and visiting scholar programs offering many possibilities.

NOAA's Office of Education has a central clearinghouse for students interested in internships, scholarships, fellowships, and our educational partners.

NCCOS shares the vision of NOAA's Educational Partnership program to "increase the number of students from underrepresented communities who are educated, trained and graduated in fields that directly support NOAA's mission." They have a very informative newsletter that provides up–to–date information on the program.

A career in marine science can be exciting, rewarding, and fun. Marine science covers many topics, including marine biology, oceanography, and ocean engineering—each with specialty fields. Marine scientists work for a variety of organizations, including colleges and universities, non–profit organizations, industry, and government agencies. A marine scientist might work in the field, or an office, laboratory, or even on a ship. Salaries vary, depending on your educational level, your specific field of marine science, and the employing organization. People with careers in the marine sciences generally have advanced science degrees. Good communications skills - such as writing and public speaking - are highly recommended.

Undergraduate Scholarship, Internship, and Fellowship Programs

Hollings Marine Laboratory Internships

The Partners at the Center for Human Health Risk in Charleston, SC offer various programs that bring undergraduates to Charleston to work in laboratories for approximately 10 weeks each summer. These summer research internships provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain hands–on laboratory experience and to interact with current graduate students.

Learn more.

NOAA Faculty and Student Research Participation Program

This NOAA program is for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students enrolled in biological and physical sciences programs. In addition, faculty can pursue research related to NOAA's mission. The program provides weekly stipends to students ranging from $400 to $515 per week. Faculty stipends are commensurate with the salary at their respective academic institutions.

Learn more about this program.

NOAA College-Supported Internship Program

NOAA offers summer positions for certain students through the College’s Environmental Science and Policy Program. The ten–week internships are at NOAA offices and field stations across the country.

Learn more about this program.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

NCCOS hires students and early–career professionals through the ORISE program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake national and international programs in education, training, health, and the environment. ORISE administers fellowships, internships, and research projects at undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.

Learn more about this program.

Department of Commerce Post-secondary Internship Program

Through the Postsecondary Internship Program, interns participate in on–site work experiences with DOC bureaus and offices in order to integrate academic theory and workplace requirements, gain relevant skills and knowledge, explore Federal career options, develop professional networks, and gain a greater awareness of the role of Federal agencies. Internships opportunities are paid and can be during the summer or academic year.

Learn more about this program.

Undergraduate Scholars Program

The goal of the Undergraduate Scholars Program is to increase the number of students who undertake course work and graduate with degrees in targeted academic fields integral to NOAA's mission. This program targets students who have completed their sophomore or junior year, attending minority serving institutions (MSIs), and have recently declared, or about to declare a major in atmospheric, oceanic, or environmental disciplines that support these sciences.

Learn more about this program.

Graduate Scholarship, Internship, Fellowship, and Research Programs

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships

The Knauss fellowship, established in 1979, provides a unique educational experience to students who have an interest 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 legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship. The program is named in honor of one of Sea Grant's founders, former NOAA Administrator, John A. Knauss.

Learn more about this program.

Sea Grant/NOAA Fisheries Graduate Fellowship

NOAA's National Sea Grant Office and NOAA Fisheries established a Graduate Fellowship Program in population dynamics and marine resource economics. The fellowship is for Ph.D. students who are interested in either of these two disciplines.

Learn more about this program.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research—particularly by female and minority students—in oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology.

Learn more about this program.

National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Graduate Research

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Graduate Research Fellowship provides master’s degree students and Ph.D. candidates with an opportunity to conduct research of local and national significance that focuses on enhancing coastal zone management.

Learn more about this program.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

NCCOS hires students and early–career professionals through the ORISE program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake national and international programs in education, training, health, and the environment. ORISE administers fellowships, internships, and research projects at undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.

Learn more about this program.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

The PMF program provides a variety of public policy career opportunities to graduate students. TheOffice of Personnel Management recruits and selects PMF finalists based upon review of written applications, and performance in individual and group interviews. After two years of structured career development, PMF positions are converted to permanent federal positions at NOAA.

Learn more about this program.

NOAA's Educational Partnership Program Graduate Sciences Program

The Graduate Sciences Program (GSP) is aimed primarily at increasing opportunities for students in NOAA–related fields to pursue research and educational training in atmospheric, environmental, remote sensing and oceanic sciences at minority serving institutions (MSI) when possible. The GSP offers between two years (master’s candidates) to four years (doctoral students) of NOAA–related research and training opportunities.

Learn more about this program.

Collaborating University Programs

Environmental Cooperative Science Center

NOAA's Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) was established in 2001 as part of NOAA's Educational Partnership Program to address ecological and coastal management issues at specific National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

ECSC activities aim to impact much of the southeastern and mid–Atlantic coastal regions of the United States including the Gulf coast, South Florida, and the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. These sites were selected because of the critical nature of their coastal ecosystems, their proximity to ECSC member institutions, and because they presented ideal opportunities to expand existing research, education, and outreach activities involving member institutions. For more information, please visit their thematic areas page.

Learn more about this program.