Delta Science Fellowship

California Sea Grant

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Grant amount: Up to US $110,000

Deadline: Dec 20, 2019 5:00pm PST

Applicant type: Graduate Student Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Counties in California: Contra Costa County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, Solano County, Yolo County

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

Delta Science Fellows Program

Since 2003, the Delta Science Program and the California Sea Grant College Program have sponsored a fellowship program for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers. In addition, for the first time, we will be accepting applications for the 2020 Delta Science Fellowship from students who are in masters programs. The aim of the Delta Science Fellows Program is to bring together junior scientists with Delta agency scientists and senior research mentors in collaborative research, data analysis, and synthesis projects relevant to Delta policy and management, including analyses of the immense monitoring database collected and maintained by the implementing agencies.

The Delta Science Program is again seeking applications from qualified individuals to compete for fellowship opportunities. California Sea Grant will administer and manage the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program.  Fellowships will be awarded based on the intellectual merit of the application and the expected contribution to the priority issues identified by the SAA (refer to Appendix B).

Goals

The goals of the Delta Science Fellows Program are to:

  • Engage highly qualified scientific talent to help advance the state of scientific knowledge on the Delta Plan policy areas and high priority science actions identified by the SAA. The Delta Plan covers the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh (Appendix A). Proposed fellowship projects may include areas outside the Delta and Suisun Marsh, including the Delta watershed and critical  linkages with San Francisco Bay, if the project affects achievement of the coequal goals (Appendix B);
  • Provide support for the training and development of natural and social scientists to work in multidisciplinary research, including synthesis and/or modeling-based projects intended to support resource management in the Delta; and
  • Promote scientific partnerships across research institutions, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and disciplines.

To be eligible applicants must identify a community mentor, often an agency scientist, who has direct experience in data collection and analysis and/or how the science may contribute to management issues or fundamental understanding of the Delta system.

During the fellowship, the fellow, community mentor(s) (more than one is acceptable), and research mentor will collaborate on the approved project, and together they will provide updated progress information and drafts of any manuscripts intended for publication to the Delta Science Program. The research mentor will be in charge of the project, providing broad oversight and review of the fellow’s research and products. A mentoring plan between the fellow, the research mentor, and the community mentor(s) will be required within one month after the fellowship is initiated (see Appendix D).

Applicants are encouraged to use existing data sets to the maximum extent feasible. If collection of new data is part of the proposed research, the prospective Fellow should clearly explain how these new data will supplement available data and what existing data will be used as part of the project.

Fellowship Program Award

The fellowship will provide up to two (2) years of support based on scope/type of projects and contingent upon the availability of funds, for postdoctoral, Ph.D., and masters fellows, in the form of a grant/award that includes funds for a stipend and for research-related expenses. Once the funds are awarded by California Sea Grant through a cooperative agreement with the Delta Science Program, the fellow’s stipend and research related expenses will be administered by the university, college, or research institution with which the fellow and/or research mentors are affiliated.

Postdoctoral fellows will receive up to $55,000 per year stipend. Ph.D. and masters fellows will receive up to $35,000 per year stipend, for a maximum duration of two years. In addition, each fellow may request funds (up to $34,000 per year for postdoctoral fellows or $23,000 per year for Ph.D. and masters fellows) for research supplies/equipment, travel and other expenses necessary for carrying out the proposed research, and attending scientific meetings including the Bay-Delta Science Conference or State of the Estuary Conference.

Continued support after the first year will be contingent on satisfactory performance of the fellow and on the availability of funds.

Mentorship Program

A formal mentoring plan will be required to be submitted within one month after funds are awarded and the fellowship is initiated. The purpose of the mentoring plan is to ensure a quality experience for the Fellow that provides a springboard to a career in scientific research and/or program implementation.

2020 Priority Topic Areas

For 2020, the Delta Science Fellows Program is requesting submission of research proposals that are responsive to one or more of the priority science actions identified in the 2017-2021 Science Action Agenda (See Appendix B for details on each topic).

2017-2021 Science Action Agenda Priority Science Actions:

  • Invest in assessing the human dimensions of natural resource management decisions
  • Capitalize on existing data through increasing science synthesis
  • Develop tools and methods to support and evaluate habitat restoration
  • Improve understanding of interactions between stressors and managed species and their communities
  • Modernize monitoring, data management, and modeling

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS
    • Prospective postdoctoral science fellows must hold a Ph.D. or complete a Ph.D. before the starting date of the fellowship, in a doctoral degree program in the environmental sciences, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions or in a related field appropriate for disciplines identified under “Fellowship Opportunities.”
    • Any postdoctoral researcher may apply who is associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the grant.
    • Postdoctoral fellowships will not be awarded unless and until the prospective fellow has fully completed the Ph.D. degree.
  • PH.D. (GRADUATE DOCTORAL) FELLOWSHIPS
    • Prospective Ph.D. science fellows must, at the time of application, be in or have recently been admitted to a Ph.D. degree program in natural resources, environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions, or coastal, aquatic or related sciences at any accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
    • Candidates must remain associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the award.
  • MASTERS (GRADUATE DOCTORAL) FELLOWSHIPS
    • Prospective masters science fellows must, at the time of application, be in or have recently been admitted to a masters degree program in natural resources, environmental sciences, environmental policy and management, engineering, social sciences, human dimensions, or coastal, aquatic or related sciences at any accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
    • Candidates must remain associated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning for the duration of the award.