Program Status: Closed
Program type(s): Fellowship,


North Carolina Sea Grant and North Carolina Space Grant offer a joint, one-year Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship will use data from vast archives and remote-sensing capabilities available through the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address a high-priority research needs within North Carolina’s nearshore environs and coastal watersheds. Successful proposals will adeptly utilize relevant measurement instruments and/or remote-sensing data sources from NASA, NOAA, or other sources that can include, but are not limited to, radiometers, spectroradiometers, satellite sensors, LIDAR, aerial imagery, and other data collected from airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, and/or unpiloted submersibles in the execution of the proposed work.

The joint North Carolina Sea Grant – North Carolina Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship Program invites interdisciplinary proposals from across the state. Each applicant must be a full-time, enrolled graduate student at an accredited college or university within North Carolina and a citizen of the United States. A faculty mentor must supervise the proposed research. The research activity should continue for the duration of the Fellowship period. The start date is flexible but must be after Oct. 1, 2018. All work must be completed by Dec. 30, 2019. Fellows are required to present their research findings at a meeting, conference, or other formal gathering of professional organization(s), association(s), etc. among peer researchers, policymakers, or another relevant audience. Funding for related travel should be considered within the total award package.

This is a competitive fellowship program supported by North Carolina Space Grant in partnership with NASA, North Carolina Sea Grant in partnership with NOAA, and the State of North Carolina. Awards are based on scientific merit, adherence to the instructions of this RFP, availability of federal funds, and in recognition of high academic achievement and project results promise.

Ghost Forest Imaging by Lindsay Smart

Fellowship Amount

$10,000 per fellowship

Number of Fellowships

Two Fellowships are anticipated for 2018-2019, subject to sufficient funding and quality of the applications.


The research activity should be continuous over the course of a Fellowship. The start date is flexible but must be after Nov. 1, 2018. All work must be completed by Dec. 30, 2019.

Eligibility Requirements

The Graduate Research Fellowship applicant must be:

Interested students must complete an online application. Undergraduate students may not apply for funding, but research projects that include undergraduate participation are encouraged. Please read all program guidelines, including applicant eligibility and reporting requirements, before submitting your application. The application must be submitted online and all information must be complete or the application will not be reviewed. The key components of the application are discussed in more detail below.

Application Instructions

Applications are currently closed and will reopen in Fall 2019. Instructions remain below for reference.

Proposals should be uploaded as one PDF file via the North Carolina Space Grant application portal (click new user registration button to begin the application). Proposals must describe the research project, with Items 1 to 4 below totaling no more than four pages. Item 7 should be no more than two pages. The proposal should be in 12-point, Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted.

Proposals must contain the following sections:

  1.  Title Page:  Include student and major professor contact information.
  2. Description of Proposed Research Project:  A statement written by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor should describe: (1) The key elements of the proposed research and plan of study, including data instruments, and/or sources; (2) What s/he intends to accomplish; and (3) Clear description of how the proposed work has applications of interest to NASA, NOAA, and the State of North Carolina.
  3. Materials and Methods
  4. Clearly defined Tasks and a Timeline to complete the tasks. This item and the three previous should add up to no more than four pages in total.
  5. A Plan to Present Findings:  (1) To present research methodology and/or research findings at a meeting, conference, or other formal gathering of professional organization(s), association(s), etc. among peer researchers, policymakers, or another relevant audience; and (2) For purposes of public outreach (e.g., an article in Coastwatch magazine, a blog post for the North Carolina Sea Grant and North Carolina Space Grant websites, a presentation at a maritime center or planetarium, a presentation to K-12 audiences, etc.). See also “Products.”
  6. A detailed Budget:  Funds may be used for any purpose related to the project, including stipends, undergraduate assistants, and tuition. University overhead charges are not permitted. Faculty advisor support is not permitted. Match funding is not required.
  7. Data Management Plan: In addition to the above application, to comply with NOAA’s data and publication sharing directive for grants and contracts, version 3.0 (, each applicant must develop and submit with their application a data management plan (DMP). The DMP does not count toward the four-page limit described above. Please review the guidance found in the link in the “Application” section above, as well as Attachment A, to assist you in preparing your plan. Plans will be included as part of the proposal evaluation process. Plans should be no more than two pages and should include: descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project; the tentative date by which data will be shared; the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content; methods for providing data access; approximate total volume of data to be collected; and prior experience in making such data accessible. If your project is not expected to develop any environmental data, then your DMP may simply include the declaration: “This proposal is not expected to generate environmental data. Therefore, a Data Management Plan is not required.”
  8. Current CV
  9. Letter of support from the applicant’s major professor. Up to two additional letters of support from end-users of the research results and other appropriate parties may be included if they enhance the application.

The proposal can contain a Literature Cited section, if needed, which is NOT included in the page limits.


Applications are currently closed and will reopen Fall 2019. 

Review Process

The selection committee will be made up of university faculty in a variety of disciplines, North Carolina Sea Grant and North Carolina Space Grant staff, and other relevant experts. Applicants should present their research project in a way that will be understandable to a range of readers.

Award Funding

The successful applicant(s) will be notified by Nov. 1, 2018. Funding will be channeled through the fellow’s major professor, who must agree to serve as Principal Investigator on the project.


General Requirements:  Graduate Research Fellows are required to:

Research Outcomes Products:  Fellows are required to:

Communications Products:  Fellows are required to:

For questions, please contact:

John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant,

Jobi Cook, North Carolina Space Grant,