Maine Sea Grant Graduate Research Assistantship Opportunity

This opportunity is closed. Previous opportunity information provided for information only.

Maine Sea Grant Graduate Research Assistantship Opportunity

Maine Sea Grant is pleased to announce a new one-year Graduate Research Assistantship opportunity beginning January 1, 2024 and ending December 31, 2024. The purpose of the Maine Sea Grant Graduate Research Assistantship is to support exceptional prospective and current graduate students who are engaged in coastal and marine research that furthers the goals of the Maine Sea Grant program. For this 2024 Graduate Research Assistantship competition, we seek to support a graduate student at a Maine-based institution pursuing a marine or coastal focused degree (Masters or PhD) that falls under one or more of Maine Sea Grants research focus areas (i.e, coastal ecosystems, communities and economies, fisheries and aquaculture, environmental literacy and workforce development). We require graduate research projects that align with our 2024-2027 Strategic Plan and strongly encourage projects that will advance Maine Sea Grant’s work to address the following cross-cutting principles:

  • Center and Prioritize Efforts to Address the Impacts of Climate Change by leveraging and integrating climate-related expertise, resources, and partnerships.   
  •  Champion Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility (DEIJA) by seeking and engaging diverse perspectives throughout all phases of the research study to advance issues important to underserved and underrepresented coastal communities in what we now call Maine.
  • Enhance coastal community resilience by fostering the ability of coastal communities to effectively respond to economic, social, and environmental change.

Graduate Research Assistantship Description

Students should not apply directly to Maine Sea Grant for a Graduate Assistantship; interested candidates should contact a faculty member with whom they wish to study. The PI then submits the application for this student funding opportunity following the application process outlined in the application procedures below.  

In addition to their primary faculty advisor, the graduate assistant will be expected to work with a Professional Development Mentor who will help translate research results to coastal and marine communities through outreach and engagement. Through these interactions, the student will ensure that their research results are useful to and used by coastal communities and the general public, and gain access to experienced professionals who can provide career advice. A Professional Development Mentor outside of the student’s graduate institution can be a critical asset in career development. The Professional Development Mentor should be identified by the principal investigator in the graduate research assistantship application. 

A Professional Development Mentor could be from the public, private, or non-profit sector. Mentors should be individuals in a professional situation that requires the application of scientific information and research—particularly the information, data, and findings coming from the applicant’s research project—to a pressing management or policy decision consistent with Maine Sea Grant mission and priority focus areas. The mentor should not be an academic scientist. The mentor’s role in the student’s education should be discussed in the project narrative, and the primary advisor and Professional Development Mentor are required to co-design a mentorship and outreach plan that details the scope and aspirations of the Graduate student-mentor relationship, and outlines outreach activities associated with the research. 

At a minimum, the graduate assistant is required to meet with their Professional Development Mentor periodically (no less than three times/year) to reflect upon their research design, activities, and plans. In some situations, outreach or end-user mentors may serve on a student’s academic committee. The exact role of the mentor is determined and defined by the faculty advisor and proposed Mentor. 

The graduate assistant will be paired with one staff member at Maine Sea Grant who will be their Sea Grant Liaison. Students will be encouraged to maintain an informal line of communication with the staff member and will be expected to meet and update the Liaison at least 3 times – at the start of the assistantship, at the 6-month point, and at the end of the 12-month assistantship. Liaisons can help in providing ideas for communities, individuals and organizations that will benefit from student’s research. 

The graduate student will also work with Maine Sea Grant communications staff to publicize their research and assistantship activities. Expected activities include assisting with newsletter articles, social media posts, or press releases related to the funded research, or any other communications products. 

Eligibility: Masters or PhD (currently enrolled or accepted to the program at a Maine-based institution for January 2024)

Graduate Assistantship details: The Maine Sea Grant Graduate Assistantship provides a one-year graduate stipend starting January 1, 2024 and ending December 31 2024. This assistantship does not provide tuition or insurance. The graduate student assistant selected will be required to:

  • Work closely with their primary advisor on marine and coastal research consistent with the Maine Sea Grant mission and priority focus areas 
  • Work with a Professional Development Mentor who is outside the student’s graduate institution to ensure that results are communicated and translated for diverse audiences;
  • Work with Maine Sea Grant communications team to share stories of their research and assistantship activities; 
  • Meet periodically with a Maine Sea Grant Liaison to update and receive feedback on assistantship activities;
  • Provide a final progress report, as well as electronic copies of derived publications and their thesis or dissertation;
  • Participate in Maine Sea Grant-sponsored professional development activities, anticipated to be 1-2 activities;
  • Acknowledge Maine Sea Grant support in all relevant scientific presentations and publications.

Application Procedures: To apply for funding to support a Graduate Assistant, faculty are required to submit the following information to with the subject line “Maine Sea Grant Graduate Assistantship:

  • Statement (two to three pages) that outlines the role of the student in the Sea Grant-funded project as well as identifies the Professional Development mentor and preliminary plans for integrating the student into the project’s outreach efforts.
  • A resume, transcript, and short narrative description of the student’s academic credentials.
  • A student mentorship plan co-developed by the Professional Development Mentor and primary advisor

Deadline for applications is October 18, 2023.  Finalists (faculty member and the selected student) will be invited for an interview prior to final selection. 

The Maine Sea Grant College Program champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by working to create a marine science workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We are recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking. We encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types to apply for this opportunity.