Research Overview Monitoring Data Science Collaborative Science Collaborative Projects Davidson Fellowship

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship

It’s an exciting new fellowship program for graduate students at the national estuarine research reserves. One two-year fellowship opportunity will be available at each of the 29 coastal sites.

Through a research project, fellows will address a key coastal management question to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies.

The research reserves represent the apex of estuary science. At these coastal sites, fieldwork, research, and community engagement come together to create the scientific advances that change our communities and our world.

Specific fellowship benefits include the following:

  • The ability to develop meaningful cross-discipline research projects in conjunction with scientists, community leaders, and other organizations.

  • Networking opportunities with the annual fellowship class of 29, plus the other professionals across the reserve system, NOAA, and community partners.

  • Professional guidance and mentoring in a variety of disciplines, including facilitation and communication. Fellows will also have quarterly career-readiness training.

  • The development of research partnerships between universities and reserves.

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship project example

Pending congressional appropriations, NOAA anticipates an annual stipend of $34,000 per student plus $7,000 for travel, and an annual equipment and supply budget for each reserve of approximately $7,000.

The first fellowship class will begin in summer of 2020. Interested students are encouraged to explore each reserve’s management priorities and discuss interests with the listed point of contact. Be part of the next generation of coastal leaders!


Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens admitted to or enrolled in a full-time graduate program at a U.S. accredited college or university, working to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. Applicants must have at least two years remaining in their academic course of study to apply.


Summer 2019 Call for applications
Winter 2020 Application review
Spring 2020 Decisions announced (pending fiscal year 2020 appropriations)
Summer 2020 Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship begins

For More Information

Margaret A. Davidson
About Margaret A. Davidson

This fellowship honors the legacy of NOAA’s Margaret A. Davidson. Margaret was a true visionary in the coastal management world, someone who saw the future with clarity and knew how to push for innovation and, frankly—shake things up. She defined excellence in many categories, always raising the bar with the goal of helping coastal communities thrive. This approach is what NOAA and the research reserves are striving to achieve with the Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship program.

Another program in honor of Margaret, The Coastal Society’s Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development workshop, is a one-day opportunity for students and early-career professionals.