Frequently Asked Questions About the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation

The Pew marine fellowship supports the work of mid-career scientists like Richard Sherley, who is exploring the relationship between forage fish extraction and population changes in the endangered African penguin.
Camille Le Guen

This information was updated May 13, 2020, to clarify the nomination and application processes. 

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation seeks to improve ocean health by generating high-quality research and fostering a global community of experts who collaborate to address pressing environmental challenges. The program provides fellowships to midcareer scientists and other experts from around the globe who have research experience, advanced degrees, strong records of achievement, and a commitment to bringing evidence to bear on conservation issues. Through the program, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 180 professionals in 39 countries since 1990.

Q: How does the fellowship work?

A: Each Pew fellow is awarded a $150,000 grant, allocated over three years, to complete a research project that produces new data, knowledge, or methods to advance the protection and sustainable use of the world’s oceans.

Annual meetings and other events provide awardees with opportunities to exchange knowledge and collaborate with other fellows and program alumni. These activities support the development of strong professional networks and help Pew fellows strengthen their skills in designing research to inform resource management and connecting their work to conservation decision-making.

Q: How does Pew select marine fellows?

A: Application for the Pew marine fellowship is by invitation only; candidates must be nominated to apply.

Each year, Pew selects a group of experts in marine science and conservation to nominate outstanding individuals working on ocean conservation issues. The program then invites qualified nominees to submit an application outlining their credentials and proposing a three-year research project.

An independent international selection committee of experts—with a range of geographic and subject matter knowledge—evaluates the applications and recommends candidates to receive fellowships. The review process is rigorous, and selection is highly competitive. 

Candidates are evaluated on their record of academic or other professional achievement, leadership and problem-solving skills, interest in enhancing the conservation impact of their work, and—most critically—the strength of their project proposal.

Q: Who is eligible to become a Pew marine fellow?

A: Most Pew marine fellows are midcareer natural and social scientists from around the globe who have research experience, advanced degrees, strong records of achievement, and a commitment to bringing evidence to bear on conservation issues. However, the program also considers strong candidates from other scientific and technical professions, such as engineering, who have relevant credentials and experience.

Fellows are affiliated with a variety of entities, including universities, independent research institutions, and conservation organizations.

The program is not open to:

  • People whose primary work involves legal analysis or lobbying.
  • Journalists employed by a media company or newspaper.
  • Consultants or individuals with current funding from Pew.
  • Individuals from countries without U.S. diplomatic relations or the ability to conduct financial transactions with U.S. institutions.
  • Full-time Ph.D. students and people in postdoc positions. (Part-time students who are midcareer and working in professional positions may be eligible.)

Individuals can be nominated multiple times but can be awarded the fellowship only once.

Q: Where can I learn more about the program?

A: More information about the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation and past award recipients can be found on the project page, or you can reach out to Pew staff by email at [email protected]


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Pew Marine Fellows: Preserving Our Oceans for Future Generations