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

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 the issues facing our seas. The program provides fellowships to mid-career scientists and other experts from around the globe who have advanced degrees, strong records of achievement, and a commitment to conservation. Through this initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 180 professionals in 39 countries.

Q: How does the fellowship work?

A: Each Pew fellow is awarded a USD$150,000 grant, allocated over three years, to complete a research project that produces insightful results, new tools, or innovative practices to advance the protection and sustainable use of the world’s ocean.

Through annual meetings and other events, awardees have opportunities to exchange knowledge and collaborate with fellows. The marine fellowships have been granted annually since 1996, so the community continues to grow. These activities support the development of strong professional networks and help Pew fellows establish themselves as leaders in the field of marine conservation.

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 team of leaders in marine conservation to nominate outstanding individuals working on marine conservation issues. A team at Pew then invites qualified nominees to submit an application that presents their credentials and proposes a three-year project.

An independent international selection committee of experts—with a range of geographic and subject matter knowledge—evaluates the applications and recommends fellowship recipients. 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 of all—their project proposal.

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

A: Pew marine fellows are primarily mid-career natural and social scientists with advanced degrees who are engaged in ocean conservation research; however, strong candidates from other scientific and technical professions with relevant credentials and experience are considered.

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 The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Ph.D. candidates and those in postdoctoral positions.  
  • Individuals from countries without U.S. diplomatic relations or the ability to conduct financial transactions  with U.S. institutions.

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 our project page, or you can reach out to Pew staff directly by email at

Pew Marine Fellows: Preserving Our Oceans for Future Generations