Thank you for your interest in applying to CESSRST-II, a fellowship funded by NOAA EPP/MSI, which is one of four Cooperative Science Centers around the country. The aim of this fellowship, and of the science centers in general, is to provide the education and training necessary for graduates of the fellowship to form a pathway to workforce opportunities within NOAA and the NOAA mission enterprise. See below for some information, and a link to the application form. And before you apply, please orient yourself with NOAA’s science and engineering interests, and think about how this fits in with your future plans – below for some helpful links.
The CESSRST-II fellowship is a partnership between 6 universities, managed out of CUNY City College of New York. Applications are open across many majors, to students across the CUNY system, and at the following partner Universities:
- Hampton University
- San Diego State University
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
- University of Texas at El Paso
CESSRST-II’s focus is embedded in the acronym – we are the Center for Earth Systems Science and Remote Sensing Technologies. Fellows are immersed in the science and engineering in these context across three major themes:
- Theme 1 – Oceans and Coasts
- Theme 2 – Land and Water
- Theme 3 – Weather and Atmosphere
Additionally, several cross-cutting themes are involved in the work in CESSRST-II. These include the social sciences, climate/environmental justice, plus technological and computing themes such as uncrewed systems, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, and citizen science.
All CESSRST-II fellows are paired up with a researcher on their campus who will help prepare the fellow for a research career. Graduate fellows are also paired with a mentor at a NOAA Federal site, and will contribute to research projects in both locations. CESSRST-II also provides workshops, seminars, and other opportunities in a variety of subjects.
All fellows receive funding towards a monthly stipend, tuition, and travel. Graduate fellows receive additional funding for research including for their NERTO research at a NOAA Federal site. The table below summarizes the funding amounts:
|Degree Level||Stipend* (minimum, annual)||Maximum Fellowship**||Tuition/Fees covered***||Research Support (maximum)||Travel**** (maximum, annual)||NERTO (maximum)|
* These are the base rates for the 2022-23 year; stipend minimums are scheduled to increase annually at 3%, contingent upon funding. Stipends are paid monthly, and will be pro-rated for periods less than 12-months.
** Maximum fellowship will be affected by the terms of the award. At present, this award funds the Center through Aug 31, 2027.
*** Tuition is paid at 100%, contingent on the approved budget.
**** Funds can only be used for domestic travel. No international travel will be covered.
To see the types of projects that CESSRST-I (2016 – 2022) fellows worked on, please see some examples below. Note that the focus of CESSRST-II has slightly changed, but these examples still show the depth and breadth of the work done by previous CESSRST-I fellows.
On the next few pages, you will find the CESSRST-II application. Before you get started, you should know the following:
Who can apply?
To apply you must be…
- a student in one of the partner university campuses listed above.
- a U.S. Citizen.
- a full-time student with a GPA≥3.0 in good academic standing.
If I am accepted, what are the requirements?
All CESSRST-II fellows will…
- join a mentored research project on your campus and present about that work at various meetings and conferences.
- Graduate students will also be required to complete a 12-week NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO) project at a NOAA facility.
- attend workshops (some of which are required), plus seminars and more, above and beyond your regular required academic schedule.
- maintain full-time student status with a GPA≥3.0 and good academic standing.
- be very busy, and aware that they will not be able to take on a full-time job.
- Limited part-time jobs are allowed on a case-by-case basis. We provide a stipend to help offset your personal costs, however if you have questions, please contact us about your situation.
- make friends and connections that can help you beyond the fellowship and into your career!
So, undergrads and grad students can apply?
We have spots for all levels, yes, and we encourage everyone who is interested to apply. We are funded through 2027, but in the first few years (2022, 2023), we will place an emphasis on recruiting full-term PhD students. HOWEVER – Master’s and undergrad students are still welcome to apply in 2022 and 2023 for a limited number of spots, and more spots will be available in 2024, 2025, and 2026 as well.
Do I need to have a specific major?
No, we welcome a variety of different majors. CESSRST-II fellows come from a variety of science and engineering majors, especially those connected with Earth Systems, satellite and remote sensing technologies, computing, and physics and chemistry.
Do I have to be an Underrepresented Minority to apply?
No, our applications are open to everyone! But the focus will be to recruit fellows from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in, and excluded from, the NOAA mission enterprise, such as those from Black or African-American, Latino/a/x, and Native American/American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Pacific Islander communities.
What do I need to know about NOAA?
As noted above, this fellowship is intended to be a pathway to careers at NOAA and the NOAA mission enterprise. NOAA scientists and engineers work on projects from the “depths of the ocean to the surface of the Sun,” as they like to say, including weather and climate, coastlines, fisheries and other commercial ventures, as well as monitoring the atmosphere and providing data products to the public. To familiarize yourself with NOAA, consider exploring their site. Here are some suggested starting points:
- About NOAA
- NOAA’s Mission
- NOAA’s Research
- Video – 50 Years of Science, Service, and Stewardship
- Video – NOAA: Meeting the Moment
- More NOAA videos on their YouTube channel
What is the “NOAA Mission Enterprise?”
This fellowship is intended to be a pathway to jobs and/or a career in the NOAA Mission Enterprise. That includes opportunities in the NOAA federal workforce, but also within the NOAA contractor workforce (private industry jobs who work with, and are often funded by, NOAA), and other stakeholders that engage with NOAA’s mission (for example other federal agencies, or local and state governments).
What do I need for the application?
You need a lot of information and some documents. To help organize your application, we are providing a template with all the questions on the application, and the required files. You can use this to draft your answers and collect the paperwork – please click here to download an editable MS Word doc.
The application has several parts to it.
- Basic demographic information about yourself. Here, we will ask about your “sex.” We are required to report male/female/other/decline categories to NOAA. However, we will also give you a number of other ways to identify yourself with the fellowship.
- Your academic situation. This includes any previous institutions, as well as the institution you would be applying to the fellowship from (your “incoming” institution, realizing that you may not have started there yet). Copies of transcripts will be required to upload, please have those ready – you may take pictures of a printed transcript from your phone, just make sure it is legible before uploading.
- A Career Interest section which includes several short personal statements about your interests in the fellowship, and your interest in a career in the NOAA Mission Enterprise, as well as your selection of project themes.
- An Additional Information section which includes an uploader for your resumé/CV. Optionally, you may upload up to 2 letters of recommendation here as well (as pdfs).
- Proof of US citizenship – you will not be asked to provide this in the application, but a member of the selection committee may reach out to you to verify citizenship. The following are the most common documents used for proving your citizenship, but additional options are available (see a full list here):
- your most recently issued passport.
- an original U.S. birth certificate.
- a naturalization certificate.
What is the timeline to apply and be accepted?
Our main application opens each spring semester for students interested in becoming fellows in the following fall, however, depending on funding and other circumstances the application may open at other periods as well. Our committee will review each application and respond as soon as possible. However, we know that graduate acceptances may come in before we can respond about your funding. Please be in touch with us if you have concerns during the process.
Is CESSRST-II on social media?
Yes! See our pages below.
How can I speak with someone in CESSRST-II?
If you need help, have questions or other concerns, please contact us by email at email@example.com, and one of our administrative staff will be in touch soon.
READY TO APPLY? Please click the link below…