Frequently Asked Questions

  1. United States citizens, permanent residents or a citizen of a U.S. territory that are attending U.S. accredited institutions and are pursuing an advanced degree in oceanography, marine biology, maritime archaeology, and all science, engineering, social science, and resource management disciplines involving ocean and coastal areas are eligible to apply for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. Women and members of minority groups are particularly encouraged to apply. 

    If you are pursuing a degree in one of the three eligible degree fields at a foreign institution, you are NOT eligible to apply for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program.
  1. Students in all stages of their Masters or Ph.D studies are eligible to apply. However, if you are in the last year of your Masters or Ph.D. program, it is not advised to apply for this scholarship.
  1. Students who are applying to graduate school at the time of the application deadline are eligible to apply. In lieu of the institute certification from the graduate program, applicants should submit a list of schools where the applicant has applied. If selected, applicants must have an accepted offer to a U.S. institution at the time the award is made.
  1. No, this is not an internship. It is a scholarship program that recognizes outstanding achievement in oceanography, marine biology, maritime archaeology and all science, engineering, and resource management disciplines involving ocean and coastal areas and particularly encourages applications by women and minorities. The scholarship supports independent graduate level research through financial support of graduate studies in such fields.
  1. Only two signed letters of recommendation should be included with your application materials. Applications with more than two letters of recommendation will result in the application being disqualified.
  1. Detailed instructions on how to complete the SF-424 form can be downloaded here.
  1. All applications MUST be submitted on Grants.gov. Submitting a paper application is only acceptable for the following reasons: 1) the applicant does not have access to the internet; or 2) the person providing the letter of recommendation does not wish for the applicant to see the contents of the letter.

  1. All material outlined in the Application Package should be uploaded to Grants.gov in a single Adobe PDF in the correct order, except for the Standard Form 424, which should be uploaded to Grants.gov separately. All material mailed in must be postmarked by the due date as outlined in the Federal Funding Opportunity.

  1. Make sure to enter your zip code in the 00000-0000 format.

  1. It may take Grants.gov up to two (2) business days to validate or reject the application. Please keep this in mind in developing your submission timeline. Electronic applicants are advised that volume on Grants.gov can be extremely heavy resulting in further delays. If Grants.gov is unable to accept applications electronically in a timely fashion, applicants are encouraged to exercise their option to submit their application in paper format by the due date outlined in the Federal Funding Opportunity. NOAA may allow more time for application submission due to a "systems issue" at Grants.gov that takes place at the time of application submission that are beyond the control of the applicant. In these limited circumstances where there is a systems issue, the applicant must contact the help desk for the relevant system (e.g. www.grants.gov) and obtain a help desk ticket number. The applicant must contact the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries immediately upon discovering the issues and must still submit the required application documents by the submission deadline in order for their application to be considered for review.
  1. Your application must be received by the due date as outlined in the Federal Funding Opportunity through Grants.gov or postmarked by the due date. Adequate time must be factored into applicant schedules for delivery of the application. In may take Grants.gov up to two (2) business days to validate or reject the application.

  1. Application received with a timestamp indicating it was submitted after 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the due date will be disqualified.