Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowships for 2016

Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowships for 2016

National Academy of Sciences

Two-year research fellowships that recognize tenure track faculty (or equivalent) for exceptional leadership, past performance, and potential for future contributions to improving oil system safety, human health and wellbeing, or environmental protection.

Key Dates:

12/1/2015       Applications Open
12/2/2015       This UM ORSP Announcement
ASAP              Inform your ORSP Program Development Specialist of intent to apply
2/10/2016       Complete applications due to ORSP
2/17/2016       Applications due to Sponsor
9/1/2016         Fellowships Begin
9/7-9/2016     Fellowship Orientation


  • Applicants must hold an Assistant Professor position (or equivalent).
  • Applicants will not receive tenure before September 1, 2016.
  • Areas of research may include social and behavioral sciences, health and medicine, engineering, earth and life sciences, or relevant interdisciplinary fields.

·       The fellowship will be awarded to applicants whose research relates to the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program, as described at, and including:

Goal 1: Foster innovative improvements to safety technologies, safety culture, and environmental protection systems associated with offshore oil and gas development.
Goal 2: Improve understanding of the connections between human health and the environment to support the development of healthy and resilient Gulf communities.
Goal 3: Advance understanding of the Gulf of Mexico region as a dynamic system with complex, interconnecting human and environmental systems, functions, and processes to inform the protection and restoration of ecosystem services.

  • Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident, etc.
  • Each applicant must identify a senior-level faculty member at UM to serve as a career mentor.

Successful Application Factors

  • Evidence of a strong scientific and technical background and superior scholarship;
  • Experience working in an interdisciplinary field or participating in interdisciplinary collaborations;
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated leadership experience;

Membership in one or more groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the applicant’s scientific discipline.
Fellowship Benefits
Fellows will receive an award of $76,000 paid to their institution in the form of a two-year grant. Because of this, it is important for potential Fellows to ensure compliance with all of their affiliated institution’s requirements for applications for external funding. Fellowship grant funds cannot be used on institutional overhead or indirect charges. $75,000 will be used by the fellow for research-related expenses, including equipment purchases, professional travel, professional development courses (e.g., grant writing), trainee support, summer salary, or any other costs directly related to the fellow’s research. Use of fellowship funds for other expenses will require pre-approval from the Gulf Research Program. If a Fellow moves to a different institution during the Fellowship, transfer of the remaining Fellowship funds to the Fellow’s new institution will be approved only under extraordinary circumstances. The remaining $1,000 will serve as an honorarium for the senior-level faculty mentor. At the beginning of the fellowship year, all fellows will attend an orientation. Travel expenses for this event will be covered by the Gulf Research Program and are in addition to the $76,000 fellowship award.

Application Process

Required application materials:

  • Personal Statements that address the following:
    • Explain why the work you do matters (100 words)
    • Describe how your research is relevant to the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program(250 words)
    • Describe how this fellowship will help you achieve your professional goals (250 words)
    • Describe what leadership means to you (250 words)
    • Describe how you can benefit from mentoring (250 words)
  • Resume or CV (up to 5 pages)
  • Research Plan (up to 5 pages including figures, tables, and references). Your research plan should include information about your current research portfolio as a whole, not a specific project. Your research plan must include the following:
  • A description of your research and why it is important
  • The research goals you hope to accomplish before achieving tenure
  • What you anticipate using fellowship funds for if you are selected as a fellow
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. Your mentor may not submit one of these letters
  • How you as the applicant can benefit from mentoring (500 words)
  • His/her goals for the mentor/mentee relationship (500 words)
  • Statement from your selected mentor. Your selected mentor should be a senior-level, tenured faculty member at the University of Mississippi. You should choose a mentor who is willing to meet on a regular basis (at least twice a month) to provide guidance and advice on professional and career issues such as promotion and tenure, teaching, committee service, leadership development, and lab and research management. Your mentor will be asked to address:

Review Criteria (

·      Scientific & Technical Background (40%)

  • o   Does the applicant have a solid scientific/technical education and experience in his/her area of expertise that is appropriate for his/her career stage?
  • o   Is the applicant’s current and past employment in relevant academic, applied scientific/technical, or research positions appropriate to his/her career stage and field?
  • o   Is the applicant’s record of publications and/or presentations appropriate for his/her career stage, field, and institutional setting?
  • o   Does the applicant have potential for substantial contributions to advancing scientific understanding?

·       Leadership Potential (30%)

  • o   Are the applicant’s prior leadership roles appropriate for his/her career stage (e.g., graduate student governance or faculty committees; advisory or editorial committees; active in professional societies, non-profit, or community initiatives)?
  • o   Does the applicant have a demonstrated ability or potential to organize and lead projects and people toward positive outcomes?
  • o   Does the applicant demonstrate maturity and initiative, and the ability to work well independently as well as in groups?
  • o   Is the candidate able to identify personal strengths and areas for growth and development?

·      Communication Skills (15%)

  • o   Does the applicant have oral and written communication skills appropriate for his/her career stage?
  • o   Is the applicant able to communicate with individuals as well as groups?
  • o   Can the applicant effectively communicate technical information to non-technical audiences?
  • o   Does the applicant have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences?

·      Value of Fellow-Mentor Pairing (15%)

  • o   Is there evidence that the applicant will benefit from professional mentoring?
  • o   Is the applicant’s chosen mentor appropriate in terms of seniority and career stage?
  • o   Does the mentor have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of mentoring?

The NAS’ proposed terms of the fellowship are here: In the event that someone from UM is awarded a fellowship, ORSP will work with the fellow to negotiate fellowship terms that are acceptable to the university.

Questions about the Fellowship? Ask your UM ORSP Program Development Specialist, who may in turn send inquiries to