The Ocean Foundation is seeking an individual to serve as the Local Fellowship Coordinator to assist in the establishment and management of a Pacific Islands Women in Ocean Science Fellowship Program. The Fellowship Program is a capacity development effort that aims to provide opportunities for support and connection among women in ocean sciences, conservation, education, and other maritime activities in the Pacific Islands region. The program is part of a larger project that seeks to build long-term capacity for ocean and climate observations in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and other Pacific Islands countries and territories through the co-design and deployment of ocean observing platforms in FSM. Additionally, the project supports the facilitation of connections with the local ocean science community and partners, procurement and delivery of observation assets, provision of training and mentorship support, and funding for local scientists to operate observing assets. The larger project is led by the Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program (GOMO) of the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with support from The Ocean Foundation.

The Local Fellowship Coordinator will support the project by assisting with 1) providing community-based insight, including input on program design and reviewing program materials; 2) local logistics support, including co-leading community listening sessions, identifying local and regional communications and recruitment channels, and coordinating on-the-ground meetings; and 3) outreach and communications, including local education and community engagement, supporting program evaluation and reporting, and creating channels for participant communication.

Eligibility and instructions to apply are included in this Request for Proposals (RFP). Proposals are due no later than September 20th, 2023 and should be emailed to [email protected].

About The Ocean Foundation

The Ocean Foundation (TOF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. As the only community foundation for the ocean, we focus our collective expertise on emerging threats in order to generate cutting-edge solutions and better strategies for implementation. TOF has grantees, partners, and projects on all the world’s continents. 

This project is a joint effort between TOF’s Ocean Science Equity Initiative (EquiSea) and Community Ocean Engagement Global Initiative (COEGI). Through the Ocean Science Equity Initiative, TOF has worked with partners in the Pacific to advance ocean science including through the provision of GOA-ON in a Box ocean acidification monitoring kits, hosting of online and in-person technical workshops, the funding and establishment of the Pacific islands Ocean Acidification Centre, and direct funding of research activities. COEGI works to create equitable access to marine education programs and careers around the world by supporting marine educators with communications and networking, training, and career advancement.

Project Background & Goals

In 2022, TOF began a new partnership with NOAA to improve the sustainability of ocean observing and research efforts in FSM. The broader project involves several activities to strengthen ocean observing, science, and service capacity in FSM and the broader Pacific Islands region, which are listed below. The Local Fellowship Coordinator will primarily focus on activities under Objective 1, but may assist with other activities as interested and/or needed for Objective 2:

  1. Establishing a Pacific Islands Women in Ocean Sciences Fellowship Program to increase and support opportunities for women in maritime activities, consistent with the Regional Strategy for Pacific Women in Maritime 2020-2024, developed by The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Women in Maritime Association. This women-specific capacity development effort aims to foster community through fellowship and peer mentorship and to promote the exchange of expertise and knowledge among women ocean practitioners throughout the tropical Pacific. Selected participants will receive funding to support short-term projects to advance ocean science, conservation, and education goals in FSM and other Pacific Island countries and territories.
  2. Co-developing and deploying ocean observing technologies to inform local marine weather, cyclone development and forecasting, fisheries and the marine environment and climate modeling. NOAA plans to work closely with FSM and Pacific Island regional partners, including SPC, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), and other stakeholders to identify and co-develop the activities that will best meet their needs as well as U.S. regional engagement objectives before any deployments take place. This project will focus on engaging with regional observing partners and other stakeholders throughout the tropical Pacific to evaluate current capabilities and gaps in the observing value chain including data, modeling, and products and services, then prioritize actions to fill those gaps.

Services Needed

The Local Fellowship Coordinator will play a critical role in the success of the Pacific Islands Women in Ocean Sciences Fellowship Program. The coordinator will serve as a key linkage between NOAA, TOF, local community members and partners in the Pacific Islands, and fellowship program applicants and participants. Specifically, the coordinator will work closely on a team with dedicated staff at NOAA and TOF that are leading this program to carry out activities under three broad themes:

  1. Provide Community-Based Insight
    • Lead engagement with local community members, partners, and stakeholders to help determine regional ocean science, conservation, and educational needs
    • Together with NOAA and TOF, provide input on program design and goals to ensure alignment with local community values, customs, cultural backgrounds, and diverse perspectives 
    • Assist in the development of program materials with NOAA and TOF, leading the review of materials to ensure accessibility, ease of use, and regional and cultural relevance
  2. Local Logistics Support
    • Co-lead with TOF and NOAA a series of listening sessions to identify local perspectives on mentoring programs and best practices
    • Identifying local and regional channels to support program advertising and participant recruitment
    • Provide assistance for the design, logistical arrangements (identifying and reserving suitable meeting spaces, accommodations, transport, catering options, etc.), and delivery of on-the-ground program meetings or workshops
  3. Outreach and Communications
    • Participate in local education and community engagement activities to spread awareness of the program, including sharing the value of mentoring for developing capacity to meet ocean science, conservation, and education goals
    • Assist in creating channels for participant communications into the future 
    • Support program evaluation, data collection, and reporting methods as needed
    • Assist in communicating progress and outcomes of the program by contributing to presentations, written reports, and other outreach materials as needed


Applicants for the Local Fellowship Coordinator position should meet the following requirements:

LocationPriority will be given to applicants based in Pacific Islands countries and territories to facilitate on-the-ground coordination and meetings with local community members and program participants. Applicants based outside of the Pacific Islands region may be considered, particularly if they anticipate frequent travel to the region during which they will be able to fulfill project activities.
Familiarity with local communities and stakeholders in the Pacific Islands regionCoordinator must possess a strong familiarity with local community values, practices, customs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of residents and stakeholder groups in the Pacific Islands region.
Experience with outreach, community engagement, and/or capacity developmentCoordinator should have demonstrated experience, expertise, and/or interest in local or regional outreach, community engagement, and/or capacity development activities.
Knowledge of and/or interest in maritime activitiesPriority will be given to applicants who have knowledge, experience, and/or interest in ocean science, conservation, or education, particularly related to Pacific Islands communities. Professional experience or formal education in ocean science is not required.
Equipment and IT accessCoordinator must have their own computer and regular access to the internet to attend/coordinate virtual meetings with project partners and program participants, as well as to contribute to relevant documents, reports, or work products.

Note: All applicants meeting the above eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Part of the review criteria will also include the knowledge the applicant has with regards to women in ocean science and supporting women-focused coaching and leadership opportunities.


Total payment under this RFP is not to exceed USD 18,000 over the two-year project duration. This is estimated to include approximately 150 days of work across two years, or 29% FTE, for a salary of USD 120 per day, inclusive of overhead and other costs. 

Payment is dependent on receipt of invoices and successful completion of all project deliverables. Payments will be distributed in quarterly installments of USD 2,250. Only pre-approved expenses related to the delivery of project activities will be reimbursed through TOF’s standard reimbursement process.


The deadline to apply is September 20th, 2023. Work is anticipated to begin in September or October 2023 and continue through August 2025. Top candidates will be asked to participate in one virtual interview. A contract will be mutually established before becoming involved in the planning and delivery of program activities.

Application Procedure

Application materials must be submitted via email to [email protected] with the subject line “Local Fellowship Coordinator application” and include the following:

  1. Applicant’s full name, age, and contact information (phone, email, current address)
  2. Affiliation (school or employer), if applicable
  3. CV or resume showing professional and educational experience (not to exceed 2 pages)
  4. Information (name, affiliation, email address, and relationship to applicant) for two professional references (letters of recommendation not required)
  5. Proposal summarizing relevant experience, qualifications, and eligibility for the role (not to exceed 3 pages), including:
    • Description of applicant’s access and availability to work and/or travel to Pacific Islands countries and territories (e.g., current residency within the region, planned travel and/or regular communication, etc.)
    • Explanation of applicant’s understanding, expertise, or familiarity with regards to Pacific Islands communities or stakeholders
    • Description of applicant’s experience or interest in community outreach, engagement, and/or capacity development 
    • Description of applicant’s experience, knowledge, and/or interest in maritime activities (ocean science, conservation, education, etc.), particularly in the Pacific Islands region
    • Brief explanation of applicant’s familiarity with women in ocean science and women-focused coaching and leadership opportunities
  6. Links to any materials/products that may be relevant for evaluating the application (optional)

Contact Information

Please submit application materials and/or any questions to [email protected]

The project team would be happy to hold information calls/zooms with any interested applicants prior to the application deadline if requested.