Center for Water Policy Seeks Water Policy and Science Communications Graduate Fellow

The Center for Water Policy is seeking candidates for a two-year funded Water Policy and Science Communications Graduate Student Research Fellowship, while earning a master’s degree from the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.  

To be considered for the Fellowship, the student must be admitted to the School’s water policy thesis track in our master’s degree program. Click here for information on how to apply for the master’s degree program. Applicants should indicate interest in the “Water Policy and Science Communications Fellowship” on their personal statement when applying to the graduate program. Fall semester 2024 admission deadline is January 15, 2024. 

The Fellowship will begin in Fall 2024 and run through Spring 2026. The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, political science, public policy, economics, environmental science, engineering, or a related field.  Candidates should be interested in conducting graduate research toward a thesis focused on water policy and science communications as well as publishing papers in scientific journals, writing policy briefs, and communicating research results to broader audiences. The Research Fellowship represents a unique opportunity for a student who wants to explore the intersection between water policy, science, and communications. 

The Fellow will be enrolled in the water policy Thesis track master’s degree at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences to conduct original thesis research around the topics of water policy, science and communication. The specific topic of the student’s work will be determined by the student, in consultation with Center for Water Policy Director, Melissa Scanlan. Professor Scanlan will supervise the student work and serve as the student’s advisor. The work performed by the student will culminate in a thesis that will be defended before graduation. The student may have an opportunity to work with Dan Egan, Brico Fund Journalist in Residence and author of Death and Life of the Great Lakes and The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance.   

The Fellow will also be employed 50% time in the Center for Water Policy. The Fellow will join a thriving and interdisciplinary team focused on applying academic research to conserve, restore and protect freshwaters. The Fellow develops multimedia communications/outreach materials and strategies for Center publications, media, and events. This involves stakeholder engagement and social media savvy. 

The Center for Water Policy is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their research. Qualified women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.  Fellows earn competitive pay ($21,420/academic year), health insurance, graduate tuition waiver, and the possibility of summer student hourly work. 

Please email Erin Cross at with questions or your interest in applying to the Fellowship and the graduate program. Please send a CV and a short letter of interest in this position.