Professional Development Description

Virginia Sea Grant (VASG), the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and the University of Virginia (UVA) are pleased to announce the availability of a one-year professional development opportunity in the rapidly emerging area of multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary team problem-solving and research. These forms of cross-disciplinary inquiry can produce innovative, integrated breakthroughs and solutions that transcend individual disciplines, and are essential to solving today’s grand societal challenges in coastal and marine environments. Challenges such as enhancing coastal resilience to sea level rise, flooding, storms and other climate change impacts are demanding cross-disciplinary solutions that emerge from a deeper level of knowledge integration than society and the academic community typically achieve.

What You Will Learn

  • How to effectively work on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Latest evidence-based communication and group leadership techniques in these cross-disciplinary problem-solving settings.
  • How to employ strategies and tools of adaptive practices that ensure team success.
  • How to integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives to address a real-world challenge – enhancing site-specific resilience to climate change.


Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at an academic institution during the 2018-2019 academic year; priority is given to students enrolled in a Virginia institution of higher education. We anticipate a sufficient number of slots to accept candidates from other states. Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline as long as they are engaged in research, inquiry, problem-solving, creativity, or other scholarship that is coastal- or marine-related and relevant to coastal resilience issues. We strongly encourage members from under-represented minority groups, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Training Includes

Funded through a National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education grant, VASG, VIMS, and UVA have partnered with leading “Science of Team Science” researchers and a large faculty team of experienced multi-disciplinary practitioners to design and offer professional development to improve teamwork, integrate different disciplinary perspectives, build trans-disciplinary problem-solving and research teams, and tackle coastal resilience in Virginia.

  • Two, all-expenses-paid, 2.5-day workshops (one per semester over a full academic year) hosted on Virginia’s Eastern Shore at the VIMS and UVA facilities;
  • Pre- and between-workshop activities, including a team project with other students and individual homework. Topics include Team Science 101, reflective practice and team assessment tools and strategies, and concept mapping to advance knowledge integration; and
  • A three-hour webinar three to four months after that final workshop.

Tentative Traineeship Competition Timeline

  • Professional development announcement released: January 2018
  • Applications due to VASG by 5:00 p.m. EST, March 30, 2018
  • Notification of results: Late-April 2018
  • Professional development training begins: Summer 2018
  • Workshop one: Fall semester, 2018
  • Workshop two: Spring semester, 2019
  • Traineeship ends: August 2019

How to Apply

For full details on the application requirements, and review and selection process, please download the Professional Development Training announcement. For additional information on the how to submit your application to VASG, please refer to the announcement and eSeaGrant Instructions, available on this page.

Intent to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact VASG’s Fellowship and Research Program Coordinator, Sam Lake to indicate their interest in the professional development opportunity and to discuss the application process.

Applications Submission & eSeaGrant

Applications must be submitted online via eSeaGrant ( If you plan to apply, we recommend notifying VASG and registering for eSeaGrant at least two weeks in advance of the deadline. VASG will not accept late applications under any circumstances (e.g., internet delays), so please allow ample time to submit your application in advance of the deadline.

Recommendation Letters

To maintain confidentiality, VASG requires that letters NOT be submitted with the student’s application; instead, letters should be requested and uploaded through eSeaGrant. Letters must be submitted by the deadline and should be addressed to Dr. Troy Hartley, Director, Virginia Sea Grant.