Frequently Asked Questions

Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program

Have questions about the program? The answer might be below!
Contact Margaret Throckmorton, CIGLR Administrative Project Coordinator, with additional questions:


Who can apply to the Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program?

The program is designed for students currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and entering their junior or senior year, and graduate students pursing a master’s degree or Ph.D. This is a national program open to students at any accredited college or university.

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for the program. 

We value a wide range of identities, backgrounds, perspectives, and skills and therefore strongly encourage applications from students who identify with groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers.

I am not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Am I eligible?

No. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for the program due to federal laboratory access restrictions.

I have already graduated from my degree program. Am I eligible?

If you 1) graduated in May 2023 or after and 2) the position fits directly with your career or academic goals (e.g., you plan to pursue a related master’s degree or Ph.D), you are eligible for the program. Please include an explanation in your cover letter.

What qualifications are required? Do I have to have a lot of experience?

Each position describes the required and desired qualifications for that position. However, our mentors are prepared to provide the hands-on training and resources needed for students to succeed in their fellowships. If you are motivated to learn and have had basic coursework related to the position, we encourage you to apply regardless if you possess specific skills that are listed.

Application Process

What materials should I prepare for my application?

The required application materials are:

    1. Cover letter
    2. Résumé
    3. Unofficial transcript
    4. Essay (max. 400 words) describing the personal or professional qualities that make you a unique applicant
    5. Names and contact information for two (2) references
    6. One (1) letter of recommendation*

*Note: We prefer to receive letters as part of your application package, but if the person writing your letter would rather submit it themselves, they can email it to Margaret Throckmorton,

I already submitted my application, but I need to make changes. Can I do that?

If you need to make a change to an already-submitted application, please apply again with the updated information. We will delete all previous applications that you submitted.

Whom should I ask to write my letter of recommendation?

You are welcome to choose any individual who will best represent you and your experience, potential, and aspirations. Letters may not be written by a family member. You must provide the name and contact information for the person writing your letter as one of the two required references.

I'm having trouble accessing the online application! What should I do?

You must be signed in to a Google account to access the form. Click here to register for a Google account. Click here for help with creating a Google account. If you are still having problems, contact Margaret Throckmorton,

How do I combine all of the required files into a single document?

If you have access to Adobe Acrobat, you can use it to combine multiple files (Word and/or PDF format) into a single PDF. In Adobe Acrobat, click File>Create>Combine files into a single PDF. You may then select all of your files and drag them into the order you wish them to appear. If you do not have access to Adobe Acrobat, there are several third-party options online that are free. This webpage provides a summary of some options and you may be able to find others by searching online for how to merge PDF files.

I have a question about a specific project. Whom should I ask?

For questions about a specific fellowship position, please contact the lead mentor who is listed first and has an email address provided.

What is the interview and selection process?

Applications are reviewed by project mentors, who identify the top 3 candidates for their position. Mentors will arrange a video interview with each of the top 3 candidates. Following the interviews, mentors will extend an offer to the candidate they select.

I could use some help with my application. Whom should I ask?

Please send an email to Margaret Throckmorton, Administrative Project Coordinator, We are happy to help!

Program Logistics

How long is the program? What are the start and end dates?

The program lasts 12 weeks, beginning on May 13 and ending on August 2, 2024.

Are the program dates flexible?

We do not generally offer different start/end dates, but we may be able to accommodate your needs. Please contact Mary Ogdahl with questions or special circumstances:

Can I take time off during the fellowship?

We require that students complete the full 12-week fellowship. If circumstances arise that require you to be absent from work, you must receive permission in advance from your mentor and the CIGLR Managing Director. Fellows may be required to make up missed time. Summer fellows are granted Memorial Day (May 27) and Independence Day (July 4) as paid holidays.

When and how do I get paid?

Your $10,000 stipend will be paid to you in 4 installments of $2,500. Stipend pay dates will be: 4/15/24, 5/13/24, 6/10/24, and 7/5/24. You can receive payment via direct deposit to your bank account or a mailed check, though we recommend direct deposit.

Is housing provided?

No, housing is not provided as part of the fellowship program. Summer fellows are responsible for finding and paying for their own housing.  Housing costs were figured into the stipend amount. For in-person fellowships, we will provide resources for finding housing in Ann Abor and connect fellows with each other for potential roommate matches; we will assist any accepted fellow that is having difficulty finding housing.

What expenses am I responsible for?

Summer fellows are responsible for their housing/utility costs, meals, incidentals, and other personal purchases during the fellowship. CIGLR will pay transportation costs to travel to/from Ann Arbor at the beginning and end of the fellowship (for in-person fellowships), and all expenses incurred for any fellowship-related travel that is required (e.g., fieldwork outside of the local area).

I don't have a car. Will that be a problem?

No, personal transportation is not required. We will provide a shared vehicle for business use (e.g., travel to/from the work location) for students that do not have their own transportation. Ann Arbor also has a robust public transportation system that can be used for personal transportation needs. (Note: this applies only to in-person fellowships. Fellows working virtually are responsible for their own local transportation.)

Is travel assistance provided to get to/from Ann Arbor?

Students currently residing outside of the southeast Michigan area will receive an additional travel stipend up to $1,500 to offset costs for relocating to Ann Arbor for in-person work, or for a short-term visit to NOAA GLERL if working remotely.

Are remote or hybrid work arrangements allowed?

Yes, we do allow for remote or hybrid (i.e., some in-person, some remote) work, but this depends on the project activities. Some projects include required field and/or lab work and are therefore not eligible for a fully remote work arrangement. Please review the location information for each position for details.