CERF Legacy Fund Scholarships for Students and Early Professionals


CERF sponsors the Legacy Fund scholarship for student and early career members of the Federation to enhance the research and career development of the next generation of coastal and estuarine scientists and managers. This scholarship is supported through generous donations to the CERF Legacy Fund, which honors scientists, resource managers, decision-makers, educators, and others for their important contributions to the understanding and wise stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems worldwide. Donations are accepted at: https://www.cerf.science/donate#funds. 

Funds are intended to be used for a unique and valuable enhancement to the recipient’s research or career development. Scholarships should fund discrete, identifiable projects or activities; they are not intended to be the sole source of support for the recipient, nor should the funds be used for minor tasks within a larger funded project. Typical scholarship expenses include travel to a field site, tuition or travel to a training workshop or professional development program outside of the recipient’s home institution, and expendable materials and supplies required for research. This award is not intended to be used to pay the cost of attendance at CERF, Affiliate Society, or other scientific society general meetings.

At the applicant’s choice, funds can be distributed either directly to the awardee, or to the institution at which the applicant works or is a student. If the award is paid to an institution, CERF will not allow indirect costs to be charged to the award.

CERF anticipates awarding one US $1000 scholarship in 2023. 


  • Applicants must be CERF members (either student or early professional) in good standing.
  • Students must be enrolled at an accredited educational institution. They may be either an undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Early professionals must be within five years of receiving their most recent degree.
  • Previous recipients are not eligible.


Applications have now closed. Thank you to all who applied.

They should be submitted as a single PDF file, with your last name as the file name, in the order outlined below:

  1. A one-page proposal outlining the proposed research or career development opportunity. The proposal should indicate how the funds would advance the applicant’s career goals. References are included in the one-page proposal limit.
  2.  A budget and budget justification (one page total). If appropriate, include a description of any additional support you may have for this proposed activity.
  3. A one-page abbreviated CV.
  4. The names of two references; if you are a student, one reference should be your advisor.
  5. If you are a student, a letter from your advisor acknowledging that the applicant is a student in good standing and has authorization to submit the application. This is not a letter of recommendation.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation committee will look for evidence that the scholarship funds will make a real and lasting contribution to the applicant’s career in coastal and estuarine science and or management. Applications will be ranked on these criteria:

  1. Scientific or science application merit of the proposal
  2. Clear articulation of a career path by the applicant
  3. Clear articulation of the value of the proposed activity to the applicant’s research or career development
  4. The importance of these funds for completion of the proposed activity
  5. The quality of the written proposal
  6. The strength of the recommendations provided by the references, if solicited by the Evaluation Committee

Responsibilities of Recipients

  1. Award recipients are expected to attend the CERF Biennial Conference to receive their award.
  2. Award recipients are expected to understand their institution’s policies on external scholarships and awards, and follow all applicable procedures (e.g., approval of application by Office of Sponsored Programs). Awards may be made to the individual recipient or to the institution as required by institutional policy.
  3. Award recipients are expected to use scholarship funds in accordance with their proposal and budget.
  4. Award recipients are expected to acknowledge the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation in all publications and presentations resulting from this award.
  5. Award recipients will agree to be featured in an article in CERF’s Up!, the Federation’s quarterly bulletin.

Current Awardee

Previous Awardees

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