Science and Strategy Fellow

POSITION TITLE: RAY Conservation Fellow: Science and Strategy

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Science and Strategy

REPORTS TO: Sonia Sharan, Manager, Impact and Economics  

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time

LOCATION: Washington, DC (Oceana’s US offices have operated on a hybrid schedule and staff have been

required to work from their assigned office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. With agreement between the employee and their supervisor, the employee may work from home Monday and Friday.)




In an effort to make the conservation and clean energy fields more equitable and accessible, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY)Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.



Founded in 2001, Oceana is the world’s largest nonprofit organization that seeks to make our oceans rich, healthy, and abundant and to enable the oceans to continue indefinitely to provide wild-caught fish to feed a growing world population. We achieved measurable change by conducting specific, science-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals. Our campaigns focus on getting policy changes in countries that, govern nearly one-third of the world’s wild-caught fish, including Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the 27 countries in the European Union.


We are committed to:

  • Working to achieve Oceana’s objectives and goals;
  • Ensuring that we are good stewards of the trust and money that our donors so generously provide;
  • Being a good global citizen and complying with both the spirit and the letter of the law in all the places where we work;
  • Acting with integrity, and being responsible, transparent and accountable in all our transactions and dealings;
  • Treating each other with respect, fairness and good faith; and
  • Maintaining a welcoming and inclusive workplace.


Oceana’s Science & Strategy team, based at our international headquarters in Washington, DC, provides science and policy support for our country offices, our Marketing & Communications Department, our fundraising team, and the Office of the CEO. Our team also conducts research and development on new initiatives at the forefront of marine conservation and challenges the organization to learn and improve through monitoring and evaluation. Science & Strategy tackles both long-term initiatives and short-term, urgent requests; as such, we – and the Fellow – must remain nimble and flexible, while maintaining rigorous scientific integrity.



This position will broadly support Oceana’s Science & Strategy team, giving the Fellow the opportunity to interact with Oceana’s various country offices and HQ-based departments. Fellows would be fully integrated into our small (currently 12 people), cross-disciplinary team; as with our interns, the Fellow’s work will be greatly valued and essential to meeting the team’s organizational goals, which will give them insight into a broad range of topics and develop a range of skills, while their remaining time will be dedicated to specific research and/or analytical projects – the nature and duration of which will change throughout the course of the fellowship and are dependent on the Fellow’s skill set.





Fellow will primarily be engaged in one or more of the following, depending on their skillset, interests, and immediate needs of our Department:


  • Conduct literature reviews and/or novel analysis on topics relevant to Science & Strategy’s initiatives, possibly including, but not limited to:
    • The role of fisheries in nutrition and food security, especially in SE Asia, coastal Africa, and as it relates to global trade flows;
    • Foreign fishing operations, policies and business activities as conducted in developing Coastal States, and could also include illegal fishing activities, geopolitical considerations, and the role of international aid; and
    • Understanding measures of equity and well-being in marine conservation, as well as the ramifications of climate change for the ocean and the communities which rely on it; and
    • Other general topics surrounding fisheries management, habitat protection, transparency in governance, and other issues on which Oceana campaigns.
  • Provide quantitative data analysis on one or more of the above topics using tools such as GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping, R programming language for statistical analysis, Microsoft Excel, or Tableau.


GENERAL (~25%)

  • Research and disseminate regular, internal email updates highlighting relevant international news and scientific journal articles
  • Write internal staff newsletter compiling noteworthy updates on Oceana science staff’s research and upcoming reports and events.
  • Help maintain the team’s calendar, schedule internal and external meetings, organize meeting agendas and PowerPoint slides, and other operational team matters
  • Assist with internal project and workflow tracking



In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows. 
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution. 
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills as scheduled.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.


RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in late Summer/Fall 2023.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in Fall 2024.



Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2023 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.



  • A college degree by the time of employment. Preferred fields of study include, but are not limited to: marine science, ecology, international relations, environmental studies, science communication, or applied mathematics.
  • An interest in the field of marine conservation and/or coastal community well-being.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, especially the ability to summarize scientific findings in plain language for non-technical audiences.
  • Enthusiasm for working in a cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Ability to be self-directed and take initiative while remaining flexible, helpful, and eager to learn.
  • Experience with one or more of the following:
  • Conducting literature reviews, especially related to food security, fisheries governance, climate change, or equity in conservation
  • Quantitative data analysis using R programming language for statistical analysis
  • Data visualization using GIS, Excel, Tableau or other similar programs





This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after June 15, 2023.



The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Oceana, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. At Oceana, nothing is more important than your overall sense of well-being, our comprehensive suite of benefits supports every aspect of your health and wellness. Our benefits program offers the following benefits:

Health Insurance:  Medical, Dental and Vision plans provided the first of the month following date of employment. Oceana provides competitive HSA and PPO options with low deductibles and Out-of-Pocket expenses for all eligible employees and their dependents, including domestic partners. Oceana provides up to 100% premium coverage for employee election and up to 50% premium coverage for dependents. Oceana also contributes up to $2,700 a year to the HSA plan.


Flexible Spending Account:

Health Care Reimbursement Account = Maximum pre-tax annual employee contribution of $3,050 Dependent Care Reimbursement Account = Maximum pre-tax annual employee contribution of $5,000.

403(b) Plan: Eligibility the first of the month following date of employment.  Oceana matches 100% up to 5% contribution after 6 months of employment. Oceana also contributes 7% towards the plan as discretionary contribution after 6 months. No participation in the plan is required to receive the discretionary contribution.

Transportation Options: SmartBenefits pre-tax payroll deductions available to all employees up to $300 per month.

Voluntary Benefits: Oceana offers voluntary Accident, Critical Illness, and Whole Life Insurance benefits through Unum. Pet Insurance is available through Pet Benefits Solutions. Identity Theft Protection through Allstate. These are individual policies that are paid for entirely by employees, but payroll deducted for convenience.

Core Benefits: 

  • Life Insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance: Coverage equal to 2 times the employee’s base salary up to $350,000 effective the first of the month following date of employment. Short-Term and Long-Term Disability: Effective the first of the month following date of employment. 
  • Employee Assistance Program: Confidential counseling services provided free to all employees and their families effective immediately after employment.
  • Health Advocate Program: A comprehensive spectrum of programs to help employees and their families navigate the complex healthcare and insurance systems to save time and money.
  • Travel Assistance: Provided to employees and their dependents for their medical, financial, legal and travel needs, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year while traveling internationally or domestically.
  • Foreign Travel Insurance: Provided to all employees traveling internationally on Oceana’s behalf.
  • Family Medical Leave: In accordance with DC Family Medical Leave Act, 16 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within a 24-month period to care for yourself, your spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition or the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Paid Maternal/Paternal Leave: New parents (birth or adoption) who are regular full-time employees with one year or more of continuous service with Oceana can take up to 8 weeks of paid paternal leave during the first 16 weeks following the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption.
  • Bereavement Leave: 5 days of paid leave for the passing of close family
  • Vacation Time:

1 – 5 years of employment = 15 days per year

6 – 10 years of employment = 20 days per year

Over 10 years of employment = 25 days per year

  • Sick Leave: 12 sick days per year
  • Personal Days: During the first calendar year of employment, personal days are provided based on the following schedule:

o January 1 – March 31: 5 days

o April 1 – June 30: 4 days

o July 1 – September 30: 3 days

o October 1 – December 31: 2 days

  • Holidays: 10 Holidays per year.



To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:


  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: 
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit one essay response, one visioning response and one short answer response per interested position.


Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 27, 2023. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. 


If you have questions please see our FAQ page, any further questions about the application process can be submitted to



Oceana is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Oceana is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.