PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity
The application period for the 2015 PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity closed as of February 28, 2015 11:59pm HST.
Applicants for the 2015 program will be notified of their standings by mid-April 2015.
Please check back in early January next year for details on the 2016 program.
The PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity (PYSO) is a collaborative program between PIFSC and the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This program offers qualified participants professional scientific research experience and formal training opportunities tailored to meet their educational and professional goals and interests.
PYSO enables participants to work under the guidance of talented staff of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (including JIMAR staff at PIFSC) who will provide challenging work opportunities and one-to-one mentoring in the participant's field of study.
Participants will have the opportunity to work with a mentor on a project that draws from a variety of topics including, but not limited to: fish ecology, protected species, oceanography, fishery economics, stock assessment, coral reef ecology, ecosystem studies, climate studies, marine ecology, environmental monitoring, and social sciences. One participant will be selected for each of the projects being offered each summer.
PYSO will provide each participant with:
- an in-depth perspective on how NOAA Fisheries and JIMAR serve the community and the nation as a whole
- the opportunity to acquire specific skills needed to pursue their professional goals and aspirations
- the opportunity for hands-on research experience in their field of study
- the opportunity to build relationships with professionals in their field of study
PYSO will also benefit PIFSC and JIMAR by facilitating staff development of skills in leadership, teaching, and coaching and by building productive relationships with academic partners and institutions.
The PYSO is a paid, summer-long (8-12 week) program that combines on-the-job training, formal research experience, one-to-one mentoring, and developmental assignments. Opportunities will be established in specific PIFSC and JIMAR projects. No additional travel or housing funding is provided. Participants will be working at NOAA's new Inouye Regional Center (IRC) The IRC is home to several NOAA line offices (including Fisheries, National Ocean Service, National Weather Service) and offers state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. The IRC is an approximately 30 minute drive, or a 1 hour bus ride, from Waikiki. A shuttle service is provided for IRC staff from the nearest bus stops (e.g., the Arizona Memorial) onto Ford Island and to the IRC.
Program components include:
- Performance Plans to establish goals and timelines for the participant's work assignments (established in meetings between participant and mentor)
- Periodic meetings between participant and mentor to check on progress (includes a mid-point review and final review)
- Inclusion of participant in PIFSC and JIMAR staff activities (division meetings, all-hands meetings, training, and other activities)
- In addition to the individual and group mentoring by PIFSC and JIMAR staff, the PYSO participants (4 targeted for 2015) will be encouraged to network with each other and with undergraduate and graduate interns from other NOAA programs at NOAA's IRC.
- Program wrap up: Participants and mentors hold a final meeting to review final products and discuss the participant's experience. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their work at a symposium for NOAA IRC staff at the end of the summer
- Evaluations: Participants and mentors complete a program evaluation to provide feedback that will help PIFSC and JIMAR improve the structure of the program
Participant Eligibility Requirements
- Employment (I9) Authorization to work in the United States. (Employer-sponsored/petitioned work visas/employment authorizations will not be provided.)
- Full-time status as a degree-seeking college student with no fewer than 24 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university, preferably just completing their sophomore or junior years
- Cumulative and semester/quarter GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in all completed undergraduate courses and in the major field of study
- Majoring in a discipline or study area related to marine or atmospheric science, research, technology, or education, and supportive of NOAA/JIMAR's programs and mission (for example, biological, social or physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; and teacher education)
- Ability to obtain post-job offer security clearance to work in a federal facility including fingerprinting and background check. The participant will be working at NOAA's IRC, which is located on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, an active military base.
2015 Application Instructions
Prospective participants are required to submit the following materials via email to
at any time during
February 1–28, 2015.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Prior contact with prospective mentors is highly recommended but not required.
The application should be a single PDF file attached to the email composed of the following elements in this order:
- 1-page coversheet, click here to download coversheet (0.2 MB PDF)
- Statement of interest which includes a description of the participant's experience, research interests, and goals with specific reference to a research project listed on the PYSO projects page
- Academic transcripts (reflecting student status at time of application, unofficial copies accepted), please make sure the transcripts do not include your social security number or date of birth)
- One letter of recommendation from a professor (this can be transmitted directly by email from professor if preferred)
Applications that include a social security number (SSN) or date of birth (DOB) will be deleted immediately.