CERF Inclusive Leadership Program (CERF ILP)

Join this dynamic learning community of coastal and estuarine scientists and managers from all career stages who want to be agents of change and skilled leaders. This 18-month program focuses on personal and professional growth for individuals to increase capacity to create and sustain a more equitable and inclusive field. Your learning cohort will work closely together with experts in workshops and coaching sessions to uncover your strengths and further develop your plan for impact at your institution and beyond. All financial costs and an annual stipend are provided for participants. The application deadline for 2023 has passed.

 You will be provided with:

  • Full financial support and a $300 annual stipend to attend an in-person kick-off retreat (27-28 September 2023), CERF 2023, and a close-out (Fall 2024) retreat
  • Workshops before and during the CERF 2023 conference
  • Virtual coaching sessions and trainings
  • An online group learning community

You should apply if:

  • You are currently in a professional position (i.e., no longer a student) in coastal and marine science or management at any career level
  • You care about shaping the culture of coastal and marine sciences and management
  • You want to be an agent of positive change in coastal sciences and management
  • You want to grow your knowledge base about diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility (DEIJA)
  • You want to hone your leadership skills, expand your skills, or share your expertise with emerging leaders 

You will gain:

  • Key insight into your own leadership style
  • New skills to help you in a future leadership position
  • Tools and strategies to manage conflict and become a DEIJA change agent
  • An inclusive vocabulary for impactful communication and management
  • A personal commitment plan to make real change at your institution and beyond

To Apply

Any coastal and estuarine science and management professional at any career stage is eligible to apply; however, current students are not eligible. You do not need to be a CERF member, a US citizen, or based in the US to apply.

The application consists of information about you and your professional position; a personal statement (limit of 3,000 characters including spaces, or about 500 words) that describes (1) what benefits you hope to get from the program; (2) how you can contribute to a network of leaders who are able to learn across disciplines, career stages, and backgrounds; and (3) how you have demonstrated a commitment to DEI and/or culture change; and a brief description of your leadership experience. 

If you are accepted to the accepted to the CERF Inclusive Leadership Program, you are expected to attend all in-person events in their entirety: the kick-off retreat in fall 2023, CERF 2023 conference (November 11-16, 2023, Portland, OR), and the close-out retreat in fall 2024. All costs will be covered by the ILP and an annual $300 stipend will also be provided. You are also expected to attend as many virtual events and meetings as possible, approximately once a month from September 2023 through October 2024.

Expect to be notified about decisions in mid-August. If you have any questions, please contact the office at [email protected] to be put in touch with C-COAST Program Coordinator Amara Foster.



The 2023-2024 CERF Inclusive Leadership Program is supported by NSF Award No.s 2233699, 2233700, 2233701, 2233702, and 2233703.