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FWS Directorate Fellowship Program (DFP)

In 2019, the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) will partner with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to administer the FWS Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program (DFP).  The DFP is an 11-week internship working on projects that support FWS conservation priorities. Eligible students who are pursuing degrees in biological science and/or natural resources management will possess the desired qualifications to apply for participation in the 2019 DFP.  These fellowships offer a unique opportunity to gain direct hire authority (upon successful completion of the program), which enables U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other land management agencies to be able to hire former fellows into permanent, full-time positions within two years of graduation without having to use the competitive process. You can find a list of a few sample projects below.


Eligible students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an undergraduate (rising seniors) or graduate degree program, and who will not complete their degree requirements prior to the completion of the 2019 DFP 11-weeks fellowship.  Refer to the website for additional information on eligibility.  

How to Apply

The first step is to go now and complete your fellowship application online via the Student Conservation Association (SCA) application portal  (   You must add the application code PO-00727173 to your application. This initial application must be completed by February 15, 2019.

If you have met the initial eligibility requirement for the 2019 DFP, SCA will send you an email inviting you to apply to specific DFP projects throughout the United States and its territories during the open period in late January or early February.  You may have only a few days to apply to specific projects, so please keep an eye on the email account used to establish your SCA application.  

Refer to the attached flyer for complete information on the program and the application instructions.  For questions, contact the FWS Recruitment team at:  Please share this message with other eligible candidates.  

Sample Projects
Baseline Wildlife Surveys and Management Response-  Help develop and implement a pilot project to collect and assess baseline reproductive information of streaked horned larks (SHLs) at our National Wildlife Refuges breeding season. This project will provide important information regarding SHL reproduction at the refuges, as well as an assessment of the logistics required to successfully implement this monitoring. The Fellow will develop a field and data-management protocol that the Refuges will implement during future years.

Fishery Habitat Assessment–  Lead and conduct a habitat assessment for Lake Sturgeon using side scan sonar, environmental measurements, and aquatic drone data on target lakes. The processed data will be used to characterize overwintering habitats and identify potential spawning habitat for Lake Sturgeon to aid in successful recruitment to the population.

Visitor Services and Outreach Planning–  Develop a comprehensive Visitor Services and Outreach (VSO) plan for review and approval from regional leadership and implementation in 2020.  The fellow will review and summarize the visitor services sections of the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, the recent regional refuge visitor services review and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy and guidelines for development of VSO Plans.  Work collaboratively with key stakeholders, including local tribal members and interested community members, to identify new or refine existing program priorities.Sign Up and Stay Connected with FWS
Workforce Recruitment & OutreachOffice of Diversity & Inclusive Workforce ManagementU.S. Fish & Wildlife