Postdoctoral or post-Master's: Wisconsin Water Resources Science-Policy Fellowship (Hydrogeology) via AGU

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI, US

Seeking postdoctoral and post-master’s applicants for the Wisconsin Water Resources Science-Policy Fellowship

The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute (WRI), in partnership with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), seek postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to groundwater management in Wisconsin. Together, these programs will fund the Wisconsin Water Resources Science-Policy Fellow position. This Fellow position will provide a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate who is interested both in aquatic resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. This program places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state program full-time for one year, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to benefit water issues and challenges and receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who will serve as mentors. This mutually beneficial partnership will result in advancing science to support policy decisions as well as valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force.

This year, the fellowship will focus on the challenges associated with reducing nitrate levels in groundwater by making the most efficient use of nitrogen in agricultural production. We seek applicants who can:

  • Apply their academic background, including course work or research experience, in groundwater flow and contaminant transport processes, application of numerical models, and evaluating uncertainty in results
  • Work independently and in teams to develop, calibrate and apply three dimensional groundwater flow models using standard groundwater modeling packages
  • Conduct field work, such as reconnaissance surveys, data collection, and installation and maintenance of  groundwater sampling equipment at WGNHS research sites
  • Compile and analyze hydrogeologic data, maintain project databases, document model development and application
  • Prepare and edit project reports and manuscripts for publication
  • Prepare and present project findings in person to a variety of audiences, including regulators, scientists, and interested stakeholders 
  • Work cooperatively with WGNHS partners such as USGS, WDNR, and individuals from Wisconsin’s agricultural community.

This Fellow will be primarily stationed at the WGNHS office near the UW-Madison campus, with frequent meetings at the WDNR office in downtown Madison, and will be working with researchers from across the state and region in addition to stakeholders and policy-makers in Wisconsin.

More detail on the fellowship is below. If you have any questions, please contact:

Jennifer Hauxwell at [email protected] or (608) 263-4756.

Application DeadlineFebruary 16, 2018


Any student or postgraduate who will have graduated between spring 2017 and spring 2018 with a degree in hydrogeology, hydrology, or a related field is eligible to apply. Fellows must have completed all degree requirements before starting the fellowship.

Stipend and Expenses

Annual stipends are dependent on the Fellow’s academic background, with post master’s Fellows earning $40,000 and postdoctoral Fellows earning $47,476, both with additional benefits (see – Fellows will be allotted up to $2,000 to cover fellowship-related travel and can include conferences. Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by the host agency at the agency’s discretion.

Application Requirements

Application packages should be sent to [email protected] at the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute and should include:

  1. A cover letter that describes your background and abilities, your expectations from the fellowship experience and how this experience fits with your career goals. (2 pages or fewer)
  2. Curriculum vitae with relevant educational, professional and volunteer experience. (no length limit)
  3. Copies of all official undergraduate and graduate student transcripts.
  4. Two letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s major professor; if no major professor exists, another faculty member at the same institution, familiar with your academic record, may be substituted.
  5. Up to 4 writing samples, both formal and informal (e.g., journal articles or other technical documents, popular articles, web resources, etc.)

    Selection Process

    WRI and WGNHS staff will identify a short list of candidates for interviews. Interviews will be conducted by a panel of WRI, WGNHS, and WDNR staff members to determine the best fit for the position. It is expected that applicants will possess a strong hydrogeological sciences and modeling background, strong analytical skills, an ability to manage projects and work independently, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

    Length of Assignment

    The length of assignment is one year with an anticipated start of late winter / early spring 2018. This timeline may be adjusted to accommodate academic semester needs or the needs of the candidates or funding institutions.

    Reporting and Other Requirements

    Quarterly reports will be required during the fellowship as well as a final write-up of the fellowship experience. The Fellow will participate in the WRI’s outreach and social media and student engagement programming.


    February 16, 2018  – Deadline for submission of applications

    Early March – Interviews

    March/April 2018 (approx.) – Fellowship begins