Frequently Asked Questions

Do I qualify for the fellowship?

The Blue Pioneers Accelerator fellows are thoughtfully selected among many qualified professionals and rising leaders in ocean management. You must apply to be evaluated by a committee of staff from academic institutions and philanthropic foundations. 

In addition to your academic background and professional work experience, we evaluate the fit between the fellowship and your career trajectory based on your experiences and potentials in dealing with complex problems, working cross-culturally and with local communities, and collaborative learning in the broad context of ocean management. We also value specific solution ideas that you may bring to stimulate learning and further development with the other fellows. 

How much does it cost?

The full fellowship covers the cost of tuition, international airfare, local transportation, and lodging during in-person training. Fellows are responsible for other incidental costs. To make the program more accessible, we may decide to offer partial scholarship that covers only the cost of tuition.  

What visa should I apply for?

Please apply for a Business B -1 visa. You can learn more about this Visa here and here (PDF - 1020 KB). Typically these visas can be used for one (1) or more entries for six (6) months to ten (10) years. We recommend participants seek a single entry visa that is valid for one (1) year. 

You will be responsible for the process and costs of obtaining the visa. For this visa, you will need: 

Note: some participants may qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Most citizens of participating countries may travel to the United States for short visits without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program. Travel under the VWP requires a valid ESTA

Do I need an additional letter of support to secure a visa? 

Typically students have been able to use their acceptance letter for visa applications. However, if your application requires specific details not included in the acceptance letter, please email In the email subject state: BPP Visa Letter for **Your NAME**. In the body of the email please indicate clearly what information needs to be included in the letter of suppo

How do I get to Santa Cruz from the airport?

If your flight arrives and departs from either San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) airports, we will purchase a shuttle from the airport to Santa Cruz and back on your behalf. The shuttle will be booked through the Santa Cruz Airport Flyer or similar, and once it is booked you will be responsible for coordinating any schedule changes with the company. For participants flying into or out of any other airports, you will be responsible for your own travel to and from Santa Cruz. 

Where will I stay during the in-person program?

We will book single or double occupancy rooms for program participants on or around the UC Santa Cruz campus. The venue will include free Wi-Fi for participant use. We will reach out to you closer to the program start to coordinate roommates. 

What should I bring with me for the in-person program? 

Participants will receive a packing list two weeks prior to the start of the program.