Oregon State University

Program Development Grants

Finavera wave energy test buoy

Oregon Sea Grant Program Development Grants

Purpose: In addition to competitive grants awarded on a two-year cycle, Oregon Sea Grant offers modest grants for project opportunities or special needs aligned with the Oregon Sea Grant mission and vision that arise between the regular application periods, when resources are available. These funds generally are not intended to supplement an existing project, but to provide seed money for exploratory or high-risk efforts, or to respond to urgent needs or unforeseen opportunities that require a timely effort. Oregon Sea Grant also considers requests for event support. 

Timing: Program development proposals will be considered on a quarterly basis. Reviews are planned for January, April, July, and October. Individual requests for rapid response or event support outside of planned review periods may also be considered. Please contact the Oregon Sea Grant Director for details.

Funding: Program Development grants are modest in size (total costs typically do not exceed $10,000) and should be one year or less in duration. Larger requests are occasionally considered, and are subject to peer review and approval by the National Sea Grant Office. Given our limited funding, success of requests in excess of $10,000 (total costs) will be lower.


  • We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with Oregon Sea Grant’s current research projects and strategic investments, available on our website.
  • Contact the Oregon Sea Grant Director, Shelby Walker, to discuss your proposed project ideas before submitting a Program Development proposal.
  • Submit your proposal by the quarterly review deadline.
  • Decisions will be communicated within four to six weeks of review.

General proposal guidelines: Your proposal, based on the outline below, should be two to four pages (12-point type, single-spaced). We need clear but brief answers to the questions posed in the outline, which corresponds to the review criteria, listed below.

Eligibility: Proposals may be submitted by faculty of any public or private institution of higher education in Oregon; the project’s Principal Investigator must be a faculty member. While non-academic researchers may be included among the investigators, awards will be made only through colleges and universities. We encourage the involvement of collaborators and researchers who are not university faculty (collaborators may be with industry, state/regional agencies, NGOs, and/or other research institutions). Individuals from state and federal agencies and for-profit and foreign organizations can only be counted as matching or in-kind support for the project. Project participants who are employees of Oregon Sea Grant may be part of a project team and serve as PIs, but they may not request salary support.

 If we need additional details, we will contact you. Please contact Sarah Kolesar (sarah.kolesar@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-8695) with technical questions. Submit your request by e-mail as either a Word or PDF document to seagrant.admin@oregonstate.edu


Review Criteria:

All Program Development proposals must align with Oregon Sea Grant’s mission and vision.

 Preference for projects that are either (or both)

  • exploratory or high-risk efforts
  • responsive to urgent needs or unforeseen opportunities that require a timely effort 

Successful Program Development proposals are also likely to

  • have clearly described outcomes linked to evaluation
  • be societally relevant
  • address any proposed research questions in a scientifically sound manner

 Additional considerations are for projects that

  • support investigators who are new to Oregon Sea Grant funding
  • catalyze multidisciplinary or regional efforts

Proposal Format

1. Title/contact information

List a descriptive title, followed by name of Principal Investigator (PI), institutional affiliation, and contact information (please be sure to include your e-mail address).

2. What problem or opportunity is to be addressed?

A clear and precise statement establishing the significance, relevance, timeliness, generalizability, and benefits of the project is essential. Indicate the current status of knowledge concerning the problem or opportunity to be addressed, including a summary of previous applicable work with relevant references.

3. List Objectives.

Provide your specific objectives in a numbered list format. You should ask yourself whether these objectives, as stated, will result in outcomes that will allow you or Oregon Sea Grant to discern that this project has been successful, and not just completed.

4. Describe how you will approach this problem or opportunity.

Concisely present information on the approach to be used and the general methodology that will be employed. Also, how will affected individuals be involved in developing the proposal and carrying out the project?

5. Discuss who will use the findings of the proposed project and who will be affected by or benefit from the findings of this project.

What would be the best way to communicate or demonstrate the project results? Also list any anticipated partners or co-sponsors for this work.

6. Answer the perennial question: "So what?" What will happen as a result of this project?

Describe the kinds of potential outcomes or impacts that might be seen and measured. How soon after project completion might these impacts occur? Will the anticipated benefits of the project have practical applications? Will they lead to new understanding, attitudinal or behavioral changes, economic or legal improvements, etc.?

7. Personnel

Who will be involved in the project? List names and institutional affiliations, and briefly explain specific roles and qualifications (you may submit a one-page biographical sketch of yourself if you wish, but this is not required). Please list all formal project partners. Letters of support may also be included.

8. Budget and budget justification [on separate pages, budget template provided here]

Please use the budget format to show how much, to the nearest dollar, is requested. For quickest review, total expenses not to exceed $10,000.

In a narrative budget justification, explain the following: How will the requested funds be used? What non-Sea Grant funds, if any, will be used to complete the project? Please itemize any cost-share. Why are the requested Sea Grant funds and non-Sea Grant funds needed to complete the project? Please detail the need for any supplies and services, travel, subcontracts, tuition, or any other items (note: items over $5,000 and international travel require special approval).

 Budget Format

  1. Personnel Salary or Wages (name, FTE or man months, and dollars requested for each project member)
  2. Personnel Benefits (name, rate, and dollars requested for each project member)
  3. Total Personnel (total of A and B)
  4. Supplies and Services (give a total and explain in general in the Budget Justification; note, items over $5,000 require special approval)
  5. Travel (as in D, international travel requires special approval)
  6. Other costs (subcontracts, tuition, or costs not included in any category above. Explain in the Budget Justification)
  7. Total Direct costs (add C through F)
  8. Indirect costs (current OSU rates and guidelines available from the OSU Sponsored Programs website)
  9. Total Requested (add G and H)

E-mail your proposal, in MS Word or PDF format, to: seagrant.admin@oregonstate.edu. Please contact Sarah Kolesar with technical questions (sarah.kolesar@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-8695)

Contact Info

Oregon Sea Grant
1600 SW Western Blvd
Suite 350
Corvallis OR 97333
Phone: 541-737-2714
FAX: 541-737-7958

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