Seed money for great and creative ideas

In addition to competitive grants awarded on a two-year cycle, Oregon Sea Grant offers modest grants for project opportunities or special needs as they 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 in an Oregon Sea Grant priority area, or to respond to urgent needs or unforeseen opportunities that demand a timely response.

We also consider proposals for projects that launch promising new lines of inquiry, support investigators who are new to Oregon Grant funding, or catalyze multidisciplinary or regional efforts.

Please contact Sarah Kolesar to discuss your project ideas before submitting a Program Development proposal.

We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with Oregon Sea Grant’s current research projects before you develop a proposal.

About Program Development Grants

Program Development grants are modest in size ($10,000 or less in Sea Grant funding) and one year or less in duration. In exceptional and rare cases, larger efforts may be considered. Such larger proposals will be sent out for external peer review and require National Sea Grant Office approval.

Before submitting a Program Development proposal, researchers must first contact Oregon Sea Grant by phone or e-mail to discuss your concept. The OSG leadership team then considers each idea for alignment with program priority areas, offering a recommendation and guidance for submission of a full proposal.

Program Development proposals may be submitted at any time. Awards are contingent on available funds. A review committee made up of OSG personnel and members of our citizen Advisory Council, will consider submissions on a monthly basis and make recommendations for funding based on established criteria (outlined below). Results of these deliberations will be reported to the OSG leadership team for final decision. We will generally provide you with a decision within 4 weeks, although sometimes the process may take longer, especially for larger requests that require external peer review.

Your proposal, based on the outline below, should not exceed 4 - 5 text pages. We need clear, but brief answers to the questions posed in the outline, which corresponds to the review criteria. If we need additional details, we will contact you. Please submit your request by e-mail as either a Word or PDF document to

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 research with relevant citations from the literature.

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 result because you conducted 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 for yourself if you wish, but this is not necessary). Please list all formal project partners. Letters of support may also be included.

8. Budget and budget justification [on separate pages]

Please use the budget format Below 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: any items over $5,000 or international travel require special approval).

Budget Format

A. Personnel Salary or Wages (Name, FTE or person-months, and dollars requested for each project member)

B. Personnel Benefits (Name, rate, and dollars requested for each project member)

C. Total Personnel (Total of A. and B.)

D. Supplies and Services (Give a total and explain in general in the Budget Justification; note, items over $5,000 requirespecial approval)

E. Travel (As in D. International travel requires special approval)

F. Other costs (Subcontracts, tuition, or costs not included in any category above. Explain in the Budget Justification)

G. Total Direct costs (Add C. through F).

H. Indirect costs (Current OSU rates and guidelines available from the OSU Sponsored Programs website.)

I. Total Requested (Add G and H)

E-mail your proposal, in MS Word or PDF format, to: