Oregon State University

Biennial Grant Competition

Redfish Rocks

Oregon Sea Grant Call for Preliminary Proposals

Grant Period: February 2014–January 2016

(Note: This funding cycle has passed; this information is presented as an example of the usual process and timeline for our biennial omnibus funding cycle.)

The Oregon Sea Grant Program invites preliminary proposals for research on important marine and coastal issues from researchers who are affiliated with any institution of higher education. Proposals will be entered into a highly competitive review and selection process. Proposed work may begin on either February 1, 2014, or February 1, 2015.  Available funding is set by the NOAA Sea Grant Program based on congressional appropriations.

Pre-proposals are reviewed by external scientists, a citizen advisory board and Oregon Sea Grant leadership to ensure that they match the priorities and goals set forth in our strategic plan. Based on these evaluations, OSG will issue invitations for full proposals. Full proposals undergo independent external mail reviews as well as science panel and citizen advisory panel reviews of both scientific excellence and societal relevance.

Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting a proposal will be found on our online submission system (we will switch to a new system early in 2015.


•    Preliminary proposals due: Friday, February 15, 2013, before 5:00 p.m. PST
•    Invitations for full proposals: Friday, March 15, 2013
•    Full proposals due: May 13, 2013, before 5:00 p.m. PST
•    Peer review period: May 17, 2013, to August 2, 2013
•    Reviews to investigators: August 9, 2013
•    Investigator responses to reviews due: August 16, 2013  DEADLINE EXTENDED TO August 21, 2013
•    Notice of funding decisions: Monday, September 23, 2013 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO October 7,2013
•    Successful projects begin: February 1, 2014, or February 1, 2015


What we are looking for

An ideal Sea Grant proposal would apply the best science and an innovative approach to a well-defined coastal or marine problem or opportunity that is important to Oregon, the Pacific Northwest Region, and the nation. The two primary criteria for evaluating proposals are 1) scientific excellence and 2) societal relevance. All proposals must state how they match up with the Oregon Sea Grant Strategic Plan. As we are in the process of updating our strategic plan for 2014-2017, please refer to both the plan in development and our current strategic plan for 2010-2013.

In addition to these guidance documents, we are also seeking proposals that address emerging issues.. Further, our Free Choice-Learning program element continues to evolve and address the broader Ocean literacy focus, and we welcome proposals that pertain to this topic.

Successful proposals are also likely to:

•    show significant progress within two years
•    focus on prediction (rather than explanation)
•    focus on outcomes and clearly show how and to whom the work would make a difference
•    include meaningful collaboration with industries, agencies, communities, or other stakeholders
•    have substantive evidence of co-funding or co-support from interested stakeholders and partners in the form of match
•    request less than $90,000 per year and provide convincing justification for the funds
•    involve regional or multi-institutional collaboration, especially that which involves one or more Sea Grant programs from other states
•    include support for students
•    explore potential long-term impacts to society and how the research may benefit stakeholders

Who may apply
Preliminary proposals may be submitted by faculty of any public or private institution of higher education. 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, but the project’s Principal Investigator must be a faculty member. Researchers may submit more than one preliminary proposal, but it is unlikely that more than one full proposal will be requested from any individual investigator.

Grant funding comes from our NOAA appropriation and totals about $1.7 million over two years.

Not all excellent proposals can be funded: proposals that provide high value usually receive higher ranking. Proposals requesting larger amounts will be accepted; however, all else being equal, proposals that request $90,000 or less per year will have a competitive advantage since we want to fund as many efforts as possible.

Federal law requires that Oregon Sea Grant provide a non-federal cost share of one dollar for every two dollars of federal funds received. Since our Omnibus Program Plan is a culmination of many projects with cost share from a variety of state, local, or private funds or in-kind services, we can be somewhat flexible on this requirement, but researchers are advised to take cost share into consideration as they develop their budgets and projects.

Proposals requesting support for either one or two years will have a distinct competitive advantage over proposals seeking three years of support. Requests for support exceeding three years will not be considered. Proposals to continue work beyond the initial one or two years may be entered into a future biennial competition.

Oregon Sea Grant supports graduate students working on Oregon Sea Grant-funded research projects awarded through its competitive process, providing supported students with a stipend, tuition remission, and other benefits.  Oregon Sea Grant may also fund undergraduate student summer scholars for work on your grant.  Further information will be provided to you for full proposal submittals.

All students supported by Sea Grant are considered Sea Grant Scholars. The Oregon Sea Grant’s Scholars Program helps create a community for supported students and provides them with professional development opportunities, giving them the ability to connect research to appropriate outreach. The Oregon Sea Grant Scholars supported on funded proposals are expected to participate in Oregon Sea Grant activities, such as orientation meetings, workshops, and colloquia, at which students will present their work to other Sea Grant Scholars researchers, faculty, and staff.

We strongly encourage multi-institutional approaches to regional issues which include proposals that mobilize the best research talent to address complex issues and which involve funding from more than one Sea Grant program. Since such an approach is administratively complex, we suggest that investigators informally discuss ideas with us before submitting such a preliminary or full proposal.

We will fund the best science that is relevant to Oregon stakeholders. Research to gain knowledge solely for its own sake is considered inappropriate for Oregon Sea Grant support. Proposals are rigorously reviewed by at least three outside peer reviewers, a panel of scientists and by the OSG Citizen Advisory Council.

In full proposals, investigators must present a clear rationale for the proposed project, expected outcomes from the research, and beneficiaries of the proposed work. Proposals are expected to describe stakeholder engagement goals and how they will be achieved through outreach and/or education. Proposals should describe how the results of the project will benefit stakeholders (e.g., local coastal communities, public and private sectors) and how the project will engage these stakeholders along the way.

For further guidance on incorporating engagement into your proposal, contact Oregon Sea Grant Chief Scientist, Bill Hanshumaker. Additional resources on creating quality outreach and education opportunities are available on the COSEE website.

Following Sea Grant’s evaluation of proposals, all applicants will be notified regarding their proposal’s status. Sea Grant reserves the right to negotiate and/or adjust the final grant amount and work plan prior to award, as appropriate and consistent with University policy and funds available.

Any additional information about this RFP will be posted on Oregon Sea Grant’s website.

NOAA DATA SHARING REQUIREMENT (effective for all new NOAA funded research projects)
Data and information collected and/or created under NOAA grants and cooperative agreements must be made visible, accessible, and independently understandable to general users, free of charge or at minimal cost, in a timely manner (typically no later than two years after the data are collected or created), except where limited by law, regulation, policy or by security requirements.

The new requirement has two basic parts: (1) environmental data generated by a grant project must be made available after a reasonable period of exclusive use, and (2) the grant application must describe the plan to make the data available.

To comply with this new requirement, in the full proposal stage, the Principal Investigator must comply with the process described in Webnibus, and in that full proposal, explain how the data and metadata will be provided. Funds may be budgeted in the project proposal for this task. For the pre-proposal, the Principal Investigator must simply agree in writing that they intend to follow this new NOAA requirement.

Read more: Preparing and submitting your proposal

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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