Urban Ocean Request for Proposals
We are no longer accepting Letters of Intent for this RFP. Please contact Phyllis Grifman if you would like more information.
The University of Southern California Sea Grant Program is now soliciting preliminary proposals for projects beginning February 1, 2012. In addition to scientific proposals funded by the National Sea Grant College Program under our regular biennial cycle, a partnership between California's two Sea Grant programs and the California Ocean Protection Council provides us with an opportunity to fund additional new research projects that address research projects of specific interest to the State of California.
We welcome proposals for projects of one or two years' duration beginning February 1, 2012. Projects should focus on topics pertaining to the "Urban Ocean," USC Sea Grant's primary focus. University faculty and academic staff at all California institutions are eligible to apply, and we encourage interdisciplinary and inter-institutional projects.
USC Sea Grant's "Urban Ocean" research program is intended to develop and sponsor projects that are directed at solving the particular problems associated with extensive urbanization in and adjacent to the coastal zone. The aim of the program is the development of ideas, information and techniques that help those who manage the ocean, especially in California, but also nationwide. The USC Sea Grant Strategic Plan for 2009-2013 outlines our research and outreach goals. It is available for download from the Sea Grant website (http://www.usc.edu/org/seagrant/). Strategic focus areas include:
- Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
- Sustainable Coastal Development
- Safe and Sustainable Seafood
- Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
In addition, cross-cutting goals encompass the use of sound scientific information to advance our understanding of coastal and ocean resources, ways to conserve and use these resources, and support for evaluating impacts and socio-economic trade-offs in coastal decision making. A second cross cutting goal in environmental education envisions an informed public that understands the value and vulnerability of coastal and ocean resources, and a well-trained workforce that understands and demands science based decisions about their management.
Within the last few years, Sea Grant Programs in California, Oregon and Washington developed a region-wide report on West Coast Regional Research and Information Needs that aggregates stakeholder input on research needs for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. This report will also help to inform our research priorities.
This year's OPC priorities are described in the attached document, entitled "Research Priority Descriptions for the Sea Grant 2011 Call of Proposals." Areas of interest include climate change adaptation to address sea level rise, coastal and marine spatial planning, land-based management to reduce impacts on ocean and coastal resources, preparing for emerging industrial uses of the ocean, and sustainable fisheries management.
Successful Sea Grant projects involve both a substantial intellectual question and the promise of useful application to real-world problems. Sea Grant emphasizes innovative research on ocean and coastal resources and processes. Sea Grant encourages interdisciplinary research that responds to current issues affecting coastal and ocean resources, physical processes and socioeconomic problems. Proposals should contain a well-developed rationale and potential for broad application, and a strong theoretical basis with a clear, testable hypothesis.
We expect to be able to fund 4-6 projects with our biennial Sea Grant College Program funds and two to four additional projects with the $200,000 from the California Ocean Protection Council. This funding is targeted for projects that meet the OPC research interests as well as USC Sea Grant's "Urban Ocean" focus. Project budgets will range from $10,000 to $65,000, with the average being approximately $50,000 for new research. Customarily, research projects are required to provide 50% in matching funds from the PI's home institution or primary project partners.
Sea Grant will not usually support dissertation research, purely theoretical work, or work without a substantial scientific question. Continuation of a project beyond the first year is subject to demonstration of satisfactory progress by the project investigator.
Submission of Preliminary Proposals
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the USC Sea Grant offices (213-740-1961) to discuss potential projects and funding possibilities. Our offices serve as a regional clearinghouse for the coordination of complementary project proposals, and as a resource for research and education contacts.
Proposals may be submitted via email to: email@example.com. A preliminary proposal template can be found on the USC Sea Grant website http://www.usc.edu/org/seagrant/ and is attached to this document. Proposals should be no longer than two pages, and provide: Title of Project, Principal Investigator(s), Proposed Project start and end dates, Trainees requested, First Year Funds Requested, Total Estimated Funds requested over the project period, Statement of the Problem, Research Objectives, Methods, and Benefits. Proposals not received by the due date and deadline at the Sea Grant Office will not be considered for review.
National Sea Grant College Program
The National Sea Grant College Program is a nationwide activity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce, authorized by Congress and conducted by universities, in cooperation with federal and state agencies and often marine industries and users. USC Sea Grant is one of 30 university-based programs that form the core of the network, involving some 300 universities and colleges.
The objective of the program is: "...to increase the understanding, assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of the nation's ocean and coastal resources by providing assistance to promote a strong educational base, responsive research and training activities, and broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques."
California is one of only two states in the nation with more than one Sea Grant Program. If you have marine related research interests outside of USC Sea Grant's "Urban Ocean" emphasis, we encourage you to contact the California Sea Grant College System, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0232 (619-534-4440). The web address is: http://www-csgc.ucsd.edu.