PROPOSALS FOR PROJECTS BEGINNING February 1, 2014
Preliminary Proposals Due: March 15, 2013 by 5 pm PST
The University of Southern California Sea Grant Program is now soliciting preliminary proposals for projects of one or two years' duration beginning February 1, 2014. Projects should focus on topics pertaining to the "Urban Ocean," USC Sea Grant's primary focus. University faculty and academic staff at USC and at other 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 directed at solving the particular problems associated with 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 2014-2017 outlines our research and outreach goals. It is available for download from the Sea Grant website (strategicplan.html). Strategic focus areas include:
Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
Safe and Sustainable Seafood
Resilient Communities and Economies
Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development
One of Sea Grant's overall aims is to foster the use of sound scientific information to advance our understanding of coastal and ocean resources, to examine the ways we conserve and use these resources, and to support tools for evaluating the issues and socio-economic trade-offs that comprise coastal decision making.
The California Ocean Protection Council and California Ocean Science Trust help to inform our research program insofar as they provide information about California ocean management information needs. We encourage prospective researchers to consult the planning documents issued by state agencies to ensure that research topics respond to State needs (http://www.opc.ca.gov/programs/).
For several years, USC has been working closely with the Sea Grant Programs in California, Oregon and Washington, and in 2007 developed a region-wide report on West Coast Regional Research and Information Needs (http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs/q09001.pdf) that aggregates stakeholder input on research needs for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. This report also helps to inform our research priorities.
We also encourage projects from researchers in the social sciences. A separate RFP for social science research – with a West Coast regional perspective – will be issued separately. But researchers interested in California-centric issues can submit projects responsive to this RFP. Please check back on the USC Sea Grant website later this month for full details.
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 anticipate funding 4-6 projects with our biennial Sea Grant College Program funds. 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. Our office can 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 also attached to this document. Proposals should be submitted on the fillable Template Form and should not exceed two pages. The two pages provide: Title of Project, Principal Investigator(s), Proposed Project start and end dates, Trainees requested, First Year Funds requested, Total Estimated Funds requested over project period, Matching Funds, and Statement of Problem, Research Objectives, Methods, and Benefits. Proposals will not be considered if they are not received in the Sea Grant Office by the due date and time. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your proposal within 24 hours after submission please contact the USC Sea Grant Office by phone at 213-740-1961.
National Sea Grant College Program
The National Sea Grant College Program is a nationwide activity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 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 33 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.