2022 Aquaculture Awards

Funding Category
Grants and Funding
Application Deadline

The California Sea Grant College Program is now soliciting proposals for projects to begin on/after February 1, 2022. Faculty and academic staff from universities and scientists from research institutions throughout California are invited to apply. California Sea Grant is accepting pre-proposals until 5:00 p.m. PST on March 9, 2021. Full proposals will be due 5:00 p.m. PST on June 8, 2021 via eSeaGrant. Only applicants who have submitted a pre-proposal may submit a full proposal.

We anticipate funding two to four projects contingent upon receipt of anticipated funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Project budgets may have an upper max of $150,000 per year. The duration of a project request is typically two years, though requests for a 1-year award will also be considered. For this solicitation, research projects are required to provide 25% in matching funds from non federal sources.

Successful Sea Grant projects involve both a substantial intellectual question and the promise of useful application to a California coastal or ocean issue. California Sea Grant encourages projects that are likely to yield measurable impacts to the local economy, community, and environment. To that end, each proposal must identify and collaborate with an aquaculture practitioner. These interactions will help ensure that Sea Grant funded research results are useful to and used by stakeholders, and afford access to experienced professionals who can provide reiterating feedback to the project. The process also will help develop practical results for the project in science communication, collaboration, and transferring science to management.

One of the principal goals of California Sea Grant is the application of project results for the benefit of industry; yet, without adequate and early attention to the outreach component of funded projects, research results and outcomes may be of limited value, or completely unknown to stakeholders. A detailed account of outreach plans at the proposal stage helps to identify project audiences, outcomes, and evaluation methods. This essential information ensures that results meet stakeholder needs and that stakeholders receive pertinent information that might be applied in their operations.

This request for proposals (RFP) is focused on proposals that address objectives specific to aquaculture priorities described in the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (SFA) section of our strategic plan. Please see our updated Strategic Plan for complete information on strategies and desired outcomes of California Sea Grant’s Strategic Plan Focus Areas.

California Sea Grant

California Sea Grant’s mission is to provide integrated research, extension, and education to help Californians balance diverse interests that intersect with the coastal and marine environments, and adapt to changing conditions and needs. We accomplish this by collaborating with a range of local, state, regional, national, and international partners to further the generation and application of relevant scientific knowledge.

The National Sea Grant College Program is a partnership between the nation’s universities and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, and is authorized by the United States Congress. California Sea Grant is part of a national network of 34 university-based programs, the National Sea Grant Law Center and the National Sea Grant Library. The network, in cooperation with federal and state agencies, and/or marine industries, partners with over 300 universities and colleges.

Resources Agency Sea Grant Advisory Panel (RASGAP)

This panel is codified in California state law with the purpose of advising and assisting California Sea Grant (as well as the USC Sea Grant program). Input from RASGAP is directed toward identifying and meeting priorities for funding according to the needs identified by state resource protection and management agencies. The RASGAP panel reviews research proposals and provides a resource protection- and management-relevant view of proposal value.

Award Information
Electronic Submission
Application Components
Review Process
Evaluation Criteria
Selection Criteria
Conditions of Award


California Sea Grant hosted an informational webinar to answer questions about the proposal process on February 22, 2021 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm PST.

You can view the recording here.



  • February 2, 2021 - RFP announced
  • February 22, 2021 - Informational webinar and Q&A
  • March 9, 2021 by 5:00 pm PST - Pre-proposals due
  • Early - mid April, 2021 - Technical panel and RASGAP reviews of pre-proposals
  • Late April, 2021 - Feedback on pre-proposals sent back to PIs
  • June 30, 2021 by 5:00 pm PST - Full proposals due
  • June-August, 2021 - Technical panel and RASGAP review of full proposals
  • Late August, 2021 - Applicants notified of recommendations to fund projects
  • On/after February 1, 2022 - Projects begin


Faculty and academic staff from universities and scientists from research institutions throughout California are invited to apply. Applicants may submit more than one pre-proposal/full proposal but if selected, only one award will be made to the principal investigator (PI). In addition, PIs may be listed as co-PIs on other projects even if they are lead PI on their own project. Only applicants who have submitted a pre-proposal may submit a full proposal. To be eligible, the applicant must include a partnership with an aquaculture practitioner (see definition below).

Sea Grant champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by recruiting, retaining and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking. We encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types

Award Information

We anticipate funding two to four projects contingent upon receipt of anticipated funds from NOAA. The duration of a project request is typically two years, though requests for a 1-year award will also be considered. Continuation of a project beyond the first year is subject to demonstration of satisfactory progress by the project investigator.

Project extramural budgets may not exceed $150,000 per year including funds to provide a stipend for one graduate student per year (up to a maximum of $34,000/yr, as appropriate to the student and institution).

In considering budgets, please note that any graduate trainee stipends or tuition support are NOT subject to indirect costs, whereas other project costs (e.g. travel, supplies) typically are subject to indirect costs. The amount requested for a trainee stipend must conform to your institution’s normal stipend for a half-time graduate student at his/her level of experience; however, in any case no more than $34,000 in stipend can be requested. Be prepared to enter any salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for all personnel associated with the project. Also, if applicable, indicate expected costs for expendable supplies, publication costs, and travel.

For this solicitation, California Sea Grant requires a 25% funding match (i.e., application budgets must show $1 of match for every $4 of Sea Grant funding requested). Only non-federal funds may be committed as a matching contribution.

Applicants are encouraged to reach out to Extension Specialists early on in the development of the proposal to seek feedback or advice and potentially partner on the project (see below for a contact list).

Aquaculture Practitioners

This research call requires collaboration with at least one aquaculture practitioner familiar with existing data and/or resource issues central to the proposed research. Aquaculture practitioners should be individuals whose work requires the application of scientific information, particularly the information, data, and findings that will result from the PI’s research project. Aquaculture practitioners may include those who work in the commercial/private sector, affiliated with non-profit organizations, or a member of a public-sector or community-based aquaculture program. Given the diversity of projects typically funded, California Sea Grant recognizes that the aquaculture practitioner collaboration in the project may look different from one project to the next. Each should be tailored to the specific project proposed.

The type of outreach and engagement and the role of the aquaculture practitioner will be determined and defined by the PI, and the activities should complement the proposed research. PIs must include a corresponding letter of commitment from the aquaculture practitioner(s). The apparent or demonstrated depth of proposed collaboration with the aquaculture practitioner(s) is an important factor in the selection process.

Priority Proposal Criteria

While the following is not an extensive list of what should be contained in a full proposal, we will give preference to proposals that can demonstrate one of more of the following criteria:

  • Should be likely to attract additional support for research and/or outreach on the problem, which is not likely to occur through other programs and mechanisms.

  • Should be sufficiently specific to promise significant accomplishment within the funding timeframe.

  • Should be effectively organized and conducted on a regional level, ensuring coordinated and complementary contributions by all participants.

  • Should produce results that can provide the solution to a problem of fundamental importance or fill an information-gap in knowledge from the standpoint of present and future aquaculture in California.

  • Should contain a well-considered and appropriate outreach and engagement plan with defined objectives and deliverables, which is an essential part of any California Sea Grant project.

Priority Topics

Applicants must propose to conduct research that addresses the following Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Focus Area strategies outlined below. In particular these research topics are seen as priority areas for this call for proposals:

  • Causes, influences, and/or solutions related to multi-stressors, in particular those focused on some combination of temperature stress, salinity stress, hypoxia stress, pathogens and/or parasites, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants;

  • Quantification of potential ecosystem services associated with restoration aquaculture;

  • Overcoming permitting challenges including investigating the biological, economic, and/or regulatory feasibility of aquaculture impact avoidance and mitigation;

  • Exploring the feasibility, scalability and/or ecological relevance of conservation/restoration aquaculture, including but not limited to development or testing of culture methods;

  • Developing efficient and cost effective monitoring technologies for evaluating potential ecosystem services and impacts resulting from aquaculture activities;

  • Evaluating strategies for adapting to changes in the seafood supply system through development of new aquaculture products (types, forms, value-added) and/or marketing arrangements.

    • * Note: We are not accepting proposals relating to salmonid restoration and enhancement at this time.

SFA Goal 1: Collect and develop science-based information to support sustainable aquaculture, fisheries, and seafood industries.

  • Strategy 1–1: Collect basic natural, socio-economic and social scientific information on fisheries, including species essential life history and stock information, environmental factors driving variability in stocks, their use and management, and share with policy makers and other stakeholders.

  • Strategy 1–2: Identify and collect information about new or underutilized species potentially suitable for aquaculture and/or fisheries.

  • Strategy 1-3: Conduct research and collect information on economic and environmental viability of aquaculture production and fishing operations and animal health.

  • Strategy 1–4: Support research on culture technologies to further conservation goals, including the recovery of rare species and restocking.

SFA Goal 2: Obtain science-based information on probable anthropogenic impacts— including climate change—on coastal and marine living resources and the communities that rely on them.

  • Strategy 2–1: Examine impacts of anthropogenic and climate-related stressors on key fishery and aquaculture species.

  • Strategy 2–2: Support research on adaptation to changing conditions and the development of resilient species for culture and restoration.

  • Strategy 2-3: Convey information on anthropogenic impacts on key fishery species to policy-makers to support timely and scientifically sound fishery management decisions

SFA Goal 3: Provide science-based information to resource managers, stakeholders, and the general public to better support sustainable aquaculture, fisheries, and seafood industries.

  • Strategy 3-1: Work collaboratively to identify and build information to encourage the social and ecological sustainability of the state’s aquaculture, fisheries, and seafood industries.

  • Strategy 3-2: Convey key information to policymakers and resource managers to support adaptive management of fisheries and aquaculture in California.

  • Strategy 3-3: Create information products aimed at raising public awareness of seafood, fishing, and aquaculture in the state of California

Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at California Sea Grant’s full strategic plan and RASGAP research priorities, and then focus on the specific issue(s) of interest to them.

RASGAP Agency Research Priorities

As identified above the RASGAP panel reviews research proposals and provides a resource protection- and management-relevant view of proposal value. We have compiled research priorities from participating member agencies to provide prospective applicants management relevant research priorities to consider here.

Electronic Submission

  • Pre-proposals should be submitted in eSeaGrant by 5:00pm PST on March 9, 2021.
  • Full proposals are required to be submitted using eSeaGrant by 5:00pm PST on June 8, 2021

*Both pre-proposals and full proposals must be submitted via eSeaGrant

Apply Now!

We use the eSeagrant online system for submission of proposals. If applicants have not registered in eSeaGrant, you will need to register via the online submission “portal”.

Once you login, you can change your password if you would like. To change your password, click on your name in the upper-right corner of the screen, and select “My Profile”.

To start a proposal, or revisit/edit an existing proposal, click on “RFP (Request for Proposals)” on the banner head. Then click on “Add Proposal” under “2022 Aquaculture Awards - pre-proposal”. Only applicants who have submitted a pre-proposal may submit a full proposal, and will receive an invitation to eSeaGrant for their full proposals.

In order to submit a proposal, you must work down the sequence of sections (“Start Here” through “Submission Preview”) listed on the left side of the proposal window. eSeaGrant provides sections to upload signed (endorsed) cover pages, CVs, project narratives, budgets and budget justifications, community stakeholders, engagement strategies, data management plans, environmental compliance (short) forms, current and pending support, matching funds forms, and optional support letters. Some of these pages may require additional calculations and pop-up pages, so please allow your browser to display pop-up windows and enable Javascript. Files to upload must be converted to PDFs before uploading to eSeaGrant . Multiple documents must be consolidated into one PDF for each section (except for CVs).

We recommend that eSeaGrant users access the system, make an account, review submission requirements within it, and start to upload necessary documents well in advance of the submission deadline. This will give users the opportunity to obtain any necessary clarification or assistance before the deadline. The submission deadline will not be extended.

Application Components

Adherence to the format requirements is mandatory, and ensures fairness across all applications. Applications not meeting the format requirements may be rejected without review. Several application elements have specific page limits and excess pages will not be reviewed. Only the requested materials should be submitted; additional documents (e.g., appendices, letters of support, etc.) will not be reviewed. Listed below are the requirements for a complete application package.


Pre-proposals are due in eSeaGrant by 5:00 pm PST March 9, 2021. Pre-proposals will allow California Sea Grant to gauge interest and topics that may be submitted.

A complete pre-proposal must include the following:

  1. Name(s) of of PI and Co-PI(s), affiliation(s), and contact information
  2. Title of project
  3. Project narrative - (maximum four pages not including figures, tables and references) – Comprised of a brief project summary inclusive of project goals or objectives, a background justifying the project, project methods and likely outcomes (to science, aquaculture sector, regulators or the general public), and engagement strategies.
  4. Permits - If permits are required, we ask that this be stated. Ensuring that all permits are properly obtained before research commences is the responsibility of the applicant.
  5. CVs of PI and Co-PI(s) (maximum of 2 pages per person)
  6. Approximate funding to be requested
  7. List of five potential reviewers
  8. Statement of interest from aquaculture practitioner(s) - A general letter of interest from an aquaculture practitioner will be accepted but is optional at the pre-proposal stage
    • If no engagement has yet occurred with potential practitioners, please indicate potential members of interest in the relevant eSeaGrant section, specifically listing the aquaculture sector of interest, and their role.
  9. Diversity questionnaire (optional)

Pre-proposals will be reviewed by an outside panel of technical experts and, separately by RASGAP for state management relevance. RASGAP input is then considered during the pre-proposal technical panel review and the panel’s determination of proposals to be encouraged for full proposal development. Pre-proposals are evaluated using the same criteria as full proposals, which can be found below.

Prospective investigators who submit pre-proposals that are deemed promising and most likely to contribute to California Sea Grant’s focus area objectives will be encouraged to submit full proposals. The same criteria are used to evaluate pre-proposals and full proposals and can be found below.

Emails to applicants will be sent out no later than the end of April to encourage or discourage a full proposal. However, late pre-proposals will not be considered and any associated full applications will not be accepted.

Full Proposal

*Note: Only those who submitted a pre-proposal are eligible to submit a full proposal

A complete full proposal must include the following:

  1. Title page - The title page provides basic summary information regarding the project and identifies which goal(s) and objective(s) of the strategic plan the project addresses. Proposers should download and use the fillable Excel spreadsheet found in the eSeaGrant application portal to enter this information and then upload it as a PDF in.
    • *Please provide all requested information and obtain the required signatures. If you are applying from an academic institution, send your original proposal to your campus research office for local campus approval.
  2. Project Summary - The Project Summary is fillable on-line in eSeaGrant. Proposers will need to prepare separate sections for objectives, methodology and rationale to complete the project summary form. The project summary presents a concise description of the proposed research in a form useful to a variety of readers not requiring detailed information. Instructions are available in eSeaGrant that should help applicants to accurately complete the form. Please follow them carefully - the project summary is the most widely consulted description of your project.
  3. CVs and Additional Personnel - CVs (maximum 2 pages for each person) of all key personnel (PIs, co-PIs, Associate PIs) must be included in the submission. Each investigator (PI or co-PI) record created in eSeaGrant should have a CV associated with it.
    • Listing “Additional Personnel” is optional and this section is to be used at your discretion. You might include all additional personnel who are NOT listed as investigators (e.g. Postdoc, key graduate student). If there are additional personnel who are not the PI or co-PI’s their CV’s should be attached to the Project Narrative file. These will not count toward the 12-page limit.
    • Note: If a CV that is longer than 2 pages is submitted, Sea Grant will provide reviewers only with the first 2 pages of CV for each PI and co-PI.
  4. Project Narrative - The project narrative format and contents may vary; however, proposals should include the information listed below. The project narrative MUST not exceed 12 pages (INCLUDING, Project Summary, Introduction, Objectives, Approach, Outcomes and Deliverables, illustrations, charts, tables, and figures). Proposals exceeding this size limit will not be reviewed.
    • Introduction and Background – Provide the rationale for your project (a well-defined problem or important opportunity). Show a clear relationship between the problem statement and the project objectives. Merit, rationale, innovativeness and utilization for the research proposed are criteria by which proposals are evaluated. Thus, a clear, concise statement of the “real world” need for your research (rationale), a description of who might use the results and how they might use them (utilization) should be addressed. The project should be solution based.
    • Objectives – In number or “bullet” format, list the Objectives or Goals of the research program.
    • Approach (Plan of Work) – Present the scientific/technical approach, experiments, procedures, timeline, etc. Identify and discuss any new approaches (innovativeness) to solving problems and exploiting opportunities in resource management or development, including public outreach. Please make clear what other sources of support (fiscal, personnel or logistical), if any, will be used to help support the work proposed. A project timeline in a chart or table format depicting deliverables and milestones is required.
    • Outcomes and Deliverables – Project outcomes should be clearly related to the project objectives and should be briefly described. Any planned interactions with relevant management personnel should be described. Within the design of the project, applicants should identify which group(s) of stakeholders will benefit from the work performed. Each proposal should clearly describe how users of information will be engaged before work begins, during the project, and how results will be disseminated to the targeted stakeholder.
    • Permits - If permits are required, we ask that this be stated in the proposal text. Ensuring that all permits are properly obtained before research commences is the responsibility of the applicant. If your project is selected for funding we ask that you email a copy of your permit, or a copy of your application for said permit to sgproposal@ucsd.edu.
    • References – List all included references alphabetically. The list of References does NOT count toward the 12-page limit of the narrative but must be included in the narrative pdf file.
  5. Aquaculture Practitioner- At minimum at least one aquaculture practitioner must be identified. This entity may be a funded or non-funded partner on the project.
    • A commitment letter is required from at least one identified aquaculture practitioner. The letter should explain the role they will play in the proposed project, the anticipated activities involved, relevance of research results to the stakeholder, and the value of the proposed project to the stakeholder. Specifically this letter should clearly indicate what the aquaculture practitioner is committed to doing in concert with the proposed project if it is funded.
    • Given the diversity of projects typically funded, California Sea Grant recognizes that the practitioner involvement in the project may look different from one project to the next. Each should be tailored to the specific project proposed.
    • Full proposals will also identify and list other potential stakeholder group(s), the research implications, and relevance of their proposed work. The goal of this component should be communicating research results to or working with the specified aquaculture practitioner(s).
  6. Outreach and Engagement Plan - (maximum of 2 pages)
    • The Outreach and Engagement Plan is a document that describes how the proposed project and project team will interact with the aquaculture practitioner as well as any other relevant stakeholder groups, throughout the project.
      • The strategies for engagement should include:
        • Implication, practical application, and direct link of proposed research to managers, stakeholders, and/or other users
        • General communication plan for project team throughout the project, including project team and broader community planned outreach and engagement activities associated with the proposed project
        • Clearly described roles and responsibilities for performing engagement activities throughout the project
        • How any project deliverables will be communicated, disseminated, integrated, and/or distributed to potential end users beyond the project team
        • Possible interaction and engagement with California Sea Grant as a part of the project.
    • Comprehensive outreach components of the plan should contain the following information for each research objective:
      • Target Audience: Who will receive the information generated?
      • Intended Learning Outcomes: What will be learned?
      • Intended Management and/or Behavioral Outcomes: What will be the management or behavioral outcomes?
      • Procedures to Achieve Intended Outcomes
        • Inputs: Who will do what and at what cost? How will the target audience be contacted?
        • Outputs/Outcome: What products will be developed and at what cost? What publications, workshops, demonstrations, etc. will be developed?
      • Evaluation Plan: What methods will be used to measure what learning or behavioral changes have occurred?
  7. Environmental Questionnaire - An Abbreviated Environmental Questionnaire is required with each application. If needed, please include information on the project’s compliance. The National Sea Grant Office will have to determine whether the project is in compliance prior to issuing funding awards. Applicants can download a fillable questionnaire form in the eSeaGrant application. Only one questionnaire is to be submitted per project/proposal, even if there are to be sub-awards issued to multiple institutions. For questions not applicable to the proposed research, please note N/A on the form. Leave blank the question about Grant/Project Number. This is an “abbreviated” form, so question numbers are not continuous.
  8. Data Management and Sharing Plan - Because funds for our Core research program are provided by NOAA, all new Sea Grant awards that generate environmental data (see below) will have to conform to NOAA’s Data Sharing Directive. Describe how data and other information generated by the project will be handled, stored, and shared, i.e., disseminated to the public, participants, stakeholders, and the State.If your proposed project will generate environmental data your proposal must address the following to be eligible for support (text supplied by NOAA).
    • Environmental data and information collected or created under NOAA grants or cooperative agreements must be made discoverable by and accessible to the general public, in a timely fashion (typically within two years), free of charge or at no more than the cost of reproduction, unless an exemption is granted by the NOAA Program. Data should be available in at least one machine-readable format, preferably a widely-used or open-standard format, and should also be accompanied by machine-readable documentation (metadata), preferably based on widely-used or international standards.
    • Proposals submitted in response to this announcement must include a data management plan of up to two pages describing how these requirements will be satisfied. The data management plan should be aligned with the data management guidance provided by NOAA in the announcement. The contents of the data management plan (or absence thereof), and past performance regarding such plans, will be considered as part of proposal review. A typical plan should include descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project; the tentative date by which data will be shared; the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content; methods for providing data access; approximate total volume of data to be collected; and prior experience in making such data accessible. The costs of data preparation, accessibility, or archiving may be included in the proposal budget unless otherwise stated in the guidance. Accepted submission of data to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is one way to satisfy data sharing requirements; however, NCEI is not obligated to accept all submissions and may charge a fee, particularly for large or unusual datasets.
    • NOAA may, at its own discretion, make publicly visible the data management plan from funded proposals, or use information from the data management plan to produce a formal metadata record and include that metadata in a catalog to indicate the pending availability of new data.
    • Proposal submitters are hereby advised that the final pre-publication manuscripts of scholarly articles produced entirely or primarily with NOAA funding will be required to be submitted to NOAA Institutional Repository after acceptance, and no later than upon publication. Such manuscripts shall be made publicly available by NOAA one year after publication by the journal.
    • It is the investigator’s responsibility to conform to this directive and no award can be issued absent an acceptable data management plan. The data management plan can be uploaded as a separate PDF in eSeaGrant or, at the PI’s discretion, can be appended to the project narrative as a separate statement after the references. In the latter case, it will not count toward the 12-page narrative limit. If the proposed research will not generate environmental data then a data management plan is not required, but this must be stated in eSeaGrant.
  9. Budgets and Budget Justification - Eligible proposing institutions are welcome to propose research lasting up to two years in duration and requesting a maximum of $150,000/year (sum of Direct Costs plus Indirect Costs on modified total direct costs (MTDC). Shorter duration research projects and/or those requesting above the minimum allowable funds but less than the maximum allowable funds are welcomed.
    • Be prepared to enter any salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for all personnel associated with the project. Also, if applicable, indicate expected costs for equipment, expendable supplies, publication costs, and travel.
    • All budget entries will require justification. See the “Instructions” worksheet, and example budget worksheet “Budget Just Y1 EXAMPLE”, enclosed in the Excel budget file to guide you in preparing the budget.
    • If recommended for funding, California Sea Grant may ask you to work with staff to revise your budget to make sure that the project budget, indirect costs, match, etc. is correct. Note that both federal and state funds will be used to support projects approved for funding, so please use your institution’s federally negotiated rate when completing your budget, and if your project is approved for funding using state funds, you will be asked to revise your budget to the state’s IDC rate of 30% MTDC.
    • The amount requested for a trainee stipend must conform to your institution’s normal stipend for a half-time graduate student at his/her level of experience; however, in any case no more than $34,000 in stipend can be requested.
  10. Current and Pending Support - Using the section online in eSeaGrant, please list other current and pending projects associated with investigators.
  11. Previous Sea Grant Support and Accomplishments - In this section please list any prior funding you have received from California Sea Grant (date funded, project title) and what the results of your research were.
  12. Support Letters - Support letters are optional. However, if they are to be included in the application, please consolidate all letters into one PDF for uploading to eSeaGrant.
  13. Diversity questionnaire (optional)

Review Process

The California Sea Grant College Program emphasizes innovative applied research on ocean and coastal resources and processes. Research with a strong theoretical basis that encompasses clear, testable hypotheses is desirable. In contrast, low priority is given to survey or inventory studies. Research that has national or international application, or that addresses important regional issues, problems, and opportunities is appropriate. Potential applicants are encouraged to check the “Research Projects” section of our website for examples of projects currently funded.

The procedure for selection of new California Sea Grant projects involves the following four steps:

  1. Evaluation of preliminary proposals
  2. Submission and evaluation of full proposals
  3. Final adjustments, if necessary, to conform to budget allocation
  4. Inclusion of recommended individual proposals in the California Sea Grant College Program Omnibus Proposal submitted to NOAA

Full proposals are reviewed by a technical panel of experts put together by California Sea Grant and chosen for their expertise relative to the topic of each proposal. Each proposal is considered on its own merits without regard to campus or institutional affiliation.

In addition RASGAP (a panel composed largely of technical experts employed by state resources agencies) also will review proposals and provide input towards identifying research priorities based on state resource management needs.

Technical panelists and RASGAP will use the same evaluation criteria.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used in evaluating each proposal:

  1. Importance/relevance and applicability of proposed projects to the program goals (30%): The degree to which the proposed activity addresses an important issue, problem or opportunity in the health, development, use or management of marine or coastal resources and ecosystems. The degree to which the proposed activity will contribute to reaching the objectives of California Sea Grant as described in the California Sea Grant 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, and the degree to which the proposed activity addresses the needs of important state, regional or national constituencies.
  2. Technical/scientific merit (30%): The degree to which the activity will advance the state of the science or discipline through use of state-of-the-art methods.
  3. Overall qualifications of the applicant (5%): The degree to which the team of investigators and partners are qualified by education, training and/or experience to execute the proposed activity. Evidence of any record of achievement with previous funding. The degree to which the project team demonstrates capabilities, abilities, and expertise to lead a successful project.
  4. Project costs (5%)
  5. Outreach and education (20%): The degree to which users or potential users of the results of the proposed activity have been brought into the planning of the activity, will be brought into the execution of the activity or will be kept apprised of progress and results. If applicable, provide evidence of integration with the California Sea Grant Extension Program.
  6. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (10%): The degree to which the proposed activity broadens the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., based on gender, race & ethnicity, disability, geographic, socio-economic class, etc) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Selection Criteria

Selection of proposals for funding shall occur in the rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based on one or more of the following factors:

  1. Availability of funding
  2. Balance/distribution of funds:
    • Geographically
    • By type of institution
    • By type of partners
    • By focus area
    • By project types
  3. Targeting gaps in priority strategic plan goals and objectives
  4. Applicant’s prior award performance
  5. Partnerships with/participation of diverse groups. mentors and underrepresented communities
  6. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a NEPA determination and draft necessary documentation before recommendations for funding are made to the Grants Officer.

When all the input is received from the technical panel and RASGAP, the California Sea Grant Management Team and Director of California Sea Grant will make the final recommendations regarding approval of proposals for funding. The National Sea Grant Office will then review and approve those recommendations.

Recommended proposals are compiled by the California Sea Grant College Program into an institutional proposal containing: project and program summaries, budget pages, full proposal narratives, curricula vitae, and letters of support.

The institutional proposal, called the California Sea Grant College Program Omnibus, is submitted to the National Sea Grant College Program for funding and implementation starting on or after February 1 of the following year (depending on when federal funds are ultimately received by California Sea Grant).

If you have any questions, or desire more information about this process, please do not hesitate to contact sgproposal@ucsd.edu.

Conditions of Award

Throughout the award period, PIs will be required to:

  • Submit Reports - Provide progress reports to California Sea Grant on an annual basis, including a final report, and a copy of any thesis or dissertation from students supported by this award, even if it is completed after the award period. Progress Reports and Final Reports are extremely important for describing the impacts, accomplishments, products, and outreach that were accomplished during the life of a project.
  • Work with California Sea Grant’s Communication Team - Assist California Sea Grant efforts to publicize their research activities.
  • Acknowledge Support - Acknowledge California Sea Grant support in all relevant presentations and publications.Attributions to California Sea Grant Sea Grant-funded (or supported) projects require attribution and funding acknowledgement. This page offers Sea Grant logos and guidance for attributions and disclaimers regarding funding from Sea Grant.


Proposal Content & eSeaGrant Questions


Budget Questions/Matching Funds Questions:

Rose Madson, Assistant Director

California Sea Grant Extension Specialists - Aquaculture

Theresa Talley, Specialist
San Diego

Carolynn Culver, Specialist
Santa Barbara

Kevin Johnson, Specialist
San Luis Obispo

Luke Gardner, Specialist
Monterey Bay

Kristin Aquilino, Specialist
Bodega Bay

Joe Tyburczy, Specialist