Call for Full Proposals

Funding Category
Grants and Funding
Application Deadline
e-SeaGrant IT Help:
Proposal Budget Help:
Proposal Contact:

Call for Full Proposals 2016

Below are instructions for preparing and submitting a full proposal to California Sea Grant for consideration for funding from our Core Program in 2016.

You may submit a proposal ONLY if you previously submitted a 2016 pre-proposal to us (due in March 2015).

Full Proposal Submission
List of Potential Reviewers
Review Process
Criteria for Proposal Evaluation
Proposal Format
Contents of Full Proposal
Preparing Budget Forms

This year we solicited applications for Standard Core Awards of 2-year’s duration, with a maximum budget of $125,000 per year (to include indirect costs, if any), plus one graduate trainee if requested and justified. 

Full Proposal Submission - California Sea Grant Research Proposals

For full details on application guidance and requirements, please refer to our 2016 Full Proposal Instructions in the sidebar.


List of Potential Reviewers

We ask each proposer to send to us the name and contact information (institutional affiliation, email, and phone number) of 10 potential (non-conflicted) reviewers. You may use something similar to this document. (

Send this information to by June 19, 2015.


Full Proposal Timeline
  • June 19, 2015 – List of 10 potential reviewers due
  • June 30, 2015 (4:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time) – Full proposals due
  • Mid-September, 2015 (approx) – External reviews and Panel reviews completed
  • Late-September, 2015 (approx) – Proposal authors notified

Review Process

The California Sea Grant College Program solicits proposals for a variety of funding opportunities. The process described below is for submission to this year’s Standard Core Award research competition. In addition to Special Focus and Standard Core Award competitions, the program administers National Sea Grant College Program competitions that include a variety of fellowships, National Strategic Investments, and special one-time funding opportunities; the process described below does not pertain to these other special competitions. 

Each year a call for preliminary project proposals is widely distributed throughout California.  Preliminary proposals are reviewed by California Sea Grant technical staff and the California Sea Grant Committee (outside panelists selected for disciplinary expertise).  At this stage, screening is based on the project’s innovative approach, uniqueness of the idea, importance, quality of science, and appropriateness to Sea Grant.  Each pre-proposal is considered on its own merits without regard for campus or institutional affiliation.  In addition, the Resources Agency Sea Grant Advisory Panel (RASGAP) also will review preliminary proposals.  Input from RASGAP is directed toward identifying research priorities based on state need.  Full proposals are encouraged on those topics that rate highest based on scientific value and state need.

Full proposals are distributed to external merit reviewers who are chosen for their expertise relative to the topic of each proposal. The California Sea Grant Committee meets to evaluate full proposals with the benefit of the written merit reviews. Criteria for selection at this step include: (1) rationale; (2) scientific merit and impact or outreach quality; (3) innovativeness; (4) programmatic justification; (5) practical impact and user relationships; and (6) relationship to Sea Grant priorities. Merit reviews, user collaboration, expected impact (scientific and practical), and (optional) letters of support from potential users help determine whether these criteria are met. The RASGAP also meets again to evaluate full proposals and provide advice to Sea Grant. 

When all the input is received from the external merit reviewers, the California Sea Grant Committee, and RASGAP, the California Sea Grant Management Team and Director of California Sea Grant make the final recommendations regarding approval of proposals for funding. The National Sea Grant Office then reviews and approves 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.

Discouraged preliminary proposals may still be submitted as formal proposals. That choice is up to the proposers.  However, discouragement represents the collective opinion of California Sea Grant and its advisors that any proposal submitted, based on that pre-proposal, has a low probability of being funded. 


Criteria for Proposal Evaluation

The California Sea Grant College Program (CSGCP) will use the following criteria in evaluating projects.  Not all are given equal weight.

Project Rationale

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.

Scientific Merit

The degree to which the activity will advance the state of the science or discipline through use of state-of-the-art methods.


The degree to which new approaches to solving problems and exploiting opportunities in resource management or development will be employed; alternatively, the degree to which the activity will focus on important or potentially important ecosystem problems, resources and issues.

Programmatic Justification and Relationship to Sea Grant Priorities

The degree to which the proposed activity will contribute to reaching the objectives of the CSGCP as described in the California Sea Grant 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, and the degree to which the proposed activity addresses the needs of important state, regional or national constituencies.

User Relationships & Outreach

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.

Qualifications and Past Record of Investigators

The degree to which investigators are qualified by education, training and/or experience to execute the proposed activity.  Evidence of any record of achievement with previous funding.


Proposal Format

Individual proposals, which include narratives, project summaries, budget pages, budget justification, 2-page curricula vitae, and optional letters of support, will be compiled to form the omnibus proposal submitted to the National Sea Grant Program. To facilitate completion of the omnibus proposal, we require that your proposal be prepared according to the following specifications:

1. Type Fonts: 11 point Arial or Helvetica.

2. Margins: Side, top and bottom margins should be approximately 1 inch each.

3. Line Spacing: The narrative of the proposal should be single-spaced. Please do not use 1½ line spacing.

4. Format Style:

  •  Project Title: centered
  •  Narrative Headings: left justified, bold
  •  Page numbers: required 

5. Graphics: Any tables, figures and illustrations must be submitted in final form and appended to or embedded within the narrative.   Graphics count toward the 12-page limit of the proposal narrative.


Contents of Full Proposal

Listed below are the requirements for a complete proposal package. Please use this as an inventory checklist to aid you in preparing the full proposal.

Title Page
A signed title page (blank copy downloadable in Excel or pdf format here) must be included with the proposal. 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. The completed and signed title page must be converted to a PDF and uploaded.

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 proposal 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. 

Project Narrative
The Project Narrative format may vary, however proposals should include the information listed below. The project narrative MUST not exceed 12 pages (INCLUDING, Introduction, Objectives, Approach, 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) and a description of who might use the results and how they might use them (utilization) should be addressed.

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, 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. 

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.

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.)

Data Management/Sharing Plan

Because funds for our Core research program are provided by NOAA, all new Sea Grant awards will have to conform to NOAA’s recent Directive on Data Management, available at .  This directive says:

Environmental data will be visible, accessible and independently understandable to users, except where limited by law, regulation, policy (such as those applicable to personally identifiable information or protected critical infrastructure information or proprietary trade information) or by security requirements.

Accordingly, data and information collected and/or created under Sea Grant 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). 

The proposal must contain a statement by the Principal Investigator that describes his/her willingness and plan to conform to this Directive, as appropriate (i.e. if environmental data will be collected).  This statement might, for example, identify the types of data that will be collected, assert that it will be available within a specified time, and identify how data can be accessed or retrieved by interested parties.  If no environmental data will be collected a simple statement to this effect will suffice.

It is the investigator’s responsibility to conform to this Directive and no award can be issued absent an acceptable Data Management/Sharing Plan.  The Data Management/Sharing Plan can be appended to the project narrative as a separate statement after the References and will not count toward the 12-page limit.  Alternatively, the proposer can use a Data Management Plan template provided within eSeagrant.

Budgets and Budget Justification
The maximum budget is $125,000 per year, to include indirect costs, plus one graduate trainee if requested and justified.  In considering budgets, please note that 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 $27,000 per year in stipend can be requested.  Tuition remission, if requested, must come from the $125,000 per year limit.

Budget worksheets will need to be created in eSeaGrant. 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.  Matching funds will also be itemized on this budget worksheet.  Matching funds must total at least 50% of TOTAL funds requested (see below for details).

All budget sections will require justification. Review the online help section to see what is expected as justification for each section.

A budget workbook in Excel may help in planning your budget. However, please remember that your budget submission and justification must be completed using the online form in eSeagrant.  Do not submit the Excel file as your final budget

CVs (maximum 2 pages for each person) of all key personnel (PIs, co-PIs, Associate PIs) must be included in the submission. Each CV should have an investigator record created in eSeaGrant. It is possible that some investigators already have basic information stored in our database. A search by email address may help find those matching records. If no record is found, please fill out a new record. In all cases, please upload a 2-page CV through that investigator’s form.

Note: several reviewers have complained about PIs and co-PIs providing excessively long CVs, and we are sympathetic to their complaints.  If you have uploaded a longer CV please replace it with one of no more than 2 pages length.  Sea Grant will provide reviewers only with the first 2 pages of CV for each PI and co-PI.

Current and Pending Support
Using the section online, please list other current and pending projects associated with investigators.

Proposed Sources of Matching Funds
Please list the proposed source(s) of Institutional and Other Non-Federal matching funds associated with your proposal on the form provided here.  The completed Matching Funds form must be converted to a pdf and uploaded into eSeagrant.

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.


Preparing Budget Forms

See "Proposal Budget Forms"