Collaborative Fisheries Research West

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

CFR West: Call for Full Proposals – 2012

Request for Collaborative Fisheries Research Proposals for California fisheries

Funding cycle: July 1, 2012—June 30, 2014

CFR West, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and California Sea Grant (CASG) are now soliciting letters of intent for projects to begin July 1, 2012. Collaborative teams of fishermen, resource managers and scientists interested in conducting applied fisheries research are invited to apply. Subject to funding availability, up to $968,000 may be available over two years to fund up to six research projects during 2012-2014.

Project submission and review schedule

Letter of intent due: January 5, 2012 (midnight, PST)
Notice of review and recommendations for full proposals: February 27, 2012
Full proposals due: April 16, 2012 (midnight, PDT)
Proposal review completed and project(s) selected: May 25, 2012 (approximate)
Notice of funding decisions: early June, 2012
Projects begin: July 1, 2012

Collaborative Fisheries Research

Collaborative fisheries research (CFR) is an active partnership between fishermen and scientists, managers and other stakeholders, all of whom participate in designing and conducting priority research projects that will inform fisheries management decisions. Existing and emerging fisheries management and ecosystem evaluation depend on high-quality data. This RFP is a first step towards meeting these information needs through fishermen/scientific/management partnerships that will collect data necessary to the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), the Fish and Game Commission (Commission), the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the OPC.

Projects that are highly relevant to management, scientifically and technically robust, collaborative and engage the broader community are the highest priority. Close communication with CFR West and CDFG, Commission, PFMC and NMFS staff, as well as members of the fishing community, will aid prospective investigators in refining their proposals to best meet these needs. Generally, research that contributes to sustainable fisheries management, addresses data-deficient fisheries, bears directly on fishery regulations, or otherwise aids in meeting the objectives of the Marine Life Management Act or the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (as amended, 2007) is of interest. For all projects, investigators must articulate how their results will contribute towards meeting current management needs.

The diverse range of potential research topics includes, but is not limited to, proposals that investigate:


  • Life history (e.g., size by age, maturity, and sex; spawning phenology)
  • Movement patterns and habitat use by life stage
  • Diet and foraging behavior
  • Marine reserve effects
  • Effects of climate/oceanographic changes (e.g., ocean acidification, oxygen depletion, higher temperatures) on species, ecosystems, and fisheries.


  • Catch composition and disposition (targeted species and bycatch)
  • Evaluation of management actions (e.g., adaptive management, application of management strategy evaluation)
  • Development of fishing associations for specific fisheries (e.g., sea cucumber) and with strong management partnerships

Methods, Tools and Technology (new, improved or alternative)

  • Improvements to monitoring commercial and recreational fisheries (e.g., deckhand data collection program; recreational shore angler monitoring, techniques for closed areas)
  • Age or year class determination
  • Biomass estimation
  • Stock status evaluation (e.g. for data-limited fisheries)
  • Electronic data collection systems (e.g., digital logbooks; weigh stations with digital landing receipts; video vs. onboard observers)
  • Seafood safety/quality

Conservation Engineering

  • Bycatch reduction, discard mortality reduction, and survivorship estimation
  • Minimization of habitat impacts
  • Improvement of gear efficiency and specificity

Applicants are encouraged to contact CFR West to receive more specific feedback concerning particular research issues.

Collaborative Fisheries Research Project Teams

Project teams must include fishermen (commercial, recreational, subsistence, artisanal), scientists and resource managers from one or more governmental or tribal agencies tasked with managing marine fisheries. Collaborations are expected to be open and collaborative partnerships, where all members contribute significantly to the research and its success. Questions regarding the composition of these partnerships including requests for assistance in identifying potential partners should be directed to the CFR West Executive Director.

Project teams are required to contact the CFR West Executive Director to discuss research plans and strategies for collaboration prior to submitting a letter of intent. Applicants are also encouraged to review the CFR West guiding principles at

Letter of Intent

The deadline for submission of Letters of Intent has passed (January 5, 2012). To see more information about Letters of Intent, please view the Letters of Intent page.

Full Proposal
  1. Full proposals are due midnight PST on April 16, 2012.
  2. Full proposal guidelines are shown below (updated March 2, 2012). Contact if you have questions or concerns.
  3. Projects will be selected for funding based on the following evaluation criteria:
    1. Project Relevance (35%): Importance, relevance and applicability of proposed project to fishery management; evidence of cooperation with the appropriate resource management agency/agencies; evidence of cooperation with the appropriate fishing community/communities.
    2. Technical and Scientific Merit (30%): The degree to which the activity will advance scientific understanding and whether the approach is technically sound and innovative, including
      • clearly stated goals and measurable objectives;
      • project technical feasibility and use of appropriate methods;
      • appropriate mechanisms to evaluate the success of the project; and
      • the likelihood of meeting milestones and achieving anticipated results in the time proposed.
    3. Research partnership (20%): Strength of the applicant team (e.g., do the partners collectively possess the necessary background, skills and resources needed for the project?); and evaluation of the collaborative partnership work plan (e.g., how will the partners collaboratively work together; what resources and contributions will the partners bring to the project; are the strengths of the different partners incorporated effectively into the project work; who will be responsible for maintaining the data and how will the data be shared; and is the plan carefully thought-out?).
    4. Project Costs (10%): Budget evaluation to determine if costs are realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-frame, reasonable given the availability of program funds, effectively leverage other resources to achieve project objectives, and consistent with an equitable partnership.
    5. Plan for outreach and engagement (5%): Projects should incorporate plans for sharing their data with the appropriate resource management agency as well as providing for a modest effort towards disseminating their results to fishing communities and the general public.
  4. Each completed full proposal will be subject to review and selection will be competitive. CFR West and California Sea Grant will convene a technical review panel (comprised of technical experts including academic and fisheries agency scientists, resource managers and fishermen) to develop funding recommendations for collaborative fisheries research based on the criteria outlined above. All applicants will be notified of the selection decision by early June 2012.
  5. Funded projects should plan for a July 1, 2012 start date.
Components of Full Proposals (updated March 2, 2012)
  1. Title Page
    A signed title page must be included with the application. The title page must be converted to a PDF.
  2. Project Summary
    Please limit your summary to 1000 words, including the project title, PI (and PI affiliation), co- or associated PIs (and their respective affiliations), total funds requested, total matching funds, objectives (limit to 200 words), methodology (limit to 300 words), rationale (limit to 175 words), and expected accomplishments (limit to 175 words). Please include PI and co-PI information and fund data into the Objectives section. This information will not be counted against the 200-word limit for the Objectives section.

    For objectives, concisely state what the investigator will undertake, providing for later comparison to project results. State the methodology to be used with an optional one or two-sentence preface. Specific questions that an interested person would ask should be answered under Objectives or Methodology. For rationale, concisely state why you are addressing this problem or opportunity. Though the project need not promise to fully solve a problem, it should be shown to be a logical step towards a solution. This should be included in the expected accomplishments. Expected accomplishments can be included in Rationale. Avoid long background statements and identify potential users.
  3. Project Narrative
    Proposal format may vary, however proposals should include all the information listed below. The proposal narrative should not exceed 15 pages (excluding references, illustrations, charts, tables, and figures).
    1. Project Title – Project titles should be constructed to provide as much information as possible but must not exceed two lines (approximately 16 words).
    2. Project Leader(s) and collaborators - The roles of the project leader(s) and collaborators should be included.
    3. 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. Discuss previous work by you and others on the problem, as well as the current state of knowledge. Briefly relate your project to similar activities conducted by others in the subject area, whether supported by Sea Grant, CFR West or other federal, state or local funding agencies (NOAA, NSF, etc.). 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 will use the results and how they will use them (utilization) should be addressed.
    4. Approach to be Used (Plan of Work) – Discuss how the activity will advance the state of the science or discipline through use and extension of state-of-the-art methods. Present the scientific/technical approach, experiments, procedures, etc., according to the timetable above. Identify and discuss any new approaches (innovativeness) to solving problems and exploiting opportunities in resource management or development including public outreach. Describe the degree to which the proposed activity will focus on new types of important or potentially important resources and issues. Describe the respective responsibilities of the partners in your project and how your partners will work collaboratively. Include your plans for engaging the relevant fishing and management communities and how you will provide outreach to the broader community.
    5. Outcomes and Deliverables – Project outcomes should be clearly related to the initial project goals. A clear description of the intended project deliverables should be provided, including planned interactions with relevant management personnel, description of final reports, data and other products, and associated timelines for development and delivery.
    6. References – List all included references alphabetically following the list format from the Chicago Manual of Style.
  4. Budgets and Budget Justification
    For each budget year, create a new budget worksheet. Be prepared to enter salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for all personnel associated with the project. Also collect a list of permanent equipment to be acquired through the proposal, along with expected costs for expendable supplies, publication costs, and travel.

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

    This budget form may help in planning your budget. Please remember that your budget submission and justification must be completed using the online form. Do not submit this Excel worksheet as your final budget.
  5. Current and Pending Support
    Using the section online, please list other current and pending projects associated with investigators.
  6. Time Schedule
    Please use this form to describe expected activity and milestones for this project. Use as many forms as needed to create a complete schedule, but create only one complete PDF to post to the website.
  7. Support Letters
    Support letters are not required. However, if they are included in the application, please consolidate all letters into one PDF for posting to the website.
  8. CVs
    CVs 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, our proposal submission web site (link below). 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 CV through that investigator’s form.

List of Required Forms


To begin the submission of your full proposal, please go to and register for a new account or log into the site if you already have an account established. Click on the link labeled “Start a New Proposal”. Select “Collaborative Fisheries Research West Full Proposal”. Click on “Start” on the right to begin.

Award Details

Projects must include at least a 25% match (cash and/or in-kind) from applicants. In-kind contributions must be documented and auditable. Larger matches or additional cost-sharing arrangements are encouraged and will be considered during proposal evaluation. Examples of allowable items for matching CFR West funds include funds from other sources with documentation indicating a commitment to applying those funds to the project, existing wages, salaries and benefits of investigators and others, costs of using expendable supplies and equipment already in inventory, costs of ship time, industry participation (calculated in project-dedicated hours), and donated supplies, service, space, or equipment.

The maximum award size will be $242,000 over the project duration of two years. Research conducted with OPC funds must limit the indirect cost (F&A; facilities & administrative) rate to 25% or less. However, UC institutions should use a 15% SWB (salaries, wages and benefits and consultants only) rate per waiver 07R-202.

Annual Progress and Final Reports

For projects exceeding 16 months duration, annual progress reports are required at 12-month intervals following the contract start date. The annual progress report should briefly describe progress towards specified project goals, and provide timelines (progress in meeting milestones) for work completed and remaining project work. California Sea Grant will provide the format requirements for the annual report.

At the conclusion of the project, each project is required to produce and deliver a final report to California Sea Grant. The annual and final reports will be posted on the websites of CFR West and California Sea Grant. Final reports must include the following sections:

  1. A narrative accounting of the project’s progress towards program purposes and project goals.
  2. An Executive Summary, summarizing methods and key findings and conclusions, in 1-2 pages of text and, if needed, an additional 1-2 pages of figures. The Executive Summary should be written to be appropriate for broad public release.

Project principal investigators need to also provide updated financial information including budgeted costs and actual expenditures and justifications for variances. Incurred or anticipated budget (positive or negative) variances in excess of 10% of the budgeted amount should be approved by the Sea Grant Office. Invoices for reimbursement must include a completed project summary form, salaries detail (rate of pay, number of hours etc.), ledgers, back-up documentation for all travel-related expenses and for direct expenditures for any single purchase of equipment or materials in excess of $250 by the research project. Quarterly summary reports are required. The quarterly report should include a summary of work performed in relation to the expenses listed in the invoice. This should be a brief (i.e., two paragraphs) description of the work that was performed during the time for which the PI is seeking reimbursement. It should explain what the activities were for which the PI spent research funds and how the activities were consistent with the research project work plan (budget, timeline, tasks, etc.). Please note that this brief summary is different from the annual progress report mentioned above.

Supporting Information

Information regarding CFR West, including guiding principles and the grants program is available at the website. The CDFG Marine Region website includes information on specific research interests. NMFS has a cooperative research program; their website includes information on past projects and interests.

For Further Information

Prospective investigators should contact the CFR West Executive Director:

Peter Nelson