CASG Program Development Awards

***This grant opportunity is currently closed***

Program Development awards support short-term activities that include quick responses to unexpected events or program-development efforts. The turnaround time between the date of the request (proposal submission) and beginning of the project is typically 2 months. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the California Sea Grant Director before writing a Program Development proposal.

The California Sea Grant College Program emphasizes innovative research on ocean and coastal resources and processes with a well-developed rationale and a strong potential for broad application. University-based research that has broad national or international application is appropriate. Work with a strong theoretical basis that encompasses clear, testable hypotheses is desirable; low priority is given to survey or inventory studies. Research that addresses important regional issues, problems and opportunities is also appropriate. An educational or outreach component of research projects is valued.

Proposal Requirements
Additional Requirements
Proposal Contents
Postaward Requirements

Requirements for Program Development Proposals

Criteria for Request
  1. Timeliness/Urgency of the Research - Because conditions in the marine environment can change rapidly as a result of both human and natural causes, problems that need immediate attention can arise and are not amenable to waiting until the next Core Proposal cycle.
  2. Proof of Concept/Preliminary Data - A small, short-term project may be needed to demonstrate that the concept or approach has merit especially in light of plans to develop a full proposal in the next Core Proposal cycle. Or, the proposal idea needs sufficient or additional preliminary data to make it competitive.
  3. Conference/Symposium/Workshop Support - Funds are needed to successfully execute a meeting with topical relevance to California Sea Grant (see Strategic Plan for topics of interest to CASG). Funds typically are requested to provide travel support for invited speakers; to publish meeting proceedings and/or programs; and for meeting coordination. Grant funds should not be requested to cover entertainment-related (including food) expenses.
  4. Travel to Meetings to Present Findings from Sea Grant Funded Research - Funds are needed to cover one investigator (PI or student) to disseminate research results at a relevant scientific meeting that was unplanned and is taking place shortly after the end of the original grant period.
Additional Requirements
  • Program Development proposals are restricted to one year in length (or less) and less than $10,000 in cost, including indirect costs.
  • Sea Grant authorizing legislation requires a match of 50% from non-federal funds. If you find you are unable to meet this requirement in full, please contact Rose Madson (, 858-534-4600) to work out a solution.
  • Proposals with total project costs (including indirect costs) over $10,000 are sent by California Sea Grant to the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) for review and approval (which may delay the award by at least two additional months). Proposals exceeding $10K are therefore generally discouraged.
  • Applicants first need to contact the California Sea Grant Director to discuss the potential project and express their intent to submit a proposal.
  • Questions regarding indirect cost rates, employee benefit rates, time devoted to project, etc., should be addressed to your campus research office.
  • To complete submission of a Program Development proposal only an electronic copy of the proposal (including required signatures) is required (see below).
  • Margins should be approximately 1 inch and type should be 12pt. Typed lines should be left justified.

Procedure for Submission, Selection & Award of Program Development Projects:

  1. Contact Shauna Oh (858-534-4440; to discuss the project idea, intent to submit or to ask questions regarding program development.
  2. Submit draft proposal (no signatures required) for consideration to
  3. Evaluation and consideration of program development request by California Sea Grant Management Team (typically meets monthly).
  4. Budget or proposal adjustments to conform to funding decision.
  5. Submit final proposal electronically via eSeaGrant. If you are invited to submit a proposal, eSeaGrant instructions will be sent to you.
  6. Receipt of award letter and conditions of award; project begins.

General Description of Proposal Contents

Listed below are the contents of a program development proposal. Links to sample forms can be found in the text. All of the required forms can be found on the forms page. A complete proposal must be submitted electronically to Please abide by guideline specifications and page limitations.

  • Cover Sheet - Use the form titled Program Development Workbook. Complete as indicated and obtain the required signatures.
  • Narrative [Instructions]- Limit the narrative to a maximum of 5 pages, single spaced. The narrative limit does not include references.
  • Budget Summary and Source of Matching Funds Forms [Instructions] - Direct any questions regarding indirect cost rates, employee benefit rates, percents of time, etc., to your campus research office.
  • Budget Justification - Justify all permanent equipment, foreign and domestic travel, consultants, summer salary requests and research trainees.
  • Curriculum Vitae - Brief (2 pages) are required for principal investigators.
  • Current Research Support Form
  • (OPTIONAL) Data Management/Sharing Plan -  If the proposed research will generate environmental data then a Data Management Plan is required. 

Postaward Requirements

At the end of every fiscal period, a call is issued for a progress report on the results of the preceding grant year. Each project leader is required to complete this report, which is due 30 days after each award year, regardless of extensions. If your award has received an extension, contact to determine if you have additional reporting requirements.

General assistance: