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Applying for a Research Grant

The MIT Sea Grant College Program's purpose is to lead in the development of technologies and advances in ocean science in order to contribute to the wise use of marine resources. Below are the four Focus Areas of our Program; a more detailed description is available in our 2014 – 2017 Strategic Plan.

MIT Sea Grant provides competitive funding opportunities for Massachusetts university-based research scientists who seek to address marine issues in ways that benefit the Commonwealth and are relevant to our program goals as listed in our Strategic Plan. Lead scientists on a proposal must have Principal Investigator standing at their own institutions to be eligible for funding.

Funding and Duration



This year we are accepting both two-year Core Research proposals, and six-year Marine Center proposals.

Core Research Projects

The maximum annual research project budget request to be considered for FY2015 is $100,000 for a total of $200,000 for a two-year project. This does not include the required matching funds provided by the PI, which amount to at least 50% of the figure requested from Sea Grant. Matching funds must be from non-federal sources and can include cash, salaries, equipment, supplies, ship-time, etc.

Projects last for up to two years. The PI will submit a project timeline as part of their full proposal.

Focused Research Marine Center Projects

The Focused Research approach was designed to identify important maritime needs and gather the resources needed to address them. Our intention is to identify a faculty leader (Principal Investigator) with a team able to articulate a research need of national concern, or of regional concern but with nationally applicable results. The research team should be multi-disciplined, and preferably multi-institutional, and the Principal Investigator needs to be able to raise significant funds from sources other than Sea Grant.

Focused Research Marine Center proposals are written for a six-year period; please review the guidelinescarefully to for a clear understanding of the funding structure and timeline. Principal Investigators interested in this type of project should interview with Director Chrys Chryssostomidis, 617-253-7131.

Proposal Process and Instructions



The proposal process is initiated in January of each year when the Request for Preliminary Proposals (RFP) is distributed by email to RFP list subscribers. Project work begins on February 1 of the following year. The rules governing NOAA/Sea Grant deadlines are strictly enforced and the contents of proposals must be complete by the dates and times given in the Proposal Schedule.

Basic Rules and Assumptions:

Both Preliminary and Full Proposals must be submitted through our online proposal system, and PIs that have not submitted a proposal online before will need to contact Kathy de Zengotita with a draft title of their proposal to receive registration privileges. A three-step process has been established for evaluating and selecting proposals:

Step One

Preliminary proposals submitted by deadline are reviewed by our governing Joint Committees, comprised of the MIT Sea Grant Faculty Committee and the MIT Sea Grant State/Industry Council. Principal Investigators whose projects are scientifically sound and are aligned with the goals of the MIT SG Program will be encouraged to write a full proposal.

Instructions for Submitting Preliminary Proposal

Step Two

Full proposals are distributed for extensive peer review. The reviewers' comments (blinded) are made available to the Principal Investigators for response and rebuttal.

Instructions for Submitting Full Proposal

Step Three

The full proposal, reviewers' critiques, and the PI's responses are submitted to a Technical Review Panel which meets in September for extensive discussion and to make final recommendations. The Director, with the advice of the Joint Committees and the concurrence of the Program Monitor, and giving due consideration to the Panel's recommendations and the relevance of the proposed work to the Program's strategic goals, selects proposals to be included in the MIT Sea Grant College Program Omnibus Proposal. The Omnibus is submitted in October to the NOAA Office of Sea Grant for review and acceptance. Funding authorization is finalized within 60 days, and Principal Investigators are informed of the result.

The Director may, at his/her discretion, remove a proposal from further consideration at any point in this process if an investigator has overdue obligations to the MIT Sea Grant College Program under a previous research contract.

Contact Information



If you have any questions regarding proposal preparation, please contact one of the following MIT Sea Grant representatives:

Tim Downes, Assistant Director
Administrative/Financial Officer
Human Resources Manager
Affirmative Action Officer
, tdownes@mit.edu, 617 253-7138

Katharine de Zengotita, Program Coordinator, kdez@mit.edu, 617-253-7042

Ben Bray, Web Developer, bbray@mit.edu, 617-252-1675

This page was last modified: February 25, 2014 2:08 pm