August 18, 2015

2016 Northeast Region Ocean Acidification RFP

Northeast Sea Grant College Consortium Call for Preliminary Regional Research Proposals on theImpacts of Ocean Acidification on Key Coastal Marine Resource Species in the Northeast

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium (consisting of the Sea Grant programs in the Northeast including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, MIT, Woods Hole, New Hampshire, Maine and Lake Champlain), in partnership with the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), is seeking proposals to address the impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on key resource species in the northeast (New York Bight to the Gulf of Maine) as an aid to assist coastal communities in adapting to current and future OA conditions in the region.

Through this competition, we seek to support innovative biophysical and social science research that will further the understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on key coastal marine resource species and economies. Priority will be given to projects that address key knowledge gaps and research needs identified by the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN – see below) focused on shellfish and finfish species of commercial, recreational and aquaculture relevance, including key forage species. This RFP is not intended to fund major OA technology development or monitoring efforts.

RESEARCH AREAS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST (as identified by NECAN in Gledhill et al 2015):

- Species-response studies of OA impacts on critical life stages of commercially important species of shellfish and finfish, particularly those in coastal and near-shore habitats.
- The impact of eutrophication on coastal ocean acidification.
- Multiple life stage and/or multi-generational studies that follow one or more organisms through multiple life stages exposed to increased pCO2 to determine potential population impacts.
- Multistressor studies considering potentially synergistic or antagonistic effects of increased pCO2 combined with one or more other stressors such as temperature, hypoxia, salinity, ultraviolet exposure or trace metal exposure
- The relationship between OA and biofouling, particularly as it relates to the aquaculture industry.


Proposed activities should be of two years in duration, for a funding period between June 2016 and May 2018. Proposals should be in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 in federal funds for the funding period, including all direct and indirect costs (we estimate a minimum of $700,000 is available for this competition). Per national Sea Grant guidelines, all projects will require 50% cost-share ($1 in non-federal cost-share for every $2 of federal support). Project scope should reflect available federal and cost-share funds. It is expected that 4-5 projects will be funded. Sea Grant support is awarded on a competitive basis, and is available to researchers at all non-profit academic institutions, research laboratories and extension/outreach facilities in the Northeast.

You are invited at this time to submit preliminary proposals to the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium for the funding period 01 June 2016 to 31 May 2018. Any investigator seeking support for this period must submit, as a single file, an electronic copy of their preliminary proposal through the New Hampshire Sea Grant (NHSG) electronic portal ( no later than 4:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 15, 2015. The first year of the funding period covered by this Call for Proposals is expected to begin on 1 June 2016, pending availability of funds.


A preliminary proposal (pre-proposal), while not as detailed as a full proposal, should clearly define the objectives, rationale and methodology for the project, as well as the potential benefits and qualifications of the investigators who would perform the work. Proposals requesting funding that is complementary to that sought from other sponsors are welcome; in such a case, other funding sources and amounts should be disclosed.

A pre-proposal should consist of a single file which includes:

(1) a Title Page including title, principal and co-principal investigator contact information and the overall budget request for each year and the total for the project
(2) a project description of up to 3 single-spaced, single-sided pages of text
(3) a list of references cited (references do not count towards the page limit)
(4) a budget form (90-4) (one page per project year, plus one for the total project)
(5) a two-page Curriculum Vitae for each investigator
The Sea Grant Budget form (90-4) is available at, No appendices or attachments other than those above, and letters of support (see below), are permitted for the pre-proposal.

The pre-proposal project description must conform to stated page limitations, including 1-inch margins and 12-point font. Illustrations and tables must be legible, and are included in the page limitation. Supporting letters from collaborating and/or interested individuals and organizations may accompany the pre-proposal, and do not count towards page limits. However, these letters are to be used to express support and collaboration only— not to provide project information.


The process for submission and review of regional proposals is as follows:

(1) Each PI/Co-PI must make contact with the Sea Grant director in their home state before submission of their pre-proposal to discuss the process for regional proposals and indicate his/her intention of submitting a regional proposal.
(2) Regional pre-proposals must be clearly identified as such on the cover page and submitted through the NHSG electronic portal no later than 4:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, 15 October 2015. Regional pre-proposals will NOT be accepted through the individual Sea Grant programs. Pre-proposals should include all information described in the submission guidelines and clearly indicate all co-PIs involved, Sea Grant programs involved, and budget information.
(3) Each pre-proposal must be submitted with the total aggregate budget for the project. No individual state budget is requested.
(4) The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium program directors and representatives from the OAP Office will convene an external review panel to review each pre-proposal for its responsiveness to the RFP, its potential to provide impact at the regional scale and its comparative merit to determine whether or not they will be encouraged for full proposal submission.
(5) The results of the pre-proposal review will be conveyed to PIs by 13 November 2015. Only PIs who submitted pre-proposals will be eligible to submit full proposals. Full proposals must be submitted through the NHSG electronic portal no later than 4:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, 21 January 2016. Full proposals will be subject to peer review, budgetary and other programmatic considerations. Based on these factors, the NESG Directors and OAP staff will prepare a list of the proposals in rank order along with their funding recommendations and submit this for approval by the National Sea Grant Office and the OAP Director.
(6) Final funding decisions will be conveyed to PIs by early April 2016. Successful proposals will be funded through the Sea Grant program of the state in which the principal PI is based.