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Overview of FFO-2021 – Planning for Actionable Science

This federal funding opportunity (full announcement) provides natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with the chance to compete for funding to plan a research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

This funding opportunity lays the foundation for the co-production of actionable science in two ways. One way is by focusing on the creation of partnerships between natural resource managers and researchers. The second way is by providing those partnerships with funding to jointly scope and design a research project that informs a future natural resource management decision. At least one natural resource manager must either lead or be on each project team.

This funding opportunity is an open competition. All proposals will be evaluated and scored individually using an independent peer review process. This process is designed to identify the strongest proposals based on the merit of the work being proposed.

As the planning projects awarded in this competition conclude, the Science Program expects to release a second competition for funding to execute and apply actionable science in the Gulf of Mexico.


The priority for this competition is the scoping and designing of a research project that informs a specific Gulf of Mexico natural resource management decision.

Amount of funding

NOAA is making approximately $2.5 million available through this competition to fund approximately 20 projects for 12 months each.

Key Dates

All applicants must submit a letter of intent (LOI) by September 29, 2020 in order to submit a full proposal (LOI required components and LOI submission instructions). Once an LOI has been checked for the required components, the applicant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.

Full proposals are due by December 15, 2020.


View Recorded Webinar on Full Proposal Stage of Competition

View the Webinar Slides

Summary of Questions & Answers

View Recorded Webinar Announcing Competition

View the Webinar Slides

Summary of Questions & Answers

Additional Information

Full announcement

Frequently Asked Questions

Best practices and guidelines for co-producing actionable science

  • Beier, P., L.J. Hansen, L. Helbrecht, and D. Behar. 2017. A how-to guide for coproduction of actionable science. Conservation Letters. 10:288-296.
  • Djenontin, I.N. and A.M. Meadow. 2018. The art of co-production of knowledge in environmental sciences and management: Lessons from international practice. Environmental Management. 61:885–903.