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Eligible projects for this competition will propose a collaborative, previously planned research project to support a specific natural resource management decision. See section I.B.2 of the full announcement.   

See section III of the full announcement.

Any management decision regarding the human use of or interaction with a natural resource in the Gulf of Mexico is eligible to be the focus of a proposal. Natural resource management can take many forms including, but not limited to, wildlife and fishery management; local, state, tribal, and federal rulemaking and permitting; conservation practices by public or private landowners; place-based management; and restoration planning.

To be actionable, research needs to be designed to produce findings and products that meet the information needs of resource managers, including matching the spatial and temporal scale of their decisions and being shared in a timely manner and a comprehensible format. For example, fisheries managers have more confidence when setting catch targets if they have timely information on fish abundance and recruitment as well as information on catch and other causes of mortality, such as harmful algal blooms. When selecting a site and a technique for restoration, wetland restoration managers benefit from site-specific local knowledge, information on soil conditions and hydrology, and models for how human use, subsidence, and sea level rise could alter conditions over time. County and municipal land use planners deciding on zoning and regulations to preserve coastal habitats and species benefit from habitat maps, information on how species are using habitats, locally relevant climate and sea level rise projections, and estimates of other future stressors such as human population growth.

Natural resource managers can be found in city, county, regional, state, tribal, and federal governments. Private landowners may also be natural resource managers. You should identify a manager that has decision making authority over the natural resource of interest and collaborate with them. If you are having trouble identifying the appropriate natural resource manager(s), feel free to reach out to the Science Program at

Yes, project teams may include multiple natural resource managers.

“Previously planned” refers to the steps of scoping and designing a research project. 

This announcement will support teams that are using co-production practices. Co-production is the collaboration of researchers, resource managers, and other stakeholders, including resource users, across the four phases of a research project that will inform a specific natural resource management decision. Those four phases are 1) scoping, 2) design, 3) research and development, and 4) transfer and application of findings and products.

The scoping phase starts with the identification of a specific natural resource management decision to be made in the future. As the scoping phase continues, the researchers, resource managers, and other stakeholders build relationships and form a team that develops a shared understanding of the decision, its context, and areas of uncertainty that could be reduced through additional research. In the design phase, the team develops an approach for conducting that research, including developing research questions centered on reducing the uncertainties surrounding the decision and the methods for answering those questions. During the design phase, the team also (1) identifies approaches and strategies for developing research findings and products and (2) plans how to best disseminate the findings and products to those involved in making the decision as well as other stakeholders.

Yes, you do not have to have received an award from the 2021 planning competition to apply. All applicants with collaborative, previously planned research proposals are eligible. 

It is of critical importance that you consider the needs of natural resource managers. Proposing a previously planned research project that is directly connected to a specific natural resource management decision is the driving factor for this funding competition. It is required that at least one manager either lead or participate as an equal partner on the project team. 

See section I.B.2 of the full announcement.

Approximately $15 million is available through this competition to fund approximately 10 projects for one to five years. For this competition, the maximum individual award amount is approximately $2 million.

See section II.A and II.B of the full announcement.

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-for-profit institutions; local, state, and tribal governments; for-profit organizations; and U.S. territories and federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work. The lead applicant must be from a U.S.-based entity.

Science Program funding opportunities may not be used to hire and fund the salaries of any permanent federal employees. Federal award recipients may use their funding to cover travel, equipment, supplies, and contractual personnel costs associated with the proposed work.

Investigators are not required to be employed by an eligible entity that is based in one of the five Gulf of Mexico States (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas). However, investigators that are not employed by or associated with Gulf of Mexico-based eligible entities are strongly encouraged to collaborate with partners from Gulf of Mexico-based eligible entities.

Foreign researchers may participate by submitting a subaward or contract through an eligible

U.S. entity. Science Program funding may not be spent in Cuba.

See section III.A of the full announcement.

No, the Science Program cannot support (i.e., augment) existing or planned research led by NOAA unless agreed to in writing by the grant recipient. 

See section IV.F.2 of the full announcement for additional details.

Yes, a letter of intent is required. A full proposal that is not preceded by a letter of intent will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant without review. Letters of intent are due via email to by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 16, 2022. There are detailed instructions in the full announcement on the components a letter of intent must include. Once a letter of intent has been checked for the required components, the applicant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt email.

See sections IV.B.1 and IV.D.1 of the full announcement for additional details.

The deadline for receipt of full proposals is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on November 30, 2022. Given the impact of Hurricane Ian on the Gulf coast, the Science Program has extended the deadline for full proposals to its current competition 15 days from the original deadline, which was November 15, 2022. Applicants should submit their full proposals electronically through If use of is not feasible, contact the NCCOS Grants Administrator ( or Federal Program Officer ( as soon as possible and no later than a week before the due date to assess whether alternative arrangements can be made.

See sections IV.D.2 and VII of the full announcement.

The letter of participation should describe in detail how the manager on your team and the management body they represent will participate in the conduct of the project, the transfer of project outputs to the management body, and their use and application. A letter is required from each manager on your team. 


A separate letter of participation is required from each natural resource management body represented on the project team. If you have more than one project team member from the same management body, then one letter from all of them would suffice. If you have more than one management body represented, then a separate letter would be required from each body.

Yes, a full proposal must include a data management plan of no more than two (2) pages. 

See sections IV.B.3.(6) and VIII.A of the full announcement for complete details.

Yes, you can design your co-production process to meet the needs of your project. 

Proposals requesting five (5) years of funding should use two SF-424A forms, as follows:

  1. Place the first four years on one of the forms in Section B, columns (1) through (4).
  2. Total the first four years in column (5).
  3. Place the total from the first form (from column (5) onto the second SF- 424A form in Section B column (1) and use column (2) for the fifth year budget figures.
  4. Total all five years in column (5) on the second SF-424A.

The budget amounts in the forms must correspond with the description contained in the budget narrative (element 15). See pages 19-25 in this example application for more information.

At this point, we are not asking project teams to budget for the 2024 Gulf of Mexico Conference unless it makes sense for your project plan. We may ask teams that did not budget for the conference to add those expenses to their budgets once we get to the funding decision step in the process. 

The Science Program will conduct a review of each letter of intent to determine whether it is responsive to the announcement. Full proposals will be encouraged only for LOIs deemed relevant; however, the final decision to submit a full proposal is made by the investigator.

Emails to applicants encouraging or discouraging a full proposal will be sent out approximately four weeks after the letter of intent due date.  

Once a full proposal has been received by NOAA, an initial administrative review is conducted to determine if it is timely, responsive, and complete.

Full proposals that pass the initial administrative review will undergo an independent peer mail review and/or independent peer panel review in which each proposal will be evaluated and scored individually by at least three professionally and technically qualified reviewers with expertise in the subjects addressed by the proposal.

See section V.B of the full announcement.

Proposals will be evaluated on five criteria. These are 1) importance and applicability of the project (25 percent); 2) technical and scientific merit (25 percent); 3) overall qualifications of applicants (20 percent); 4) project costs (10 percent); and 5) project team integration and practices (20 percent). 

See section V.A of the full announcement for complete details.

The program anticipates that final recommendations for funding under this announcement will be made in June 2023 and the start date for projects should be October 1, 2023.

See section II.B of the full announcement.

The Gulf of Mexico is defined as the ocean basin bounded by the United States along its northeastern, northern, and northwestern edges; Mexico on its southwestern and southern edges; and Cuba on its southeastern edge. Applicants can propose to focus on a natural resource management decision in a watershed or waters connected to the Gulf of Mexico (e.g., through the Yucatan Channel or the Straits of Florida) if the decision impacts a species, habitat, or process that has a direct, significant, and quantifiable impact on the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, a project that proposes to focus on a natural resource management decision impacting non-U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico is eligible, but the project must be led by a U.S.-based entity. Funding may be directed to partner institutions outside the U.S. with the exception of Cuba.

See section I.B.2 and III.A  of the full announcement.

No, leveraged or matching funds are not required for project proposals. Awarded projects will be asked to report on leveraged and matching funds used during the project period. 

  • General Information:
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    • Betsy Laban
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