Open Funding Opportunities

Federal Funding Opportunity 2019 (FFO-2019)

UPDATE: On August 31, 2018 a response email was sent to the lead investigator for each pre-proposal that was submitted by the deadline.

The deadline (July 30, 2018) for submitting the required pre-proposal for this competition has passed. For those who submitted pre-proposals, the deadline for submitting a full application is now November 14, 2018 following the extension due to Hurricane Michael.

Link to full announcement

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Example full application

Full application webinar (recording) (questions and answers) (webinar script)

Competition roll-out webinar (recording)

Overview of FFO-2019

FFO-2019 will support long term projects to investigate trends in living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them.

To receive funding, applicants will need to directly address the needs of resource managers and have a clear plan for how their research findings or products will be used by resource managers. Applicants are encouraged to include resource managers on their project teams.

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

This competition continues the Science Program´s commitment to producing timely and high-quality scientific findings and products to support the management and sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries.

FFO-2019 Priority

The priority for this competition is identifying, tracking, understanding, and/or predicting trends and variability in the Gulf of Mexico´s living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them.

Applicants must propose work that addresses this priority in one or more of these areas of emphasis: 1) exploring trends in multiple species, 2) investigating the link between weather and/or climate and trends, 3) and examining the relationship between trends and economic activity.

  1. Exploring trends in multiple species may include, but is not limited to, the investigation of how the trends and variability in multiple species respond to the same driver, trends and variability in food web dynamics, or multi-species stock assessments.
  2. Investigating the link between weather and/or climate and trends may include, but is not limited to, the impact of hurricanes, precipitation events, winter storms, heat waves, drought, shifting temperature regimes, changes in sea level, and fluctuations in atmospheric or ocean circulation.
  3. Examining the relationship between trends and economic activity may include, but is not limited to changes in economic activity measured as expenditures and revenues; income and employment generated; direct, indirect, and induced economic output, and changes in economic value.

Amount of funding

NOAA is making approximately $15 million available now through this competition to fund approximately six projects for five years. An additional $15 million will be available for five year non-competitive renewals for high performing projects.

Deadlines

A pre-proposal is required for applying to this Announcement. The deadline for receipt of a pre-proposal for this Announcement is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on July 30, 2018. The deadline for receipt of full applications is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on November 14, 2018.

Additional Resources

Sign-up to learn about upcoming FFO-2019 informational webinars

Applications to this Announcement  must contain 18 standard elements and may contain 2 optional elements. For an explanation of each element and detailed instructions on preparing an application please see the example application below.

Example full application

Applicants are encouraged to use the RESTORE Science Program provided Milestone Chart template.

Additional Data Management Plan guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

This funding competition is directed at projects that propose to identify, track, understand, and/or predict trends and variability in the Gulf of Mexico´s living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them, and has three areas of emphasis: 1) multiple species, 2) impacts of weather and/or climate, and 3) economic activity. See Section I.B.2. of the full announcement. To be eligible for funding, applicants must propose a project that addresses one or more of these three areas of emphasis. For this Announcement, living coastal and marine resources are defined as living organisms, including wildlife, that are found in coastal or marine waters (fresh, estuarine, nearshore, or offshore) or coastal lands that are also of concern or importance to humans.  

How important is it that I consider the needs of resource managers in developing my pre-proposal and application? Do I need to identify specific end users for the findings or products from my project and do they need to be on the project team?

Improving the understanding and management of the Gulf of Mexico´s living coastal and marine resources is the driving factor behind this funding competition. For that reason, applicants must clearly describe how the research relates to one or more issues facing resource managers and how the research findings or products will be applied, including a description of the process for the transfer to and use of research findings or products by the management community. Applicants must specifically identify their end users and integrating them into the project team is encouraged.

What are living coastal and marine resources? Who is considered a resource manager?

Living coastal and marine resources are defined as living organisms, including wildlife, that are found in coastal or marine waters (fresh, estuarine, nearshore, or offshore) or coastal lands and that are also of concern or importance to humans. A resource manager is an individual or group of individuals with decision-making authority over the use, conservation, or restoration of one or more living coastal and marine resources within the area they manage. Resource management may take many forms, including wildlife and fishery management, federal and state rule-making and permitting, conservation practices by private landowners, place-based management, and restoration planning.

How much funding is available? How many projects will be funded?

Approximately $15 million is available through this competition to fund approximately six projects for five years. An additional $15 million will be available for five year renewals for high performing projects. For this competition, the minimum individual award amount is $500,000 over five years (an average of $100,000 per year) and the maximum individual award amount is $7.5 million over five years (an average of $1.5 million per year). See Section II.A. of the full announcement

How many years of funding can be requested? Will there be an option for additional funding after five years?

Applications to this competition must request five years of funding. Projects selected for funding in this competition that are high performing may be invited to submit a second application for additional funding through a five year renewal. See Section II.B. of the full announcement

How will funded projects be evaluated for renewal and additional funding?

The Science Program will conduct two reviews of each funded project to determine if it is high performing and an invitation to submit a subsequent five-year non-competitive renewal application is warranted. One review conducted by a panel of researchers and resource managers will assess the quality and relevance of the research and its application. A second review will assess the programmatic, financial, and administrative performance of the project. Invitations to submit a non-competitive renewal application are at the sole discretion of the Science Program.  See Section II.B. of the full announcement

Who is eligible to receive funding?

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-profit institutions; local, state, and tribal governments; for-profit organizations; and US territories and federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work.

Applicants from federal agencies are required to have a co-investigator from at least one non-NOAA entity and it is strongly encouraged that the co-investigator(s) be from a non-federal eligible entity.

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. See Section III.A. of the full announcement

Is a project that proposes work in non-US waters of the Gulf of Mexico eligible for funding? Are projects in the broader Gulf (e.g Mexico, Cuba) eligible?

Yes, projects that propose to do work in the broader Gulf of Mexico are eligible, but must be led by a US based entity. Funding may be directed to partner institutions outside the US with the exception of Cuba.

Can Science Program funds be used to support ongoing or planning NOAA projects?

 No, the Science Program cannot support 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

Is a letter of intent or pre-proposal required? Is there a template for pre-proposals? When are pre-proposals due and how do I submit?

Yes, a pre-proposal is required. A full application that is not preceded by a pre-proposal will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant without review. There is no template for pre-proposals, but detailed instructions on pre-proposal content are available in section IV.B of the full announcement. Pre-proposals are due via email to noaarestorescience@noaa.gov by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on July 30, 2018. See Section IV.D.1. of the full announcement

What is the limit on the number of pre-proposals and full applications an individual may be associated with?

Individuals may be listed as an investigator on no more than two pre-proposals and subsequent full applications, and may only be the lead investigator on one of them. “Investigator” is defined as an individual that is proposed to receive funding if the project is awarded or is substantially involved in the project to warrant a listing as either the lead investigator or a co-investigator. Investigators, including the lead investigator, may change from a pre-proposal to the full application. Collaborators or any proposed project personnel that are not considered investigators may participate in more than two pre-proposals or subsequent applications. See section III.A of the full announcement

When are full applications due? How can I submit a full application?

The deadline for receipt of full applications is 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on November 14, 2018.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their full applications electronically through www.grants.gov. If the use of Grants.gov is not feasible, an applicant is concerned about possible problems associated with the Grants.gov system, or Grants.gov is unable to accept a full application electronically in a timely fashion, an applicant may submit a paper copy of their application to:

Laura Golden
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East West Highway
SSMC 4, Station 8219
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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

Do I need a data management plan?

Yes, full applications must include a data management plan of up to two pages. A typical plan should include descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project, the tentative date by which data will be shared, the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content, methods for providing data access, approximate total volume of data to be collected, and prior experience in making such data accessible. Applicants should consult Sections IV.B.3.(6) and VIII.A. of the full announcement for the funding competition for complete details on the requirements for the data management plan.

What is a decadal plan? Why is it a required element for the full application?

A decadal plan describes a ten year approach to the proposed research and its application. It explains why a decade of research and investment is needed to address the resource management issue, how the resource management community will be engaged over the ten years, how the initial five years of work will generate hypotheses and inform the subsequent five years of work, and how the subsequent five years will build upon the work conducted in the initial five years. The decadal plan will provide the Science Program and peer reviewers with a succinct rationale for why a long-term investment in the proposed work is warranted. See Section IV.B.3.(5). of the full announcement. 

What criteria will be used to evaluate applications?

Proposals will be evaluated on five criteria. These are 1) the project´s importance and applicability to NOAA, federal, regional, state, or local activities (25 percent); 2) technical and scientific merit of the proposed methods, goals, and objectives (30 percent); 3) the qualifications and capabilities of applicants (15 percent); 4) project budget (10 percent); and 5) the applicant´s proposed process for transferring project findings and outputs to Gulf of Mexico end users (20 percent). Anyone interested in applying for funding should consult Section V.A. of the full announcement for complete details.

Is there a separate competition for federal and non-federal proposals?

 No, the Science Program is holding a single competition that includes all eligible applicants.  See Section II.C. of the full announcement.

When will awards be made? When will projects be expected to start?

 The program anticipates making awards in June 2019 and the suggested start date for projects is September 1, 2019. See Section II.B. of the full announcement. 

How will funding be distributed?

The Science Program will use a cooperative agreement to distribute funding to non-federal awardees. If there are federal awardees, an intra-agency or inter-agency transfer will be used to distribute the funding, and NOAA will be substantially involved in the projects in a manner similar to the cooperative agreements with non-federal awardees. See Section II.C. of the full announcement. 

Who should I contact to address any additional questions?

General Information: 
Frank Parker
Associate Director and federal program officer
303-497-5698
frank.parker@noaa.gov.  

Grants Administration Information:
Laura Golden
NCCOS Grants Administrator
240-533-0285
laurie.golden@noaa.gov
1305 East West Hwy
SSMC 4, Station 8219
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Data Management Information:
Jessica Morgan
NCCOS Scientific Data Coordinator
240-533-0297
nccos.data@noaa.gov.

Indirect or Facilities and Administrative Costs Information:  
Lamar Revis
Grants Officer
NOAA Grants Management Division
301-628-1308
lamar.revis@noaa.gov
1325 East West Highway
9th Floor
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910