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Home > Requests for Proposals > Call for Proposals


(Note: Links to other important document are denoted with both italics and underline.)

This is a solicitation for Statements of Interest proposing two-year coastal research projects. A strong Statement of Interest is the first step to secure Louisiana Sea Grant funding, so please read this information carefully. Although brief, the Statement is the basis for deciding whether to request a full proposal from you. Preparation should be done thoughtfully.

1. Priority Focus Areas are: 1) Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, 2) Sustainable Coastal Development, 3) Safe and Sustainable Seafood Supply, and 4) Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities. We strongly suggest that you access a complete explanation of these priorities and their attendant Goals and Strategies at Louisiana Sea Grant Strategic Plan 2009-2013 (1.19MB, PDF).

2. Proposals must be strong in scientific and professional merit, rationale and user relationships. Other criteria apply.

3. 50% match is required for all awards.

4. Faculty may participate in a maximum of two Statements of Interest. Listing as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or Associate Investigator counts as participation.

What Is a Statement of Interest? | Size of Grant Awards | Review Criteria
Regional Projects | The Core Program | The Louisiana Sea Grant Funding Cycle
Student/Extension Involvement Is Essential | Strong Statements/Weak Statements
About Louisiana Sea Grant

What Is a Statement of Interest?
The Statement of Interest serves as a project pre-proposal that identifies a topic relevant to coastal and marine needs in Louisiana and the nation. It describes both the scope of the need, problem, or opportunity and how the results achieved would contribute to development, conservation, or utilization of marine resources. Statements allow for review of concepts, rationale, general approach, and expected outcomes and impacts before faculty must commit to providing a narrative of detailed methodology, literature review, and other requirements of a full proposal.

Download the Statement of Interest Form (301KB, PDF) and save this fillable fields PDF document to your hard drive. You must do so with Adobe Acrobat; this will allow you to both save work completed and finish the document in sessions. If you do not have access to Adobe Acrobat, please contact Katie Lea at 225-578-6445. Completed Statements of Interest are limited in length to that provided in the PDF form; please use single-spaced text and standard, 11-point type size. (Note section on review criteria and strong/weak statements below.)

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The Louisiana Sea Grant Funding Cycle
The Calendar for Proposal Development and Awards (19KB, PDF) outlines the time frame for the proposal phase 2010-2012 funding cycle. Slight adjustments to the calendar may be made as are necessary, but the deadlines for submission of Statements of Interest and Full Proposals will not be altered. A fully completed and signed Statement of Interest, along with three hard copies and an electronic copy on CD, must be submitted to Ms. Katie Lea, room 238 Sea Grant Building, by 4:00 PM on Friday, 30 January 2009 without exception.

The next opportunity to compete for Louisiana Sea Grant omnibus funding will be in 2011 for projects that begin February 1, 2012.

For the 2008-2010 funding cycle, Louisiana Sea Grant received 34 Statements of Interest and invited 17 full proposals for review. Of the full proposals received, 10 were funded.

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Size of Grant Awards
Progressive increases in rates applied to research funding for benefits and overhead have decreased the real value of the $80,000/year maximum awards previously stipulated by Louisiana Sea Grant. In response to this we have instituted a two-tiered funding system:

Tier 1 funding retains the $90,000/year maximum award; four to eight such proposals will be funded.

Tier 2 funding will have a maximum of $150,000/year; proposals for these funds must be multi-institutional. This stipulation is applied to stimulate cooperative research among colleagues at, for example, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of New Orleans. For purposes of this process, the LSU Main Campus, LSU Agricultural Center, and LSU Law School will be considered a single institution. A maximum of two (as few as zero) Tier 2 proposals will be funded.

Occasionally projects that receive high scores, but fall just below the cutoff for full funding, can be supported at a reduced scope and cost with Program Development funds.

For each Sea Grant dollar, a 50% matching fund commitment is required (i.e., every two federal dollars must be matched by one dollar from non-federal sources).

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Student/Extension Involvement Is Essential
Sea Grant is a program with its base in the academic sector and its roots in extension and outreach. Thus, student and extension participation in Louisiana Sea Grant funded research is strongly recommended. Louisiana’s Sea Grant's goal is to ensure that 25 percent of its research funding supports students (and their associated costs) who are working within a project. Louisiana Sea Grant’s Extension Agents & Specialists possess both important technical expertise on a wide range of subject matter and knowledge of local geographic, social, and governmental circumstances; they can prove invaluable to the successful planning and prosecution of your research project. Proposals with either no or little student/extension contribution will be given very low priority.

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Review Criteria
Peer review is the responsibility of the Louisiana Sea Grant Program Manager for Research and Planning. Oversight of the peer review process is the responsibility of the National Sea Grant Office Program Monitor.

For Statements of Interest, Louisiana Sea Grant will solicit email reviews from agency and industry stakeholders. A Technical Review Panel, composed of experienced scientists recognized for both their scientific and their leadership experience, will assess the contributed email reviews and recommend which Statements of Interest will be selected for development of full proposals.

Statements of Interest must focus on the Strategies provided in 2009-2013 Louisiana Sea Grant Strategic Plan Outline (30KB, PDF). Five criteria will be used by reviewers and panel members to evaluate Statements of Interest:

1. Scientific or Professional Merit (40 points) — the intrinsic value of the work and its relevance to NOAA, federal, regional, state, and local activities. Will this research, if successful, advance science, industry, or field methods?

2. Rationale and Budget (25 points) — the degree to which the proposed activity both addresses a priority Strategy identified in 2009-2013 Louisiana Sea Grant Strategic Plan Outline and presents a budget that is realistic and commensurate with both the project needs and time frame. Include the degree to which inter-institutional and multi-disciplinary programs have been engaged to leverage funds and resources.

3. Outreach and Education (10 points) — the degree to which the project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy with regards to Louisiana Sea Grant mission to protect our natural resources. Has an extension agent cooperator been identified and incorporated into the project? Are potential users (industry, state resource managers, etc.) of the project results involved in execution or funding? Is there a plan to disseminate the results both to user groups and to the public?

4. Expected Results, Applications and Benefits (20 points) — the degree to which the completed project is expected to create new commercial opportunities, improve technological and economic efficiency, promote environmental and community sustainability/resiliency, or improve management decisions either in Louisiana or nationally.

5. Investigator Qualifications (5 points) — the degree to which investigators are qualified by education, training, and/or experience to execute the proposed activity consistent with stage of career development and record of achievement with previous funding.

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Strong Statements/Weak Statements

Strong Statements

+ Project idea builds on FSG strategic priorities, clearly documents the issue, accurately states how the proposed work will help prevent or solve a problem, and explicitly lays out the steps needed to produce such valuable outcomes
+ Strong scientific merit is apparent
+ Imaginative, creative, advances scholarship
+ State and national impact
+ Testable hypotheses or methods to evaluate efficacy of new tool, technology or policy or product are clearly articulated
+ Objectives are measurable, realistic in number
+ Methods clearly explained with evidence of likely success (e.g., pilot data), recognition of likely problems, and plans to address potential problems
+ Outputs and potential impacts are clearly defined
+ Involvement of end-users clearly defined and documented
+ Involvement of end-users clearly defined and documented
+ Involvement of end-users clearly defined and documented
+ Realistic timeframe and budget
+ Matching funds or in-kind services from outside cooperator already committed (or pending)
+ May be part of a package of inter-related projects, possible regional
+ PI has coordinated development of the project with a Sea Grant marine agent, a resource management agency or the private sector
+ Employs students; funds student research

Weak Statements

- PI sends in ill-conceived last-minute idea
- Idea may be better suited to another sponsor
- Rationale is merely indicative (lacks data and clear evaluation of further work needed to produce outcomes)
- Poor technical design
- Louisiana impacts are not clear
- Objectives are merely a statement of methods
- Methods to collect, analyze and interpret data are not explicitly stated and assumptions and likely problems are not clearly addressed
- Vague identification of end-users of research results
- Geographic/subject focus too narrow, limited
- Too ambitious, unfocused
- No identification of role of outside cooperators
- Isolated from related efforts
- Exceeds space limitation
- Biographical information incomplete, not up-to-date Return to Questions

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Regional Projects
The four Sea Grant programs around the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are requesting regional research proposals for 2010-2012 that focus on hazard resiliency in coastal communities. The total available federal and state dollars for those projects is $600,000 per year for two years with the amount of funds for an individual project and the total number of funded projects to be determined. Complete details on GOM research priorities and proposal submission guidelines may be found at http://flseagrant.org/funding/GOM/index_08.html. Please note that the submission process is different than for the Louisiana Sea Grant core program Statements of Interest defined in other sections of this call for projects.
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About Louisiana Sea Grant
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone.

Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network made up of 32 programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico. Sea Grant Programs work individually and in partnership to address major marine and coastal challenges.

What is Sea Grant? Congress established the National Sea Grant College Program, now administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 1966. The term “Sea Grant” was selected to underscore the similarity between this new program, focused on national coastal and marine resources, and the Land Grant program created more than a century earlier to develop agricultural resources.

LSU was designated the nation’s thirteenth Sea Grant College in 1978. And in 2007, the Program received a Category 1 rating – the highest level of performance – after an evaluation conducted by the National Sea Grant Review Panel.

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The Core Program
The core biennial award from NOAA supports Louisiana Sea Grant research, extension/outreach, education, communications and program development and management. It is subject to annual Congressional appropriations and continuing quality of program performance. Beyond that, additional appropriations may be designated by the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) for special competitions nationally. Interested faculty members are urged to apply for NSGCP special competitions as a means of supplementing the biennial core budget. Check the Louisiana Sea Grant Opportunities Web page for details.

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