Guidelines for Preparing a 2014–2016 Alaska Sea Grant Proposal

Full proposals due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2013

Full proposals may be submitted by invitation only.

View or download PDF version of this document [204 KB].

It is anticipated that final recommendations for funding under this announcement will be made by September 20, 2013. Projects will have a start date no earlier than February 1, 2014, and generally may not exceed a period of two years.

Submit original signed cover sheet and an electronic version of the complete proposal to

Mailing address

Alaska Sea Grant College Program
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 755040
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5040

Physical address

Alaska Sea Grant College Program
University of Alaska Fairbanks
794 University Avenue, Suite 238
Fairbanks, AK 99709

Electronic copies should be e-mailed to michele.frandsen@alaska.edu.

Introduction

Alaska Sea Grant is a partnership between the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Alaska Sea Grant supports research, education, and extension activities that enhance the ability of Alaskans to understand, conserve, and sustainably use our rich and diverse marine and coastal resources.

Alaska Sea Grant is inviting twelve full research proposals for the 2014–2016 competition. We anticipate that we will select between 4 and 6 proposals as eligible for funding, with final funding dependent on federal budget allocations.

Project objectives, workloads, budgets and other details should be consistent with the pre-proposal unless variations have been requested or agreed to in advance by the ASG Director. Start date may be no earlier than February 1, 2014.

Evaluation Criteria

Successful proposals will describe creative and innovative research in the natural or social sciences that focuses on the environmental and economic viability of Alaska's coastal communities. As a reminder, our initial RFP was targeted on proposals that address

Impacts on and strategies for Alaska coastal ecosystems and/or coastal communities adapting to change.

OR

Improvements to the economic and sociocultural sustainability of Alaska coastal communities.

Proposals will be ranked on the basis of:

In addition, favorable consideration will be given to proposals that:

PI Responsibilities

Alaska Sea Grant encourages investigators to consider themselves as partners with Sea Grant, both in serving the needs of Alaska’s communities and in reporting and publicizing their achievements. The future of our program depends on increasingly detailed documentation of the impacts and outcomes of our research and other activities. Thoughtful and timely reporting by PIs is essential to the success of this process.

For these reasons, staff members are available to discuss all aspects of proposals prior to submission:

Project scope, relevance to themes, or research issues, questions about impacts
Outreach issues

For further guidance on possible outreach activities, see Outreach Activities.

Program information, budget issues, or forms
Developing and reporting impacts

Projects involving vertebrate animals or human subjects, including interviews, must undergo UAF institutional review. Investigators not familiar with the review process should contact Michele Frandsen as early as possible, and at least one month ahead of the submission deadline.

Required Elements for Full Proposals

  1. Signed Proposal Cover Sheet
  2. Project Summary Form (NOAA form 90-2, 1-page limit)
  3. Project Summary (1-page limit)
  4. Project Narrative (15-page limit including figures and tables)
  5. References Cited (no page limit)
  6. Budget Spreadsheet and Budget Narrative (including NOAA form 90-4)
  7. Project Schedule and Budget Projection (NOAA form 90-6)
  8. Vitae of Principal Investigator (PI) and Key Associate Investigators (2-page limit per investigator)
  9. Results of Previous Sea Grant Support (no more than one page per project)
  10. Suggested Reviewers (4 suitable peer reviewers, preferably out of state)

Description of elements of the full proposal

  1. Signed proposal cover sheet: Proposals should be clearly identified with a project title and name(s) and affiliation(s) of principal investigator(s). Cover sheets should include complete mailing address, phone, and email information; duration of project; proposed start date; and amount requested. The cover sheet must be signed by the principal investigator(s), the program officer(s) for the academic unit of each investigator, and their institutional representative(s). Full name and title should identify these signers. These signatures are extremely important and no proposal can be accepted without them.
  2. Project Summary Form (NOAA form 90-2): The project summary should include
    • Project title: Exact title as it appears in the rest of the application. Please keep title succinct.
    • Project period: Initiation and completion dates. Proposals should request a start date of February 1, 2014, or later.
    • Investigators: Names, affiliations, and amount of effort of each investigator who will significantly contribute to the project. Start with the principal investigator.
    • Funding request: Total Sea Grant funds requested for this project.
    • Related projects: List project number and name for any related projects funded by Alaska Sea Grant (either currently or in the past).
    • Keywords: Keywords are used by many people (not all are scientifically oriented) in searches of National Sea Grant and Alaska Sea Grant databases.
    • Project summary: This should include the objectives, rationale, and methodology for the project, as well as a brief summary of work to be completed and the benefits that will accrue.
  3. Project summary (one-page limit): The project summary is used to help compare proposals quickly. It should summarize the key points in simple language accessible to a well-informed layperson. Project summaries of funded projects will be posted on program-related websites.
  4. Project narrative (15-page limit including all figures and tables): The proposal narrative provides a scientifically rigorous description of the project that can be understood by specialists from other disciplines and, as much as possible, by well informed lay readers. It should include all the following items, although their order may vary. Letters of support or collaboration do not count toward the 15-page limit.
    • Description and need: Summarize the project, discuss the problem or need being addressed, explain how the project will address ASG’s goals, describe the expected output or product, and describe the expected long-term impact(s).
    • Objectives and approach: The narrative should include a concise statement of the objectives of the project, hypotheses to be addressed, and a description of project activities. Explain the conceptual approach for achieving objectives and the methods to be used. Describe how the project activities will be evaluated for effectiveness in meeting stated project goals and objectives as well as the goals of ASG.
    • Outreach component: Describe how the need for the project was established, whether regional or other stakeholders were consulted in the project’s development, and how project results will be disseminated. ASG encourages principal investigators to involve local residents or users/stakeholders to the greatest extent possible.

      Priority will be given to proposals that provide substantive evidence of coordination with extension, communications, or education activities or specify other clear means through which impacts will be achieved. Outreach activities must be included in the overall proposal budget.

      Alaska Sea Grant has resources for development and production of publications, videos, and other outreach or education products; coordination of meetings and workshops; release of information to news media; and development of websites. Applicants needing assistance with these issues are encouraged to discuss them with ASG staff. In addition, ASG Marine Advisory Program agents and specialists have broad experience in working with coastal communities. Applicants needing assistance with any of these issues are encouraged to discuss them with appropriate ASG staff, including:
    • Coordination with project partners: Provide brief details of project partners, including benefactors, constituent groups, stakeholders, industry, or agency personnel. Describe partner contributions, including resource sharing, collaboration, data management and sharing. Discuss how partners will benefit and how they will use the anticipated results, outcomes, or products. Highlight if the work proposed is in conjunction with other projects or proposals, or will coordinate with other known efforts. Letters confirming extent of collaboration should be included whenever possible.
    • Available resources: Briefly state the qualifications of all investigators. Include identified graduate students who will play a significant role in the project, relevant institutional capabilities, and key partnerships within the user community that will contribute to the proposed work.
    • Outcomes/expected results: Describe anticipated results and how they are expected to solve a problem, provide a community benefit, or take advantage of an opportunity. Be clear as to the direct and/or indirect implications of your work for industry, management, policy, or other benefits: Who is expected to use or otherwise benefit from your results and how?

      ASG is required to comply with the National Sea Grant reporting requirements for documentation of tangible outcomes and impacts of funded research projects. Proposals should describe specific anticipated outcomes and/or products as explicitly and quantitatively as possible. PIs are encouraged to partner with ASG in recording, publicizing, and celebrating success. All PIs are expected to assist ASG staff in identifying and documenting outcomes and impacts.
    • Data Sharing Plan (mandatory, not included in page limits): All NOAA–funded research projects must include a plan for meaningful and timely sharing of data. See Appendix I for guidelines.
    • Letters of support (not included in page limits): Appropriate and relevant letters of support should be included in an appendix. Letters should describe how project results will benefit a community, industry, or agency, and/or how benefits will be derived from new products, methods, technology, or other outcomes.
  5. References cited (no page limit): Complete bibliographic references in a standard format are required for all citations used in the proposal text. Articles not cited should not be included.
  6. Budget spreadsheet and budget narrative: The budget spreadsheet should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to understand the amount requested in each category. The budget narrative should provide sufficient detail to justify the amount requested in each category. All salaries must be detailed on a monthly or hourly basis with appropriate institutional fringe benefits or other charges detailed separately. Student involvement must be clearly documented. NOAA summary budget form 90-4 must be included.
    • Budget guidelines: Salary and tuition support may be requested for graduate students who are participating in the project as part of their training. Minimal funds may be requested for essential faculty or technician salary. Additional support for postdoctoral researchers or early-career faculty may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Federal agencies may not request salaries, travel, or indirect costs.
  7. Project schedule and budget projection (NOAA form 90-6): Project start date may be no earlier than February 1, 2014.
  8. Vitae of principal investigators (PI) and key associate investigators (2-page maximum per investigator): A vita must be provided for each individual who will play a major role in the project. Vitae should list up to 10 relevant publications. Graduate student vitae are not required, but may be included for senior students and/or those playing a dominant role in the project. Each PI must list name and current institution for ALL thesis or postdoctoral advisees, as well as PI’s graduate and postgraduate advisors. Include a list of all collaborators within the past 4 years if not included in the publication list. This information is used to help identify potential conflicts in the selection of reviewers.
  9. Current and pending research projects: For all PIs, list on a separate page all current and pending outside support. Include project title, the dollar amount, source and period of funding, and the PI’s time involvement in each project.
  10. Results of previous Sea Grant support: No more than one page per project; include all projects receiving funding from any Sea Grant program during the previous four years. If the PI (or any co-PI identified on the proposal) has received Alaska Sea Grant funding in the past 4 years, information on the prior award(s) is required. The following information should be provided:
    1. the ASG award number, amount, and period of support
    2. the title of the project
  11. Suggested reviewers: Submit the names of at least 4 suitable peer reviewers. These potential reviewers must reside outside of Alaska and must not have collaborated with any of the PIs in the past 48 months. Please remember these reviewers must be available in May, June, and July. Do not include any scientists whose fieldwork makes them unavailable. You may also indicate any reviewers who may be biased against your project.

Submission Instructions

Please e-mail to michele.frandsen@alaska.edu:

  1. Complete proposal in Microsoft Word format
  2. Spreadsheets as separate Microsoft Excel documents
  3. Entire proposal as a single PDF document

Reporting Requirements

All NOAA programs are required to report annually on their performance to NOAA leadership, OMB, and Congress. Thus, a part of the proposal evaluation will be based on outcomes and impacts of the research. The definition of “impacts” from the National Sea Grant Office:

Impacts are higher order, usually long-term results of a program’s activities that have significant scientific, economic or social benefits. Impacts may involve behavioral, policy or economic changes. Seminal contributions to science are considered impacts especially if the research findings lead to major progress in a particular field, implementation of new technologies or have a substantive bearing on an economic or societal issue. While breakthroughs do occur, it is important to realize that impacts are developed over the long term—both in the scientific arena and through sustained, integrated efforts by Sea Grant programs themselves.

Reporting requirements include submission of an annual report, a final report, and possible participation in an annual research review (in Anchorage) in the spring of each year. Additional assistance may be requested in ASG outreach, education, and special reporting efforts. By accepting grants from Alaska Sea Grant, investigators agree to these requirements. Failure to submit timely reports may result in freezing of remaining grant funds and denial of future funding opportunities.

Proposal Review Schedule

May 17, 2013, 5:00 p.m. Deadline: Full proposals with all institutional signatures due in Alaska Sea Grant office at 5 p.m., Alaska time.
Spring/summer 2013 Proposals sent out for peer review.
August 2013 Reviews offered to PIs for rebuttal.
Late August/September 2013 Scientific panel meets to advise on final selection of projects.
September 20, 2013 PIs notified.
November 1, 2013 Omnibus implementation plan due in National Sea Grant Office.
February 1, 2014 Funding available (anticipated). Earliest start date possible.

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Forms

Facilities and administration (F&A) costs rate for organized research
UAF 49.5%
UAA 45.3%
UAS 45.0%
If you are outside the UA system or have other questions, please contact Michele Frandsen at 907-474-7088 or michele.frandsen@alaska.edu.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this RFP, the required forms, or other information you feel might be missing, please contact Michele Frandsen at 907-474-7088 or michele.frandsen@alaska.edu. If you have problems viewing or using this web page, or cannot download the forms from the links above, email Carol Kaynor.

Appendix 1. NOAA Data Sharing Requirement

Data and information collected and/or created under NOAA grants and cooperative agreements must be made visible, accessible, and independently understandable to general users, free of charge or at minimal cost, in a timely manner (typically no later than two years after the data are collected or created), except where limited by law, regulation, policy or by security requirements.

The new requirement has two basic parts: (1) environmental data generated by a grant project must be made available after a reasonable period of exclusive use, and (2) the grant application must describe the plan to make the data available.

Full proposals are required to include a data sharing plan that clearly outlines the means by which qualifying data will be made available.  The written plan should be succinct, and must not exceed 2 pages in length, and is not counted in the page limits for the rest of the proposal.

The selection of method(s) for data sharing is the responsibility of the lead PI, and will depend on the nature of the project and the type(s) of data. Acceptable archive types include, but are not limited to, the following:

For more information, please see the Data Management Plan FAQs [PDF; 116 KB] or contact David Christie, Director, (907) 474-7949, david.christie@alaska.edu, or Michele Frandsen, Program Manager, (907) 474-7088, michele.frandsen@alaska.edu.