Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research

CLOSED for new applications.

Selection have not been announced yet.

If you have questions, please respond to this email address oar.hq.sg.aquaculture@noaa.gov.

 

Depending on the availability of funds, NOAA Sea Grant expects to have up to $3,000,000 available for a national competition to fund new FY 2014 marine aquaculture research projects. This is part of the overall plan to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes aquaculture.

Topical priorities for this FY 2014 competition are, briefly (see detailed descriptions in the Federal Funding Opportunity):

  • Research to inform pending, regulatory decisions on the local, state, or federal level leading to an information product-- such as a tool, technology, template, or model-- needed to make final decisions on a specific question regarding impacts of aquaculture;
  • Public-private research partnerships that address specific, current problems with production technology, especially those that limit a steady supply of marine or Great Lakes fingerlings; 
  • Social and/or economic research targeted to understand aquaculture issues in a larger context.  

Applicants must describe how their proposed work will rapidly and significantly advance U.S. marine aquaculture development in the short-term (1-2 years after project completion).

Budget requests will keep the following in mind: no more than $250,000 in federal funds will be awarded per year, totaling no more than $500,000 in federal funds for the entire project. 

50% Non-federal matching funds are required.

To obtain the RFP, please visit Grants.gov, FFO number: NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003987;

On 2/7/14, clarifications were made to the RFP was published on Grants.gov.  Please visit that page and download the current version.

Deadlines:

  • Pre-proposals must be received by electronic mail to the National Sea Grant Office by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 21, 2014.
  • Full proposals are due from applicants to the state Sea Grant Program by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 2014. (State Sea Grant Programs must forward all full proposal applications to Grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 30, 2014.)

For a list of Sea Grant National Aquaculture research projects funded in previous cycles, please follow these links to find FY2010 and FY2012 projects.  (Keep in mind that they also contain extension and technology transfer projects.)  We have past projects funded in similar competitions (National Marine Aquaculture Initiative) on the National Marine Fisheries Service Aquaculture Funding Page (click here).

Please refer all questions to oar.hq.sg.aquaculture@noaa.gov

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Questions and Responses about the 2014 NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Competition NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003987

 [last updated 4/30/2014]

Disclaimer: Please consult the official Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) Announcement available on http://grants.gov for official information on the requirements of this competition. (Search for Funding Opportunity number NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003987.) The answers in this Q&A document are NOT official competition requirements. 

General:

 

Q: When are full proposals due?
A: Please refer to the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcements for questions about submission requirements. The FFO announcement, and not this Q&A page, provides the official information for this competition. The announcement is available on http://grants.gov. Search for Funding Opportunity number NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003987.
The FFO says that full proposals are due from applicants at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 2014, regardless of where they are submitted.

Q: Where are proposals due?
A:  Applicants in different locations have different instructions for submitting full proposals. Please refer first to the Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement. The FFO announcement, and not this Q&A page, provides the official information for this competition. The announcement is available on http://grants.gov. Search for Funding Opportunity number NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003987. 

Q: I have a question about the matching requirements for the full proposals. Is this cash only or can in-kind forms of match be used?

A:  In-kind contributions can count towards this matching requirement, but you should consult with your Sea Grant Program with all questions about matching funds.  Determining the appropriateness of all matching funds (including in-kind contributions) is the responsibility of the university or organization submitting the award, and is subject to approval by NOAA Grants Management Division, in accordance with OMB Circulars. Applicants are bound by the percentage of matching funds in the grant award. 

Q: Where do I send the pre-proposal?  

A: Send pre-proposals to the National Sea Grant Office via email at oar.hq.sg.aquaculture@noaa.gov

Q: Are there specific forms that I need to get from Grants.gov for the pre-proposal stage?

A: Not for the pre-proposal stage.  Aside from the format requirements, the pre-proposals can be PDF or a common word processing format, addressing the Pre-proposal Content Requirements listed in the Funding Announcement / RFP (pages 6-7) 

Q: Are letters of support/references required at the pre-proposal stage?

A: Letters of support are not required at the pre-proposal stage.  See the list of required Pre-proposal Content Requirements (a-k) in the Funding Announcement/RFP (pages 6-7).  Although these are not required, if you feel it is important, you can include it in your 3-page proposal.

Q: What projects have been funded in previous cycles?

A: For a list of Sea Grant National Aquaculture research projects funded in cycles, please follow these links to find FY2010 and FY2012 projects.  (Keep in mind that they also contain extension and technology transfer projects.)  We have past projects funded in similar competitions (National Marine Aquaculture Initiative) on the National Marine Fisheries Service Aquaculture Funding Page for cycles before 2010 (click here).

Q. Is this a one-shot funding opportunity, or is it anticipated that there will be other calls annually under this initiative?  Also, will there be an upcoming National Marine Aquaculture Initiative (NMAI) competition this fiscal year?

A. This will likely be NOAA's only aquaculture-specific competition for the remainder of this fiscal year (FY2014).  Some applications selected in this competition may be funded next year, pending congressional appropriations.

Q. How tight do you expect the competition to be?

A. Past Sea Grant aquaculture research competitions have sometimes had nearly 10-20 times as many pre-proposals submitted as could be funded.

Eligibility questions:

Q: Can pre-proposal applicants still apply for a full proposal, despite receiving notice that a full proposal is discouraged?

A: All those who submit complete and timely pre-proposals and meet all requirements are eligible to submit a full proposal.  There is no "decision" made at this stage or "invitation" required to submit a full proposal.  The pre-proposal step merely allows the applicant to make an informed decision on whether to submit a full proposal or not. 

Q: I did not prepare a pre-proposal. Can I still submit a full proposal?
A: No. As stated in the FFO, only applicants who submitted a pre-proposal are eligible to submit a full proposal.

Q: Can NOAA (and other federal) labs and personnel be funded participants under this call? 

A: Federal agencies and their personnel are not permitted to receive federal funding (e.g., salary, travel) under this competition; however, federal scientists can serve as uncompensated partners or co-Principal Investigators on research proposals.  Also, note that any federal equipment or time you spend as a federal employee working on this cannot be counted towards the required non-federal matching funds.

Q: Can Sea Grant Directors apply?  What about other management personnel?

A: Directors of the state Sea Grant Programs are not eligible to compete for funds under this announcement, although for administrative purposes, they will be considered to be the Principal Investigator for all awards made to their state programs.  All other Sea Grant personnel are eligible.

Q: Are non-U.S. research institutions and individuals eligible to apply?  The announcement doesn't seem to specifically prohibit this.  Can project activities occur outside the U.S.?

A: Sea Grant funding is limited by legislation to activities that “…"increase the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, and conservation of the Nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources…” Foreign entities are eligible to apply and project activities may occur outside of the U.S., as long as any proposed work is relevant to the RFP and directly impacts U.S. resources. If you choose to propose activities outside the U.S., applicants must clearly articulate how those activities support U.S. resources and should pay attention to the priorities for the competition.

 

Priorities for this competition:

Q: Do I need to address all three of this year's research topical areas listed in B.2.a-c (i.e., regulatory research, hatchery production, social science) to be competitive?  

A: No.  A proposal does not need to address all three of the research topical areas to be competitive.

Q: Is the second research topical area (B.2.b) limited to only some life stages?  Is it limited to finfish only?

A: No.  This research topic is intended to address production technology.  It is intended to cover all species, not just finfish, and includes all production technology issues, not only those that limit the production of marine fingerlings.  This includes, but is not limited to new production technologies that reduce mortality risk for aquaculture species and improve their nutritional value while reducing pressure on wild stocks. 

Q: I think I have a specific technical focus for my proposal (e.g., disease, water quality, biotechnology).  Is this work eligible and a good fit for the scope of this call?

A: Your focused topic is eligible for submission, but please pay careful attention to the program topical priorities in the FFO announcement: 1) Research to inform pending, regulatory decisions on the local, state, or federal level leading to an information product-- such as a tool, technology, template, or model-- needed to make final decisions on a specific question regarding impacts of aquaculture; 2) Public-private research partnerships that address specific, current problems that limit a steady supply of marine or Great Lakes fingerlings; and 3) Social and/or economic research targeted to understand aquaculture issues in a larger context. Applicants must describe how their proposed work will rapidly and significantly advance U.S. marine aquaculture development in the short-term (1-2 years after project completion).  Proposals that do not address the priorities have a reduced chance of success.  Also, see Q&A answer for previous projects that have been funded for FY 2102, FY2010, and earlier.

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