Biennial Request for Proposals

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Coming January 2019:
NH Sea Grant will announce details for the 2020-2021 RFP very soon! The information below applies to the 2018-2019 RFP cycle, which has already been awarded.

New Hampshire Sea Grant seeks pre-proposals for its next funding cycle 2018-2019 (which runs February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2020; overlapping one month beyond 2019 and into 2020). Every two years, NH Sea Grant (NHSG) issues an RFP for its Omnibus Proposal for those seeking major (< $100k/year) funding for research projects. During 2017, the program will be reviewing proposals from investigators for one or two-year research funding during 2018-2019. A brief summary of this opportunity is provided below along with links to additional information.

NH Sea Grant Call for Proposals

The guiding philosophy for NH Sea Grant is to serve the state and region by supporting innovative and cutting-edge research integrated with expert extension, outreach and education to support dialogue and science-based decision-making in areas of particular importance to our region. To meet our organizational mission, we seek to foster and support the highest quality marine and coastal research and education projects that relate to the NH Sea Grant Program’s Strategic Plan’s Focus Areas

  1. Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture
  2. Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
  3. Resilient Communities and Economies
  4. Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

For this particular RFP, the NH Sea Grant Program encourages proposals to address the need for Safe and Sustainable Seafood Production through responsible stewardship of healthy coastal ecosystems that balances ecosystem services and helps communities maintain working waterfronts and coastal economies. Achieving progress will require innovative biophysical, socio-economical and engineering research. High quality proposals that do not focus on this theme, but on other Focus Areas outlined in the current strategic plan will also be considered.

Examples of research topics related to this theme are:

  • Aquaculture production (technical, engineering, ecosystem impact) including an assessment of business opportunities and risks;
  • Improved science and understanding of ecological processes and community interactions in coastal and estuarine waters;
  • Improved seafood processing and marketing;
  • Harvesting and production methods that improve environmental impact of aquaculture/harvesting;
  • Reduced public and ecosystem risks due to contaminants, pathogens and biotoxins; and
  • Impacts of climate change on ecosystems and fisheries.

Successful proposals will clearly identify end users of the resulting research, and robust engagement activities will be a requirement for all proposals. Thus, we strongly recommend that researchers seek to work with Sea Grant extension specialists and educators as early as possible to ensure their input is integrated into proposals from the beginning.  See link to guidelines below.

The new Strategic Plan for NHSG is still under review by the national office, so please refer to the 2014-17 NH Sea Grant Strategic Plan that provides specific guidance on goals for research, extension and education. Investigators writing research proposals should carefully read this document and consider how their proposed project aligns with the research theme and/or the broader goals of NHSG. The links listed below provide information and access to important related information.

Submission Deadlines:

  • Pre-proposals must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on February 24, 2017.
  • Notification of the status of the review of all pre-proposals will be made by April 14, 2017.
  • Full proposals must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 2, 2017.

Please see RFP calendar to the right.

RFP Process Details:

Principal Investigators (PIs) must be affiliated with an academic or research laboratory institution of higher education in New Hampshire. Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) on proposed projects funded through sub awards can be from institutions outside of New Hampshire and/or non-profit and private research laboratories. Single investigators and multiple investigator research teams from different institutions are encouraged to apply. Proposed projects that involve work by PIs in two states in the Northeast will apply to both programs, and need to communicate the multi-state nature of the proposal to both programs.

Pre-proposals must be submitted by February 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (FIRM DEADLINE). Pre-proposals will be submitted through NH Sea Grant's eSeaGrant system at  Since this is a new system, we encourage you to start, and complete your submission well in advance of the deadline. Last minute submissions run the risk of encountering problems that cannot be resolved in time.

To begin, you will need to first register in eSeaGrant in order to receive login credentials to create an application:

  1. Click the grey register button at the top right-hand corner of the window to make your account.
  2. After you create your account, you will receive an email with login credentials. (If you do not receive a "Welcome" email with login credentials, please contact Sally Nelson at
  3. Once you login with your credentials, you can change your password. To do so click your name in the upper-right corner of the screen, and select "My Profile."

To start a proposal, or revisit/edit an existing proposal:

  1. Click on "Current Tasks" on the banner head
  2. Search for and click on the application labeled "NHSG 2018-2020 RFP"

All pre-proposals will include:

Project Narrative (three page maximum in PDF format) to include:

  • A concise description of the project
  • The programmatic relevance for Sea Grant funding (based on the 2014-2017 N.H. Sea Grant Strategic Plan)
  • Experimental design
  • Technical and Extension approaches
  • Expected outcomes, products and impacts of the effort
  • The end users of any results, new information and/or deliverables should be clearly and specifically identified
  • Bottom-line budget estimation and brief budget explanation
    • Please estimate the approximate overall cost of the project including the 50% match.
    • Detailed budget, institutional signatures and match details are not required for the preliminary proposal.

References: References will be uploaded in a PDF format. References will be uploaded into the eSeaGrant portal with the Project Narrative, but are not considered part of the Project Narrative three-page limit.

Personnel Description and Roles:  PI, Co-PI and senior staff contact information and one-page CV’s. PI name and contact information will be entered into fields within eSeaGrant. CV’s will be uploaded in PDF format.

Results of Prior Sea Grant Support: No more than one page per project in PDF format. Include all projects receiving funds from any Sea Grant program during the previous five years.

Sea Grant research proposals featuring strong research accompanied by meaningful engagement/extension components will be considered more competitive! Here are two important tips to help develop and strengthen the engagement components of your Sea Grant research proposal, whether or not Sea Grant or Cooperative Extension staff are formally involved.

Engage Extension staff early (i.e. during initial planning) in the proposal preparation process:

The benefits of working with an Extension staff member early on are many! They may, for example:

  • have access to needs assessments of the end users for whom you may be interested in providing information, knowledge or tools;
  • have access to audiences, stakeholders, volunteers or citizen scientists important for your work;
  • have outreach venues and opportunities already in place that would work for you;
  • know willing partners for demonstration projects, pilot projects or collaborative research;
  • be familiar with social science associated with successful implementation of new knowledge in your field;
  • help you locate more appropriate engagement partners if Extension is not the right partner.

All Extension staff have experience designing, developing and implementing outreach/education projects. Most have experience conducting needs assessments and evaluations. Many conduct applied research themselves.  Any of them should be able to help plan meaningful outreach components, contribute significantly to integration of outreach and research and add value to the project.

Engaging with Extension staff early in the proposal preparation process increases the likelihood that they will be able to contribute value to the project and/or commit time and effort if needed. The level of effort required and/or availability of other funding help determine whether or not salary funds will be needed from the proposed project for Extension staff. Browse these sites to locate staff who might be able to help you or identify others who could help.

Consider these questions:

If preparing a pre-proposal, use the questions below to help identify potential engagement directions and opportunities. You can reach out to Extension staff for help. If preparing a FULL Proposal, we suggest that you discuss these questions with an Extension staff member early in the proposal preparation process to help determine IF and WHAT extension could be included.

  • What new knowledge/tool will result from your project?
  • Why is this knowledge/tool needed?
  • Who could use that knowledge (aside from other scientists) and what would they use it for (e.g. decision making, improving practices, increasing profitability, reducing risk, etc.)?
  • Do you have some information indicating that the knowledge resulting from your project is needed or desired by the intended end users or by stakeholders?
  • What would it take for the end users to apply that new knowledge/tool?
  • If end users were able to apply the new knowledge/tool that resulted from your work, would there be an improvement in social, economic or environmental conditions?

 Questions or comments?  Contact Julia Peterson, NHSG Extension Program Leader, (603) 862-6706 or

Details for matching funds are not required during the preliminary proposal phase but will be for all final proposals. Sea Grant is a matching funds program, which requires that at least 50% of the aggregate federal dollars received be matched by state or private funds ($1 of match for every $2 of requested federal Sea Grant funds). NH Sea Grant recognizes that all PIs may not be able to provide a 50% match in their proposals. However, we ask that you provide as much as possible from non-federal sources. In-kind matching from university or other sources is often acceptable. Possible sources of matching funds include faculty/staff salaries, departmental or college student stipends, benefits, donated lab or ship time, indirect costs, and real or in-kind contributions from non-federal partners.

Proposed activities may be of one or two years in duration, for the period between February 1, 2018 and January 31, 2020 (the 2018-2019 RFP funding cycle overlaps one month beyond 2019 and into 2020).

The pre-proposal budget should not exceed $100,000 per year in Sea Grant funds, including all direct and indirect costs. In addition to Sea Grant funds, there is a 50% matching requirement, i.e. $1 in non-federal match is required for every $2 requested from Sea Grant. Therefore, the maximum annual budget is $100,000 in Sea Grant funds with a mandatory $50,000 non-federal match. The project scope should reflect the available funds.

Full proposals will be submitted via eSeagrant, the same system used to accept preliminary proposals. PI's will use the same user name and password as used for the preliminary proposals. If you have forgotten your password, please use the "forgot password" feature to trigger a reset.

Recall that in the eSeagrant work environment, your changes will be saved automatically and you can leave and return to enter data during multiple sessions. Your proposal will not be submitted until you enter the "hit submit" button in the last section: “Submission Preview”.

Upon entering eSeagrant the Principal Investigator (PI) will be presented with a series of tabs located on the left side of the screen. Each tab represents a section of the proposal and requires the PI to add information either by uploading PDF files or by entering information directly into a form field. See below for full instructions and additional information on each tab/section. Please be sure that PDF files DO NOT contain footers or headers containing file names or page number.

PI's should review the full instructions before beginning.

NHSG Biennial Request for Proposals - Full Instructions

90-4 Budget and Budget Justification

Full proposals are due on June 2, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. This is a hard deadline. The eSeagrant system will close promptly at 5:00 p.m.


RFP Calendar:

Jan. 4, 2017

Release 2018-2019 request for preliminary proposals

Feb. 24

Pre-proposals due by 5:00 p.m.

Mar. 8

Pre-proposals distributed to Advisory Panel

Apr. 10

Panel review

Apr. 14

Recommendations to PIs regarding development of full proposals

May 22

Peer reviewer list due to NHSG office by 4:30 p.m.

June 2

Full proposals due by 5:00 p.m.

June 17

Full proposal distributed to peer reviewers

July 24

Full proposal peer reviews due to NHSG by 5:00 p.m.

Aug. 4

Blinded peer reviews provided to PIs

Aug. 14

PI rebuttals due to NHSG by 5:00 p.m.

Aug. 16

Packages to Technical Advisory Panel and to National Sea Grant Office

Sept. 20

Technical Advisory Panel meets

Oct. 1

Applicants informed of decisions

Oct. 30

2018-2019 Omnibus proposal mailed to National Sea Grant Office

Feb. 1, 2018

Anticipated 2018-2019 awards begin

Jan. 31, 2020

2018-2019 funding cycle complete