Alaska Sea Grant Research Grants

Alaska Sea Grant

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Grant amount: Up to US $250,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2021 6:00pm PST (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 17, 2021 6:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Research Scientist Government Entity Faculty Indigenous Group Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Alaska

Location of residency: Alaska

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Alaska Sea Grant Research Grants

As part of our mission to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of Alaska’s marine, coastal and watershed resources through research, education and extension, Alaska Sea Grant supports a number of formal, peer-reviewed research projects on a two-year cycle.

Established at the University of Alaska in 1970, Alaska Sea Grant is one of 33 state programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sea Grant College Program, authorized by Congress in 1968. We are funded by federal and state appropriations, as well as project-specific funds from local governments, federal and state agencies, community organizations and industry. 

Alaska Sea Grant (ASG) 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 invites pre-proposals for research projects for the 2020–2022 biennium. Investigators at academic, research, and education institutions throughout the state of Alaska are invited to apply for one to two-year research projects that contribute to Alaska Sea Grant and state priority information needs, and advance knowledge in one of four focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development. 

We anticipate that approximately $500,000 per year will be available for this solicitation. Based on review of the pre-proposals, approximately 10–15 invitations to submit full proposals may be issued. Normal project duration is no more than two years, with project budgets averaging roughly $100,000, not including graduate student funding. Two years of graduate student support will be provided in addition to the project budget for each funded project. Because Sea Grant funds are subject to annual federal appropriations, all awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Program Summary and Priorities

Alaska Sea Grant encourages applications from researchers in the natural, social, and education sciences. ASG is especially interested in supporting collaborative projects, synthesis projects, interdisciplinary partnerships, and graduate students. Partnerships among academic and research institutions, agencies, local government, industry, and user groups are encouraged. For research projects that address regional issues beyond Alaska, engage investigators outside of Alaska, and involve other Sea Grant programs, please consult with ASG to explore joint submittal and funding procedures.

Successful proposals combine scientific excellence and a focus on problems and opportunities facing marine and coastal users, managers, and educators. Current research projects are described on the ASG website.

Proposed research projects must identify priorities to be addressed and align with the critical program areas and goals identified in the draft ASG 2018–2021 Strategic Plan with four interrelated themes.

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

Alaska’s diverse and productive marine and coastal ecosystems face unprecedented challenges from human activities and a changing climate. Alaska Sea Grant focuses on increasing the shared body of knowledge about these ecosystems, particularly to address concerns and interests of stakeholders and to support planning, management and mitigation. 

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

Alaska fisheries and aquaculture provide food, jobs, and economic and cultural value. Alaska Sea Grant focuses on facilitating the sustainable use of safe and high quality seafood and other marine resources and the sustainability of fisheries resources. National Sea Grant may provide Alaska Sea Grant additional funding for highly ranked aquaculture proposals received through this competition.

Resilient Communities and Economies

Alaska’s coastal communities depend on coastal resources amid a time of environmental change. Alaska Sea Grant focuses on increasing resilience and well-being of coastal communities through diversification, growth, and strengthening of coastal economic sectors and maritime businesses; increasing capacity of Alaska’s coastal communities to adapt and respond to coastal hazards; and lowering the human risk of maritime activities. 

Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

Alaska has a diverse and far-flung population with varying degrees of access to educational resources. Alaska Sea Grant focuses on increasing effective environmental literacy communication and instruction and increasing awareness of and opportunities for careers in Alaska’s maritime sectors. 

Award information

Alaska Sea Grant’s research awards are from four-year federal omnibus grants that integrate research, education, public engagement, and administrative activities. The omnibus period for this call runs from February 1, 2018, through January 31, 2022. This request for proposals covers the second half of the period and projects will be conducted primarily in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Projects may be scheduled to begin on February 1, 2020 and may be of one or two years in duration, with an end date of January 31, 2022. Project awards are contingent on the availability of funds to ASG through NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office.

Student support

Student training is an important project component. The direct involvement of graduate students is expected for all research projects. ASG encourages projects that support student exposure to employment opportunities in marine businesses and professions. Maritime workforce projects that build pathways and programs for students to pursue maritime careers are encouraged. Project budgets may include support for undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Two years of graduate student support will be provided to each funded research project outside of the project budget. Only in exceptional cases will research projects be funded that lack significant involvement of graduate or undergraduate students or postdoctorates.

Engagement plan

Each proposal must provide an engagement plan that describes how broader audiences will engage with and use the project results. For research projects, this plan should explain how the project will translate and communicate research activities and results into knowledge for community economy and well-being. For projects with workforce and literacy outcomes, the primary focus should be on how the project will build environmental literacy or workforce capacity in Alaska or provide evidence-based strategies to accomplish these outcomes. For more information, see here

PIs are strongly encouraged to work with ASG outreach, communications, and education staff and to identify and contact user groups, industry, and government agencies that will benefit from project results in the beginning and conceptual stages of the project. Staff also can help facilitate interaction with appropriate organizations and are available to discuss specific outreach, communications, and education ideas, as well as potential beneficiaries (users) and outcomes.

Conflicts of interest, human subjects, and animal care

All projects undertaken through ASG must be conducted in full compliance with applicable federal and state laws pertaining to conflicts of interest.

For projects that involve research on vertebrate animals or human subjects, it is the PI’s responsibility to identify and ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and institutional requirements. PIs must identify use of vertebrate animals or human subjects in full proposal submissions. University of Alaska Fairbanks PIs should contact the Office of Research Integrity, if their research includes vertebrate animals or human subjects. Other investigators should contact the relevant divisions at their institution. Project funds will not be awarded without appropriate approvals.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Project Principal Investigators (PIs) must be affiliated with a university, two- or four-year college, museum, research laboratory, or other nonprofit or tribal research or education institution in Alaska. 
    • Project Co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs) may be affiliated with the above-listed Alaska institutions, research or education institutions outside of Alaska, state and federal agencies, and for-profit and foreign organizations.
  • ASG welcomes proposals for cooperative projects involving research institutions and the private sector. 


  • Individuals from state and federal agencies and for-profit and foreign organizations are discouraged or prohibited from requesting direct support. 
  • ASG discourages PIs from submitting more than two preliminary proposals.
    • Even if a PI submits multiple preliminary proposals that are encouraged for development as a full proposal, he or she will be limited to submittal of a single project as PI to the full proposal stage.
    • There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an investigator may serve as co-PI.
  • PIs who have received ASG funds previously and have not completed all reporting requirements are ineligible for future funding until reports have been submitted and approved.