Michigan Sea Grant - Integrated Assessment Research

Michigan Sea Grant

Grant amount: Up to US $150,000

Next deadline: Mar 3, 2019 (Pre proposal)

Later deadlines: May 26, 2019 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Faculty Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Michigan

Location of residency: Michigan

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Note: PIs are not required to submit a pre-proposal in order to be eligible to submit a full proposal. 

Investigating Great Lakes Coastal Issues

Michigan Sea Grant supports research teams that study an array of issues affecting the Great Lakes and Michigan’s coastal areas. Research funded by MSG will contribute to improved understanding of coastal issues, as guided by our strategic plan. MSG brings together innovative research teams from Michigan universities, and where possible, leverages active research programs conducted by federal and state agencies.

The goals of our research program include providing science-based information that can help decision makers in real-life situations and that provide more insights into the Great Lakes ecosystem. Our extension educators and communications team convey research findings back to a variety of audiences on four of the five Great Lakes. The MSG research program supports both the Intgrated Assessment and the more traditional, data-gathering approach to research.

Integrated Assessment Research Projects

  • Research that uses Integrated Assessment methods to address important social and ecological issues affecting the Great Lakes. 

Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) will support Integrated Assessment research projects that tackle important ecological and social Great Lakes issues and that inform planning, policy, and natural resource management. These IA topics are aligned with the focus areas from the 2018-2021 Michigan Sea Grant Strategic Plan and have been suggested by a suite of advisors, including representatives from agencies and local community organizations. Past projects have focused on coastal wind energy development, storm water management for a downstream community, and restoration of natural flows in the Clinton River. Integrated Assessment researchers conduct a comprehensive analysis of relevant natural and social scientific information, working closely with stakeholders and MISG extension educators. The purpose of the assessment is to develop information, tools, and partnerships that will help decision makers better address the focal issue.

Suggested Integrated Assessment Topics

The suggested topics are organized by the focus areas of our strategic plan. Research investigators are also invited to develop their own unique research proposals that fit within one of our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan Focus Areas for consideration.

Four focus areas:

  • Healthy Coastal Ecosystems 
    • Topic: Ecological Assessment and Regional/Community Planning for Southwest Michigan
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture
    • Topic: Lake Michigan Fisheries Management
  • Resilient Communities and Economies
    • Topic: Littoral Sediment Management (Beach and Nearshore Sediment Management)
  • Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development
    • Topic: Assess and Test Innovative Methods of Public Engagement to Inform Water Policy
  • Topic: Developing an Alternate Integrated Assessment

See complete details here.

Integrated Assessment Approach

The Integrated Assessment process brings together citizens, industry representatives, scientists, and policy makers to define and evaluate policy or management options related to particularly difficult — wicked — environmental problems. Wicked problems are encountered where facts may be uncertain, values are in conflict, stakes are high, decisions are urgent, and community representation is required for resolution of the relevant issues (Gough, 1998). 

Integrated Assessments summarize scientific knowledge to build consensus and guide decision making. These projects are assessments because they involve expert review and analysis of existing data and information, rather than additional experimentation or new data collection. Projects integrate the needs of decision makers, perspectives of stakeholders, and expertise from several disciplines, typically physical, biological, and social sciences.

See complete details of the Integrated Assessment Approach here.

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


  • Qualified researchers at accredited Michigan universities are eligible to be Principal Investigators on MISG-funded projects.
    • However, project team members are not limited to university researchers.
  • Non-federal Match:  All proposals require a 50 percent non-federal match.