Biological Oceanography Program

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Next deadline: Aug 15, 2018

Later deadlines: Feb 15, 2019, Aug 15, 2019, Feb 15, 2020, Aug 15, 2020, Feb 15, 2021, Aug 15, 2021

Applicant type: Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher Government Entity Nonprofit For-Profit Business Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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The Biological Oceanography Program supports research in marine ecology broadly defined: relationships among aquatic organisms and their interactions with the environments of the oceans or Great Lakes. Projects submitted to the program for consideration are often interdisciplinary efforts that may include participation by other OCE Programs.

The Biological Oceanography Program supports marine ecological projects in environments ranging from estuarine and coastal systems to the deep sea, and in the Great Lakes. Proposals submitted to the Program should have a compelling ecological context and address topics that will contribute significantly to the understanding of marine and the Great Lakes ecosystems. The Biological Oceanography Program often co-reviews and supports projects with other programs in the Division of Ocean Sciences and in the Directorate of Biology (BIO). Proposals may be more appropriate for programs in BIO as the lead program if the primary focus is on organismal physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, population biology, systematics, etc. Similarly, some ocean-focused, interdisciplinary studies may be more appropriately directed to one of the other programs in the Division of Ocean Sciences or programs in the Division of Polar Programs as the lead program. Investigators are encouraged to contact Program Officers by e-mail to determine the appropriate program for their proposal.

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


  • Individuals and organizations in the following categories may submit proposals:

      • Universities and colleges: US universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
      • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
      • For-profit organizations: US commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education. 
        • An unsolicited proposal from a commercial organization may be funded when the project is of special concern from a national point of view, special resources are available for the work, or the proposed project is especially meritorious. 
        • NSF is interested in supporting projects that couple industrial research resources and perspectives with those of universities; therefore, it especially welcomes proposals for cooperative projects involving both universities and the private commercial sector.
      • State and Local Governments: State educational offices or organizations and local school districts may submit proposals intended to broaden the impact, accelerate the pace, and increase the effectiveness of improvements in science, mathematics and engineering education in both K-12 and post-secondary levels.
      • Unaffiliated Individuals: Scientists, engineers or educators in the US and US citizens may be eligible for support, provided that the individual is not employed by or affiliated with an organization, and: 
        • has demonstrated the capability and has access to any necessary facilities to carry out the project; and
          • agrees to fiscal arrangements that, in the opinion of the NSF Division of Grants & Agreements, ensure responsible management of Federal funds.
          • Unaffiliated individuals must contact the appropriate program prior to preparing and submitting a proposal.


        • NSF does not normally support technical assistance, pilot plant efforts, research requiring security classification, the development of products for commercial marketing, or market research for a particular project or invention.

        • NSF does not normally support research or education activities by scientists, engineers or educators employed by Federal agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).

          • A scientist, engineer or educator, however, who has a joint appointment with a university and a Federal agency (such as a Veterans Administration Hospital, or with a university and a FFRDC) may submit proposals through the university and may receive support if he/she is a bona fide faculty member of the university, although part of his/her salary may be provided by the Federal agency.

          • Under unusual circumstances, other Federal agencies and FFRDCs may submit proposals directly to NSF. Preliminary inquiry should be made to the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

        • Foreign organizations: NSF rarely provides support to foreign organizations

          • NSF will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving US and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the US portion of the collaborative effort.