Rhode Island Sea Research Grant

Rhode Island Sea Grant

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Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 22, 2021 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jun 7, 2022

Applicant type: Research Scientist College / University Postdoctoral Researcher Nonprofit Faculty

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Rhode Island

Location of residency: Rhode Island

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Rhode Island Sea Grant’s mission is to improve understanding and management of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine ecosystems to achieve its vision for vibrant, healthy coastal communities, economies, and marine environments that are resilient in the face of change. To achieve that, informed decision-making is reliant on sound science to provide a better understanding of the environment. Sea Grant identifies essential research topics through consultation with partners, stakeholders, and experts, ensuring that researchers work closely with Sea Grant extension specialists so that best available science and technical and legal information informs business and government.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is for research projects (individual or multi-institutional) up to 2 years in length to be funded under Rhode Island Sea Grant’s 2018-2022 Omnibus Proposal. Project funding will begin 01 February 2020 and end 31 January 2022.


Rhode Island Sea Grant’s core mission is to improve understanding and management of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine ecosystems. To achieve this mission, we provide support for scientific research, legal and policy studies, outreach, extension, communications, and educational workforce development programs. Our primary offices are located at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography. Our Legal Program is located at Roger Williams University School of Law, and our extension program is at the URI Coastal Resources Center. Rhode Island Sea Grant is a partnership among URI, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the State of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking. We encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types to apply for this opportunity.

We anticipate supporting up to eight (8) projects contingent upon receipt of federal funding. Modification in the number of and/or funding for individual proposals may be made based on final program budget allocations. Each proposal for this highly competitive research program receives extensive peer review, with final evaluation conducted by an ad hoc panel of external technical experts, and relevancy review panelists.

Rhode Island Sea Grant’s Research Priorities for 2020–2022

For the 2020–2022 portion of its 2018–2022 Omnibus, Rhode Island Sea Grant intends to fund projects that include Sea Grant’s functional areas of research, education, outreach, and communications, and that are collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and/or multi-institutional in the following topical/thematic areas:

1) Improved understanding of impacts of ecosystem change, such as from ocean acidification, water temperature increase, harmful algal blooms, or changes in nutrient dynamics, (e.g., from nutrient reduction programs), to shellfish and/or aquaculture in Rhode Island waters, including, but not limited to:

  • Effects of ocean acidification on settlement and establishment of shellfish larvae;
  • Ecology of harmful algae blooms, particularly Pseudo-nitzschia species, and factors that influence production (or lack) of domoic acid;
  • Prevalence and impacts of disease and parasitic organisms, such as Vibrio;
  • Impact of micro-plastics on shellfish growth.

2) Improved understanding of the change in benthic communities of Narragansett Bay over time relative to nutrient reduction programs, changing water temperatures, acidification, and/or anthropogenic influenced change, including, but not limited to:

  • Comparative studies of benthic community change over time in Upper Narragansett Bay as compared to previous studies and surveys;
  • Comparative studies of benthic community change between upper and lower bay, or along northsouth transects, relative to nutrient availability and/or environmental change over time.

EXPERIMENTAL METHODS NOTE—Methodologies employed in the study of the above areas may be suitable for use of the mesocosm facilities located at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography campus. This RFP encourages the use of these facilities for experimentation in the topical areas described above. Those proposals that incorporate use of the mesocosm facilities at URI GSO may apply for an additional $25,000 in funds, per year, to help defray costs associated with use of the mesocosms for experimentation. (see Budget Development section for details)

Budget Development

Research proposals NOT making use of mesocosm facilities at URI GSO will have a $125,000 per year, $250,000 total project maximum allowable budget, which includes institutional overhead.

Research proposals USING mesocosm facilities located at URI GSO will have a $150,000 per year, $300,000 total project maximum allowable budget, which includes institutional overhead.

Sea Grant is a match program; for each $2 of Sea Grant funding received at least $1 of non-federal support must be contributed. The applicant is responsible for provision of the 50% match on the total funding requested. Federal funds cannot be used as matching funds. Match support may include:

  • Salaries, wages, and benefits of those working on the project;
  • Tuition provided by non-­­federal sources;
  • Expendable supplies, equipment and ship time;
  • Indirect costs;
  • Contributions by private, local, or state entities or non-­­federal special project funds.

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