Guidelines for Program Development Proposals

This opportunity is not open at this time.

Projects will be supported on a case-by-case basis as long as funds are available. Proposals must be for less than $10,000 in Sea Grant funds and have a 50-cent on a dollar of non-federal matching money. There is no overhead on PD grants. Before submitting, you must contact the director to determine whether Florida Sea Grant might support the research.

Program Development (PD) funds allow Florida Sea Grant (FSG) faculty to address timely coastal and ocean issues that cannot be anticipated during the year-long process of developing Annual Project proposals in the biennial grant period. PD funding also may support demonstrations essential to coastal user groups, pilot research studies or the transfer of information via workshops or other venues. Program Development projects are of short duration, low budget and yield a definitive result specifically tied to the circumstances that motivate the project.

Categories of Projects

Faculty in research, extension, and education should be prepared to explain and justify how their proposals (1) would fit one of the following categories; and (2) relate to the FSG overall mission and specific goals of its strategic plan.

1. Short-term, Urgent

Projects under this category address a short-lived phenomenon (e.g., the differential response of coastal construction and zoning codes to a hurricane, opening of a pass to the ocean, or mass stranding of marine mammals), or in some other way serve opportunistically to enhance the coastal economy or environment or add to knowledge in a way significantly greater than the small cost of the project.

2. Research to Application

These projects will provide training based on results of past Sea Grant-funded research projects to end-users in a manner that results in them adopting new policies, using new models, methods or tools, or incorporating the research results into decision making. The target audience must be clearly defined, engaged in development of the proposal so the event meets their needs, and the end-result must to be that an action occurs as a result of the new information being provided.

3. Pilot Study

Funding in this area is aimed at nurturing seed projects that develop the basis for capturing larger extramural support from another source. Or, these grants may allow exploration in an emerging area of potentially greater future Sea Grant involvement. For proposals in this category, we must know the specific granting agency and funding priority you will be addressing with a full proposal that makes use of the new data. We will not fund pilot studies that simply say that the data will allow the PI to be more competitive for other (unspecified) funding, and under no circumstance will we use PD funds to temporarily support some component of what clearly is on-going long-term research of the investigator.

4. Demonstrations

These projects provide coastal audiences with first-hand experience with either newly developed technologies or existing proven technologies from other areas of the country, e.g., using hatchery techniques from another region to raise fish in Florida.

5. Workshops and Conferences

Workshops and conferences will be supported in cases where Florida Sea Grant is an active participant in planning and implementation of the event and when it addresses a clearly defined issue that falls under our current strategic plan.

Proposal Instructions

Please provide, in one document, and in the order listed, the four completed forms, and a narrative text with each of the following nine headings, in order, to provide the information requested. Use 8 pages or less of single-spaced narrative, maximum, for sections 1-8. Use standard size type (at least 11-point). Submittal as an electronic attachment is required. (See below.)

None of the proposal preparation expenditures are to be charged to any current Sea Grant project.

Fiscal questions may be directed to Mr. Ed Harvey. For technical content questions and proposal preparation, contact Dr. Charles Sidman . (Telephone: 352/392-5870.)

TITLE PAGE: Investigators and the responsible university research or sponsored programs office must endorse this. Please submit one set of original signatures as paper copy. FOR UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FACULTY ONLY, please have your Dean, Director or Department Chair sign the Title Page so we know they are aware that you are submitting a proposal to us.

PROJECT SUMMARY FORM (90-2): Complete this form (90-2) as the final step in writing the proposal, in order to concisely summarize what is stated in the project proposal. Follow the instructions given below.

BUDGET PAGE (90-4): Complete the budget form (90-4) following instructions given below. Funding ordinarily is for 12 months or less. Note that the narrative has a section for explaining the budget (see below).

NARRATIVE SECTIONS: Written consecutively as paginated text. Please proofread carefully. Include the following nine items:

1. PROJECT TITLE: Please make this succinct and explicitly reflect both the (1) scientific aim and (2) anticipated application and intent of the project.

2. INTRODUCTION AND RATIONALE: Describe using quantitative information the problem or opportunity at hand. This section should document the magnitude of the situation, and the relevance of the issue or problem to Florida, regional, and national needs, and Florida Sea Grant priorities. This section needs to address both the scientific rationale for the project, and justify that the issue is a high priority. Review pertinent literature. Describe what makes this project innovative. Why is this topic important? Paginate the text, which begins with page 1.

3. GOAL AND OBJECTIVES: In one sentence, concisely state the overall goal of the proposed project. Then, please number and list the objectives. Proposals that state objectives in a way that enables measurable comparison to expected project results will fare best in review. Be realistic and do not list too many objectives.

4. PROJECT DESIGN: Please describe in detail (for peer review) the overall project design. For a research project state the hypothesis. How will the hypothesis be tested? Describe specific methodology and major aspects such as controls, replication, sampling, surveys, etc. If you are proposing a meeting, publication or demonstration, provide an equally rigorous plan. Provide a table or list of project milestones. Include literature references. Describe how this work would add to the body of knowledge in your scientific discipline.

5. PARTICIPANTS AND CO-SPONSORS: Identify the specific technical or lay interests (e.g., agency, business) that would participate in or be affected by such a project. Also, describe their role, e.g., matching funds, vessel time, personnel, etc. Proposals should explicitly identify extramural co-sponsors and clearly describe their commitment to funding and participation.

6. EXPECTED RESULTS, APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS: In turn, describe the expected (1) scientific/academic and (2) applied outcomes of the project. How will the research results advance this field of scholarship? If the objectives are attained, how would the results create new commercial opportunities, improve technological and economic efficiency or improve management decisions?

Please indicate any publications or workshops envisioned as resulting from the research – or in more detail if that is the purpose of the project – and how these will disseminate information to certain audiences. What cooperation and support from Florida Sea Grant Extension and Communications staff is required?

7. LITERATURE CITED: Provide complete reference information, per your disciplinary reviewed literature format.

8. BUDGET JUSTIFICATION: Instructions for completing the budget justification section of the proposal appear below. This must be detailed enough to satisfy university and federal fiscal staff. One dollar of matching will need to be provided for every two dollars of federal funding received. Any form of pass-through federal dollars cannot be used as matching funds.

FLORIDA SEA GRANT BIOGRAPHICAL DATA SHEET: Please complete this one-page form for each principal and associate investigator. This will help evaluation of qualifications and past performance, consistent with stage of career development. Ordinarily this is the last page of the proposal.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA FACULTYIf you show Effort, a Cost Sharing letter is also required.

Criteria for Support of Conferences

Generally we will provide support for workshops and conferences only if the answer to the following questions is yes.

1. Is it in a focus area emphasized by Florida Sea Grant? How does it relate to one of our strategic goals and objectives?

2. How will it advance the scientific field, or how will it advance FSG program management to enhance a given focus area, in terms of identifying, synthesizing or disseminating science-based information?

3. Is a session organized specifically to address Sea Grant-produced technical information, from either a research or outreach perspective?

4. Has FSG had a role in determining technical content of the meeting?

5. Has FSG been requested to supply funds well in advance of the meeting date (i.e., 8-12 months or more) in order to include it in program content planning as appropriate?

6. Is the request in a Program Development proposal format, with calendar of milestones included?

7. Does it bring recognition to an emerging academic unit or university to develop ocean or coastal programs?

Review Process

Proposals are read first by FSG program directors, work action groups, and on occasion, by our Executive Advisory Council. If subject, merit and relevance to Sea Grant are satisfactory, then external peer review is sought from experts in the discipline who are not affiliated with Florida academic institutions. We do this as quickly as possible.

Project Implementation

An award notice is sent to the principal investigator(s) if a project is funded. Program Development grants, as with all Sea Grant awards, are made on a reimbursement basis. Therefore, principal investigators must arrange with their institutions for credit for cash advances once the award is received. A final fiscal report of expenditures, and cost sharing, if applicable, is due one month after the completion date.

A final technical report is due on the last day of the project. Please allow time for this, and indicate it in the chart of milestones. Toward the end of the project, FSG report guidelines are sent. Technical reports are to be submitted using FSG’s online activity reporting system (OARS). As with biennial core projects, the format for final reports of Program Development projects should be discussed with the project’s contact person (i.e., FSG director or associate director in order to focus on the designated audience[s]).


Please submit the proposal electronically to Melissa Macarages. This should be attachments for the Project Record, narrative, budget and biographical data. For UF faculty please include a signed cost sharing letter.

Instructions for Preparing Sea Grant Project Summary Form  (90-2)

The Project Summary Form is intended to present a concise description of the funded activity in a form useful to a variety of readers not necessarily requiring detailed information. The form is not a substitute for proposals or reports but should permit judgments as to whether such proposals or reports merit reading for a particular purpose. You will need to provide the following information:

PROJECT TITLE: Project titles should be carefully constructed to give as much information as possible about the project in not more than two lines (about 16 words, preferably less). Consider always that there will be people who will judge the content of a program from scanning a list of titles. The title should be specific, descriptive of the activity, and clearly indicate subject and anticipated outcome.

COMPLETION DATE: The date on which it is estimated that the project will be complete.

PRINCIPAL, ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR: Names of Principal Investigator and Associates (last name first, full first name and middle initial) whose efforts are significant to the success of the project.

AFFILIATION: The academic affiliation of investigators, e.g., FAU Ocean Engineering, FSU Biology.

OBJECTIVES: This section should state concisely what the investigator will do. Stated objectives should enable comparison later to project results. Be specific and brief. State the overall goal, and then the individual objectives.

METHODOLOGY: In concise outline form, with an optional one or two sentence preface, state the methodology to be used.

RATIONALE: This section should make a concise statement of why this problem or opportunity is being addressed. Be quantitative. The project need not promise to fully solve a problem, but it should be shown that it is a logical step towards a solution. Long involved background statements should be avoided. Where the potential users have been identified, this should be conveyed. This information should be no longer than six lines.

Instructions for Preparing the Budget Form (90-4)

All expenditures listed on the budget must be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circular A-21 on cost accounting standards. OMB circular A-21 states that administrative and clerical salaries and other general office supplies will be charged as indirect costs. For more information on circular A-21 please contact the contracts and grants office of your institution. Any variation from OMB circular A-21 will be the sole responsibility of the grantee institution.

Please be informed that no budget justification information is to be put on the budget form 90-4. All budget justification narrative on the line items of your budget need to be in the budget justification section of the grant. (See separate instructions, below this section.)

1. Program Development grants are for 1 year. The Budget year is automatically calculated in the form. Please only complete Tab B (Year 1) and the information will automatically fill in Tab A (Cumulative Budget).

2. The Grantee Institution line is for the name of your institution, e.g., University of South Florida.

3. Principal Investigators line should contain the name of primary principal investigator at your institution who is responsible for this project. If there is more than one you may list them as well. e.g., J.C. Porter/T.W. Day.

4. Duration/Months: This is for the number of months this budget period is for. e.g., 02/01/2015–07/31/2015 = 6 months, the number 6 will go into that space. Project duration must not extend beyond 1 year.

5. The Grant Project Number is assigned by Florida Sea Grant after it receives your proposal.

Lines A1a through line A2h. :

6. Column E: the Number of People involved with each line item. For line A2h you may type in your own description.

7. Column F: cumulative Man Months committed by all individuals identified in the line item.

8. Column G: Sea Grant Funds represents the amount of federal funding you are requesting from Sea Grant.

9. Column H: This is the amount of Match Funding that you and your institution will provide. One dollar of matching will need to be provided for every two dollars of federal funding received. Any form of pass-through federal dollars can not be used as matching funds.

10. All salary line items will need a complete justification in the Budget Justification section of the proposal. (See instructions below.)

11. Line B: Fringe Benefits, represents the cumulative amount for all employees.

12. Line C: Each item must be identified and purchase justified in the budget justification section of the grant.

13. Line D: Expendable Supplies and Equipment. You must break down the cost of your expendable supplies in your budget justification.

14. Line E 1 +2: Travel, the cumulative cost for domestic and international travel will need to be shown separately. Make sure in your justification you identify each trip that will take place and its cost separately.

15. Line F: Publications. Make sure the cumulative cost of this line has been justified in the budget justification section of the grant.

16. Lines G 1-9: Other Cost. Some of the major components of the other cost section have been identified for you. Make sure you to justify each line item in the justification section of your proposal. Two lines have been left blank so you may write your own description. Misc. is not considered a valid description; if you use the caption Misc. make sure it is for a small amount and break down the cost of it in your budget justification section.

17. Line TDC: The total direct cost line is the sum of all the direct costs it will take to run your project for the given time identified by the Grant Budget Period. This is automatically calculated.

18. Line MTDC: This is the Modified Total Direct Cost line. The amount that goes here is the amount of direct cost that will have Indirect Cost Charged (IDC) against it. The direct cost included on this line will vary from institution to institution depending on what was negotiated between the federal government and your institution. The amount will not always be the same as the total direct cost line. This is automatically calculated.

19. No indirect costs are paid for Program Development projects. Please leave these cells blank.

Budget Justification Narrative Instructions

The Budget Justification (narrative section 8) should track directly with the 90-4 budget sheet, giving item-by-item justifications. It is important to explain the items listed on the budget sheet. Tell major duties of personnel and percentages of time for graduate students (e.g., “Laboratory Technologist I – This employee will…” or “Graduate Assistant – This will be a 1/3 time appointment. The graduate student will…”). Although students are appropriate and significant components of Sea Grant projects, federal funds cannot be spent on student expenses for class work or thesis manuscript-related activities, such as typing, after the research is finished.

All capital or permanent equipment must be listed along with the cost, a brief description, and the purpose of each item. Capital equipment and office or general equipment must be approved by the federal office before purchase. Construction funds and purchase or repair of vessels and vehicles are not eligible for Sea Grant funding but prior approval of rental for vessels may be obtained from the agency. Rates per hour or trip and estimated number of hours needed should be given.

For travel, give the formula for deriving the proposed amount (e.g., number of miles at $.405 per mile to some destination so many times a year). Remember to include estimated airplane fare or mileage allowances rate, per diem, lodging and or food and incidental rates and number of days and personnel. This information is required for each trip, including location if possible.

Do not include costs for reprints or publication page charges. Manuscript, illustration preparation costs are allowable.

Consultants must be very well justified as essential to the project, not just convenient. The Federal office must also approve them in advance based upon this justification and a curriculum vitae supplied with the proposal. Rates and estimated number of hours should be stated. Biographical Data Sheets must also be included for consultants. We will give preference to funding that supports students rather than consultants or technicians.