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Application Preparation and Submission Instructions
Project directors are advised to review application preparation and submission instructions carefully and submit any questions to [email protected] well in advance of the submission deadline. Although the Gulf Research Program strives to respond to applicants’ questions within 2 business days, the response time depends on the volume of questions received and the complexity of the question asked. The Gulf Research Program does not guarantee that applicants’ questions will be answered before submission deadlines. Applicants are advised to submit applications well in advance of the submission deadlines as a precaution against unanticipated delays. Please plan ahead.

Please be advised that the Gulf Research Program expects applicants to have reviewed the Grant Agreement (see “Grant Terms and Conditions” below) prior to submitting an application to ensure that the applicant is aware of the applicable terms under which the grant is offered. It is the policy of the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to entertain potential modifications to the Grant Agreement only under the most exceptional circumstances. Rather, successful applicants are strongly encouraged to sign the Grant Agreement as presented.

Applications must be submitted via the
. Applications submitted by other means (including mail, fax, or e-mail) will not be considered. It is important that all applications conform to the instructions provided. Conformance is required and will be strictly enforced. The Gulf Research Program may reject, without review, applications that are not consistent with the instructions.

The application must include the following elements:

Required Contact Information Form that includes:
  • Required Information on the:
    • Applicant
    • Project director
    • Authorized organizational representative (AOR)
    • Grant/contract administrator (if different from AOR)
  • Optional Information (responses in this section will not be shared with reviewers and will not affect the application evaluation):
    • Suggestions for reviewers. The suggestions may be considered for the peer review of applications, but the selection of reviewers is the responsibility of the Gulf Research Program.
    • How did you hear about this funding opportunity?
    • Demographic information
CLICK HERE to see sample form.

Required Application Form that includes:
  1. Project topic (up to 15 words)
  2. Project title
  3. Total budget
  4. Sub-award to FFRDC(s) or UARC(s) (if applicable)
  5. Key personnel
    • Federal employees as key personnel
    • Name(s), affiliation(s), and expertise of key personnel
  6. Project director’s or key personnel’s involvement in other applications
    • List the names of key personnel involved in other applications
  7. Project summary (up to 500 words)
  8. Project description (up to 2,000 words)
  9. Implementation plan (up to 2,000 words)
  10. Facilities, equipment and other resources (up to 1,000 words)
  11. Data management plan (up to 1,500 words). Please see the Gulf Research Program’s Data Management Policy.
  12. References cited
  13. Budget justification (up to 1,000 words). CLICK HERE to see a sample budget justification.
  14. Attachments
    • Required attachments:
      • Budget Form: CLICK HERE to download form to provide information on the proposed budget. Please note that in-kind support is permissible of Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems Grants 1.
      • Résumé(s): A résumé (limited to two pages for each person) is required for each individual identified as project director and key personnel. CLICK HERE to see additional résumé specification. Please combine all resumes into a single PDF before uploading it as an attachment.
      • Current and Pending Support form: CLICK HERE to download form and complete it to provide information on the current and pending support of the project director, and other key personnel, if applicable.
      • Collaborators and other affiliations: The purpose of this form is to help us eliminate potential conflicts of interest during our reviewer recruitment. CLICK HERE to download form and complete it to provide information on the following (including their current organizational affiliations):
        • All persons who are currently, or who have been collaborators (i.e. an individual with whom you work closely to co-design or conduct a project) or co-authors with the individual on a project, book, article, report, abstract, or paper during the 48 months preceding the submission of the application.
        • The individual’s own graduate and postdoctoral advisor(s) and their current organizational affiliations.
        • All persons (including their organizational affiliations) with whom the individual has had an association as a graduate or postdoctoral advisor.
    • Optional attachments:
      • Equations, Figures and Tables: Applicants may upload a PDF document with a list of equations to support the project description. In addition to the list of equations, applicants may include up to 5 illustrations (for example, figures and tables) in the PDF to support the project description. If the total number of illustrations in the PDF exceeds 5, only the first 5 that appear in the document will be considered in peer review.
      • Letters of Support: Applicants may upload a PDF document with letters of support from collaborators and stakeholders who will inform, carry out part of, or participate in the proposed project. Please combine all letters of support into a single PDF document before uploading as an attachment.
CLICK HERE to see sample form. 

Peer Review Process:
All complete applications will be sent to external reviewers for panel review. The external review panel will evaluate the applications on the basis of the Merit Review Criteria, discuss the merit and all received comments for each application, and rank the applications. The Gulf Research Program will make reasonable efforts to develop a review panel in which external reviewers will not be affiliated with any institution that submitted applications. In any event, external reviewers with conflicts of interest are recused from reviewing or participating in any discussion of applications. Program staff will examine the applications and prepare a grant-funding plan taking into consideration the review panel’s ranking of the applications, summaries from the panel discussion, and the program’s funding availability, current portfolio, objectives, and goals. The grant-funding plan will be subject to oversight by a subset of current or former Gulf Research Program Advisory Board members. The Gulf Research Program strives to have current or former Advisory Board members not affiliated with institutions that submitted projects oversee the grant-funding plan and recommend a list of projects for funding. Individual applications and their reviews will not be reviewed by Advisory Board members affiliated with the institution that submitted the applications. Current or former advisory Board members are recused from individual applications involving conflict of interest. The final decision for funding will be made by the Gulf Research Program of the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

CLICK HERE to see the Gulf Research Program’s conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.

Merit Review Criteria:
  • Responsiveness (40%)
    • Is the proposed project responsive to the recommendations made in the consensus report, ?
      • Specifically, does the proposed project adequately address the research or observational gap identified within the referenced recommendation(s) given that each topic included in the RFA is directly associated with a specific recommendation(s) within the report?
    • Is the proposed project compatible with the 10-year campaign described in “The Campaign” section of Chapter 4 of the report?
  • Technical or Scientific Merit (40%)
    • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses scientifically and /or technically valid and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
    • Does the application outline an implementation plan that demonstrates the feasibility of the project?
      • Does the implementation plan include a timeline that is reasonable and feasible?
      • Is the role of each collaborator adequately described?
    • Does the application include a data management plan that is appropriate for the scope of work?
      • If the application includes real-time data, is there an adequate plan for publically sharing that data in real time or near real-time?
      • If the application includes collection of data, not proposed in real-time, is there a plan to ensure the data are made available within 6 months of collection?
    • Is the budget commensurate with the proposed work?
  • Project Personnel, Institutional Support, and other Resources (20%)
    • How well qualified is the project director, and other project personnel, if applicable, to conduct the proposed activities?
    • Are the disciplines and perspectives represented by the personnel and institutions appropriate for the scope of the project?
    • Does the application demonstrate that the project personnel would have adequate resources (e.g., institutional support, instrumentation, ship time, computational capacity, or international assets), either provided or procured, to conduct the proposed project?
    • As applicable, does the project propose to leverage available public or private resources (e.g., instrumentation, computational capacity, ship time, platform accessibility, and national data archiving centers)?

Data Management Policy:
The Gulf Research Program’s Data Management Policy applies to this RFA. All applications submitted to the Gulf Research Program must include a data management plan. The data management plan should describe how the applicant will manage and disseminate program-funded information products (data and other products) in sufficient detail to enable evaluation of the plan during the merit review process. The Gulf Research Program staff will monitor adherence to the proposed data management plan. Please review the Data Management Policy for details, including information on what must be included in the data management plan submitted as part of an application.