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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Gulf Research Program, our fellowships, and our grant opportunities.

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Send us a note at gulfpr[email protected]. If you have a specific question about grants or fellowships, email us at [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also subscribe to our e-updates to hear about our latest news and upcoming funding opportunities.


 Frequently Asked Questions: General

What is the Gulf Research Program?
What are the AffiliateMarketIngtools?
Are you a government agency?
How is the Gulf Research Program funded?
What types of work does the Gulf Research Program support?
Do you only support work in the Gulf of Mexico region?
Who decides how funding is distributed?
How can I get involved with the Gulf Research Program?
What areas of expertise and experience are most relevant to the Gulf Research Program’s work?
How should I acknowledge financial support from the Gulf Research Program?
How can I obtain the Gulf Research Program logo?


What is the Gulf Research Program?
The Gulf Research Program is a unit of the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine dedicated to enhancing offshore energy system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.

Learn more about who we are.



What are the AffiliateMarketIngtools?
The AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, expert advice to the nation on issues relating to science, engineering, and medicine. They originate from a congressional charter signed by President Lincoln in 1863.

Learn more about the AffiliateMarketIngtools
.


Are you a government agency?
No. The —which encompass the Gulf Research Program—are private, nonprofit institutions. While the AffiliateMarketIngtools often advise the federal government on questions of science, technology, and health policy, they are not part of the federal government.



How is the Gulf Research Program funded?
As part of the legal settlements following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Department of Justice asked the AffiliateMarketIngtools to establish a new research program, using funds paid by the companies held responsible for the oil spill.

$500 million in settlement funds was designated toward an endowment for what is now the Gulf Research Program. The funds will be paid out by the companies over five years, between 2013 and 2018. The funds will be disbursed by the Gulf Research Program over 30 years, between 2013 and 2043.

Read our annual reports to see how funding has been distributed so far.



What types of work does the Gulf Research Program support?
The Gulf Research Program funds grants, fellowships, and other activities spanning research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis. Each of these activities is guided by one or more of our four initiatives: Healthy Ecosystems, Thriving Communities, Safer Offshore Energy Systems, and Capacity Building.



Do you only support work in the Gulf of Mexico region?
No; our activities focus on areas where human communities, natural ecosystems, and energy production co-exist. This scope encompasses the Gulf of Mexico region and other U.S. coastal regions, as well as work that transfers knowledge to or from other regions and countries.


Who decides how funding is distributed?
From generating a preliminary idea to announcing award recipients, a variety of individuals are involved in the process for making funding decisions.

Ultimately, proposed funding opportunities and final funding decisions are approved by leadership at the AffiliateMarketIngtools. However, initial ideas for activities can come from a range of sources, including Gulf Research Program staff, Advisory Board members, stakeholders that participate in our discussion meetings and public workshops, and AffiliateMarketIngtools reports.



How can I get involved with the Gulf Research Program?
Besides applying for Gulf Research Program grant and fellowship opportunities, you can also:

What areas of expertise and experience are most relevant to the Gulf Research Program’s work?
The breadth and complexity of issues at the interface of offshore energy system safety, human health, and environmental resources requires an interdisciplinary and diverse range of knowledge and experience.

That’s why the Gulf Research Program involves and engages with academics, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, industry researchers, and practitioners from throughout the Gulf region, the U.S., and other countries across a variety of fields, including:
  • Earth sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Health and medicine
  • Engineering
  • Environmental protection
  • Natural resources
  • Public policy
  • Community resilience

How should I acknowledge financial support from the Gulf Research Program?
Recipients of funding from the Gulf Research Program should acknowledge that financial support in related communications and outreach efforts, including publications, press releases, media interactions, signs, presentations, electronic publications, audiovisual materials, or other types of communications and outreach activities. Acknowledgement can occur through use of the Gulf Research Program’s logo or inclusion of language acknowledging financial support from the “Gulf Research Program of the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine”.

In most cases, funding recipients can exercise judgment in how to best meet this requirement within the context of the communications vehicle and medium and the related purpose and audience. However, specifically pertaining to research funded by the Gulf Research Program, any journal publications or other official publications, reports, or documents about the research funded must include attribution and disclaimer language along the lines of the following:
  • Attribution: "Research reported in this [publication] was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under the Grant Agreement number [specific grant number(s) in this format:0xxxx]."
  • Disclaimer: "The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Gulf Research Program or the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”

How can I obtain the Gulf Research Program logo?
Several formats of the Gulf Research Program logo are available on our website under Grant Resources and Fellowship Resources. If you need a different format from what is available you can contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Fellowships

What kinds of work are fellows involved in?
Am I eligible to apply for a GRP fellowship?
Do I need to be located in the Gulf region to apply?
I already applied for a GRP fellowship. Can I reapply?
How do I submit my application materials, including letters of recommendation?
Can I receive feedback on my application?
How can I make my application stand out?
How many individuals apply each year, and how many are selected?
Can I check the status of my application?
When will I be notified of a decision?
How will I be matched with a host office?
Can I pre-select my host office?
Will I have to relocate?
Can I receive relocation assistance?
What expenses and benefits are covered?
Is this program considered employment?

What kinds of work are fellows involved in?
As a Science Policy Fellow, you would spend one year gaining first-hand policymaking experience alongside colleagues at a federal, state, local or non-governmental environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, or public health agency in one of the five Gulf states. Learn about where past Science Policy Fellows were placed, or see a list of potential 2018 host offices.

As an Early-Career Research Fellow, you would spend two years at your current institution pursuing innovative research and collaborating with colleagues to support offshore energy safety and the well-being of coastal communities and ecosystems. Learn about the research of our past Early-Career Research Fellows.


Am I eligible to apply for a GRP fellowship?
You are likely eligible to apply for the Science Policy Fellowship if you:
  • Are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident,
  • Hold or are currently pursuing a MA/MS, PhD, ScD, MPH/MSPH, MD, DrPH, or DVM degree, and
  • Are not a federal employee.
You are likely eligible to apply for the Early-Career Research Fellowship if you:
  • Received your PhD, ScD, EngD, MD, DrPH or DVM degree no more than ten years prior to the start of the fellowship,
  • Hold a fully independent position as an investigator, faculty member, clinician scientist, or scientific team lead in industry or academia,
  • Are affiliated with a non-federal U.S. institution that has a valid tax ID number, and
  • Are not a federal employee.
All applicants should come from an area of study relevant to the mission and initiatives of the Gulf Research Program, including social and behavioral sciences, health sciences and medicine, engineering and physical sciences, earth and life sciences, or other relevant interdisciplinary scientific fields. Even if a fellow from your particular discipline hasn’t been selected yet, if you meet the eligibility requirements, we encourage you to apply.

Specific eligibility requirements for each fellowship opportunity can be found on our Early-Career Research Fellowship and Science Policy Fellowship pages.


Do I need to be located in the Gulf region to apply?
Not necessarily.

Early-Career Research Fellows can be based at any institution, as long as their work is relevant to one of the initiatives of the Gulf Research Program.

Science Policy Fellows can be from any location, but applicants should note that all host offices are located in one of the five Gulf states. If you are selected as a Science Policy Fellow and do not already live near your host office, you will need to relocate.


I already applied for a GRP fellowship. Can I reapply?
If you previously applied for an Early-Career Research Fellowship or Science Policy Fellowship and were not selected as a fellow, you may be eligible to reapply; specific limitations for reapplying are listed below. However, please note that resubmitted applications must contain significant revisions. Applications that are resubmitted without significant revisions will be returned without review.

If you previously applied for an Early-Career Research Fellowship or Science Policy Fellowship and were selected as a fellow, you are not eligible to apply for the same fellowship again. This includes applicants who were accepted into a fellowship program but did not go on to complete that fellowship. You may, however, apply for the fellowship opportunity you were not selected for.

Please note: beginning in the 2019 application cycle, applicants may only submit a maximum of two applications to the Early-Career Fellowship program. For example, if you apply to the Early-Career Research Fellowship in both the 2019 and 0 cycles, you may not submit an application in the 1 cycle or any other future cycle. There is no maximum number of applications to the Science Policy Fellowship.


How do I submit my application materials, including letters of recommendation?
All application materials must be submitted through our . If you are having difficulties submitting your materials through our online application system, contact us at [email protected].

For letters of recommendation, once you have created an account and started your application, you can enter contact information for your two references and the system will automatically email them with instructions for logging in and completing their recommendations. In addition, for early-career fellowships, you can enter your mentor’s contact information and the system will automatically email them with instructions for logging in and completing a mentor statement. Your application is not complete until all reference letters and the mentor statement (if applicable) have been uploaded.

A list of application materials required for each fellowship opportunity can be found on our Early-Career Research Fellowship and Science Policy Fellowship pages.


Can I receive feedback on my application?
The Gulf Research Program does not provide feedback during the application process. We encourage you to carefully read through the eligibility requirements and review criteria, and to familiarize yourself with the initiatives of the Gulf Research Program, to find the opportunity that best matches your skills and career goals. You might also consider asking a trusted colleague or mentor to review your materials for clarity, conciseness, and relevance before submitting.

After final funding decisions have been made and fellows have been selected, applicants may request to see the comments our review committee had on their applications. Read the review criteria to learn more about what our reviewers look for in applicants for the Early-Career Research Fellowship and the Science Policy Fellowship.


How can I make my application stand out?
Past fellows have come from a range of scientific disciplines, career stages, and geographic locations. To get a sense of what a top fellowship candidate might look like, we suggest familiarizing yourself with the application requirements and review criteria. Tailoring your resume, personal essays, and other application materials to the particular fellowship opportunity you’re interested in signals to reviewers that you’ve considered not only how the fellowship will help you in your career, but how your work connects to the initiatives of the Gulf Research Program.

In addition, don’t forget to think strategically about your letters of recommendation. We encourage you to select references who know you well and can provide our reviewers with insights about your experience, skills, and ability beyond what’s included in your resume or CV.

Read the review criteria for the early-career research fellowship and the science policy fellowship to learn more about what our reviewers look for in applicants.


How many individuals apply each year, and how many are selected?
We award up to twenty Early-Career Research Fellowships and ten Science Policy Fellowships annually, but the number of applicants for each fellowship type varies. Instead of focusing on the “odds” of a particular fellowship, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the application requirements and review criteria and to apply for the opportunities that best match your skills, interests, and professional goals. You can also get a sense of which applicants have been successful by learning about our current and past fellows.


Can I check the status of my application?
No. However, you can find key dates pertaining to the application, review, and selection process on the respective pages for the Early-Career Research Fellowship and the Science Policy Fellowship.


When will I be notified of a decision?
Applicants are typically notified of final funding decisions via email in late spring to early summer.


How will I be matched with a host office?
If you are awarded a science policy fellowship, you will be provided with contact information for potential host offices. You will work directly with these host offices to arrange your own interviews to find a match.

After the interview period, both fellows and hosts will submit their top five choices for placement. Although Gulf Research Program staff work hard to match everyone according to their preferences and needs, we cannot guarantee everyone will receive their first choice.

Learn about where our past Science Policy Fellows were placed.


Can I pre-select my host office?
The Gulf Research Program identifies host offices; pre-selecting a host office is not necessary. However, if you know of an organization who would like to serve as a host office, they are welcome to . Please note, however, that volunteering does not guarantee selection as a host office, and suggesting a host office does not mean an applicant will be selected for a fellowship or that a fellow will be placed in that host office.


Will I have to relocate?
All Science Policy Fellow host offices are located in one of the five Gulf states. If you are selected as a Science Policy Fellow and do not already live near your host office, you will need to relocate.


Can I receive relocation assistance?
Fellows needing to relocate to where their host office is located may receive a maximum of $1,000 as reimbursement for moving expenses. However, fellows are responsible for obtaining their own housing during the fellowship period. We recommend visiting the websites of universities and colleges located near your host office, as they often list suggestions for off-campus housing.


What expenses and benefits are covered?
Science Policy Fellows may receive a maximum of $5,000, in addition to their fellowship stipend, as reimbursement for any tuition, fees, or other costs associated with professional development courses or activities.

Science Policy Fellows needing to relocate to be near their host offices are eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursement for moving expenses.

More detailed funding information can be found in the science policy fellowship terms and the early-career research fellowship terms for public and private institutions.


Is the Science Policy Fellowship considered employment?
No. The Science Policy Fellowship is considered a non-compensatory educational experience, not employment.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Grants

Are there any upcoming grant opportunities?
Is my project eligible for a Gulf Research Program grant?
Do you accept projects located outside the Gulf of Mexico region?
If I am a current or past Gulf Research Program grantee, can I apply for another GRP grant?
Can I submit multiple proposals for the same grant opportunity?
Can I receive feedback on my letter of intent/proposal?
Is there a limit to the amount of funding I can request?
Does the Gulf Research Program allow for indirect costs?
Are there activities or line items that the Gulf Research Program will not fund?
Can a proposal include a sub-award to a non-U.S. institution?
How do I submit my letter of intent/proposal?
Can I add another project director?
Do I need to submit letters of support?
If I submit a letter of intent and am discouraged to apply, can I still submit a proposal?
Can I make changes to my project between the letter of intent and full proposal?
Can I edit or submit my letter of intent/proposal past the deadline?
What if I am unable to meet a submission deadline due to extreme weather or some other emergency or disaster?
When will I be notified of a decision?


Are there any upcoming grant opportunities?
To see if we are currently accepting applications for any grants, check our list of current grant opportunities. You can also subscribe to our e-updates to hear about upcoming opportunities as soon as they are announced.



Is my project eligible for a Gulf Research Program grant?
Project eligibility requirements can vary between funding opportunities, so you should always check the specific requirements for the current grant opportunity you’re interested in. However, there are some standard eligibility requirements for organizations, project personnel, and project activities.

Organizations
Applying organizations (“applicants”) must:
  • Be a non-federal U.S. institution, and
  • Have a valid federal tax ID number.
Project personnel
Project personnel consist of a “project director,” the individual who will lead a project and be responsible for all the reporting and project coordination, and “key personnel,” the other individuals who share in the responsibility of the scientific or technical direction of the project and/or contribute to the intellectual design or execution of the project in a substantive, measurable way.

An individual may only be proposed as a project director in one application for any given opportunity. An individual proposed as project director in any application may also be proposed as key personnel in up to two additional applications. An individual not proposed as a project director in any application may be named as key personnel in up to three applications.

Project activities
Project funding requests must be for new, distinct activities. Proposals for activities that are already underway using other funds or that are seeking supplementary funds to continue an existing activity are not eligible. Follow-Up currently under consideration for funding from other sources are also not eligible.

However, proposed activities that are part of a broader, existing effort or “project” may be eligible if the proposal clearly demonstrates that the funding request is for new, distinct activities that would not otherwise occur.



Do you accept projects located outside the Gulf of Mexico region?
Yes. Our initiatives focus on the intersections of human communities, ecosystems, and energy production, both in the Gulf of Mexico and in other U.S. coastal and outer continental shelf regions. We welcome proposals for projects that may be physically located outside the Gulf region, but whose results could be applied to U.S. coastal regions.

To see where past projects have been based, view our list of grant awards.



If I am a current or past Gulf Research Program grantee, can I apply for another GRP grant?
If an applying organization (“applicant”) is a current or past recipient of a Gulf Research Program grant, that organization can apply for other GRP grants. In addition, individuals who are serving as project directors of active or past GRP grants may be listed as a project director or key personnel in applications for other funding opportunities.

However, if you are currently serving as one of our Science Policy Fellows, you may not be eligible to serve as project director or key personnel on a grant application if your fellowship term overlaps with the period of performance of a GRP grant. Contact us at [email protected] if you have questions.



Can I submit multiple proposals for the same grant opportunity?
An applying organization (“applicant”) may submit multiple applications for the same grant opportunity on behalf of different project directors. However, an individual may only be listed as project director on one application.



Can I receive feedback on my letter of intent/full proposal?
The Gulf Research Program does not provide feedback on letters of intent or full proposals before they are submitted. We encourage you to carefully review the RFA, including the eligibility requirements and descriptions of grant types and topics, for the current grant opportunity you’re interested in and tailor your letter of intent and/or full proposal accordingly.

However, after applicants have submitted their letter of intent, the Gulf Research Program will notify applicants of our decision to encourage or discourage submitting a full proposal, at which time feedback may be provided.

Similarly, once full proposals have been submitted and a final funding decision has been made, we will notify applicants of our decisions, at which time you may request to see comments peer reviewers had on your proposal.



Is there a limit to the amount of funding I can request?
Check to see if the RFA for the grant opportunity you’re interested in lists a minimum or maximum budget limit. If a limit is not listed, we will consider project proposals of varying scope and budget that are within the total anticipated funding amount stated in the RFA. In any case, applicants should propose a budget commensurate with the scope of their project.



Does the Gulf Research Program allow for indirect costs?
Yes. All applicants and sub-awardees (if applicable) must use their federal negotiated indirect cost rate.

If an applicant does not have a federal indirect cost rate agreement, no more than 20 percent of the requested direct cost may be allocated to indirect costs. An applicant without a federal indirect cost rate agreement must also submit:
  • A copy of the actual indirect rate (and details on how the rate was derived), to be validated by financial statements, and
  • If applicable, projected future rates and assumptions used in deriving those rates.

Are there activities or line items that the Gulf Research Program will not fund?
The Gulf Research Program does not fund any political lobbying or advocacy activities. All other proposed activities and budgets will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.



Can a proposal include a sub-award to a non-U.S. institution?
Yes. Although only U.S. organizations with a valid tax ID (excluding federal agencies) are eligible to apply for Gulf Research Program grants, eligible applicants may include collaboration with and sub-awards to both U.S. and non-U.S. institutions in their proposals.



How do I submit my letter of intent/full proposal?
All materials for both the letter of intent and full proposal must be submitted through our online application system. Submissions by any other means—including mail, fax, or email—will not be considered.

When the application period for a current grant opportunity is open, the page will include links to templates and sample forms that will assist you in completing your application. If, after reading through the sample forms, you have further questions about submitting your materials, contact us at [email protected].



Can I add another project director?
No; each project has only one project director, who is responsible for all project coordination and reporting. All co-investigators should be listed as “key personnel.” Key personnel are individuals who contribute to the direction, design, or execution of the project in a measurable, meaningful way.



Do I need to submit letters of support?
No; letters of support are not required. However, if you wish to include letters of support as part of your application, you may do so during the full proposal stage. Letters of support are not accepted during the letter of intent stage.



If I submit a letter of intent and am discouraged to apply, can I still submit a proposal?
Yes. When we notify applicants of our decision to encourage or discourage submitting a full proposal, it is advisory; all applicants who submit a letter of intent are eligible to submit a full proposal.

However, if you were discouraged to apply and intend to submit a full proposal, we recommend taking the time to carefully review any feedback you received on your letter of intent and re-visit the RFA as you craft your full proposal.



Can I make changes to my project between the letter of intent and full proposal?
To an extent. The applicant (i.e., applying organization) must remain the same between the letter of intent and full proposal. In addition, the project itself should remain largely the same as what was described in the letter of intent.

However, the letter of intent is not binding, which means you are free to modify elements such as key personnel, project director, project title, or project plan between submitting your letter of intent and full proposal. This includes making substantive changes to the project plan, direction, and design to make the proposal more relevant to the RFA, if needed.



Can I edit or submit my letter of intent/proposal past the deadline?
To be fair to all our applicants, we do not accept any edits or submissions after the specified submission deadline.



What if I am unable to meet a submission deadline due to extreme weather or some other widespread emergency or disaster?
Please do not expect that an RFA deadline will be extended for extreme weather or other widespread emergencies or disasters. However, the GRP recognizes that extreme weather or other widespread emergencies or disasters may cause institutions to close. If you are unable to meet a submission deadline because your institution closed for extreme weather or some other widespread emergency or disaster, you may request a deadline extension waiver.

The GRP will evaluate waiver requests on a case-by-case basis; all decisions will be made at the sole discretion of the GRP. The amount of time you request in the extension may not exceed the time period that an institution was closed. Generally, the GRP may consider delays of up to five (5) business days after the deadline. Your late application must include a cover letter signed by your Authorized Organizational Representative that documents the reason you are requesting a waiver. Email your application and cover letter to [email protected].

Please also check the GRP’s website and e-updates for any changes to the planned schedule because, in rare instances, the GRP will announce a blanket deadline extension for all applicants.



When will I be notified of a decision?
Applicants who submit a letter of intent will receive a response from the Gulf Research Program within three weeks of the letter of intent submission deadline, either encouraging or discouraging them to submit a full proposal.

Applicants who go on to submit a full proposal will receive notice of final funding decisions within three to eight months of the proposal submission deadline, depending on the nature of the opportunity.


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