Marine Mammal Commission

Current Funding Opportunities

Fiscal Year 2022 Grants

Fiscal Year  2022 Request for Proposals 

Proposal deadline: Wednesday, April 13th 2022 11:59pm EDT – CLOSED

Applicant notification: by Friday, July 29th 2022

Funding Opportunities in Fiscal Year 2022

The Marine Mammal Commission will be accepting proposals between November 08, 2021 and April 13, 2022 for projects focused on climate change effects on marine mammals.  Funding requests are limited to $50,000 USD.

Climate Change Effects on Marine Mammals

The Marine Mammal Commission’s mission, as defined by the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act ((MMPA), is to ensure that global marine mammal populations are restored and maintained as significant functioning elements of healthy marine ecosystems. However, the dynamic nature of ecosystems can make attaining this goal challenging, particularly in the context of understanding and adapting to global climate change. The basic driver of climate change in the global ocean is increasing atmospheric carbon which results in changes such as increased ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, changing currents, loss of sea ice, and increased fresh-water discharge. These changes result in both abiotic (e.g., sea-level rise) and biotic (e.g., food web) ecosystem responses. Climate-change may cause marine mammals to alter their distribution, range, phenology, migration routes, or diet, leading to physiological changes in body condition and health as well as influence individuals’ exposure to predation, pathogens, toxins, and risks associated with human activities (likely also changing in response to ecosystem alterations). While some climate change effects on marine mammals have been documented, a better understanding of these effects is needed, especially in temperate and tropical regions. Few studies have demonstrated population-level impacts on abundance or vital rates due to climate change. Moreover, mitigation of climate-induced threats to marine mammals is increasingly needed, yet identification of approaches remains challenging.

We are seeking proposals for projects that:

  • Further our understanding of how climate change affects, either directly or indirectly, the reproductive performance, survivorship, abundance, or vital rates of marine mammals.


  • Advance science-based conservation interventions or management strategies to mitigate climate-change induced threats to marine mammals. Ideally, such approaches should be transferable across species and/or locations.

Understanding the effects of climate change requires longitudinal and cross-disciplinary data.  Therefore, extra weight will be given to proposals that demonstrate use of, or contribution to, long-term datasets, archives, repositories, or emerging data technologies that are broadly available and accessible for future evaluations of change.

Eligibility: Applicants from both within the U.S. as well as outside the U.S. are eligible to apply (including both non-U.S. citizens and those affiliated with non-U.S. institutions).

At the time of posting, the federal government is working under a continuing resolution. Availability of funds to support research is dependent on passage of a final budget for the Commission.  Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

Proposal Requirements and Submission Information

Information on proposal requirements and submission procedures is available on the proposal requirements page. Please review and follow this information carefully. Proposals that are submitted after the deadline or do not meet the requirements will not be evaluated or considered for funding.

Proposal Evaluation

All proposals will be evaluated with respect to: the importance or significance of the type of project proposed,1 its relevance to the current funding opportunity and focal area and the Commission’s mission and goals,2 the technical and resource adequacy of the proposal,3 and the likelihood that the project will achieve its stated objectives or outcomes. Review and selection of applications will be based on a detailed evaluation of these criteria and recommendations for funding.  Awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Potential applicants may contact Dee Allen, Scientific Program Officer, by e-mail ( or telephone (301-504-0087) with any questions about proposal requirements, the evaluation process, out-of-cycle funding, or suitability of a topic for Commission funding. During a review cycle, all proposals  that meet minimum requirements will be reviewed by the Commission’s staff, Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals, Commissioners, and external experts, as necessary. The Commission will assign reviewers based on their expertise and assurance that they have no conflict of interest with the proposed activities. The Commission will maintain the confidentiality of all proposals.


  1. For example, would such a project significantly contribute to the conservation of a species/population, advance critical scientific understanding, contribute to the development of innovative technology, lead to groundbreaking policy ideas, catalyze critical thinking through a meeting, workshop or symposium, or contribute to an important conservation issue through outreach, communication or education?
  2. Mission: ensure consistency with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and other relevant mandates to protect and conserve marine mammals through oversight of domestic and international policies and actions of federal agencies addressing human impacts to marine mammals and their ecosystems. Strategic Goal: ensure the protection and conservation of marine mammals as functioning elements of healthy, stable marine ecosystems through science-based mitigation and monitoring of anthropogenic impacts on these populations and their ecosystem.
  3. For example, are the elements described in the proposal (e.g., project plan, field and lab procedures, sample sizes, proposed statistical analyses, equipment, research platforms) internally consistent and are they sufficient to achieve the project’s goals, objectives, and outcomes?