Marine Mammal Commission

Research Program – Proposal Requirements

Fiscal Year 2024 Grants

Fiscal Year  2024 Request for Proposals 

Intent to submit deadline: Wednesday, January 31st 2024 **NEW**

Proposal deadline: Wednesday, February 14th 2024 11:59pm EST

Applicant notification: by Wednesday, July 31st 2024

Proposal Requirements

Proposed projects must fit within our current funding opportunity and adhere to all proposal requirements.  The body of the proposal must not exceed five pages using 12-point font, exclusive of cover page, references, budget, curricula vitae, and supporting materials.

Cover Page (limit 1 page)

  • Title: The full title of the proposal. A shorter running title is optional.
  • Principal Investigator (PI): Please list only one (corresponding) principal investigator even if your proposal team consists of two or more co-equal investigators and institutions (also see instructions for Curricula Vitae).
  • PI Contact Information: Address, phone, website, and e-mail for the principal investigator.
  • Financial Point of Contact (POC): An individual (with or without institutional affiliation, as appropriate) who will be responsible for contractual and fiscal matters. This may or may not be the same individual and institution listed as principal investigator.
  • Financial POC Information: Address, phone, and e-mail.
  • Topic and Focus Area (if appropriate): Please indicate whether the proposal fits the Topic A or Topic B funding opportunity. If applying under Topic A, indicate which focal area (1 or 2) your proposal best fits. Select the best fit focal area (or topic) if your proposal fits more than one.

Proposal Body (limit 5 pages)

  • Abstract: Provide an abstract summarizing the project objective(s), and how the project will either: A) further our ability to detect ecosystem changes and understand the impact of such changes on marine mammal populations, or B) advance diversity, equity, inclusiveness, belonging, accessibility, and justice (DEIBAJ) in marine mammal science. For Topic A proposals focused on marine mammal health in a changing climate (focal area 1), briefly describe which health parameters the project addresses and how the project will improve our understanding of the effects of climate change on marine mammal population health. For focal area 2, identify how the project will increase our understanding of changes in marine mammal distribution or habitat driven by climate change. For Topic B proposals, briefly describe how the project will broaden participation, engage diverse learners, foster pathways, and develop leadership opportunities for historically underserved and underrepresented communities in marine mammal science. Please limit the abstract to 300 words.
  • Introduction, Background, or Problem Statement: Introduce and provide background on the topic of the proposed project. Provide a brief review of prior related efforts by the research team or others. Indicate knowledge gaps, shortfalls of previous efforts, or challenges to further progress and describe how the proposed effort will address these issues.  Describe the importance of the proposed work, and how it addresses the topic and focal area, if applicable, selected.
  • Goals and Objectives: Provide statements of both the general or broad goal of the proposed project and the specific objectives that will be addressed within the scope of this proposal to make progress toward that goal.  Provide your view of the importance or significance of the project, and how it relates to the Commission’s mission and goals.
  • Methods/Approach: Provide a detailed description of the approach and methods, including methods for data analysis, so that the reviewer can understand how you will address the specific objectives of the project. If applicable, describe any new methods or tools that will be developed, and any long-term data or time series samples to be used or contributed to. If you are not conducting original research but are developing a workshop, review panel, or other activity; describe the nature of the activity, the planned agenda or working format, likely attendees/participants, tentative dates and location of the planned activity, and how success of the activity will be measured.
  • Anticipated Outcomes: Describe the short-term products and outcomes, those anticipated to occur within the scope of the effort and time span of the proposed project (e.g. one or more peer-reviewed journal articles, development of an assay or method, an equipment prototype and report, completion of a workshop report).
  • Research and Management Utility or Plans for Continuity of Newly Established Approaches: For Topic A proposals, describe the anticipated long-term utility of the project, any implications for future research and how it will contribute to future marine mammal population monitoring, surveillance, management, or conservation. For Topic B proposals, describe how the project will help to establish opportunities for individuals, and the potential for affecting long-term change.
  • Research Permits: Specify whether permits or authorizations and/or Animal Care and Use approvals are necessary. If necessary to conduct the proposed research, provide details regarding whether permits or authorizations and/or Animal Care and Use approvals have been obtained. If necessary permits, authorizations, and approvals are pending, provide the status for obtaining them and when they are expected to be issued.
  • Data management and accessibility: The Commission is committed to ensuring that the results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community, as described in the February 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memorandum on Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research, as well as the subsequent August 2022 OSTP Memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research. Briefly describe how and when results and supporting data from the proposed project are expected to be shared. This should include plans for making publications or final documents accessible for the public free of charge, and for sharing of digital data and metadata resulting from research through an accessible data platform.

Budget and Time Line (limit 2 pages)

This section should provide sufficient detail to inform the reviewer of expenses or costs by general category (salary, equipment, supplies, travel, publication fees, overhead costs, miscellaneous) and by subtasks within the proposed effort, as appropriate. Include information on other sources of funding for the project, if applicable. For multi-year or multi-stage projects, include a timetable for completion of each phase as a means of gauging progress toward completion of the full proposed effort.

Curricula Vitae, Research Team Qualifications (limit 3 pages each CV)

Provide a curriculum vitae or short biography of no more than three pages for all key members of the proposal team (those individuals whose background and experience are essential to completion of the project), including their experience or expertise related to the subject proposal. Although there can be only one corresponding principal investigator (see Title Page guidance), multiple co-investigators can be included in this portion of the proposal, if desired.

Supporting Materials (Optional)

Supporting materials such as recent publications, short descriptions of relevant work in progress or recently completed, organization charts or timelines will be accepted but should be limited to information essential to understanding the significance, approach, and context of the proposed work. It is highly recommended that supporting materials be limited to fewer than 15 pages or 5 Mb: the more material provided, the more difficult it will be for the reviewers to focus their attention on relevant matters in developing their evaluations. Only include supporting materials that are directly relevant to understanding and evaluating the proposed project.

Submission Procedure

Killer whales

Southern Resident Killer Whales are endangered, and environmental factors such as prey availability and pollution threaten the health of this population. (Holly Fearnbach, NOAA)

Please read the current funding opportunities and proposal requirements pages in full before applying.

Applicants must email no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time, January 31, 2024, stating their intent to submit a full proposal by the proposal deadline. The “intent email” is required for applicants to receive a link to a personalized proposal submission folder.

Full proposals must be submitted through the link to the applicant’s personalized submission folder no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time, February 14, 2024.

Full proposals emailed to will not be accepted.

Proposals must adhere to the instructions and requirements described above. Proposals should be submitted electronically in MS Word or Adobe PDF format. All applicants are required to have a current registration and a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application. Note: as of April 4, 2022, the UEI has replaced the DUNS number as the official unique identifier for entities doing business with the U.S. government.

Policy on Indirect Costs

The Commission recognizes the significant costs associated with the maintenance of research programs and the institutions that support them. However, due to the limited funding available for research and conservation awards and the nature of the Commission’s goals and responsibilities, the Commission limits indirect costs for research grants and contracts awarded by the Commission to ten percent (10%) of the direct costs unless the submitting entity already has a federally negotiated indirect cost rate. Indirect costs, or overhead, include, but are not limited to, operation and maintenance of facilities, general and departmental administration, and library expenses.


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.