Marine Mammal Commission

Research Program – Proposal Requirements

Fiscal Year 2021 Grants

Fiscal Year  2021 Request for Proposals 

Proposal deadline: Thursday, April 15th 2021 11:59pm EDT

Applicant notification: by Thursday, July 29th 2021

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, single-sided (2.5 pages, double-sided) using 12-point font, exclusive of cover page, bibliography, budget pages, 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.
  • Does this project address a species or population of conservation concern? (Y/N) If yes, please identify species or populations(s).
  • Does this project increase inclusion or representation of people from a currently underrepresented group? (Y/N)
  • Topic area (A or B) the proposal is being submitted to. For a given project, only a single proposal, submitted to a single topic area (see below) will be accepted.

Topic Area A: Research and Conservation

Proposals on basic or applied marine mammal research, development of new technologies, or those explicitly related to marine mammal conservation, policy or management, should be submitted to this topic area.

Topic Area B: Outreach and Connectivity

Proposals requesting funds for conferences, workshops, symposia, education, outreach, or publication development should be submitted to this topic area.

Proposal Body (limit 5 pages)

  • Abstract: Provide an abstract summarizing the project objective(s), how the project will further the conservation and management goals of the MMPA, any human impacts or threats the project will address and/or management applications (if applicable), and the status of the marine mammal population(s) the project will address. Please limit the abstract to 300 words.
  • Introduction, Background, or Problem Statement: 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.  If applicable, please include information about the species or population(s) of conservation concern or how the proposed work will increase the inclusion or representation of people from underrepresented groups in marine mammal research, management, or conservation.
  • 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 methods so that the reviewer can understand how you will address the specific objectives of the project. 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, and tentative dates and location of the planned activity.
  • Outreach, communication, or engagement (REQUIRED): Describe the proposed outreach, communication, or engagement activities. This may include, for example, engaging with government agencies, bringing together stakeholders, including industry or the maritime or fishing community, or providing training opportunities. Conference presentations and publications, while encouraged, do NOT meet this requirement.
  • Anticipated Outcomes: Describe the short-term outcomes, those anticipated to occur within the scope of effort and time span of the proposed project (e.g. completion of a workshop report, one or more peer-reviewed journal articles, an equipment prototype and report).
  • Research and Management Utility: Describe the anticipated long-term utility of the project, its implications for future research, management, or conservation activities, and how the results or other outcomes will better inform such activities.

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, overhead, 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

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.

Submission Procedure

Hawaiian monk seal on beach with satellite tag.

Through an extensive volunteer network and using tracking technology (including satellite and VHF radio tags), NOAA Fisheries has ability to track and re-sight monk seals in the Main Hawaiian Islands. (NMFS)

Proposals must adhere to the instructions and requirements described above and be submitted by April 15, 2021 @ 11:59PM EDT.  Proposals should be submitted electronically in MS Word or Adobe PDF format to the Research Program Officer, Marine Mammal Commission, e-mail address: All applicants are required to have a current registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) at the time of award.

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 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.