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Program Development Grants

What is a Program Development Grant?

Most projects can be planned for and accommodated through the Consortium biennial proposal process; however, there are times where potential or immediate needs requiring project support cannot be anticipated. Such opportunities or needs may be met with short-term, low-budget Program Development (“Seed”) Grants, depending on the urgency of the proposed efforts.

Program Development Grants are supported with federal Sea Grant funds, and are provided only to those projects that are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Consortium’s current Strategic Plan.

Types of Program Development Grants

There are three kinds of Program Development Grants available:

  1. Technical, which can take the form of modest, short-term exploratory/pilot research efforts, support for undergraduate or graduate student research, or permanent equipment purchases (which require a 50:50 match from the receiving institution)
  2. Outreach/Education, which can take the form of short-term extension/outreach projects with immediate application
  3. Professional Development, which may take the form of conference and workshop sponsorship or capacity building that will benefit the Consortium

Development Proposals for Technical and Outreach/Education Support

To evaluate proposals, the following points are considered:

  • The opportunity for application of research results or benefits generated by the effort would be lost before funds would become available from the next biennial review and fiscal cycle.
  • The conceptual and technical merit of the proposal are sound.
  • The work is focused on a particular need or problem, and the anticipated results satisfactorily address the identified need.
  • The procedures upon which the work is to be performed are adequate and proven.
  • The investigator has the background necessary to conduct the study.
Proposals for research or outreach/education projects must also fall into at least one of the following categories:
  • Proposed project offers to provide a solution to a specified opportunity or need of importance to a particular target audience.
  • Proposed project provides progress toward the solution of an immediate problem or need.
  • Proposed project demonstrates the feasibility of a planned long-term study to address a priorityneed identified by the Consortium (e.g., a pilot study).Proposed project demonstrates the feasibility of a planned long-term study outside the purview of Sea Grant, but eligible for extramural support (i.e., “seed” money).
  • Proposed project demonstrates application through Sea Grant Extension Program efforts.
The final criterion evaluated is the total cost required to conduct the project. The Consortium now requires a matching fund commitment of $1 non-federal to $2 federal.
Proposals for technical or outreach/education support should adhere to the following outline:
  • A completed and endorsed Title Page.
  • A completed Project Summary Form.
  • A completed Budget Form.
  • A 3-5 page narrative which includes:
    • Problem Statement: A well-developed rationale that emphasizes the importance of the problem or need in terms of both technical and user-oriented perspectives.
    • Objective(s): List the objectives as testable hypotheses, as far as possible, so that, at the end of the project, it will be feasible to determine whether in fact the objectives have been met. Why is funding needed immediately?
    • Methods: Detail in concise terms the methods and procedures to be used; remember peer reviewers will be asked to evaluate the proposal. Describe data analytical methods as well and reference literature as appropriate. Also provide a timetable for the completion of tasks.
    • Expected Results: Describe the format of the technical data to be produced. Also, explain how the results will address the problem or need as identified in the Problem Statement.
  • Budget Justification: Describe the budget request line-by-line, since some line items may require National Sea Grant approval. Detail any requests for travel and permanent equipment.
  • A completed Milestone Chart.
  • A completed Vitae Form for each investigator.

Professional Development Requests

Requests for conference or workshop sponsorship or capacity building which will benefit the Consortium should be submitted in the form of a formal letter request, which can be submitted via mail or e-mail.

The letter should include:

  • A title.
  • Background and description of the event or opportunity.
  • How support for the event/opportunity will benefit the Consortium, a Consortium member institution, the state, and/or other relevant stakeholders.
  • The amount of and purpose for funds requested.
  • The timeframe (no longer than 12 months) for which the event/opportunity is proposed to take place.

Application and Review Process

Before an investigator submits a proposal for Program Development funding, an initial determination of the appropriateness of the concept must be made. If the response is positive, the investigator can then follow with proposal preparation and submission. To begin the process, contact Susannah Sheldon, Research and Fellowship Manager, at (843) 953-2083 or Susannah.Sheldon@scseagrant.org.

Each Program Development Grant proposal must be reviewed by the Institutional Liaison and endorsed by the authorized signatory authority. The original and two copies of the proposal should be mailed or e-mailed to:

South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
287 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Susannah.Sheldon@scseagrant.org
Attn: Seed Proposal Desk

Program Development Grant proposals are reviewed by Consortium staff and outside peer reviewers. This process usually takes from 30 to 60 days; proposals can be expedited through the review process if the identified problem requires immediate attention.

Program Development Grants, like all Sea Grant awards, are made on a reimbursement basis. Final project reports are due 30 days after project completion, and final fiscal reports are due on the date agreed to in the contract agreement. Project Reporting Guidelines are provided to the investigator along with the award letter; these are to be followed in preparing the final report.