Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Funding Availability Announcement 

Competition: Integrated Water Extension Specialist at NOAA's National Water Center -CLOSED

Letter of Intent Due Date: May 27, 2016

Full Proposal Due Date: June 28, 2016

Posted on April 29, 2016 (corrected May 1, 2016)

The National Sea Grant Office and the National Weather Service (NWS) anticipate that around $600,000 will be available over the next four years to support a four-year cooperative agreement to embed an Extension Specialist at the National Water Center (NWC) on the campus of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.  Consult the Federal Funding Opportunity NOAA-OAR-SG-2016-2004772, available at http://grants.gov, for eligible applicants, required elements of the application, how to submit, evaluation criteria, general programmatic priorities and selection factors, and other necessary information.  Submit your application to Special Projects "C" under this Opportunity in grants.gov.

Letters of intent must be sent by email to oar.hq.sg.competitions@noaa.gov by May 27, 2016. ONLY THOSE SEA GRANT PROGRAMS WHO SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT BY MAY 27 ARE ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT A FULL PROPOSAL. The purpose of the letter of intent is to help us plan for the number and source of full applications. The letter of intent does not need to include any information other than the name of the Program, and whether that Program intends to submit a full proposal to this competition.

Applications must be submitted by June 28, 2106. Applications should request no more than $150,000 per year for four years, and must include non-federal matching funds of at least 20% of the Federal request for each year. (Note this is less than the normal Sea Grant required matching fund amount. This is because this grant is intended to be partially funded with NWS funds that do not require match.)  Travel or relocation expenses requested in the application, if any, must be explicitly described in the application and must be included within the $150,000 per year maximum.

Applications must describe how the proposed project would accomplish the "Objectives" section below. Application should also address the financial and other arrangements for the Extension Specialist, in at least the level of detail shown in the "Suggested Arrangements" section below (although it is not mandatory that these suggestions be followed).

It is anticipated that this will be awarded as a cooperative agreement, rather than a grant, because of the substantial involvement of NOAA in the execution of the project. The nature of the substantial involvement is that the Specialist resides at the NWC and coordinates activities with the NWC Deputy Director and the Director of the Social Intelligence Division on day-to-day basis.

The successful applicant will also be eligible to receive future institutional funding, without further competition. 


Over its 50-year history, NOAA Sea Grant has served as an agent for scientific discovery, technology transfer, economic growth, and stakeholder engagement to help create and maintain a healthy coastal environment and economy.  The Sea Grant network includes 33 programs based at top universities in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Lake Champlain region. These programs carry our Sea Grant’s mission through research, extension, and education strategically located in coastal communities. 

As part of a growing collaboration between Sea Grant and other NOAA programs and line offices, Sea Grant has placed 12 extension specialists in liaison positions to 1) gain wider access to NOAA expertise and products, 2) better serve NOAA constituents with additional scientific and technological information, and 3) improve NOAA’s contact with its user community.  These positions are supported by a variety of sources including NOAA Sea Grant, the NOAA lab, center, or program, and other involved line offices.

By developing closer communication and cooperation with NOAA labs, centers, and programs, Sea Grant has access to scientific products, services, and expertise available across all of NOAA. With this access Sea Grant extension specialists better serve NOAA stakeholders and also guide the process and use of NOAA’s products and services to strengthen societal decision making. 

The National Water Center (NWC) was developed to collaboratively research, develop, and deliver state-of-the-art national hydrologic analyses, forecast information, data, decision-support services, and guidance to support and inform essential emergency services and water management decisions.  The NWC will play a critical role in enhancing water-related products and decision-support services across the country.  A Sea Grant extension liaison will be uniquely positioned to raise awareness about these products and services through an existing network of extension specialists across the country, and partner with other key stakeholder organizations, collaborating closely with NWS River Forecasting Centers, Weather Forecasting Offices, and the NWC itself. 

The purpose of establishing the position is to support the external engagement strategy of the National Water Center, specifically by building linkages to the Sea Grant network and creating partnerships with the NOAA regional coordinators to extend NWC products, services, and information across NOAA. The regional coordinators can work with the NWC liaison to integrate NWC work through all of NOAA’s place-based programs (such as Sea Grant, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), NOAA Habitat Blueprint, National Marine Sanctuaries, etc.)  The liaison will also coordinate and support the National Weather Service and NWC external stakeholder engagement processes to provide a conduit for meeting societal needs. Finally, the NWS liaison could work through the USDA land grant universities and cooperative extension agents to reach stakeholders in non-coastal areas.  The role of the NWC liaison would be to help the NWC support interagency situational awareness and ensure that critical information is well communicated across the country.


  ●     Serve as liaison between the NWC, the NWS, the NSGO, and the Sea Grant network.

●     Foster collaboration between NOAA-funded universities, water research laboratory scientists, and the Sea Grant  extension network.

●     Improve the relevance, visibility, use, and effectiveness of NOAA-sponsored research related to water.

●     Identify and pursue outreach goals of mutual interest and benefit to NWC, Sea Grant, and NOAA (NWS).

●     Inform Sea Grant outreach and extension staff of NWC research products, expertise, and results.

●    Inform NWC scientists and staff of the communication and extension capabilities of the Sea Grant network.

●     Inform NWC of constituent needs and concerns identified by the Sea Grant and other NOAA stakeholders

●     Describe the nature, extent, and outcomes of cooperation between NWC and the Sea Grant network to line office contacts.

●     Present NWC technical and scientific findings in national, regional, and local contexts to non-scientific audiences.

●     Assist NWC leadership in the development of workshops and symposia on water issues of national, regional, and local interests.

●     Based on the Sea Grant model, assist in developing NWC extension program planning, specifically:

●     Identify the center’s target audiences

●     Determine audience needs

●     Establish educational objectives designed to meet audience needs

●     Create an extension implementation program to achieve objectives

●     Design and conduct periodic evaluations to monitor program effectiveness and to anticipate changing audience needs

●    Explore and develop opportunities for cooperative research and extension efforts with research and management organizations relevant to the NWC

Suggested Arrangements

   ●     A senior-level appointment through the selected Sea Grant program for 4-year term with possibility for re-appointments.

●     Specialist is employed by the selected Sea Grant Program’s university and reports directly to the selected Sea Grant Program.

        ●     Candidate selection committee, position advisory committee, annual reviews, and work plans, will be coordinated by the Extension Program Lead of the selected Sea Grant program. 

●     Office space will be provided by NWC.

●     Publications and product output will be listed jointly as that from NWC and the National Sea Grant College Program.

●     Position will include a requirement to submit annual impacts and accomplishments to the selected Sea Grant Program for inclusion into their annual report.

  ●     Specialist should be hired and placed no later than January 1, 2017. 

Summary of Application Requirements

An application must include a project description and Standard forms found in the application package located on grants.gov.  These Standard Forms include 424A, 424B, and CD-511.  In addition, applications must include the Sea Grant forms 90-2 (short form) and 90-4, available on the Sea Grant Forms and Templates webpage (http://go.usa.gov/c98xj). Include the phrase "Integrated Water Extension Liaison” in the proposal title. 

Applications must have the concurrence of the Director of the state Sea Grant Program that is submitting it. 

Applications may request up to $150,000 per year for four years. Applications must include matching funds of at least 20% of the Federal request.

Applications must be submitted on grants.gov to Federal Funding Opportunity NOAA-OAR-SG-2016-2004772, Special Project "C", no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time on June 28, 2106.

This competition is only open to Sea Grant Programs, the National Sea Grant Library, and the National Sea Grant Law Center. ONLY THOSE SEA GRANT PROGRAMS WHO SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT BY MAY 27 ARE ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT A FULL PROPOSAL TO THIS COMPETITION.

For how to submit, evaluation criteria, general programmatic priorities and selection factors, eligible applicants, required elements of the application, and other necessary information, please consult Federal Funding Opportunity NOAA-OAR-SG-2016-2004772, available on grants.gov. Questions may be sent to oar.hq.sg.competitions@noaa.gov.


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