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ALERT: Sea Grant Program Omnibus Proposals Due November 1

Guidance for Sea Grant Program Omnibus Proposals due 5:00 p.m. (EST) Nov 1, 2013

NOAA Sea Grant Omnibus Guidance 2014-2017 (pdf version)

Federal Agency Name(s):  Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunity Title:  NOAA Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2017
Announcement Type:  Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:  NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003622
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:  11.417, Sea Grant Support
Dates:  Applications are due to by 5:00 p.m. (EST) November 1, 2013.
Funding Opportunity Description:  NOAA Sea Grant expects to make available up to $48,000,000/year for institutional partnerships for FY 2014-2017. This Federal Funding Opportunity includes information on how to apply for this funding opportunity and criteria for institutional projects.
The amount of federal funds to be requested by each applicant is set by the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. Matching funds are required.
I.  Funding Opportunity Description
A.  Program Objective
The NOAA National Sea Grant College Program was established by Congress to promote responsible use and conservation of the Nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.  Sea Grant carries out NOAA’s mission of stewardship of our country’s oceans and atmospheres through a broadly based network of universities.
B.  Program Priorities
It is a programmatic priority for this competition to fund omnibus proposals that relate to individual program strategic plans, the National Sea Grant Strategic Plan, and the NOAA Strategic Plan (link to strat Plan).  This competition will fund omnibus proposals that contain the following types of projects:

  1. Management/Administration – Support and activities for Program leadership and other administrative/management staff.
  2. Program Development – Program development (PD) is intended to fund rapid response projects that could not have been anticipated at the time the omnibus was written, or to make investments in high-risk, high-reward seed projects. The Program Development Project may not exceed 10% of the overall proposal. The PD project in the omnibus does not describe any of the small individual projects; rather, it should briefly describe the process by which the individual projects will be solicited, selected, and documented.
  3. Peer-Reviewed Projects
  1. Non-competitive communication, education, extension, outreach or other projects.
  2. Coastal Communities – Each of the programs is allocated $50,000/year to carry out coastal communities activities.  The goal of the coastal communities program is to build local capacity, improve community planning and management practices, and develop public safety education programs. Sea Grant technical assistance to help communities evaluate their tourism potential, plan waterside infrastructure development analyses policies and incentives to encourage public access and adapt new technologies to meet emerging business opportunities can be included.
  3. Climate Extension – Each program is eligible to receive $30,000/year for the purpose of improving community capacity to adapt to climate related challenges within each Sea Grant state or territory.
  1. Competitive Projects – This includes competitively awarded research, education or other projects.
  2. Future Competed Projects – For out-year competitive projects not yet determined by the competition in this omnibus, there should be be one or more projects in the omnibus called “Future ‘XX’ projects”. These projects need to have one 90-2, and  90-4, as placeholders for each of outyears.(So for example, if during the 4-year omnibus you plan to have one future project competition in year 3 for two year projects, you would need a 90-4 for year 3 of the omnibus, a 90-4 for year 4 of the omnibus, and an overall 90-4). A project description (other than what is on the 90-2), budget justification, references, and vitae are not needed.

C.  Program Authority
33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.
II.  Award Information
A.  Funding Availability
Sea Grant expects to have available up to $48,000,000/year for institutional partnership efforts for FY 2014-2017, pending Congressional appropriation. The amount that a Sea Grant Program can apply for is set by the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.
B.  Project/Award Period
The anticipated start date is February 1, 2014, with projects to be completed by January 31, 2018.
C.  Type of Funding Instrument
Applications selected for funding will be funded through institutional cooperative agreements.
III.  Eligibility Information
A.  Eligible Applicants
The following entities are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity: Sea Grant College Programs, Sea Grant Institutional Programs, and Sea Grant Coherent Area Programs.
B.  Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement
Non-federal matching funds equal to at least 50 percent of the federal funding request must be provided. In-kind contributions can count towards this matching requirement.
C.  Other Criteria that Affect Eligibility
IV.  Application and Submission Information
A.  Address to Request Application Package
Proposals must be submitted electronically, via (, addressing opportunity number NOAA-OAR-SG-2014-2003622.  The application package is available on Eligible applicants who can prove they do not have access to the internet should contact the Agency Contact listed in Section VII.
Availability of required forms. The Title Page template, Sea Grant 90-2 form, Sea Grant 90-4 form (OMB Control No. 0648-0362) and NEPA questionnaire (OMB Control No. 0648-0538) are available at  or may be requested from the Agency Contact listed in section VII.  Examples of the various components of an omnibus can also be found at
B.  Content and Form of Application.
Applications will be in a form compatible with submission even if the application is not being submitted through An application must have these parts:
1. SF424
2. SF424A. The overall totals of the federal request and match, and the line item totals for federal request and match, must equal the sum of the overall and line item totals for the individual project 90-4 forms.
3. Project Narrative in PDF format
Project narratives must adhere to the provisions under Format Requirements and Content Requirements below.  Applications received that deviate from content and format requirements will not be reviewed until content and format requirements are met.
Format Requirements: All application materials should be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF). All pages should be single- or double-spaced, printed or typed in at least 12-point font, and printable on 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper, with 1-inch margins.
Content Requirements: Brevity will assist reviewers and program staff in dealing effectively with proposals. However, due to the variation in programs, no page limit is set.  The application must include:
a. Table of contents showing for each individual project covered by the omnibus application: unique project ID no. (assigned by the applicant), project title, primary PI, federal and match funding for each year. A mandatory Table of Contents template is available at 
For each project proposed, the following information must be included:
b. Project Summary form 90-2. The project summary must include: (a) Title: Use the exact title as it appears in the rest of the application; (b) Investigators: List the names and affiliations of each investigator who will significantly contribute to the project, starting with the Principal Investigator(s); (c) Funding request for each year of the project, including the amounts of matching funds; (d) Project Period: Start and completion dates. Proposals must request a start date of February 1, 2014 or later; (e) a one-page maximum Project Abstract (in the Objectives section): This abstract must include the rationale for the project, the scientific or technical objectives and/or hypotheses to be tested, a brief summary of work and accomplishments to be completed to be used for public dissemination; and (f) a two-page maximum Data Sharing Plan, included in the Methodology section. If the project does not generate any environmental data, it is sufficient to include a sentence saying that. If the omnibus’s overall Data Management Plan contains all the necessary information, it is sufficient to include a sentence saying that.  
c. Project descriptions:
(1) Introduction/background/justification:
(2) General Work Plan and Milestones:
(3) Outcome:
(4) Coordination with other program elements:
d. References and literature citations
e. Short Vitae (2 pages maximum per lead investigator).
4. Budget Justification(s) in PDF format. Applications must include:
■     Cumulative project-specific budget for all appropriate years on 90-4 forms.
■     Annual project specific budget for each appropriate year on 90-4 forms.
■     Budget justification in narrative format for each project
Applicants are to use the Sea Grant Budget Form 90-4 (OMB Control No. 0648-0362, available at
Subawards must have a separate budget page.
 Applicants must provide justification for all budget items in sufficient detail to enable review of the appropriateness of the funding requested. Pay special attention to any travel or supply budgets and provide details.
5. SF424B. (This comes as part of the application package from
6. CD511. (This comes as part of the application package from
7. NOAA NEPA Questionnaire: As part of this application process, “The Environmental Compliance Questionnaire for NOAA Federal Financial Assistance Applicants” (OMB Control No. 0648-0538) must be answered per NOAA procedures (NAO 216-6 May 20, 1999; This NEPA Questionnaire form is available at If a question from one of these sections is not applicable to your project, you should answer “not applicable” or “NA” rather than leaving blank.
8. Overall Data Management Plan: The omnibus proposal must include a data management plan that is consistent with NOAA’s Data Sharing Requirements for Grants (October 12, 2011, If the individual projects in the omnibus proposal already contain such plans, the overall plan can just state that, and provide a single point of contact for questions about the plans contained in the omnibus.  This includes all projects that generate environmental data, including but not limited to research, extension, or program development projects.   Information on NOAA Data Sharing requirements is available at on the National Sea Grant website: .  
9. Videos or Multimedia Project Workplan:
a) If you plan to produce videos or multimedia as part of your omnibus, please include a very brief work plan for all video or multimedia projects.  The work plan should address each of the following questions:  Why are you producing it?  Who is the audience?  What is it communicating?  What is the work schedule?  How will it be distributed?   If available, please include a draft script.  After review of the work plan, NOAA Public Affairs will clear the video or multimedia project.  If you have any questions about what is required for clearance, please contact  Elizabeth Rohring at 301-734-1082 or via email at
b) If you plan to produce videos or multimedia as part of your omnibus, you are required to make sure that all products are in compliance with federal accessibility requirements, specifically Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments. This should be included in the brief work plan submitted with the omnibus. For more information on these requirements, please see Making Multimedia Section 508 Compliant and Accessible (  If you have questions about what is required for Section 508 compliance, please contact Elizabeth Rohring at 301-734-1082 or via email at
C.  Submission Dates and Times
Applications are due to by 5:00 p.m. (EST) November 1, 2013.   
D.  Intergovernmental Review
Applications under this Program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.”
E.  Funding Restrictions
No special restrictions apply.
F.  Other Submission Requirements
No other submission requirements.
G.  Address for Submitting Proposals
Proposals must be submitted through If an eligible applicant can prove he/she does not have internet access, contact the Agency Contact listed in section VII for submission instructions.
V.  Application Review Information
A.  Evaluation Criteria

  1. Does the proposed work fit within the program’s approved strategic plan?
  2. Have all projects been adequately reviewed (both competitive and noncompetitive)?
  1. All non-management projects must be peer reviewed.  No extension, education, or communication project can run more than four years without submitting the proposal for peer review.
  1. Are all projects described sufficiently to allow accountability?
  1. Projects should have clear objectives, and clear descriptions of what success will look like
  1. Is there an adequate balance between competitive and noncompetitive projects?

B.  Review and Selection Process
An initial administrative review is conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of the application.
All proposals will be reviewed by the appropriate Program Officer. 
C.  Selection Factors
Selection will be based on institutional status and compliance with requirements set forth in this announcement.
D.  Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Subject to the availability of funds, awards are expected to be made by February 1, 2014.  Projects should be completed by January 31, 2018.
VI.  Award Administration Information
A.  Award Notices
Successful applicants will receive notification that the application has been recommended for funding to the NOAA Grants Management Division. This notification is not an authorization to begin performance of the project. Official notification of funding, signed by the NOAA Grants Officer, is the authorizing document that allows the project to begin. Notification will be issued to the Authorizing Official and the Principle Investigator of the project either electronically via Grants Online or in hard copy. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified that their proposal was not selected for recommendation.
To enable the use of a universal identifier and to enhance the quality of information available to the public as required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, to the extent applicable, any proposal awarded in response to this announcement will be required to use the Central Contractor Registration and Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System and be subject to reporting requirements, as identified in OMB guidance published at 2 CFR Parts 25, 170 (2010),,
B.  Administrative and National Policy Requirements
1. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PRE-AWARD NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GRANTS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS – Administrative and national policy requirements for all Department of Commerce awards are contained in the Department of Commerce Pre- Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696). A copy of the notice may be obtained at .
2. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY – In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal preparation costs if these programs fail to receive funding or are cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.
3. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) – NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects or proposals which are seeking NOAA federal funding opportunities. Detailed information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at the following NOAA NEPA website: , including our NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 for NEPA,, and the Council on Environmental Quality implementation regulations, Consequently, as part of an applicant’s package, and under their description of their program activities, applicants are required to provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist (e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, introduction of non-indigenous species, impacts to endangered and threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef systems).
In addition to providing specific information that will serve as the basis for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying feasible measures to reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental impacts of their proposal. The failure to do so shall be grounds for not selecting an application. In some cases if additional information is required after an application is selected, funds can be withheld by the Grants Officer under a special award condition requiring the recipient to submit additional environmental compliance information sufficient to enable NOAA to make an assessment on any impacts that a project may have on the environment.
C.  Reporting
Award recipients will be required to submit financial and performance (technical) reports electronically via, unless the recipient does not have proven Internet access, in which case hard copy submissions may be accepted; however, no facsimiles will be accepted. After consultation between the Principal Investigator(s) and the State Sea Grant Program staff, reports are to be submitted electronically by State Sea Grant Program staff via
Programs are also required to use the National Sea Grant Planning Implementation Evaluation Reporting (PIER) System to communicate with the National Sea Grant Office on activities relating to this award.  This includes tracking progress and impacts, in addition to performance metrics.   If a proposal is selected and funded, information about the project and principle investigator will be recorded in the PIER system, and may be made public.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 includes a requirement for awardees of applicable Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY 2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at on all subawards over $25,000.
VII.  Agency Contacts
Requests for information regarding this request for proposals should be directed to Dorn Carlson (; Mailing Address: NOAA Sea Grant; 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, R/SG; Silver Spring, MD 20910; or your Program Officer
VIII.  Other Information

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