Omnibus Research RFP 2014

The following information refers to a previous program and is provided as reference only.
Please check back for new deadline dates.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) is one of 34 state Sea Grant Programs within the National Sea Grant College Program. The National Program is housed within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. Sea Grant addresses marine issues and coastal sustainability in the context of wise resource use and management. In New Jersey, we are interested in balancing economic growth with resource stewardship to sustain the state’s $80+ billion coastal economy.

NJSGC fulfills its mission to promote the sustainable use of New Jersey’s coastal and marine resources through relevant research and student training, educational excellence, and rapid dissemination of acquired knowledge. NJSGC is a statewide program bringing together the best talent within the region’s member colleges and universities without regard to academic affiliation.

For its 2014-16 omnibus funding cycle, NJSGC will continue to encourage fewer but larger multi-investigator, multi-institution, trans-disciplinary awards focused on critical state and regional research needs. It is the intent of this Request for Pre-Proposals to ultimately award up to four (4) two (2)-year grants of $140,000 each including indirect costs. Funding for new projects will begin on February 1, 2014, pending the federal appropriations process; resource allocation decisions are made annually, dependant on the availability of federal funds. Because NJSGC supports scientific excellence integrated into relevant coastal issues or socio-economic impacts, applications of research results through the NJSGC Extension Program are important considerations in funding. Workforce development through the inclusion of graduate or undergraduate students is a required component for funding. Collaboration with industry, state and regional agencies is strongly encouraged.

In addition, NJSGC is participating in a Mid-Atlantic Regional Sea Grant (New York to North Carolina) Request for Proposals (RFP) to address common coastal and marine issues across the region. New Jersey researchers are encouraged to engage their colleagues in the Mid-Atlantic region to develop a regional proposal. NJSGC is contributing up to $140,000 to this effort for a proposal that supports a New Jersey researcher. Proposal should address New Jersey research priorities, include an extension component and support student research. Virginia Sea Grant will administer the RFP process and NJSGC will administer any New Jersey component to a regional award. Pre-proposals are due March 15, 2013, at 5:00pm EDT to Virginia Sea Grant. For more information please contact Dr. Susan Park, Assistant Director for Research at Virginia Sea Grant at 804-684-7436 or

NJSGC’s Strategic Plan for 2014-17 aligns with the National Program’s Strategic Plan and concentrates its research priorities in three (3) Focus Areas:

  • Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Resilient Communities and Economies

NJSGC will review any proposal dealing with issues of major concern to the state and region, but relevance to the Focus Areas listed above is an important consideration in funding. NJSGC is also interested in the impacts of climate change; utilization of Integrated Ocean Observing Systems; and application to urban-industrial estuaries within these Focus Areas. In light of the impacts of Hurricane Sandy to coastal New Jersey, NJSGC also encourages proposals that address the impacts of coastal storms to human and natural systems in relation to the research priorities of this RFP.

RESEARCH PRIORITIES within each focus area:

Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

  • Develop and evaluate restoration technologies to integrate biota into structural shoreline treatments (e.g., dunes, living shorelines, and shellfish reefs including non‐edible shellfish) effectively and successfully including impacts on policy (closed vs. open waters), species diversity (habitat), and ecological services.
  • Determine and evaluate the effects of coastal and estuarine engineering (e.g., inlet stabilization, bulkheads, dikes and dredging) on the marine and coastal environment.
  • Determine relationship between coastal stressors (e.g., water quality, contaminants, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, invasive species and wetlands loss) and long term human and ecosystem health.
  • Assess the impacts of coastal development on water quality and habitats in coastal areas.
  • Develop tools and techniques for climate adaptation that address mitigation, restoration, and response planning for natural systems including wetlands migration and adaptation of temperature and salt tolerant plants.
  • Quantify and evaluate the impacts of dynamic stormwater events to water quality in New Jersey coastal lakes, coastal bays, adjacent coastal waters and the Delaware Bay.
  • Develop and evaluate environmentally-clean beneficial uses of dredged material for environmental enhancement or restoration (e.g., thin-layer placement of dredged material on wetlands to combat sea-level rise).
  • Develop and evaluate the effectiveness of nitrogen reduction in our coastal waters through stormwater BMPs (e.g., gravel wetlands and rain gardens) or new development BMPs (e.g., building design, zoning, regulations or policy).

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Determine bycatch mortality in marine recreational fisheries in particular summer flounder, weakfish, striped bass, and black sea bass.
  • Understand stock recruitment relationship or the human impacts (e.g., dredging, coastal development) on the ecology of commercially and recreationally important fish species including weakfish, black sea bass, blue crab, summer flounder, winter flounder, hard clam, horseshoe crab, oysters, and scallops.
  • Evaluate data gaps or model parameters in fish stock assessment through laboratory, field studies or archival analysis on population age structure, sex ratio and mortality, especially for “data poor” species such as scup, black sea bass and tautog.
  • Evaluate the socioeconomic impact of recreational fishing, commercial fishing or shellfish aquaculture to New Jersey and its coastal communities.
  • Evaluate socioeconomic or ecological impacts of multi‐use conflicts on fisheries (e.g., pot fishing on artificial reefs, offshore wind development).
  • Determine impacts of climate change or sea level rise on shellfisheries/aquaculture including regulations, disease, water quality and markets.
  • Quantify the economic impacts of management decisions and the regulatory process on fisheries or aquaculture in New Jersey.
  • Develop and evaluate (e.g., growth, survival and yield) new aquaculture technologies (e.g., genetics, gear), methodologies (e.g., grow out, anti-fouling, harvesting, processing) or products (e.g., biofuels, new species) that are environmentally responsible and that contribute to a viable mariculture industry in New Jersey.
  • Understand and evaluate the impacts of reduced genetic variation on the health of declining populations of commercially and recreationally important marine species.

Resilient Communities and Economies

  • Develop and evaluate restoration, adaptation, resiliency, vulnerability or communication tools and techniques that address adaptation, mitigation, response planning, or risk/preparedness behavior for human systems in relation to climate change impacts (e.g., inundation, disease, market trends, or regulations).
  • Develop predictive and response models to understand the consequences of storm events (e.g., tropical storms and nor’easters), sea level rise, and climate change including use of environmental or pre‐historical markers of sea level rise.
  • Identify and develop appropriate methods to preserve, protect and restore New Jersey’s cultural coastal heritage and assets, (e.g., ports, working waterfronts, and fishing communities).
  • Quantify the socioeconomic and cost‐benefit implications of coastal zone management rules on recreation and tourism industries.
  • Develop green technologies and evaluate the cost‐benefit impact of implementing them on coastal communities (e.g., energy, water, and stormwater, etc.) or coastal watersheds (e.g., nutrient loadings).
  • Determine the geomorphic and biologic beach-dune interactions as a basis for beach maintenance and dune restoration efforts.
  • Develop and evaluate strategies to ensure adequate natural freshwater flows (both quantity and periodicity) to New Jersey coastal bays and Delaware Bay to support healthy living resources and sustainable human uses.

SUBMISSION PACKAGE – please include and submit as a single pdf document:

Pre-Proposal Cover Page (

Project Narrative – use standard formatting (8.5 x 11 paper, 1” margins, at least 11 pt Times New Roman font) not to exceed two (2) pages. Include:

  • Statement of Problem
  • Project Goals and Objectives
  • Research Plan
  • Summary of the Relevance of the Project to New Jersey and/or the Mid-Atlantic Region: Include a rationale that stresses the importance of the project, who the actual or potential users are and how they are involved or will benefit (e.g., environmental, social or economic) from the project.
  • What other state, federal, or private organizations will be involved in this Proposal: Include at what level of participation and/or what funding will be available.

Extension Goals, Student Support and Data Management – use standard formatting (8.5 x 11 paper, 1” margins, at least 11 pt Times New Roman font) not to exceed one (1) page. Include:

  • Statement of Extension Goals. You are encouraged to meet with and jointly prepare this section with NJSGC Extension personnel and include them in your proposed work. Regardless, funded PIs will have an assigned extension agent as a liaison to promote the integration of communications and outreach to the research.
  • Required Student Support – Describe the extent of graduate or undergraduate student support and involvement in proposed research.
  • Data Management – New NOAA regulations require a data management plan to make data available within two years of award completion. Describe your data management plan.

Budget Page (Note matching funds requirements below.)

Budget Justification

Curriculum Vitae – not to exceed two pages per investigator



Matching funds are required for this program. Sea Grant investigators must include a non-federal contribution of at least $1 for every $2 of Federal support requested. Potential matching non-federal support includes:

  • Salaries, wages, and benefits of those working on the project
  • Expendable supplies equipment and ship time
  • Indirect costs or in-kind services provided
  • Contributions such as private, local, or state contracts and special project funds

Total budget amount must be distributed equally over the two years (no front loading)


Pre-Proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the Technical Review Panel (TRP), a committee of scientists from the region but outside of New Jersey and the NJSGC Advisory Board, comprised of stakeholders from New Jersey, each with 50% of the evaluation weight. The criteria of the TRP are:

  • Scientific Merit and Innovativeness (40 pts)
  • Responsiveness to NJSGC Research Priorities and Extension Goals (25 pts)
  • Expected Benefits (20 pts)
  • Student Involvement (5 pts)
  • Professional Qualifications of the Investigators (5 pts)
  • Budget (5 pts)

The criteria of the Stakeholder Advisory Board are:

  • Responsiveness to NJSGC Research Priorities (40 pts)
  • Degree and mechanism for practical application of Extension Goals (30 pts)
  • Expected Benefits (20 pts)
  • Student Involvement (10 pts)

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium strives to fund the best science relevant to New Jersey and the region. Because we encourage multi-institutional and multi-investigator proposals, please see our website.

Applicant will be notified by 8 April 2013. Full proposals will be due on 31 May 2013.

Based on panel evaluations, investigators may be asked to modify objectives, work plans or budgets for their full proposals.

Proposals must be submitted electronically to Diana Burich, Sea Grant Program Associate,


For General Submission Questions: Diana Burich, Sea Grant Program Associate, 732-872-1300,

For Questions on Collaborations, Research Priorities, Evaluation Criteria, Extension, Data Management or Regional Research RFP: Dr. Peter Rowe, Director of Research and Extension, 732-872-1300,

For Questions on Budget: Mr. Augustine Anfuso, Fiscal Officer, 732-872-1300,