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State Science Information Needs Program

Updated July 13, 2021

State Science Information Needs Program
In 2019, COAST received a one-time $3 million appropriation in the state budget (see Budget Request Letters​). The purpose of the funding is to enable COAST to significantly increase support for research confronting California’s most critical ocean concerns and solutions. In response, COAST designed an entirely new funding program, the State Science Information Needs Program (SSINP), to meet the legislative intent of the funding.

SSINP focuses directly and exclusively on supporting the state of California’s highest priority marine, coastal, and coastal watershed related needs for scientific information. The goal of the program is to provide the science needed for informed policy development and evidence-based decision making in a timely and actionable manner.

Identification of High Priority State Science Information Needs
Rather than require applicants to identify stakeholder needs for information, SSINP engages agencies from the beginning to ensure that their needs are well represented in grant solicitations. Structured interviews with state agencies with relevant jurisdiction have been and will continue to be conducted in order to identify these needs. The following topics have initially been identified as the highest marine, coastal, and coastal-watershed priorities for the state:

  • Sea-level rise
  • Ocean acidification and hypoxia
  • Water pollution (including marine debris and microplastics)
  • Sustainable fisheries (including marine protected area management and sustainable aquaculture)
  • As additional high priority issues were identified through the interview process, they were considered for inclusion in the SSINP.

    This program is also intended to benefit the CSU through increased faculty scholarship, student engagement and workforce development. Only CSU faculty members can serve as lead Principal Investigators (PIs). Non-CSU collaborators can serve as co-PIs. There are limitations on the amount of funding co-PIs can receive. 

    Available Funding and Award Information 
    The total amount of funding available for research under SSINP is $2.6 million. The five projects awarded for Rounds 1 and 2 ranged from $200,000-$400,000. Awards for the third round of funding will range from $200,000-$360,000.​

    Funds will be disbursed through competitive Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in order to promote transparency and fairness. Three RFPs were released between January 2020 and mid-2021. It is expected that all SSINP awards will be made by spring 2022. In order to provide the state with scientific information in a relevant time frame, awards will be no longer than 30 months in duration. ​

    Expedited Grant Application Process
    In order to help meet urgent state needs for scientific information that arise unexpectedly, one smaller research grant (up to $50,000) will be disbursed through an expedited grant application process. An RFP for this process will be released as needed. Projects funded under this expedited process will be completed in 12 months or less, thereby enabling the state to utilize the results quickly.​

    Collaboration with State Agencies
    To ensure that the results from this new program can be readily incorporated into improved management and decision-making, at the outset of each project COAST will facilitate strong partnerships between the principal investigators (PIs) and the state agency(ies) that will benefit from the research results. Additionally, PIs will brief policy and decision-makers on their research activities and preliminary results within 12-18 months of the project start date. To help PIs prepare for briefings, COAST will provide communication training and support. 

    Round 1 RFP: Please see our press release for information on the awards made from the Round 1 RFP on microplastics and microfibers.

    Round 2 RFP​: Please see our press release for information on the awards made from the Round 2 RFP on sea-level rise.​


    We are pleased to release RFP #3: Informing Ocean and Coastal Compensatory Mitigation and Associated Restoration. 
    Please thoroughly review the Grant Guidelines below before deciding whether to respond to this RFP. ​

    Letters of Intent are required and due on September 1, 2021, 5:00 p.m. Pacific time [​NEW FOR ROUND 3].

    Full proposals are due October 1, 2021, 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.


    Grant Guidelines​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​
    SSINP FAQ​​​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​
    SSINP RFP 3 Prop​osal Cover Pages ​​​​
    SSINP Suggested Reviewer Form​​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​
    SSINP Permit/Lease Form
    SSINP Budget T​emplate​ ​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​​​
    SSINP Budget Sign-Off Form​​
    Reassigned Time Request Example Letter
    Prior Funding Report Form​ (for PIs who have received prior funding through COAST within the last five years)

    Webinar on Grant Guidelines and Round 3 RFP

    ​A two-part webinar will be held on  Tuesday, August 10, 2021.


    9:45-10:45am: Part 1 of the webinar will review the Grant Guidelines, including application procedures and materials. Who should attend: sponsored programs staff, PIs interested in responding to the RFP.


    11:00 am-12:00 pm: Part 2 of the webinar will focus specifically on the Round 3 RFP. State agency experts will participate and answer questions about the research objectives in the RFP. Who should attend: PIs interested in responding to the Round 3 RFP.


    Please register for the webinar here. To avoid “Zoom-bombing”, Zoom log-in information will be sent via email to registered attendees only.


    Both parts of the webinar will be recorded and made available here following their conclusion.


    California Sea Grant New Faculty Funding Program: Request Matching Funds from COAST (closed)
    In May 2020, COAST provided match support for new faculty who applied to California Sea Grant’s New Faculty Funding Program (new faculty defined as those who received their first ever faculty appointment no earlier than January 1, 2018). More information on COAST’s process to provide match support can be found here​.

    ​Stay Up To Date on Future RFPs!
    Please sign up for COAST Faculty Email List​​ to be notified of the release of a future RFP for the Expedited Grant Program. ​​
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    Return to Faculty Funding​​