Program Development Funds

The Maryland Sea Grant program focuses on supporting translational watershed, coastal, and marine science that can inform broad audiences in the Chesapeake Bay region and in Maryland's coastal areas. Maryland Sea Grant has the ability to support small, targeted grants that come under the general category of program development awards.

We give these awards to help support important new efforts or to offer strategic support to emerging areas of importance. Program Development funds are designed to stimulate and foster small-scale innovative projects that will eventually lead to submissions for larger grants from a variety of sources. These funds also may be used to support workshops and educational opportunities that connect marine and coastal science to diverse audiences.

To be successful in receiving Program Development funding, all proposal requests must be consistent with the current Maryland Sea Grant Strategic Plan and demonstrate a clear link between coastal and marine science and conservation and restoration efforts in Maryland. Demonstrating an outreach component or illuminating how the proposal is relevant to audiences beyond academia is an important consideration. Program Development funds are highly limited and judiciously distributed. We have many more requests for funding than we can support.

Submitting a Program Development Proposal

Program Development awards are typically less than $10,000. These funds come to us from several sources including our Omnibus award (NOAA) and our allocation from the state of Maryland. Given the programmatic goals for funding these awards, it is Maryland Sea Grant's policy that Program Development awards may not be charged any indirect costs. In addition, Maryland Sea Grant does not require matching funds be contributed.

Proposals for Program Development awards are short requests, submitted through our eSeaGrant portal. If you are considering submitting a request for a Program Development award, you must directly contact the Maryland Sea Grant Director. We will provide you with access to the application portal. For more information, email the Office of the Director, Maryland Sea Grant or phone us (301-405-7500) to make an appointment to discuss your research interests.

Approval Process and Reporting Requirements

Maryland Sea Grants makes all attempts to streamline the approval process so as to complete it within several weeks after a proposal is submitted. Please note, though, that under some circumstances award decisions may take up to three months. The approval process involves an internal review and contact between the principal investigator and the director of Maryland Sea Grant. Additionally, external peer review may be requested for research proposals. We will contact the award applicant regarding the funding decision. Before an approved proposal can be processed and awarded, Maryland Sea Grant’s business office will work with the submitting entity to ensure compliance with our office policies and procedures for awarding Program Development funds.

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