NOAA 2021 OE Grant

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) is soliciting proposals for ocean exploration in waters under U.S. jurisdiction, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). OER is interested in projects that provide data and information that may inform ocean-related segments of the U.S. economy through mapping, characterization, and exploration of the deep seafloor and water column of the U.S. EEZ as well as marine cultural heritage in U.S. waters. OER is soliciting proposals for three themes:

OCEAN EXPLORATION. Ocean exploration to inform management, sustainable use, and conservation of marine resources in poorly explored deep ocean areas of the U.S. EEZ. Areas proposed for exploration and/or initial characterization must be at water depths of 200 m or more.

TECHNOLOGY. Application of new or novel use of existing ocean technologies or innovative methods that increase the scope and efficiency of acquiring ocean exploration data and improve usability of and access to ocean exploration data. Proposed technologies must be applicable to water depths of 200 m or greater, though testing in shallower water or lab-based testing will be supported. Technology testing may occur outside of U.S. waters.

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY. Discovery and characterization of underwater cultural heritage to inform decisions on preservation and seabed use, and to identify sources of potential environmental impacts. Marine archaeology proposals can be conducted in any water depth within the U.S. EEZ.

Informational documents on this funding opportunity are accessible through the OER website:

For the purpose of this opportunity, costs for ship time and/or other ocean data collection platform support (remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, etc.) are considered rental costs and therefore are not included in Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC).

The exception is for institutions with a federal negotiated Indirect Cost (IDC) Rate agreement that covers these charges.

Note: Ship time on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will not be funded through this announcement.

The following checklists are provided to aid in preparing your application.

Pre-proposal stage (due June 18, 2020):

1. OER FFO cover sheet

2. Pre-proposal, max 2 pages

Submit by email to:


Full proposal stage (due October 22, 2020):

1. Updated OER FFO cover sheet

2. Executive summary, max 1 page

3. Project narrative, max 15 pages

4. Data and information sharing plan, max 2 pages

5. Outreach and education plan, max 1 page

6. Statement of diversity and inclusion

7. Previous significant results

8. Summary of current funding support for each principal investigator

9. Curriculum vitae, max 2 pages per each principal investigator

10. Budget justification and budget tables

11. (if applicable) Negotiated Indirect Cost (IDC) Rate memo

12. NEPA questionnaire

13. (optional) Letters of support, e.g. from local State Historic Preservation Office

14. (non-federal only) Forms: SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, SF-LLL, Unpaid Tax Liability

15. (optional) Suggested reviewers

All documents required at the full proposal stage must be submitted individually through

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