Program Development

Maine Sea Grant Program Development Funds

Guidelines & Instructions for Applicants


Program Development proposal deadlines are 1 April and 1 October each year.

I. Background

Each year Maine Sea Grant allocates part of its budget for Program Development (PD) funds. The National Sea Grant Office allows state programs to award these funds to enhance their strategic plan goals. Typical awards are $1,000 – $5,000. Projects exceeding $5,000 should be discussed with Maine Sea Grant personnel prior to submission.  Awards are generally for small research projects and proof-of-concept with the intent of seeding an idea for later development into larger funding proposals. Proposals for use of these funds may also include extension, education, communications, travel, and graduate student support, and support for workshops or conferences. Applicants must express how the proposed project will add value to Maine Sea Grant’s research, extension, education, and outreach efforts in the program’s current strategic focus areas. Program Development awards may not be used to support  PI salaries or indirect costs. The Maine Sea Grant management team will make decisions on Program Development awards two times per year.

II. Target Allocation

These funds will be provided to projects that align with Maine Sea Grant’s strategic goals and objectives. Preference is given to projects for which Sea Grant has a vested interest and those which leverage other resources. Although these funds can be used for workshops, conferences, and travel support, less than 25% of the funds will be used in that manner with preference for research, extension, and education-related projects.

III. To Apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to share their ideas with Sea Grant staff members prior to submitting a request. Applicants should submit their final request using eSeaGrant.  Applicants will need to register with the program and create a username and password prior to submission.  Please review our instruction manual for a short introduction and tutorial to using eSeaGrant.

IV. Considerations for Proposal Evaluation

The following will be taken into consideration to evaluate the feasibility and merit of project proposals:

  • Alignment with Maine Sea Grant strategic plan
  • Measurable impact to the State of Maine
  • Timeliness and urgency of the proposed activity
  • Potential to leverage other funds
  • Proof of concept for further development
  • Commitment from other partners
  • Fostering relationships with other partners
  • Innovation and relevance to emerging issues

V. Timing of decisions and distributions

To ensure that funds are available throughout the year, including a reserve for responding to emergency issues, Program Development proposals are evaluated and awards granted two times per year, according to the schedule below. This timeline may be waived in emergency situations demanding rapid response. For a rapid response proposal, contact the Assistant Director for Research prior to submission.

  • Deadlines: April 1 and October 1

Generally, decisions on proposals are made within one month of submission and disbursements are made as soon as possible based on institutional requirements.

Any field-based project (research, outreach or education) projects require a completed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance Questionnaire and copies of sampling licenses and permits (if applicable) at the time of proposal submission. Funding for field-based projects is contingent upon final NEPA approval which may take 6-10 weeks from the close of the competitions. Early submission of forms will expedite funds being disbursed.

Related Documents:

Maine Sea Grant Strategic Plan (PDF)