The Delaware Sea Grant Advisory Council (SGAC) convened March 6 in Dover, Del., to review research pre-proposals being considered for Sea Grant funding support. This was the first step in selecting Delaware Sea Grant projects for the 2009-2011 funding period.
The SGAC consists of members of the Delaware General Assembly and representatives from state and local government agencies, industry, non-governmental organizations, and education. The group provides valuable input on Delaware Sea Grant’s research, outreach, and education projects. It is also a critical partner in the development of Delaware Sea Grant’s strategic and implementation plans.
The council reviewed the merits of 30 pre-proposals. It considered each proposal within the context of Delaware Sea Grant’s four priority areas: ecosystems, environmental technologies and engineering, biotechnology, and marine commerce and transportation.
Nancy Targett, Delaware Sea Grant director and dean of the University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES), gave a brief overview of each pre-proposal, highlighting its rationale and objectives. SGAC members were then invited to provide their feedback. Many comments centered on the potential “real world” applications of the research in Delaware and beyond.
SGAC comments and recommendations are being shared with an external technical review panel, which will meet March 20 to further evaluate and rank the pre-proposals. Following that meeting, the Delaware Sea Grant Management Team, comprised of the program director, associate director, Marine Advisory Service director, Marine Public Education director, executive officer, and program coordinator, will review all comments received. The management team will then invite selected researchers to submit full proposals for consideration.
The pre-proposal review process is designed to give researchers feedback about possible funding success. It is not a guarantee of funding, however. In deciding whether to invite a researcher to submit a full proposal, special attention will be given to the proposed project’s scientific merit, utility, anticipated benefits, relevance to the Delaware Sea Grant priority areas, outreach and education components, the qualifications of the researchers, and the required budget.
Full proposals will be due to Delaware Sea Grant on May 2. They will undergo a rigorous peer review, and an external panel of technical experts will rank them. In addition, the proposals will be reviewed for programmatic fit. Final proposals will be selected and researchers notified in mid-July.
To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant research proposal process, visit www.deseagrant.org/sgrfp09.
For more about Delaware Sea Grant and CMES, visit www.deseagrant.org and www.ocean.udel.edu.