Pennsylvania Sea Grant request for research proposals period is now open!
Funding Cycle February 1, 2024 to January 31, 2026

Pre-proposals due by Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 5:00 PM, EST
Full Proposals due by Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 5:00 PM, EDT

NEW! Pennsylvania Sea Grant hosted an overview webinar earlier today, January 12, 2023. The webinar recording is now available!


Program Overview

The Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program is currently soliciting proposals for its next two-year research funding cycle, which begins February 1, 2024 and ends January 31, 2026. Relevant research topics and information about the format and timetable for submitting pre-proposals and proposals are included in the Request for Proposal (RFP).

Pennsylvania researchers are invited to submit pre-proposals which focus on Pennsylvania’s coasts and watersheds within the Lake Erie watershed, and Susquehanna and Delaware River Basins. Projects should be relevant to Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s Strategic Plan and reflect the goals in the focus areas of healthy coastal ecosystems, resilient communities and economies, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and environmental literacy and workforce development s. Details about these focus areas are included in the RFP.

Projects within Pennsylvania but outside of the Lake Erie watershed, or Susquehanna and Delaware River Basins may be considered if applicable to these watersheds. Principal investigators should focus on outcomes that can be achieved in a 24-month period. Proposals must include a clear outreach plan for disseminating information to appropriate audiences.

We anticipate funding five to seven grants at approximately $50,000 per year per grant (not including indirect costs). A minimum 50-percent non-federal match is required ($1 non-federal match for every $2 federal dollars requested), including on indirect costs. Funding requests for one-year projects may not exceed $50,000 and requests for two-year projects may not exceed $100,000 (not including indirect costs). Funding is contingent upon NOAA approval and congressional appropriation of funds. Faculty members and researchers from any Pennsylvania college or university, state agency, and other Pennsylvania not-for-profit research organizations are eligible. Pennsylvania Sea Grant funding support is offered on an open, competitive basis.

Sean Rafferty, Ph.D., Research Director, and Sara Stahlman, Extension Leader, will be hosting a webinar on January 12, 2023, at noon EST to provide an overview of the Pennsylvania Sea Grant Research program, the Request for Proposals (RFP) guidance, and answer any questions. 

Eligibility and Proposal Process

To be eligible, principal investigators (PIs) must be affiliated with an academic institution, research laboratory, or other institution with a research or science-based mission in Pennsylvania, including non-profit organizations and state agencies. Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) on projects can be from institutions outside of Pennsylvania. NOTE: Only one preliminary proposal per lead Principal Investigator may be submitted but may be listed as a Co-PI on as many preproposals as they desire. Direct salary support for individuals from federal agencies, Tribal, and for-profit and foreign organizations is not allowed; however, non-federal contributions can be counted as matching or in-kind support for the project. Collaborative projects involving investigators or research teams from different institutions are encouraged.

The Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program encourages participation from the broad science and social science research community within Pennsylvania and invites participation by investigators new to the Pennsylvania Sea Grant RFP process. Pennsylvania Sea Grant particularly encourages submissions that support students (graduate or undergraduate), post-doctoral researchers, and/or early career scientists. 

The RFP document contains information about the format and timetable for submitting pre-proposals and full proposals. This is an open and competitive funding opportunity. Pre-proposals should present a concise but sufficiently detailed synopsis of the project, clearly state the relevance to Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s Strategic Plan, outline technical feasibility, and state the PI’s qualifications.

Pre-proposals are not letters of intent. Each pre-proposal will be reviewed and evaluated rigorously. Not every pre-proposal will be encouraged to move on to the full proposal submission process.

Pennsylvania Sea Grant is committed to building an inclusive program that serves all people including those with unique needs, circumstances, perspectives, and ways of thinking. Eligible applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital status, job classifications, veteran status types, and socioeconomic status are encouraged to apply.

Contact Information

Contact Research Director, Sean Rafferty, Ph.D. with questions or to be added to the research contact list (send name/affiliation/email address). Email:; Phone: 814-898-7082.

Resources - Research RFP and Strategic Plan



Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011