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Gulf Research Program  >   Grants  >   Thriving Communities Grants 5  >  
Thriving Communities Grants 5 - Request for Applications: Application Submission and Review

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Applications for this funding opportunity have two stages with different required components: 1) a letter of intent and 2) a full proposal. Project directors are advised to review the application preparation and submission instructions carefully and submit any questions to
gulfgrants@nas.edu well in advance of the submission deadlines. Although the Gulf Research Program strives to respond to applicants' questions within two business days, the response time depends on the volume of questions received and the complexity of the question asked. The Gulf Research Program does not guarantee that applicants' questions will be answered before submission deadlines. Applicants are advised to submit LOIs and full proposals well in advance of the submission deadlines as a precaution against unanticipated delays. Please plan ahead.

Please be advised that the Gulf Research Program expects applicants to have reviewed the Grant Agreement (see “Grant Terms and Conditions” on the “Grant Awards” page) prior to submitting an application to ensure that the applicant is aware of the applicable terms under which the grant is offered. It is the policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to entertain potential modifications to the Grant Agreement only under the most exceptional circumstances. Rather, successful applicants are strongly encouraged to sign the Grant Agreement as presented.


Letter of Intent
A letter of intent (LOI) is required for this funding opportunity and must be submitted via the online application system
. LOIs submitted by other means (including mail, fax, or e-mail) will not be considered. LOI application materials submitted in any language other than English will not be considered. The LOI is not binding and is used by program staff to gauge the size and range of the competition so that staff can better manage the selection of reviewers. In addition, the information contained in a LOI is used to help avoid potential conflicts of interest in the review process. All complete LOIs will be reviewed internally. LOIs will be evaluated using the Letter of Intent Review Rubric based on the LOI Merit Review Criteria.

The LOI must include the following elements:
CLICK HERE to see Eligibility Form.
  1. Required Information:
    1. Applicant
    2. Project director
    3. ORCID - Open Researcher and Contributor ID
    4. Authorized organizational representative (AOR)
    5. Grant/contract administrator (if different from AOR)
  2. Optional Information (responses in this section will not be shared with reviewers and will not affect the application evaluation):
    1. Suggestions for reviewers: The suggestions may be considered for the peer review of full proposals, but the selection of reviewers is the responsibility of the Gulf Research Program.
    2. How did you hear about this funding opportunity?
    3. Demographic information
CLICK HERE to see sample Contact Information Form.
  1. Project Personnel:
    1. Project director
    2. Key personnel
    3. Involvement of project director or key personnel in other applications
  2. Project Details:
    1. Project title (up to 15 words)
    2. Project key words (up to 5 words)
    3. Overview of proposed project (up to 1,000 words)
    4. Anticipated outputs and outcomes (up to 250 words)
    5. Research involving human subjects (if applicable)
CLICK HERE to see sample Letter of Intent Form.

Letter of Intent Merit Review Criteria
All LOIs will be evaluated on the basis of two broad review criteria. The bullets under each criterion are meant to guide proposers in developing their proposed projects and guide reviewers on what to consider when judging a letter of intent; the bullets are illustrative and not intended to be all encompassing. Reviewers may raise additional issues that are not covered by the bullets under each criterion.
CLICK HERE to see the Letter of Intent Review Rubric.

Relevance (55%)

  • Is/are the research question(s) well-reasoned and relevant to understanding interactions between attributes and systems (e.g., social, health, economic, and/or environmental) that characterize coastal communities of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region?
  • Will the proposed project increase understanding of how interactions between community attributes and systems (e.g., social, health, economic, and/or environmental) influence the resilience of Gulf region coastal communities?
  • Will the proposed project result in actionable information that can improve the resilience of coastal communities in the Gulf region that are affected by coastal stressors associated with climate change, severe weather, or chronic impacts of environmental degradation?
Engagement and Impact (45%)
  • Does the proposed project directly (1) involve leaders, representatives, or others from Gulf region communities that are affected by coastal stressors and (2) seek to benefit residents of the Gulf region?
  • Is the proposed project team integrative? In other words, does it include an appropriate mix of perspectives from diverse institutions, sectors, and disciplines, and are partners outside of academia engaged throughout the project, not just in the inception or dissemination phases?
  • Does the proposed project seek to improve information exchange between researchers and those involved in implementing resilience practices or policies?
  • Does the proposal address the following:
    • What actionable information will result from the project?
    • Who may put the information into action?
    • What the expected outcome and impact of putting the information into action will be?
No later than four weeks after the LOI submission deadline, the project director will be notified of the Gulf Research Program’s decision to either encourage or discourage submission of a full proposal. The Gulf Research Program's decision is advisory only, which means that submitters of both favorably and unfavorably reviewed LOIs are eligible to submit full proposals. The intent of encourage/discourage decisions is to improve the overall quality of the full proposal and encourage re-thinking, particularly if a LOI is not responsive to the RFA topic.


Full Proposal
Full proposals must be submitted via the online application system, and they cannot be submitted if the applicant did not submit an LOI. Proposals submitted by other means (including mail, fax, or e-mail) will not be considered. Full proposal application materials submitted in any language other than English will not be considered. The online form for submission of a full proposal will be available on September 20, 2018 to applicants who have submitted an LOI. Conformance of proposals to instructions provided is required and will be strictly enforced. The Gulf Research Program may reject, without review, proposals that are not consistent with the instructions.

The information provided in the LOI is non-binding. At the Full Proposal stage, you have the opportunity to change or update project information based on feedback received from the LOI review or changes in the project plan since the LOI was submitted. You may not change the applicant (i.e., applying organization).

The full proposal must include the following elements:
  1. Project Personnel:
    1. Project director
    2. ORCID - Open Researcher and Contributor ID
    3. Key personnel
    4. Involvement of project director or key personnel in other applications
  2. Project Details:
    1. Project title (up to 15 words)
    2. Project key words (up to 5 words)
    3. Project summary (up to 300 words)
    4. Anticipated outputs and outcomes (up to 500 words)
    5. Project description (up to 6,000 words)
    6. References cited
    7. Data management plan (up to 1,500 words) [Please see the Gulf Research Program's Data Management Policy]
    8. Facilities, equipment, and other resources (up to 500 words)
    9. Research involving human subjects (if applicable)
  3. Project Budget
    1. Total budget requested
    2. Budget justification (up to 1,000 words). CLICK HERE to see a sample budget justification.
    3. Sub-award to FFRDC(s) or UARC(s) (if applicable)
CLICK HERE to see sample Full Proposal Form.
  • Attachments:
  1. Required attachments:
    1. Budget Form: CLICK HERE to download form and complete it to provide information on the proposed budget. Budget requests should be developed commensurate with the support needed to achieve the project goals. Please note that cost sharing is prohibited.
    2. Resume(s): A resume is required for the project director and each individual identified as key personnel. Resumes are limited to two pages for each person. CLICK HERE to see additional resume specifications. Please combine all resumes into a single PDF document before uploading as an attachment. If a resume is longer than two pages, only the first two pages will be considered in peer review.
    3. Collaborators and Other Affiliations Form: The purpose of this form is to help us eliminate potential conflicts of interest during our reviewer recruitment. CLICK HERE to download the form and complete it to provide information on the following:
      • All persons (including their current organizational affiliations) who are currently, or who have been collaborators (i.e. an individual with whom you work closely to co-design or conduct a project) or co-authors with the individual on a project, book, article, report, abstract, or paper during the 48 months preceding the submission of the application.
      • The individual’s own graduate and postdoctoral advisor(s) and their current organizational affiliations.
      • All persons (including their current organizational affiliations) with whom the individual has had an association as a graduate or postdoctoral advisor.
    4. Current and Pending Support Form: CLICK HERE to download the form and complete it to provide information on the current and pending support of the project director, and other key personnel, if applicable, and upload it to the online application system. The form calls for required information on current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals. All current project support from whatever source (e.g., federal, state, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations) must be listed. The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of time of the project personnel and other senior personnel must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s). The total award amount for the entire award period covered (including indirect costs) must be shown as well as the number of person-months per year to be devoted to the project, regardless of source of support.
  2. Optional attachments:
    1. Equations, figures and tables: The textbox for the Project Description does not support equations, figures, or tables. Applicants may upload a single PDF document with 1) a one-page list of equations and 2) up to five graphical elements (e.g., figures and tables), each on one page, to support the project description. If the total number of pages of graphical elements in the PDF exceeds five, only the first five that appear in the document will be considered in peer review. In addition, only information that is directly relevant to the graphical elements (e.g., figure legends) will be considered in peer review.
    2. Letters of support: Applicants may upload a PDF with letters of support from collaborators or anticipated organizations/participants. Please combine all letters of support into a single PDF before uploading as an attachment.
Research Involving Human Subjects

All projects involving human subjects must be submitted to an institutional review board (IRB) for review and either receive IRB approval or be granted exemption from human subjects regulations before an award can be made. Proposers should file their proposal with their local IRB at the same time the proposal is submitted to the Gulf Research Program so that any approval procedure determined as necessary will not delay the award process. A proposal may be submitted to the Gulf Research Program prior to receiving IRB approval or being granted exemption; however, if the proposal is selected for funding, the award will be made conditional upon IRB granting approval or exemption from human subjects regulations within 60 days of the notice of conditional award. If a proposed project involving human subjects is granted exemption from human subjects regulations [see 45 CFR 46.101(b)], the applicant must provide documentation that an IRB (or the appropriate authority other than the project director or key personnel) has declared the project exempt from the human subjects regulations. Documentation should include the specific category justifying the exemption. Organizations without internal access to an IRB must seek approval or exemption from an independent review board or other appropriate authority.


Full Proposal Peer Review Process
All complete full proposals will be sent to external reviewers for panel review. The external review panel will evaluate the proposals using the Full Proposal Review Rubric based on the Full Proposal Merit Review Criteria, discuss the merit and all received comments of each proposal, and rank the proposals. The Gulf Research Program will make reasonable efforts to develop a review panel in which external reviewers will not be affiliated with any institution that submitted proposals. Any external reviewer with any conflict(s) of interest will be recused from reviewing or participating in any discussion of any proposal(s) with which s/he has a conflict of interest. Program staff will examine the full proposals and prepare a grant-funding plan taking into consideration the review panel’s ranking of the proposals, summaries from the panel discussion, and the program’s funding availability, current portfolio, objectives, and goals. A subset of current and former Gulf Research Program Advisory Board members oversee the grant-funding plan and recommend a list of projects for funding. Current and former Advisory Board members are recused from individual proposals involving a conflict of interest, such as having an affiliation with an institution that submitted a proposal. The final decision for funding will be made by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

CLICK HERE to see the Gulf Research Program’s conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.
 

Full Proposal Merit Review Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of four broad review criteria. The bullets under each criterion are meant to guide proposers in writing their proposals and guide peer reviewers on what to consider when judging a proposal; the bullets are illustrative and not intended to be all encompassing. Reviewers may raise additional issues that are not covered by the bullets under each criterion.
CLICK HERE to see the Full Proposal Review Rubric.

Relevance (25%)
  • Is/are the research question(s) well-reasoned and relevant to understanding interactions between attributes and systems (e.g., social, health, economic, and/or environmental) that characterize coastal communities of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region?
  • Will the proposed project increase understanding of how interactions between community attributes and systems (e.g., social, health, economic, and/or environmental) influence the resilience of Gulf region coastal communities?
  • Will the proposed project result in actionable information that can improve the resilience of coastal communities in the Gulf region that are affected by coastal stressors associated with climate change, severe weather, or chronic impacts of environmental degradation?
Technical and Scientific Merit (35%)
  • Is there evidence that the proposed project team understands the current state of knowledge of the issue to be addressed and how the project would contribute to the knowledge base?
  • Is the strategy for the overall project and its implementation clear and feasible?
  • Are the proposed methods, tools, and analyses sufficiently rigorous (i.e., could result in a peer reviewed publication) and appropriate for accomplishing the specific aims of the project?
  • Is the budget commensurate with the proposed work?
  • Does the proposal include a data management plan that is appropriate for the scope of work?
Engagement and Impact (25%)
  • Does the proposed project directly (1) involve leaders, representatives, or others from Gulf region communities that are affected by coastal stressors and (2) seek to benefit residents of the Gulf region?
  • Is the proposed project team integrative? In other words, does it include an appropriate mix of perspectives from diverse institutions, sectors, and disciplines, and are partners outside of academia engaged throughout the project, not just in the inception or dissemination phases?
  • Does the proposed project seek to improve information exchange between researchers and those involved in implementing resilience practices or policies?
  • Does the proposal address the following:
    • What actionable information will result from the project?
    • Who may put the information into action?
    • What the expected outcome and impact of putting the information into action will be?
Project Personnel and Organizational Supports (15%)
  • Relative to the stage of career, how well qualified are the project director and other project personnel, if applicable, to conduct the proposed activities?
  • Is there evidence that the project team will have access to the resources needed (e.g., engaged partners, institutional support, equipment, data, models, technologies) to conduct the proposed project?
  • Will the project benefit from unique features of the applicant organization, project team, or any collaborative arrangements?

Data Management Policy
The Gulf Research Program’s
Data Management Policy applies to this RFA. To facilitate sharing of data and information products, all full proposals submitted to the Gulf Research Program must include a data management plan. Information products may include documents (i.e. reports, workshop summaries, etc.), multi-media curricula for education and training (i.e. video and/or online tutorials, manuals and handbooks, etc.), and other media and communication platforms. Even in the unlikely case in which no data or any other information products will be produced, a plan must be submitted that states “No data or information products are expected to be produced from this project.” Please see the Gulf Research Program’s Data Management Policy and Data Management web page for information on what must be included in the data management plan submitted as part of this application.