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2024–2026 Biennial Competitive Core Research Funding

This opportunity has closed for pre-proposals. Invitations to submit full proposals are forthcoming.

North Carolina Sea Grant’s core research projects include diverse coastal topics that typically are funded by a combination of both federal and state dollars with an emphasis on applied research initiatives. Core funding operates on a two-year cycle.

This funding opportunity continues North Carolina Sea Grant’s tradition of connecting innovative research and outreach programs across our state’s public and private universities with coastal and coastal watershed communities to address critical, place-based, needs.

North Carolina Sea Grant uses a two-step process for its core funding. First, researchers submit preproposals that outline their research, its need within the state, the approach and strategy, and team members. A preproposal is required before researchers may submit a full proposal for the final competitive review in 2023.

Proposed work should recognize Sea Grant’s multidisciplinary and integrated program of applied research, outreach, and education under one or more of these focus areas: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Resilient Communities and Economies, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development.

Researchers must include extension and outreach as part of their research proposals.

Lead investigators from any institution of higher education in North Carolina can submit proposals. Collaborators can come from academic, industry, government, and other areas of expertise.

North Carolina Sea Grant strongly encourages multi-campus and interdisciplinary teams, including proposals from faculty researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and/or from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as faculty who can demonstrate how their work and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.

North Carolina Sea Grant will review preproposals with regard to relevancy and need, approach, and transferability:

  • Will the project help address a high priority coastal issue? Does the project address the NC Sea Grant Strategic Plan and vision for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility?
  • Are the proposed methods appropriate to complete the work?
  • Is it clear the results of the work will be provided to end-users, and do they want the research and results?

These 2024–2026 research grants will fund projects that begin February1, 2024, and finish by January 31, 2026. These projects require matching funds identified by the researcher and their home university.

For questions, contact John Fear at

Preproposal Deadline

We are no longer accepting preproposals. Invitations for full proposals are forthcoming.

Application Materials

  • 2024-2024 Request for Preproposals
  • The Preproposal Narrative Form
  • eSeaGrant

Additional Links

  • North Carolina Sea Grant’s 2024-2027 Strategic Plan
  • News release for the 2022-2024 funded research grants