collaborative community resesarch

This new grant program is designed for universities, agencies and communities to collaborate toward a common goal. Photo by Jamie Moncrief/UNCW.

North Carolina Sea Grant is requesting applications for its new community collaborative research grant program, thanks to a partnership with the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at NC State University.

“We are seeking proposals that focus on creative problem solving,” explains Susan White, Sea Grant executive director. “The new projects will bring together local knowledge and intuition within coastal communities and the academic rigor of university researchers. Recommendations based on results of such strong field-testing ultimately are more likely to be incorporated into resource management decisions and local business practices.”

The CCRG program leverages $30,000 from the Kenan Institute. “We value the integrative approach of North Carolina Sea Grant’s translational research activities that build from within the communities they serve,” notes Raj Narayan, associate director.

He cites Sea Grant success in collaborative research and outreach programs, including its past administration of the state’s Fishery Resource Grant program, and ongoing cooperative research related to marine mammals, and blue crabs and shellfish.

The new program will be broader. CCRG projects can fit into one or more of Sea Grant’s five focus areas: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems; Sustainable Coastal Development; Safe and Sustainable Seafood Supply; Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities; and Environmental Literacy and Career Initiation.

“We expect proposals for research to increase effectiveness of tools, technologies and services across a broad range of disciplines,” John Fear, Sea Grant deputy director, explains.

Narayan is eager to see the initiation of research and application of results. “Our partnership with Sea Grant will support projects that will provide opportunities for researchers and economic developers to work together in order to develop innovative approaches for addressing community needs.”

The new research program fits with the Kenan Institute’s broader focus on coastal topics.


CCRG project teams must include at least two people, a scientific expert and a local knowledge expert. These roles may be faculty or staff members from North Carolina-based institutions of higher learning, staff from local or state governmental entities in the state, representatives of nongovernment organizations based in offices in the state, and N.C. business owners and citizens.

Grants will range between $2,000 and $25,000. Matching funds are not required but are encouraged. Teams are limited to a one-year research project. Projects must start between March 1 and May 31, 2016.

Proposals must use the CCRG application form. The template and instructions are available at

Proposal deadline is 4 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2016. Proposals can be hand-delivered, mailed or emailed. Faxed proposals will not be accepted. Email proposals to Vanda Lewis at Mail or deliver signed applications to Vanda Lewis, North Carolina Sea Grant, NC State University/CMAST, 303 College Circle, Morehead City, NC 28557.

For more information, academic partners may contact John Fear at 919-515-9104. Community partners may contact Scott Baker at 910-962-2492.

This article was published in the Holiday 2015 issue of Coastwatch.

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