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North Carolina Sea Grant Seeks Coastal Research Proposals

For Immediate Release

Contact: John Fear,

NEW DEADLINE: February 3 at 5 p.m. ET.

North Carolina Sea Grant is now accepting preproposals for the 2024–2026 applied research grant cycle to address problems affecting coastal ecosystems, economies, and communities. The new deadline for preproposals is February 3, 2023.

“This funding opportunity continues our 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,” says Susan White, North Carolina Sea Grant’s executive director. “Rural areas in the state, including much of the coast, face a combination of challenges — including economic, social, and environmental stressors.”

North Carolina Sea Grant’s research and extension programs strive to create and facilitate research opportunities that equitably fund under-targeted and underserved faculty and students and that foster real-world outcomes that benefit underserved communities, White notes.

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,” says John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant’s deputy director. “This ensures the results are provided to those facing coastal challenges and opportunities.”

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.

“We encourage applicants from all backgrounds, bringing their unique perspectives and expertise, to address the grand challenges faced within our coastal systems,” says White.

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.

Detailed instructions and application materials are available here.

UPDATE: Preproposals are now due by February 3 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

For questions, contact John Fear at or Susan White at


lead photo: courtesy of NASA/ISS.