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Deep Ocean Exploration Institute
2014 Call for Proposals

Deadline for proposal submission: Thursday, May 1, 2014 (Please contact your individual department staff regarding their internal policy and deadlines.)

Award Start Date: June 15, 2014
Award Duration: Two years
(with all funds allocated in the first year)
Amount Available: Approximately $200,000.
Director: Dan Fornari, x2857, dfornari@whoi.edu


The Deep Ocean Exploration Institute (DOEI) is soliciting proposals for research or technology development that address one or more of these themes, as detailed below.  Proposals for interdisciplinary work involving more than one WHOI department are especially encouraged.

Deep Ocean Technology – acknowledges the need for vehicles, sensors and instruments that can operate for long periods of time at significant depth in the ocean

Dynamic Processes at the Seafloor – including earthquake and volcanic activity at plate boundaries as well as intraplate volcanism; mixing processes in the deep ocean; dynamic processes that affect faunal dispersal and migration; anthropogenic influences such as the fate of pollutants.

Role of the Deep Earth and Ocean in Elemental Cycles – includes cycling of volatiles; carbon sequestration; and processes related to deep-ocean and crustal biosphere


Research Projects

The DOEI is soliciting proposals for research projects that fall within one or more of the above research themes.  Awards are available to those who satisfy the WHOI eligibility requirements to be a Principal Investigator (see http://www.whoi.edu/DoR/page.do?pid=30035&tid=3622&cid=34968 ).

Please note that an individual may not be a PI or a co-PI on more than one (1) proposal for this combined Ocean Institutes / Access to the Sea / Marine Mammal Center Call for Proposals.

A total of approximately $200,000 is available for DOEI awards in 2014, with individual proposals in the range of $10K to $75K.  Proposals will be fully funded in 2014 and must be spent over a maximum of two years.


Award Criteria

The DOEI will support individual and collaborative research projects relevant to the current themes of the Institute.  The mission of the DOEI is to support and enrich deep ocean exploration and research activities of the WHOI community, particularly those that seek to understand multidisciplinary and space/time phenomena involved in earth/ocean processes.

Abstracts of previous DOEI awards are available at: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=97063

The awards may be used for salary support for Principal Investigators, postdocs, support staff, and graduate students, the development or purchase of equipment, sea-going activities, or any other activities normally associated with research projects.  Salary support will not be provided to those receiving substantial Institute or Institution salary support (e.g., Chairs, Fellows, Directors, Education Coordinators, etc.) unless a strong justification is provided.  Proposals should include a brief description of how the proposed work would fit with other existing or planned research projects funded through agency or other means, and/or contribute to longer-term programs and strategic goals of the Institution.

Principal Investigators will be expected to participate in some activities of the DOEI and to help communicate the results and implications of their research to donors, the public, and to policy-makers in government.  PIs may also be expected to work with the Institute Director and Institute Advisory Committee in developing future research plans and activities for the Institute.

The following factors will be considered in granting the awards:

  • Quality of proposal (scholarship, innovation, research approach, scientific importance)
  • Relevance to the Institute’s mission and related initiatives:
    • Interdisciplinary;
    • Interdepartmental (particularly for larger awards);
    • Match to a current Institute theme (see above);
    • Providing a link between basic research and deep ocean exploration and earth processes.
  • Other attributes (optional)
    • Unlikely to be readily or immediately funded by external sources;
    • Launches an important new area of inquiry at WHOI;
    • Likelihood of leveraging additional agency support.

Proposal Submission and Guidelines

The deadline for submission of proposals for these awards is May 1, 2014.   

The start date for most of these awards will be from June 15, 2014.

Funds will be awarded for a two year period with all funds allocated in the first year.  Please be sure that you will have sufficient time to accomplish the proposed work within this time frame, as the need for these funds is usually greater than the amount of funding available.

Upload proposal package online, in pdf format, at: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=22956

Proposal applications must be received by the stated deadline, and include the following in this order:

  • The WHOI Research Proposal Summary (Green Sheet) with appropriate signatures at the Departmental level.
    1. Address Field on the routing form (green sheet) should indicate that the proposal is to be submitted to Dr. Dan Fornari, MS#24, DOEI.

    2. Agency information to be inserted is as follows:
      • Agency: WHOI Internal Awards
      • Agency Division: WHOI - DOEI
      • Program Field should be left blank
  • Abstract: The abstract should be only 1-2 paragraphs long.  Abstracts of funded proposals will be posted on the webpage and will be part of a report to the donor to describe what was done with the money provided for this program.  Therefore, the abstract should not be too technical.  Please be sure that your abstract does not "give away" any privileged information that you may need to acquire future funds from government or other sources.

  • Text: The text should describe what you wish to do.  All criteria will be explicitly addressed in a successful proposal.  These proposals are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team.  Care must be taken with the use of jargon and lengthy technical narratives.  Reviewers will be looking for clear descriptions of your questions and ++methods for achieving the answers.
    • Page limit of 1-2 pages for the text (excluding the abstract) will be strictly enforced. Graphics and references are not included in this limit.
    • Proposals must be readily legible.  Font size should be a minimum of 12, and vertical spacing appropriate for the font size.  Small type size makes it difficult for reviewers to read the proposal; consequently, small or type or cramped line spacing may be cause to return the proposal without review.

  • Budget: Provide a budget that is prepared in WHOI grants and that shows your proposed expenditures.  The simple budget feature in WHOI grants is recommended.  Use a 24 month period with start date 15 June 2014.  A Budget Justification statement is required.

  • CV: Each PI should provide a current 2-page CV that includes a list of the 10 most recent or relevant publications.

  • Signed originals must be sent to the Office of Grant & Contract Services, MS #39 within two days after electronic submission of the pdf file

The Ocean Institute Review Process

All Ocean Institute proposals are rigorously reviewed by a panel that will include all OI directors, the director of MMC, and additional scientific and senior technical staff members to ensure representation from all departments on the panel.  The panel will rate the proposals on the basis of the quality and relevance of the proposed research.  The OI Directors will in turn make recommendations to the Director of Research for final approval.  Normal WHOI procedures to avoid conflict of interest will be followed.


Points of Contact

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of your proposal to DOEI, or if you wish to discuss your DOEI proposal in advance, please contact Dan Fornari (dfornari@whoi.edu, x2857).  Questions about the submission process may be directed to Andrew Daly (adaly@whoi.edu, x2852).


Final Project Report

A brief report is required at the end of the award period.  This report will be posted on the DOEI project web page with your abstract and used to keep the donors of the funds that support the DOEI informed of the awards and to express our gratitude by sharing the results of the research.  The donors, while not necessarily trained in your field, are knowledgeable about science in general, and curious about what we do.  We wish to do everything we can to keep them fully informed of our progress.  PIs will be encouraged to work with the Communications group to prepare popular accounts of their DOEI funded research.

Last updated: March 25, 2014