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Ocean and Climate Change Institute
2015 Call for Proposals

Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, May 1, 2015 (Please contact your individual department staff regarding their internal policy and deadlines.)

Award Start Date: June 15, 2015

Award Duration: Two year (with all funds allocated in the first year)

Amount Available: Approximately $250,000

Director: Carol Anne Clayson, x3626, cclayson@whoi.edu


The Ocean and Climate Change Institute (OCCI) investigates the ocean’s major role in governing our planet’s climate system and assesses the impacts of a changing climate on marine ecosystems and human society.  OCCI is soliciting proposals that address one or more of the themes as detailed below.  Proposals with an interdisciplinary focus are especially encouraged.

  • What is the role of the ocean in the climate system, including its internal processes, its response to remote forcings, and its linkages to and effects on other components of the climate system?
  • How does the ocean, hydrological cycle, and climate system interact on timescales from synoptic events to millennia?
  • How does the ocean act as a source or sink for atmospheric heat or CO2, and how do changes in ocean heat or carbon storage and chemistry affect climate and the biosphere?

Research Projects

The OCCI 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 Call for Proposals.  Furthermore, a PI cannot submit the same proposal to the Independent Study Call and the Ocean Institutes/Access to the Sea Calls for proposals, but a PI can submit different proposals to the Ocean Institutes/Access to the Sea Call, and the Independent Study Call.

A total of approximately $250,000 is available for awards in 2015, with a maximum award level of $75,000.  Proposals will be fully funded in 2015, to be spent over a maximum of two years.


Award Criteria

The OCCI will support individual and collaborative research projects relevant to the current themes of the Institute.  The mission of the OCCI is to support and enrich climate research activities of the WHOI community, particularly those research activities that study the central role of the oceans in climate change. 

Abstracts of previous OCCI awards are available at: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=97664.

The awards may be used for salary support for Principal Investigators, postdoctoral investigators, support staff, graduate students, the development or purchase of equipment, sea-going activities or any other activities normally associated with research projects.  Proposals should include a brief description of how the proposed work would fit with other existing or planned research projects, and/or contribute to longer-term programs and goals.

Principal Investigators will be expected to participate in some activities of the OCCI and to help communicate the results and implications of their research to donors, the public, and to other climate stakeholders in government and non-governmental organizations.  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 in nature;
    • Interdepartmental (particularly for larger awards);
    • Match to a current Institute theme (see above);
  • Other attributes
    • 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, 2015.

The start date for most of these awards will be June 15, 2015.

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 Carol Anne Clayson, MS#29, OCCI.

    2. Agency information to be inserted is as follows:
       - Agency: WHOI Internal Awards
       - Agency Division: WHOI - OCCI
       - 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.  Since 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 WHOIgrants 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 2015.  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 Review Process

Ocean and Climate Change Institute proposals are initially reviewed by an ad-hoc panel of scientific and senior technical staff members with expertise appropriate for the proposal topics received.  The panel will rate the proposals on the basis of the quality and relevance of the proposed research. A final review will include all OI Directors, who will in turn make funding recommendations to the Director of Research.  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 OCCI, or if you wish to discuss your OCCI proposal in advance, please contact Carol Anne Clayson, cclayson@whoi.edu , x3626).  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 OCCI project web page with your abstract and used to keep the donors of the funds that support the OCCI 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 OCCI funded research.

Last updated: April 29, 2015