Minigrant Funding & Application Instructions
A unique strength of the Louisiana Sea Grant Minigrant Program is its ability to test new ideas, augment ongoing research efforts, stimulate innovation and address short-range time sensitive, critical needs. Minigrants offer the capability to respond to emerging opportunities that cannot be predicted for regular proposal preparation and review. There is no application deadline for minigrants. They are processed on a rolling basis, as they are received. Minigrant award decisions are based on peer reviews and the availability of funding. Available funding for a given year may run out any time, even while your project is being reviewed. If that happens, your project may be held until next year’s funding becomes available. Funding decisions are usually available two to three months after submission. Minigrants should be based around a question driven research project. Minigrants are not to support monitoring projects, workshops or outreach product development, and are envisioned as having a 12-month maximum timeline.
- PIs must be affiliated with an accredited academic institution of higher education in Louisiana. Co-PIs and project collaborators can have any affiliation and can be based either within or outside Louisiana. Postdoctoral researchers and federal employees are not eligible to apply as PIs but can be project participants. Single investigators and multiple investigator research teams from different institutions are encouraged to apply.
- LSG encourages broad participation from the natural and social sciences, engineering, design, policy and education research communities within Louisiana.
Minigrant budgets must be $10,000 or less. Given the small seed funding nature of these projects, Louisiana State University has waived indirect cost for their faculty applying to minigrants. While we cannot require it, Louisiana Sea Grant encourages other university campuses to do the same.
A minigrant proposal is limited to a three-page narrative single-spaced letter sheet size. Font must be at least 11-point type size. All margins should be one inch. Tables, graphs and references can be attached in the Additional Documents section in eSeaGrant and are not included in the three-page limit. Any proposal narrative that goes over the three-page limit will be disqualified.
The narrative portion must include the following information:
- Project background and description: Describe the rationale for the proposed project (need) and how it aligns with Louisiana Sea Grant’s mission and strategic plan. What do you expect to be the project accomplishments and benefits to both the scientific community and end-user communities of Coastal Louisiana?
- Research approach: Succinctly describe the proposed objectives and research approach.
- Role of student(s) involved (if applicable): Include a description of student involvement in the project.
A budget and budget justification must be submitted with the proposal (templates can be accessed through eSeaGrant).
Applications that are recommended for funding must submit a valid data management plan (or alternative statement if no data management plan is needed), as well as a completed Abbreviated Environmental Compliance Questionnaire (and copies of associated permits, if applicable).
Projects that involve the use of human test subjects (including surveys) or animal use/testing require approval of the applicant’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or animal care and use committee (IACUC) before such research can proceed. Applicants are responsible for obtaining IRB or IACUC approval from their institution and providing that documentation to LSG prior to any Sea Grant-funded human subject or animal testing.
Recipients of minigrant funding will be required to conduct requested project reporting and complete a final project report. Minigrants should be submitted electronically through our online proposal management system, eSeaGrant.
Review process and criteria:
Applications will be evaluated by peer reviewers that include Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) staff, subject matter experts and/or faculty with appropriate expertise. This process will result in a minimum of three written peer reviews that are free from conflict of interest. Evaluations will be based upon the following review criteria and scoring system:
Minigrants are reviewed based on the following aspects:
- Relevancy/need: Will the project help address a high-priority coastal issue? (30 percent)
- Approach: Are the proposed methods suitable to complete the work? (30 percent)
- Outcomes: Are the project results likely to provide seed data, lead to leveraged funding, be transferable, provide for student training opportunities, create new partnerships, etc. In other words, is the project worth doing? (30 percent)
- Budget: Are the requested funds appropriate for the proposed work? (10 percent)
Louisiana Sea Grant uses a five-point rating system for all proposals: Excellent: 5 (exhibits outstanding quality/relevance); Very Good: 4: (above average quality/relevance); Good: 3 (routine/average quality/relevance); Fair: 2 (marginal quality/relevance); Poor: 1 (missed the mark, has major deficiencies, low relevance).
To apply for a Louisiana Sea Grant minigrant, please follow these steps:
- Contact Dr. Julie Lively, Executive Director ([email protected]), or Dr. Matthew Bethel, Associate Director for Research ([email protected]), to ensure applicability of your proposal idea.
- If approved for submission, go to eSeaGrant to submit your minigrant proposal. All needed forms are provided within eSeaGrant.
- Applicants must have approval from their office of sponsored programs prior to submitting a minigrant proposal to Louisiana Sea Grant.