2017 Master’s Thesis Research Supplemental Grants in Coastal Community Development
University of Guam graduate students: you can apply for up to $10,000 in funds to support research for your Master’s thesis. Eligible expenses include materials and supplies, equipment, travel to academic and professional development opportunities such as conferences, and stipends to support modest living costs.
Applications for the 2017-18 cycle were due on May 10.
*** RFP amendment pertaining to applicant eligibility here as of April 27, 2017: Amendment 1_042717_2017 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants
*** Updated application template as of April 27, 2017: Revision 042717_2017 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants Application Template
A question-and-answer session about the request for proposal (RFP) was held (Mon., 4/17/17) at 3 p.m. in Room 202, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Presentation slides are here: 2017 UOGSG RFP_Q-A_041717
Invitation to submit proposal from Dr. John Peterson, Director, UOG Sea Grant: UOGSG Invitation to Submit Proposal_041217
Request for proposal in PDF format: 2017 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants RFP_final_041217
Application template in Word: 2017 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants Application Template
QUESTIONS (updated 5/4/17). We welcome inquiries from potential applicants! Below, please see some questions, and our replies, that can apply to a cross-section of applicants.
Question 1. You seem to highlight a lot of outreach targeting children. Do we get extra points for working with children?
Answer 1. No. Applicants should identify the appropriate target audience that will deliver the outcomes they intend to obtain. Specifically, the judging criteria for this component is on the RFP’s page 7. Reviewers are asked to consider the following questions: Has the applicant identified a specific target end user and/or target audience? How well has the applicant justified targeting the specific end user and/or target audience? How appropriate is the applicant’s extension/outreach product in reaching the target audience? Will the results be useful to the identified users?
Question 2. How many hours do I have to do for extension/outreach products and activities?
Answer 2. Fellow recipients should commit to completing enough hours required to implement a high quality extension/outreach product and activity. There is no set minimum of hours. Historically, it seems reasonable to plan for at least 10-15 hours of prep work per hour of outreach. However, it can take much more depending on the activity’s complexity and Fellow’s professional experience. Outreach is an integral and unique component of the local and national Sea Grant College Program.
Question 3. I’ve got one more class to take in the fall. Can I apply?
Answer 3. Students are eligible to apply if they are “current University of Guam graduate students in ‘good standing’ who will have completed at least 60% of thesis program credit/credit hours and completed sections I and II of Graduate Form A by the project’s targeted start date,” as per the official RFP amendment issued on April 27.
Question 4. Can you advise on the difference between “Approach” and “Methodology” in the project description?
Answer 4. “Approach” is a basic overview of the project’s execution, while “Methodology” is most closely aligned with those that one would find in a scientific paper (protocols, data analysis). For methodology, each step or action that one plans to take should be written in the proposal.
Question 5. Should the proposal be written in the first person or third person?
Answer 5. Either is fine, just be consistent.
Question 6. How many fellowships are you giving out?
Answer 6. Sea Grant disburses funds based on the quality of proposals received and individual amounts each applicant requests, not just on the appropriated funds. In some cases, reviewers could indicate that a proposal is worth funding, but that a projected budget is too high for a particular activity, and the amount awarded could be less then what was requested. Thus, having well-researched and thoughtfully justified expenditures are important. In 2016 the program received 7 applications and funded 4.
QUESTIONS FROM 2016 (updates from 2/25/16; 2/23/16; 2/17/16).
Question 1. The RFP states “These supplemental grants are intended only to provide partial support of research activities, not to fund the entire research and thesis completion endeavor.” Can you please be more specific about what that means?
Answer 1. A proposal should include realistic deliverables and timelines for the amount of funds requested. It does not mean, for example, that one is required to have a completed and defended thesis as a final output (although, if that is truly a realistic output, then it would be “realistic” to include). Sea Grant wants to help fund active research, not necessarily the entire thesis endeavor, which for some students can take several years.
Question 2. My research site or activities are not based in Guam. Can I still apply?
Answer 2. The RFP does not explicitly disqualify research that does not take place in Guam. That being said, an applicant should make a strong connection and justification between the proposed research site and the relevance to Guam coastal users/user groups. Outreach products and/or activities must still target Guam coastal users/groups.
In reading research RFPs, potential applicants may find that their projects do not appear to fit “perfectly” (at first glance) under the RFP’s purview. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the proposer to write a proposal in such a way that clarifies to reviewers why/how the project meets RFP objectives. People who regularly write applications develop that skill over time; proposals are not just great plans but also compelling and convincing writing! Additionally, sometimes proposals that do not get funded inform the RFP development in subsequent years, as they may demonstrate a need that the RFP developers did or could not originally envision.
Question 3. I don’t really “need” the money, but some funds could make my life more “comfortable.” Should I apply?
Answer 3. If applicants find that they have researchable topics and activities that need support, they should consider applying. However, understand that grants are not “free” money nor a purely merit-based disbursement of funds. Acceptance and implementation of a grant incurs responsibility and accountability, not least of which means making progress on research, analysis, and conducting an extension and outreach component.
Question 4. What citation system should I use?
Answer 4. There is no preferred citation system as articulated in the RFP. It is more important to maintain consistency throughout one’s proposal.
Question 5. Does the C.V. need to use Times New Roman, font size 12, and have 1″ margins?
Answer 5. According to the RFP, “Proposals should be single spaced with 1-inch margins, 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, and page numbers on the bottom right corner.”
Question 6. If I need permits for my project but don’t have them by the application due date, can I still apply?
Answer 6. If a relevant permit is not secured and/or finalized by the proposal submission date, the applicant should indicate in the proposal that the permit is in process and an anticipated date of acquisition. Additionally, reviewers may take this information into consideration. They might see a project as unrealistic if permit acquisition takes a protracted amount of time.
Question 7. How should I calculate the indirect cost charge?
Answer 7. Applicants should not include indirect cost charges to their budgets.
2016 Request for Proposal (for archival purposes)
(Request for proposal in PDF format: 2016 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants RFP_final)
(Application template in Word: 2016 UOGSG Masters Thesis Supplemental Grants Application Template)
RFP QUESTION-AND-ANSWER SESSION (Thurs., 2/4/16). Sea Grant did a short presentation on the 2016 RFP and offered some guidelines for putting together a successful proposal package. If you missed it, slides are available. (PowerPoint slides: 2016 UOGSG RFP Highlights and Tips_020416 )