Ocean Exploration FY 2018 Funding Opportunity

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) seeks to enhance ocean exploration and scientific knowledge of the unknown or poorly known areas of the ocean.

This entails identifying, describing and creating baseline characterizations of new ocean habitats, marine resources and/or processes.


In this Announcement, OER is seeking proposals focused on three topics including:
1. Exploration of the deep marine environments in the US EEZ and US Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Gulf of Mexico; 2. Discovery and exploration of prehistorically and historically significant submerged marine heritage sites in the Gulf of Mexico within the US EEZ and the US Extended Continental Shelf(ECS); and 3. Novel or innovative technologies and methodologies that could increase the pace and scope of ocean exploration, especially exploration of deep environments including the water column and archaeological sites.

For themes 1 and 2, OER will not entertain proposals outside the US EEZ and the US Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Proposals that combine more than one of these exploration topics are encouraged.

All correspondence regarding this FFO must be sent to the email:
oer.ffo2018@noaa.gov Applicants are required to submit pre-proposals and, ultimately, full proposals that support OER’s exploration mission.

OER’s overarching objective is to investigate and document poorly known and unknown ocean areas through interdisciplinary exploration, and to advance and disseminate knowledge of the ocean’s physical, geological, chemical, biological, and archaeological environments.

OER’s mission is compliant with NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan (http://www.performance.noaa.gov/ngsp/) which outlines NOAA goals of Science, Service and Stewardship.

Findings from projects and expeditions are anticipated to result in new baseline characterizations; provide better scientific understanding of the processes on US continental margins; offer new insights into climate variability and marine ecosystems; reveal new or unconventional energy, mineral, biological, and/or archaeological resources; help identify hazards resulting from extreme events such as submarine volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis; and deliver technology advancements (platforms, sensors, methodologies, etc.) that will increase observational capabilities of the ocean.

In FY18, OER anticipates availability of approximately $3,000,000 for this Funding Opportunity (this amount includes of costs for any required ship and/or submersible assets).

Ship time on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will not be funded through this announcement.

Background information on how to apply and other informational documents are accessible through the OER Office Website:

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-profit institutions; for-profit organizations; state, local, and tribal governments, as well as U. S. territories that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work.

Federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work may also apply and must agree to take FY2018 funding for proposed projects.

Federal and state agencies are strongly encouraged to collaborate with partners from a non-federal/non-state eligible entity.

For the purpose of this opportunity, the buying of ship time and/or other ocean data collection platform support (remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, etc.) is considered a rental cost and therefore not included in Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC).

OER funding will not be provided to hire and/or fund the salaries and associated overhead costs of any permanent federal or state government employee.

OER will not pay Facilities and Administrative (F&A or "overhead") fees to federal and state agencies for subawards such as ship time or other ocean data collection platform support.

Federal and state award recipients may use funding to cover travel, equipment, supplies, and contractual personnel costs associated with the proposed work.

Foreign researchers may participate by submitting a subaward through collaboration with an eligible U. S. entity.

The DOC and NOAA support cultural and gender diversity and encourage women and minority individuals and groups to submit applications to this Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity.

In addition, DOC/NOAA is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas.

DOC/NOAA encourages applications involving any of the above institutions to apply.

Related Programs

Ocean Exploration

Department of Commerce

Agency: Department of Commerce

Office: None

Estimated Funding: $3,000,000

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Not Available

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-profit institutions; state, local, and tribal governments; for-profit organizations; and U. S. territories that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work.

Full Opportunity Web Address:

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and ResearchOER FFO 2018, SSMC3, Rm 10316, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910(301) 734-1014

Agency Email Description:
OER Group email

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

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