State Science Information Needs Program

Updated June 6, 2023

State Science Information Needs Program
In 2019, COAST received a one-time $3 million appropriation in the state budget (see Budget Request Letters​). The purpose of the funding is to enable COAST to significantly increase support for research confronting California’s most critical ocean concerns and solutions. In response, COAST designed an entirely new funding program, the State Science Information Needs Program (SSINP), to meet the legislative intent of the funding.

SSINP focuses directly and exclusively on supporting the state of California’s highest priority marine, coastal, and coastal watershed related needs for scientific information. The goal of the program is to provide the science needed for informed policy development and evidence-based decision making in a timely and actionable manner.

Identification of High Priority State Science Information Needs
Rather than requiring applicants to identify stakeholder needs for information, SSINP engages agencies from the beginning to ensure that their needs are well represented in grant solicitations. Structured interviews with state agencies with relevant jurisdiction were conducted in order to identify these needs. 

This program is also intended to benefit the CSU through increased faculty scholarship, student engagement and workforce development. Only CSU faculty members can serve as lead Principal Investigators (PIs). Non-CSU collaborators can serve as co-PIs. There are limitations on the amount of funding co-PIs can receive. 

Funds were disbursed through competitive Reques​ts for Proposals (RFPs) in order to promote transparency and fairness. In order to provide the state with scientific information in a relevant time frame, awards are 30 months in duration. 

​Results to date
As a result of COAST activities, $3.2 million has been invested in new research within the CSU on the following topics:

Nineteen faculty members at 8 CSU campuses are supported through SSINP. More than 56 students are gaining the skills and experiences that will help them successfully join the ocean and coastal workforce. A three-page handout​ on SSINP and the eight large projects can be found here. More details, including scientific summaries and plain language summaries, can be found on COAST’s Past Faculty ​Awards webpage​.

Collaboration with State Agencies
To ensure that the results from this new program can be readily incorporated into improved management and decision-making, at the outset of each project COAST facilitated strong partnerships between the principal investigators (PIs) and the state agency(ies) that will benefit from the research results. Additionally, PIs will brief policy and decision-makers on their research activities and preliminary results within 12-18 months of the project start date. To help PIs prepare for briefings, COAST will provide communication training and support. 

Policies and Procedures
As of spring 2022, the funds from the 2019 appropriation to COAST for SSINP have been expended. COAST hopes to continue the SSINP if additional funding can be secured. Please review the documents below to familiarize yourself with SSINP policies and procedures.

Grant Guidelines​ (Revised September 15, 2021​)​
SSINP FAQ​​​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​
SSINP RFP 3 Prop​osal Cover Pages ​​​​
SSINP Suggested Reviewer Form​​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​
SSINP Permit/Lease Form
SSINP Budget T​emplate​ ​ (Revised July 6, 2021)​​​​
SSINP Budget Sign-Off Form​​
Reassigned Time Request Example Letter
Prior Funding Report Form​ (for PIs who have received prior funding through COAST within the last five years)

Webinar on Grant Guidelines and Round 3 RFP
​A two-part webinar was held on August 10, 2021. 

Part 1 of the webinar reviewed the Grant Guidelines and application materials; the intended audience included interested PIs and CSU campus pre-award offices (recordingslide deck).

Part 2 of the webinar focused specifically on the Round 3 RFP on ocean and coastal compensatory mitigation and associated restoration. PIs interested in applying in response to this RFP were the intended audience (recording​slide deck).​

Expedited Grant Application Process
In order to help meet urgent state needs for scientific information that arise unexpectedly, COAST developed the Expedited Grant Application Process, described in section five of the above-referenced Grant Guidelines. Expedited Grant awards will be disbursed through an expedited grant application process and will be smaller than regular SSINP grants ($50,000 vs. $200,000-$500,000). RFPs for this process will be released as needed. Projects funded under this expedited process will be completed in 12 months or less, thereby enabling the state to utilize the results quickly. The Expedited Grant Application Process is contingent upon additional new funding to COAST.

California Sea Grant New Faculty Funding Program: Request Matching Funds from COAST (closed)
In May 2020, COAST provided match support for new faculty who applied to California Sea Grant’s New Faculty Funding Program (new faculty defined as those who received their first ever faculty appointment no earlier than January 1, 2018). More information on COAST’s process to provide match support can be found here​.

​Stay Up To Date on Future RFPs!
Please sign up for COAST Faculty Email List​​ to be notified of any future RFPs.​

​​ Return to Faculty Funding​​