Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see the answer to your question below, please submit all questions to with "ALCoE RFP" in the Subject line.

Full Proposal Frequently Asked Questions

When are Full Proposals due?

  • 03/17/2021 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the incoming bad weather, the Full Proposal submission deadline has been EXTENDED until Monday, March 22 at 5pm (Central).

  • Full proposals are due on **March 19th, 2021 by 5pm CST**.

There were two discrepancies in the orginal RFP that was released on pages 11 and 16. The RFP was corrected and posted to the website on 01/23/2021

There are some duplicate components in the full proposal. For example, the summary of research accomplishments and CVs are requested in multiple locations in the full proposal. Is this duplication intentional?

  • We understand that sections 3c (pg 12), 6a and 6c (pg 14-15) in the RFP appear duplicative. Our intent was to ensure that adequate opportunity was provided to describe the qualifications of PIs since 20% of the reviewers’ scores will be based on the expertise and the record of achievement of PIs. However, to free up additional space to describe the research being proposed and to avoid duplication, we have made the following changes to the RFP.
  1. Section 3c: Contract Compliance has been removed, freeing up additional pages for describing your proposed work. This section will now be covered in Section 6a: Biographical sketch
  2. Section 6a: Biographical Sketches The Biographical Sketch should cover bullets 2-4 from 6c. This includes:
    • a synopsis of key research accomplishments by the PI and co-PI(s) that establishes the feasibility of the project and demonstrates the track records of the PI and co-PI(s);
    • a description of how graduate student and postdoctoral career mentoring will be ensured; and
    • metrics of progress to be used in evaluating project personnel, to guide management of the Research Project as actively led by the PI. If appropriate, the metrics described in the proposal could also be used by the ALCoE in its evaluation of the research project.

The 2 page limit per investigator remains unchanged.

  1. Section 6b remains unchanged

  2. Section 6c: Qualifications
    • a 2 page c.v. similar to that used by the National Science Foundation ( that includes sections on Professional Preparation, Appointments, Products most Closely Related to the Proposed Project, as well as Other Significant Products, and Synergistic Activities

Is there a mechanism to disclose out of state conflicted reviewers?

  • Please email the SeaGrant Research Coordinator, Loretta Leist (, to address your concerns.

The RFP says to use the Science reference style - does that mean the references need to be listed in the order they appear in the proposal with numbers instead of author names and years in the text, or can we use author names and years in the text and put the references in alphabetical order but with each reference written in Science style?

  • In the main narrative, you should use the author names and years in the text, and the Literature Cited section you should list the references in alphabetical order but with each reference written in Science style. This was done to reduce the page load for the Literature Cited section.

I am a lead PI on one proposal and a co-PI on another, in which section should I include the "clear description should be included that explains how the proposal work is complementary, not duplicative, of other proposed efforts and how the participant will budget their time (from page 6 of the RFP)?

  • This description should be included in section 6a: Biographical Sketch.

Budget questions

Is there an ALCoE mandated Indirect Cost Rate?

  • No, investigators should use their home institution’s federally approved indirect cost rate.

Is match required in the budget?

  • No

Do we need to budget for a data manager or is this a service of the ALCoE?

  • No you do not need to budget for the data manager. If you have intensive work (e.g. database development) it would require additional costs. Please contact for specific requests.

Is it possible to hire personnel with these funds such as graduate students, technicians and/or post docs.

  • Yes

Is it possible to purchase equipment with these funds?

  • Yes, however you will need to follow State procurement procedures.

What are the costs associated with using the new wetlab facility at DISL?

  • There is no facilities charge, however you will have to budget for gas. ALCoE has tanks and regulators already from our supplier (NexAir) so you would be paying for the rental fee for the tanks you would be using (roughly $17.50 per tank). NexAir has a delivery charge of $50 for when you need to swap out an empty tank for a full one.
    If using the wetlab at DISL, you will need to have someone around campus when you are running an experiment to take care of things. DISL's Tech Support department will help with general maintenance of the whole system, but the users are responsible for setup, and clean up after.

General Proposal Questions

Is there a limit on the number of proposals you can serve as PI or Co-PI for RFP1?

  • Yes, researchers can participate in up to three (3) proposals, but may only be the Lead investigator on one.

How many organizations are required to participate in each proposal for RFP1? Updated for clarificaiton, italicized 02/05/2021

  • There is no requirement in the RFP that multiple institutions be included for a proposal to be successfully submitted and recommended for funding. However, the intent of the Center was for submissions to be collaborative, partnering with at least 1 or more collaborators (ie. minimum of 2 PIs). Partnering with other MESC institutions (preferred) and other entities (including non-profit or for-profit entities, government agencies, and public or private companies) from in or outside Alabama is encouraged. The Lead PI must be from a MESC institution and preference will be given to those that collaborate with other MESC institutions. While one goal of ALCoE is to foster collaborations among MESC institutions, our primary goal is to fund the best possible research, as judged by the review process.

How does ALCoE view dual appointment investigators, for example a faculty member at South Alabama who also has an appointment at DISL, in respect to the preference of having multiple MESC collaborators?

  • ALCoE is viewing dual appointments as who is your home institution (ie. who pays you). So for the example in question, a USA faculty (ie. salary is paid by South Alabama) could partner with a DISL faculty (ie. salary is paid by DISL) and that would be considered as 2 MESC institutions. Two USA faculty that have dual appointments at DISL (and vice versus) would not satisfy that preference.

Is the Dauphin Island Sea Lab considered a MESC institution?

  • Yes

Are co-PIs from non-MESC institutions allowed?

  • Yes, the goal is to compile the best team possible to complete the proposed work.

Can a single university submit more than one proposal if the lead PI is different?

  • Yes, the limit is not based on institution, it is based on investigators. Investigators can be on up to 3 proposals. One as the lead PI, and then 2 as co-PIs. Please see page 6 of the RFP “In the event that an investigator is involved in more than one proposal, a clear description should be included that explains how the proposal work is complementary, not duplicative, of other proposed efforts and how the participant will budget their time.”

Will LOIs be reviewed for feedback?

  • No, LOIs will not be reviewed for feedback. They will allow SeaGrant to find the right reviewers that 1) have adequate expertise to review the full proposals and 2) will have minimum conflicts of interest of reviewers. By requesting the LOI, SeaGrant can start the process of finding the reviewers while researchers work on the full proposals - thus minimizing the time between full proposal submission, reviews and award notifications.

Is the list of references counted in the total page limit in the LOI?

  • A list of references cited in the LOI will not count against the 5 page limit. However, we ask that you limit references in the LOI to one page. Thus, references could be the sixth page in the LOI submission.

Can changes be made to personnel on the proposal team after we submit the LOI?

  • Yes you may change your project team between the LOI and Full Proposal submission; however, the Lead PI cannot change. Adding or changing co-PIs as you develop your full proposal is understandable, but again the Lead PI cannot be changed

Can the final objectives/methods be modified after the LOIs are submitted, or can they be edited go in a slightly different direction?

  • The major direction of the proposal should be in line with the topic of the Letter of Intent. Letters of Intent are not reviewed but serve as a means to quickly find appropriate reviewers for the Technical Review Panel while researchers work on the full proposal; thus minimizing the time between full proposal submission, review and award notifications. Because of that, major changes to the direction of proposed work are not allowed. Minor/slight changes to the final objectives/methods would be ok.

The study region is limited to within 25 miles of the coastal zone. Is this simply equal to two counties: Mobile and Baldwin? Updated for clarificaiton, italicized 02/08/2021

  • Essentially, yes. We are restricted by the RESTORE Act to conduct all research in the coastal zones defined under section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act which includes waters off coastal counties that border the Gulf of Mexico, from 25 nm inland of the coastline to the offshore boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone. For ALCoE, emphasis will be placed on studies conducted in Alabama coastal and nearshore waters. Mobile and Baldwin counties are both large and cover the entire 25 miles in coastal Alabama. Research can take place in other counties/states that occur within that 25nm area; however, focus should be prioritized to the regions in Alabama that fall within this area.

How was the theme of “multiple stressors” decided upon?

  • The theme of multi-stressors was developed after reviewing the National Academy of Sciences Reports and the literature acknowledging that multi-stressors are taking place and there is a big need to understand how these stressors are going to influence the future conditions of our natural resources. ALCoE thinks this is an area where we can make a real impact and have major effects on science, on the whole science framework, and on the kind of climate change research that is going on in this country.

What is the relative value of local/regional issues vs. global issues - i.e. should the framing of this proposal with general problems that apply to Alabama or should it be focused on Alabama/ Northern Gulf issues that may or may not be broadly applicable.

  • The priority is to focus on the Northern Gulf of Mexico. ALCoE’s objective is to fund projects that can help prepare for possible new disasters, with climate change being at the forefront of those stressors. If your project is broadly applicable to global issues, that is acceptable; however, projects that are focused on local/regional issues will not be at a disadvantage.

Is this RFP interested only on environmental and economic issues in the AL coastal region, and not the whole Alabama, like how the coastal resources affect AL's economic health, right?

  • While the focus needs to be on the coastal zone, you can discuss the broader implications of the work for the entire state's economic health. Similarly, environmental work in Alabama's coastal zone could have broader implications for the entire Gulf coast.

How critical for the success of our proposals is it to include data modeling and forecasting? Is research proposed only on field and laboratory experimental approaches going to be seen as incomplete?

  • There is no need to include either modeling or forecasting in a proposal for it to be fundable.

These are 100% research proposals, correct? (i.e. there is no requirement for outreach or education?) How will outreach be considered during the review process?

  • The RFP does ask for an outreach plan and constitutes 5% of the review evaluation. (see page 8 of the RFP, under Part V. Evaluation Information: Contract Compliance Plan). ALCoE will work with funded projects to get your science out. ALCoE will facilitate videos and seminars given through DISL’s PR department to present your research to the public, and will host webinars on communicating science.