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Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program: Application Process and Deadlines

Information about how to apply for Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.

Application Process

Who Can Apply?

You are eligible to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement under the S-K Grant Competition if:

  • You are a citizen or national of the United States.
  • You are a citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, or the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • You represent an entity that is a corporation, partnership, association, or other non-Federal entity, non-profit or otherwise (including Indian Tribes), if such entity is a citizen of the United States, or NMI, within the meaning of section 2 of the Shipping Act, 1916, as amended (46 U.S.C. Section 5050.).

You are not eligible to submit an application under this competition if:

  • You are an employee of any Federal agency.
  • You are an employee of a Regional Fishery Management Council.
  • You represent a Regional Fishery Management Council.

However, Council members who are not Federal employees can submit an application to the S-K Competition.

Federal employees may not serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) or Co-Principal Investigators (CoPIs) on any application. However, they may be included as a project partner. NOAA personnel (both Federal employees or contractors) cannot serve as Co-PIs, but they can be listed as project partners.

How to Apply

There is no limit on the number of applications you can submit to the S-K Grant Competition. Multiple proposals submitted must clearly identify different projects, and must be successful in the competitive review process.

Step 1: Pre-proposal

NOTE: The Pre-Proposal period ends July 30, 2019. If you do not submit a pre-proposal by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 30, 2019, you will be ineligible to submit a full proposal. 

For this solicitation, all applicants are required to submit a pre-proposal in advance of a full proposal submission.  The pre-proposal process is intended to provide an indication to potential applicants of the technical merit and the relevancy of the proposed project to the S-K competition before preparing a full proposal.  When drafting a pre-proposal, applicants should clearly convey the impact and applicability of their proposed research for the priority area to which they are applying. Late or incomplete pre-proposals, as well as those that deviate from content or format requirements, will not be reviewed by NOAA.  

  1. Go to Grants.gov (recommended browser: Internet Explorer).
  2. Click “Applicants” tab and select “Apply for Grants”.
  3. Click  “Get Application Package”.
  4. Enter the S-K Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-NMFS-FHQ- 2020-2006111.
  5. Click “Apply” to the “PRE PROPOSALS FY20 Saltonstall-Kennedy”.

The SF-424 form will serve as a cover page to the pre-proposal. Each pre-proposal may not exceed two pages, single-spaced in at least 12 point font and must provide:

  • Title of project.
  • Background section that sets the stage for the work and identifies which singular priority found in Section I.B (in the FFO) that the pre-proposal addresses directly.
  • Rationale of why the work should be conducted and how it is relevant to the S-K Program.
  • Clear statement of objectives and general methodology to be used.
  • Identification of required permits (i.e. ESA, MMPA) and permit numbers, if applicable.
  • Estimated budget amount.

Pre-proposals must be received at http://www.Grants.gov under the competition link named “PRE PROPOSALS FY20 Saltonstall-Kennedy,” postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 11:59 p.m. EST, July 30, 2019, 60 days after the posting date of the Federal Funding Opportunity.

Reviewers will assign scores to pre-proposals ranging from 0-40 points based on the four evaluation criteria below. Scoring will be determined by subject matter experts in a process similar to that used at the full proposal stage, providing scores for:

  • How well the proposal addresses the needs of the fishing community(s);
  • Approach and methodology (realistic and timely objectives and appropriate design);
  • How relevant is the proposed project to the S-K priority that it is applying for; and
  • Involvement/collaboration with the fishing community, industry, or other stakeholders.

NOAA will inform applicants, within 45 days of the pre-proposal due date, if the S-K Program encourages or discourages submission of a full proposal.

Step 2: Full Proposal

Full proposals will not be reviewed or evaluated if a pre-proposal was not received and ranked. Full proposals must be received by http://www.Grants.gov, postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 11:59 p.m. EST, November 12, 2019. The submission of your full S-K application through Grants.gov, the online portal to all Federal grant opportunities, is strongly encouraged.

  1. Go to Grants.gov (recommended browser: Internet Explorer).
  2. Click “Applicants” tab and select “Apply for Grants”.
  3. Click  “Get Application Package”.
  4. Enter the SK Funding Opportunity Number: NOAA-NMFS-FHQ- 2020-2006111.
  5. Click “Apply” to the “FULL Proposals FY20 Saltonstall Kennedy”.

Please note applicants must be registered with Grants.gov in order to apply for funding electronically. The registration process can take up to one month, so we recommend that applicants start this process as early as possible. Further instructions on how to register with Grants.gov are available.

Detailed guidance on how to prepare proposals is provided in the S-K FFO. This document should be read carefully to ensure that proposals meet eligibility requirements and are complete upon submission. Complete instructions for preparing and submitting proposals are available through Grants.gov; however, here are some important requirements for your full proposal:

  • The applicant should describe in detail in the detailed Project Narrative (also known as the “Statement of Work”) the nature and degree of participation of any NOAA entity in the project.
  • In the section of your proposal for “data sharing plan” describe the data you will be collecting and what you plan to do with them.
  • You are required to provide detailed information on your program activities to help proposal reviewers understand the potential environmental effects of your project.


The total Federal amount requested can be no less than $25,000 and no greater than $300,000, for up to a two-year period (24 months), including direct and indirect costs. Project applications that request funding outside of this range will not be accepted or reviewed.

The S-K Program will not consider expenses associated with:

  • Fees.
  • Fund-raising activities.
  • Travel for activities not directly related to project implementation.
  • Travel or salaries for Federal employees.
  • Profit as allowable costs in the proposed budget.

The total costs of a project consist of all allowable costs incurred in accomplishing project activities during the project period. Project costs can only include support for activities conducted between the effective start date and end date of the award, and cannot include activities undertaken either before or after the agreed upon dates. Applicants will not be reimbursed for time expended or costs incurred in developing a project or in preparing an application, or in any discussions or negotiations with the agency prior to the award.

When to Apply

The annual SK solicitation, published this year on grants.gov on May 31, 2019, is generally published in the fiscal year before the fiscal year in which the awards are made. The FY20 solicitation will close on November 12, 2019.  Successful applicants are announced in May of the following year.

It is recommended to confirm that you–an individual or an organization(s) interested in applying for a grant–are registered with Grants.gov. If you are not registered, register immediately. The entire Grants.gov registration process can take up to one month to complete so it is important to begin this process as early as possible.

This one-time only registration process for Grants.gov includes obtaining a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, registering in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and registering in Grants.gov. If you have problems registering for Grants.gov, call the Grants.gov Help Desk (1-800-518-4726) for support.

Additionally, NOAA Fisheries will be conducting a webinar, June 27 at 2:30 p.m. EST, on how to find and apply for Fiscal Year 2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy Funding. More details below:

Thursday, June 27, 2019 2:30 pm EST

Teleconference Line: 888-469-0956
Participant Passcode:  1348851 

Event number: 909 968 132
Event password:  NOAA  
Website: https://noaanmfs-events2.webex.com/noaanmfs-events2/onstage/g.php?MTID=e811723e7f1f9edd18c42511285408066 


Schedule: FY20 S-K Competition

May 31, 2019: FFO posted on Grants.gov.

May 31–July 30, 2019: Submission period for pre-proposals.

September 13, 2019: Full proposal submission period opens

November 12, 2019: Full proposal submission period closes


Need Help? Contact: 

Cliff Cosgrove

S-K Program Manager

Phone: (301) 427-8736

Email: clifford.cosgrove@noaa.gov



Last updated by Office of Management and Budget on August 13, 2021