Research Funding

Virginia Sea Grant offers a range of funding opportunities for researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students. We support sound scientific research that is consistent with Virginia Sea Grant’s Strategic Plan to benefit the Commonwealth.

$1 Million Collaborative Research Challenge

Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) announces the availability of $1M for collaborative research on water adaptation and resilience-enhancing innovations. Leveraging funding from GO Virginia and VASG’s federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we anticipate making approximately five awards.

University teams will provide collaborative R&D support— assessing the impact of adaptation and resilience interventions on coastal properties, product performance validation, product development—to winning businesses of the ongoing GO Virginia-funded Rural Coastal Community Resilience $1.5M Challenge addressing flood management, protection of buildings and property, and water quality management.

Important dates:

  • Submit Statement of Interests & Qualifications: March 31, 2022
  • Requests for additional information in order to match university capacity with business and water adaptation, resilience and innovation needs: April, 2022
  • Submit requested information: late April/early May, 2022
  • Project start dates: summer/fall, 2022

National Research Competitions

Since 1966, Sea Grant has invested in the development of sustainable marine and Great Lakes resources to help coastal communities maintain a safe and sustainable local seafood supply. The National Sea Grant College Program continues to invest in research aimed toward protecting these resources through funding opportunities offered at the national level. 

2022 American Lobster Research Program Funding Opportunity Now Open

Applications must be submitted to by 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Sea Grant announces a new funding opportunity for collaborative projects to address priority issues involving applied research and/or technological questions impacting the American lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and southern New England.
The program seeks applications from research teams and encourages research partnerships between state agencies, academia, and/or industry stakeholders that address development and operationalization of gear technologies, and socio-economic research to understand the social, economic, and technological opportunities and/or barriers associated with bringing gear technology to commercial scale in the lobster fishery.
Sea Grant anticipates having up to $2 million dollars to fund a diverse set of projects with funding requests ranging from $50k-$750k in 2022. Projects may be one or two years in duration with a maximum of two years. Non-federal matching funds equal to at least 50 percent of the federal funding request must be provided.
The research will become part of the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative, a program launched in 2019 to both conduct research related to the species and coordinate extension and outreach efforts with lobster stakeholders. Research calls in previous years have focused on addressing critical gaps in knowledge about how American lobster is being impacted by environmental change in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and southern New England. 

2022 Sea Grant Contaminants of Emerging Concern

Deadline: June 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are increasingly detected in surface water and groundwater, posing risks to the Nation’s drinking waters and aquatic life. This broad class of chemicals and materials is characterized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their perceived, potential, or demonstrated threat to human health and/or the environment, but are often excluded from monitoring programs and suffer from a lack of published health and/or water quality standards (EPA 2008). CECs include, but are not limited to: pharmaceuticals, personal care or household cleaning products, industrial chemicals (e.g., per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)), lawn care and agricultural products, and microfibers.

In recognition of Sea Grant’s capabilities and place-based engagement in coastal and Great Lakes environments, in FY2021 Congress directed Sea Grant (Pub L. 117-103) to “partner with State agencies and academic institutions to research and monitor contaminants of emerging concern that may cause ecological or human health impacts, including PFAS, in coastal and estuarine waters.” In response to Congress’s initial direction and appropriations (FY2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 116-260) combined with additional Sea Grant investment, Sea Grant performed a nation-wide scoping campaign to identify how the National Sea Grant College Program’s expertise in CEC’s can be most effectively leveraged along with an initial regional research competition supported with FY2021 appropriations.

In FY2022, Congress has provided an additional $1 million to expand Sea Grant’s effort towards mitigating the impacts of CECs. The objectives of this funding opportunity are supported by: insights from Sea Grant’s national scoping campaign, as well as reports that address alignment between CEC research gaps and governmental mandates (ACWA and ASDWA 2019; NSTC 2021), and Congressional direction.

Application Requirements:

Consult the NOFO NOAA-OAR-SG-2022-2007012, available at, for eligible applicants, required elements of the application, how to submit, general programmatic priorities and selection factors, and other necessary information. Submit your application to SPECIAL PROJECTS “G” under this opportunity in

Translating Coastal Research into Application

Letters of Interest Deadline: June 15, 2022 at 5:00 PM local time
Application Deadline: August 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET

Sea Grant and the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP) announce a new funding opportunity for collaborative projects to integrate research, its application, and community engagement in thematic areas of long-term coastal evolution, extreme storms, and human and ecosystem health.
Proposals should address the needs or gaps that have been identified by or are evident from USCRP-funded projects, to move research project findings toward application through service delivery and decision support for coastal community decision-makers, planners, and other coastal stakeholders.
The following entities are encouraged to participate in this funding opportunity, in conjunction with a Sea Grant Program: any individual; any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant Program or other institution); or any State, political subdivision of a State, Tribal government or agency or officer thereof. Applications for the opportunity must come from a Sea Grant Program and interested partners should participate in conjunction with a Sea Grant Program. 
It is anticipated that approximately $4,000,000 will be available to fund 10-20 projects at up to $150,000 over two years (Tier 1) or up to $500,000 over four years (Tier 2). Matching funds will not be required for this competition.
If you have questions or need further assistance in identifying a Sea Grant Program to partner with, please contact and specify that your question is related to the Translating Coastal Research into Application competition in the subject line.
Informational Webinar
An informational webinar about the funding opportunity will be held on May 16, 2022 from 2-3 pm ET. Register in advance here. 

Regional Research Competitions

To address broader regional priorities, Virginia Sea Grant periodically partners with other Sea Grant programs throughout the mid-Atlantic region to bring together innovative research teams with high levels of integration, those who demonstrate synergistic benefits, and mechanisms for transferring knowledge to end-users.

Please check back in the future for available funding opportunities.

Program Development Awards

One of the most valuable aspects of a Sea Grant program is its capacity to bring university, governmental, or private resources to bear upon various emerging problems or opportunities. Program Development funds are provided by Virginia Sea Grant to achieve four primary goals: support high-impact students, cultivate innovation through collaborative proof-of-concept projects, nurture strategic initiatives, and to examine pressing or emerging problems. Proposals to convene multi-institutional or partnership-focused meetings that explore opportunities for collaboration, help advance integration across partners, or address pressing or emerging needs are encouraged.

For more information, contact VASG Fellowship and Research Program Coordinator Sam Lake at or 804-684-7436.


If your proposal includes a communications component involving the Virginia Sea Grant Communications Center, please include this in your budget. The Center offers services like science writing, copy editing, photography, videography, drone footage, graphic design, web design, and web hosting. For more information, contact Jay Clark, communications center manager, or Stacy Keating, VASG business manager.

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