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Rhode Island Sea Grant’s mission is to improve understanding and management of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine ecosystems to achieve its vision for vibrant, healthy coastal communities, economies, and marine environments that are resilient in the face of change. To achieve that, informed decision-making is reliant on sound science to provide a better understanding of the environment.

Sea Grant identifies essential research topics through consultation with partners, stakeholders, and experts, ensuring that researchers work closely with Sea Grant extension specialists so that best available science and technical and legal information informs business and government.

2018–2020  |  2016–2018  |  2014–2016   |  2012–2014  |  2010–2012


Call for 2020–2022 for Research Pre-Proposals

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is for research projects (individual or multi-institutional) up to 2 years in length to be funded under Rhode Island Sea Grant’s 2018-2022 Omnibus Proposal. Project funding will begin 01 February 2020 and end 31 January 2022.

We anticipate supporting up to eight (8) projects contingent upon receipt of federal funding. Modification in the number of and/or funding for individual proposals may be made based on final program budget allocations. Each proposal for this highly competitive research program receives extensive peer review, with final evaluation conducted by an ad hoc panel of external technical experts, and relevancy review panelists.


For the 2020–2022 portion of its 2018–2022 Omnibus, Rhode Island Sea Grant intends to fund projects that include Sea Grant’s functional areas of research, education, outreach, and communications, and that are collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and/or multi-institutional in the following topical/thematic areas:

  1. Improved understanding of impacts of ecosystem change, such as from ocean acidification, water temperature increase, harmful algal blooms, or changes in nutrient dynamics, (e.g., from nutrient reduction programs), to shellfish and/or aquaculture in Rhode Island waters, including, but not limited to:
    • Effects of ocean acidification on settlement and establishment of shellfish larvae;
    • Ecology of harmful algae blooms, particularly Pseudo-nitzschia species, and factors that influence production (or lack) of domoic acid;
    • Prevalence and impacts of disease and parasitic organisms, such as Vibrio;
    • Impact of microplastics on shellfish growth.
  2. Improved understanding of the change in benthic communities of Narragansett Bay over time relative to nutrient reduction programs, changing water temperatures, acidification, and/or anthropogenic-influenced change, including, but not limited to:
    • Comparative studies of benthic community change over time in Upper Narragansett Bay as compared to previous studies and surveys;
    • Comparative studies of benthic community change between upper and lower bay, or along north-south transects, relative to nutrient availability and/or environmental change over time.


  • Rhode Island Sea Grant funds promising marine/coastal projects that need to first gain proof-of-concept status. Such projects are often the brainchild of an academic entrepreneur who needs start-up funds to test an idea before seeking more robust funding. Rhode Island Sea Grant looks for promising science investments that may fuel significant benefits from a small infusion of funds.
  • For more information, please download Funding Guidelines 


Researchers Look at How the Block Island Wind Farm Impacts Recreation and Tourism

Can Oysters Solve the Nitrogen Problem?

Rhode Island Sound’s Role in Fueling Harmful Algal Blooms in Narragansett Bay

A Sinking State and a Rising Sea: Salt Marshes Provide the Answer

Quahog Hot Spots in Narragansett Bay

Researchers Assess Community Support for Shellfish Aquaculture in Rhode Island

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