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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Institutions for Projects Related to Ocean Environments

Lenfest Ocean Program - Managing Protected Areas in a Changing Ocean

GrantWatch ID# 206683
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Pew Charitable Trusts - Lenfest Ocean Program

Geographic Focus
USA: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York CityNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashington, DCWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/14/22
LOI Date: 11/30/22
Deadline: 01/23/23 5:00 PM Receipt

Grant Description
Grants to USA, Canada, and International institutions for projects related to ocean environments. Funding is intended to support both research and planning activities. Eligible proposals advance work related to ecosystem change or climate change. The goal of the program is to support scientific research that is useful to those managing and making decisions about the ocean environment.

The Lenfest Ocean Program is interested in supporting research projects that fill knowledge gaps and demonstrate how to incorporate a climate lens into protected area management. Changing ocean conditions due to climate variability and change, such as increasing temperature, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation, among others, are already impacting marine ecosystems worldwide. However, there is limited information and guidance about how established marine protected areas (MPAs) should consider the changing climate in their management. To that end, the Foundation is requesting proposals for research and planning grants focused on developing and providing usable information about managing protected areas in a changing ocean.  

Successful projects in this RFP will pay particular attention to ensuring the involvement of managers, stakeholders, and other potential partners or community groups through engagement activities that should be built into the proposed work. 

The LOP will accept proposals for either of two types of projects, a research grant or a planning grant:

  • Research grants undertake research activities and provide new information useful to MPA management. Research grants should involve active engagement with partners and stakeholders as described elsewhere in the RFP. They are expected to effectively articulate the specific research questions, plans for how research would be conducted, and plans for how engagement will be integrated throughout the process.
  • Planning Grants undertake participatory planning activities, relationship building, or stage-setting surrounding a specific topic or question that will advance on the challenge of managing protected areas in a changing ocean. Planning grants are not anticipated to undertake research; however, they do need to have goals and outcomes that relate to understanding and identifying research needs, use of information, and/or knowledge gaps in a specific regional or sectoral context. 

For topical priorities, see


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
In order to receive funds, grant host institutions must be in good financial standing and be able to fulfill the following requirements:
• Submit audited financial statements for the last three years;
• Have an annual operating budget of at least three times the proposed total grant amount;
• Be able to accept and administer the award on behalf of the grantee;
• Agree to no greater than 10% indirect rate on salaries and benefits; and
• Pass Pew’s financial due diligence review.

Additionally, the Lenfest Ocean Program cannot support:
• Any efforts at lobbying, advocacy, or related legal analysis
• Institutions from countries without U.S. diplomatic relations or the ability to conduct financial transactions with U.S. institutions
• Individuals with current funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts (as of the start date for this RFP)

Pre-Proposal Conference
Q&A Webinar – The Lenfest Ocean Program will host an open session online to allow applicants to ask questions about the competition. This will not be recorded. The office hours session will take place on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 2pm Eastern Time.

Register to attend the office hours at:

Pre-Application Information
- Issuance of RFP: October 24, 2022
- RFP Informational Webinar: November 7, 2022
- Deadline for submission of LOI (optional): November 30, 2022 by 17:00 ET
- Competition Q&A Webinar: December 14, 2022
- Deadline for submission of Proposals: January 23, 2023 Proposals must be received by 17:00 ET.
- Anticipated start date of awarded agreement(s): July 1, 2023 or later
- Required end date of awarded agreement(s): June 30, 2025 or earlier

Applicants may elect to apply for both types of projects, however the LOP will not award more than one grant to an investigator or investigator team.

Webinar Recording:

Estimated Size of Grant
- For research grants, the Lenfest Ocean Program expects proposals not to exceed $400,000 in total.
- For planning grants, the Program expects proposals for a $100,000 total award amount.

Term of Contract
- Research grants should be at most 2-year projects.
- Planning Grants are intended to be 1-year projects.

- Anticipated start date of awarded agreement(s): July 1, 2023 or later
- Required end date of awarded agreement(s): June 30, 2025 or earlier

Contact Information
LOIs and proposals must be submitted electronically to

For questions, please contact Sarah Close, Lenfest Ocean Program, at the email address above.

Charlotte Hudson, Project Director

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