In 2018, the name of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center was changed to the National Climate Adaptation Science Center, and the Climate Science Centers were renamed the Climate Adaptation Science Centers. We are actively working to make this change throughout our site. The templates below still reflect our old names. Please check back soon for updated templates.
All parties interested in responding to a CASC Funding Opportunity must first submit a Statement of Interest (SOI). Failure to follow the guidelines for SOI will result in an SOI being removed from consideration. The applicant will receive a confirmation email once the SOI has been successfully submitted to RFPManager. Note: Some funding opportunities may not require the SOI stage. Please check our main Funding Opportunities page for specific guidelines for a particular event.
SOIs are reviewed by the relevant CASC, with input from regional partners. Applicants may be contacted to provide additional or clarifying information. SOIs will be considered according to the following general criteria. Individual CASCs provide specific criteria weightings and additional details in the specific funding opportunity guidance documents.
- Applicability to a high priority need identified by the relevant CASC: The project identified in the SOI should directly address a science need identified in the funding opportunity document. The project should address management decisions or questions important to one or more Federal, State, or Tribal resource management organization. The SOI should identify relevancy of the project results to land, fish, wildlife, habitat, or cultural heritage management issues. The SOI should clearly articulate the resource management decision being considered and how the project will bring value added to the decision making process.
- Scientific merit and quality of the research: SOI objectives should be robust and clearly delineated. The SOI should demonstrate sound scientific methodology, study design, and data management, and indicate how results have a broad geographic application or scientific inference. The SOI should indicate how project results will be generalizable.
- Engagement of stakeholders, decision makers, and other research entities (including other Department of the Interior bureaus, state agencies, Tribal and Indigenous communities, etc.): Preference will be given to investigators with either a strong history of partner engagement, or those demonstrating significant capacity for developing and maintaining these relationships, particularly as they may extend beyond the duration of project funding. The SOI should identify how partners will be engaged in project planning and administration and how expected results will be relevant to natural and cultural resource managers. Collaboration with partners should build upon existing work and capacity and where possible, investigators should leverage additional partner resources to carry out the proposed project. The project described should include an outreach/communications component that describes who the end user is, how they are involved in the project, and how products will be distributed and delivered.
- Potential for cross-CASC collaboration (and National Program applicability): The SOI should identify potential for extending research across CASC boundaries to enhance scientific objectives and inference. Where possible, the SOI should build upon existing work and capacity or complement related research underway in other climate science projects in the region.
Individual CASC sections in the funding opportunity guidance documents include additional detail on how these criteria will be applied or may introduce additional criteria. Applicants will also be evaluated based on past performance on USGS funded projects, if applicable. Individuals or institutions with problems in timely or effective completion of projects will be eliminated from further consideration until the issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the CASC.
Selected applicants will be invited by the CASC Director to develop full proposals (including a budget and data management plan). Proposals will not be accepted from investigators other than those invited as part of this process. Proposal format information can be found below. Note: Some funding opportunities skip the SOI stage and invite full proposals from all interested parties. Please check our main Funding Opportunities page for specific guidelines for a particular event.
This is a two-stage proposal process.
- Full proposals will be submitted via RFPManager.
- If selected,
- Updated CONSORTIUM final proposals will be submitted through Grants.gov, following (1) informal discussions with the CASC Director, and (2) formal invitation from USGS to submit.
- Updated USGS final proposals will be requested by the CASC Director only if significant changes are made to the initial full proposal during the review phase. If requested, proposals will be submitted via RFPManager.
USGS requires CASC Consortium proposers to work with their respective “sponsored research” support staff to ensure appropriate budget detail, formatting, overhead/indirect rate calculations, etc. Host Institution sponsored research support staff will have a period following submission of full proposals to review all budgets, but investigators are most strongly encouraged to conduct this consultation prior to submission.
The CASC Director reserves the right to contact applicants for clarification of technical elements of a proposal. Neither an invitation to submit a proposal, nor a contact from the CASC concerning proposal details implies the project will be funded.
The criteria listed below will be applied to all proposals. See individual CASC sections in the specific funding opportunity guidance documents for specific criteria weightings and additional details.
- Scientific merit and quality of the proposed research: Projects should use a credible scientific approach that reflects the current state of the science, has project objectives, overall strategy, study design, methodology, and analyses that are well-reasoned, robust and appropriate to accomplish the specific scientific objectives of the project, and includes a credible data management plan. Project study objectives should be robust and clearly delineated. Project results should have a broad geographic application or scientific inference. Proposal should describe the desired outcomes and indicate the type of data to be collected and any special data service needs. The proposal should indicate how the project will contribute to the training of young scientists.
- Management Significance: The proposal should describe the degree to which a project addresses high priority items for regional management partners, including Federal, State, or Tribal resource management organizations. Proposals should include a clear articulation of the resource management topic and decisions/management actions that are being considered which address important land, water, fish and wildlife, or cultural heritage resources in the region and/or Regional Tribal interests. Projects should be applicable to immediate, real-world planning and decision making needs as identified by resource management agencies in the relevant region. The proposal should demonstrate how the research to be conducted and scientific outcomes will bring value- added to resource questions and management decisions.
- Coordination and Engagement with stakeholders, decision-makers, and science beneficiaries: Intended users of the scientific output of the project (i.e., resource managers, decision makers) should be adequately engaged in the planning and administration of the proposed project. Proposals should include expressed strategies to inform and engage relevant members of the potentially affected communities and stakeholders in order to learn from their experience and on-the-ground observations and build understanding of climate change as it relates to resource conservation and use. Where possible, the project should be coordinated or leveraged with other resources (including leveraging additional resources and complementing/integrating with existing work of the study team members). The proposal should identify collaborative partnerships (Federal, State, Tribal, or other) that will participate in the project; include any outreach components to disseminate research findings and information; and include information on how scientific findings can be used to implement new management strategies or decision frameworks.
- Study Team qualifications: The proposing team should have appropriate interest, high-level training, and qualifications for complex research. The proposal should demonstrate, where appropriate, a commitment for end-to-end participation from an interdisciplinary, inclusive team (including resource managers, decision makers, and scientists from the necessary scientific and analytic disciplines). The CASCs will evaluate applied and relevant past work, breadth of skill/knowledge to successfully perform the proposed research, and the integration, leadership, governance, and organizational approach of the investigator / study team. Collaborative projects (multi-PI) should include clear delineation of project responsibility across the team. Where possible, the proposed team should demonstrate evidence of successfully completing similar work in the past. (As noted previously, applicants with significant issues regarding timely or effective completion of projects will be eliminated from further consideration until the issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the CASC.)
- Budget/work plan: The CASCs will evaluate the project budget and work plan in relation to the proposed level of work, expected benefits, complexity and/or scope of effort, and practicality and achievability of the proposed project. Work plans should present a detailed schedule of milestones, workshops, or meetings needed to engage key stakeholders and integrate climate science into a decision framework, and specific plans for communicating the process and outcomes to decision makers and stakeholders (e.g. outreach). Projects should build upon or complement existing work and capacity and/or coordinate funding with collaborating partners and leverage additional resources to carry out the proposed project. The project work should provide opportunities for young researcher and post-doc participation. Where possible, the project study plan should include elements of capacity building through academic or technical educational programs associated with host consortium programs.
- Data Management: All proposals must include a credible data management plan and comply with NCASC requirements regarding data management, as specified in the CASC Science Data Sharing Policy found at https://casc.usgs.gov/data-policies-and-guidance. USGS policies concerning data management and public access should be followed.
Project proposals will be reviewed and selected as follows:
- Submissions will be screened by the relevant CASC upon receipt for eligibility and for conformance to the announcement provisions.
- Screened proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria by a group of individuals with relevant technical expertise, selected by the CASC Director. Confidential information will be restricted to these reviewers, and they will be bound by confidentiality assurances. Further, reviewers will follow standard conflict of interest approaches and will be excused from ranking proposals with which they are associated. The constituent members of the review team will be held anonymous; general information on agency or other representation may be shared.
- Reviewer rankings and comments will be provided to the CASC Director. The CASC Director will develop a final list of candidate projects, based on the review rankings, modified as appropriate to ensure an overall portfolio of science activities at the CASC that is balanced with respect to the following: geographic distribution, project cost and duration, applicant type (USGS or consortium), subject matter and focus, need for scientific continuity versus establishing new work, funds management, and related factors. Reviewer comments and feedback for SOIs may be released to lead proposers at the discretion of the CASC Director.
- CASC Directors will review all proposed projects to identify opportunities for cross-CASC and cross-agency leveraging opportunities. As noted, this may involve consultations with the applicant and proposal revision. Projects extending across multiple CASC regions are encouraged, and applicants considering such proposals should submit their SOI to all CASCs of interest. Applicants must state directly in their SOI and proposal if they are listed on additional CASC SOIs or proposals (also indicate this in RFPManager on the registration page). If you would like to submit your multi-CASC SOI to a CASC that is not participating in this funding opportunity, please contact the Director of that CASC. Contact information can be found at https://casc.usgs.gov/staffPage.
- Selected applicants will be initially notified of USGS intent to award. This is an informal notification, provided to applicants as a courtesy. Final awards to CASC consortium members are contingent upon all appropriate legal and administrative reviews and processing through the USGS Office of Acquisition and Grants (OAG). Final discretion on funding decisions for specific projects remains with the CASC Director.
- If your proposal is selected to receive funds/award:
- CONSORTIUM PROPOSALS: you will be contacted by the USGS Office of Acquisition and Grants Contracting Officer to submit the official final application through Grants.gov. Submittal of the Grants.gov application shall be coordinated with the University’s Office of Sponsored Programs or equivalent. This office shall serve as the official point of contact for the USGS Contracting Officer.
- USGS PROPOSALS: funds will be transferred to your Center/Program/Unit via USGS Change of Allocation Procedures. Project activities should not be initiated prior to receipt of funding by your organizational unit.
Cross CASC Collaboration: The regional CASCs are intended to operate as a network in which expertise at one CASC can/will be leveraged against expertise at other CASCs. Further, identification of projects that can be scaled up or combined with other projects to not only address the local science issue, but increase our understanding of regional and national implications of climate impacts will be important to assure we are making best use of our limited resources. To that end, we encourage projects to either form collaborations across CASCs in which expertise in each CASC is leveraged or develop projects that would have benefits beyond the local scale.
Multiple Project Submissions:
1) Proposers may submit multiple SOIs for different projects. Please refer to RFPManager for instructions on multiple submissions.
2) CASCs will not accept identical proposals to multiple CASCs unless the “footprint” of the research spans multiple CASC Regions.
3) Projects extending across multiple CASC regions are encouraged, and applicants considering such proposals should submit their SOI to all CASCs of interest.
4) Applicants must state directly in their SOI/proposal if they are listed on additional SOIs/proposals (please also indicate this in RFPManager). If you would like to submit your multi-CASC SOI to a CASC that is not participating in this funding opportunity, please contact the Director of that CASC. Contact information can be found at https://casc.usgs.gov/staffPage.
Matching / Leveraging: While matching funds are not required, projects providing matching funds or leveraging other funding sources will be viewed favorably. Formal cost share is NOT required, however.
Multi-year Funding (relevant especially to USGS proposers): To address issues related to carry-over of federal funds between fiscal years, and to deal with the fact that this solicitation can only provide funds for the first fiscal year of the project, the CASCs will work with successful applicants to plan funding for multi-year projects in the fiscal years needed by the project, within the uncertainty about out-year funding.
Collaboration: Proposals with co-PIs from the USGS and a consortium member are encouraged and will be evaluated more favorably. Likewise, proposals involving collaborations with other organizations (Federal, State, Tribal, or other), demonstrating the involvement and benefits of a collaborative effort will be evaluated more favorably.
Plain Language Public Summary: Plain Language Public Summaries are a required component for all invited full proposals. The summary must be submitted in the proposal PDF document to RFPManager. Public Summaries should not exceed 300 words, should provide a synopsis of the overall project, and should be suitable for sharing on public websites and through other outreach methods. See Appendix C in the Funding Opportunities Guidelines PDF Document for more guidance on writing this summary.
Annual and Final Project Reports: In addition to the Federal Financial Report required for external agreement administration, Form SF-425, all funded projects are required to submit annual progress reports and a final project report according to the formats provided in Appendix D and Appendix E in the Funding Opportunities Guidelines PDF Document. Annual progress reports are due sixty (60) days prior to the end of the budget period, and final reports are due ninety (90) days after the project completion date. Additional / more frequent reporting may be required by individual CASCs.
Manuscripts Intended for Publication: All funded researchers are required to provide advanced notification to CASC Directors of all anticipated manuscripts intended for publication that have been produced through the CASC -funded project (or where staff received funding through a CASC graduate fellowship). All manuscripts should also include appropriate funding acknowledgements. Acknowledgements for funding support from a CASC should follow the guidelines in Appendix F in the Funding Opportunities Guidelines PDF Document.
CASC Communications Guidelines: Communications products developed by the CASCs for projects or initiatives funded through the U.S. Geological Survey are required to follow a set of Communications Guidelines, developed by the NCASC. The guidelines include information on the use of USGS and DOI logos, funding acknowledgements for products, publications and press releases, and the use of images for USGS products. The guidelines can be found at: https://casc.usgs.gov/content/casc-policies-manuals
Images: Images are an important means for promoting and communicating about our work. A good photo, video, or infographic can entice people (like a stakeholder or a congressional representative) to read more about your work. PIs chosen for funding by a CASC are strongly encouraged to provide images of their study area or subject and field work to provide to the CASCs for use on public websites and in outreach materials. Non-federal photographers will be asked to sign a photo permission form.