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Week 2: Funding & Proposals

Week 2 class plan on funding and proposals for deep-sea expeditions

Published onMar 14, 2022
Week 2: Funding & Proposals

15 March 2022


We will give an overview of some basics of scientific proposal writing, including structure, things to consider, how to partner or leverage, different funding models, and more. We will also highlight one organization that you all have access to, Schmidt Ocean Institute, and learn about their proposal and funding model. We have asked you to come to class prepared with a proposal idea, in the hopes that you can use this throughout the course to develop your own deep-sea proposal. During class, Fellows will present their ideas to the group in breakout sessions to discuss what you are thinking, get some feedback, and think more broadly about your ideas.


  • Overview of proposal structure and important components to consider in writing

  • Explore how to leverage different programs and funding models for getting to sea and doing your work

  • Introduction to the Schmidt Ocean Institute proposal and funding model

  • Develop and discuss your own proposal ideas

Pre-Class Activities

  • Register to be a Nautilus Scientist Ashore

  • Complete Your Dream Project Overview

    • Open your Fellow Project Pub from this page

    • In another tab, open the Dream Project Overview Template

    • Copy the template into your Fellow Project Pub

    • Follow the instructions in the template pub and come prepared to discuss it in a small group during Week 2.

Class Plan

  • Hour 1: Panel on Proposals & Funding

    • 5 min: Welcome

    • 10 min: Geoff Wheat: Basic proposal components, do’s and don’ts

    • 10 min: Julie Huber: Funding sources, models, & leveraging

    • 10 min: Leonard Pace: The view from a nonprofit, SOI

    • 20 min: Q&A/discussion

    • 5 min: Break

  • Hour 2: Breakouts to discuss Project Ideas

    • 45 min: 4x3-person breakout groups. Each person presents their project idea to breakout group, 15 min each to discuss with group

      • Breakout A: Cambronero, Cordier, Van Audenhaege, Huber

      • Breakout B: Paula, Leonard, Ponsoni, Rotjan

      • Breakout C: Seabrook, Murdock, Goode, Wheat

      • Breakout D: Bigham, Roa-Varon, Shomberg, Pace

    • 10 min: Reconvene, each breakout to report-out

    • 5 min: Discuss pre-class activities for Week 3

Additional Resources

  • Writing Research Proposals

  • Optional Activities:

    • Find a granting agency in your country (e.g. government, philanthropic) and identify one request for proposals (RFP) that could be relevant to your work. Read through the requirements (all of them!).

    • For a granting agency in your country, find a project they have funded and try to identify some of the components that we requested in your Dream Project. Get inspired!

    • Browse funded UNOLS shiptime requests


Geoff Wheat: Basic Proposal Components, Do’s & Don’ts

Julie Huber: Funding Sources, Models, & Leveraging


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