Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Dear Colleague Letter

Conferences and other training events for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)

This document is no longer current and has been archived.

This document is no longer current and has been archived.

Dear Colleagues:

The Ocean Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF/OCE) encourages proposals to conduct workshops, conferences or other training events that will support members of the ocean sciences community, including undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty at two-year and four-year institutions of higher education, to develop and disseminate training material and/or use data from the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) ( for research purposes or for educational purposes. Such activities are typically identified as conferences in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and will hereafter be referred to as conferences.


Two- and four-year U.S. institutions of higher education and U.S. non-profit non-academic organizations are eligible to submit conference proposals.


The Ocean Observatories Initiative is a large-scale ocean observing system that is now operational with support from the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences. The OOI includes a network of cabled, moored and autonomous instrument arrays with more than 700 individual sensors distributed in various coastal and global ocean locations. The principal marine components include two Global Arrays, two Coastal Arrays, and a Cabled Array. This facility is enabled by an integrated system of hardware and software (cyberinfrastructure) that receives, processes, and broadly distributes the collected data. This combination of infrastructure and cyberinfrastructure facilitates interdisciplinary investigation of short-term and long-term oceanic trends.

The Global Arrays are located at (1) Station Papa in the North Pacific, and (2) the Irminger Sea southeast of Greenland. The coastal components of the OOI include the relocatable Pioneer Array, currently located south of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of New England in the Atlantic Ocean, and the Endurance Array, with elements located in two lines in the Pacific Ocean (one west of Grays Harbor, Washington, and the other west of Newport, Oregon). The Cabled Array employs approximately 900 kilometers of fiber optic cable and connected instruments (primary infrastructure) to stream seafloor and water column data in real time with only a 5 second delay. For more detailed descriptions of instrumentation and data availability, please refer to the OOI website at

NSF wishes to encourage wider use of the OOI data by supporting conferences to introduce researchers and educators to available data and community tools. Data from the OOI is freely available via the OOI Data portal ( and data tools are available at the Community Tools Portal (

Researchers or educators are encouraged to propose conferences to 1) teach other researchers or educators how to use available tools and data; 2) develop additional community tools or instructional material to use the OOI data; or 3) create communities of practice that use the data for multi-investigator, community-driven research purposes. These conferences will promote development and dissemination of the OOI data tools and research opportunities.

Proposers should be aware of awards that have supported the use of OOI data by the Division of Ocean Sciences and by the Division of Undergraduate Education, including the following:


Information on preparing and submitting conference proposals, including required elements of the proposal, is contained in Chapter II.E.7 of the PAPPG. Proposals should be directed to NSF organizational unit: "OCE - Education/Human Resources".


Principal Investigators should contact Lisa Rom ( or 703-292-7709) prior to submitting a proposal to ensure that the proposed topic fits OOI priorities for research and education. Proposals for small conferences are encouraged. Proposal budgets should not exceed $100,000, and the average award is expected to be approximately $35,000. OCE intends to support about 15-20 awards in FY2020. All proposals must be submitted via FastLane (FastLane) or ( Proposals may be submitted at any time, but they should be submitted at least six months prior to the planned event. To be considered for FY2020 funding, proposals should be submitted before May 15th.

Questions pertaining to this DCL may be submitted to:

Bob Houtman
Head, Integrative Programs Section
Division of Ocean Sciences
National Science Foundation

Lisa Clough
Head, Ocean Section
Division of Ocean Sciences
National Science Foundation


William E. Easterling
Assistant Director for Geosciences