NOAA -- National Ocean Sciences Competition for High School Students

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

The goal of this funding opportunity is to expose high school students in the United States and its territories to the excitement of ocean sciences and related fields as well as careers in those fields through an academic competition and related activities. Proposed projects must address at least one of the goals of NOAA’s Education Strategic Plan listed in section I.A.1 and incorporate relevant NOAA assets. To achieve project goals, applicants should partner with NOAA offices and programs; academic institutions; other nonprofit organizations (including free-choice learning venues and nongovernmental organizations); state, local and Indian tribal governments in the United States; and other US federal agencies. Although it is expected that the project's focal point will be a tiered academic competition with regional and national-level events involving approximately 2000 students annually, it should also provide additional learning experiences for student participants, their peers, and their teachers, such as internships and field and/or laboratory research experiences. The project should also provide opportunities to connect students with scientists who can serve as mentors and introduce them to STEM careers, particularly in the ocean sciences.

Projects must have an evaluation that monitors the quality of the experience for the participants (be they students, teachers, or volunteers) and measures the impact of the program on the participants during the award period. Proposed projects must be between three and five years in duration and have federal requests of $900,000 to $1,900,000 for all years of the project with annual federal requests of no more than $300,000 for Year 1 and $400,000 for all subsequent years. We intend to make one award under this funding announcement and anticipate it will be made by August 1, 2020. Under this scenario, the project funded under this announcement will have a start date no earlier than August 1, 2020.

An institution may apply only once through this funding opportunity.


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants should contact Paul Noe ( as early as possible.
  • Sponsor Deadline: April 18, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, and state, local and Indian tribal governments in the United States. For profit organizations, foreign institutions, and foreign organizations are not eligible to apply, but may be project partners. Federal and foreign government agencies are not eligible to receive Federal assistance under this announcement, but may be project partners, where the cost for proposed partner activities will be taken out of the partners own operating budget.

Amount Description

NOAA anticipates the availability of approximately $300,000 of Federal financial assistance in FY 2020 for this solicitation. One award in the form of a cooperative agreement will be made. NOAA will only consider projects that have a duration of 3 to 5 years. The total Federal amount for all years that may be requested from NOAA for the direct and indirect costs of the proposed project shall not exceed $1,900,000 for 5 years. The minimum Federal amount that must be requested from NOAA for all years for the direct and indirect costs is $900,000. Applications requesting Federal support from NOAA of less than $900,000 total or more than $1,900,000 total will not be considered for funding through this announcement. Additionally, annual federal requests cannot exceed $300,000 for Year 1 and $400,000 for all subsequent years

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

April 18, 2020