Scholarship Exchange Program in U.S.A
The 2018 YSEALI Civic Engagement Fellows Program

Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grants

The Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grants Program provides small grants with a quick turnaround time for solutions to emerging conservation issues. This complements the Waitt Foundation’s existing major grants program and is responsive to conservation opportunities, supports higher-risk ideas at a low financial cost, and engages with small, local NGOs domestically and abroad.

ROC Grant Program Focus
Grants will fund projects related to the WF mission of supporting sustainable fishing and marine protected areas (MPAs). This includes sub-themes of:
  • Scientific Research. Includes natural science or social science projects. For example, collecting baseline data before coastal development or MPA establishment, or studying fishery effects of a natural (e.g. tsunami) or man-made (e.g. oil spill) disaster. As appropriate (e.g., if AUVs/ROVs are involved), project execution could be organized in collaboration with WI.
  • Policy. Includes opportunistic projects around unique public policy windows, such as preparation of policy analysis and support of experts’ efforts to inform decision makers on upcoming government actions. For example, a cost-benefit analysis of proposed fishing regulations, or travel expenses for a delegation of scientists to educate elected officials.
  • Management. Includes enforcement and infrastructure support. For example, stop-gap funding to increase enforcement capacity in light of a sudden uptick in illegal dynamite fishing, or training personnel to enforce new regulations about to go into effect.
  • Communications. Includes raising public awareness and engaging stakeholders, including advertizing by a 501(c)3 group around a public policy moment. For example, a PR blitz (e.g. billboards or radio adds) to educate the public in advance of a vote on an ocean conservation measure, or training local people to become citizen scientists or enforcement tipsters.

Funding
Proposals for grants up to $10,000 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Proposals up to $20,000 will be considered, but granted highly infrequently. Project funds will be distributed with in 2 weeks of funding decisions. More rapid turnaround is possible for highly urgent projects.

Evaluation Criteria
- Funding Urgency: how quickly the project needs to begin for maximum effectiveness - Conservation Impact: magnitude of ecological, socioeconomic, and policy benefit - Scale of Impact: geographic area and likeliness of applicability/replication elsewhere - Feasibility of Implementation: based on socioeconomic and political context - Organizational Capacity: adequacy of staff size and expertise to execute project

Eligibility
  • Project must support sustainable fishing and/or MPAs as elaborated in the program focus section.
  • Applicants need not hold advanced degrees, but must demonstrate a commensurate level of experience and expertise with respect to the proposed project.
  • Applicants must have and maintain legitimate affiliation with an academic institution or NGO for the duration of the grant project.
  • ROC grants should constitute the sole or primary source of funding for the proposed project, not serve as complementary funding for larger, more costly projects.
  • Spending of grant funds must commence within 1 month of granting, and be completed within 6.
  • Funds cannot be used for event sponsorships (e.g. conferences, workshops).

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