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Save Our Seas Foundation

The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) offers a series of grants dedicated to research, conservation and education projects worldwide. Projects should integrate at least two of these components and focus on charismatic marine megafauna, particularly sharks, rays and skates.

Depending on the grant category you are applying for, the application process, deadlines and conditions are different.

Important Information
  1. The application form is only available in English and must be completed in English to be eligible for consideration.
  2. All applications must be completed online, and individual deadlines as indicated must be respected.
  3. If successful, the SOSF grant agreement between the Foundation and the Project Leader must be sent back within two months of receipt. This agreement cannot be modified.
General Approach
  1. The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) is committed to supporting activities that have the capacity to make a real difference to the health of the oceans and to the survival of threatened aquatic species and habitats.
  2. With a view to achieving this aim, the Foundation has developed a policy of supporting, in particular, applicants working on exceptional projects, on remarkable species or habitats and/or in unique locations.
  3. The purpose of this policy is to support research, conservation or educational projects that are capable of attracting significant public attention and that, as a result, may genuinely increase public and government awareness of the urgent need to protect the marine environment.
  4. As part of this approach, the Foundation requires all grant holders to undertake public awareness and environmental educational activities (giving talks, issuing press releases, etc.) as part of their project.
  5. Foundation staff (including the dedicated SOSF Conservation Media Unit) is available to assist grant holders in such public relations work, and grant holders are expected to collaborate with them in preparing public awareness materials.
Funded Programmes
  1. In line with the above strategy, most of the projects supported by the Foundation currently fall into one or more of three major programme areas:
    1. Research
    2. Conservation
    3. Education
  2. The focus of the Foundation is on charismatic marine megafauna, and more specifically on Elasmobranchs (Sharks, Rays and Skates).
Application Process
  1. The application process, deadlines and conditions are different depending on the grant category:
    1. Keystone Grant
    2. Keystone Continuation Grant
    3. Keystone Special Grant
    4. Small Grant
    5. Emergency Grant
  2. All applications are reviewed by the SOSF core team, and scientific advisors may be approached for their comments and review. The final approval will be made by the Board of the Foundation.
Financial Restrictions
  1. The Foundation does not support the annual salaries (full-time or part-time) of researchers or of other individuals working on projects. The costs of short-term employees or the short-term extra costs of an individual’s participation in a project may however be eligible.
  2. The Foundation does not support publication-associated costs through regular funding.
  3. The Foundation does not support the attendance of conferences in allocated funding as it is already providing Student Travel Grants to the AES, the EEA and Sharks International.
  4. The Foundation does not support satellite tags in SOSF Small Grants.
  5. The Foundation will not consider applications in which more than 10% of requested funding is allocated to travel expenses for Keystone Grants, or 20% for Small Grants respectively. The Foundation promotes local projects by local people.
  6. All equipment funded remains the property of the NGO or institution.
  7. The Foundation is not able to pay unspecified overheads, administration and handling fees to large commercial or non-commercial, governmental or non-governmental institutions or organisations (such as Universities or Non-Governmental Organisations), although specified administrative and accommodation costs may be met, provided they are essential and properly accounted for. SOSF funds project leaders and projects.
  8. Joint funding/Co-funding of a project by SOSF with another funding agency is welcomed, but not essential.
Obligations of Grant Holders
  1. Grants are awarded subject to the applicant and/or their organisation agreeing to a simple contract valid under the laws of Switzerland (the country in which the Foundation is registered).
  2. Grant holders are required to report progress with their projects by completing and submitting:
    1. By 1 April of the year following the start of the grant, a Spring Annual Progress Report with printable photos and graphs where applicable for inclusion in the Foundation’s own annual report. Only for projects that last more than a year.
    2. Upon completion of the project, a complete report, including a financial account summary accounting for the use of the funds provided, on the project consistent with the expectations of the Foundation, must be submitted no later than 18 months following the last grant awarded (based on the signature date of the latest contract). The format of this final project report must correspond to our format.
  3. The project leader undertakes to provide and submit to SOSF:
    1. A minimum of four high-quality ‘blogs’ posted to the SOSF website by the deadline stipulated by the SOSF Conservation Media Unit, according to guidelines set out in the SOSF blogging guide. These blogs should include a strong visual component. The SOSF Conservation Media Unit team will assist you with your contribution.
    2. At least 10 high-resolution photographs and if possible also some HD video files. Decent visual material that will be used to promote your work needs to be supplied to the SOSF Conservation Media Unit team using either We Transfer or Dropbox. We will need high-resolution original files. Each photograph or video clip should be accompanied by the author’s name and contacts, and a small description and caption. Any visuals submitted to the SOSF will be credited to the photographer. The copyright will remain with the photographer, and he/she grants the SOSF the right to publish these media in non-commercial SOSF publications (i.e. website, ePublications, newsletters, magazines, books, annual reports, etc). The photographer retains full and exclusive commercial rights. The Project Leader and the photograph author allow the SOSF to include these images in the SOSF Media Library ad infinitum and grant it the right to use these images for non-commercial purposes.
    3. An original article (1,500+ words) written by the Project Leader by a date discussed with the SOSF Conservation Media Unit team. The media team will collaborate with you to decide on the content and nature of the article. This article is to be included in SOSF publications (i.e. website, ePublications, newsletters, magazines, books, annual reports, etc). A selection of the photographs in (2) should complement this article.
    4. Electronic copies of all media (newspaper, magazine, web, radio and television) and any scientific publication related to the Project.
  4. Grant holders are required to welcome Foundation staff visiting their projects (all such visits will be at the Foundation’s expense).
  5. It is Foundation policy to promote, whenever possible, public awareness of marine conservation issues. Accordingly, grant holders are required to incorporate elements of public awareness into their work and to collaborate with the Foundation in publicising their project.
Funding guidelines for Photography Grant
General
  • The SOSF Marine Conservation Photography Grant is only open to emerging photographers.
  • Entry must be via the SOSF photography grant online portal: photogrant.saveourseas.com
  • All entrants must complete the written questionnaire as part of their entry.
  • All images entered are used only for judging purposes.
  • Entrants must be 18 years or older.
  • Employees of the SOSF and anyone connected with the administration of the competition are not eligible to apply for this grant.
  • Closing date for the 2016 contest: TBA
  • The conditions set out in the entry rules are binding.
  • By submitting your application, you automatically agree to abide by the entry rules of the SOSF Marine Conservation Photography Grant.
Entry requirements
  • The Best of Portfolio must contain no fewer and no more than 20 images.
  • Photo Stories must include no fewer and no more than 10 images and must conform to a relevant theme.
  • A maximum of 3 photo-story images can be repeated as part of the Best of Portfolio.
  • Digital images must meet the following specifications:
    • Images should be 1600 pixels in length.
    • Each image must be saved in the JPEG format with a high-quality setting.
    • An embedded ICC profile is required. Adobe RGB or sRGB is recommended for colour images, Gamma 2.2 for black and white. No CMYK.
  • All required image information (creation date, location, detailed caption) must be included in the metadata of the image files. Entrants should not include their name in either the caption or on the image itself.
  • Entrants are expected to enter images that are an accurate representation of the natural world. Adding or removing objects, such as animals or parts of animals, plants, people etc, is not allowed.
  • Digital adjustments including tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, cleaning of sensor dust spots are permitted as long as they comply with the grant’s principles of not deceiving the viewer or misrepresenting the reality of nature.
  • Entrants must not do anything to kill, injure or distress any fauna or flora or destroy their habitat in an attempt to capture an image.
  • Only single-frame images will be accepted. Composite and multiple exposure images will not be accepted. Images with added borders, backgrounds or other effects will not be accepted.
  • The jury is the ultimate arbiter of the standards above and may at its discretion request the original, un-retouched RAW file as recorded by the camera.
Grant winners
  • Marine Conservation Photography Grantees agree to document a marine conservation project specified by the SOSF for a 3-week period.
  • They will be paid a fee of US$350 per day and all expenses will be covered.
  • The copyright of all materials produced while on assignment remains with the grantee.
  • The grantee will be expected to show (presentation and/or exhibit) the work created while on assignment during an all-expenses-paid trip to a photographic festival or conservation conference.
  • The winning grantees give the SOSF permission to use (see detailed usage below) all materials produced on assignment, including photographs, video and sound, exclusively for a 12-month period. After that period the grantee is free to license/sell the work to other media, but the SOSF retains non-exclusive non-commercial usage rights, which include:
    • A photo essay in the Save Our Seas Foundation’s magazine.
    • SOSF website and social networks.
    • All media related to the promotion of the SOSF Conservation Photography Grant.
    • Not-for-profit conservation and awareness usage by the SOSF and its conservation scientists.
  • All entrants agree that, if awarded the grant, they will participate in related publicity and agree to the use of their name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation.
  • The decision of the organisers on all matters relating to the competition is final and binding. The organisers reserve the right to amend the rules and to waive breach of the rules at their sole discretion, acting reasonably.
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