The distribution of funds is via an open competition administered by the University of New Hampshire on behalf of the Northeast Consortium. Funding recommendations and decisions are made by the Northeast Consortium Representatives, based on recommendations from a review panel comprised of Advisory Committee members and additional reviewers (as needed for disciplinary breadth), including commercial fishermen, scientists, and representatives of governmental, quasi-governmental, and non-governmental agencies and organizations.
- Priority Areas for Northeast Consortium Funding
- Selective fishing-gear research and development. The development of selective fishing gears that enhance gear selectivity, target healthy stocks, reduce bycatch and discard, reduce or eliminate technical barriers to trade, minimize harvest losses, and improve fishing practices. We also encourage studies of new and developing fishing gears and technologies aimed at reducing environmental impact.
- Estimation of survival and survivability. Studies that estimate survival and survivability of aquatic species following fishing gear encounters; including estimation of mortality rates from currently used fishing gears and studies that aim at improving survival.
- Ecosystem approaches to fishing and management. Alternative or supplementary approaches to the analysis of species' distribution; life history features, behavior, dispersal, and the effects of oceanographic patterns and processes; ecological interactions between species.
- Oceanographic and meteorological monitoring. Information on weather, sea-state, and oceanographic and fishing conditions; synoptic coverage of large regions, use of satellite telemetry; use of commercial fishing vessels as platforms for ocean monitoring, modeling, and prediction.
- Socioeconomic impacts. Studies which lead to a better understanding of the effects of fisheries, coastal, and ocean management decisions and collaborative research on the fishing industry and fishing communities.
- Outreach and education. Approaches to enhance knowledge sharing among fishermen, scientists, managers and the general public. Projects should focus on collaborative research generally, not just on Northeast Consortium-funded activities.
The intent of the Northeast Consortium is to provide funding for projects that address fisheries and ocean research issues within the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank ecosystem. To encourage potential proposers, we provide here summaries of general topic areas that are appropriate for Northeast Consortium collaborative research funding. Proposals are not restricted to the topic areas outlined below.
- Importance of the proposed idea for oceanographic and fisheries research and management. The reviewers will consider whether the project is important to our understanding of oceans and fisheries and/or to our ocean, coastal or fisheries management practices. The proposal should address clear need(s) and important research question(s), and the project should produce results that have a real impact.
- Technical merit of the proposal and the project as proposed. Reviewers will consider the feasibility of the project and the likelihood of it being successfully implemented as proposed. The proposal should contain a detailed and understandable experimental design that is appropriate for answering the question(s) posed in the project. The plan of work should be feasible, given the time, effort, personnel and budget, and likely to be successfully completed as proposed. The research should be conducted in a responsible manner that will not do unnecessary harm to ecosystems or marine organisms, or otherwise violate accepted ethical research practices (e.g., use of animals and human subjects in research, institutional review board’s review of research protocol, if applicable).
- Opportunities for partnership between commercial fishermen and researchers. Reviewers will analyze the quality and extent of the fishermen-researcher partnership(s). Reviewers will consider the extent to which a research topic is of mutual interest to fishermen and scientists, and whether members of both communities are key participants throughout the course of the project, from project design to data collection and analysis to practical application of the results or products. Reviewers will assess whether the proposal allows and fosters broad participation among scientists and fishermen.
- Impact of the proposed work on an end-user community. Reviewers will consider the beneficial impacts of the project for fishermen, researchers, and/or fisheries, coastal, or ocean managers. Proposals should clearly identify the deliverables and the end-users. End-users may be included as participants in the project, if appropriate. Reviewers will assess whether the deliverables are useful, reasonable, and valuable, as well as the likelihood of their delivery to the end-users.
- Experience of the project proposers; available resources for the project. Reviewers will appraise the experience and expertise of the key project participants, in light of the scientific topic, research methodology, fishing practices, and geographic areas of the proposed study. Reviewers will assess the capacity and availability of the project team, available equipment, and other resources to be used in the project. Reviewers will consider the results and impacts of any previous work, especially any research funded by the Northeast Consortium.
- Results from prior cooperative research support. Reviewers will assess the results, deliverable products, and impacts of previously funded projects by the proposers, including: new cooperative partnerships; refined research questions; follow-on funding; peer reviewed publications; other publications for scientific, technical, or general audiences; and/or other impacts.
Funding decisions for cooperative research projects will be based upon evaluation of proposals according to the following criteria: