Proposal Guidance

How to prepare and submit a CICOES proposal

General process

The package of proposals submitted by UAF differs from a typical NASA or NSF proposal: here, we are NOT requesting funds associated with a competitive RFP. Instead, this is a package of proposals that NOAA will support non-competitively through the Cooperative Institute (CI). Non-competitive funding is funding received without having to respond to an official RFP. Generally, a program manager reaches out to a researcher and describes work that they would like the researcher to perform.

For more information as to how to connect with a Program Manager, please contact Uma Bhatt.

Find a NOAA funder

To contribute a proposal to this package, you must find a NOAA funder who will agree to support your project(s). Once you have an agreement, a fairly brief non-competitive proposal is then submitted through the CI. NOAA funders are NOAA colleagues or Program Managers (PMs) that agree to fund project(s) following one of these pathways:

  • Pathway 1: If you collaborate with NOAA colleagues who get a project funded internal to NOAA, they can include funds that would cover your work on the project. Then your colleague would serve as a PM and fund you through the CI to do this work.

  • Pathway 2: You do some fabulous work that is needed by NOAA and they do not have internal capacity, then a NOAA PM may approach you to do this work that would be funded through the CI.

  • Pathway 3: You identify a project that is critical for NOAA and you convince the right folks at NOAA that they need this done and to fund this work.

  • Pathway 4: A NOAA regional or national office identifies a critical need and reaches out to you to do a project. These may include time sensitive operational products that can be created quickly in response to an extreme event or political request.

  • Pathway 5: There are also rare occasions where NOAA will issue limited scope RFPs (e.g. Hurricane Sandy, ‘Omics) that are directed to one or more CIs.

Most projects funded result from direct networking with Federal colleagues in regional or national headquarters, understanding NOAA mission/needs, and meeting researchers at the NOAA Laboratories that partner with this CI (i.e. PMEL, AFSC, and NWFSC).

Sarah Garcia, CICOES-UAF Administrator

Sarah oversees proposal preparation and submission to CICOES-UW, post award administration of projects funded under the CICOES-UAF award, annual report preparation, and other administrative activities.

The best time to submit a proposal

There are several deadlines during which NOAA accepts proposals for funding through CIs. The May deadline is used to coordinate proposals for the current Federal fiscal year. There is often money that needs to be spent near the end of the current Federal fiscal year so having ideas/proposals ready (working with your NOAA PM) is always a good strategy.

If this timeline is too short or you are initiating potential collaborations with NOAA partners, all is not lost. There will be an opportunity to submit proposals in the fall for the next fiscal year. So if you are not ready now, the next opportunity is not that far away.

What do I need to do to submit a proposal through CICOES? What happens next?

  1. Contact Sarah Garcia about your plan to submit a proposal via the CICOES Cooperative Institute.

  2. Work with your department level proposal coordinator to complete the documents needed, using the CICOES templates provided by Sarah. As this is non-competitive NOAA funding, the minimum requirements are the completion of the questionnaire, SOW, budget and budget justification. The SOW may be as simple or complex as your program manager requires it to be, so please be sure to ask him/ her for guidance.

  3. Your program manager may require additional documents, so please be sure to ask if anything else, such as a CV, is required.

I submitted my proposal. Now what?

After the award is received, you will receive a notification from Sarah Garcia about the award and its new charge codes.

My project is to run for two years. Can I submit a proposal for two years?

Yes! You may submit a multi-year proposal, but any money that you request must be paid in full. If you have a multi-year proposal and the Project Manager is only able to pay for the first year now:

  1. Submit a proposal for only one year

  2. At the end of the Statement of Work, note that this is intended to be a multi-year project, and the next year’s cost is anticipated to cost $X. The CICOES cooperative agreement ends June 30, 2025; therefore, all projects must currently conclude by this date. In the last year of this cooperative agreement, CICOES will seek a 5-year renewal.

Is a match required?

Yes, but CICOES-UAF is covering the match commitment on your behalf. CICOES-UAF is ‘'matching," or waiving, F&A on all Task I activities. In addition, CICOES-UAF is providing matching funds in the amount of 20% of the indirect cost recovery to be used for administrative costs, as well as support our graduate and undergraduate research competitions.

Fees, F&A rates, and "discounts"

There are currently two fees:

  • Task I Recovery Fee: 2.8% of the total project’s request. This fee is set and required by NOAA. It changes annually, though we don’t anticipate significant variations.

  • CICOES-UAF Subaward Recovery Fee: 0.5% of the project’s total request, and it is applied prior to the 2.8% Task I fee. As CICOES was awarded primarily to UW, UW is issuing a $6,500 subaward to UAF to create CICOES-UAF. The Subaward Recovery fee is to help CICOES-UAF cover the cost of the subaward fee. Once CICOES UAF recovers that amount, we will stop applying it.

F&A rates

The F&A rates for the duration of the 5 year CICOES cooperative agreement are the rates s that were in effect during the receipt of the award in FY20. The FY20 rates are 55.0% for research, 38.5% for other sponsored activities, 26% for off-campus projects, etc. If renewed for an additional 5-year cooperative agreement, the F&A rates may change to the rates in effect at the time of that award.


Our funding is divided into three categories: Task I A/B, Task II, and Task III.

  • Task IA/ B is where the revenue generated from the Task I recovery fee is deposited, and it is used to fund administrative support costs, as well as fund internal graduate research competitions. Task IB also includes the salary support of post-doctoral researchers. CICOES-UAF is waiving the F&A on all Task I activity. CICOES-UAF is ‘'matching," or waiving, F&A on all Task I activities.

  • Task II is for research done at a NOAA lab. As the work is done off campus, the use of the off campus F&A rate is applied.

  • Task III is for research done here at UAF. Depending on the work being done, the F&A rate will either be the research rate or OSA rate.