UPDATE: GLOS Year-Round Observations request for proposals indicated that awards were expected to be announced on May 27th, 2022, or later based on funding availability. As of today (5/27/2022) IOOS funding decisions have been delayed. Consequently, and regretfully, GLOS is postponing any announcements of award decisions until further notice. We will be in close contact with those that submitted proposals as soon as we have additional information.

This RFP closed on April 22.

RFP Timeline Summary

  • RFP released on March 15, 2022, and due on April 22, 2022.
  • Awards announced on May 27, 2022, and contracts projected to start on June 17, 2022 or later based on funding availability.
  • Funding Period could be one or two years depending on the project needs. In coordination with the awardee and prior to the termination of the project, GLOS reserves the right to extend the duration of a particular project for an additional year.
  • Cost-share is not required but highly encouraged.

Budget template

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Organizational Background

GLOS’ mission, as laid out in GLOS 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, is to provide end-to-end data services that support science, policy, management, and industry in the Great Lakes. In collaboration with academic, non- and for-profit organizations, as well as U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and local government agencies, GLOS coordinates activities and supports a diverse suite of technologies that include near- and offshore monitoring platforms, autonomous vehicles, as well as shore- and ship-based observing platforms. GLOS integrates data from these systems with the goal of providing products and services that help fill data and information gaps to improve the use and management of the lakes.

Program Goals

The focus of this grant program is to provide funds for the development and deployment of technologies that can improve the year-round monitoring of the ecological health of the Great Lakes. The existing Great Lakes observing network collects a limited amount of over-winter data, as most monitoring platforms are seasonally operated. Scarce data in late fall, winter, and early spring impacts data availability for commercial shipping and fishing, limits our understanding of ice processes, as well as Great Lakes seasonal dynamics and their changes due to climatic changes. This data scarcity also impairs the development and validation of forecasting tools.

GLOS would like to support work that 1) focuses on  the development and/or deployment of innovative technologies to improve the year-round monitoring of the Great Lakes and its ecological health, 2) makes any data/tool generated publicly available via the GLOS information technology platform, Seagull, to better address local, state, provincial, and/or regional Great Lakes information needs, and/or 3) helps advance our understanding of year-round physical and ecological lake processes, and winter ice dynamics.

Pending availability of funds, the program will support projects up to $150,000 USD per year. Through this solicitation GLOS expects to fund about three to five projects. The awards will be made in April 2022, and will tentatively start in June 2022, or later, based on funding. The duration of the projects can be up to two years. In coordination with the awardee, and prior to the termination of the project, GLOS reserves the right to extend the contract and funding for an additional year.

Areas of Interest

GLOS is soliciting proposals that address one or more of the following areas of interest:

  • Maintenance and/or upgrades of existing operational shoulder season and/or over-winter Great Lakes observing platforms.
  • Development and/or testing of new innovative real-time year-round observing technologies that can help understand seasonal lake dynamics and/or contribute to the mapping and characterization of ice cover.
  • Expansion of the Great Lakes monitoring network by installing under-ice cabled observatories that support physical and biogeochemical observations at critical areas of the lakes, especially those that are under-observed throughout the year.
  • Expansion of observations during winter and the shoulder season from drifters and autonomous vehicles contributing to a better understanding of winter’s effects on the lakes.
  • Year-round observations especially designed to support the validation and/or improvement of Great Lakes nowcast/forecast models.

Eligibility and Additional Considerations

GLOS can support funding of government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and for-profit organizations. No awards will be made for projects that duplicate or significantly overlap existing programs.

Proposals can be submitted by one or more applicants, but at least one of the applicants must be a permanent employee of the organization that will receive the award.

Successful applicants will:

  • Collaborate with GLOS team members to ensure adequate data transfer to the GLOS IT platform of any outcomes, data, tools, and/or other pertinent information produced with the support of the award,
  • Allow access throughout the project to pertinent information and data, and
  • Disclose in writing equipment purchases of more than $5,000.

Salary support will only be considered if adequately justified. Cost-sharing and/or in-kind contributions are highly encouraged but not required. GLOS reserves the right to negotiate the budget of successful projects.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by GLOS staff based on the following review criteria:

  • Relevance to GLOS vision and the RFP program goals.
  • Merit of the proposed work to produce Great Lakes information, data, and/or products that respond to stakeholders’ needs, improve the use and/or management of the lakes, and is made publicly available via GLOS IT platform, Seagull.
  • Focus and/or impact of project within binational Great Lakes watershed, with priority on the Great Lakes proper and/or the lakes’ connecting channels.
  • Feasibility, clarity, and scientific soundness of the proposed project, including long-term sustainability plans for the work where applicable, as well as a timeline and plan of action for data/tool integration with Seagull.
  • Applicants’ demonstrated technical expertise.
  • Project teams’ engagement of adequate organizations, stakeholders, and resources to accomplish the proposed outcomes.
  • Budget appropriateness and cost efficiency.

Project Timeline

The dates provided in this section are best estimates as the announcement of awards and project start data might vary based on funding availability.

  • March 16, 2022: RFP release date
  • April 22, 2022: Proposal submissions due
  • May 27, 2022: Announcement of awards (a later date is possible based on funding)
  • June 17, 2022: Expected project start date (a later date is possible based on funding)
  • Dec. 16, 2022: Six-month progress report due
  • June 16, 2023: 1-year contracts end date; 2-year contracts progress report due
  • July 14, 2023: 1-year contracts final report due
  • June 14, 2024: 2-year contracts end date
  • July 12, 2024: 2-year contracts final report due

Proposal Format:

Proposals must include the following sections, and they should adhere to the page limits indicated below for each section. Use 12-point font, and 1” margins throughout. Name the file LastName_NameOfOrganization.

  • Title Page (one page)
    • Project title
    • Applicants’ names, roles, affiliation information, emails, and phone numbers
    • Amount requested
    • Institutional signature(s)
  • Project Description (up to six pages)
    • Summary (<200 words; to be included in GLOS website)
    • Project Background, Purpose, and Objectives
    • Project Approach, Methods, Deliverables, and Outcomes
    • Timeframe
  • Personnel (one page)
    • Include a detailed description of the role of each applicant
    • In multi-organizational proposal include an explanation of the nature of the collaboration
  • Budget (refer to the budget template (link) )
  • Budget justification (up to one page; refer to this document (link) for level of detail expected)
    • Justify clearly and in detail applicants’ requests for salaries, fees, travel, and any

equipment procurement.

  • Explain any cost-sharing, and detail any in-kind contributions
  • Personnel CV(s)
    • Include up to two-page CV(s) for each applicant
  • References
  • Letter(s) of support
    • Required only if applicant(s) proposes to make use of facilities, personnel, or other resources external to their organizations.

Submittal of Proposals

Proposal submittal should be sent electronically as a single PDF attachment to proposals@glos.org. Proposals are due by April 22, 2022 5 PM EST.

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants will be required to submit a progress report every six months after the start of the project and a final report at the end. Selected award recipients will also be asked to present their findings in one or more GLOS-led webinar(s)/meeting(s).

Contact Information

Please reach out via email to proposals@glos.org with any questions or concerns.


Q: Is this open to Canadian organizations?
A: Yes!

Q: If we want to submit a proposal that would take two years to fully implement, is that allowed? What should we include?
A: If a project requires two years for implementation then we will accept proposals for two-year projects with a budget cap of $150,000 per year. If the project requires one year for implementation we will accept 1 year project with a budget cap of $150,000 per year. All of this is subject to funding availability (as we get our funding on an annual basis), and contracts will be done on a yearly basis.


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