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Networking and Idea Development Workshop: Thriving Communities Grants 5

Topic: Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience and Well-being in the Gulf of Mexico Region

View the Call to Action presented at the workshop.
Key Dates and Information

Informational Webinar (OPTIONAL)
February 14, 2018, 12:00 pm ET: Watch recording

Networking and Idea Development Workshop* (OPTIONAL)

January 25, 2018: Online application to participate in workshop opens
March 8, 2018, 5:00pm ET: Application to participate in workshop due
May 30-June 1, 2018: Networking and Idea Development Workshop

Questions: Email gulfgrants@nas.edu

*The Thriving Communities Grants 5 funding opportunity is open to all eligible applicants, regardless of whether or not any of the proposed project personnel were participants in the “Networking and Idea Development Workshop”. This workshop responds to requests that potential project personnel would benefit from the opportunity to meet possible partners and brainstorm about proposal ideas. Workshop participation will not be taken into account during the review of submitted proposals.

Workshop Context:
The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is re-running a Thriving Communities Grants funding opportunity on the topic of enhancing coastal community resilience and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico region (click here to see awards from the previous competition). To foster the development of integrative teams and help spark innovative ideas and approaches, the GRP will host a three-day Networking and Idea Development Workshop. In the previous funding opportunity on this topic, many individuals expressed interest in connecting with others from diverse institutions, sectors, disciplines, and frames of reference to form integrative teams and develop project ideas, so the GRP is experimenting with this approach in response.


Purpose and Format of the Workshop:
The workshop will be a three-day, interactive, in-person meeting to provide a forum for connecting potential project personnel, encouraging collaboration across disciplines and sectors, and cultivating new ideas. It provides an opportunity for individuals, who might not otherwise connect to interact and develop or improve ideas for project proposals.

The workshop will involve the following groups:
  • Director/Mentors (4-5): Subject-matter experts who encourage new ideas by asking questions, highlighting ideas that exhibit potential, and making connections between participants and to the wider body of knowledge. They also provide real-time reviews. The director and mentors cannot apply, receive any funding from, serve as reviewers, or oversee the development of the funding plan of the subsequent funding opportunity Thriving Communities Grants 5.
  • Facilitators: Professionals who facilitate interactions and develop the creative environment for the work of mentors and participants.
  • Participants (20-30): Individuals from diverse institutions, sectors, disciplines, and frames of reference that are selected on the basis of the interests, expertise, and other characteristics described in their submitted application.

Selection of Directors and Mentors
The Networking and Idea Development Workshop will be led by a director whose role will be to assist in defining the topics and help facilitate discussions at the event. The director will be joined by a small number of mentors. The director and mentors will be selected by the Gulf Research Program based on their expertise, intellectual standing, their impartiality and objectivity, and their broad understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the grant topic. The director and mentors will take full part in the workshop, but they will not be eligible to apply for or receive research funding under the funding opportunity Thriving Communities Grants 5. They will therefore act as impartial peer reviewers in the process, giving real-time feedback to participants as they develop their project ideas. They will not participate in the review of proposals submitted for Thriving Communities Grants 5.

Selection of Participants
Having the right mix of participants is critical to the success of this workshop. Given the need for integration of diverse approaches, disciplines, and perspectives to better understand and enhance coastal community resilience, the GRP invites individuals from diverse institutions, sectors, disciplines, and frames of reference to apply for participation in the workshop. There is no limit on how many individuals from the same organization can apply.

The director and mentors, with input from the professional facilitators, will recommend participants on the basis of the interests, expertise, and other characteristics described in their submitted workshop application. Participants must be able to commit to the full three days of the workshop. Given the objectives and design of the workshop, the director and mentors will aim to select participants who together can bring the range of expertise, experiences, and perspectives relevant to the topic. Invited participants will be notified approximately six weeks prior to the workshop that they are being invited.

Participation in the Networking and Idea Development Workshop is by invitation only. Submission of an application will be considered an indication of availability to attend and participate through the full course of the three-day workshop. The workshop will run over three days starting early in the morning Day One and finishing mid-afternoon on Day Three.


Location and Date:
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Date: May 30-June 1, 2018
All travel to the Networking and Idea Development Workshop, accommodation, refreshments, and meal costs will be covered by the Gulf Research Program. Invited participants are required to book their travel through the Gulf Research Program and its designated travel agency


Eligibility and Who Should Apply:
The Gulf Research Program welcomes applications from individuals who are employed by any type of U.S. organizations, excluding federal agencies, with a valid tax ID number. Individuals who are seeking new collaborators and who are interested in engaging in open-minded thinking should apply.


How to Apply:
The application form for participation in the workshop is about 2 pages (
view sample form). Individual applicants are asked about their knowledge, expertise, and personal attributes, such as communication skills, collaborative experience, and creative activity.


What Happens After the Workshop:
After the workshop, participants may work together and/or with others to develop proposals for the funding opportunity Thriving Communities Grants 5, which opens in July 2018. The funding opportunity Thriving Communities Grants 5 is open to all eligible applicants, regardless of whether or not any of the proposed project personnel were workshop participants.

All received full proposals will be reviewed by external reviewers who are not a director or mentors at the Networking and Idea Development Workshop. Participation in the workshop is not considered a factor in the merit review of full proposals. Reviewers will apply the same Merit Review Criteria to all eligible proposals submitted to the funding opportunity Thriving Communities Grants 5.