CTSA FY2019 Request for Pre-Proposals

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By Milthon Lujan

USA.- The Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture (CTSA) requests pre-proposals for applied research and extension that addresses problems and opportunities in the regional aquaculture industry.

It is important to note that CTSA has a limited budget for new projects during this funding cycle. The amount is lower than most other years due to CTSA’s commitment to fund succeeding project years of multi-year projects that were approved under the FY18 Plan of Work. In consideration of this funding limitation, projects exceeding $50,000 per project year will receive additional scrutiny during this FY19 funding cycle.

CTSA stakeholders have identified the below strategic areas and species as the top aquaculture development priorities for this unique funding cycle. Pre-proposals that target these strategic areas and priority species will receive highest preference. However, pre-proposals that do not fall under specific priority areas but address CTSA’s mission will be considered in our development process. Our main focus is on funding projects that will have immediate, positive impacts on the regional aquaculture industry.

CTSA’s mission is to support aquaculture research, development, demonstration, and extension education in order to enhance viable and profitable aquaculture in the United States. CTSA is funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The current CTSA region includes the following areas: American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. Pre-proposals should utilize innovative approaches that take into account the unique environmental situation of the region. One of CTSA’s primary goals is capacity building. Accordingly, we strongly encourage collaboration between institutions and agencies in the region, as well as shared funding of large priority projects. Cultivating strong regional partnerships will catalyze the greatest changes in our industry, and projects that demonstrate an understanding of this principal are more likely to be supported.

FY 2019 Strategic Areas & Priority Species

Cost Effective Locally-Made Aquatic Feed

CTSA will consider a proposal to conduct an economic study and identify the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of producing feed in Hawaii and throughout the region. CTSA also welcomes new and innovative suggestions to make aquatic feed more affordable for farmers in the region.

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Marine Finfish and Ornamental Farming Technology

CTSA will consider a proposal that addresses hatchery technology for marine ornamental fish from the perspectives of both supplying the marine aquarium market and the restoration of coral reefs. CTSA will also consider other proposals related to marine finfish technology.

Disease management and diagnostic services

CTSA will consider a proposal to further enhance regional disease diagnostic services, including but not limited to the addition of fish disease diagnostics and extension services.


Other species, opportunities, and challenges have been identified as priorities for aquaculture development and production in the Pacific islands. CTSA will consider proposals that seek to address the following topics; seaweed culture for human consumption and aquatic feed production; advanced aquaculture-relevant research on aquaponics, such as management of fish sludge from aquaponics systems; and development of effective, affordable instrumentation to monitor nutrient levels and other factors in aquaponics and/or aquaculture systems. In addition, CTSA will consider proposals that seek to address the following priority areas, which remain important to the regional industry and are being addressed by CTSA projects: shellfish, mangrove crab, and sea cucumber (please note, in consideration of our FY19 funding situation, we will consider proposals on these three species if they present innovative ideas).

Process and Instructions

Pre-proposals that do not follow the guidelines outlined in this section will be rejected. Properly formatted pre-proposals received by the deadline, 5pm HST Friday June 14 2019, will be reviewed by CTSA’s Industry Advisory Council (IAC) and Technical Committee (TC). Only pre-proposals that receive a majority of votes will move forward with requests for a full proposal. Full proposals will receive both internal and external review for technical quality and industry impact. Not all full proposals may be awarded. Full proposals approved by the CTSA Board of Directors and the USDA as part of the CTSA FY19 Plan of Work are expected to have funding available for implementation by July 2020.

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CTSA typically does not fund projects for more than $100,000 per year. However, a project will not be automatically rejected if it exceeds that amount. CTSA gives preference to projects that will deliver the most benefits at the lowest cost. Due to its limited budget, CTSA will distribute funding to the highest ranked proposals until it has exhausted all available funds. Please note: the amount available to fund new projects in this funding cycle is approximately $200,000.

Eligible Applicants

Universities, community colleges, or nonprofit research institutions and organizations from the CTSA region must lead project execution. Private individuals or commercial companies are welcome to participate in research work but cannot act as the prime contractor for any project.

Pre-Proposal Guidelines

When submitting pre-proposals, researchers must identify the strategic area(s) and priority targeted. Although an individual may submit a maximum of three pre-proposals, a researcher can act as principal investigator to only two projects in a single funding cycle. Pre-proposals must be no more than two pages (single-spaced, 12-pt. font, 1-inch margins), and the required format is Microsoft Word.

Pre-proposals must include the following sections:

1) Proposed title or main idea
2) FY19 Strategic Priority Area being addressed
3) Problem statement – What is the issue and/or opportunity your project will address?
Clearly explain the significance of the targeted problem and its relation to current and future industry development.
4) Proposed approach – How will you address the issue and/or opportunity?
Define and number objectives that are achievable and measurable. Please visit the CTSA Web site ( to view previously funded projects so that your pre-proposal does not duplicate the work of completed or current projects.
5) Anticipated Impacts – How will your project impact the regional aquaculture industry?
Please be specific in your description, and indicate the potential return on investment. CTSA typically funds projects that benefit multiple stakeholders. However, single beneficiary projects with compelling reasons will be considered. If the project will result in a new industry, the estimated economic impact of the industry has to be discussed.
6) Budget
Please indicate if your project budget will be low (up to $25k), medium ($25-50k), or high (above $50k).
7) Related research

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If any participant has previously received CTSA funding to address the same species or subject area covered in the current proposal (or similar issues), provide a brief statement highlighting the results of that work and justification for the proposed project.

How to Submit

Please e-mail pre-proposals to by 5pm HST, Friday June 14, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Meredith Brooks via e-mail or by telephone at (808) 292- 1323. If necessary, pre-proposals may be faxed to (808) 259-8395 or mailed to the following address:

Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture
c/o HNFAS, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
1955 East West Road, Ag. Sci. 216
Honolulu, HI 96822

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