Pre-Proposal Submissions

Persons with an interest in obtaining support for their research should review the Marine Mammals and Biology (MMB) program topics and goals to evaluate the potential overlap between ONR MMB program goals and areas of interest and their research. The next step in assessing the potential for support is to submit a brief (two- to three-page) pre-proposal (also referred to sometimes as a planning letter or white paper) to the program. The pre-proposal is intended to be an informal document submitted to the program that briefly describes the rationale and nature of the work to be proposed, the approach to addressing questions posed and estimates for the research costs. Feel free to contact program officers to discuss the potential overlap between program goals and areas of interest, and your own research.

Pre-proposals should:

  • Clearly and concisely describe the nature and objectives of the work proposed.
  • Indicate the amount of time needed to conduct the research.
  • Provide an estimate of funds required by federal fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30). If applicable, clearly note the days of ship and class of ship required, but do NOT include this information in your budget estimates.
  • Include a short one- to two-page CV for each principal investigator (PI).
  • Include complete contact information for each PI, including phone number and email address.

Animal use requirements should be taken into consideration when submitting pre-proposals. Proposals can NOT be funded until all animal use documentation, permits and protocols are received by the Program Officer and approved. Some of this documentation can take months to acquire, so investigators need to plan ONR proposal submissions accordingly.

Electronic submission of pre-proposals is strongly encouraged. Please send them directly to Michael Weise at We will accept pre-proposals at any time throughout the year, but we strongly encourage interested scientists to adhere to our annual target date for the MMB program.

Persons submitting pre-proposals will be given feedback from the program, an assessment of the probability that research described may be supported by the program, and will be either encouraged or discouraged from submitting a proposal based on the content of the pre-proposal. Regardless of the nature of this feedback, we will accept a full and formal proposal submitted to the program at any time.

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