Funding agency: 
Oregon State University

Due Date: February1, 2019, 5:00pm, PacificTime

Oregon State University (OSU) requests proposals for the use of the OSU Research Vessel (R/V) Oceanus to conduct research and study of the waters of the Pacific Coast. Pending approval by the Oregon legislature, the State of Oregon is planning to provide $300,000 under the “Oceangoing Research Vessel Program” in each year of the biennium beginning on July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, to support use of the R/V Oceanus for this purpose. At the current R/V Oceanus day rate including a marine technician to assist in the use of shipboard scientific equipment and over-the-side operations, this amounts to about 12 days of ship time per year. 

New for this biennium only: 1) this program may be able to support up to approximately 4 additional days in the first half of 2019; 2) OSU will be transitioning operation of the R/V Oceanus to the R/V Taani, the new NSF-funded Regional Class Research Vessel. The R/V Oceanus is scheduled to be taken out of service as early as September 1, 2020, and the R/V Taani may be ready for service as early as April 1, 2022. Neither vessel will be available in the first half of 2021. Based on this schedule, the federal funding agencies are not expected to schedule work on R/V Oceanus after September 1, 2020, but state-funded science may be scheduled until the end of 2020. Given the benefit for extending the R/V Oceanus schedule, proposals for work under this Oceangoing Research Vessel Program for September to December 2020, are especially encouraged. We appreciate proposer’s flexibility during the transition to the R/V Taani and look forward to the outstanding capabilities of this new state-of-the-art research vessel. 

Potential areas of research include, but are not limited to: 

  • Mapping the seabed in Oregon’s territorial sea, as defined in ORS 196.405; 
  • Analyzing marine ecosystems, including but not limited to existing marine reserves, existing marine protected areas, proposed marine reserves and proposed marine protected areas; 
  • Analyzing the potential effects of climate change, including but not limited to ocean acidification; 
  • Compiling comprehensive assessments of overall ocean health; 
  • Understanding ocean dynamics, including but not limited to natural hazards such as tsunamis; and 
  • Installing instruments to effectively monitor the impact of wave energy systems, marine reserves and marine protected areas on marine ecosystems and fish populations. 

Educational activities might include, but are not limited to, university-level classes about oceanographic research and/or the techniques of making oceanographic measurements at sea. Graduate students enrolled in an Oregon public 4-year university are encouraged to consider  submitting a proposal as Principal Investigator and/or to serve as Chief Scientist during the approved R/V Oceanus ship days.

The 177-foot R/V Oceanus is a mid-sized research vessel designed for expeditions lasting two to four weeks and accommodates a scientific party of up to 13, possibly increased by a few under special arrangements. Outfitted with three winches and a crane, the R/V Oceanus is often used for deploying oceanographic buoys and moorings and for hydrographic surveys, though it is capable of all types of chemical, biological, and geological studies. For further information about the R/V Oceanus capabilities, please see 

Given the number of ship days supported under this program and the intent to use them for a number of diverse activities, proposers are discouraged from asking for the entire allotment of ship days. Therefore, proposals should be submitted for projects that utilize up to, but not limited to, 5 days. Special circumstances may be discussed with the Chair of the Research Vessel Council (see Review Process and Further Information below). 

Given the research vessel scheduling process, proposals asking for ship days in 2019 will need to fit those days into the draft R/V Oceanus 2019 schedule. Potential available days in 2019, subject to change, are in late April, September and December. Principal Investigators interested in proposing for ship days in 2019 are encouraged to contact the Chair of the Research Council whose contact information appears below. Proposals for ship days in 2020 may be for any time, excluding spring break which is reserved for an oceangoing field class and the taking into account the transition from R/V Oceanus to R/V Taani detailed above, and will be scheduled in collaboration with the OSU Marine Superintendent and the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System ship scheduling process (UNOLS, 

Proposals for ship use away from the waters of the Pacific Northwest coast, that is, those that coordinate with R/V Oceanus work in other parts of the world’s oceans, may be considered, but priority will be given to research proposed for Pacific Northwest waters, with particular emphasis on waters off the Oregon coast. 

Proposals that are highly rated but might best be accommodated on a smaller Oregon State research vessel may be considered, but priority will be given to research proposals that propose to use the R/V Oceanus


Please include information about what additional resources you will bring to augment the use of the research vessel days or how the proposed work will help you leverage further study. Examples include providing specialized sampling equipment to augment the R/V Oceanus’ scientific equipment, providing education and/or outreach support, or plans for using the results obtained during the R/V Oceanus ship days as a basis for seeking further support.

Who May Submit 

Proposals may be submitted by Oregon state agencies and by students and faculty at Oregon public 4-year universities. Collaborative proposals with Oregon community colleges or other educational entities, but led and submitted by Oregon state agencies or students and faculty at Oregon public 4-year universities are encouraged. 

Proposal Format and Submission 

Proposals should be a maximum of 5 pages including a 1-page Curriculum Vitae for the Principal Investigator. Appendices are not allowed, but use of Web URLs is allowed. Proposers should email a PDF version of the proposal by the RFP deadline to


Proposals are due by February 1, 2019, 5pm, Pacific Time. Successful proposers will be notified of their selection by approximately March 1, 2019. The Research Vessel Council will work with the Principal Investigator to schedule the use of a research vessel for selected proposals as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System ship scheduling process (UNOLS, 

Review Process 

Proposals will be evaluated by the Research Vessel Council, consisting of seven members appointed by the President of Oregon State University. Members include a trained scientist with at least five years of marine research experience, one member who has expertise in marine operations or marine education, and one member from each of the following agencies: State Department of Fish and Wildlife; State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries; Department of Land Conservation and Development; and Department of Environmental Quality. 

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the: (a) Proposal’s geographical area of study; (b) quality of the submitted management, research or educational rationale; (c) potential for leveraging future work; and (d) feasibility of accommodating the proposed work within the schedule of federally funded projects for the research vessel. 


Data collected during ship days funded under this request using the R/V Oceanus general use shipboard scientific equipment (e.g., flow-through water property system, Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) will be reported to the national data archives (e.g., National Geophysical Data Center – NGDC, National Oceanographic Data Center - NODC) using the Rolling Deck to Repository system ( Other data, in particular, those obtained using equipment supplied by the Principal Investigator, remain the property of the 

Principal Investigator although the Principal Investigator is encouraged to submit their data to appropriate national and state data archives. 

The Principal Investigators selected for use of the R/V Oceanus under this announcement shall provide a summary of the research, scholarly findings and educational and outreach activities conducted using the allotted ship days to the Research Vessel Council no later than the first of September following the end of Oregon fiscal year during which they sailed (1 September 2020 for cruises between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020; 1 September 2021 for cruises between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021). Please include a list of all persons sailing aboard the R/V Oceanus or directly benefiting from the proposed activities, including their affiliation and role. These summaries may be sent to the Chair of the Research Vessel Council whose contact information appears below. 

Further Information 

For further information about the proposal process, questions about eligibility or suitability of potential proposals for use of the R/V Oceanus, please contact Research Vessel Council Chair Jack Barth (1-541-737-1607, For questions about the capabilities of the R/V Oceanus’ science equipment please contact OSU Marine Technician Superintendent Andrew Woogen (1-541-737-4622, For questions about the R/V Oceanus operational capabilities please contact OSU Interim Marine Superintendent Fred Jones (1-541-867-0225, 

Please note funding for this program is contingent on future appropriation from the Oregon Legislature. If funding is not approved at the expected level, OSU may issue no awards or a reduced number of awards.

February 1, 2019
Funding type: 
Graduate students