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Statement of Interest due September 1, 2023 5:00 PM (HST) submit via Google Forms or download form here and submit via email to

Full Proposal due October 20, 2023 5:00 PM (HST) submit via email to


Proposals are requested for the 2023 University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (Hawai‘i Sea Grant) Pacific Islands Indigenous Science Competition. This is a pilot funding opportunity with the intention of eventually building Pacific Islands Indigenous Science funding into a regular bi-annual opportunity.

Many funding opportunities exist to support research initiatives that integrate Indigenous knowledge and Western science. A majority of these efforts are led by academic institutions that engage Indigenous communities in varying degrees of participation ranging from consultation to equitable co-production (David-Chavez 2018, Bohensky and Maru 2011). Knowledge production in these contexts attempts to integrate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into existing Western research frameworks (Daniel 2019, Nadasdy 1999). While recognizing the value of partnership across Western and Indigenous sciences, this funding opportunity seeks to shift the focus and center Indigenous methodologies, protocols, and values in research.

With this intention in mind, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant will support between 2 and 4 projects, each in the $10,000 to $25,000 range, for a funding term of one year. 


To support applicants through the proposal submission process, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant will provide a number of services including: 

  • Informational Webinars on the RFP were held in August 2023.
  • Workshops will offer support with proposal development in a group setting via Zoom. Topics may include designing a budget, identifying match, and drafting project objectives/outputs. Registration linked below.
  • Office Hours will be available to answer questions and provide additional support to applicants in-person or via Zoom. During office hours, staff from Hawaiʻi Sea Grant will work one-on-one with applicants. To schedule one-on-one office hours email

Attendance is not a requirement of the application process. Informational Webinars will be recorded and posted here. 

  1. Can an academic institution lead a proposal? No, the lead organization on a proposal must be from a nonprofit organization in Hawaiʻi or the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. However, academic researchers can partner on projects.
  2. How can we demonstrate that our team includes a cultural practitioner or ʻāina steward who can advance Indigenous science and practice? We recognize that these are broad terms, and that Hawaiʻi Sea Grant cannot – and should not – arbitrate this designation. In other words: please use your best judgment as to whether your team has the appropriate expertise, and demonstrate this in your application by including information about the person or people included in your project team and their experience in Indigenous science methodologies and cultural practices.
  3. What are the reporting requirements for the Pacific Islands Indigenous Science Competition? Project leads must submit a 2 page report that includes a clear overview of the project’s goals and objectives as stated in the funded proposal, as well as details on how these goals have been met. Project leads will also be asked to submit information on specific metrics connected to the project (e.g. number of people reached through outreach, media appearances connected to the project).
  4. How can we meet the non-federal match requirement? Match requirements are often met from in-kind contributions, including employee time or volunteer hours. We can help you identify appropriate match sources. Please email to set up a meeting.
  5. Will there be opportunities for support in developing proposals? Yes! Proposal development workshops will be held on September 18 and October 4. These will occur in a group setting, over Zoom, and will provide support on topics such as designing a budget, identifying match, and developing project objectives and outputs.
  6. What if I have other questions or need additional help? We’re here to help! Please email if you have questions or would like to meet one-on-one.
  7. Are there any restrictions on what funds can be used for? Funding can not be used to for any of the following:
    -purchase or rent any land
    -purchase, construct, or repair any building, dock, or vessel
    -summer overload for University employees
    -journal publication fees
    -travel to conferences

Funding can be used for short term rental of vessels and meeting/event space used for specific activities that directly support the project.


Images for sharing:



Flyer with a coastal picture of a mountain and details on the Pacific Islands Indigenous Science RFP


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