Funding Actionable Coastal Resource Management Research

Caitlin Young, NOAA RESTORE Science Program

17 January 2020

Federal funding plays a vital role in shaping research priorities and restoration practices in coastal resource management. How federal funders frame their proposal priorities and administer grants shapes the resultant research results, and consequentially ripples into the practices of smaller funders at the state and local level. Yet there are no guidelines for funding actionable science, and funders struggle to ensure that results from research investments will be incorporated into the resource management decision making process. This presentation keys in on four areas where funding agencies can incentivize science to action, also known as co-production. These include 1) solicitation elements, 2) proposal review process, 3) implementation support, and 4) evaluation and learning. Drawing examples from funding cycles run by the NOAA RESTORE Science Program, we will present how an increasing emphasis on co-production in these four areas has led to innovation in uptake of funded project results by natural resource managers. In addition, funders can use their convening authority to promote co-production outside of an individual funding opportunity. We will present results from a pilot co-production workshop, which the NOAA RESTORE Science Program convened to build co-production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico. Altogether this work depicts how a funding program can make a multi-pronged investment in science co-production.
About Us: The NOAA RESTORE Science Program was established in 2012 by the RESTORE Act with Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill penalty monies. The Science Program’s mission is to carry out research, observation and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, fish stocks, fish habitat and fisheries.