Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement Research Award

Additional Ventures is partnering with Ocean Visions and a consortium of philanthropic funders to invite applications from scientific teams to systematically assess whether OAE can safely, permanently, and cost-effectively sequester atmospheric CO2 at scale.

This request for proposals (RFP) marks the launch of the Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement R&D Program to determine whether there are responsible and cost-effective ways to deploy OAE at scale.

Who Fits

  • Research organizations anywhere in the world (universities, national labs, other independent research institutes, including consortia of multiple organizations) are invited to apply.
  • To qualify you must be a non-profit entity or otherwise willing and able to receive charitable contributions for this work.  If you have any questions about this please contact Antonius Gagern at antonius@additionalventures.org.
  • Research must be centrally and actively managed by the Principal Investigators (PIs). Researchers should be accountable to PIs through contractually formalized reporting lines.
  • All researchers, with the exception of select senior advisors, should allocate at least 50 percent of their total time to this project (including all academic duties).

What Fits

We are seeking concise pre-proposals describing a multi-year research agenda to systematically assess the conditions under which OAE approaches can safely and permanently sequester atmospheric CO2 at scale.

Pre-proposals should clearly articulate the highest priority questions facing the testing and development of OAE approaches, such as the range of suitable alkalinity sources, effective pathways of alkalinity deployment, the environmental impacts (beneficial and adverse) over the range of relevant spatial and temporal scales, and quantification of the net amounts and long-term stability of the CO2 removal (CDR) after accounting for relevant Earth system feedbacks. The proposed effort should cover the full observational, experimental, and modeling expertise needed to do this.

More Information

See Frequently Asked Questions below.

Partners

Award Amount
At least $10 million to be utilized over five (5) years

 

Deadlines

Informational Webinar:
February 10, 8 AM PT

 

Pre-proposals due:
February 25, midnight PT

 

Invitations for full proposals:
March 25

 

Full proposals due:
June 3, midnight PT

 

Funding decision:
Early July 2022

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Team and Team Structure

What is the time requirement for Principal Investigators and core staff?

UPDATE: Based on feedback from potential applicants, we are reducing the time requirement for PIs and core staff from 80% to 50%. If necessary, PIs and core staff may take up to a year to ramp up to this level. While 50% is the minimum eligibility requirement, larger time commitments are preferred. Proposals should specify time commitments for all PIs and core staff and also detail their other time commitments.

What does it mean for the research effort to be “centrally managed by PIs”?

We believe this effort will be most successful if the lead PIs manage all participants’ work and hold them accountable.

Can one person be on multiple proposals?

Yes, but there should be a clearly stated justification, especially for principal Investigators.

What is your approach on diversity, equity, and inclusion?

We seek a diverse applicant pool and strongly encourage applications from diverse teams and candidates of all backgrounds. Finalists will be expected to detail their DEI approach in the full proposal.

How can applicants connect with each other to submit joint pre-proposals?

Feel free to use this shared doc to let other potential applicants know that you would like to join a team or add individuals to your team.

Should pre-proposals describe how the research team will engage with other OAE stakeholders (e.g. companies, environmental NGOs, coastal communities)?

No. But applicants will need to do so in their full proposals.

Can an ocean CDR company be the lead applicant on a proposal?

The project should be led by a research institution, but ocean CDR companies may apply as supporting partners.

Funding and Overhead

Where is the money coming from?

This research award is part of the Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement R&D Program, which is supported by Additional Ventures and several philanthropic partners.

What is your policy for institutional overhead or indirect costs?

The research award will follow Additional Ventures’ guidance and policy for indirect costs.

Is it a plus if I can contribute in-kind staff or equipment to this project?

It depends. It is a plus if it reduces the project budget or enables a team to hit the ground running faster. But in-kind resources can be a minus if they impede project execution (e.g., if they interfere with public data sharing or if legacy staff are written into a proposal despite lacking relevant skills). If you plan to contribute in-kind resources to the project, please highlight and outline the implications.

Will research vessel time be covered?

All costs should be listed in the budget table of the proposal. Ship costs should be included if they are justified and crucial to the success of the project.

Deliverables, Data Sharing, and Reporting

What deliverables should the project produce?

Deliverables will likely include concise progress updates, research plans, frequent publication of findings in the form of primary data sets, and papers.

What will be the relationship between funders and researchers once the project has started?

There will be ongoing engagement between the funders and the research team to advance the goals of the OAE R&D Program.

Can you explain more about the data sharing requirement in the RFP?

We will work with the awardees to develop a data sharing and communications strategy that allows the broader research community to benefit from their insights in real-time without compromising their ability to publish peer-reviewed papers.

Permitting

Given permitting challenges, do you expect the research team to conduct field work?

Yes. But we recognize that many teams may not be able to identify test beds at this stage.

Do applicants need to identify test beds in their pre-proposals?

No. But applicants who already have access to test beds should note this. 

Will you provide test beds for the winning research team to use?

We hope to establish test beds for awardees and other ocean CDR practitioners in the near future. Location, timing, and other details are still unknown.