Who can apply?

Many different individuals and groups utilize, depend upon, contribute to, function within, and interact with the many unique components of the seafood system in Rhode Island. Proposals will be considered from all seafood system stakeholders, from producers to consumers. Examples of individuals and entities eligible for funding include, but are not limited to:

  1. Seafood industry members, including aquaculture, wild harvest, processing, marketing, shoreside, and customer-facing entities;
  2. Seafood-focused organizations, community groups, and nonprofits across Rhode Island; and
  3. Research, academic, outreach, and extension professionals focused on seafood system topics, including graduate and undergraduate students in Rhode Island academic institutions under the supervision of an academic advisor.

How much funding is available?

The PRESS Initiative has approximately $825,000 available that will be awarded to accepted proposals up until approx. March 2026.

How much can I apply for?

There are two categories of funding available: 1) Feasibility grants and 2) Operational grants. Feasibility grants are short-term projects, with a duration of no more than 1 year and awards can be up to $30,000. Operational grants are longer term, 1-3 years in duration and awards can be up to $50,000 per year. Slightly larger budgets might be considered if there is justification.

What are the deadlines to apply?

Preproposals and recommended full proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Preroposals are reviewed every quarter (4 times per year), starting May 2023. Review turn-around time is within a month and applicants will be notified if their preproposals are recommended for full proposal submittal. The process from preproposal to award (if full proposals are accepted) is approximately 4 months.

I know I need to submit a preproposal first. What needs to be in there?

Yes, a preproposal is required. This allows the reviewers to assess whether the proposed project meets the PRESS Initiative objectives. It also allows the applicant to modify, elaborate, or shift project design to be more responsive to seafood system needs during the full proposal review stage. If you are interested in submitting a preproposal, email Alan Desbonnet ( at RI Sea Grant for access (via email and password) to the eSeaGrant system where preproposals must be submitted. Specific details on what needs to be included in a preproposal are in the RFP on the PRESS website. Overall, reviewers are looking for brief but well thought-out project ideas and design which match the priority areas in the RFP.

If I am invited to submit a full proposal, what needs to be in that?

The PRESS Initiative is designed to be rapid response and help address critical and unexpected issues arising in the Rhode Island seafood sector. Therefore, the PRESS team has tried to design a process that is not overly burdensome and challenging for applicants. Please see the RPF on the PRESS website for specific details about what to include in your full proposal.

If reviewers did not recommend that I submit a full proposal, can I try again later?

Yes. Each preproposal applicant will receive detailed comments from reviewers. These comments are provided, whether or not your preproposal is recommended for a full proposal.The goal is to help you think through ways to create a successful project. If your preproposal was not recommended for a full proposal, but you feel like you can restructure your preproposal to address the comments and suggestions provided by reviewers, then yes, you may re-submit your preproposal at a future submission period (preproposals can be submitted anytime and reviews will be done quarterly).

Who reviews the preproposals and full proposals?

The PRESS Team at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Sea Grant have assembled a group of seafood experts — the PRESS Coordinating Committee — from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, academia, non-profits, and state and federal government representatives. These individuals are very familiar with Rhode Island seafood sectors and developed the funding priorities topics for PRESS. In addition, a subset of the Coordinating Committee reviews preproposals and full proposals. Those individuals who might have a potential conflict of interest in a proposal, recuse themselves from the review. For a full list of those individuals, please see the website:

What if I have questions when writing my preproposal or full proposal? Who do I reach out to?

It is highly recommended that you reach out to the PRESS Team before submitting a preproposal to discuss whether or not your concept meets the funding priorities. Email Marta Gomez-Chiarri ( or Azure Cygler ( to discuss your ideas. It is also recommended that you identify a research partner if you are an industry or community member and that you identify an industry group or partner if you are a researcher or community member. If you are unsure of who might be a fit for your proposed work, the PRESS Team can help pair you with a prospective project partner.

What is DEIJA and how do I include DEIJA in my proposal?

DEIJA stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Access. At URI and Sea Grant, this means celebrating and amplifying the significant and unique contributions of each and every member of the URI community and our partners. URI is deeply committed to cultivating an academic, working, and living environment that promotes inclusive excellence. We have much to learn from one another and URI is dedicated to providing the means to making that happen through policy-making, programming, critical conversations, thoughtful action, and collaboration between administration, faculty, staff, and students. In addition, Sea Grant, a core part of the PRESS organizing team, honors and respects differences in background, experiences, skills, interests, and values. We incorporate core values of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and justice into our daily operations and model these values to advance our mission of improving the understanding and management of coastal and ocean systems.

Our seafood system in Rhode Island is and has always included a diverse group of individuals, groups, and businesses. It is critical that PRESS efforts thoughtfully and effectively respect and include diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and access in their efforts. While detailed descriptions of DEIJA are not required in the preproposals, it is encouraged that applicants give thought and attention to how their efforts might incorporate DEIJA. Full proposals must provide evidence on how the organizations involved in the project will provide employment opportunities to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.