Rhode Island Endeavor Program

The state-supported RI Endeavor Program provides Rhode Islanders with direct access to the scientific research and educational capabilities of R/V Endeavor. As part of the RI Endeavor Program, educators are provided sea-going research experiences through the RI Teachers-at-Sea Program.


Since 2005, the State of Rhode Island’s annual budget has allocated $500,000 for support of operations and programs to benefit the Research Vessel Endeavor. Under the leadership and administration of the dean’s office at the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), this important state funding maintains the Rhode Island Endeavor Program (RIEP). The Research Vessel Endeavor, which is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has been operated and managed by University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography since 1976 under a cooperative agreement with NSF. The ship is also a member of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).  The purpose of the RIEP is to provide University of Rhode Island’s researchers and RI’s educators access to the scientific research and educational capabilities of an ocean-going research vessel. To this end, the dean has constituted a “Rhode Island Endeavor Program Committee” to provide advice and guidance on the administration of the RIEP funds.  The committee comprises University of Rhode Island oceanographic researchers, staff members, and other subject matter experts appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography. This committee serves the function of conducting the peer review process, advising the dean, and facilitating the call for RIEP proposals.  The RIEP committee recommends projects for support and the GSO dean makes final funding decisions.


Maritime prominence and the importance of scientific discovery is integral to Rhode Island’s culture and history. Since the founding of the URI Narragansett Marine Laboratory in 1936, and then reorganized as the Graduate School of Oceanography in 1961, this campus has played an international leading role in advancing oceanography and ocean engineering. The Rhode Island Endeavor Program underscores Rhode Island’s commitment to maintaining a strong program in marine research and education.  This state support is critical to the enhancement of scientific marine research and advancements in marine technology, education, and training. The RIEP is the state’s first direct financial support for the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) research vessel, R/V Endeavor. This important state support enables the state’s scientists, engineers, educators, and students an additional funding mechanism to access a well-equipped, multi-purpose ocean-going research vessel.


RIEP accomplishes several goals. First, it provides Rhode Island’s oceanographers and teachers with another program to submit proposals to achieve sea time aboard the R/V Endeavor. As a direct result, the vessel has been used for teacher training activities and as a catalyst for developing cutting edge technology. Second, the Program fosters and sustains new partnerships in the state involving a range of academic and educational institutions, industry, and other non-governmental organizations.  Third, the Program establishes a foundation of state support that demonstrates to federal funding agencies Rhode Island’s continued interest in and commitment to operating a large marine research vessel based at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography. As fleet renewal activities continue for the US academic research fleet, having the State of Rhode Island help in supporting this ship and marine program is critical for maintaining a vibrant and sustainable marine program.

Programmatic Focus

The RIEP enhances GSO’s marine program by providing valuable funding for days at sea for scientific marine research, education, and technical training that requires a sea-going platform. It assists in helping the R/V Endeavor operate closer to the ship’s full optimal schedule. It also enables GSO to acquire special equipment or to modify the vessel and affiliated facilities to improve overall capabilities. The program encourages activities that promote partnerships, such as developing new technologies for research and industrial applications.

Opportunities to participate in RIEP are openly announced, and the procedure for prioritizing and selecting projects is presented on GSO’s website. Any proposal to use the R/V Endeavor must: (a) contain a research, educational, and/or development component; (b) present an operational plan that is consistent with US Coast Guard and University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System rules and regulations.  Requests For Proposals (RFP) address evaluation criteria, and the RIEP Committee uses this criteria to score and rank the RFP responses. Following evaluation and prioritization of the projects, the RIEP committee presents recommendations to the GSO dean who makes final decisions on support for projects and is ultimately responsible for expenditure of RIEP funds.

Request for Proposals

Rhode Island Endeavor Program (RIEP) – Call for Proposals

Download RIEP Cruise Proposal Form (.docx)

Cruise details: The following information is provided to assist with proposal preparation:

  1. Particular emphasis will be placed on the likelihood of using state support to leverage external funding;
  2. For GSO cruises, $500.00 per day is available for miscellaneous expenses; and
  3. Cruises of up to six days in duration will be considered for scientific, educational, outreach or combinations thereof.

Proposal Format:
Proposals must be no longer than seven pages, including figures, tables, and a brief CV of the lead proposer. Please submit your proposals as a .pdf file using the Proposal Format for RIEP Cruises on Endeavor. A call for proposals will be sent each spring.

Information about the R/V Endeavor or details on the ship’s schedule can be obtained from Matt Cavaco, Coordinator of GSO Marine Logistics at mcavaco@uri.edu.

RIEP Advisory Committee

Jim Yoder Professor Emeritus / URI-GSO & RIEP Committee Chair
Linda Barrett URI Director of Budget and Financial Planning
David Smith Associate Dean of Academics / URI-GSO
Isaac Ginis Professor of Oceanography / URI-GSO
John Riendeau Director of Business Devel.  / Rhode Island Commerce Corp.
Bob Weygand Former VP Administration & Finance / URI Lecturer
Candace Oviatt Professor of Oceanography / URI-GSO