Call for Research and Outreach Proposals
Effective management of invasive non-native plants on Florida’s public lands and waterways requires science-based policy and methodology. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Invasive Plant Management Section (FWC-IPMS) annually provides funding to scientific researchers in support of the Section’s aquatic and upland plant management programs. Funded projects may vary from basic life-history studies of invasive species to improving invasive plant control methodologies. Specific outreach projects are also funded in order to educate the public, policy-makers, and the media about why invasive plant management is important in Florida. Funded projects in outreach may range from public surveys, economic impacts, and educational programs.
Areas of current interest, but are not limited to, the following:
- Impact of turtles and other aquatic herbivores on submersed vegetation restoration efforts on Lake George
- Examine the difference in impact of invasive plants on ecosystem’s food web with and without management
- What are the causes of rhizome popping of Nuphar advena? (e.g., natural occurrences, management)
- Evaluate restoration techniques (e.g., revegetation) as potential management strategies to prevent regrowth and reinvasion of invasive plants
- Explore methods to improve native submerge aquatic plant species populations (e.g., revegetation, genetic diversity)
- New innovative technologies for management of invasive plants in upland and aquatic ecosystems
- Research and development of biological control agents for Urena lobata (Caesarweed)
- Develop effective and selective control methods within a long-term management strategy for natural areas (may include large-scale restoration) for the following species:
- Arrowleaf elephant’s ear (Xanthosoma sagittifolium)
- Screening agricultural herbicides as alternative treatments for grasses
- Effect of triclopyr on Japanese climbing fern
- Develop innovative methods in engaging the public about invasive plants
- Outreach materials to help non-scientists to understand the potential effects of different aquatic herbicides on native vegetation
Application (please submit through the R&O system):
Research projects moving forward will be funded on a cost-reimbursement basis. Research projects design, collect, analyze, and interpret their results. Deliverables are reports detailing progress on objectives and provide details of data, methods, analysis of results, discussion, take-home messages, and recommendations as appropriate when they become available. If there is an education, outreach, and/or communication component in your research project, it will need to be submitted as a new proposal as a Service project. Deliverable examples for service projects include: photos/images, videos, educational/outreach materials, monitoring data (raw), ecological sampling results, and reports without interpreting their results where these services that can be justified and will benefit the Commission.
Note: Only government agencies and public and accredited universities/colleges are eligible for receiving FWC-IPM Section research/outreach funds.
A typical maximum funding for a year of university-research ranges from $20,000 to $40,000. Collaboration or partnering with other agencies or organizations is encouraged. Keep in mind that the Section has limited funds; cost sharing is encouraged, please provide any outside contributions.
Application (please submit through the R&O system):
Proposals must be submitted through the R&O system to be considered for funding. A copy of the proposal document is required and should be typed and single-spaced. Please review the Proposal Submission Manual for more details on instructions and submission through the R&O system. To be considered for funding, proposals must contain the following elements:
Date, Project Title, & Contact Information: Include name(s) of the investigator(s) or applicant(s), their affiliation, address, phone, cell, and email.
Need for Research/Service: Explain how the proposed work relates to invasive plant management in Florida and list intended target species. Extensive references to background literature are not necessary.
Methods: Your proposal can either be for a research or service project. If your project contains both research and outreach components, you will need to submit two proposals for both components to be considered for funding.
- Research: List the research objectives in bullet format. Succinctly outline the specific activities that will accomplish the research objectives in the project. Research projects design, collect, analyze, and interpret their results. Deliverables are reports detailing progress on objectives and provide details of data, methods, analysis of results, discussion, take-home messages, and recommendations as appropriate when they becomes available.
- Service: list the number and types of services. Service projects have project specific deliverable(s) and do not interpret their results (e.g., education/outreach material, monitoring, survey, ecological testing service, reports without interpreting their results).
- Research: For each fiscal year, projects with annual budget <$20,000 must submit a mid-progress status report (due January) and a final progress status report (due June). Projects with annual budget ≥$20,000 must submit three quarterly status reports and an annual progress report. The annual progress status report is for projects that will not be completed within the fiscal year. A final project report will replace the annual progress status report only in the final year of the project. The status reports will indicate progress toward the objectives and include any preliminary data, results, and take-home messages. The final project report will include data, methods, analysis of results, discussion, take-home messages, and recommendations as appropriate for the entirely of the project. Each project is expected to be presented at the biennial FWC Research Symposium in mid-March 2025 (virtual or central FL).
- Service: Deliverables to be within this fiscal year must be submitted by their completion dates or June 1, 2024, whichever is earlier. Service projects may be presented at the biennial FWC Research Symposium in mid-March 2025 (virtual or central FL).
Timeline: Keep in mind that projects are intended to be short-term (1 to 3 years). Provide a time frame for each proposed objective/service. Please identity each objective/service that will be completed within this fiscal year. Do consider the actual activity time may be shortened within a given year due to the time necessary for establishing a formal contract or task assignment.
Budget - IPM Section funds available for these projects vary from year to year and can be committed only on a yearly basis; thus, projects are evaluated annually for new and continued funding. The Section does not fund capital outlay expenses (computers, vehicles, etc.), or faculty salaries. Administrative overhead is limited to 10%. Keep in mind that the Section has limited funds; cost sharing is encouraged, please list outside contributions. A typical maximum funding for a year of university-research ranges from $20,000 to $40,000.
- Research: Proposals spanning more than one state fiscal year must provide the estimated total cost for each fiscal year. For the current fiscal year, the budget must be broken down by expenditure types (i.e., salaries and fringe benefits, supplies, equipment, travel, contractual costs, and miscellaneous costs).
- Service: Proposals spanning more than one state fiscal year must provide the estimated total cost for each fiscal year. For the current fiscal year, the budget must be broken down by deliverable.
Applicants will be notified by email before June 1, 2023