Guidelines for requesting seed funding for working groups, training and other initiatives related to ocean observations

Background and Objectives

At their 15th Annual Meeting (Jan 2014), the POGO members decided they needed a more transparent process for allocating support to new or existing projects that approach POGO for support. It was also agreed that POGO would be more effective in advancing ocean observations if it operated through a number of Working Groups dedicated to specific priority areas identified by the members. These must be directly relevant to POGO’s core mission, i.e. sustained, long-term ocean observing systems and shared use of infrastructure, data and information. At the 16th POGO annual meeting (Jan 2015) it was decided that POGO’s funding for training initiatives would be allocated following a similar process, to ensure that the funding is used more effectively to advance POGO’s core mission. In many cases, the selected initiatives will relate to the themes of the parallel workshops conducted during the Annual Meetings (see below).

POGO will allocate, depending on its financial situation, part of its funds to support Working Groups, POGO-led Training Initiatives, and/or support for ocean observing-related initiatives.  It is expected that Working Groups will take advantage of existing meetings and teleconferencing to conduct their business inter-sessionally. Other sources of funding should be used where possible to complement the POGO funds. The proposals should have a short, pre-determined life-span (e.g. 1-3 years).

The proposals should focus on identifying and filling gaps in ocean observations by providing a platform for the members to discuss and produce recommendations for addressing these issues. They may also focus on solutions for improving ocean observations, such as new technologies, novel partnerships and funding sources, and improving data access and visualisation. Proposals for joint Working Groups between POGO and its partner organisations are also welcome.

Procedure and Time Scales

A call for proposals is issued to the members and scientific community once or twice per year, including a template for applicants to complete and submit to the POGO Secretariat. Proposals must be submitted by members of POGO, although members of the Working Groups can be from other institutes if necessary. If a Working Group wishes to continue for a second year, a request for extension must be submitted, using the template provided, by the same deadline as the new proposals.

The timeline for 2020 proposals is as follows:

ActionTime Frame
Secretariat announces opportunity and deadline for proposals2020Early Feb
Proponents inform Secretariat of intent to submit a proposal2020Late Feb
Applications submitted2020Late Mar
Decision by Evaluation Committee and proponents notified of outcome2020Mid May
Second call (if applicable)2020Aug
Funding /endorsement starts2020from 1st Jun
6-month report to POGO members202030th Nov
Request for 2nd year of funding (if required)202131st Mar
Decision on renewal for 2nd year (if requested) by POGO members2021Mid May
1-year WGs:
Final report submitted
2-year WGs:
Interim (18-month) report submitted
202130th Nov
2-year WGs:
Final report submitted
202230th Nov

Evaluation Criteria

A sub-committee of POGO members (who do not have conflicts of interest) will review the proposals, according to a number of criteria, e.g. relevance to POGO’s Strategy and priority areas; timeliness of proposal; adequacy of proposed deliverables and milestones; adequacy of WG/project membership (including geographic and gender balance). For training initiatives, the expected impact of the training and proposed methods for evaluating success will also be taken into account.

The Committee will then decide on the proposal(s) to take forward, depending on the available budget. The availability (or otherwise) of other funding sources should not be a determining factor in the selection process.


The proposal leaders (or nominees) will be required to give presentations on progress at each POGO Annual Meeting. It is anticipated that the POGO Annual Meetings (and Executive Committee Meetings) may also provide opportunities for the Working Groups to meet. Financial and activity reports will need to be submitted within 2 months of the activities having taken place. A final written report will be required at the end of the period of activities. In addition, the leaders will be asked to provide short articles and images for the POGO newsletter, and material for a fact sheet/report card for public dissemination of the outcomes (to be loaded on POGO website).

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