Funding FAQ

To watch our Small Grants information webinar held in June 2024 please click HERE. This provided an overview of the grant application process, gave insight to what the scientific committee is looking for with the questions, and discussed common pitfalls and how to avoid them. This was followed by a Q&A session. Much of the information will also be relevant for Keystone applications.

Do you fund only projects on elasmobranchs?

We do fund some projects that are not focused on sharks, skates and rays and are always interested to hear about other marine subjects. However, such projects should be powerful and well designed, as they will face stiff competition from projects on elasmobranchs.

For the Small Grants, what do you mean by early career scientist?

Applicants are regarded as early career scientists if no more than five years have passed since they were awarded their degree.

For the Small Grants, given my experience in the subject area, am I still required to provide a letter from a supervisor or advisor outlining their experience and confirming their participation as supervisor/advisor?

If you feel that you have sufficient experience (meaning you can demonstrate significant experience in the subject area and/or region) and thus you don’t plan to have a supervisor, please provide the name and contact details of 3 senior referees who will support your application and whom we can, if necessary, approach to ask for their opinion of your project.

I don’t understand what is needed for the supervisor/advisor letter, can you please clarify?

The supervisor/advisor Letter is a document that the advisor writes that they are aware of the project and show their support for it and for you. (It happens that we receive several applications from the same institution and same advisor /supervisor, in this case, we would only select 1 project from that team.)

If I provide two names, my advisor and my co-advisor of my PhD dissertation, I need a letter from both of them or just from one of them?

Only one letter is required.

How do I know if I must provide an applicant’s employer cover letter, signed by the authorising officer of that organisation?

If the applicant is from an institution where they are an employee, their cover letter also needs to be signed off by their employer so we know it’s authorised (or perhaps a second letter of support).

For the Ocean Storytelling Grants, what do you mean by emerging photographers/writers?

Applicants are regarded as emerging photographers if they have no more than five years of professional experience in any photography or writing-related discipline (but must already be committed to the profession).

Does the SOSF fund salaries?

The costs of short-term employees or the short-term extra costs of an individual’s participation in a project may be eligible, if justified. Specialist services (e.g. film editing, laboratory testing, library facilities) may also be eligible. Small grants are permitted to include a modest stipend, as long as the need is fully justified in the application.

Would it be possible to receive additional or more thorough information regarding the fact that the Foundation is not able to pay overheads, administration and handling fees?

Indeed, SOSF will not support projects where an important portion is overhead or admin fees. We want to support the project leader and his/her work.

What if my institution admin fees will partly be used for my project?

SOSF will not agree to support overheads or admin fees for institutions. If these fees are to support the project, then they should be listed on separate lines and explain what it will be used for, so we know we are not supporting the institution’s general administration fees.

Does boat time or renting count as travel ?

No, the boat time for fieldwork is not considered a travel expense. The 10% limit on travel expenses is more for international travel.

Is it necessary for the organisation/institution to have a website? Because our organisation does not have a website but manage social networks.

It is not mandatory to have a website. Please just add the links to the social media and any other links you have that can show your work and provide additional information about your organisation/institution.

When will I know if my Stage 1 application has been successful?

Approximatively 1.5 months after the closure of the application window. If selected, you will then be invited to complete your Stage 2 application on the opening day of the Stage 2 window.

When will I know if my Stage 2 application has been approved?

All grant applications will be reviewed by their respective panels during the last quarter of the year and recommendations will be forwarded to the next SOSF board meeting. The final decision on successful applications should be available by the end of the year for Ocean Storytelling Photography Grants and the first quarter of the following year for Keystone and Small Grants.

We will endeavour to acknowledge all grant applications within 10 days of receipt. SOSF staff may contact applicants if further explanation or information is required, or if there are suggestions or recommendations to amend and improve the project proposal.

When do I receive the funds, if my application is approved?

The funds will be transferred to the applicant or his/her institution in March/April the following year (if you apply in 2022 for a 2023 grant, you receive the grant in 2023).