University of Southern California


NSF-17-524: Management and Operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)

Slots:                                                   1 as Lead Awardee; no limit as a subawardee.               
LOI:                                                    January 18, 2017 5p PT   
Internal Deadline:                        Contact the Office of Research if interested.
External Deadline:                       April 17, 2017, 5pm PT
Award Information:                       

Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 1
Anticipated Amount: $221,000,000 ($44 million for each year of operation).

Submission Process:                    PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:



The OOI consists of an integrated network of cabled and uncabled arrays of instrumentation distributed in various coastal and global ocean locations. Data flow is enabled by an integrated system of hardware and software (“cyberinfrastructure”) that receives, processes, and broadly distributes measurements from over 800 instruments in the fixed and mobile locations comprising the observatory. The OOI is designed to accommodate new instruments to support future work proposed by the user community.

This solicitation seeks the services of a qualified organization or consortium, through a Cooperative Agreement, to provide technical management and, in partnership with an independent board, scientific management and operation of the OOI. The Awardee will work closely with NSF and the scientific community to ensure that OOI capabilities support, sustain, and advance frontier science within available resources. Also, the Awardee will plan and execute a viable, coherent, and inclusive program to support multi-user research and education, consistent with guidance and independent oversight provided by the scientific community.

Through this solicitation, NSF-OCE intends to support Management and Operation of the OOI facility within available resources while maximizing its benefits for the scientific community and other stakeholders. The effort includes a 5-year base performance period with an option for an additional 5 years. Work will be performed in accordance with the prospective Cooperative Agreement and each year’s approved Annual Work Plan (AWP). AWPs to manage and operate all facets of the OOI will include a detailed budget for each task element described below, itemized by expected costs of salaries and fringe benefits, travel, supplies, shipping, communication, ship operations, other contractual services, equipment, other direct costs, etc. The AWP will be consistent with Sea Change recommendations as well as NSF’s reply to Sea Change, and will be capped at a not-to-exceed amount of $44M per year, for each of the 5 years. The Awardee will ensure that planning, executing, and reporting of science operations of the OOI integrates the requirements of NSF with the needs of the associated scientific community and associated stakeholders.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.