Funding Guidelines

The Coastal Fund (CF) is created and funded by the students at the University of California, Santa Barbara in order to preserve and enhance the ecological integrity of the coastal habitats at the University. Given this charge, the CF seeks to provide the financial impetus for research, restoration, and educational projects that are in agreement with the CF’s Mission Statement.

Proposed projects must seek to advance the Coastal Fund’s Mission as defined in the CF Mission Statement and show a clear nexus to the UCSB shoreline area. Applications are welcomed from public and private entities seeking to carry out the proposed project within the shoreline of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Additionally, applicants may propose projects pertaining to shoreline areas within the Santa Barbara region if a significant relevance to UCSB’s shoreline and the CF Mission Statement can be demonstrated (educational benefit to UCSB student body). If you have received funding in the past, in order to be in good standing, you must have submitted a final report of your previous project to be eligible for additional funds.


  • Projects that seek to conserve, and PRESERVE the biodiversity and ecological integrity of our shoreline.
  • RESTORATION projects that seek to restore, conserve, and protect coastal areas and associated habitats. This also includes trash removal projects.
  • RESEARCH projects that study aspects of the coastal flora and fauna, ecological community dynamics, or coastal processes of the shoreline areas associated with UCSB that seek to maintain a healthy beach system. Preference is given to applied research that focuses on conservation and protection of coastal areas and the development of solutions. Research proposals must have an applied research component whereby the results will have some significance to preserving or enhancing the coast. Project must meet 3 of the criteria below to be eligible:
    1. Project involves training undergraduate students in research techniques (internships).
    2. Project addresses a coastal issue (e.g. pollution) and benefits a greater community (not just individual graduate student work).
    3. Project educates a greater community about coastal preservation
    4. Project will be conducted on UCSB property or close proximity.
    5. Address the CF mission in preserving or enhancing the UCSB coast directly.
    6. Results can be used to enhance local coastal resources.
  • EDUCATIONAL projects that educate and inform the community about the biological diversity and ecological processes found in the coastal areas of UCSB. This includes, but is not limited to, funding field trips, enhancement of coastal areas for educational purposes, and obtaining educational materials that apply directly to the study of these areas for the benefit of the public or the students of U.C. Santa Barbara. Priority given to programs that are directly applied, unique, and involve local issues.
  • Projects that seek to improve safe, low impact ACCESS to resources associated with the shoreline of UCSB. The CF supports the balance of environmentally sensitive habitat areas with the need for safe access areas.

More Specifics

  • The CF grants awards for up to two quarters of funding per award.
  • Joint submissions to multiple funding sources are encouraged and should be noted in the proposal.
  • Some larger scale projects may warrant consecutive renewals. Project proposals submitted with this intent should note such intent in the proposal.
  • All projects accepted for funding by the CF Board must be reviewed by the UCSB Associated Students Legislative Council before final approval.
  • Recipients of awards must sign and complete a “Grant Agreement” before funds will be administered (provided by the grants manager).
  • Recipients will be responsible for CF Guidelines.
  • Funds are awarded no later than the beginning of the UCSB academic quarter following the quarter in which CF approval was made.
  • The CF Board of Directors does not meet during the summer quarter, therefore renewals for some projects will warrant special circumstances to be decided by the Board of Directors.
  • Applicants may be requested to attend a regular scheduled meeting to answer specific questions from the Board and public. Please bring a copy of your proposal with you to this meeting as reference.
  • Applicants will be contacted by the Grants Manger to schedule a meeting date or notice the status of the proposal once reviewed.
  • Additional supplemental materials (maps, sample brochures, etc) may be submitted in the mailed copy.
  • Application Funding Awards are notified at the end of the academic quarter applied. Check will be issued the first week of the following academic quarter. Special circumstances in which funding is needed sooner or application deadlines cannot be made will be considered by the CF Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis.

Internship Guidelines

The Coastal Fund supports projects that promote unique, hands-on learning opportunities in the form of internships for enrolled UCSB students. Coastal Fund encourages projects to utilize internships that provide course credit through a UCSB department as well as paid internships, but a student may not receive both payment and course credit for the same internship for a given quarter. Paid internships must constitute genuine learning opportunities and contribute to the overall success of the project. Some examples of valuable internships include research, outreach, and education, restoration, water quality or species monitoring, and project planning and coordination.

As a response to the state’s recent increase in the minimum wage by 12%, the Coastal Fund has respectfully increased the undergraduate and graduate student stipend rates. Coastal Fund now provides UCSB undergraduate students $375 per quarter as a moderate form of compensation in addition to the learning opportunity, with an expectation of intern-related work totaling at least 50 hours throughout the quarter. Grants for internship stipends are reserved for currently enrolled UCSB students. Currently enrolled graduate students are provided $450.00 per quarter as a moderate form of compensation.  As an exception, UCSB students who graduate in June are eligible for internships during the summer immediately following graduation. However, such students may not continue their internship into the fall.  On occasion there may be exceptions to this amount of funding, including factors such a substantial amount of additional work and/or unique experience requirements.

Student Worker Guidelines

In some cases, the Coastal Fund supports projects that may require workers for various activities, and prefers to reserve worker positions for currently enrolled UCSB students. Worker positions are different than intern positions in that there are fewer responsibilities given to the student. Workers are paid on an hourly basis. As a general rule, student workers receive $11.00 per hour though specific skills and experience may allow for a higher rate of pay. Coastal Fund also funds “fringe benefits” for UCSB student workers to cover certain administrative costs, workers’ compensation, et cetera; these benefits are calculated at 3.1% of the hourly wage and should be included as a budget line item.

Staff Oversight Guidelines

The Coastal Fund recognizes that both student interns and student workers require a degree of staff oversight and guidance to help with the learning process and project success. In some cases, Coastal Fund may provide funds for this. Compensation rate and time is dependent on a number of factors. Key general limitations are hourly compensation and the ratio of student hours to supervision time. Although funds may be secured for oversight, Coastal Fund does not consider general staff compensation, with very rare exceptions.