This page is designed to provide information about what Coastal Fund will and will not consider in a funding request. For information about Coastal Fund’s application form and process, please see the Grant Funding page. To check major and minor grant application deadlines, see the Funding Cycles page. We also have a page of Applicant Resources that provides a great deal of information on the logistics of applying to Coastal Fund. Contact coastalfund(at)as.ucsb.edu with any questions.
The Coastal Fund is bound by its mission to connect people and the environment by allocating funds to programs that celebrate, explore, and protect the coastal ecosystems in and around the University of California, Santa Barbara. We fund projects and programs that align with our core values of community, exploration, joy, opportunity, protection and trust. Applicants should demonstrate a strong connection between their proposal, the Coastal Fund mission statement and values, and our local coastal ecosystems.
Who We Fund
Coastal Fund grant applications must be submitted in connection with a UCSB affiliated department, registered non-partisan nonprofit, or government agency. Registered UCSB student organizations may apply to Coastal Fund but cannot receive funding for stipends or student wages and may be subject to additional stipulations based on AS financial policy; student org requesters should email sarahs(at)as.ucsb.edu before applying to verify that their request meets requirements. Unaffiliated individuals cannot apply for funding.
Size of Award
While Coastal Fund does not set a limit on the amount of funding an applicant may request, applicants should note that we typically allocate approximately $180,000 amongst approximately 20 approved applications each quarter and most projects funded through our Major Grant program range from $3,000 to $15,000. We often provide partial funding so that we can support more programs.
Coastal Fund considers requests for coastal-related projects or programs based in the Santa Barbara region and watershed. We generally define this as the area between Point Conception and the southern edge of Santa Barbara County, and from the peaks of the Santa Ynez mountains to the northern Channel Islands (typically not including Catalina). We fund terrestrial projects that impact the coastal environment (for example, the protection of creeks that flow to our coast or vegetation restoration that mitigates fire damage and sediment flow) as well as projects at the shoreline, in the channel, and on the northern Channel Islands.
Repeat Funding and Project Overlap
Coastal Fund allows repeat funding for ongoing programs. For ongoing or repeating projects (such as an internship that occurs every quarter), applicants should submit a request once per year rather than requesting smaller amounts of funding each cycle. Applicants may submit more than one proposal per grant cycle and may have more than one grant active at once provided that each is a distinct and separate project or program. If we have a large number of proposals we may de-prioritize student applicants who have received funding from Coastal Fund in the past; we do this in order to give as many students as possible the opportunity and CV-enhancing experience of receiving a funding award.
We do not approve new funding for an ongoing program until the previous Coastal Fund funding allocation for that program is complete, though applicants may apply for funding during the cycle in which they will complete the previously approved grant in order to prevent funding gaps (for example, an applicant who will spend all previously approved funds at the end of June may apply for the spring grant cycle April deadline, because the request will not be reviewed, approved and processed until June). We very rarely approve additional funds for an active and approved project unless the additional expense could not have been overseen by the project leader.
UCSB Student Involvement
Coastal Fund’s budget comes entirely from UCSB student fees and we therefore highly value student involvement in funded projects and/or projects that benefit our student population. We encourage students to take the lead on writing and submitting proposals for projects they are leading; while we ask that students list their project advisor this is because we want to ensure the student has adequate support and mentorship and that the proposal fits within department and campus policies. We do not give extra weight to proposals submitted by faculty members. At the same time, we strongly discourage PIs from pushing undergraduates to be the public face of projects the undergrad is not actually leading due to the perception that doing so will increase the likelihood of approval from Coastal Fund.
We believe that students should be compensated for their time working on funded projects, and we strongly discourage program models that require students to prove themselves or their commitment by volunteering before they are eligible for a paid position. We want to ensure that as many students as possible have an opportunity to get involved in science and their community, and there will be no penalty to funding recipients that need to extend or rework a project because of opening an opportunity to an inexperienced student that turned out not to be the right fit.
Those paid as students must be currently or very recently enrolled at UCSB, and may be paid via hourly wage or stipend. Applicants should consult with their department or agency HR director to determine which is best suited for the position. Unfortunately, registered UCSB student organizations cannot receive funding for stipends or student wages; please contact us with questions. If a student has already worked on the project while enrolled at UCSB, Coastal Fund will support their work for up to one academic quarter after they graduate. Students that continue working for more than one quarter past graduation are considered staff and should be listed in the proposed budget as such.
Supplies and Equipment
Coastal Fund accepts funding requests for supplies (items that are consumed during the project, such as lab chemicals, volunteer snacks, or brochures). Equipment (durable items that last beyond the life of the project) needs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should clearly explain why the requested equipment is necessary for the project and describe the equipment’s use after the project is completed.
Staff Time and Oversight
Coastal Fund accepts funding requests for staff time and especially values staff and researchers that are able to serve as mentors to involved students. Staff funding requests should provide an estimated number of hours or percentage of time required to accomplish project objectives. Staff time may include staff directly overseeing the project as well as administrative staff support and (if applicable) development staff time spent on grant writing and follow up reporting.
Coastal Fund does not provide funding for events through Major or Minor grants. Those looking for event funding should submit a Co-Sponsorship request.
Coastal Fund currently approves funding for up to one year at a time. Because Coastal Fund’s application review process takes one full academic quarter and funds cannot be approved for expenses that have already occurred, applicants seeking funding beginning in summer should apply to our spring grant cycle, those seeking funding for spring should apply in winter, and so on. Coastal Fund does not consider funding requests during summer, so those looking for funding for fall should apply in the spring grant cycle.