Call for Proposals

eDNA Emerging Areas & Commercialization Seed Grants

Maine’s iconic coastline is one element of a complex macrosystem linking inland lakes and rivers to the sea through watersheds, estuaries, and nearshore coastal waters to the open Gulf of Maine. The overarching hypothesis of Maine-eDNA is that we can transform our understanding of the ecological dynamics and sustainability of Maine’s coastal macrosystem through innovations in environmental DNA (eDNA) science that unlock new spatiotemporal and taxonomic scales of inference.

One of the objectives of the Maine-eDNA project is to encourage valuable contributions from researchers in emerging areas of eDNA technology and its application to marine ecosystem monitoring. We seek one-year seed grant proposals to be reviewed and awarded on a competitive basis, with total project costs up to $20,000 (Option-1), and the potential for an additional $20,000 of matching funds from MTI for applications targeting eDNA relevant commercialization activities (Option-2). We anticipate awarding funding for two projects per year for the next three years, contingent upon funding. 

Institutions and individuals associated with Maine-based research organizations, companies and community organizations are eligible to apply. Early career researchers and entrepreneurs are particularly encouraged to apply, as are individuals from groups who are underrepresented in STEM (women, persons with disabilities, blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians).

Research priority areas for include are: 

  • Priority area 1 – Environmental DNA Technologies: Includes sampling technologies, molecular tools, novel detection methods, bioinformatic tools, data management and visualization technologies. Technologies that advance  widespread needs in the field, emerging environmental monitoring needs, and/or community participation and well-being are strongly encouraged. 
  • Priority area 2 – Sustainable Seafood and Seaproducts: Includes ways that eDNA can improve sustainability and economic value of  seafood products, whether aquacultured or harvested. Could include eDNA for improved aquaculture practices (e.g., farm siting), reducing harvest bycatch, improving seafood safety (e.g., pathogen testing), seafood traceability, that benefit Maine’s marine fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Deadline is December 9, 2020. For More information and grant requirements please download the pdf below. Propsals can be sent to: