Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award

In remembrance of Vembu Subramanian – our friend and colleague – Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) is establishing an award for the next generation of ocean experts. Proposals are due 5:00 PM ET on March 23, 2018.*

PDF of Announcement


About Vembu Subramanian

Vembu Subramanian lived a life dedicated to uplifting others. While hired at SECOORA for his technical skill, Vembu’s true strength was his interpersonal skill, as reflected by his unofficial job title – Social Chairman. If you had the chance to meet him, you will have been touched by his sincerity, his ethics, as well as his laughter and genuine kindness. Vembu had a deep passion to help others and loved working with students, acting as their mentors.


SECOORA is continuing Vembu’s mentoring legacy and helping the next generation of ocean experts by sponsoring an annual award of up to $2500.

This annual award can support one undergraduate student, graduate student, or early career professional for a research project or to present at a professional meeting in a marine science field relevant to SECOORA.


Request for Applications/Proposal

The award period is one year (approximately May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019). To ensure consideration for this award, applicants must submit a proposal that does not exceed four pages in 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.

Proposals must contain the following:

  • Title Page, including student and major professor names and contact information, the name of the university and academic department, and address. For early career professionals, please include contact information, job title, name of company/institution, and hire date. Title page should include a short (1 paragraph) project abstract.
  • Project Description including: rationale and relevance of the project or meeting participation to the SECOORA mission and to SECOORA stakeholders; geographic extent of the project; and, SECOORA observing assets, models, or data products, if any, that are part of the project or that will be included in the professional meeting presentation.
  • Outcomes, Deliverables and Expected Results, including clearly defined Tasks and a Timeline to complete the tasks and how the results will be disseminated.
  • Materials and Methods, including methods to evaluate the success of the project or meeting participation.
  • Partners: A clear listing of partners and their role(s) in the project, if any.
  • A Budget and Budget Justification. Funds may be used for any purpose related to the project or professional meeting. University overhead charges are not permitted, nor is any support for the faculty sponsor. Matching funds or in-kind support is not required.

The following are proposal elements that do NOT count towards the four-page limit:

  • The proposal may contain a Literature Cited page
  • Applicants must include a current CV or resume.
  • For undergraduate and graduate students, a signed letter of support from their major professor is required. For early career professionals, a letter of support from their hiring manager/supervisor is required.
  • A Data Management Plan is required for projects that include the generation of new environmental data. This plan must describe the data being collected, including temporal and spatial resolution, how the data will be processed, and the timeline for sharing the data with SECOORA.


An eligible applicant is any student or early career professional studying or working at a SECOORA member organization.

Students must be enrolled towards a degree in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program and must have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Students must be enrolled at a SECOORA member institution.


Early career professionals are those that have been working less than five years from their college graduation date and he/she must be working at a SECOORA member institution.

Submission Guidelines

Applicants should submit:

  1. Proposal package no later than 5:00 PM ET on March 15, 2018
  2. Graduate and undergraduate students must submit a transcript.
  3. Completed SECOORA endorsement form by College/University sponsored programs office or company business office.

Please submit the entire application package electronically in PDF format no later than 5:00PM ET on March 23, 2018 (date has beed extended) to Abbey Wakely ( and cc Jennifer Dorton (

Application/Proposal Review Process and Terms

  1. Proposal package is due by 5:00PM ET on March 15, 2018.
  2. SECOORA will convene a 3-person review panel, which will include non-conflicted SECOORA members. The review panel will rank proposals based on their relevance to SECOORA’s mission and stakeholder needs and adherence to the instructions provided in this request for proposals.
  3. The review panel will review the submitted proposals and recommend recipient of the award no later than April 18, 2018.
  4. All work must be completed no later than one year after receiving the award.
  5. Upon completion, the successful applicant must provide a final report to SECOORA.

Award Funding

The successful applicant will be notified no later than April 18, 2018. Funding will be distributed by SECOORA. For a graduate and undergraduate student recipient, funds will be managed by the awardee’s major professor, who must agree to serve as principal investigator on the project. Funding for early career professionals will be distributed to the applicant as a subcontract from SECOORA.

This is an open and competitive process. SECOORA reserves the right to reject any and all applications/proposals received as a result of this process. SECOORA reserves the right to request that applicants make modifications to proposals at any time before an award is made.

Questions Regarding Application Solicitation

For any questions related to this fellowship, please contact Abbey Wakely (  Good-faith efforts will be made to answer as many questions as possible, but an answer is not guaranteed for every question.


The SECOORA region encompasses Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  This opportunity enables recipients to become familiar with SECOORA’s mission and objectives, US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), and related marine scientific and technological programs.

SECOORA is one of the eleven coastal ocean observing regional associations partnered with the US IOOS. SECOORA sustains and advances coastal and ocean observing, modeling, and data management subsystems for the US southeast coastal and ocean waters. SECOORA supports: maintenance and operation of in-situ real-time ocean moorings and High Frequency (HF) radar observational networks from North Carolina to West Florida; a multi-scale, multi-resolution modeling subsystem that delivers model data and products for coastal resource and emergency response managers and other users; and, has established a robust data management and communications infrastructure. SECOORA is IOOS certified, and implementing the US IOOS recommended standards that promote interoperability, discovery, efficient data aggregation, access, sharing, visualization, and use of coastal ocean data (physical, chemical, biological and geological). Information products are made available to stakeholders and decision makers via the SECOORA data portal. SECOORA’s website provides a central hub for access to our communication, education, and other content materials as well as our data, model and maps portal.