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Northeast Cooperative Research Program Funding

The Northeast Cooperative Research Program funds projects which are selected competitively and carried out through contract agreements. Research priorities are drawn from the strategic plan, developed with the fishery management councils or committees, or specified by Congress.

When funds are available, we seek partners through the federal contract system with what's called a "contract solicitation"-a request for interested applicants to submit projects for consideration. This may be for research to be conducted outside of NOAA, for additional vessels in the Northeast Cooperative Research Program Study Fleet, or for Northeast Fisheries Science Center projects that work with fishing vessels and their crews.

Formal contract solicitations such as these are published on the website Federal Business Opportunities. We also distribute notices of the solicitations through our regional e-mail lists of interested parties, and postings on our website. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, please email us at

Each contract solicitation includes detailed information about the research priorities or programs for which we are seeking applicants, and instructions on how to submit a proposal or quote. Some solicitations call for fully developed proposals for research to be conducted by outside partners, while others ask for vessel resumes and price quotes for internally-led projects.

All contract solicitations are competitive. Each proposal or quote received is thoroughly reviewed for technical and fishery management implications. If necessary, negotiations can be held with prospective partners to clarify proposals and/or budgets. If selected, the applicant then enters into a formal contract to complete the work and specify products to be delivered, such as progress and final reports.

To compete for and enter into a contract with the Northeast Cooperative Research Program, all applicants must have a DUNS number, be in the federal contractor registry, and be certified through the government's online representations and certifications system. There are no fees for obtaining these items in order to participate in our competitions and awards. If you need help with these online systems, please contact our Cooperative Research specialists at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center:

  • A DUNS Number: The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is widely used to assign a unique, random, numeric identifier to a single business entity. To get a DUNS number, Call 1-866-705-5711, or visit It usually takes about 10 minutes to get a DUNS number by phone, and about one to two -2 business days to obtain one through the website.
  • Central Contractor Registration: If you are selected in a competition, you will also need to complete the federal government's Central Contractor Registration (CCR). This is the online, official, registrant database for the U.S. Government. Federal agencies use the CCR is to find small businesses that are available and willing to take government contracts, and to make it easier to pay them for contracted work.
  • Online Representations and Certifications Application: Government contractors are also required to certify their business representations with the Online Representations and Certifications Application system. This database collects and stores descriptive information about a business-for example its size, cost accounting standards, past debarments, and ownership. It interfaces with CRR and is intended to simplify recordkeeping and transactions between the government and a contractor.

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