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Guidelines for Marine Meteorology and Space Weather Planning Letters

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Marine Meteorology and Space Team recognizes that the preparation of a full proposal is a time-consuming and often costly proposition for the investigator. Therefore, before a full proposal is written, investigators are encouraged to write and submit concise planning letters. Planning letters allow investigators to submit their ideas in confidence for program officers to evaluate, provide technical feedback and offer some indication of the likelihood of success for a full proposal based on program interests and priorities. Investigators who are invited to submit full proposals are reminded that the invitation to submit does not represent a commitment to fund the proposal.

Planning letters should include:

  • Contact information for the principal and co-investigators, including a full mailing address, email address and phone number for each.
  • A synopsis of no more than five pages for the proposed research project (not including references, CV’s or cost estimates), including a rationale, questions and/or hypotheses to be addressed, the methods to be used, and anticipated results. This should be comparable to an executive summary of a full proposal, and a description of the role of each investigator should also be included in the five-page summary.
  • Investigators should focus on what is new, groundbreaking or potentially transformative about the proposed research. At this juncture, investigators are not required to address the relevance of the proposed research to the Navy.
  • No more than one page describing the estimated budget, with approximate cost per year - any major equipment procurements or unusual costs (e.g., ship, aircraft, computer) should be identified. Budgets should be submitted by Fiscal Year, rather than Academic or Calendar Year. Typical awards are no more than two to three years in the Base effort, with any additional support requests as Options.
  • Up to one page of relevant references to the literature.
  • A one-page biographical sketch for each investigator, with a focus on research activities and publications relevant to the proposed research.

Planning letter files for core program support should use this naming convention: LASTNAME_322MM_CORE_FYXX.

Planning letter files for special initiatives such as Departmental Research Initiatives (6.1) or Tech Candidates (6.2) should be named LASTNAME_322MM_AAA_FYXX where AAA is the name of the special initiative and the XX is replaced by the Fiscal Year in which the grant will potentially start.

All planning letters should be submitted as PDF files no later than July 1 for Oct-Dec starts by e-mail to Drs. Daniel Eleuterio (, Joshua Cossuth (, and Katherine Mulreany (

Please include "Planning Letter" and your last name in the subject line.