REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: Contract to Provide Applicant Field Liaison Support for the Fisheries Innovation Fund: Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified Contractor to support NFWF’s fisheries programs by providing assistance as a “field liaison” to support applicants and grantees seeking to implement or pilot innovative fisheries conservation concepts across the United States. The contractor would conduct outreach to increase awareness of NFWF’s Fisheries Innovation Fund and Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program, and help applicants overcome barriers to the application process including awareness of the opportunity, knowledge of the grant application process, and identification of relevant partners. These innovations include the use of electronic technologies in fisheries data collection and observation and the improvement of data management infrastructure and processes through the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program (EMR). This support will help to advance the goals of the NFWF’s fisheries program and increase the number, scale, and diversity of qualified proposals to these programs. The contractor will provide support for one-year (with the option to renew for an additional year) and report to Gray Redding, Manager of Fisheries Conservation at NFWF. 


The Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program is administered by NFWF in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under the Fisheries Innovation Fund (FIF). EMR supports fishermen and other stakeholders, state agencies, and Fishery Information Networks working to systematically integrate technology into fisheries data collection and observations as well as streamline data management and data use for fisheries management. EMR nests under the FIF program, which more broadly seeks to foster innovation across numerous areas and support effective participation of fishermen and fishing communities in the implementation of sustainable fisheries in the U.S. FIF attracts proposals that include innovations or innovative practices that reduce bycatch, build fishery capacity for economic and environmentally sustainable fishing communities, support recreational fisheries management, or address other conservation and sustainability challenges these stakeholders may face.

The EMR Grant Program solicits proposals that develop and implement promising electronic technology (ET) such as electronic reporting, electronic monitoring, or related innovations to drive data modernization. These innovations work to improve the timeliness and quality of fisheries data; expand access to and availability of data; increase knowledge of fisheries ET for management, industry and science purposes; improve regional data management systems and data interoperability; and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process. These projects contribute to the goals of the EMR grant program -  1) driving the incorporation of electronic technologies in fisheries data collection and 2) modernizing fisheries data management systems. 

Both EMR and the wider FIF seek projects that explore and pilot new innovations such as electronic technologies, as well projects that seek to implement proven fisheries innovations at the fishing fleet scale or across multiple fishing communities. For more information about EMR and FIF, including descriptions of past projects funded under these opportunities, please visit our website at:

FIF and EMR have a history of success in supporting fisheries as they implement innovations including ET solutions, but NFWF wants to ensure that the opportunities offered by both programs are available to all U.S. fisheries that may benefit from these tools. NFWF hopes to continue growing the number and size of highly meritorious proposals and the number of applicants exploring innovative solutions in their fisheries or regions. To achieve this, the need for effective field support to reach new applicants has become apparent. NFWF seeks a contractor to serve as “field liaison” for EMR and FIF to: (1) help engage new communities and fisheries around the U.S. with the program through face to face and remote outreach, (2) assist prospective applicants in developing high quality competitive proposals that are aligned with NFWF and partners’ priorities, and (3) facilitate communication and development of networks among new and existing grantees to encourage shared learning. 

FIF and EMR are national programs, and a contractor should be prepared to engage and provide outreach and assistance to practitioners throughout U.S. coastal states working on a variety of fisheries innovation and ET issues; however, Offerors should highlight if they have a particular expertise in a certain NOAA Regional Fisheries Management Council footprints or focal areas of fisheries such as data modernization, seafood marketing, or capacity building. FIF and EMR priority fisheries include the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery, the New England groundfish fishery, the West Coast groundfish fishery, and the Alaska halibut and groundfish fisheries, however all U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries are eligible and the program has a strong history of funding non-priority fisheries.  Contractors with experience, relationships and expertise working in these priority regions and with tribes or underserved communities will be prioritized.


To assist in the successful implementation of NFWF fisheries programs, this Request for Proposals (RFP) is seeking a qualified organization or entity to serve as an independent contractor to NFWF with the following qualifications:

  • Three to five years’ experience working directly to support fisheries related programs or initiatives, and particular knowledge of electronic technologies based data collection or management of electronically collected fisheries data preferred. NOAA’s regional electronic technology implementation plan, available here, outlines some current directions for this work.
  • Experience working in a variety of fishing communities, ideally across multiple regions, and advising state, territorial, or tribal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses.
  • Specific experience working with or engaging diverse stakeholder groups, underserved communities, and/or tribal communities.
  • Specific experience providing support and outreach to potential applicant organizations to develop project ideas and troubleshoot application and implementation barriers. 
  • Strong communication experience, including specific experience designing and implementing effective engagement and outreach approaches, convening practitioners, and translating complex information for a variety of audiences with different skill and competency levels.
  • Understanding of federal grant requirements, including terms and conditions associated with federal funding sources.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to flexibly manage and adapt to changing project needs. 
  • Ability to initiate work in Spring 2023. Work will be centered around NFWF’s RFP window for EMR, which is anticipated to occur annually from approximately March to July each year. For the 2023 RFP window, time for outreach ahead of the RFP will be limited, but the need to support prospective applicants will still be present. The 2024 RFP window will allow more time for outreach preparation and implementation beginning in the latter half of 2023.


NFWF seeks a qualified Contractor to develop and implement a work plan designed to grow the footprint and maximize the outcomes of FIF and EMR, which aim to accelerate the adoption of fisheries innovations such as electronic technologies. The following tasks constitute the Scope of Work for this Request for Proposals. The selected Contractor will be expected to work on all tasks described and participate in biweekly check-in calls with NFWF staff throughout the duration of the project period of performance, with some periods requiring less frequent coordination. Please provide time and cost proposals for each task using the Contractor Budget Template provided. NFWF anticipates level of effort not to exceed half-time, a not to exceed cost will be negotiated upon award with the selected Contractor.

  • Task 1: Identify and grow opportunities for new FIF and EMR applicants – Conduct in person and remote outreach to key stakeholder groups and assist potential applicants working in both priority fisheries and other fisheries to help them understand NFWF funding priorities, develop fisheries project concepts, identify potential partnerships, and identify matching funds. As time allows, present on the NFWF fisheries opportunities at selected events and conferences. (Estimated activity period: March – April, 2023; October 2023 – March 2024)
  • Task 2: Troubleshoot challenges with applicants and grantees – Provide assistance to applicants and grantees to help them trouble-shoot potential challenges with project design and the application process (e.g., provide assistance and guidance on the develop of project ideas, budgets, required documents, and application materials). (Estimated activity period: March – May, 2023)
  • Task 3: Promote cross regional collaboration – Assist new and current NFWF grantees in establishing, strengthening, and sustaining regional partnerships and collaborative approaches to advance NFWF’s goals for EMR and FIF. Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and collaborative initiatives among grantees and other partners through webinars and similar events.  Support efforts to distill lessons learned and capture success stories from previous grants by engaging grantees, convening meetings, and sharing success stories. (Estimated activity period: July – October, 2023)


  • Monthly written and ongoing verbal progress reports during busy periods, such as the lead up to the RFP window
  • Final report summarizing lessons learned at contract completion
  • Other deliverables as called for by the proposed Scope or Work and contractor’s proposed technical approach

These deliverables may be expanded or refined during the contract negotiation.


Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinctly labeled and separate documents: 1) Technical Proposal, 2) Budget, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability. E-mail a Word version of your submission to NFWF (Hannah Lam, In the subject line, please indicate Response to RFP for Technical Liaison for FIF and EMR – [name of respondent]. 

Submissions must meet the requirements below: 

  • Technical Proposal (twelve (12) pages total):
    • Format: Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
    • Narrative: Address each item in the “Submission Outline” section, below.  Limit your submission to a maximum of seven (7) pages (not including resumes).  Please limit supplementary materials to only those requested below.  (NFWF may contact respondents as necessary for any additional information.)
    • Resumes: Attach CVs or Resumes of key staff. Please limit attached resumes to no more than five (5) one-page resumes, each a single-sided page. Licenses and other certifications can be noted as part of your submission, but copies are not required at this time. 
  • Budget: Please provide a proposed budget with cost quotes for each Task for your proposed services, include hourly rates for proposed job classifications and, if available, audited overhead rates. The proposed budget should itemize work in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use the attached Contractor Budget Template’s Hourly Rates worksheet. Please highlight any non-profit discounts on the services you provide.  NFWF will not allow any markups for sub-contracts or other direct costs, although project management costs for staff to perform sub-contract management are allowable. NFWF anticipates awarding one contract under this RFP, not to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.
  • Evidence of Financial Stability: The applicant shall provide with the RFP response, proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements, credit ratings, a line of credit, or other financial arrangements sufficient to demonstrate the applicant’s capability to meet the requirements of this RFP.
  • Submissions must be e-mailed no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 9, 2023.


Technical Proposal – Your description, in no more than twelve (12) pages (including resume attachments) of your and/or your organization’s qualifications should include the following elements:

  1. Contact information. Please provide a Primary Contact Person, Entity Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Website, and UEI or SSN    
  2. General Organization Description. Please provide a general description of your organization including practice areas, geographic service areas, approximate number of clients, and length of time in business. If your application includes team members or sub-consultants, please provide the requested profile information for all key personnel and team members, and indicate the lead entity responsible for contract management and quality of deliverables.
  3. Technical Approach. Provide a general description demonstrating your understanding of the goals and objectives of EMR and FIF and the challenges facing these programs’ applicants and grantees, including any geographic differences in approaches and key stakeholders and partners engaging in fisheries ET or other innovation work. Describe the technical approach and overall strategy you would take for implementing the Tasks listed in the Scope of Work. Describe how you will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables. 
  4. Expertise and past experience. Please list the type(s) of services your organization provides relating to the specified Qualifications and your expertise and experience in these areas. Please describe three past engagements conducting similar work for NFWF or other organizations, including the specific tasks and deliverables completed and how those engagements will prepare your team to ensure delivery of quality work, on time and on budget, if awarded this contract. Include contact information (names, emails addresses, and telephone numbers) for three client references relevant to the services described. 
  5. Key staff. Please provide names and brief biographies of key staff. Please describe key staff’s training and experience to successfully implement the Tasks called for in the Scope of Work and relevant to those listed in the Qualifications section.
  6. Team management and quality assurance/ quality control. Describe how the lead entity will manage the team (if applicable). Please describe quality assurance and control procedures that will be used to ensure your team’s work meets professional standards and how invoicing will be performed to ensure contract compliance.
  7. Resumes. You please attach resumes of key staff as appropriate. Please limit attached resumes to no more than five (5) one-page resumes, each a single-sided page. Licenses and other certifications should be noted as part of your submission, but copies are not required at this time.


A panel of NFWF staff will review the full proposals. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award. NFWF expects to only make one contract for this RFP. If multiple institutions are involved in one application, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts.  

Failure to include all materials outlined above may cause a submission to be deemed non-responsive. NFWF will give priority consideration to respondents that demonstrate the following in a fully responsive submission:

  1. Understanding of the Scope or Work. The proposed Technical Approach must demonstrate considerable experience working directly with U.S. fisheries and fishery stakeholders supporting innovative fisheries practices, with specific experience in electronic technologies strongly preferred. The proposed Technical Approach must demonstrate an understanding of EMR and FIF goals and objectives, the data challenges facing grantees and applicants, and the policy landscape affecting data modernization. Weight: 15%
  2. Technical Approach. Offeror should clearly describe their proposed technical approach for successfully implementing the Scope of Work described in the RFP and ensuring the growth of EMR and FIF applicant pools and engagement of new and existing grantees. Weight: 20%
  3. Budget and Cost Effectiveness. Preference will be given to Offerors who can provide high quality services at an affordable cost. Weight: 30%
  4. Qualification of Proposed Personnel and Capacity to Deliver Services. Preference will be given to Offerors that bring a team with the training and experience detailed in the Qualifications section and the requisite experience necessary to successfully implement the Tasks detailed in the Scope of Work. Offerors must demonstrate they have sufficient staff and other resources, a degree of flexibility in how and where services are delivered, and an ability to tailor content and delivery methods to meet the specific needs of NFWF and key stakeholder groups. Preference will be given to Offerors with specific experience engaging or advising representatives from underserved or tribal communities. Weight: 20%
  5. Contractor’s Past Performance. Offerors must demonstrate significant expertise and experience as exhibited by delivery of relevant projects in areas described in this RFP, in consideration of the quality of deliverables, timeliness, cost controls, and client references.  Weight: 15%


January 10, 2023 RFP Released
January 19, 2023 Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF. 
Offerors should submit questions regarding this solicitation via email to Hannah Lam ( NFWF will post all the questions and responses to all questions online so that all offerors have access to them at the same time. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be received by NFWF no later than 5:00 PM on January 19, 2023.
January 24, 2023 NFWF response to questions about the solicitation.
NFWF will post the questions submitted regarding the solicitation and responses on the NFWF website
February 9, 2023 Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals. Proposals must be received electronically as an email attachment to Hannah Lam ( by 11:59 PM EDT on February 9, 2022. Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF.
February and March 2023 Interviews with selected finalists
April 2023 Contract awarded to selected offeror 


Eligible offerors include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments. Small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises are strongly encouraged to apply.

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described herein. In the event an offeror currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the offeror must notify NFWF in writing in the proposal, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the proposal) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the contractor, the contractor’s employees, or the contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise. Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’s future subcontractors in the matter. Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the offeror to reduce or resolve the conflict.  Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award.  
By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the Offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:
Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or 
Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or
Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions instructions can be found here: