COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program

COAST promotes research and education to advance our knowledge of marine and coastal resources and the processes that affect them and disseminates scientific information to stakeholders for the development of responsible policy statewide. The scope of COAST includes

  • The open and coastal ocean;
  • Coastal zones (bays, estuaries, beaches);
  • Coastal watersheds: there must be clear and direct linkages between the organism, material or process in the watershed and the coast or ocean (e.g., anadromous fish, surface and groundwater flow, water quality).

Work supported by COAST is NOT limited to California. Please visit the COAST about page for more information.

Who is eligible for funding?

Undergraduate students currently enrolled with a faculty advisor.

How much funding is available?

The COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support program provides the Campus with $2,500.00 for funding. The Office of Research, with guidance with the COAST Campus Representatives, will award those funds based on the number of applicants.

When can I apply for funding?

Applications are due on November 20, 2020 by 5pm.

How do I apply for funding?


To apply, please fill out the COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program Application [pdf] and submit completed application via email to the Office of Research at

Funding Requirements?

Recipients of funding through the COAST Undergraduate Research Support must:

  • Be a CSU undergraduate student in good academic standing;
  • Work with a CSU faculty advisor; and
  • Participate in a clearly defined project that is aligned with one or more of COAST’s goals
    • Support research related to marine, estuarine, coastal and coastal watershed regions.
    • Advance our knowledge of natural coastal and marine resources and the processes that affect them.
    • Develop innovative solutions to the economic, sociological, ecological and technological challenges that our coastal zone faces.
    • Promote environmental literacy to foster stewardship and sustainable use of our coast.

Undergraduate students receiving funding through this program must work on or contribute to clearly defined research projects. Ideally, a student should be able to

  1. Articulate the details of the project (context, hypothesis, methods to be employed, etc.) and
  2. Describe how the support will facilitate their participation in research related to marine, estuarine, coastal and coastal watershed regions.

Examples of undergraduate research-related expenses envisioned include, but are not limited to:

  • Wages paid directly to student researchers
  • Research supplies or materials
  • Travel to field site to collect samples or to off campus facility to analyze samples
  • Sample analysis costs
  • Purchase of highly specialized software to analyze samples or data
  • Travel to workshop or short course to learn skills directly related to research
  • Travel to conference or meeting to present the results of research

Funds should be managed by the faculty advisors on behalf of the student awardees. The College Budget Analyst should be consulted during announcement development to advise on allowable expenses and categories (e.g., hourly wages) and notified when awards are made.

Funding Screening Criteria?

Submissions will be evaluated based on the quality of the research described, how the proposed research meets one or more of the goals of COAST, and the need for support. The following evaluation criteria will be employed:

  • Project description: Quality of writing; clear description of project including timeline; significance and novelty; experimental design and methodology; clearly stated hypotheses; data analysis plan
  • Relation to COAST goals: Relation to marine, estuarine, coastal, or coastal watershed environments, organisms or issues; application to California’s needs
  • Budget and justification: Line item budget; justification
  • References: Statements sufficiently referenced; use of original, peer- reviewed literature, both foundational and current
  • Letter of Recommendation: Value of student’s research, student’s ability to conduct research

When is funding approved?

Approval for funds can take up to 2 months to approve and communicate.

How do I get support?

Please contact the Office of Research at 408-924-2272 or

Additional Information