FY23 HISC Call for Proposals


 The Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC) provides interagency coordination and direction on invasive species issues in Hawaiʻi. Each year, the State Legislature provides funding through the HISC to support projects and programs that:

  • fill gaps between agency mandates and existing programs, and/or
  • advance our collective knowledge and tools through research and innovation.

The budgeting process for HISC funds includes several steps, including proposal submissions by applicants, evaluation by the HISC Resources Working Group which is comprised of staff representatives from each of the Council departments, preparation of a recommended budget, and review and approval by the voting Council members at a public meeting in August.

Applicants are asked to review the HISC & CGAPS 2025 Joint Strategy: In Support of the Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan before submitting proposals. Scoring is based primarily on a proposal’s ability to address the priorities listed below that reflect the strategies identified in the HISC/CGAPS 2025 Strategy:

  • Prevention & Early Detection/Rapid Response for New Terrestrial & Aquatic Invasions
  • Management of the Inter/Intra-Island Movement of Invasive Species (both aquatic  & terrestrial)
  • Implementation Large-Scale Control of Widespread, High-Impact Invasive Species (does not include biocontrol)
  • Increase Pacific Regional Biocontrol Research & Capacity (classical biocontrol only)
  • Maintain an Engaged & Supportive Community 

HISC Support Staff will provided an informational webinar on the FY23 HISC Funding Process for prospective applicants. You can view the recording HERE.

Please be sure to read all the application guidelines before starting your application. You can access the online application at this link: FY23 HISC Online Application Form

Proposal submissions are due June 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm HST.

If you have any questions or concerns about the proposal guidelines, please email HISC support staff: [email protected].


Addressing SurveyMonkey Issues:

The online application form is hosted by SurveyMonkey. This will be our second year using SurveyMonkey and we appreciate the feedback that was provided on this platform. We are aware of the issues and HISC Support Staff attempted to address some of the common issues listed below. Issues that were not able to be fixed, are also clarified.

  • SurveyMonkey does not have the ability to provide a pdf or word doc version of the submitted proposal. We recommend copying and pasting content to a word doc before finalizing the submission for future reference. A blank copy of the full application is provided HERE. Final submission must be through SurveyMonkey.
  • SurveyMonkey automatically saves content only once you have clicked the “next” button at the bottom of the page. You must click “next” to save any of the entered information even if you did not fully complete the page. You will need to keep your browser with the SurveyMonkey page open to be able to retrieve any saved data from your application. If you close out of SurveyMonkey before your application is complete, you will have to start your application over. To address this, we recommend that applicants submit their entire proposal at one time rather than over the course of multiple days to avoid loosing any entered information. We also strongly recommend using the blank application above to create a separate document that can be saved.
  • Applicants will receive a message that their proposal was successfully submitted once “Done” is clicked on the last page. You will not receive any email confirmation.

Changes to Scoring:

Based on applicant and evaluator feedback, there are a few changes to the scoring process for this year’s proposals.

  • There will be no additional points for the inclusion of a management plan or strategy.  There is still the ability to upload any relevant documents that may be useful during the evaluation process though they are not required.
  • HISC Support Staff will determine each proposal’s relevancy to sectors (natural resources, agriculture, economy, transportation, human health, research & technology) and assign points accordingly for consistency and to assist with assigning proposals to evaluators. Six points total are possible.
  • Proposals that score low based on the quantitative evaluations will not be recommended FY23 HISC funding and not be part of the Resources Working Group discussion. The threshold for low scoring proposals can only be determined once all proposals are scored. This is a reminder that award amounts are based primarily on submitted proposals and not the discussion at the Resources Working Group meeting. The Resources Working Group meeting is a forum for evaluators to ask applicants for clarification on their application and come to a consensus on a recommended budget.


  1. Deadlines: The FY23 HISC Online Application Form  will posted to this page on Monday, May 2, 2022 at 8:00 am HST. The deadline for FY23 proposals is set for June 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm (HST). Late submissions may or may not be accepted, at the discretion of HISC staff.
  2. Eligibility: This is an intergovernmental budgeting process, not a request for bids from private contractors. Eligible entities include state and county agencies, including the UH system, and federal agencies partnering with state agencies on issues relevant to Hawaiʻ Public universities in other US states are also eligible if working on issues of concern to Hawaiʻi. While private contractors are not directly eligible for HISC funds, applicants can request funds for contractual services as part of their proposed budget. If funds are awarded, it will be the responsibility of the applicant to then establish a request for bids and follow appropriate procurement rules.
  3. Relationship to regular departmental funding: Proposed projects should be for novel research or interagency collaborations, not for regular departmental functions. Projects specific to a single agency/sector or providing funds for civil service salaries are generally not eligible and should be instead submitted as part of that agency’s biennium budget request to the Legislature. If you are including departmental requests, please explain why you are requesting HISC funding this year in the project narrative.
  4. Available Funding: HISC received $5,750,000 in FY22 from the State Legislature.  After expenditure restrictions from the Department of Budget and Finance, overhead fees assessed by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife as the administrative host of the HISC, and the cost of the HISC support staff program; the amount available for FY22 projects and programs was $4,212,099. We anticipate having a similar amount available for the FY23 funding cycle, but the amount is subject to additional amendments, restrictions, and overhead fees that may impact the amount of available funding. 
  5. Online application components: Responses are saved and submitted when a respondent clicks the Next or Done button on each page of the survey. Responses don’t automatically save as each question is answered—they are saved and submitted page by page as respondents progress through the survey. The online form is comprised of the following sections:
        • Project Information
        • Project Narrative
        • Applicability to HISC FY23 Funding Priorities
        • Project Reporting & Outcomes
        • Project Budget
        • Leveraged Funds
        • Review your application & submit 
  1. Multiple proposals: A single entity may submit multiple funding proposals. Applicants working in multiple project areas are encouraged to submit separate applications where possible rather than combined proposals, as this allows the applicant to more accurately describe the relevancy of each project to HISC FY23 funding priorities.
  2. Applicant Type (“Projects” vs “Programs”): In the past it has been difficult to weigh the value of small, one-time projects against large, multi-faceted programs that apply for funding each year. To address this, evaluators will consider these two types of applications separately during the scoring process, comparing small projects with other small projects and large programs with other large programs. 
    • “Projects” are applicants requesting less than $300,000 total across all of their applications in a single fiscal year. While there may be exceptions, “projects” will generally have a specific outcome and a time horizon for completion within a few years.
    • “Programs” are applicants requesting $300,000 or more in total across all of their applications in a single fiscal year. While there may be exceptions, “programs” will generally be multi-faceted entities with multiple target invasive species, and will have an organizational mission or vision with an indefinite timeline for “completion.” They also have continuing proposals for their  HISC awards.
  1. Funding duration: Funding is typically awarded for a maximum project duration of one year, with project dates generally starting no earlier than 10/1/22 and ending no later than 3/30/24. Extensions are possible to 3/30/24 for UH projects or 6/1/23 for non-UH projects. This is based on a UH requirement for final invoice processing time, not a stipulation of HISC. Requests for extensions will be evaluated upon request in the second half of 2023.
  2. Total funding request: There is no limit on the total amount of funding requested by an applicant.
    • Cost-reimbursement: In general, HISC funds are made available on a cost-reimbursement basis, rather than advance payments. Applicants should expect to invoice HISC for reimbursement of project expenses per details provided in the final funding agreement.
    • Overhead: The maximum allowable rate of indirect fees is 10% of the direct project costs.
    • Letters of support are not necessary and will not be considered as part of your proposal’s evaluation. Collaborative, interagency support for your project should be evident from the project narrative.
  3. Reporting obligations: Successful applicants will be required to report on project outcomes. This will include a final written report due 30 days after the project end date, describing how proposed deliverables were or were not met. Where applicable, projects will also be required to submit spatial data twice annually. Full reporting guidelines will be provided at the beginning of the project period. Any project data collected by an applicant receiving HISC funding for said project must be made available to the HISC and its staff upon request. Funded projects should acknowledge HISC funding support in products, including reports, peer reviewed articles, outreach materials, and presentations. Funded projects should anticipate giving an online presentation on their work during the project period, as part of the HISC Brown Bag series.
    • Overdue reports:No new funds will be encumbered for applicants with overdue reports from previous HISC-funded projects.
    • Evaluation Process:An evaluation committee comprised of staff from each of HISC’s six constituent agencies, and including the HISC Working Group chairs, will score your application as well as HISC Support Staff. As needed, evaluators may request additional input from other experts on subject matter relevant to applications. An initial quantitative scoring process is completed based primarily on proposals ability to address the HISC Priorities described in this form. Other factors impacting your evaluation include cost effectiveness, likelihood of success, evidence of leveraging non-HISC monies, and the relevance of your project to multiple sectors (e.g., agriculture, health, natural resources, etc.). Final recommended award for your project will be based primarily on your proposal’s quantitative score, which will be discussed at an open meeting of the Resources Working Group.
  4.  HISC Budget Recommendation and Approval Process:
    • Resources Working Group: The HISC Resources Working Group will meet July 28, 2022 from 8:30 am to review evaluated proposals and develop a recommended budget to present to the Council.  It is open to applicants and applicants who’s funding will be considered for FY23 HISC funds, will receive more information on attending the meeting. 
    • Council Meeting: Final budget review and approval will be at a public Council meeting on August 17, 2022 at 1 pm. Date and location of the Council meeting will be announced via the HISC email list and posted on the state’s online calendar, per Sunshine Law requirements. Depending on the proposals received, your project may be awarded full funding, partial funding, or no funding. For proposals selected to receive partial funding, project leaders will be asked to produce a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) to amend their scope of work to match the available funding. It is up to the awarded project to submit the necessary paperwork in a timely manner in order to receive funds. Any funds that are not encumbered by January 1st of the following year could be put back into the HISC budget for redistribution to other project(s).

Questions: If you have questions or comments, please contact HISC Planner Chelsea Arnott at [email protected].


The priorities below were developed based on the strategies identified in the HISC & CGAPS 2025 Joint Strategy and the Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan.  Applicants are asked to select “yes” or “no” if their project addresses any of the 5 priorities. If “yes” is selected, you need to provide a brief justification of how your project addresses this priority. This should also be clear in your project narrative.

Below are the 5 priorities that your proposals will be evaluated on. A brief description of each priority is provided below along with a list of actions identified in the HISC/CGAPS Strategy. The actions are examples of some of the work necessary to address each priority, but they are not exclusive. Actions not only address work that needs to happen but maintaining the current work that is critical to managing invasive species.


Priority 1 : Prevention & Early Detection/Rapid Response to New Invasions

This priority focuses on keeping  terrestrial and aquatic invasive species threats from arriving and establishing in the State, by identifying and addressing high-risk pathways and major modes of introduction, and by improving/continuing early detection/rapid response activities. “New” is defined as a species not known to occur in the State and EDRR would focus on preemptive actions to prevent “new” species introductions and establishment (i.e. monitoring efforts for Africanized bees, Red Imported Fire Ant).\

  • Conducts quantitative risk analyses and risk assessments to guide management decisions in early detection, rapid response efforts and develop rapid response strategies to address high-risk species and pathways.
  • Develops Best Management Practices (BMPs) and strategies for reducing introduction and movement of invasive species at critical points such as airports, harbors, highways and procurement contracts.
  • Identifies and implement tools, technologies and methods that improve detection and/or management of priority terrestrial and aquatic invasive species and pathways.
  • Maintains or strengthens early detection and rapid response capacity on each island for monitoring and responding to new invasions.
  • Conducts legal review of the policies related to prevention and suggests amendments to improve policies and/or additions to restricted/prohibited lists or other legal prevention mechanisms.
  • Maintains or strengthens communications amongst federal and state agencies to share information and tools to prevent invasive species.

Priority 2 : Management of the Inter/Intra-Island Movement of Invasive Species

This priority focuses on keeping aquatic and terrestrial invasive species threats from spreading within Hawaiʻi (inter and intra-island), by identifying and addressing high-risk sources, pathways and major modes of introduction and spread, and by continuing/improving early detection/rapid response for new populations and existing incipient populations of invasive species in Hawaiʻi.

  • Develops and conducts quantitative risk analyses and risk assessments to identify and prioritize pest pathways and high-risk gaps for movement of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species within Hawaiʻi.
  • Identifies and implements cost-effective tools, technologies, and methods that improve management.
  • Conducts early detection surveys and provides rapid response where necessary for invasive species already present in Hawaiʻi.
  • Creates and adopts Best Management Practices to control invasive species that state government agencies, counties, industry and private individuals can follow or require for actions in their jurisdictions.
  • Conducts legal review of the policies related to inter/intra island and suggest amendments to improve policies.
  • Develops voluntary initiatives that mitigate the risks of invasive species movement.
  • Promotes the use of the State Pest Reporting System.

Priority 3 : Implementation of Large-scale control of Widespread, High Impact Invasive Species

This priority focuses on identifying/developing and implementing new large-scale control or eradication projects for invasive species population with highly significant ecological, economic, and/or health impacts in Hawai‘i, and build momentum for action on other widespread, high-impact species (e.g. mosquitoes, rats, marine algae). Widespread indicates that typical mechanical and chemical controls are not effective at reducing current populations and encourages new, innovative tools and techniques for control in Hawai’i. This does not include classical biological control. Past projects that meet this priority include aerial control of little fire ants on Maui and  the”Birds, Not Mosquitos” multi-agency effort.

  • Research and identifies tools, technologies, and methods that are proven effective (or have high potential) for large-scale control or eradication of high-impact, widespread invasive species.
  • Develops and implements community engagement plans or other communication strategies to build support for large-scale control projects.
  • Plans and implements large-scale control project(s).
  • Ensures large-scale control impact is sustained through follow-up and monitoring.
  • Research traps and/or toxicants to control high-impact, widespread invasive species.

Priority 4 : Increase Pacific Regional Biocontrol Research & Capacity

This priority focuses on increasing biocontrol research and capacity in the Hawaiʻi as well as the Pacific Region and continuing to make progress on existing biocontrol projects that includes all aspects from exploration to release/monitoring.

  • Advances development of biocontrol agents currently being evaluated for release in Hawaiʻi.
  • Advances development of new biocontrol agents for control of invasive species in Hawaiʻi.
  • Conducts host range testing for biocontrol agents that have been proven effective elsewhere to evaluate potential use in Hawaiʻi.
  • Builds and maintains public support for 21st century biocontrol practices.
  • Raises support for Pacific Regional biocontrol capacity.

Priority 5 : Maintain an Engaged and Supportive Community

This priority focuses on maintaining strong community support and mobilizing action on the strategies outlined in the HISC & CGAPS 2025 Joint Strategy. 

  • Develops and disseminates educational products (e.g. videos, brochures, posters, etc…) to communities, decision-makers, and allies.
  • Coordinates statewide and regional strategies and messages across lead agencies and partners.
  • Increases knowledge of the use social science and raises capacity for the effective use of social science and social marketing.
  • Engages educational partners and the medical community to increase public awareness about human health risks associated with invasive species and available mitigating actions.
  • Increases adoption of specific biosecurity behaviors at ports of entry.
  • Provides support to community volunteer groups working to control invasive species.
  • Increases awareness for key stakeholders of their role and opportunities to help address invasive species introductions and spread.
  • Increases political will to support invasive species work and issues.

HISC Support Staff will provided an informational webinar on the FY23 HISC Funding Process for prospective applicants. You can view the recording HERE.

Please be sure to read all the application guidelines before starting your application. You can access the online application at this link: FY23 HISC Online Application Form

Proposal submissions are due June 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm HST.

If you have any questions or concerns about the proposal guidelines, please email HISC support staff: [email protected].