UNOLS Office Re-competition

There will be an open competition to choose concurrently a new host institution for the UNOLS Office and a new UNOLS Executive Secretary. Letters of intent are due in the UNOLS Office by November 28, 2017 and will be the first step in the process of establishing the UNOLS Office in May 2019 at the institution submitting the successful proposal. Please see the official announcement letter for more details.

Important Documents

Other Supporting Documents

Questions and Answers about the UNOLS Office Recompetition

If you have any additional questions that are not already answered below, please submit them here.

Q1. What is the salary information for the various positions?
A1. The salary and compensation package for the new UNOLS Office staff will be at the discretion of the institution that is awarded the grant. This will go through a proposal review process and all aspects of the proposal will be considered.

Q2. Several of the job descriptions indicate minimum academic degrees. Can these be waived in cases where an individual possesses equivalent experience and/or has a record of relevant professional achievement?
A2. Yes, these are only examples of the degree requirements for the current office.  Institutions who are submitting proposals can set their own degree/experience requirements for the various positions.  In fact, they may even propose a different office staff organization.  However, each office must have an Executive Secretary.

Q3. The UNOLS Charter states:"The UNOLS Office shall normally be established at a UNOLS operator institution. It is expected that the UNOLS Office will rotate among UNOLS institutions." Does this mean a UNOLS institution that is a non-ship operator couldn't apply for the UNOLS Office?
A3. The word  “normally” in the Charter means that we are open to non-operator institutions competing in the proposal for the UNOLS Office. The UNOLS Charter does not prevent a non-operator institution from applying. 

Q4. What is the purpose of the letter of intent to apply for the UNOLS Office and what is the format for the letter?
A4. The main purpose of the LOI is simply to ensure that there are no Conflicts of Interest when we assemble our review committee.  Another is to know ahead of time what to expect in terms of how many institutions are going to apply so we can be ready.  Thus, the letter can be quite short (less than a page) and what information you’d like to supply at this point and the format is up to you.  You do not need to name your Executive Secretary in the LOI if you are not ready yet or do not wish to do so.

Q5. Can details and specifics of the current contracts, MOU’s, and partnerships to provide logistics such as the medical advisory service, commercial web service provider, and networking and information and web site support, be provided? How many of these partners and service providers will or are willing to transfer agreements and delivered services to the new office?

Medical Services Contract

The UNOLS Office has a contract with George Washington Maritime Medical Access to provide tele-medicine to the UNOLS fleet on a 365/24/7 basis to the current fleet of (18) ships. The contract provides for unlimited communication and medical advice to handle any medical question and treatment for all UNOLS ships and all sea-going personnel while embarked on a particular vessel. This includes crew, technicians, scientists or any-person embarked on a UNOLS vessel. The contract is managed by the UNOLS Executive Secretary and is paid through grant support by the UNOLS Office. The period of performance was from 7/1/2016 to 4/30. 2017, with the option of 2 additional years, (5/1/2017 to 4/30/2018 &  5/1/2018 to 4/30/ 2019).  It will be at the discretion of the next UNOLS office as to how this requirement will be provided. However the current contracts expires on 5/1/2019 when the our contract administered through the University of Rhode Island expires. A copy of the statement of work for this contract will be made available. 

Networking and Information Technology Support

The UNOLS Office meets the requirement of networking and IT support through a subcontract with the Univ. of Delaware. The current level of support is 5 months per year and our contract will expire on April 30, 2019.  It will be at the discretion of the proposers to decide how this service will be established in the new UNOLS Office. The services provided in this subcontract include support to the UNOLS project for the architecture, maintenance, backups, and support of the project servers and services as requested by the UNOLS office. A list of these services is below:

  • UNOLS web server ( – includes publicly accessible content as well as secure, password-protected content. Currently operating as a Drupal 7 site with organic groups.
  • Collaborate with and manage an outside web design firm to make improvements to the main UNOLS Drupal based website.
  • Management of a Drupal dev cloud environment in support of the UNOLS website.
  • Manage and maintain production and development web servers to develop and test dynamic web content (i.e.: the next iteration of the Ship Time Request and Scheduling (STRS) system).
  • Web statistics logging to monitor web server usage and performance
  • Maintain two SQL Server relational database systems. One is used for the production web application server and one is used on a testing and development web application server.
  • One Subversion server to act as a source code repository and change tracking mechanism for STRS project code files and other project files as needed.
  • A Mail server to host the UNOLS office email accounts as well as more than 50 UNOLS email distribution lists
    • Antivirus scan engines scan each message and its attachments
    • Anti-spam software tags each message to enable junk mail filtering
  • Wordpress-based sites in support of the Chief Scientist Training Workshops and the International Research Ship Operators project.

The UNOLS office is provided with remote administrative access to the Web and email servers to allow management of UNOLS accounts and email lists.  The Univ. of Delaware personnel served as the system administrator for the systems listed above, providing monitoring services, file and database backups, as well as system maintenance and repair. The UNOLS web site ( ) was developed though a commercial web site designer and this project has been completed per the contract agreements. The UNOLS Office does not have a service agreement in place with this commercial provider at this time.   

Q6. Can details from the last several site assessments of the UNOLS office be provided?  This would provide clarity on processes and structure that are currently working and not.
A6.The UNOLS Charter provides a mechanism for reviewing the performance of the UNOLS Office as explained in the excerpt from the UNOLS Charter:

The UNOLS Chair, with the UNOLS Council, shall review UNOLS Office performance and activities prior to the completion of the first five-year term (or at intervals controlled by the duration of funding grants or agreements). Based on this review, the Council shall recommend whether or not to renew the host institution for a second term. The Office may, if so suggested by review, be moved after five years.

Upon the completion of the current UNOLS Office first, five year term (April 2014) the Council met and discussed the performance of the UNOLS Office and were unanimous in their decision and recommendation that the UNOLS Office should remain at the Univ. of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography for a second five year term. May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2019.

The UNOLS Office as required per our agreements with our funding agencies be evaluated on a yearly basis with members from NSF, ONR, and NOAA. During all of our annual reviews, the agencies highly recommended that our policies, procedures, and past year accomplishments indicate that the current structure is working well and should be maintained. 

Q7. Can any salary requirements be provided from the UNOLS Office members willing to stay on with the new host?  Or does each institution need to negotiate independently?
A7. The institution needs to negotiate independently with UNOLS staff members.

Q8. Do the twelve 4-drawer file cabinets convey to the new host office?  Or does the new office just get the files in boxes?  Will any other UNOLS equipment/items be transferred to the new institution?
A8. The file cabinets belong to URI so they will need to stay with us. We will ship you all the paper files in bankers’ boxes. We don't have any equipment that we will transfer. 

Q9. How much support will be provided by URI staff for the physical moving of files, etc.?  Are moving/shipping costs expected to be in the first year budget?
A9. The current UNOLS Office at URI will ship the material/files and will pay for shipping.   

Q10. Does UNOLS own the UNOLS domain, web site, STRS program, and listservs?
A 10. Domain names are registered via a Domain Registrar and, as long as the entity registering the domain continues to renew the registration they essentially "own" the domain name. The registrar sends out a reminder email when it is coming time to renew the domain. They also offer the option to set up auto-payment for the domain name so that it never lapses (as long as the credit card on file is valid). Even in the event that you miss payment by the expiration date, you are still able to reclaim the domain within 90 days before it goes back up for open registration again. The domain name is currently registered until April 5, 2019 through the Univ.of Delaware as a subcontractor to UNOLS. UNOLS owns the software that the STRS is written in. We also own the web site, listservs, etc.