Funding Opportunities

USGS/NIWR National Competitive Grants Programs

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), invite applications for the annual National Competitive Grants program. The program will consider projects on a broad range of topics on improving and enhancing the nation's water supply. FY22 USGS/NIWR National Competitive Grants include:

  • National Annual Competitive Grants (104g)
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Competitive Grants
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Competitive Grants

Deadlines

Notice of Intent (required): No longer accepting applicants
Final proposals due to WRC: April 28, 2022

Webinar

The Water Resources Research Institutes in the Great Lakes Region hosted a webinar for prospective applicants on Friday, March 18, 11am-12pm CDT. The webinar discusses the full proposal process, funding priorities, opportunities to identify collaborators at USGS, and gave researchers a chance to ask questions.

Recorded webinar | PDF iconPresentation slidesPDF iconContacts document (mentioned in webinar)

Requirements

  • Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in Minnesota is eligible to apply, but must submit to the Water Resources Center (WRC) at the University of Minnesota.
  • A Notice of Intent (NOI) to submit a grant is required, due 5:00pm on April 4, 2022.
  • Proposals involving substantial collaboration between the USGS and University scientists are encouraged. Contact Jeff Peterson (jmpeter@umn.edu) for assistance in identifying potential USGS collaborators.
  • Projects may request up to $250,000 in federal funds for projects up to a three year duration, with a 1:1 matching requirement of non-federal to federal funds.  
  • The WRC is offering supplemental (nonfederal) funding for research assistance for Minnesota investigators who are faculty in the Water Resources Science graduate program at the University of Minnesota. These supplements will count toward the 1:1 match requirement of  the USGS programs. Only proposals selected for USGS funding will receive the assistantship.

USGS/NIWR National Annual Competitive Grants (104g)

Request for 104g Proposals 

Proposals are sought on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply and availability, and promoting the exploration of new ideas that address or expand our understanding of water problems, including the following specific areas of inquiry (levels of priority are not assigned, and the order of listing does not indicate the level of priority):

  • Abundance, location, and persistence of legacy nutrients: What are the mechanisms that facilitate accumulation and persistence? Where in landscape are they stored and what does that mean for the potential to enter or move through the hydrologic system? What are the methods, time periods, and utility to characterizing “new” versus “old” sources? Do related nutrients persist and move in the same way, and what does this mean for short- and long-term water quality?
  • Trends of integrated processes: How do changes in one aspect of water quantity and availability affect other long-term aspects? For example, how are changes in groundwater identifiable as changes in streamflow patterns? How do changes in streamflow result in changes in water quality?
  • Water Conflict: What are the risks of water conflict as a result of inter-basin transfers driven by water-use behavior, socioeconomic conditions, changing land-use patterns, and climate variability. Aspects for consideration include identification of thresholds, tradeoffs between sectors and(or) communities, conservation opportunities and stakeholder actions, agent-based modeling, relevant laws and regulations, and adaptive management.

USGS/NIWR Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Competitive Grants  

Request for AIS Proposals

The challenges and opportunities that link aquatic invasive species and water resources are poorly understood, despite the real and growing effect of numerous aquatic invasive species on water quality, water quantity, and aquatic ecosystems. Research is needed to better identify and understand these interactions and to guide management decisions that will help to improve invasive species management and thus reduce effects of invasive species on water resources and aquatic ecosystems at local, regional, and national scales. Proposals are sought on the following specific areas of inquiry (levels of priority are not assigned, and the order of listing does not indicate the level of priority):

  • Effects: Improve our understanding of the effects of aquatic invasive species on lakes, rivers, and associated tributaries in the upper Mississippi River basin, including changes to water quantity, water quality, and ecosystem dynamics.
  • Characteristics: Identify physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of water bodies that infer resistance and resilience to the distribution, establishment, and effects of aquatic invasive species in the upper Mississippi River basin. Research is needed to better understand these interactions to guide management decisions that will improve invasive species management and result in positive effects on aquatic ecosystems.
  • Management: Assessment of the detection, spread, and management of aquatic invasive species in the upper Mississippi River basin and the connections to human dimensions, both socially and economically.

USGS/NIWR Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Competitive Grants

Request for PFAS Proposals

The challenges and opportunities of understanding the impact of per-and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances on water resources are poorly understood, despite the real and growing effect of this group of man-made substances on water quality. Research is needed to better understand these interactions and guide management decisions that will improve water resources at the regional scale or national scale. Proposals are sought on the following specific areas of inquiry (levels of priority are not assigned, and the order of listing does not indicate the level of priority): 

  • Novel proxies for PFAS detection and quantification
  • Process-oriented research of PFAS fate, transport, and effects, with emphasis on molecular-level understanding of PFAS precursor transformation, sorption dynamics, or mechanisms of bioaccumulation and(or) biological/ecological effects.
  • Atmospheric transport of PFAS that results in delivery to the hydrologic system via precipitation and runoff at regional or national scales.

Stormwater Research and Technology Transfer Program

Not currently accepting applications 

The Water Resources Center (WRC) at the University of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council (MSRC), is pleased to invite proposals to advance urban  stormwater science, technology, and management in Minnesota. 

Request for Proposals (pdf) 

Resources and links for Applicants:
Submission portal for University of Minnesota affiliated researchers
Submission portal for all other applicants (agencies, institutions and organizations external to the U of MN)


Watershed Innovations (WINS) Grants Program

Not currently accepting applications 

The Water Resources Center (WRC), in cooperation with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, the Water Resources Research Institutes program at the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub, requests proposals to the Watershed Innovations (WINS) program. 

The purpose of WINS is to catalyze lasting collaborations that are enhanced by WRC capabilities. The program seeks to support projects in which researchers: innovate to address important water resource concerns in Minnesota; collaborate to advance interdisciplinary inquiry; educate students and early-career researchers on team science skills; and sustain research efforts through extramural sources. 

This solicitation seeks proposals to support graduate research assistants enrolled in the Water Resources Science (WRS) program. Each award will support salary and tuition-inclusive fringe benefits for a 0.5 FTE WRS graduate research assistant for a duration of 24 months, plus up to $5,000 per year for student professional development and research-related costs. The principal investigator (PI) is expected to be the student’s academic advisor (or co-advisor) to supervise them on a research project to be described in the proposal.

PDF iconRequest for proposals

Submission portal

Frequently asked questions