Funding Opportunities

Winding stream in the country, green grassy banks line both sides.

We advance research to address pressing water issues through competitively awarded research grants.

Stormwater Research and Technology Transfer Program

Not currently accepting applications

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Stormwater Research RFPs

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

2024 Pond research request for proposals (coming soon)

Resources and links for applicants

  • Pre-proposal template (Word)
  • Budget template (Excel)
  • Gantt Chart Example (optional format) (Excel)
  • Presentation guidance (Word)
  • Submission portal for University of Minnesota affiliated researchers 
  • Submission portal for all other applicants (agencies, institutions and organizations external to the U of M)

Watershed Innovations (WINS) Grants Program

Deadline has closed - Not currently accepting applications

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WINS

The Water Resources Center (WRC), in cooperation with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, and the Water Resources Research Institutes Program at the U.S. Geological Survey, requests proposals to the Watershed Innovations (WINS) graduate supplement awards.

The program seeks to support projects in which researchers innovate to address important water resource concerns in Minnesota. This solicitation seeks proposals to support current graduate research assistants enrolled at the University of Minnesota in any water-relevant degree program.

Each award will support up to $10,000 in a supplemental research stipend. The stipend can be used for salary, tuition, travel, or other research-related expenses (equipment is not eligible) in order to complete additional research objectives or products beyond the scope of their current project, or to initiate a new project idea.

Students of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Request for proposals (PDF)

Deadline

Final proposals due to the WRC: Mar 20, 2024 by 5:00pm CST.

Requirements

  • The PI must be a University of Minnesota staff or faculty member who is eligible to supervise graduate students. However, the student to-be-funded is required to lead in proposal writing.
  • Proposals may request up to $10,000 in funding for projects to take place between Oct 1, 2024 and Aug 31, 2025.
  • Funded students will be expected to submit an abstract for presentation at the Minnesota Water Resources Conference and write a short article about their work to be featured in the WRC’s Minnegram newsletter

Application Information

USGS/NIWR National Competitive Grants Programs

Deadline has closed - Not currently accepting applications

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USGS/NIWR National Annual Competitive Grants (104g)

Request for proposals

Proposals are sought on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply and availability, as well as promoting the exploration of new ideas that address or expand our understanding of water problems. 

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):

  • National-scale evaluation of water budget: Retrospective or predictive analyses using hydroclimate-forcing data sets, with emphasis on CONUS404, which was developed in a USGS- NCAR collaboration. Additional guidance includes:
    • Comparison of different water budget models, evaluation of relative model predictive skill and identification of specific opportunities for improvements.
    • Incorporation of how uncertainty in hydroclimate-forcing propagates to water budget components.
    • Evaluate scale-dependent uncertainties in water-budget predictions when using CONUS404. (e.g. How much more uncertainty at HUC12 versus HUC 8, which variables, and are specific uncertainties regional?)
  • Socioeconomics: Integrate ongoing USGS research and data collection in order to assess socioeconomic and ecological vulnerability to compounding extreme events and develop adaptation measures. This proposed project should undertake new research (e.g., Water Use and Social and Economic Drivers Program) to understand the vulnerability of urban (e.g., trans-basin diversions), agricultural (e.g., reservoir management), and ecological (e.g., endangered species) water-use sectors to drought and compounding hazards such as wildfire. Additional guidance includes:
    • Qualitative techniques to develop parameters or metrics for feedback inputs into hydrologic models (e.g. surveys/interviews/focus groups to understand how consumers change their behaviors around water use in response to supply shortages).
    • Construct utility functions of actual decision-makers/consumers that are used in the model, rather than hypothetical versions.
    • Exploration of close-loop versus open-loop hydrologic models in different geographic contexts.
  • Model advancement: Explore methods to develop new hydrologic models in a geographic area and provide information on promising modeling approaches to inform science questions specific to a region. Examples include:
    • Natural language processing methods to assimilate and identify succinct hydrologic science issues in an area of interest, and additional AI/ML to provide a modeling pathway based on attributes of hydrologic model capacities.)
    • Rapid model development methods to quickly provide information regarding potential high-value data collection and guide further model development in a given geographic area.

USGS/NIWR Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Competitive Grants

Request for 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: Research that improves 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: Research that identifies 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: Research on 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. Note that this does not include physical control of AIS.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Competitive Grants

Request for proposals

The challenges and opportunities of understanding the effects 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 and the resultant exposure to humans, other organisms, and ecosystems. Research is needed to better understand these interactions and guide management decisions that will improve water resources at the regional 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):

  • Media-specific methods: Enhanced methods for detection on specific media, with a clear indication of:
    • new or different compounds,
    • new or different methodological approaches,
    • lower detection levels for specific media or compounds, especially with respect to EPA health guidelines for PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate).

Media of interest include (in ranked order) (1) Tissues/plasma, (2) sediment, (3) air or interfaces, (4) water.

  • Atmospheric sources: Improved understanding of atmospheric exchange in PFAS distribution and fate. This may include methods to determine transport of PFAS to the atmosphere and to subsequent receiving waters, such as a water method that determines "new" compounds based on their likelihood to occur in the atmosphere.
  • Processes oriented at molecular level: 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, or biodegradation of PFAS along source to receptor pathways and identification of mitigation methods.