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Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources has announced the Request for Pre-Proposals for the FY 2017 National Competitive Grants Program.

Pre-Proposals are requested on the topics of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply and availability, including (but not limited to) evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management and replacement; exploration and advancement of our understanding of changes in the quantity and quality of water resources; development of methods for better estimation of water supply; development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms for integrated surface/ground water management; and evaluation and assessment of the effects of water conservation practices. Further information on these priority research issues is in the RFP.

Any investigator at an institution of higher learning is eligible to apply for a grant through the Water Research Institute (WRI) established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. The Texas Water Resources Institute is Texas' representative WRI.

Section 104(g) of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 requires that this competitive grant program focuses on: "water problems and issues of a regional or interstate nature beyond those of concern only to a single State and which relate to specific program priorities." Pre-Proposals involving substantial collaboration between the USGS and university scientists are encouraged. Additionally, proposals that include a strong educational component (student support) or proposals from faculty beginning their careers are also encouraged.

Pre-Proposals may be for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration (discrete 12-month budget periods required) and may request up to $250,000 in federal funds. Proposals require a 1:1 match, thus successful applicants must match each dollar of the federal grant with one dollar from non-federal sources. Federal funds may not be used to pay for indirect costs, but matching funds can be used for indirect costs. To fulfill part of the matching requirement, the applicant's negotiated indirect cost rate may be applied to both federal and non-federal direct costs. The indirect cost rate may not be applied to tuition and equipment costs.

Pre-Proposals in PDF format must be emailed to the TWRI Director Dr. John Tracy at by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (4 p.m. Central Time), February 15, 2017. Only pre-proposals filed by that time will be transmitted to the National Grants Competition Pre-Proposal Peer Review Panel. After pre-proposals from all states are reviewed, 30 pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal to the National Grants Competition.

Questions regarding this grant program can be directed to Dr. John Tracy at or (979) 842-7221.

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