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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 Proposals for the FY 2015 National Competitive Grants Program.

Proposals are requested on the topics of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply, including evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management, and replacement; evaluation of the dynamics of extreme hydrological events and associated costs; development of methods for better estimation of the physical and economic supply of water; alternative approaches and governance mechanisms for integrated management of ground and surface waters; and the evaluation and assessment of conservation practices. Proposals are sought in not only the physical dimensions of supply, but also the role of economics and institutions in water supply and in coping with extreme hydrologic conditions. Further information on these priority research issues is in the attached 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." 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.

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.

Proposals must be filed online at by 4:00 p.m. (CST), February 19, 2015. The proposals must then be approved for submission to the National Competitive Grants Program by the Texas Water Resources Institute by no later than 4:00 p.m., March 12, 2015. 

Following proposal online submission, the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and SF-424B (Assurances)  must be completed and filed electronically at—this will be done by the Texas Water Resources Institute (not the PI). Also, matching funds commitment letters may be scanned and uploaded to the NIWR site rather than faxed. The individual PI may upload the letter by February 19, 2015, or send the letter to the Texas Water Resources Institute to upload. Regardless, original signed copies of the matching funds commitment letter must be submitted to the Texas Water Resources Institute by March 12, 2015.

Questions regarding this grant program can be directed to Danielle Kalisek at the Texas Water Resources Institute at or (979) 845-2781.

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