Sea Grant Illinois-Indiana Funding Opportunity

(Now Closed) $800,000 of Research Grants Available from the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG)

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG) anticipates having $800,000 to invest in promising research projects relevant to southern Lake Michigan and surrounding coastal communities in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Work is to be completed in the 2024-25 biennium. Work can be conducted outside of the geographic area outlined above provided applicants make a compelling case for why their work is relevant to southern Lake Michigan and surrounding coastal communities.

Investigators from educational or research institutions including universities, museums, and NGOs, are eligible to serve as PI for these funds. Priority will be given to Illinois- and Indiana-based researchers. Researchers from other states are welcome to apply but proposed work must demonstrate how it will benefit the mission of IISG and/or meet research priorities.

Projects should propose to answer a clear research question or set of related questions, and should demonstrate fit with the IISG strategic plan. Five areas are of special interest for the 2024-25 funding cycle:

  • Improving water safety, with a goal of reducing the number of drownings in Lake Michigan.
  • Adapting to changing lake levels in the southern Lake Michigan region in support of healthy coastal ecosystems and resilient communities and economies.
  • Better understanding contaminant levels in fish or shellfish that are or can be used for food. These may include Lake Michigan or tributary fish caught for subsistence fishing or Illinois- or Indiana-farm raised fish and shellfish. Contaminants to explore include but are not limited to legacy contaminants, contaminants of emerging concern, and toxic cyanobacteria from algal blooms (e.g., in nearshore regions; in ponds where fish or shellfish are raised).
  • Addressing environmental justice concerns associated with restoration of degraded southern Lake Michigan coastal sites (e.g., decommissioned power plants, industrial parks).
  • Exploring economic or legal barriers to production of Illinois- and/or Indiana-grown fish or shellfish (e.g., processing of organisms to be sold at restaurants, permitting or acquisition of resources to expand facilities, access to skilled laborers).

Additional topic areas of interest include broader aquaculture research, aquatic invasive species, community climate readiness, fisheries, healthy waters and pollution prevention, recreation and tourism, stormwater and green infrastructure, shoreline erosion, sustainable community planning, and water supply. All research projects should fit at least one of these topic areas.

Prospective PIs must submit a preproposal to be considered for funding. Applicants should submit materials via  by 11:59 p.m. Central time on February 6, 2023.

Additional information can be found here: Questions can be directed to Carolyn Foley (  

FY2023 National Competitive Grants RFP Informational Webinar

USGS in cooperation with the National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR) has released their annual request for proposals under its National Competitive Grants Program (104g General, PFAS and Aquatic Invasive Species). Any investigator at an institution of higher learning is eligible to apply for these grants with research that focuses on priorities of regional and national importance. Application must be through the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) in their State or Territory. The RFP has been released with an application deadline in late April 2023 – exact date will vary by your state institute.

WRRIs from across the US are organizing a joint webinar on March 9th, 2023 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time that focuses on the National Competitive Grants RFPs. We will discuss the full proposal process and funding priorities and include an opportunity for researchers to ask questions. In addition, researchers will be able to identify potential collaborators in topic specific breakouts.

See the recording of the webinar here.

(Now Closed) NIWR Has Funding for Student Travel to the UCOWR Conference

We are pleased to announce that the National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR) is sponsoring travel awards for students to attend the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) conference from June 13-15, 2023 in Fort Collins, CO. One awardee per NIWR region will be chosen at random, with awards ranging from $1,200 to $2,500. For more information and to enter the drawing, click on this link (students should apply on their own behalf):

For questions, contact Michael Dietz at

(Now Closed) 3 Request for Proposals – FY2023 104G is Funding General Water-Related Research, PFAs, and Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

The National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR) has released its annual request for proposals (RFPs) under its National Competitive Grants Program.

In cooperation with USGS, these RFPs, submitted through each state’s Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), have historically funded only four applicants throughout the nation. In the last few years, however, Congress has recognized the unique capabilities of this program and additional funds have been allocated around specific focus areas. In addition to a general water-related focus of the annual RFP(104G), an RFP focusing on PFAs and an RFP focusing on Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Mississippi River Basin have been added. All three RFPs require similar preparation and encourage regional WRRI/Water Science Center collaborations. Any investigator at an institution of higher learning is eligible to apply for these grants with research that focuses on water issues of regional and national importance.

Expected FY2023 project start date: 01/01/2024.

USGS is expected to award 10 PFAS, 5 AIS, and 6 general 104G proposals, nationally.


National Competitive Grants RFP Informational Webinar announcement

For the full application details, click here.

Given the potential benefit of these opportunities to the Great Lakes Region, the WRRIs in this region (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) are organizing a joint informational webinar focusing on RFP preparation and regional collaborative opportunities. We discuss the full proposal process, and funding priorities and give researchers a chance to ask questions.

COST SHARING/MATCHING REQUIREMENT: Each applicant must match each Federal dollar provided to support each proposed project with not less than one dollar from non-federal sources. Please check with your campus business office for allowable sources of matching funds.

INDIRECT COSTS: As per the Water Resources Research Act, federal funds shall not be used to pay indirect costs, however, unrecovered indirect costs on both the federal and non-federal funds CAN be used to help fulfill the Cost Sharing/Matching Requirement.

(Now Closed) Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub Hosts Webinar March 15th to Develop an NSF RCN Proposal

The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH) plans to develop an NSF RCN proposal to address community needs, and we are interested in input from academic researchers, government agency staff, nonprofits, and industry partners to ensure we have cross-sector engagement. There will be additional opportunities for input and collaboration discussions over the next few weeks.

MBDH will be hosting a Collaboration Cafe webinar on March 15th, which will be focused on developing a research proposal, with the goal of building a community around water data and cyber infrastructure.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

3:00–4:00 p.m. CT
4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

Topic: Building New Data Science Collaborations in the Midwest

Zoom registration link

Host: John MacMullen, MBDH Executive Director

Update: 104B Annual Funding Applications are Now Closed and Under Review

The Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) requests proposals to fund exploratory research or educational projects that enhance water sciences research and higher education throughout Illinois. While we are interested in all water resources issues that impact Illinois, our 2023 priority topics are agriculture, climate, ecosystem structure and function, per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), urban resilience, water-energy nexus, and water equity. We are particularly interested in supporting projects that will help grow the body of research in Illinois, including proof-of-concept projects that may help researchers attract larger grants. Proposals continuing the work of previous IWRC Annual Research Grants will not be accepted. This is an open call contingent on funding availability.

Notification of intent DUE: CLOSED

Full proposal submission DUE: CLOSED

Award Duration: 12 months

Anticipated Award Start Date: Sept. 1, 2023

Find the full proposal request here.

Have questions? Please contact:

Amy Weckle
Illinois Water Resources Center
Assistant Director
(217) 300-2101

IL-based Research Funding Opp – 2023 Biota Awards

Biota Awards, an initiative of the Walder Foundation’s Environmental Sustainability program now in its second year, are a funding opportunity for early-career researchers based in Illinois who seek to restore, protect and conserve biodiversity locally and around the world. Awardees receive $300,000 of flexible research funding distributed over three years to pursue research that will have an on-the-ground impact on biodiversity conservation. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree or experience and within seven years of their first independent research position at an academic, nonprofit, or government research institution. 

The application deadline is fast approaching – October 3!

You can find more info on the awards, eligibility and applying here.