FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

104G - Nationally Competitive Grants Program - Now Open!

The Illinois Water Resources Center is a source for multiple large funding opportunities annually. The USGS is offering three funding opportunities seeking various specific areas of inquiry.

Watch the WRRI Great Lakes Informational Presentation About USGS/NIWR National Competitive Grants Programs here.

View the WRRI Great Lakes Informational Presentation Slides About USGS/NIWR National Competitive Grants Programs here.

PI’s must coordinate with the Illinois Water Resources Center prior to submission to allow time for the Center to meet the deadlines of this program announcement. As such, full proposals are due to IWRC by 12PM CST on Monday, May 13, 2024

The full proposal and/or questions can be emailed directly to IWRC Assistant Director, Amy Weckle.

Each opportunity can fund projects that are 1-3 years in duration and a 1:1 match of federal dollars to cost share dollars is required.

Expected FY2024 project start date is December 16, 2024.

USGS is expected to award 9 PFAS, 4 AIS, and 6 general 104G proposals, nationally. 

For General Funding

Dates Open: April 18, 2024 – May 13, 2024

Ongoing research needs include 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. Additional guidance includes: 

  • 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.

For Per- and Polyfluoroalky Substances (PFAS)

Dates Open: April 18, 2024 – May 13, 2024

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.

For Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Dates Open: April 18, 2024 – May 13, 2024

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.

Amy Weckle
Illinois Water Resources Center
Assistant Director

aweckle@illinois.edu
(217) 300-2101

104G funding opportunities are currently closed, we expect more to open in the coming months

Great Lakes Region Contacts for USG National Competitive Grants
Great Lakes Region Water Resources Centers and Institutes
United States Geological Survey
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