USGS Water Resources Research Institute Program - FY18 RFP

The Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center invites research proposals for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Annual Water Resources Institute Program for Fiscal Year 2018. Eligible projects include seed projects to develop new and innovative research; research projects that respond to water resources research needs of state or regional importance, including increasing the quality or quantity of water resources; and information transfer activities for water resources protection.

This year, we will consider requests up to $55,000. Research awards will preferentially support proposals from untenured faculty and new WRRC collaborators, projects that aim to provide proof of concept support for subsequent proposals, and/or projects with robust broader impacts, particularly with respect to training the next generation of water professionals.

All awards are subject to the federal 2:1 matching requirement. Due date is November 1, 2017 and proposals must be submitted through your institute’s grants and contracts office (including UMass). Awards will be announced by December 20, 2017. The anticipated start date for funded projects is March 1, 2018.

Research Areas

Proposals are invited in all areas of water resources related research including but not limited to USGS priority areas:

  1. Provide water quality and quantity information at high temporal and spatial resolutions nationwide
  2. Advance our knowledge of processes that determine water availability
  3. Predict changes in the quantity and quality of water resources in response to our changing climate, population, land use, and management scenarios
  4. Anticipate and respond to water-related emergencies
  5. Deliver hydrologic data, timely analyses, and decision-support tools seamlessly across the nation to support water-resource decisions

Selection Criteria

  • Relevance and importance to Massachusetts and the Northeast U.S.
  • Quality of the research plan and support of graduate students
  • MA WRRC funding priorities (start-up projects, new faculty projects)

General Guidelines

  • Applicants must be faculty or staff at Massachusetts Institutions of Higher Education. We will not consider applications from PIs who failed to comply with past reporting requirements (final report due May 1, 2018).
  • Budgets must include a $2 non-federal match for each federal dollar.
  • Matching funds must be committed at the time of proposal submission.
  • Indirect costs cannot be charged on federal funds, but can be used as a contribution to the non-federal matching requirement. See budget example
  • Proposed projects can be up to 12 months in duration.
  • Budgets must be approved by your institution’s grants and contracts office.

All proposals must be submitted on-line at

  • If you do not have a NIWR account, create one under Tools > Register
  • If you have an account, log in to OPMS (under Enter NIWR Systems), then click on §104(b) subsystem
  • Then Add New Proposal

Proposal Guidelines

Each proposal must include the elements listed below:

  • Summary Information (do not include in narrative, these elements will be filled out on the online form)
    Title, Focus Categories (see NIWR website), Keywords, Duration, Principal Investigators, Congressional District, Abstract.
  • Proposal Contents (up to 7 pages, including):
    Statement of Critical Regional or State Water Problem.
    Nature, Scope, and Objectives of the Research.
  • Budget, including Federal Funds Requested and Non-Federal (matching) Funds Pledged (commitment letter required).
  • Budget Justification (include source of matching funds).

    UMass Amherst Proposals:

  • Proposals must be submitted to OGCA by Oct. 25, 2017.
  • Please read carefully the instructions for UMass Amherst submissions.

    Off Campus Proposals (Not UMass Amherst):

  • Complete application on NIWR website, save the complete application PDF and have your Grants and Contracts office email it to wrrc[at]cns.umass[dot]edu with scanned copies of:
  • Signed Federal Certifications and Assurances Forms,
  • Matching Funds Commitment Letter from the University's Grants and Contracts Office.
  • Your grants and contracts office must state in the email that they approve the proposal including budget and budget justification.
  • Note that if your proposal is selected, we will need all paper originals mailed to our office by January 1, 2018.

If you plan to submit a proposal, a courtesy email to wrrc[at]cns.umass[dot]edu with your general topic would be appreciated so we can line up reviewers.

Any questions may be addressed to wrrc[at]cns.umass[dot]edu or called in to WRRC Associate Director Françoise at 413-545-5531

Final MA WRRC awards are contingent upon Congressional approval of FY 2018 funding for the National Water Institute Program.