September 5, 2018 | Lee Cannon

WRRI is teaming up with North Carolina Sea Grant this year for the fourth annual Community Collaborative Research Grant program (CCRG). The program is accepting proposals now through Nov. 20, 2018 and brings together university researchers and communities to study high-priority environmental and economic issues in North Carolina. This is the first year funding is open to projects across the entire state.

John Fear, WRRI’s and North Carolina Sea Grant’s deputy director, says CCRG projects have brought significant returns on investment.

“Programs like the CCRG provide greater flexibility to connect the needs of local communities, school systems, and state agency experts to the academic excellence available across North Carolina,” Fear says. “CCRG is an effective and efficient process to continually address community priorities.”

This is the fourth year the CCRG program has partnered with NC State University’s William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science (KIETS) and the first time the program is also collaborating with the WRRI. Because WRRI focuses on the state’s freshwater priorities, CCRG is expanding its funding opportunities this year to include not only key coastal urgencies, but also statewide water resource issues.

“Drawing on additional expertise from WRRI enables us to widen the scope of topics and the potential reach of CCRG projects,” Fear says. “Now, CCRG can benefit communities from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina.”

According to Raj Narayan, KIETS associate director, authentic community engagement and innovative collaboration remain defining elements of the CCRG program.

“CCRG projects leverage the resources of a broad spectrum of stakeholders — including education, government, industry and non-profit community partners,” Narayan says. “With the addition of the Water Resources Research Institute as a program and funding partner, CCRG aims to expand the platform and opportunity for diverse communities to work collaboratively and address very important issues in our state.”

Fear agrees. “We also hope CCRG projects will increase resources flowing into rural areas of North Carolina.”

Recently funded CCRG projects already are addressing flood risk in Pender County, contaminants in alligators and fish in the Cape Fear River, and the nightscape and its potential for ecotourism on the Outer Albemarle Peninsula. New awards will range from $5,000 to $25,000 for two to 10 projects that take place over one year.

Access the 2018-2019 CCRG Request for Proposals and application.

Read about recently funded CCRG projects.

Read more about the CCRG program: https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/funding-opps/grants/other-opps/community-collaborative-research-grant-program/

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