The North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute’s Community Collaborative Research Grant program is now open and accepting proposals through Feb. 19, 2021. The program brings communities and university researchers together to study high-priority environmental and economic issues in North Carolina.
New grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000 for projects that take place over one year.
CCRG projects bring significant returns on investment, deepening the connections of communities with researchers at our state’s universities, explains John Fear, the deputy director for NC WRRI and North Carolina Sea Grant.
“The CCRG Program provides opportunities for new partnerships that sustain themselves well after the end of individual projects, allowing momentum that produces ongoing benefits,” Fear says. “This program is an effective and efficient process to continually address community priorities that can change year to year.”
WRRI and its partners strongly encourage proposals from applicants at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and/or from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as proposals that demonstrate how projects and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.
In 2020, the program funded projects that addressed the safety of shellfish harvests, efficient shoreline restoration and youth leadership training.
The CCRG program enables NC WRRI to partner with NC State University’s William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science (KIETS) and the North Carolina Sea Grant program. CCRG funding opportunities can address key coastal issues as well as watersheds and water resource topics.
“Drawing on expertise from [all three programs] enables us to look at a wide range of proposed CCRG projects,” Fear says. “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.
“The CCRG program empowers both technical and adaptive leadership enabling thoughtful collaborations between community, academic, government, industry and non-profit partners,” Narayan says. “The projects supported through the CCRG have been very diverse and creative — and they address important issues and relevant opportunities for communities across the state to work together in order to develop and implement ideas and solutions that enhance the environmental and economic vitality of North Carolina.”
The deadline for proposals is Feb. 19, 2021.