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Funding Opportunities

About WRRI Funding

NC WRRI’s research addresses prominent water resources issues. In many cases, we identify emerging issues and provide initial data that are used by staff and research teams to leverage larger grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation.

We provide grants that support research on important topics to North Carolina stakeholders and USGS. In addition, we support fellowships that train our current graduate students to become next-generation water resources researchers.

As the population of our state and the nation continues to grow and diversify, WRRI’s relevance increasingly will rely on how well we embody diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility. As such, we strongly encourage proposals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and/or from members of traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as from applicants whose projects and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.

Open Funding Opportunities

There are currently no open funding opportunities with NC WRRI. Our next call for graduate student proposals will open in early Fall 2023.

Closed Funding Opportunities

USGS 104(g) Grants

This request is now closed.

North Carolina’s Water Resources Research Institute is accepting proposals for three separate 104(g) opportunities sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey. Interested researchers must submit proposals to NC WRRI by 5pm ET on April 13th, 2023 to be considered. Proposals will then be submitted by NC WRRI on behalf of the researcher.

The National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) and U.S. Geological Survey award grants annually under the USGS Section 104(g) Competitive Grants Program.

Please be aware that USGS is not asking for pre-proposals this year and only requesting full proposals for high priority research areas as written in the RFPs below. We will not consider proposals that are submitted for hydrologic research that do not address these areas.

We ask that all interested researchers provide informal notice of their intent to submit proposals by emailing John Fear at

View more information and the 2023 USGS 104(g) RFPs on the USGS website.

For proposal questions, please contact John Fear at For budget questions, please contact Mary Beth Barrow at

Community Collaborative Research Grant (CCRG)

This request is now closed.

The Community Collaborative Research Grant Program, or CCRG, is supported by WRRI and North Carolina Sea Grant, in partnership with the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science based at North Carolina State University.

The CCRG requires the use of a collaborative research approach that couples the knowledge of community stakeholders with academic experts in the field to address priority issues that align with the missions and strategic plans of WRRI and Sea Grant.

The start date is April 1, 2023.

Contact John Fear at


The Community Collaborative Research Grant Program has a deadline in early spring each year.

Application Materials

WRRI–USGS 104(b) Grants

The request for faculty pre-proposals and student proposals is now closed.

For North Carolina faculty and graduate students:

WRRI issued its annual RFP for faculty pre-proposals and graduate student proposals for the FY 2022-2023 Competitive Grants Program. This RFP is sponsored by WRRI and the USGS 104(b) program.

Faculty pre-proposals are due Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at 5 p.m. (now closed)

Full student proposals are due Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, at 5 p.m. (now closed)

Faculty may propose one- or two-year projects for the 2022-2023 cycle, with a maximum award of $60,000 per year. Student proposals are limited to one-year projects and a $10,000 maximum award amount. The anticipated start date for faculty projects is September 1, 2023. The anticipated start date for student projects is January 3, 2023. Start dates and award amounts are contingent upon receipt of federal funds.

Graduate Student Funding

This request is now closed.

NC WRRI and North Carolina Sea Grant again will offer a joint competitive funding opportunity for full-time graduate students at North Carolina’s colleges and universities. Applicants should propose research they will conduct under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Also, research should address one or more of these focus areas:

  • Emerging Regulated and Unregulated Contaminants of Concern
  • Microplastic Pollution, and Marine Debris
  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Harmful Algal Blooms and Associated Toxins
  • Nuisance Flooding
  • Erosion and Sediment Control

WRRI and Sea Grant strongly encourage proposals from students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), students from underrepresented or underserved communities, and students who can demonstrate how their research and related outreach will benefit underrepresented or underserved communities.

The link for the full RFP with application instructions is below.

For questions, please contact John Fear at

Stormwater Consortium Projects

This request is now closed.

Fostering community engagement and enhancing community-municipal partnerships to address linkages between stormwater and trash, litter and/or illicit discharges in NC Stormwater Consortium (SWC) member municipalities. The Stormwater Consortium was previously known as the Stormwater Group (SWG).

RFP Issue Date: Nov. 7, 2018
Submissions closed: Feb. 11, 2019

Download the full RFP
About the Stormwater Consortium

Overview (see RFP for complete details):

This unique RFP approach involves the submission of a research concept with the potential for the selected applicant(s) to co-develop a full proposal in collaboration with the SWC’s municipal stormwater members.

Community Engagement: Proposed projects should engage underserved communities, marginalized communities, communities of color and/or low- or fixed-income communities. Proposals should include meaningful public engagement, public participation or collaboration with members of the communities where research will take place.

Applicants: Faculty, consultants and nonprofits in North Carolina are eligible to apply (see RFP for complete details on eligibility). Recognizing that some students, faculty and professionals of color have been underserved and under-targeted with research opportunities, and that some students, faculty and professionals of color are underrepresented in the sciences, we strongly encourage submissions by and/or collaborative partnerships with one or more of the following: African American, Hispanic and Native American faculty, students and professionals; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); or Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

Disciplines and Scope: Proposed research must take place in the service area(s) of at least one SWC-member municipality. Projects may address research questions and methods in the fields of social science, education, communications, natural science, engineering, economics or policy, or a combination of these disciplines, as applied to the focus area described in the RFP.


Researchers interested in receiving funding from the Urban Water Consortium and/or Stormwater Consortium are encouraged to review their research priorities. Researchers can submit proposals to the WRRI annual call for proposals and those of relevance will be directed to the UWC or SWC for consideration. Researchers wishing to present a research idea to these groups either informally, or formally but outside of the annual call for proposals, may contact John Fear of WRRI, or one of the groups’ voting representatives.


WRRI occasionally offers mini-grant opportunities, often in partnership with NC Sea Grant. There is not currently a call for proposals for mini-grants.