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Student Funding

Open Funding Opportunities

There are currently no open funding opportunities for students.

Closed Funding Opportunities

These opportunities are currently closed.

Mountains to Sea Graduate Research Fellowship

This opportunity is funded by NC WRRI and North Carolina Sea Grant. It is open to full-time graduate students at North Carolina’s colleges and universities. Proposed research should be conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

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 and Climate Impacts
  • Erosion and Sediment Control
  • Groundwater Quality and/or Quantity
  • Water Treatment, including Aquaculture Effluent
  • Planning and Policy related to Water Resources Management

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.

We also encourage undergraduate participation in proposed projects.

Each research project should align with the strategic plans of NC WRRI and/or NC Sea Grant, as well as with the programs’ shared vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  • Deadline: November 17, 2023 at 5:00pm. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Application Resources


For questions, please contact John Fear at or Kaitlin Tucker at

WRRI–USGS 104(b) Grants

For North Carolina faculty and graduate students:

This RFP is sponsored by WRRI and the USGS 104(b) program.

Graduate student proposals are limited to one-year projects and a $10,000 maximum award amount. The anticipated start date for student projects is January 3, 2023. Start dates and award amounts are contingent upon receipt of federal funds.


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

Explore Previously-funded Student Projects

From left to right, three images of researchers: A student researcher poses in the lab, dressed in full PPE; a student researcher in waders poses in the middle of a river; a student researcher poses while taking tree cores in a wetland.

WRRI values diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and accessibility.

Application Tip:
Letters of Support

When sponsoring faculty write letters of support for a student’s application, the letter should demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the student and indicate confidence in the student’s specific abilities. In areas where the student may be lacking, consider using the letter to address how the sponsoring faculty member, their lab or collaborators might help the student gain necessary skills or knowledge.