Community Collaborative Research Grant (CCRG)

Now open. Deadline is 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2022.

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. WRRI focus areas eligible under this RFP include: stormwater management; drinking water, wastewater and water infrastructure; groundwater and surface water; and watershed management.

Proposals should align with WRRI and North Carolina Sea Grant’s vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility. The programs strongly encourage proposals from people in traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, including rural areas of North Carolina, as well as proposals that demonstrate how projects and related outreach will benefit those communities.

Recognizing that some student, faculty and community partners have historically been underserved and under-targeted with research opportunities, and often are underrepresented in the sciences, we encourage submissions by and/or collaborations with one or more of the following: African American, Hispanic and Native American partners, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

The start date is May 1, 2022.

Contact John Fear at


The Community Collaborative Research Grant Program is open for proposals until 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2022.

Application Materials

Please check here and on social media periodically for announcements when funding opportunities open.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

WRRI’s relevance increasingly will rely on how well we embody diversity, equity and inclusion. Visit our DEI statement to learn about the intentional measures we are taking in our hopes to fully realize diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of our programmatic portfolio.


The following funding opportunities are offered cyclically and will be updated as information and funding are available.


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


WRRI–USGS 104(b) Grants

This request 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 2021-2022 Competitive Grants Program. This RFP is sponsored by WRRI and the USGS 104(b) program.

Faculty may propose one- or two-year projects for the 2021-2022 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 projects is March 1, 2021. Start dates and award amounts are contingent upon receipt of federal funds.

A recording of the May 6 informational webinar is available upon request to John Fear. A PDF version of the slide deck is available here.

For additional questions, please contact John Fear.

USGS 104(g) Grants

This request is now closed.

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, submitted through the state’s water resources research institute. We will not consider proposals that are submitted for hydrologic research that do not address these areas.

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

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

For proposal questions, please contact John Fear at

For budget questions, please contact Mary Beth Barrow 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.

WRRI Funding Application Tip – Letters of Support

When sponsoring faculty write letters of support for a student’s grant 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, it’s not always a negative to identify these learning opportunities. Consider using the letter to address a plan whereby the sponsoring faculty member, their lab, or collaborators would help the student gain the necessary skills or knowledge to complete the proposed research.