Iowa Water Center Grant Competitions

Water Scholar Leadership Grants

Water is one of our most valued resources –without it, there would be no life. Degradation of water quality and increased flooding in some areas in the state are often sourced from cities and farms that are managed without watershed management in mind. In Iowa, we have areas with swelling rivers and parched soil; we also have large, costly facilities to clean the water from polluted source water that flows through our faucets. Water touches all disciplines, requiring many perspectives to solve complex water resource management problems, making it a top priority for many interdisciplinary research opportunities. Water resources faculty have a mutual interest, but are often spread across campuses and across the state with few chances to interact.  

For this funding opportunity, we are seeking proposals from accredited colleges and universities in Iowa to kick start water resources communities of research and science communication. This RFP seeks proposals from individuals or small groups interested in developing a water resources research learning community. This mini grant will build leadership experience for the recipient, as well as help build a community of water resource scholars throughout Iowa. The learning community must emphasize the breadth, depth, interdisciplinary aspects, and inclusion underrepresented groups in water resources research. Faculty, staff, and graduate students in the natural sciences, technologies, arts and humanities, and the social sciences should be considered when assembling the proposal.
The 2020 RFP will be released in summer 2020. 

Research Grants

FY2020 WRRA program Aquatic Invasive Species Competitive Grants Program
The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources requests proposals for matching grants to support research on the real and growing impact of numerous aquatic invasive species on water quality and quantity in the Upper Mississippi Basin. Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended ( Proposals involving substantial collaboration between the USGS and university scientists are encouraged. Proposals may be for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration and may request up to $250,000 in federal funds. Successful applicants must match each dollar of the federal grant with one dollar from non-federal sources.

Proposal submission guidelines and RFP are the following:


Iowa Guidelines

The 2020 104(G) Full Proposals are due June 3, 2020 by 5PM to the Iowa Water Center
Program questions can be directed to Hanna Bates, Program Coordinator. Email: 
Annual Grants 
The Iowa Water Center (IWC) participates directly in two research-based grant programs funded through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with funds allocated in the Water Resources Research Act.
Institute Research Grants [§104 (b)]   IWC administers an annual competitive statewide program to fund research that focuses on Iowa water resources problems. The center’s advisory board sets the research priorities. The program fosters collaboration among water-resource researchers at work in Iowa universities, state agencies, and federal offices located in Iowa. Funds available are set by the U.S. Congress and vary from year to year. The IWC issues its Request for Proposals each year in the fall.
For 2020, the Iowa Water Center will be awarding proposals for a Targeted Seed Grant Research Competition and a Graduate Student Supplemental Research Competition. 

  • The 2020 RFP is due November 25, 2019. The request for proposals is available here

National Research Grants [Section 104 (g)]   The U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) jointly administer and set the priorities for this grant program. The focus is on regional and interstate water resources problems, which are typically the scope and interests of a single state. Proposals are submitted through the state’s respective water institute or center before being forwarded to the USGS/NIWR reviewers. An annual RFP is typically issued in November and publicized in Iowa by the IWC.
The Water Resources Research Institutes National Competitive Grants program (104G)  has been released and is hyperlinked below. 
The process differs this year from previous years, requesting full proposal submissions to the Iowa Water Center
The 2020 104(G) Full Proposals are due March 10, 2020 by 5PM to the Iowa Water Center

  • Research Priorities:
    • Expand and enhance the use of hydrologic monitoring data monitoring to support advanced modeling tools to provide state-of-the-art flood and drought forecasts, drive emergency- and water-management decision support systems.
    • Research to help society deal with water scarcity or water availability challenges such as drought, snow pack, and/or changes in runoff regimes.
    • Development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms that advance the science of ecological flows.
    • Exploration and advancement of our understanding of harmful algae blooms (HABs). Proposals are sought that focus on innovations in monitoring the occurrence of HABs and algal toxins, research on factors that result in algal toxin production, and improvements in near-real time modeling and forecasting of toxin-producing blooms.  
Proposal submission guidelines and RFP are the following:

1. 104(G) Iowa Submission Guidelines
2. 104(G) FY2020 Announcement 
Questions can be directed to Hanna Bates, Program Coordinator Email: Phone: 515-294-5650

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