FY2013 Maine Water Resources Research Grants Program
Special Focus for 2013:
Emerging Water Resources Issues
Table of Contents:
- Program Objectives
- Research Priorities
- Fiscal Guidelines
- Notification and Award Period
- Pre-proposal Guidelines
- Full Proposal Guidelines
- Appendix A: Focus Categories
- Appendix B: Keywords
- Appendix C: Water Resources Research Act (pdf)
- Three page pre-proposal deadline: Tuesday, May 29, 2012. (Submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Invitation to prepare full proposal: Friday, June 8, 2012.
- List of reviewers deadline: Friday, August 17, 2012. (Submitted to email@example.com)
- Full proposal deadline: August 31, 2012. (See submission guidelines)
- Project Period: March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014.
- Project Report: April 30, 2014.
*** Important Note - Due to federal authorization and appropriations uncertainties, the funding for FY13 budget is not known. Project funding is contingent upon inclusion of the Water Resources Research Institute program in the federal budget.***
This request for pre-proposals from the Maine - USGS Water Research Resources Institute (a program of the Mitchell Center), constitutes the FY13 Maine grants program as authorized by the federal Water Resources Research Act of 1984 as amended. This request for pre-proposals is for research and information transfer projects in the areas of water resources and related environmental sciences. The focus area for 2013 is TBA. Projects involving these topics will be given priority, subject to peer review. Also, proposals submitted by researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions or by new researchers will be given extra consideration in the review process. Approximately $90,000 (depending on Congressional appropriations) will be awarded following external peer review and selection by a panel of Maine environmental specialists and researchers.
Research proposals for projects up to 12 months in duration will be considered to occur in a project period of March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014. Since funding is uncertain, plan for all projects to be completed by that date.
Please note that the match required by USGS for this program is two (2) non-federal dollars for each federal dollar requested. This match should be clearly identified in all proposals responding to this RFP. Questions about meeting or documenting this match should be directed to the WRRI program director John Peckenham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are three categories of projects funded under this program by the Mitchell Center:
- Research grants are funded for up to $40,000, not including required match provided by the PI. A typical grant is approximately $25,000.
- Information transfer or environmental education grants are typically funded in the range of $5,000 to $15,000, not including PI match.
- One year seed grants are funded for no more than $5,000, not including PI match. These grants are intended to be pilot projects or incubators for future research ideas or funding. The PI is urged to describe how these dollars will leverage other funds as part of the project, or comment on anticipated future leveraging of the funds.
Federal program guidelines require that all projects must demonstrate student training. Graduate stipends must be at least $17,605 per year. Investigators must have their full proposals reviewed by their sponsored research office for compliance with applicable rules, regulations, and agreements.
Required deliverables for projects funded under this program include, but are not limited to:
- An annual report in the USGS format as specified by the Mitchell Center,
- One or more student theses, presentations, or posters,
- A talk or technical session by the investigators at a future Maine Water Conference, and
- Final project deliverable(s). A final report is required to be submitted to the Water Research Institute. Final project deliverables may include published or submitted papers as a significant portion of a final report. Investigators may also submit as the final deliverable, a follow-on proposal to another agency. USGS support must be acknowledged in all publications.
This program supports:
- research projects that respond to high priority state research issues in freshwater or estuarine environments as outlined in the priorities section below;
- information transfer projects that enhance communication of research results, or serve a broad environmental education or public service function; and
- research projects that explore or develop innovative topics, especially 'seed' or pilot projects with a high likelihood of generating significant additional funding in the future from other agencies.
Projects on surface waters, ground waters, and estuarine waters are encouraged in the following areas:
FY 2013 Special Topic
Emerging Water Resources Issues (Special Focus Areas)
The special focus for FY13 WRRI grants will be research to understand the nature of emerging water resources issues. These grants can be used to conduct research that quantify new risks to water resources. Emerging issues must be linked to the availability and supply of water resources. Social institutions are also part of this special topic and proposals that strengthen education and outreach under this special topic are encouraged. Extra consideration in the review process will be given to those proposals that demonstrate a strong link with water use and availability topics that involves multiple institutions. Pre-proposals must explicitly contain a statement about addressing these special topics and also show relevance for consideration. For example, the transport and fate of coal tar pavement sealers would be considered an emerging issue while the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in water resources is not now an emerging issue. Please contact John Peckenham (email@example.com) with your question on this topic.
New researchers and faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions are invited to submit proposals. Additional extra consideration in the review process will be given to proposals in this category.
All of the core themes for the Maine WRRI program also apply to the special theme.
Non-point source pollution and watershed management
Research in this category includes the role of non-point source contributions to environmental degradation and the evaluation of effective, economic technologies for their control. Example topics include: a) sources/magnitudes of pollution to surface and ground waters from agriculture, silviculture, urban-suburban runoff, and atmospheric deposition; b) forestry and water quality; c) the evaluation/demonstration of low-cost/low-maintenance better management practices (BMPs); d) pollution prevention methods or enhanced environmental monitoring techniques, e) improved understanding or mitigation of lake eutrophication, f) water quality and land use development patterns, especially as they pertain to the Maine stormwater control law; g) non-point source runoff to estuaries; h) drinking water source protection; i) TMDL research or development; j) ecological flow requirements (minimum flows, flow variation, effects of flow management including withdrawal); k) water issues related to Atlantic salmon.
Contaminant transport, fate, history, effect, and remediation
Research in this category includes: a) the fate and transport of toxic inorganic or organic chemicals, b) the monitored history, inferred history, or inventories of contamination, and the demonstrated effects; or c) the development of cost effective remedial measures or analytical techniques for these contaminants. Research expanding the foci of the DEP Surface Water Ambient Toxics program (SWAT) could include concentrations, fate, transport, persistence, or innovative analytical techniques for mercury, dioxin, PCBs, trace metals, or pesticides in aquatic environments.
Information transfer or environmental education (IT/EE)
Competitive projects in IT/EE will be those which enhance communication or use of existing data, bring together partners and collaborators to develop innovative mechanisms for IT or EE, or serve a facilitating role for research and monitoring in Maine. Leveraging and partnerships are important for maximum impact for the funding.
Projects will be given extra consideration by the review panel if they are developed with:
- USGS scientists in the National Water Quality Assessment program, or in the Water Resources or Biological Resources Divisions of USGS in Maine (Augusta or Orono field offices),
- DEP or UMaine scientists in the Maine Surface Water Ambient Toxic program,
- Maine Geological Survey scientists working in watersheds identified by the Water Resources Planning Committee,
- other agency initiatives, or
- other multi-institutional collaborations.
The goals of these collaborations are a) for broader use and awareness of existing academic, state, and federal data, and b) research that builds on existing data to further investigate issues beyond the scope of agency resources. Investigators should clearly identify collaborations in pre-proposals and proposals. Mitchell Center staff can assist PIs in making connections with potential collaborators (call 581-3244).
See http://www.umaine.edu/waterresearch/research/funded.htm for a partial listing of University and agency environmental scientists. Experience has shown that single-investigator proposals do poorly in research competitions due to the inherent multi-disciplinary needs of applied research: Single investigator proposals are discouraged.
- Federal guidelines for this USGS program require that principal investigators (PI) be faculty or regular staff of a four-year institution of higher education in Maine. Co-investigators are not required to meet this criterion.
- All PIs and co-PIs must be current on deliverables from prior USGS Institute grants.
- Federal employees cannot be Principal Investigators, but are encouraged as co-investigators. Federal employees may not be supported by funds from these grants, but are encouraged to provide fiscal support for the project. Federal support cannot be counted as match.
- This program supports water resource-related research. Projects primarily focusing on human health, specific biological organisms or communities (unless to be used as an indicator or wider application), oceanography, or exclusively marine issues are not eligible for this program under federal rules. Estuarine proposals are eligible for funding.
We encourage researchers at all colleges and universities to apply for research or information transfer grants. The Mitchell Center will provide a bibliography of proposal writing support documents and training, as well as information about potential collaborators at the University of Maine. Additional special consideration is given to new researchers, junior faculty, and graduate student projects.
Proposal budgets must reflect a $2 non-federal match for each federal dollar requested. This means that a federal request of $20,000 will result in a research project with at least a $60,000 total project cost. The match may include fringe benefits and indirect costs, as well as direct costs. Contact John Peckenham at the Mitchell Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) for specific guidance on match. Overhead costs are not permitted to be charged on the federal funding request in this program, although the match may include the indirect costs that are not charged on federal dollars. An Excel budget template is available. Please contact UMGMC@maine.edu for a copy of the template.
All projects must include a training component for students, and typically will fund a graduate assistantship or undergraduate stipend. The recommended minimum monthly graduate stipend rate is $1,471 ($17,650 annual) . PIs are urged to provide tuition in the ‘other’ budget line. Tuition does not generate IDC match. Please note that partial payment of health insurance premiums is required for UMaine graduate students. Please check the ORSP web page for details.
NOTIFICATION AND AWARD PERIOD
Proposed projects may be up to 12 months in duration and may begin as early as March 1, 2013. Projects must be completed by February 28, 2014. No extensions will be granted at this time. Successful PI's will be notified by December 2012, pending federal budget completion.