Iowa Water Center Announces Available Research Grants

The Iowa Water Center Annual Competitive Grants Competition is open for faculty and graduate students at accredited institutions in the State of Iowa. This year, the Iowa Water Center is offering two funding opportunities: Graduate Student Supplemental Research Competition and a Targeted Seed Grant Research Competition.

The Graduate Student Supplemental Research Competition has funding of up to $5,000 for one-year projects for a maximum of three graduate students nearing completion of their program of study. This program allows for students to complete additional research objectives or products beyond the scope of their current water-related funded project. For this opportunity, proposals must address topics related to water resource management in Iowa. Iowa Water Center staff is available to assist students in the development of their submissions.

The Targeted Seed Grant Research Competition is intended to address the most pressing water research needs in Iowa, as determined by Iowa Water Center Advisory Board. The focus area for this opportunity is to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on water, the environment, and connected social-ecological systems. Potential topics of interest regarding COVID-19 impacts include precipitation and discharge; lakes, rivers, and streams; water infrastructure; effluent management, and water quality; and virus transport in the aquatic environment. Funding is available for up to $20,000 for this funding opportunity.

Research proposals must follow RFP guidelines and can be submitted to the Iowa Water Center via email (send to All applicants must provide an intent to submit notice by October 8, 2020 by 5PM Central Time.

Proposals are due October 15, 2020 by 5PM Central Time. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Access full RFP here.

Water Quality, Social Well-being Linkages Focus of Grant Opportunity

The Iowa Water Center and Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University will jointly fund research to explore the linkages between water quality and social well-being for Iowa communities.

The research focus for this request for proposals is social justice and equity issues surrounding populations impacted by water pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus. By seeking to understand downstream impacts and social well-being in relation to nutrient issues, the RFP will address the wellbeing of all members of society within the larger agroecosystem of the Mississippi River Basin.

Potential topics include:

  • Assessment of nutrient impacts on tourism/recreation,
  • Water quality impacts on rural communities and water utility associations,
  • Management and monitoring strategies by downstream communities,
  • Assessment of community and watershed coalition activities to address nutrient management issues.

Studies focused on human-health impacts do not qualify for this RFP.

“Water is a critical, though too-often overlooked, aspect of quality of life,” said Iowa Water Center Director Rick Cruse. “Potable water is vulnerable to the presence of excess nutrients. This can lead to disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities. We want to encourage new research on the social aspects of nutrient pollution, which is vitally needed as we seek to improve Iowa’s water quality for all our citizens.”

Projects must be led by Iowa State University, the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa. Priority will be given to proposals that engage early career faculty or engage graduate and undergraduate students. Also, projects that include the U.S. Geological Survey as a partner will receive extra attention. Other research partners can include local communities, utilities, agencies, businesses and landowners.

Applicants must submit a proposal intention by Oct. 23, 2020, 5 p.m. CDT, with full proposals due Oct. 30, 5 p.m. CDT. Funded projects may start as early as December 2020 and must be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.  

The total amount available is $40,000 to support  one or multiple projects. Funding for this grant opportunity comes from the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and the Iowa Water Center. Matching funds are not required for this grant competition.

Access full RFP here