The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources, requests proposals for research projects to address the challenges and opportunities of understanding the effects of per-and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances on water resources, which are poorly understood, despite the real and growing effect of this group of man-made substances on water quality and the resultant exposure to humans, other organisms, and ecosystems.

Research is needed to better understand these interactions and guide management decisions that will improve water resources at the regional or national scale.

For the 2023 National Competitive Grants Program, proposals are sought on the following specific areas of inquiry:

  • Media-specific methods: Enhanced methods for detection on specific media, with a clear indication of new or different compounds, new or different methodological approaches, lower detection levels for specific media or compounds, especially with respect to EPA health guidelines for PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate).

Media of interest include (in ranked order) (1) Tissues/plasma, (2) sediment, (3) air or interfaces, (4) water.

  • Atmospheric sources: Improved understanding of atmospheric exchange in PFAS distribution and fate. This may include methods to determine transport of PFAS to the atmosphere and to subsequent receiving waters, such as a water method that determines “new” compounds based on their likelihood to occur in the atmosphere.
  • Processes oriented at molecular level: Process-oriented research of PFAS fate, transport, and effects, with emphasis on molecular-level understanding of PFAS precursor transformation, sorption dynamics, or mechanisms of bioaccumulation and(or) biological/ecological effects.

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 with discrete 12-month budget periods, and may request up to $279,000 in federal funds. Investigators much match one non-federal dollar to each federal dollar requested.

The deadline for submissions to the Iowa Water Center is April 15, 2023, 5: 00 p.m. Central Time. Investigators are encouraged to read through the Iowa Submission Guidelines prior to reviewing the FY2023 announcement.

104(g) Iowa Submission Guidelines

PFAS FY2023 announcement