What is the Water Research Consortium?

The Confluence Water Research Consortium is a network platform for connecting researchers affiliated with member organizations to develop sustainable, innovative, environmental technologies in response to today's regional, national and global water challenges.

Types of support offered by WRC: basic and applied research, technology development, problem solving, prototype testing, short courses and training, specialized consulting, workforce development.

Ecosystem:  Regional Water Utilities, Entrepreneurial Small Businesses, Large Businesses, Consulting Firms, Federal Laboratories, Federal Government Contractors, State and Local Government, Regulatory Agencies, Foundations.

Water Research Consortium Challenge

2018 Water Research Consortium Grant Challenge

Goal:  The goal of the 2018 Water Research Consortium Grant Challenge is to incentivize greater participation and support of faculty and their students at regional colleges and universities in Confluence and the needs of its stakeholders.

Eligibility:  Faculty, research staff and students affiliated with regional colleges and universities are eligible to participate in the program.  The college or university must be a member of Confluence at the time of award notification to be eligible for funding.  Past awardees are eligible for this competition.

Focus Areas:  Specific research focus areas are given below.  However, this is an open competition and all proposals that are compliant with the submission instructions (see below) will be reviewed and considered for the award.

Focus Area 1:  Lead in Water

1.     Quantifying the risk of lead exposure under various water use scenarios

2.     Non-invasive identification of lead service line locations

3.     Real-time detection and reporting

4.     Educational outreach programs for schools with a focus on primary and secondary students

Additional information about gaps in understanding with regard to lead in water can be access here: White Paper FINAL.docx

Focus Area 2:  Detection and Monitoring of Emerging Contaminants

1.     Development of early warning and/or real-time detection methods with a focus on PFAS and 1,4-dioxane

2.     Modeling of the fate and transport of emerging contaminants under conditions relevant to the Cincinnati – Dayton – Northern Kentucky region


Focus Area 3:  Other Areas of Interest


1.     Innovative ways to incorporate source water protection strategies into the economic and land use development planning process

2.     New methods for nutrient removal or removal of other contaminants from municipal wastewater treatment plant discharges

3.     Real-time monitoring of biological oxygen demand


Submission Requirements:  Although proposals involving a single faculty member are eligible for funding, proposals that show a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach involving faculty from two or more universities or community colleges are desired and will be considered more favorably during the review process, all other factors being equal.  There are no restrictions to the number of additional collaborators, e.g., consultants, government and industry researchers, other interested parties that can be added to the team.  Budget requests must not exceed $10,000.  A cost match from the participating universities is strongly encouraged.

Proposals no longer than 5 single-spaced pages in addition to cited references, single page biosketches of the lead investigators and key personnel, and a budget and budget justification (no more than 2 pages) are requested.  The total package should not exceed 10 pages in length.  The proposal narrative should include a description of the proposed research (work plan) and what will be achieved (likely outcomes) with the funding.  The proposal must also describe how the research supports the mission of Confluence and how the funding will be leveraged to pursue additional funding from external sources.  Allowable expenses include materials and supplies, analytical services, and financial support for undergraduate or graduate students. 

Review Process:  Dr. Phil Taylor, Executive on Loan to Confluence, will manage the proposal submission and review process.  Each proposal will have two reviewers that will prepare written reviews based on review criteria developed by the Confluence Board of Trustees.  As part of the review process, finalists from the review process will be invited to give an oral presentation of their proposed research at a Confluence Connects event in December.  The Board will announce the winner(s) of the competition in January 2019.  Dr. Taylor, with assistance from the Board, will be responsible for assuring there are no conflicts of interest in the review process. 

Submission Instructions:

Submission deadline:  5 pm, November 16, 2018.  Final proposals are to be submitted via email to Dr. Taylor at Taylorp4@ucmail.uc.edu in the form of a PDF file. The email subject line should contain the following:  2018 Water Research Consortium Challenge Proposal.  Technical or administrative questions regarding this challenge competition should be addressed to Dr. Taylor using the email address above.

Key Dates:

Oral presentation by finalists at Confluence Connects event:  December 12, 2018

Awardee notification:  January 2019

Period of award:  1 year.  Estimated start dates are February 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020, subject to change.