Under the Competitive Grants Program since 2012, the Water Center considers proposals for student research grants.
The call for proposals is issued between January and early March with a submittal deadline in March or April. The starting date for funded projects differs each year, but is typically between June and September, with an ending date about one year later.
Proposals are considered in all areas of water resources. Submitted proposals are reviewed and ranked by peers and a subset of members from the Water Center’s Technical Advisory Panel. Review criteria include intellectual merit, innovation, the likelihood of success, broader impacts on Virginians, and alignment with state or regional water resources challenges.
- For more information, e-mail Dr. Kevin McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (540) 231-6017
- Proposal guidelines: 2023 Request for Proposals – Due date March 31, 2023 5:00 PM
For published research supported by the VWRRC Competitive Grants Program, click here.
Guidelines for reporting are available here. There will be a minimum of two reports required – interim report and a final report at the end of the project. Additional information about projects may be requested by VWRRC staff for purposes of outreach and communication.
Past Competitive Grants Recipients
Example publications resulting from this program can be found here.
- Gavriel Cambridge: Hydrologic and biogeochemical impacts of beaver activity on stream restoration, Undergraduate student, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
- Amanda Darling, Wastewater characterization and enteropathogen quantification in a rural Virginia sewershed and associated implications for local water resources, Doctoral student, Dept. of Population Health Sciences & the Public Health Program, Virginia Tech
- Robert Herbst: Equity-informed optimal watershed management, Doctoral student, Engineering Systems and Environment, University of Virginia
- Cissy Ming: Geochemical drivers of effective manganese mitigation by hypolimnetic oxygenation in drinking water reservoirs, Master’s student, Dept. of Geosciences, Virginia Tech
- Kristen Bretz: Biological Controls on Water Quality in Contracting and Expanding Headwater Streams; Doctoral student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
- Dexter Howard: Forecasting drinking water quality in a southwest Virginia reservoir to improve drinking water management; Doctoral student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
- Mina Shahed Behrouz: New conceptualizations of catchment-scale stormwater pollutant generation processes; Doctoral student, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
- Katherine Wardinski: Soil dissolved organic matter and nutrient sources from urban wetlands and stormwater control measures; Master’s student, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
- Mary Coughter: Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in the James River: Metagenomic Analysis of Biofilm and Planktonic Diversity; Master’s Student in Dept. of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Stephen DeVilbiss: Impacts of freshwater salinization on primary production and stream ecosystem metabolism; Doctoral Student in School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
- Kathryn Lopez: Managing Emerging Challenges with Galvanic Corrosion in Drinking Water Infrastructure; Doctoral Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech.
- Stephanie Wilson: From the subsurface to the sky: combining drone and radon surveys to constrain groundwater nutrient discharge; Doctoral Student in Biological Sciences at William and Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science
- Derek Detweiler: The role of dissolved organic matter in supporting harmful algal blooms in the York River, Virginia; Doctoral Student in the Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary.
- Samantha Fortin: From gene to plastic: Metagenomic identification and quantification of plastic degrading bacteria; Doctoral Student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary
- Joseph Morina: The effect of salinization on freshwater wetland microbial communities and its implication for the eutrophication of Virginia’s coastal waters; Doctoral Student in the VCU Department of Biology.
- Meredith Seeley: A Novel Method for Measuring the Occurrence and Distribution of Microplastics in the Tissues of Aquatic Biota; Doctoral Student in the Aquatic Health Science Department, Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
- Sarah Busch, M.S. student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Evaluating mechanisms of opportunistic pathogen growth in low flow rate drinking water pipes”
- Katie Krueger, M.S. student, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Metal fluxes across the sediment water interface in a drinking water reservoir”
- Brendan Player, M.S. student, Department of Environmental Science, Christopher Newport University: “Nutrient uptake in degraded and restored sections of urban streams across project age gradients”
- Mary Lofton, Ph.D. student, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech: “Simulating storms to predict phytoplankton community responses to future climate change: a whole-ecosystem mixing experiment”
- Stephanie Houston, Ph.D. student, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech: “A renewable filtration system for the removal and reuse of pollutants from retention ponds”
- Joanna Adadevoh, Ph.D. student, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia: “Exploiting Bacterial Chemotaxis to Enhance Degradation of NAPL Sources in Contaminated Groundwater Systems”
- Carrie Jensen, Ph.D. student, Geospatial and Environmental Analysis Program, Virginia Tech: “Headwater stream length dynamics during storm events in the Valley and Ridge Province”
- Amanda Laverty, Ph.D. student, Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University: “Microplastics as vectors for bacteria and human pathogens in coastal environments”
- Jonathan Doubek, Ph.D. student, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech: “Effects of hypolimnetic hypoxia on zooplankton biomass, community composition, and vertical distribution in Virginia reservoirs: top down implications for water quality.”
- Kelsey Fall, Ph.D. student, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary: “The influence of suspended particle properties on water clarity in eutrophied estuaries.”
- Raymond Lee, Ph.D. student, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech: “Relative roles of biogeochemical cycling and hydrologic transport on nutrient export at a forested hillslope.”
- Brady Ziegler, Ph.D. student, Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “A mass balance approach to investigate arsenic in a petroleum hydrocarbon plume.”
- Emily Lipscomb, Ph.D. student in the Virginia Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: “Effect of storm events on transport of antibiotic resistance genes in surface water and sediment: Implications for watershed management.”
- Abby Lunstrum, M.S. student in University of Virginia Department of Environmental Sciences: “Using bioextraction to mitigate nutrient pollution in Chesapeake Bay: Is oyster aquaculture an effective BMP?”
- Alison O’Connor, Ph.D. student in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Department of Physical Sciences/Chemical Oceanography: “Mechanism and rate of uranium sequestration and mobilization in Virginia coastal groundwater?”
- Tyler Weiglein, undergraduate student in the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering: “Soil greenhouse gas emissions across a riparian-upland gradient: variation due to altered simulated rainfall frequency and magnitude.”
- Kris Brown, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech: “Modeling sediment delivery rates from forest road approaches in the Virginia Piedmont region to improve the cost-effectiveness of stream crossing BMP implementation.”
- Emily Lassiter, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Optimization of denitrification and mitigation of green house gas emission in a denitrifying bioreactor.”
- Denise Levitan, Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Precipitation kinetics of autunite minerals: implications for uranium immobilization.”
- Kelsey Pieper, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Identifying sources of lead release in Virginia’s private drinking water systems.”
- Polydefkis (Pol) Bouratsis, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Large-scale bridge scour modeling.”
- Sarah Eagle, Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Geochemical Data to Characterize the Role of the Epikarst in Controlling the Quantity and Quality of Recharge to a Karst Aquifer.”
- C. Nathan Jones, Biological System Engineering, Virginia Tech: “The Development of an Ecohydraulic Model to Estimate Nitrogen Loss in a Floodplain.”
- Oluyinka Oyewumi, Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Using column experiments to examine transport of roxarsone (As) and other trace elements released from poultry litter: Implications for trace element mobility in agricultural watersheds.”
2011 (prior to 2011, this program primarily supported faculty)
- Teresa Culver, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Virginia: “Integrating Ecological Flows into BMP Designs.”
- no grants awarded
- Biswarup Mukhopadhyay, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech: “Evaluating the Effects of Dairy Manure Treatment Systems on Pathogen Reduction Using a Novel Quantitative PCR-based Method.”
- David T. Gauthier, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary: “Ecology of Mycobacterial Striped Bass Pathogens in Water and Sediments of the Rappahannock River, VA”
- Zhiyou Wen, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Molecular Assessment of the Fate of Pathogenic Organisms in Dairy Manure”
- Paul Bukaveckas, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University: “Nutrient Retention in Tributary Streams of the James River”
- Madeline Schreiber, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “The Role of Epikarst in Controlling Recharge, Water Quality and Biodiversity in Karst Aquifer Systems in Virginia”
- Brooks Crozier, Roanoke College: “DNA-Sequence Based Micorbial Source Tracking (MST) of Enterococcus spp”
- Howard Kator, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary: “Detection of Norovirus in Sewage Effluent and Its Persistence in Estuarine Water Using Real-Time PCR”
- Nancy Love, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Evaluating the Extent of Pollution-Induced Antibiotic Resistance in Environmental Bacterial Strains”
- Marc Edwards, Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Effect of Chloramines on Lead Leaching, Bacterial Growth and Non-Uniform Copper Corrosion”
- Katharine Knowlton, Department of Diary Science, Virginia Tech: “Fate of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Dairy Manure During Storage and Treatment”
- Madeline Schreiber, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Recharge in Karst Agricultural Watersheds”
- Peter van Veld, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary: “Biomarker Responses in Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) During Life-Cycle Exposure to Biosolids”
- Howard Kator, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary: “Role of Sediment as a Source and Reservoir of Fecal Coliforms with Regard to Shellfish TMDL in Virginia”
- William Knocke, Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech: “Development of Soluble Manganese Sorptive Contractors for Enhancing Potable Water Treatment Practices”
- Michal Kowalewski, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech: “Industrial Mercury Pollution of the North Fork Holston River (Virginia): New Non-Invasive Strategies for Assessing Anthropogenic Deterioration of Freshwater Ecosystems”