Water Resources Research Act Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that the Fiscal Year 2022 104b and 104g funding opportunities have closed.

Jump to: Awards Proposals: Budgets Proposals: Format Proposals: General Proposals: USGS Collaboration Reporting


A full description of the requirements for the Project Summary will be included with your notice of funding (or request for proposal if it is a coordination agreement). To fulfill Office of Management and Budget requirements (OMB M-21-20 and M-22-02), Federal agencies must now provide award descriptions within USAspending.gov. What must you include?

  • Purpose of the funded work.
  • A short description of the activities to be performed.
  • Deliverables and expected Outcomes.
  • Who will benefit from the project?
  • If you have subrecipients, who are they and how are they contributing.

Remember that this is part of a national database that is accessible by the public. What should you avoid?

  • Avoid acronyms (e.g., NASA, ET, UAS, etc.)
  • Federal or agency-specific terminology.
  • Do NOT include links of any type.

The Project Summary is limited to one page of no more than 4000 characters. Use of Times New Roman and 12-point font is recommended.

Proposals: Budgets

The USGS would rather see the Federal appropriations go into salary for research, students, or information transfer - this reflects the WRRA goals and priorities. We do acknowledge reasonable dollars need to be spent on equipment if absolutely needed for the project. Any individual equipment that exceeds $5000 must be fully described and justified in terms of its use within the project.

Matching funds obligated shall be reflected on line 10.i. of each Federal Financial Report, Standard Form 425. Failure to do this accurately will delay awards.

The budget overview in the narrative must match what is entered in the SF-424A: both in how funds are allocated among categories and the total for the request.

Yes. In preparing the budget, a good question to ask is: "Are these funds leaving the Institute university?" Subawards may include individual projects identified by the within-state 104b RFP process or may be a sub-award to a collaborator or researcher at another university. Subawards for outside contractors, whether another academic institution or fee-for-service, are generally considered “contractual”. Subawards need to show in the contractual category on the SF-424A but must be explained with the same details as the rest of budget in the narrative. If there are multiple sub-awards / contracts, clearly name items in the overall narrative and use the same naming convention for the individual sub-award details. Budget details (salary, fringe, tuition, travel, supplies, etc.) are still needed in the narrative for subawards. Total subaward costs must be entered into Contractual category if the University needs a contract to initiate the subaward. Note: If all cost are passed through to a different university (besides the Institute home), then a contract is likely necessary and all costs should be placed in the contractual category in the SF-424A budget details.

No, WRRA is separate from the CESU. Your university cannot use the CESU rate for this program.

Given the timing of when the award will be delivered, we suggest planning the work on a calendar year. We understand that the budget will follow a similar path. We will work with the awardees to confirm a start date.

If you are using the template, each sub-award should have its own budget. You could copy cells A5-E32 and paste them starting at K5. This would let you use the template to add up your total. The total for the sub-award to the other university would then go in cell 26E because it is actually a contract.

Yes, for both the base and competitive proposals, please include the budget workbook with the information that is then explained in the budget justification. For 104b, failure to do this will delay the award to the Institute. For 104g (general, AIS, and PFAS), failure to do this may make it difficult to interpret the viability of your proposal.

Yes. Transfer of funds between direct cost categories when the cumulative amount of transfers during the project period exceeds 10 percent of the total award require advance written approval by the Contracting Officer (USGS). The request must be submitted to the Contracting Officer at least 30 calendar days prior to the requested effective date of the change.

Proposals: Format

Yes, the format for each is detailed in Section D2. Note that all elements described are required - with the exception of the Letters of Support, which are optional. Most of these elements are used to rank the proposals but some fulfill budget and program requirements. Please pay attention to the provided guidelines since they are revised from previous years.

You may create your budget justification using Microsoft Word or other software, and then output it in pdf format for submission to grants.gov. Please ensure that you include all of the sections that are in the provided budget justification.

The funding will be delivered in a single allotment and we anticipate this occurring by December 2022. Consequently, it may make the most sense to show your timeline on a calendar year, with the knowledge that the period of work can be up to 3 years.

Proposals: General

Click the "package" tab and then "apply" and it takes you to the package OR click the "Download Instructions" button in the "FORMS" tab. We also added the full instructions to the "related documents" tab.

Ideally each research proposal should address the concept of data management, as data from these funds should be publicly available. If this in not possible, please provide a plan that covers the overall Institute package.

Every 104g proposal needs to be an independent and complete submission.

As described in the 2022 104b RFP, these awards are anticipated to be issued around September 01, 2022. Work on these projects cannot begin until the award is issued.

Proposals: USGS Collaboration

No, there are only internal USGS funds available for USGS collaborators contributing to 104g (General) projects. There is NO internal funding for USGS collaborators on AIS or PFAS projects as part of the WRRA proposal process.

Given that we now estimate 8 104g general awards, we do not yet know the total funding that will be provided for these USGS collaborations. Please ensure that your USGS collaborator(s) provides a simplified budget for these funds as part of the detailed description of their collaboration. Remember that there will NOT be funds for USGS collaboration on AIS and PFAS proposals.


In the 5th year, SF-425 covers entire period, but annual program report covers only the individual year.

Yes, if a product came out this year but was funded in previous years, please let us know.

  • FY21 reporting reflects the award period September 1, 2021 thru August 31, 2022, and reports are due October 31, 2022 per Attachment 1 - WRRA Special Terms and Conditions. Please include products and other general information that were funded with FY21 funds (or new products from previous years' awards). You should see that only FY21 funded projects are included in the Project Details.
  • Reporting for FY22 and beyond will follow the same schedule: The reporting period for the annual program is September 1 through August 31. The Annual Program Report is to be submitted by October 31 of each year until further notice. If necessary, please estimate activity for the last month of the annual reporting period. The final report for coordination awards should be submitted within 120 days after the completion date of the individual award.

No, please submit the SF-425 directly by emailing it to sf425@usgs.gov. We understand that Grant Solutions is sending out those reminders and that it is also not accepting the forms. Unfortunately, this isn't something that can be fixed for now.

No. As long as you submitted your SF-425 to sf425@usgs.gov and the annual technical report (general and project-specific components) to gs-w.wrri.web.team@usgs.gov, then your reporting is complete. Unfortunately we have no control over the reminder messages that are sent by Grant Solutions.

Please do NOT update the labels in your workbook and if possible, please name the notebook with the FY, "_reporting_", your state abbreviation: FY21_reporting_AK would be an example. Thank you.

Please use the same report template we provided for the FY21 104b program. You can select the grant type on the Project Overview tab in the Award Type column.

No. You should only only list projects that used FY21 funds on the FY21 annual report. Likewise, if you request an extension for a FY21 project, it should not be included on the FY22 annual report next year.

The report should only cover projects supported by FY21 funds. If necessary, you may include a date in the Additional Description/Comments columns on the various worksheets. However, Products and Awards-Acheivements might include those from previous years.

Please select the most applicable type from the menu, and then provide further details in the Additional Comments column if necessary.

If you have an extension, the SF-425 is due within 90 days after the award period ends.

No, please only list those sub-awards for which there is info to report in the subsequent columns. This may mean that the Admin and Outreach sub-awards will not be listed.

Please report the publication with the with the most-applicable project. For the remaining projects, note the publication in the additional comments section.

Please select Water Policy and we will correct it when we receive your report. We will correct this menu item for future reporting periods.

You can list Watershed and Ecosystem Function in the comments for any project to which it applies. We will correct this menu item for future reporting periods.

No, the SF-425 should only inlclude 104b information.