Unsolicited Research Program
The Unsolicited Research Program is designed to fund innovative research projects that can significantly advance scientific knowledge and result in practical water quality solutions. The program routinely receives 10% of WRF’s allocated research budget each year.
The next Unsolicited Research Program Call for Pre-proposals will open in 2024. Please stay tuned for more information!
Projects are selected using a two-step process consisting of the submission and review of pre- and final proposals.
The total budget available for all projects funded under the Unsolicited Research Program in 2022 is $984,390. Funding ranges from $25,000–$175,000 for individual projects.
- Complement the Research Priority Program
- Address issues of regional and national significance
- Involve the piloting of novel technologies
- Address research on drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, and stormwater.
Pre-Proposals will be selected based on:
- Technical and Scientific Merit
- Project Originality
- Technical Approach
- Significance and Value of Research
- Project Schedule and Qualifications of Key Personnel/Organizational Capacity
Note that the selection criteria for the full proposals may be different and will be provided to all shortlisted pre-proposers at the time of pre-proposal selection notification.
Visit WRF's Proposal Guidelines page to access supporting documentation for the Unsolicited Research Program.
Instructions for submitting pre-proposals will be provided when the call for pre-proposals is issued.
After pre-proposals are evaluated, a short list of finalists will be invited to submit full proposals.
Top Pre-proposal Topics
Advanced Treatment/Water Reuse, CECs (e.g., PFAS), Drinking Water Quality (e.g., pathogens), Biosolids, Intelligent Water Systems, Resource Recovery
- Give Membranes the Virus Removal Credit They Deserve, Using Rapid In-Field Molecular-Based Methods (5209)
- Real-Time Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds in RO-Based Potable Reuse (5210)
- Understanding the Value Proposition for Thermal Processes to Mitigate PFAS in Biosolids (5211)
- Enhanced Aeration and Scum Recovery for Physical Removal of PFAS from Wastewater (5212)
- Inactivation of Biofilm-bound Opportunistic Pathogens in Premise Plumbing Using UVC LEDs (5213)
- Direct In Situ Measurement of PFAS Transformation & Leaching from Land-Applied Biosolids (5214)
Top Pre-proposals Topics
PFAS, Drinking Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Water Quality, Harmful Algal Blooms, Advanced Water Treatment, Nutrients
- Rapid Detection and Quantitation of Active Microorganisms (5100)
- Real-Time Carbon Management of Water Resource Recovery FacilitiesUusing In-Situ Bio-electrochemical Sensors (5101)
- Application of Novel Method to Estimate Total PFAS Content in Water (5102)
- Microwave Regeneration of PFAS-Exhausted Granular Activated Carbons (5103)
- Use of DNA Nanostructures as Viral Surrogates in Potable Reuse Applications (5104)
Top Pre-proposals Topics
Water Treatment Processes (Treatment Intensification), Microbes & Pathogens, Constituents of Emerging Concern, Reuse, Stormwater
- Partial Denitrification Anammox as Alternative Pathway to Achieve Mainstream Short-Cut Nitrogen Removal (5027)
- Fate of Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs) and Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens in Full-Scale Activated Sludge Processes and the Optimization of Activated Sludge Processes for Reduction of ARGs (5028)
- Environmental Persistence and Disinfection of Lassa Virus and SARS-CoV-2 to Protect Worker and Public Safety (5029)
Questions about the Unsolicited Research Program
Please contact Jeff Moeller, PE, Research Unit Leader and Lola Olabode, MPH, BCES, Research Program Manager, with questions about the Unsolicited Research Program.
Questions about the Proposal Submittal Process
Please contact our Senior Administrative Assistant, Caroline Bruck, with questions about proposal submittal using JotForm. She can be reached by phone at 303.347.6118.