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.

Program Details

Proposals may:

  • 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.

Selection Criteria

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.

Proposal Guidelines

Visit the WRF's Proposal Guidelines page to access supporting documentation for the Unsolicited Research Program.

Submissions & Inquiries

The next Unsolicited Research Program Call for Pre-proposals will open in 2024. Instructions for submitting pre-proposals will be provided when the Call for Pre-proposals is issued.

Finalist Invitation

Pre-proposals submitted in response to a Call for Pre-proposals will be evaluated and finalists selected to submit full proposals.

Program Highlights

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.