Unsolicited Research


The Unsolicited Research Program supports WRF in its mission by funding research projects that can be the catalyst for transforming our understanding of our water resources and our ability to protect and preserve them in a sustainable and cost effective manner and to minimize impact on public health and the environment. WRF is seeking pioneering research pre-proposals that will significantly advance knowledge and understanding in protection and enhancement of water quality or the water environment and that could fundamentally transform how WRF subscribers perform their work. WRF also considers pre-proposals that would take existing research to the next level of completion, resulting in practical solutions to water quality problems. Those with likelihood to advance knowledge and understanding, and provide relevant information for WRF Subscribers are invited to submit full proposals. WRF requests that all prime contractor/subcontractor decisions be made among proposing teams prior to submission of full proposals. For more information, please contact WRF Program Director Lola Olabode at lolabode@waterrf.org.

2018 Unsolicited Research Program Call for Pre-Proposals

WRF is currently reviewing pre-proposals. Those selected for full proposal invitation will be notified on August 24, 2018.

Program Area: Pre-proposals will be accepted for research on drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, stormwater, and other sources of water addressing water quality, nutrients, energy, reuse, and biosolids.
Pre-Proposals Submissions and Inquiries: UnsolicitedProposals@waterrf.org
WRF Contact: Lola Olabode, MPH, BCES
Phone: (571) 384-2109

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) will be offering funding for research projects under the Unsolicited Research Program that can be the catalyst for transforming our understanding of our water resources and our ability to protect and preserve them in a sustainable and cost effective manner and to minimize impact on public health and the environment. WRF is seeking pioneering pre-proposals that will significantly advance knowledge and understanding and that could fundamentally transform how WRF subscribers perform their work. 
 
2018 Unsolicited Research Program Budget: $354,090 for 3-4 project awards
Project Duration: 2 Years
Shortlisted Full Proposal Invitation: August 24, 2018

Supporting Documents:
2018 Unsolicited Pre-Proposal Guidelines (PDF)
2018 Unsolicited Pre-Proposal Instructions (PDF)
2018 Unsolicited Pre-Proposal Cover Sheet (DOC)
2018 Unsolicited Pre-Proposal FAQ (PDF)
2018 Unsolicited Pre-Proposal Budget Sheet (XLS)

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ will be updated continuously with your questions as they arise. Last Update: 05-17-2018

The projects below were selected from recent proposals because of their likelihood to advance knowledge and understanding, and provide relevant information for WE&RF subscribers. Chart of WERF Unsolicited Research Projects 2006-2015

2017 Proposals

Self-healing hydrogel-composite membranes: from proof-of-concept to water reuse application (WRF17-25)

Principal Investigator Jaehong Kim, Yale University

Leveraging Big-Data and Deep Learning for Condition Assessment of Pipelines (WRF17-24)

Principal Investigator Dulcy Abraham Purdue University

Combining Nitrite-Shunt/Anammox Process with Sidestream Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Process for Simultaneous and Sustainable Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal (WRF 17-23)

Principal Investigator April  Z. Gu, Northeastern University

Unlocking the Potential of Mixed-Microbial Fermentation for Enhancing Carbonaceous Resource Recovery from Organic ‘Wastes’ (WRF17-22)

Principal Investigator Kartik Chandran, Columbia University


2016 Proposals

Characterization of Organic Carbon and Microbial Communities for the Optimization of Biologically-Active Carbon (BAC) Filtration for Potable Reuse (U1R16)

Principal Investigator Amy Pruden, Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Concept Development of Chemical Treatment Strategy for PFOS-Contaminated Water (U2R16)

Principal Investigator Hyeok Choi, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Arlington

Utility Validation of Alternative Method for NDMA Analysis Requiring Less Time, Cost, and Sample Volume (U3R16)

Principal Investigator Megan H. Plumlee, Ph.D., Orange County Water District

Estimating the Comammox Contribution to Ammonia Oxidation in Nitrogen Removal Systems (U4R16)

Principal Investigator Ameet J. Pinto, Ph.D., Northeastern University


2015 PROPOSALS

Nationwide Meta-Omics Survey Of Anaerobic Digestion And Fermentation Processes For Resource Recovery From Biosolids And Other Organics (U1R15)

Principal Investigator Kartik Chandran, Ph.D., Columbia University

Next Generation Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Low Temperature Domestic Wastewater Treatment: Pilot Study (U2R15)

Principal Investigator Lutgarde Raskin, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Evaluating Fate of Coliphages in WRRFs and Potential Costs to Reduce Coliphages in WRRF Effluents (U3R15)

Principal Investigator Melanie Mann, PE, Hazen and Sawyer

Intensified Hydrolysis for High Solids Destruction: Testing the Limits of Advanced Digestion (U4R15)Principal Investigator Rumana Riffat, Ph.D., P.E., George Washington University Multi-Mode Filtration System For Waste Water Recovery And Desalination (U5R15)

Principal Investigator Weifeng Li, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati