Proposals for North Carolina Sea Grant’s Community Collaborative Research Grant program are being accepted now through Jan. 20, 2020.
The program brings together community stakeholders and academic experts in the field from the across the state to study high-priority environmental and economic issues in the state. New awards will range from $5,000 to $25,000 for two to 10 projects that take place over one year.
John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant’s deputy director, said these projects have increased the impacts of schools in the University of North Carolina System and private universities on rural areas of North Carolina.
“CCRG provides opportunities for new partnerships that sustain themselves well after the end of individual projects, allowing momentum for ongoing benefits,” Fear said in a statement. “This program is an effective and efficient process to continually address community priorities that can change year to year.”
Fear said he anticipates the program will continue to benefit rural areas in the state. Recently funded projects have addressed community resilience, wetland water quality treatment, algal blooms and the nightscape and its potential for ecotourism.
This is the fourth year the program has partnered with North Carolina State University’s William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science, or KIETS, and the second year the program is collaborating with North Carolina’s Water Resources Research Institute, or WRRI, according to a news release. Because WRRI focuses on the state’s freshwater priorities, Community Collaborative Research Grant expanded its funding opportunities last year to include not only key coastal urgencies, but also statewide watersheds and water resource issues.
“Drawing on additional expertise from WRRI enables us to widen the scope of topics and the potential reach of CCRG projects,” Fear said. “Now, CCRG can benefit communities from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina.”
Raj Narayan, KIETS associate director, said authentic community engagement and innovative collaboration remain defining elements of the Community Collaborative Research Grant program.
“The CCRG program empowers both technical and adaptive leadership enabling thoughtful collaborations between community, academic, government, industry and non-profit partners,” Narayan said in a statement. “The projects supported through the Community Collaborative Research Grant have been very diverse and creative — and they are addressing important issues and relevant opportunities for communities across the state to work together in order to develop and implement ideas and solutions which seek to enhance the environmental and economic vitality of North Carolina.”