Open Requests

WRF funds water research on behalf of its subscribers, and facilitates collaboration among organizations seeking funding partners for high-priority issues. WRF awards a contract through a competitive process and coordinates an independent technical review project through a staff-assigned project manager. All qualified entities – including international organizations and disadvantaged business enterprises – are encouraged to submit research proposals.  

Subscriber Priority Program 

The Water Research Foundation is seeking pre-proposals for funding consideration under its 2018 Subscriber Priority (SP) Research Program, which is reserved for Subscribers. The SP Research Program is designed to encourage collaboration with Foundation Subscribers on research. Subscriber Priority projects typically address applied research topics that may be local or regional in nature. The research topic should be broadly applicable to wastewater, stormwater, drinking water and/or seawater. Proposals should complement the Foundation’s ongoing research and not duplicate any current or pending project. SP proposals are accepted once per year under a two-step process. An initial pre-proposal of no more than four pages in length is first submitted for review and screening. In the second phase, full proposals are requested for those pre-proposals judged to have the greatest potential outcome.

2018 Subscriber Priority Program Request for Pre-Proposals

2018 SP Budget:
 $354,090 for 4-5 project awards
Deadline for Pre-Proposals: Monday, August 13, 2018 by 8:00 PM ET
Shortlisted Full Proposal Invitation: Early October 2018
WRF Contact: Stefani McGregor

Supporting Documents:
2018 Subscriber Priority Program RFP (PDF)
  • Attachment A: Full Proposal Instructions
  • Attachment B: Pre-Proposal and Full Proposal Evaluation Criteria  
2018 Subscriber Priority Program RFP Cover Sheet (DOC) 
2018 Subscriber Priority Program RFP FAQs (PDF)

Pre-proposals must be submitted via email to by August 13, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Proposals received after 8:00 p.m. ET on this date will not be considered. Receipt of pre-proposals will be acknowledged by email. 

Please note that this program is separate from the Unsolicited Research Program call for Pre-proposals, which are due on Friday, July 13, 2018. Please contact if you have questions on the Unsolicited Program.

Submit a proposal for the Emerging Opportunities Program

Instructions for submitting a proposal for this program are contained in the RFP. Learn more about this program.

Development of a Roadmap for DBP Toxicity Tools, Surrogates and Indicators to Help Utility Decision Making

The objective of the workshop and report is to develop a 10-year vision for the drinking water research community with a suggested research roadmap that will answer outstanding questions related to the assessment of relative risks from disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water. Specifically, the roadmap should outline the questions and research projects that will be needed to provide municipal water utilities with chemical and bioanalytical tools to assess relative risk from DBPs in drinking water after different treatment trains or water qualities, and include strategies to identify indicators or surrogates for potential human biological responses to inorganic and organic DBPs in drinking water. Moving beyond TOC, TOX, THMs, and HAAs, a workshop will identify the path forward that will eventually determine what assays, tools, surrogates or indicators (chemical or biological) are best suited to provide an overall risk reduction strategy.
Proposals Due: August 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM MT

Submit a proposal for the Focus Area Program Online

The Water Research Foundation is accepting proposals only online for the following projects at  To begin the process of submitting a proposal online, you will need a website login and the name or RFP# of the project for which you want to submit a proposal. Information about submitting a proposal online is contained in the RFP.  

Sampling and Monitoring Strategies for Opportunistic Pathogens in Drinking Water Distribution Systems (RFP_4911)
The goal of this project is to establish an optimized sampling and monitoring protocol providing a practical guideline for drinking water utilities to manage the detection of opportunistic pathogens in distribution systems.
Proposals Due: August 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM MT

Characterization and Contamination Testing of Source Separated Organic Feedstocks and Slurries for Co-Digestion at Resource Recovery Facilities (RFP_4915)
The objectives of this project are to identify, evaluate, and develop techniques for characterizing source separated organic (SSO) feedstocks and slurries for co-digestion at resource recovery facilities and testing them for contamination; to link characteristics to product quality; and support development of minimum feedstock quality standards for various product goals and standardization of sampling protocols for rapid monitoring of feedstocks.
Proposals Due: August 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM MT

The Impact of Pre-Chlorination and GAC Treatment on DBP Formation and Overall Toxicity in Drinking Water (RFP_4916)

The objective of this project is to investigate the impact of pre-chlorination followed by GAC on the removal of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of drinking water, using appropriate bioassays.
Proposals Due: August 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM MT

Utilizing Smart Water Networks to Manage Pressure and Flow for Reduction of Water Loss and Pipe Breaks (RFP_4917)

Develop an approach in water systems using intelligent water networks to manage pressures and flows to extend pipe life and reduce water loss.
Proposals Due: August 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM MT