The Water Seed Grant Program is a multidisciplinary water research program funded by the Water Exceptional Item and administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). The Water Exceptional Item is funded by state appropriations from the Texas legislature under Texas A&M AgriLife Research’s budget.
Through this funding, the Water Seed Grant Program has provided $5,616,000 in water research funding since its inception in 2020.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide seed grants to invest in multidisciplinary teams to position teams as leaders in emerging fields and successfully secure external resources to advance water management in Texas.
Representatives from AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) are required (minimum of one person per agency) in each project proposal, to bring multidisciplinary teams together and develop cohesive pilot projects that can be the basis for submitting larger proposals to external funding agencies.
Requests for Proposals
The FY2024-2025 request for proposals is now closed.
Key requirements are:
- Proposals can be for one or two years, running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 each year but budgets must be expended within each respective fiscal year of the project.
- There are two grant types:
- Type 1 Proposals – Support Grants are for up to $50,000 for one-year projects during state fiscal year 2024, or $25,000 in each state fiscal year 2024 and 2025.
- Type 2 Proposals – Investment Grants should not exceed $125,000 per year for a two-year funding period from Sept. 1, 2023 – August 31, 2025, for a total funding request not to exceed $250,000.
- Each grant type requires submission of competitive grant proposals totaling $2 requested through extramural sources to every $1 received through the program.
- No participants outside of the three agencies are eligible to receive funding, but they may participate in the project if their contribution is deemed necessary by the project team.
- Submission includes the application and other required information, as described in the RFP.
Project Focus Areas
One or more projects for the following water resources research and outreach focus areas may be selected:
- Agricultural Efficiency and Water Management
- Water Infrastructure and Climate Resilience
- Water and Wastewater Treatment
- Aquatic Invasive Species
More details about eligibility, focus areas, limitations, the proposal types, expectations, contacts and the proposal format are detailed in the RFP.
- Remote sensing and crop modeling models for crop production with limited water supplies: led by Juan Enciso, Ph.D., principal investigator, with Jaehak Jeong, Ph.D., and Girisha Ganjegunte, Ph.D., of AgriLife Research; Samuel D. Zapata, Ph.D., of AgriLife Extension; Shuiwang Ji, Ph.D., of TEES; and Nithya Rajan, Ph.D., and Robert Hardin, Ph.D., of Texas A&M.
- Photocatalytic degradation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water by two novel visible-light responsive photocatalysts: led by Xingmao Ma, Ph.D., principal investigator, of TEES; Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., of AgriLife Extension; and June Wolfe, Ph.D., of AgriLife Extension. Collaborators are Vierender K. Sharma, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M School of Public Health, and Hongcai (Joe) Zhou, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry.
- Development of a UAS-based system to improve water use efficiency of cotton by monitoring crop water use and biomass accumulation: led by Mahendra Bhandari, Ph.D., principal investigator, of AgriLife Research; Nick Duffield, Ph.D., of TEES; and Craig Bednarz, Ph.D., and Juan Landivar, Ph.D., of AgriLife Research. Collaborators are Paxton Payton, Ph.D., and James Mahan, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service; Anjin Chang, Ph.D., of Texas A&M Corpus Christi; and Jian Tao, Ph.D., of TEES.
- Simple, reliable and scalable-on-demand remediation of emerging contaminants in water: led by Sreeram Vaddiraju, Ph.D., principal investigator, of TEES; Terry Gentry, Ph.D., of AgriLife Research; and Juan Anciso, Ph.D., of AgriLife Extension.
TWRI Assistant Director
Danielle Kalisek is the Assistant Director for Institute Operations for the Texas Water Resources Institute. In this role, she manages institute business, particularly the pre-award through account setup processes and state and designated accounts, she also coordinates communications and websites services and needs for the institute.
TWRI Interim Director
Allen Berthold, Ph.D., is the interim director at the Texas Water Resources Institute, where he has worked since 2009. During his time at the institute, Allen has served in leadership roles for water-related projects in both agricultural and urban settings across Texas.