Iowa Nutrient Research Center shares request for new water quality research proposals

March 9, 2023

AMES, Iowa- The Iowa Nutrient Research Center is accepting new proposals for research projects designed to reduce nitrate and phosphorus in Iowa’s water.

The center invites proposals for water quality projects that will benefit farmers, landowners, agribusinesses, policy makers and communities. Proposed research projects must be led by Iowa State University, the University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa, as dictated by the center’s legislative mandate. Other research partners may include organizations, agencies, businesses, other Iowa colleges and landowners.

“This year’s RFP is informed by two sessions held in February 2022 that included diverse stakeholders,” said Matt Helmers, INRC Director. “We have tried to represent the top priorities that came out of a broad set of research ideas compiled from those who attended the meetings.”

This year the center will focus funding consideration on five areas of research:

  1. Integrated crop and livestock systems research
  2. Sociological water quality research
  3. In-stream processes and scales of N and P yields
  4. Co-benefits or unintended consequences of nutrient reduction practices
  5. New technologies

“Sound research projects that don’t fit the priority areas of research will also be considered, especially those that that build upon past INRC-funded research,” Helmers said.

Potential applicants are encouraged to view the full 2023 Request for Proposals (PDF) for additional details about the priority topics and application instructions. Projects can last up to two years. Investigators that were funded in 2022 for multiple years do not have to reapply.

Proposals are due by April 28, 2023, for projects that would begin August 15, 2023. Award decisions will be made in early July.

Questions about the request for proposals should be directed to Malcolm Robertson, the center’s program specialist, 515-294-5692, at, or INRC Director Matt Helmers, at

Ongoing and past research projects can be viewed at

Established in 2013, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center selects promising proposals every year to fund research to help meet the goals identified in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Since its inception, the center has sponsored more than 127 research projects with $15.1 million in total funding. Funded projects fall into four general categories: edge-of-field practices, land management, nutrient management and multi-objective research.



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