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FY2024 USGS mini-grant Pre-proposal Guidelines

Guidelines for Pre-Proposals for the FY2024 SDSU Water Resources Institute Competitive USGS 104b Grants

The South Dakota State University Water Resources Institute (SDSU WRI) is soliciting pre-proposals for its annual competition for research funds provided by Congressional appropriation to Water Resources Institutes through the U.S. Geological Survey.

The deadline for pre-proposal submission to the SDSU WRI is 5 p.m. on March 15, 2024. E-mail pre-proposals to the SDSU WRI in Word or PDF format as a single file. Pre-proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the SDSU WRI’s external review panel and those selected for submission of a full proposal will be notified no later than March 30, 2024. The highest-ranked full proposals will be funded based on budgets and total research funds available. The anticipated start date for these one-year research projects is Sept. 1, 2024.

Pre-proposals Guidelines


  • Font size must be at least 12 point.
  • Margins must be at least one inch in all directions.

Must Include (Limited to three pages)

  1. Title. Concise but descriptive.
  2. Project Type. Research, Information Transfer, Information Management System, Education or Other (please specify)
  3. Focus Categories. Choose a maximum of three focus categories from the list provided (Appendix A), with the most preferred focus category first.
  4. Keywords. Enter keywords of your choice descriptive of the work.
  5. Research Category. Choose from the following the one category that most closely applies: Social Sciences, Ground-water Flow and Transport, Water Quality, Biological Sciences, Engineering or Climate and Hydrologic Processes.
  6. Start Date.
  7. End Date.
  8. Principal investigator(s). Provide name, academic rank, university, email address and phone number of ALL principal investigators.
  9. Statement of regional or State water problem. Include an explanation of the need for the project, who wants it and why.
  10. Overall hypothesis or goal.
  11. Project objectives, including a timeline of activities.
  12. Methods, procedures and facilities. Provide enough information to permit evaluation of the technical adequacy of the approach to satisfy the objectives
  13. Training potential.Estimate the number of graduate and undergraduate students, by degree level, who are expected to receive training in the project.

Should include (not in the three page limit)

  • Budget and budget justification. Include matching funds.

Example Budget:

Category104b RequestNon-Federal MatchTotal
Salaries and Wages PI Staff Students$0 $0 $5,000$4,000 $4,000 $0$4,000 $4,000 $5,000
Student Tuition Remission$5,000$0$5,000
Total Salaries and Wages$10,000$8,000$18,000
Fringe Benefits$50$2,000$2,050
Materials and Supplies$1,000$0$1,000
Other Direct Costs$0$0$0
Total Direct Costs$14,850$10,000$24,850
Indirect Costs on Federal ShareXXXXX$4,850$4,850
Total Estimated Costs$14,850$14,850$29,700

Budget Justification Format:

Principal Investigator:

Project Title:


Senior Personnel Costs - Total cost $_________

$_______ is requested for __________, who will serve as the Principal Investigator and will be responsible for the overall project goals and objectives. The PI will also be responsible for _____________. The total effort the PI will dedicate to this project each year will be ______% of the PI’s ______ months, which is equivalent to________ months for each year.

$__________ is requested for __________, who will serve as the Co-PI and will be responsible for _____________. The total effort the Co-PI will dedicate to this project each year will be _______% of the Co-PI’s ______ months, which is equivalent to ________ months for each year.

Other Personnel Costs – Total Cost $____________

$______ is requested for Click here to _________, who will support the project as a _________. The total effort that the _________ will dedicate to the project each year will be _____% of _______months, which is equivalent to _____months each year. _______will be responsible for the following activities: Click here to enter text.

$_____ is requested to support ______ graduate student(s) participating in this project. They will: ________.

$______ is requested to support _____undergraduate student(s) participating in this project. The students will: ____________

Fringe Benefits Costs – Total Cost $_______.

Fringe benefits for the Senior and Other Personnel above is calculated based on % of time on the project at a rate of 15% plus an annual stipend of $9,872 for health and life for a total of $_______. One percent fringe is calculated for graduate and undergraduate personnel for a total of $______.

Equipment Costs – Total Cost $ ___________.

Equipment/ PurposeAmountYear Purchasing

Travel Costs – Total Cost $______.

Domestic Travel


Year(s)# Trips, #Days, Totals
Per Diem 
Total for Meeting 

(copy table as needed for additional personnel)

Foreign Travel: Provide same type of detail as domestic travel.

Other Direct Costs – Total Cost $__________.

  • Materials and Supplies: $______ is requested for the following supplies. Click here to enter text.
  • Publication/Documentation/Dissemination: $__________ is requested for the publication costs, at an estimated cost of $Click here to enter text. per publication.
  • Contractual/Consultant: $___________ is requested for __________, whom will assist the PI and Co-PI with the following activities: ______________. _________________ was selected for his/her expertise in ________________, which is critical to the proposed project. ________________. The rate per day is $_____________

Repeat for each individual contractor/consultant on project.

  • Computer Services: $_____________is requested per year for necessary computer services. These services include ____________ to be used for ________________.
  • Tuition Remission: $_____________ is requested for _______________ students for a total of $_________ for Year 1. Tuition Remission is based on a base tuition rate of $_______________ in Year 1, increasing by $200 each year thereafter, plus a program fee rate set by the South Dakota Board of Regents based on the graduate student’s specific program’s need.
  • Other costs such as equipment/facility rental, user fees, speaker/trainer fees, honorariums, fabrication of equipment should be considered.

Facilities and Administration (F&A) Costs – Total Cost $____________.

F&A costs totaling $____________ is associated with the proposed project at the rate of _____% of $____________. Modified Total Direct Costs include Total Direct Costs excluding equipment, capital expenditures, tuition remission, and rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, and subaward amounts over $25,000.

SDSU’s current federally negotiated rate agreement is valid for the period (7/1/18 – 7/1/23). The cognizant agency is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The cognizant agency point of contact is Helen Fung at 415-437-7820.

Investigator’s qualifications. Include resume(s) of the principal investigator(s). No resume shall exceed two pages or list more than 15 pertinent publications.

Matching funds

  1. Each applicant must match each Federal dollar provided with not less than one dollar from non-federal sources.
  2. Matching funds shall be obligated during the period of performance.
  3. The matching requirement should be met during each 12-month budget period.
  4. Matching funds may contain indirect costs and non-federal salaries and benefits. The applicant’s negotiated indirect cost rate (NICR) may be applied to both qualifying federal and non-federal direct costs, and the result used to satisfy part of the matching requirement under the non-federal share. The NICR shall not be applied to tuition and equipment costs. Federal funds shall not be used to pay indirect costs.
  5. Regulations pertaining to allowable matching funds are provided in the Code of Federal
  6. Regulations at 43CFR12.64 and in the following OMB Circulars:
  7. Circular A-21 for Educational Institutions
  8. Circular A-87 for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments
  9. Circular A-122 for Private Nonprofit Organizations
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