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2023 Let's Talk About Water Challenge Grant Application  logo

2023 Let's Talk About Water Challenge Grant Application

Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI)

Track 1, Track 2, and Track 3 proposal instructions for the 2023 CUAHSI Let's Talk About Water Challenge Grant are below. Please check our website or contact Veronica Sosa Gonzalez at with any questions about the Let's Talk About Water program.


Track 1: Movie event or series: This is a traditional Let's Talk About Water event. Create a panel, screen a film that is related to water issues, and ask the panel to address questions from the audience related to the film and/or water issues. 

Track 2: Science Communication Workshop: Hold a traditional Let’s Talk About Water Event plus host a science communication workshop for students, and then ask workshop participants to form the discussion panel.

Track 3: Short film production: Create a short film about water that can be hosted by CUAHSI and screened at a CUAHSI event or posted online. As a scientist, this type of event gives you the opportunity to tell the story of your (or someone else’s) work in a way that connects with a broad audience.



Track 1: Movie Event or Series

Your proposal should include the following: event details, marketing strategy and panel composition. Each of these are described below.


Event Details

Who is the target audience?

A well-defined target audience is crucial for effective marketing and panel selection. Examples of past LTAW event audiences have included:

  • Lower-division undergraduates (with an objective of informing them of the social relevance of water and about potential careers to encourage them to adopt majors in water science).
  • Graduate students (as a way to incorporate student research projects into larger water issue discussions).
  • General public (as an outreach event to inform them about the scientific basis for issues like shale gas development, water scarcity, or climate change).

What are the program objectives?

What film options you are considering?

If the event is virtual, what tools or technology will you use to enable a virtual event? If the event is in person, how will you ensure the safety of the participants?


Marketing Strategy

How will you market the event? Please include any collaborating organizations. Is this event a stand-alone program, classroom curriculum, or part of a larger campus or community activity?

Past marketing strategies have included providing extra credit for students attending the event, marketing through social media, and student clubs or citizen’s groups such as local watershed associations. We have also found that providing a free meal is a great way to attract student participation (Cost of the meal can be included in your budget).


Panel Composition

Big names on the panel can help to attract an audience, but may require funds for an honorarium.  University faculty can provide scientific expertise, whereas local resource managers (e.g., watershed coordinators, local municipalities, etc.) can be key in rounding out a knowledgeable and successful panel.

Please identify the panelists you are considering inviting to the event.


Track 2: Science communication workshop

Track 2 is essentially a Track 1 event with a science communication workshop for students occurring prior to the Track 1 event.  Trained students will then form part (or all) of the discussion panel when showing a water-related film at an associated LTAW event.


Track 3: Short Film Production

Submit a pitch that includes the topic and working title of the proposed film, the rationale for this topic, the production team, anticipated outcomes and/or additional uses of the film, and itemized budget.


Proposal components

The following apply to all proposals, regardless of Track

Page limit

Proposals may not exceed 3 pages in length. The itemized budget estimate and CV may be included as an additional page.



Please list the major items of your budget. Items to consider are staff or student labor, venue, A/V costs, speaker honoraria, film rights fee(s), advertising, and marketing, etc. Include any cost-sharing if applicable. Indirect costs (such as benefits, fringe or Facilities & Administration) are not covered by CUAHSI and should not be included in the budget. 


LTAW Legacy

The LTAW program is an innovative educational tool used in engaging and educating audiences through the power of film and teachable moments. Please identify how you intend to create lasting resources from your own activity.


Some options may include:

  • Develop short media projects from the event (e.g., YouTube video highlighting event).
  • Inviting a local journalist. Journalism students might be responsible for writing event summaries for the school and local newspapers. Pre-event press release/post-event summary.
  • Using this event as a catalyst for an annual or biennial activity on your campus or in your department.
  • Using this activity as part of a larger broader impacts or education and outreach campaign for a research project.
  • Incorporating this activity into specific course curriculum now or in the future.

Please explain how your proposed work, regardless of track, would contribute to the LTAW legacy.


Application Review Criteria

  1. The clarity of the objectives presented for the work, including the target audience for the proposed work.
  2. The likelihood of the proposed outcome being completed in a 1 year timeframe.
  3. The proposed approach to reach the target audience. The approach should be a creative one that will ensure reaching the intended audience.
  4. The overall impact on the public. The proposed work should clearly lay out how they expect it will impact the public.
  5. The potential to contribute to the LTAW legacy.  The proposed activities should build upon the LTAW work including bringing new approaches to science communication, reaching a broader audience, etc.
  6. Is the proposed budget appropriate, realistic and properly justified? No indirect costs (fringe, benefits or Facilities & Administration) are allowed for this grant.



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