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2024 Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant logo

2024 Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant

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

CUAHSI’s Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant (IDTG) program enables scientists and students to learn the details of hydrologic instrument installation, operation, maintenance, and data processing by visiting experts or scheduling reverse site visits. 

Special Call for Applications

The 2024 IDTG program will have a focus on Critical Zone Science. We are seeking applications for work that will align with Critical Zone Science. Collaborative work with Critical Zone Collaborative Network investigators is encouraged. 

CUAHSI offers up to $2,000 to help cover travel expenses for scientists at U.S. universities and colleges to visit colleagues with specific instrumentation expertise. The objective of the travel should be to efficiently and economically learn how to build, install, operate, maintain, and/or process data from one or more hydrologic instruments. IDTG’s can: (1) enable university scientists or students to visit other institutions and/or research sites, or (2) enable a reverse site visit to bring an expert to an institution.

These grants are intended to minimize the financial risk for awardees while enabling them to learn about water-related instrumentation from an expert. Grantees are expected to take a holistic approach. As needed, they should learn about field deployment, instrument networking, data collection methods, data interpretation approaches, and learn about operating the instrumentation. We ask that awardees use CUAHSI's Water Data Services to publish any datasets or protocol documentation that result from an IDTG.

Priority will be given to proposals that focus on learning to use or build instruments, sensors, and/or devices. Click here to view hydrologic instrumentation facilities that may be useful in developing your proposal. Learning field methods or laboratory protocols is permissible, but must be done with a focus on instrumentation and within the context of a demonstrable need (i.e., there is not a learning opportunity at your home institution or you seek to evaluate if this is the instrument for you prior to purchase). For this reason, standard field or lab techniques that rely on common tools and methods are not prioritized by this solicitation (e.g., weighing, microscopes, grab sampling) unless there is a demonstrable absence of expertise at the awardee’s institution. This grant opportunity is not appropriate for funding attendance of a class or workshop. Proposals that include modeling activities associated with processing of instrument data will be considered, but site visits requested purely to learn or evaluate modeling software are outside the scope of this program.

When preparing your IDTG proposal, remember that the overarching intent of this grant is to build capacity related to specific instrumentation by giving you access to learning opportunities that would otherwise be challenging to obtain. In the proposal narrative, please be specific and direct about the nature of the instrumentation, the associated challenges to learning about its operation and how it will build capacity beyond the IDTG awardee. If your expected expenses for travel are over $2,000, please provide information on how you will obtain the remaining budget.

Students, postdocs, and faculty members enrolled in or currently employed by a U.S. university are eligible to receive an Instrumentation Travel Discovery Grant. The maximum amount of the grant is $2,000 and is awarded as a reimbursement upon completion of travel. Travel may be to any location, foreign or domestic, but the overall limit of $2,000 still applies. We ask that awardees publish any resulting datasets using CUAHSI's Water Data Services. 

Applicants from traditionally under-served institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, students at all levels, postdocs, and early career faculty are encouraged to apply for an IDTG.

Questions about IDTG proposals may be sent to Veronica Sosa Gonzalez (


Application Review Criteria

  1. The degree to which the proposed activities are required to address the research question being posed.

  2. Is the research question or need clearly identified and explained?

  3. Is the level of effort appropriate for the proposed timeline?

  4. The degree to which the applicant may have access to this type of training outside of this grant.                                                                                                                          

  5. The degree to which the proposed work aligns with critical zone science.
  6. The potential of the proposed activities to influence the broader capacity of critical zone science beyond the direct participants. Examples include (but are not limited to) propagation of knowledge to the home institution, engagement with stakeholders, development of publicly shared methodological protocols or training materials, etc.

  7. The expertise of personnel providing support to the visitor and the extent of support the visitor will receive while participating in proposed activities. Nature of support may include (but is not limited to) training sessions, equipment use, facility access, collaboration network building, stakeholder interactions, etc.

  8. Is the proposed budget appropriate and realistic? No indirect costs are allowed for this grant.

  9. Will additional financial resources be required to carry out the proposed work? If so, is there evidence that the applicant, host and mentor(s) are aware of and have planned for this?

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