Research Funding and Fellowships

The mission of the Delta Stewardship Council’s (Council’s) Delta Science Program is to “provide the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental decision-making in the Delta … [to] be carried out through funding research, synthesizing and communicating scientific information to policymakers and decisionmakers, promoting independent scientific peer review, and coordinating with Delta agencies to promote science-based adaptive management.” To fulfill its mission, the Delta Science Program provides funding for scientific research critical to establishing knowledge relevant to Delta management.

Funding and Fellowship Opportunities

As part of its mission, the Delta Science Program supports scientific research and fellowship opportunities. To date, the Delta Science Program has supported hundreds of research projects that address key knowledge gaps and fundamentally advance the understanding of the Bay-Delta’s dynamic socio-ecological system. All projects are vetted through the Delta Science Program’s independent peer review processes, which safeguards decisions from potential bias or conflict-of-interest. More information about the Delta Science Program’s policies and procedures for research funding, and its Conflict of Interest Policy (Appendix L), is described in detail in the 2019 Delta Science Plan.

Delta Science Proposal Solicitations

The Delta Science Program, in collaboration with stakeholders and independent scientists, identifies high priority focused topics for scientific research and solicits the scientific community for proposals to address the topics.

OPEN PROPOSAL OPPORTUNITY: The Council’s Delta Science Program, in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and facilitated by California Sea Grant, has released a proposal solicitation for Delta science. Letters of Intent are now being accepted. Visit the Delta Science Proposal Solicitations web page for information on how to apply.

Directed Action Science Investigations

Directed action science investigations are funded when the DSP determines that scientific research or advice is clearly defined and needed quickly or if an important opportunity would be lost if the proposal had to go through a lengthy competitive selection process. View our currently funded directed action science investigations.

Delta Science Fellows Program

The Delta Science Program oversees the Delta Science Fellows Program (previously known as the CALFED Science Fellowship), which is funded by the Delta Stewardship Council and administered by California Sea Grant on behalf of the Delta Science Program. The Delta Science Fellows Program provides up to two years of support to awardees to pursue research on key topics related to water management and ecosystem health in the Bay-Delta. These early-career scientists work collaboratively with academic and community mentors to address priority issues identified in the 2017-2021 Science Action Agenda.

Most recently, the Delta Science Fellows Program awarded the 2020 Delta Science Fellowship to 10 recipients, with the State Water Contractors providing additional funds to support three of these fellows. The recipients include eight University of California (UC) postdoctoral researchers and doctoral graduate students, one California State University (CSU) master’s student, and one postdoctoral researcher from Stanford University. To learn more about the 2020 Delta Science Fellowship recipients and their upcoming research projects, please visit California Sea Grant’s website.

Policy Fellows Program

The Delta Science Program also hosts policy fellows through the California Sea Grant State Fellows Program. This fellowship provides unique educational opportunities for graduate students who are interested in aquatic resources and the policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly motivated and qualified individuals with hosts in municipal, state, and federal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship. More information about the fellowship is available on the California Sea Grant website.