Research Funding and Fellowships

Investing in research now directly shapes the future of Bay-Delta natural resource management. As part of its mission to provide the best possible scientific information to inform decision-making, the Delta Science Program provides research and fellowship opportunities. To date, the Delta Science Program has supported hundreds of research projects that fundamentally advance the understanding of the Bay-Delta’s dynamic socio-ecological system and address key knowledge gaps identified in the Science Action Agenda.

All projects are vetted through independent peer review processes which safeguard decisions from potential bias or conflict of interest. Policies and procedures for research funding, including the Delta Science Program’s Conflict of Interest Policy [Appendix L], are available in the 2019 Delta Science Plan.

Now Accepting Proposals.

Research Awards

The Delta Science Program and its funding partners regularly solicit the scientific community for proposals that address high-priority research topics and management needs identified in the Science Action Agenda.

Visit the Delta Research Awards web page for information about the latest Delta Science proposal solicitation.

  • Recipients of the 2020 Research Awards will share their findings with Delta managers and decision-makers in a public seminar series, held weekly via Zoom beginning May 30, 2024. See the full schedule and register to attend.

Delta Science Fellows Program

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

Most recently, the 2022 Delta Science Fellowships were awarded to eight recipients. The State Water Contractors provided funds to support one fellow, and seven fellows are supported from the Delta Stewardship Council’s general fund. Read the information sheet to learn about the fellowship recipients and their research.

The next call for applications for the Delta Science Fellows Program is now open! Please visit the California Sea Grant website for more information.

Policy Fellows Program

The Delta Science Program 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.

Read about the 2023 Policy Fellows cohort in our information sheet.

Directed Action Science Investigations

Directed action science investigations are funded when the Delta Science Program 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.

Learn more

Learn more about the research funded by the Delta Science Program through…

Delta Science Tracker

The Delta Science Tracker - An online tool for communicating outcomes from funded projects, fostering collaborations, providing transparency, and addressing management needs.

November 2023 Delta Breeze Newsletter

The Delta Breeze Newsletter - A digital newsletter published by the Delta Science Program a newsletter that focuses on science funding. Issues feature projects from recently funded research awards, highlight research findings and accomplishments, and more.

Closing the Loop on Science Funding storymap

An interactive storymap about “Closing the Loop on Science Funding” - Created by 2022 California Sea Grant State Fellow Tabitha Birdwell, this storymap takes readers on an immersive virtual tour across the Delta to where the 14 research teams focused their efforts with funding from the Delta Science Program’s the 2018-2019 research awards. It summarizes each project, including the catalyst behind the research, key research steps, and management implications or public benefits.