Cooperative Research Units Program


To work in partnership with States and universities to address the information needs of local, State, and Federal fish, wildlife, and natural resource agencies through research, technical assistance, and education.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: U.S. Geological Survey
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: 256. Fiscal Year 2015: Est. 275. Fiscal Year 2016: Est. 275.
Cooperative Research Units Act, Public Law 86-686, Sec. 1, Sept. 2, 1960, 74 Stat. 733, as amended by the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978, Public Law 95-616, Sec. 2, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3110.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Universities hosting Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units established under authority of the Cooperative Research Units Act of 1960.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Federal, State and local governments, industry and public decision makers, research scientists, State institutions of higher education, and the general public will ultimately benefit from the program.
Proposed research application responsive to the instructions issued by the USGS. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Requires each research project to be conducted in collaboration and cooperation with USGS personnel stationed at Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, and cooperating agency representatives. Discussions to determine interest and appropriateness of research projects for a Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are required before proposals are submitted. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. This program is subject to the provisions of 2 CFR Part 200 and Department of the Interior regulations 2 CFR Part 1402 and 43 CFR Part 12. Application form Standard Form (SF) 424 must be used. The application requirements as contained in the announcement package and the above regulations must be used for this program. Applications may be made only through the internet site
Award Procedure
Notification of an award is by receipt of a Research Work Order document from a U.S. Geological Survey contracting officer through FedConnect (
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Up to 3 months.
Not Applicable.
All projects have a limited duration not to exceed 5 years.
How are proposals selected?
Proposals must address natural resource and environmental issues of concern to federal agencies and be acceptable to local program cooperators and universities hosting Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units. The Unit Leader of each Unit must determine this before the Unit and its host university submits a proposal to USGS. Projects must be for research and have educational components for graduate training, including post-doctoral fellows.
How may assistance be used?
Authority is limited to research with an educational component conducted through one of 40 Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units and their host universities. Awards are limited to information needs related to fish, wildlife, ecology, and natural resources of interest to program cooperators and partners. Funds are for discretionary activities.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Annual and final technical reports, as well as other products, are required and must be submitted as described in the award terms and conditions. Annual and final financial reports must be submitted as described in the award terms and conditions. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Annual and final financial reports must be submitted as described in the award terms and conditions. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Recipients are subject to the audit requirements of 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart F.
All records must be maintained for 3 years after submission of the final financial report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Project duration may not exceed 5 years. Funds are released as required. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Recipients request payment as needed throughout the award period.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices.
Headquarters Office
Deputy Chief Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Cooperative Research Units, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 303, Reston, Virginia 20192 Email: Phone: (703) 648-4262 Fax: (703) 648-4269
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 14 $13,442,261; FY 15 est $14,000,000; and FY 16 est $14,000,000 - (Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 14 $13,442,261; FY 15 est $14,000,000; and FY 16 est $14,000,000 - Research Work Orders funded with reimbursable funds provided by other Federal programs. No funds appropriated to the program are set aside or are separately identifiable for project grants. Recipients request payment as needed throughout the award period.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$5,000 to $724,623; average $52,509.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Provided to each of the 40 universities participating in the Cooperative Research Units Program.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Development and assessment of Adaptive Management methods; lamprey and salmonid migration and survival past dams; grassland birds following Hurricane Katrina; king rail habitat models; risk of fish disease introductions; biomarkers of fish endocrine disruptors; effects of commercial harvest on shovelnose sturgeon; human disturbance effects on warbler behavior; fish and amphibian conservation genetics, invasive species control techniques; use of UAV systems for natural resource management; climate change and water management effects in ridge-slough mosaics; hierarchical soil nutrient mapping for improved ecosystem change detection; endangered/threatened species research; factors effecting spread of CWD; effects of contaminants and toxins on fish; blood fractions as indicators of protein balance in reindeer and caribou; modeling the dynamics of avian influenza in wild birds; assessment of wildlife vulnerability to energy development. Fiscal Year 2015: No current data available. Fiscal Year 2016: No current data available.


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