Cooperative Research Units

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.

credit: From Wikipedia

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2017: Development and assessment of Adaptive Management methods; lamprey and salmonid migration and survival past dams; grasslands 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 an 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 CFWD; effects of contaminates 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 2018: No current data available.

Fiscal Year 2019: No current data available.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: 177. Fiscal Year 2018: est 200. Fiscal Year 2019: est 200.

Uses and Use Restrictions

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.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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.


Application Procedures

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 Procedures

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.


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.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Up to 3 months.


Not Applicable.


All projects have a limited duration not to exceed 5 years.

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

Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request funds in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, unless otherwise dictated by program-specific legislation or special award terms. Program will include any special payment terms and conditions in the notice of award. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Recipients request payment as needed throughout the award period.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual and final technical reports, as well as other products, are required and must be submitted as described in the award terms and conditions.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Annual and final technical reports, as well as other products, are required and must be submitted as described in the award terms and conditions.

Recipients must report expenditures using the SF 425, Federal Financial Report form.

Recipients must submit a final report no later than 90 calendar days after the award end date.

Recipients of awards with performance periods longer than 12 months will be required to submit interim annual reports.

Program will detail all financial reporting requirements, including frequency and due dates, in the notice of award letter.

Recipients are responsible for monitoring performance for each award and sub-award under this program in accordance with 2 CFR 200.


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.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 17 $11,305,814; FY 18 est $12,000,000; and FY 19 est $12,000,000 - 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 $721,603; average $52,081.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Provided to each of the 40 universities participating in the Cooperative Research Units Program.

Information Contacts

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

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

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.

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