CILER’s core mission is to help NOAA accomplish its goals for research and management of the Laurentian Great Lakes. One way we expand and enhance NOAA’s research capacity in the Great Lakes is by fostering interactions between NOAA scientists and academic researchers at a Consortium of Partner Institutions that include the following 12 universities: Grand Valley State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan (administrative lead), University of Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Toledo, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Windsor. A list of Consortium Principal Investigators can be found here.
This Consortium of partners brings together intellectual expertise and physical resources throughout the Great Lakes basin to address the most pressing natural resource issues and their related human dimensions. While CILER cannot guarantee funding to Consortium partners, the interactions that we foster between NOAA and partner institutions increase the development of projects and probability of funding that will advance top-notch science in the Great Lakes. CILER fosters these interactions through a variety of programs, including:
- Summits and Working Groups (SWGs) – CILER convenes the top experts from Great Lakes universities, NGOs, government agencies, and businesses to participate in summits and working groups (SWGs) focused on identifying the most pressing research and management needs to achieve sustainability in the Great Lakes. CILER funds and hosts three to five SWGs per year, including competitive funding up to $20,000 for Consortium-led SWGs. Visit the Summits and Working Groups page for more information.
- Rapid funding – CILER provides funding up to $10,000 to principal investigators and students from Consortium Partners who need short-term funds to form an initial response to an emergency or time-sensitive need in the Great Lakes (e.g., Flint water crisis, Toledo water crisis, oil or chemical spills, etc.). Visit the Rapid Funding page for more information.
- Post-doctoral Fellowships – CILER provides 1 year of funding ($48,000 + 25% fringe) for up to 2 post-doctoral fellows per year who are working with Consortium partners on research in the Great Lakes that is related to NOAA’s mission. Funding priority is given to a matching 2nd year of funding. Visit the Post-doctoral Fellowships page for more information.
- Graduate Research Fellowships – CILER supports 2 Graduate Research Fellowships at $25,000 each to students who are working with Consortium partners on research in the Great Lakes related to NOAA’s mission, in collaboration with NOAA research scientists. Visit the Graduate Research Fellowships page for more information.
- Outreach & Education Funding – To foster a regional Outreach & Education Program across the Great Lakes, CILER complements Consortium partners’ funding with up to $2,000 to support summer undergraduate or graduate research assistants who incorporate a public outreach or education component into their work. Visit the Outreach & Education Funding page for more information.
- Proposal Development – Once the above programs foster research interactions between Consortium partners and NOAA scientists, CILER further provides both financial and logistical support for meetings needed to assemble research teams and develop and submit proposals.
Consortium institutions provide valuable resources to the CILER partnership that help strengthen NOAA’s mission in the Great Lakes, including:
- Infrastructure & Research Vessels – NOAA’s mission spans all of the Great Lakes, yet its research infrastructure and vessels do not. Consortium partners agree to allow researchers from NOAA, CILER, and other Consortium institutions to use their Great Lakes research vessels and laboratory facilities at their “in-house” cost.
- CILER Governance – To ensure CILER is not only meeting the needs of NOAA, but is serving the academic community across the entire Great Lakes, Consortium partners elect one member to serve on the CILER Science Council.
- Reduced Overhead – The University of Michigan has historically administered CILER grants at an off-campus indirect cost (IDC) rate. Consortium partner institutions agree to a administer CILER subcontracts at off-campus IDC rates, to establish with NOAA a uniform cost of doing academic research across the Great Lakes.