The Illinois-Indiana and Michigan Sea Grant programs have launched a joint call for small research projects related to Lake Michigan food webs. During the Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network – Lake Michigan food web workshops, participants identified data gaps and research priorities to help understand changes to Lake Michigan food webs.

Details at a glance:

  • Researchers may request up to $50,000 of federal (Sea Grant) funds and must demonstrate at least 50 percent match.
  • Funding will be provided for one year beginning February 1, 2015, or the date of the award, and projects should be completed by March 1, 2016.
  • We anticipate funding 2-4 Illinois/Indiana-based projects and 1 Michigan-based project.
  • Letters of intent should be submitted by July 18, 2014, with full proposals due on August 11, 2014.
  • See: Full RFP

Research projects that explore the following will be given priority:

  • The microbial food web, including responses of higher trophic levels to the microbial food web.
  • Nutrient transfer nearshore-to-offshore (and offshore-to-nearshore) by physical processes and/or organism movement (e.g., fish).
  • Food web differences across Lake Michigan regions or habitats (e.g., rocky vs. sandy substrate, relative importance of nearshore habitat to broader lake processes).
  • Relative importance of different carbon or phosphorus sources to the food web (e.g. picoplankton, bacteria, Cladophora).

Field sampling for proposed projects should take place during the 2015 season in conjunction with the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) field year on Lake Michigan. To best integrate the results from these projects with broader sampling efforts, proposed projects must demonstrate plans for collaboration with at least one federal agency participating in CSMI sampling.

For example, collaboration could be: requesting time on research vessels in order to complete proposed sampling; conducting sampling at the same or complementary spatial locations; conducting sampling at similar times of year; and/or ensuring that laboratory or modeling studies will complement field efforts.

Questions? Contact Catherine Riseng at (734) 936-3622 or