Information for Prospective Partners

Process for joining the CHWA CESU

We are accepting applications for membership in the Chesapeake Watershed (CHWA) CESU Research Network through Tuesday, February 4, 2020.  If your organization is interested in pursuing an application to join, please contact Danny Filer either by telephone (301-689-7108) or by email (danny_filer@nps.gov) before beginning to put together your application.

Membership requires an 8-10 page application that addresses the questions below.  Once submitted, the this application is reviewed by current federal and non-federal partners during our winter/spring voting sessions that usually take place in February & March every year. Current members will vote on accepting new members into the network (majority rule is the determinant); applications will be distributed digitally, so we recommending using hyperlinks and existing information already on the internet as much as possible when building your application.  Tribal, state, and local governments, academic institutions, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other nonfederal organizations are eligible to apply for enrollment in the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network

Questions that must be addressed in your 8-10 page application (no more than 20 pages) include:

  • Your application should include a formal letter of interest addressed to the Director of the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network:

Eric Davidson
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Appalachian Laboratory
301 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532

  • Confirmation that the institution/organization has read the CESU agreement and agrees to support the CESU mission and goals and fulfill the roles and responsibilities of a nonfederal partner, as described in the CESU agreement Joint Venture Agreement which can be found at the following link: http://wordpress.al.umces.edu/~cwcesu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CHWA_2016_agreement.pdf
  • Description of the institution/organization, its mission, and the primary focus of collaborative activities to be supported through the CHWA CESU in the context of the CESU mission.
  • Description or list of the primary programs, departments, or other institutional divisions of relevance to federal land management, environmental, and research agencies that will likely be engaged in CHWA CESU activities. Include website addresses for further information as appropriate.
  • A list of and brief description of the staff or faculty with expertise in disciplines and subject areas of relevance to federal land management, environmental, and research agencies (do not submit CVs).
  • For academic institutions, include a description of student demographics and the institution’s status as a minority-serving institution (e.g., as defined by the U.S. Department of Education).
  • Description or a list of facilities, equipment, centers, or institutes that would provide support to the research, technical assistance, or educational activities of relevance to federal land management, environmental, and research agencies that will be engaged in CHWA CESU activities.
  • Description or a list of past research, technical assistance, and educational services supported through federal financial assistance awards that are of relevance to federal land management, environmental, and research agencies that will be engaged in CHWA CESU activities.
  • Description or a list of current formal agreements and informal relationships with federal agencies that are of relevance to federal land management, environmental, and research agencies that will be engaged in CHWA CESU activities.
  • Confirmation of the institution’s/organization’s willingness to accept a limited overhead rate of 17.5% and cost items to which the rate is applicable for activities conducted through the CESU, including research, technical assistance, and educational services (this overhead rate applies to the entire institution/organization for CHWA CESU activities). This confirmation must be on organizational letterhead and signed by the appropriate authority.
  • Designation of a technical representative AND administrative representative (with full contact information – name, title, full address, phone, fax, email) to serve on the CHWA CESU steering committee.
  • Participation in the CESU annual/semi-annual partner meetings, and facilitation of internal and external communication, promotion, and response to CESU correspondence and administrative actions (e.g., announcements, new member applications, processing agreements/amendments, five-year reviews).
  • Agreement to relay agency-specific research, technical assistance, and educational needs and associated funding opportunities to other institutional/organizational members (e.g., faculty, students).
  • Signature (or endorsement) from an appropriate official, with authority to commit institutional resources in a binding multi-year federal cooperative and joint venture agreement (e.g., president, executive director, chief financial officer, vice president for research, director of sponsored programs).
  • Letter(s) of support from one or more CESU federal agency partners sponsoring the new partner’s application, including a description of successful past collaborative work supported through federal financial assistance awards.
  • Final applications are emailed to Danny Filer, Research Coordinator of the CHWA CESU Research Network, at danny_filer@nps.gov.

What are the next steps after an application is submitted?

Following submission of an application for enrollment, the CHWA CESU director distributes the application package (via email) to all existing partner technical representatives for consideration. The CHWA CESU director determines the timeline and method for review, but the voting period typically runs in February and March every year with a 30-day voting period.  This process is subject to change at any time as determined by the Director.

What is the process for new member approval?

Once existing partners have reviewed the new member application, the CHWA CESU director solicits a vote in favor/not in favor of selection of the applicant for membership. Voting requires a minimum of a quorum of 50 percent of partners. Approval is determined by a super majority (i.e., two thirds or greater) of returned votes in favor of selection for membership. The CHWA CESU director informs the applicant of the outcome of the review and approval process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the CHWA CESU 

The CHWA CESU Frequently Asked Questions page can be accessed here

Past Partner Applications 

Original CHWA Proposal Packet

Initial partners: 

  • Frostburg State University
  • George Mason University 
  • the Pennsylvania State University 
  • University of District of Columbia 
  • University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • University of Maryland College Park
  • University of Virginia