Request for Preproposals – A Call for People, Ideas and Projects


The Great Lakes Protection Fund seeks to support a suite of action-oriented projects to design, deploy, and evaluate new prototype solutions to important challenges facing our ecosystem:

  • increasingly large rain events,
  • under-investment in water infrastructure,
  • nutrient pollution and harmful algae blooms,
  • threats posed by potential and existing invasive species, and
  • adapting to the demographic and economic changes in our region.

These challenges are at the root of impairments to water quality, altered flow regimes and detrimental shifts in the ecology of the basin.

The Fund believes that advances in real-time management of water, in integrating natural and built water management systems, in designing pay-for-performance financing, and in machine learning and autonomous control can be combined to create new solutions to these big challenges. The Fund seeks teams to use these strategies to demonstrate improvement to ecosystem health and achieve growing impact by the time Fund support expires.

We are looking for project teams that will try something new, engaging people who have never likely teamed up before, and build solutions that makes better sense to everyone. Showing how these strategies can be done, in real places, is more powerful than desktop research, policy analysis, or planning activities alone.


If you want to explore an idea—even if it may not seem to fit with this request—or discuss a potential project, contact Simon Bélisle, Project Development Manager, at 847-425-8193 or email us at Conversations are encouraged in advance of submitting preproposals.

Download the Request for Preproposals and the applicant cover sheet. The RFP contains more details about:

  • Summary
  • Background
  • What We Seek
  • Criteria
  • Eligibility
  • Content of Preproposals
  • Calendar

If you are interested in participating in a project, being an expert reviewer, or offering advice to the Fund or a project team, enter your information into our talent bank survey.

Visit our FAQ and Illustrative Projects page.


Complete the applicant cover sheet. Include it as Page 1 of your submittal, followed by your project narrative (see page 3 of the RFP for details) and the project manager’s resume. Email a single pdf file to

Three page preproposals are due by 8:00 AM, April 23, 2018. The Fund will review preproposals upon receipt, and early submissions are encouraged.


On March 22, 2018, GLPF held a webinar about the RFP. It provides good insight into the types of projects we fund and our process. Speakers: Simon Bélisle (Project Development Manager), David Rankin (Vice President of Programs), and Dr. Branko Kerkez (Assistant Professor, Intelligent Systems, University of Michigan).