Outreach Program/University Partnerships

The Outreach Program (University Partnership Program) aims to improve local forecast and warning services by providing financial support for applied mesoscale and synoptic-scale research.

To achieve this goal, the Program funds collaborative projects between National Weather Service (NWS) offices and universities. These partnerships generally lead to the adoption of a new forecast technique, an increased understanding of local meteorology, and/or preparation of joint papers and workshops.

Since its beginning in 1989, the program has sponsored over 350 research projects involving more than 100 different universities and 100 NWS, NWC, Navy, and AFWA forecast offices.

Current Funding Opportunities

July 2023: The COMET® Program announces its 2023 Outreach Program Request for Proposals (RFP) for National Weather Service (NWS) Partners Projects:

  • NWS Partners Projects: COMET is currently accepting 1-year NWS Partners proposals (budgets limited to $15,000). Proposals will be reviewed as received, and approved submissions will be funded until program resources are expended.

Types of Funding

Cooperative Projects

Cooperative Project proposals are submitted in response to an annual Request for Proposals and competitively reviewed for funding. We will make an announcement when funding is available. Cooperative Project features include:

  • Collaborative projects with an NWS office or multiple offices
  • One year in length
  • Annual average university award is approximately $60,000
  • May cover a variety of forecasting topics of interest to the various participants or focus on an in-depth study of a single forecast problem
  • Can include funding for workshops to disseminate research results
  • Frequently involve several faculty members and NWS forecasters
  • Geographical area of interest often extends beyond the local forecast office

Partners Projects

Partners Project proposals are accepted throughout the year, as long as funds are available. Partners Project features include:

  • Collaborative effort with an NWS office or multiple offices
  • One year in length
  • Average university award is approximately $15,000
  • Typically involve one NWS forecaster and one university faculty member, rather than a group (as is usually the case with Cooperative Projects)
  • Topics generally focus on a single case study or analysis problem
  • May be used to fund local/regional workshops