Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Research Program

(1) To support research to determine the environmental and human health effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides; (2) identify, develop, and demonstrate effective pollution control techniques; and (3) support research to explore and develop

credit: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
strategies and mechanisms for those in the social, governmental, and environmental arenas to use in environmental management decisions.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: The STAR Program will fund the highest quality academic research in the following priority areas: (1) Air Quality: Health Effects of Near-Roadway Exposures to Air Pollution; Dynamic Air Quality Management.

(2) Human Health: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (with NIEHS); Exposure Assessment: Research for Understanding and Assessing Human Exposure in Longitudinal Studies; Community-based Cumulative Risk Assessment Research; Research for Outcomes and Accountability: Development of Novel Environmental Health Outcome Indicators.(3) Ecosystem Protection/Water Quality: Enhancing Ecosystem Services from Agricultural Lands: Developing Tools for Quantification and Decision Support; Forecasting from Wetland Condition Indicators to Ecosystem Services; Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms.

(4) Global Change: Consequences of Global Change for Water Quality; Global Change and Impact on Allergic Disease; Adaptation, Mitigation Impacts, and Air Quality Planning in a Changing Global Environment; Potential Environmental Impacts from the Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide.

(5) Drinking Water: Innovative and Integrative Approaches for Advancing Public Health Protection Through Water Infrastructure Sustainability.(6) Endocrine Disruptors/Biotechnology/Computational Toxicology: Exploratory Investigations in Food Allergy (R21) through NIH-NIAID.

(7) Nanotechnology: Nanotechnology Research Grants: Investigating Environmental Effects of Manufactured Nanomaterials: a Joint Research Solicitation - EPA, NSF & DOE; Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN) through NSF.

In addition to the solicitations identified above, other solicitations may be announced in the coming year.

Please check the NCER website: http://www.epa.gov/ncer for an updated listing of all solicitations.

search Grants: Investigating Environmental Effects of Manufactured Nanomaterials: a Joint Research Solicitation - EPA, NSF and DOE.

In addition to the solicitations identified above, other solicitations may be announced in the coming year.

Please check the NCER website: http://www.epa.gov/ncer for an updated listing of all solicitations.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Develop a direct health indicator of pediatric asthma morbidity resulting from exposure to ambient air pollutants using an epidemiological approach that merges existing datasets and incorporates population susceptibility and exposure patterns.

(2) Evaluate the secondary organic aerosol forming potential of classes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

(3) Investigate the effect of climate change, expressed as drought induced stressors, on key ecological processes and functions within tidal salt marshes and ecosystem services that are derived from these processes and functions.

(4) Concentrate and detect waterborne pathogens at low levels by a series of complementary and non-destructive techniques.

(5) Characterize the spatial variability of coarse particles from natural and anthropogenic sources and examine their associations with cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

See Web Page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer) for additional information on previously funded grants under the STAR program.


Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or the contacts listed in the solicitations.

Solicitations are located at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories




Program Accomplishments

Applications received for the STAR Program - FY 07: 537; FY 08: 177. New awards for the STAR Program - FY 07: 79; FY 08: 28. Abstracts of current grant awards, and annual interim and final summary results of the research are available on the homepage: http://www.epa.gov/ncer.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) generally does not accept unsolicited proposals for the STAR program.

All STAR awards are made in response to competitive requests for applications (RFAs) or requests for initial proposals (RFIPs).

Funds awarded via grants/cooperative agreements are available for allowable direct cost expenditures incident to the performance of research plus allocable portions of allowable indirect costs of the institutions, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: http://geodata.epa.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes public institutions of higher education and hospitals) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes private institutions of higher education and hospitals) located in the U.S.; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S.

territories or possessions are eligible to apply.National laboratories funded by Federal Agencies (Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers, "FFRDCs") may not apply.

FFRDC employees may cooperate or collaborate with eligible applicants within the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations.

They may participate in planning, conducting, and analyzing the research directed by the applicant, but may not direct projects on behalf of the applicant organization.

The institution, organization, or governance receiving the award may provide funds through its grant from the EPA to an FFRDC for research personnel, supplies, equipment, and other expenses directly related to the research.

However, salaries for permanent FFRDC employees may not be provided through this mechanism.

Federal Agencies may not apply.

Federal employees are not eligible to serve in a principal leadership role on a grant, and may not receive salaries or augment their Agency's appropriations in other ways through grants made by this program.Not-for-profit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply.

Profit-making firms are not eligible to receive grants from EPA under this program.

See RFAs at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer for additional information pertaining to eligibility requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public nonprofit institutions/organizations and private nonprofit institutions/organizations located in the U.S.; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; U.S. territories or possessions; Anyone/General Public, Education Professional, Student/Trainee, Graduate Student, Scientists/Researchers.

Credentials/Documentation

The EPA may request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary equipment to carry out the research. EPA may ask applicants or principal investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications. EPA may also ask the lead principal investigator/contact principal investigator for information documenting past performance.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

When applicable, an environmental impact assessment is made by the Office of Research and Development as required by the National Environmental Protection Act.

The standard application forms as furnished by the EPA and required by OMB Circulars No.

A-102 and No.

A-110 must be used for this program.This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Competitive RFAs or RFIPs for grants/cooperative agreements are announced widely through the Internet, university and scientific organizations, among other mechanisms. Applicants must propose EPA mission relevant research based on excellent science as determined through peer review by experts drawn from the national and international scientific community. Other more specialized scientific areas may be solicited via joint RFAs with other Federal agencies. The STAR program may fund research centers that focus on long-term, multi-disciplinary research.For regular mail, completed paper applications must be submitted to the following address: Environmental Protection Agency, Peer Review Division (8725F, Funding Opportunity; Number: (include appropriate number as shown in the solicitation; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,Washington, DC 20460. For express mail and couriers, completed paper applications must be submitted to the following address: Environmental Protection Agency Peer Review Division (8725F), Funding Opportunity Number: (include appropriate number as shown in the solicitation; 1025 F Street, N.W., (Room 3500),Washington, DC 20004, Telephone: (202) 233-0686. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circulars No. A-102 and No. A-110. Specific details on the application process are described in the solicitations which are located at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.Customarily, applicants are notified of award decisions within six months of the close of the RFA. After being recommended for award, applicants will be required to submit additional certifications and an electronic version of the revised project abstract, and may be requested to provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by the peer reviewers, a revised budget, past performance documentation, and/or make appropriate proposal revisions. EPA Project Officers will contact the Lead Principal Investigator/Contact Principal Investigator to obtain these materials. The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency's Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division. Before or after award, certain applicants will be expected to provide additional quality assurance documentation.

Deadlines

As shown in the specific solicitations, which are accessible through the EPA/ORD/NCER website at http://www.epa.gov/ncer.

Authorization

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Section 102(2)(F); Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7403; Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C.; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6981; Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-1; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, 7 U.S.C. 136r; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, 15 U.S.C. 2609.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 180 days.

Appeals

Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as "Information Contacts." Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

None. A standard grant application should be prepared and submitted as a new grant, which will be reviewed in the same manner as the original application and will compete for available funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are normally funded for a minimum of 2 years. Total approved project period may not exceed 5 years. Grants are generally fully funded or incrementally funded (on a yearly basis).

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

A grant recipient must agree to provide annual progress reports, with associated summaries for posting on NCER's web site, and a final report with an executive summary for web posting.

A grant recipient must agree to provide copies of any peer reviewed journal article(s) resulting from the research during the project period.

The recipient also agrees to provide expenditure and invention reports as appropriate.

Audits

Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-federal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Records

The record retention requirements of 40 CFR Part 30 (nonprofits and universities) or 40 CFR Part 31 (governmental units) are applicable depending upon the identity of the recipient. Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate charges to each grant, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0107-0-1-304.

Obigations

FY 07 $61,300,000; FY 08 est $52,500,000; and FY 09 est $55,300,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

New awards range from $185,000 to $5,000,000 total per grant and average $500,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

General Grant Regulations and Procedures, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 30 and 40 CFR Part 31); Research and Demonstration Grant Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 40). Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 (relocated to 2 CFR Part 225) for State and local governments, OMB Circular No. A-21 (relocated to 2 CFR Part 220) for educational institutions, and OMB Circular No. A-122 (relocated to 2 CFR Part 230) for nonprofit organizations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or the contacts listed in the solicitations. Solicitations are located at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer.

Headquarters Office

To obtain further information via the Internet for the STAR program, click on "Grants and Funding" at http://www.epa.gov/ncer. Funding opportunities will be posted as available. Eligibility questions should be forwarded to William Stelz: 1025 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004; Telephone: (202) 343-9802; Fax: (202) 233-0680; E-mail: stelz.william@epa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. See the web page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer) for additional information on the evaluative criteria for the RFAs.



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