Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate/Graduate Environmental Study

The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) offers graduate and undergraduate fellowships to students in environmentally related fields of study.

This program is intended to strengthen the environmental research capacity of institutions of higher education that receive limited funding

credit: Little St Nick
to build such capacity.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: The Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program will support graduate fellowships in the following areas: Environmental Engineering (limited to pollution prevention; includes sustainability); Environmental Engineering (limited to treatment and remediation); Atmospheric Sciences; Environmental Chemistry and Environmental Materials Science; Hydrogeology; Economics (includes market incentives and health and ecosystem valuation); Environmental Decision-Making Research (limited to projects in community-based participatory research, intervention strategies, environmental behavior modification, environmental education, and environmental justice); Urban/Regional Planning and Geography (includes GIS, demography); Microbiology; Molecular Biology (includes genomics, proteomics, toxicodynamics, toxicology, and bioinformatics); Public Health Sciences (includes environmental epidemiology, biostatistics, and health physics); Human Health Risk Assessment; Aquatic Systems Ecology focusing on freshwater endpoints; Coastal and Estuarine Processes (limited to pollution research such as harmful algal blooms); Terrestrial Systems Ecology (limited to soils and plants that can serve as a medium for contaminant transport); Terrestrial Systems Ecology (work should relate to pollutant effects on animals and/or habitat).

All projects must describe the relationship of these topic areas to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

The Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program will support undergraduate fellowships in the following areas: Natural and Life Sciences; Environmental Science; Engineering; Social Sciences; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Computer Science; and Economics.escribe the relationship of these topic areas to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

The Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program will support undergraduate fellowships in the following areas: Natural and Life Sciences; Environmental Science; Engineering; Social Sciences; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Computer Science; and Economics.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Examine acute and chronic effects of propanil and its metabolites on T cell function and activation.

Propanil is a widely used herbicide with over 7 million pounds applied per year and its effects on T cell immune function have not been established.

(2) Utilize an approach called chemical toxicity distributions (CTDs) to assess the sensitivity of common indicators of endocrine toxicity.

(3) Test whether the incidence of gastrointestinal disease in bathers in recreational marine waters of Puerto Rico is associated with exposure to microbiological contaminants.

(4) Determine whether the degree of urbanization affects communities of aquatic organisms and how environmental factors related to urbanization (land cover, water quality, aquatic habitat) mechanistically relate to aquatic community composition.

(5) Evaluate the biogeochemical processes in the proximity of plant roots that can support degradation of chlorinated ethenes in the shallow subsurface environment of a constructed wetland.

See Web Page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer) for information on previously funded projects under the Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship 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 Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program (Graduate)- FY 07: 107; FY 08: 116. New awards for the Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program (Graduate)- FY 07: 14. Applications received for the Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program (Undergraduate)- FY 07: 28; FY 08: 41. New awards for the Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program (Undergraduate)- FY 07: 15. Abstracts of awards and summary results of the research are available on the NCER homepage: http://www.epa.gov/ncer.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Fellowship awards are made in response to competitive solicitations.

Funds are to provide resources to allow for fellowships related to environmental issues.

No matching funds are required.

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.Graduate Fellowships: Applicants must attend a fully accredited U.S.

college or university (located in the U.S.

or its territories).

Individuals must be citizens of the United States or its territories or possessions, or be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

Resident aliens must include their green card number in their pre-application.

Resident aliens must have their green card at the time of application to be eligible for this Fellowship opportunity.

EPA may verify this number with the U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security.

Applicants attending fully accredited four year U.S.

institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.

These schools must be among those that are not highly funded for development of environmental research capacity.

For the purposes of this CFDA, EPA considers such institutions to be those listed in the National Science Foundation's publication, "Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2004," Table 11.

Institutions identified as receiving $35 million or less in annual federal research and development funding, as designated in column 2 of Table 11, are eligible.

These data can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07316/pdf/tab11.pdf.

Table 11 is a broad representation of institutions, and includes schools that also receive more than $35 million annually in Federal research assistance.

Applicants attending eligible institutions with substantial minority enrollment are particularly encouraged to apply.

Examples of such schools are those that the U.S.

Department of Education lists as "Accredited Postsecondary Minority Institutions" consistent with Executive Orders 13125 (Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders), 13230 (Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans), 13256 (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and 13270 (Tribal Colleges and Universities), which encourage building of the capacity of minority serving institutions to provide high quality education.

Note however, that not all of these schools receive less then $35 million annually in Federal Research and Development expenditures.

For specific information regarding Federal funding to minority-serving institutions, see The Extent of Federal S&E Funding to Minority-Serving Institutions, at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf04325/nsf04325.pdf.

Applicants who are in a graduate program at the time of application and meet either of the following two criteria as of October 23, 2007 ARE NOT eligible to receive a fellowship: (1) have completed more than one year in your current master's program; or (2) have completed more than four years in your current doctoral program.

However, applicants enrolled in a master's program who intend to pursue a doctoral degree beginning in the fall of 2008 may apply for a doctoral fellowship.

Acceptance of this fellowship does not necessarily preclude acceptance of another scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or grant aid.

However, this fellowship does preclude receiving other federal fellowships.

Employees of the U.S.

government may apply, but must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship.

Undergraduate Fellowships: Applicants must attend a fully accredited U.S.

college or university (located in the U.S.

or its territories).

Individuals must be citizens of the U.S.

or its territories or possessions, or be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

Resident aliens must include their green card number in their pre-application.

Resident aliens must have their green card at the time of application tobeeligibleforthisFellowship opportunity.

EPA may verify this number with the U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security.

Applicants attending fully accredited four year U.S.

institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.

These schools must be among those that are not highly funded for development of environmental research capacity.

For the purposes of this solicitation, EPA considers such institutions to be those listed in the National Science Foundation's publication "Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2004," Table 11.

Institutions identified as receiving $35 million or less in annual federal research and development funding as designated in column 2 of Table 11, are eligible.

These data can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07316/pdf/tab11.pdf.

Table 11 is a broad representation of institutions, and includes schools that also receive more than $35 million annually in Federal research assistance.

Applicants attending eligible institutions with substantial minority enrollment are particularly encouraged to apply.

Examples of such schools are those that the U.S.

Department of Education lists as "Accredited Postsecondary Minority Institutions" consistent with Executive Orders 13125 (Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders), 13230 (Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans), 13256 (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and 13270 (Tribal Colleges and Universities), which encourage building of the capacity of minority serving institutions to provide high quality education.

Note however, that not all of these schools receive less then $35 million annually in Federal Research and Development expenditures.

For specific information regarding Federal funding to minority-serving institutions, see The Extent of Federal S&E Funding to Minority-Serving Institutions, at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf04325/nsf04325.pdf .

Regarding students who are attending community college, note that only those that are either four-year baccalaureate-granting institutions with degree programs in one or more eligible academic fields, or two year institutions that grant associate degrees and participate in Articulation Agreements with four-year institutions, are eligible to participate in this fellowship program.

An Articulation Agreement is a signed contract between a community or technical college and a four-year college or university that guarantees that a student who earns an associate degree at a participating two-year institution can transfer all of the general education core credits to the four-year institution toward the completion of baccalaureate degree requirements.

Students must be pursuing a bachelor's degree in an environmentally related field of specialization.

Students must have two academic years remaining as of Fall 2008 before receiving a bachelor's degree.

Students must have at least a "B" average overall.

Acceptance of this fellowship does not necessarily preclude acceptance of another scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or grant aid.

However, this fellowship does preclude receiving other federal fellowships.

The term of the undergraduate fellowship is negotiated with the student and covers a period of nine months for each fellowship year.

Students seeking a bachelor's degree may be supported for a maximum of two years.

Employees of the U.S.

government must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship.a bachelor's degree may be supported for a maximum of two years.

Employees of the U.S.

government must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship.

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

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individual/Family; Student/Trainee; and Graduate Student.

Credentials/Documentation

EPA may request that fellows document their affiliation with an eligible institution. The EPA may also request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, and experience in the field to carry out the fellowship.

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.

NCER invites pre-applications for graduate and undergraduate fellowships in academic disciplines relating to environmental research including engineering, public health, and ecological sciences.

A pre-application provides the information needed for the review of its merit.

Following the merit review, top rated applicants will be required to submit a brief formal application.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

For regular mail, completed paper pre-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 pre-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. 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.

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 210 days from the close of the solicitation.

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.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

For undergraduate fellowships, the term of the fellowship is negotiated with the student and covers a period of nine months for each fellowship year. Students seeking a bachelor's degree may be supported for a maximum of two years. The term of the graduate fellowship is also negotiated with the student and customarily covers a period of 9 to 12 months for each fellowship year. Students seeking a master's degree may be supported for a maximum of two years. Students seeking doctoral degrees may receive support for a maximum of three years, available over a four-year period. If selected to receive a fellowship, you will be contacted no later than seven months after the close of the solicitation and should subsequently receive your official notification of award by no later than 9 months after the close of the solicitation for the fall term. Please note that this schedule may be changed without notification due to factors that were not anticipated at the time of announcement. The official notification of an award will be made by the EPA's Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

EPA includes reporting requirements for fellowships in the terms and conditions of the agreements.

Agreements may require annual reports, final progress reports, expenditure/financial, equipment, and invention reports.

Reporting requirements are also identified in the fellowship regulations, 40 CFR Part 46.

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 Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal 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. Nonfederal 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 46 are applicable. All records related to a fellowship agreement must be maintained for three years after the completion date inserted on the "Completion of Studies Notice" (EPA Form 5770-9). EPA, the Inspector General, Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, has the right of timely and unrestricted access to documents, papers, or other records related to a fellowship, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts and copies of such documents. The rights of access in this paragraph are not limited to the required retention period, but shall last as long as records are retained.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0107-0-1-304.

Obigations

FY 07 $1,520,700; FY 08 est $1,529,000; and FY 09 est $2,066,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Graduate- A maximum of $74,000 will be provided for master's fellows (two years) and up to $111,000 (three years) for doctoral fellows. Awards range from $55,000 to $111,000 total per fellowship and average $33,386 per year.Undergraduate- The fellowship provides up to $17,000 per year of academic support and $7,500 for internship support for a combined total of up to $41,500 over the life of the fellowship. Awards range from $30,000 to $41,500 total per fellowship and average $35,000 total.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Fellowship Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 46).

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 Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program, click on "Fellowships" at http://www.epa.gov/ncer.For additional information pertaining to graduate fellowships, please contact: Stephanie Willett; Telephone: (202) 343-9737; Fax: (202) 233-0680; 1025 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004; E-mail: willett.stephanie@epa.gov. E-mail inquiries are preferred. For additional information pertaining to undergraduate fellowships, please contact: Georgette Boddie; Telephone: (202) 343-9741; Fax: (202) 233-0680; E-mail: boddie.georgette@epa.gov; 1025 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004. E-mail inquiries are preferred.

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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