Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship Program

The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, offers graduate fellowships for master's and doctoral level students in environmentally related fields of study.

The purpose of the fellowship program is to encourage promising students
to obtain advanced degrees and pursue careers in environmentally related fields.

This goal is consistent with the mission of EPA, which is to provide leadership in the nation's environmental science, research, education, assessment, restoration, and preservation efforts.

This program will benefit both the public and private sectors which will need a steady stream of well-trained environmental specialists if society is to meet the environmental challenges of the future.

These fellowships are intended to help defray costs associated with advanced environmentally-oriented study leading to a master's or doctoral degree.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: The STAR 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.

l 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.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Study how cropping patterns on local and regional scales affect insect outbreaks in agriculture.

The research will combine field studies and environmental modeling to anticipate insecticide usage where cropping patterns are changing.

(2) Investigate the ecological outcomes of discharging wastewater effluent into streams with varying hydrologic regimes and analyze the policy frameworks driving this current practice.

(3) Develop wastewater testing and treatment methods for the detection and removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater.

(4) Examine the link between extreme temperatures and elevated ozone pollution as a cause of increased risk of death.

(5) Study the impacts of different urban land use types on mercury pollution in stormwater runoff.

See Web Page ( for additional information on previously funded projects under the STAR 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 contact listed in the solicitation.

The solicitation is located at:

Program Accomplishments

Applications received for the STAR Fellowship Program - FY 07: 989; FY 08: 878. New Awards for the STAR Fellowship Program - FY 07: 68. Abstracts of awards and summary results of the research are available on the NCER homepage:

Uses and Use Restrictions

All STAR fellowship awards are made in response to a competitive solicitation.

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:

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.

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 alien applicants 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 do not need to be enrolled in or formally accepted in a full-time graduate program at the time they apply for a fellowship, but proof of enrollment or acceptance must be produced prior to the award of the fellowship.

Applicants must be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in an environmental field of specialization.

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.

Beneficiary Eligibility

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


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 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.


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,Phone: (202) 233-0686. Specific details on the application process is described in the solicitation which is located at: Applicants may be able to use 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.


As shown in the solicitation, which is accessible through the EPA/ORD/NCER website at


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.


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.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The term of a graduate fellowship is negotiated with students 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 period of four years. 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


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.


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.


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



FY 07 $9,100,000; FY 08 est. $7,200,000; and FY 09 est. $5,875,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

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 $80,000.

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 contact listed in the solicitation. The solicitation is located at:

Headquarters Office

To obtain further information via the Internet for the STAR Fellowship Program, click on "Fellowships" at Further information, if needed, may also be obtained from Stephanie Willett; Telephone: (202) 343-9737; fax: (202) 233-0680; E-mail:; 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 ( for additional information on the evaluative criteria for this RFA.

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