CLOSED FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY
2005 Competition Announcement expected to open in October 2004
National Center for Environmental Research
P3 Award: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet
Sorting Code Number: see sorting code list
Opening Date: January 9, 2004
Table of Contents
Access Standard NCER Forms (http://es.epa.gov/ncer/p3/forms/)
The P3 competition will provide grants to teams of college students to research, develop, and design solutions to sustainability challenges. P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability – as the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention. The P3 Award program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the natural systems of the planet, and providing a higher quality of life for its people. EPA and its affiliates offer the P3 Award competition to respond to the technical needs of the developed and developing world in moving towards the goal of sustainability. Please see the P3 Award website for more details about this program (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/P3).
Institutions of higher education located in the U.S. are eligible to apply as the recipient of a grant to support teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students. Collaboration with colleges and universities outside the United States is permitted, but only U.S. institutions will be eligible for awards.
Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the auspices of the Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), and its affiliates invite your submissions to the 1st P3 Award: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability. P3 is the next step beyond P2 – pollution prevention – and focuses on the three components of sustainability: People, Prosperity, and the Planet.
The P3 Award will be given to the winner(s) of a national, intercollegiate design competition among interdisciplinary student teams for their research, development, and design solutions to the scientific and technical challenges of sustainability. The Brundtland Commission has defined sustainability as “…meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, 1987)
The purpose of this Request for Application is to select innovative design proposals for support to compete for the P3 Award. Note: The competitors for the P3 Award (Phase II) and a subsequent award for further development and implementation will be limited to those selected to receive support as a result of the competition under this RFA (Phase I). Additional instructions for the Phase I final report and Phase II applications will be provided in the Phase I award terms and conditions.
Among the critical components to promote a systematic shift towards more environmentally benign and sustainable products, processes and systems, is increased awareness and training. It is essential that all involved in the design, discovery, demonstration, and implementation of innovations understand the fundamental methodologies, techniques, and principles that underlie sustainability and design. In addition, it is imperative to recognize that scientific and engineering innovation play a key role in addressing the persistent challenges of under-development in the world. Fundamental to the success of sustainable designs are considerations of people, prosperity, and the planet that recognize the needs, available resources, and limitations of the intended user.
This announcement, which addresses the first phase of the competition, requests innovative design proposals to obtain support to compete for the P3 Award. In Phase I, EPA will fund approximately 50 student design projects from around the country during the 2004-2005 academic year for research and development of their sustainable design. Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria:
Phase II will occur in spring of 2005 when teams will be invited to submit their completed design to compete for the P3 Award. The National Academies (National Academy of Science/National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine) will convene a panel to judge the competition that will include a demonstration event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. As part of the final report submitted at the completion of Phase I, applicants for the P3 Award may request additional funds from EPA for Phase II. The design and final report submitted at the completion of Phase I will be included in the evaluation of selecting winners at the P3 Award competition.
The winner(s) of the P3 Award are required to obtain matching contributions in order to be eligible to receive additional funding from EPA in Phase II (subject to availability of funds). These matching contributions from industry or NGOs (funding and/or in-kind) are expected to help further develop the design, implement the project in the field, and move the design to the marketplace.
Matching contributions can be obtained from industry or NGO partners that may or may not be affliated with EPA’s P3 Award. At this time, there are more than 29 affiliate organizations from government, industry and non-governmental organizations participating in the implementation of the competition. Affiliates for this competition include other Federal Agencies (National Science Foundation, US Agency for International Development), non-governmental organizations or NGOs (American National Standards Institute, American Association of Geographers, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Engineers Forum for Sustainability, Engineers without Borders, Global Environment and Technology Foundation, Industrial Design Society of America, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, National Council for Science and the Environment, United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, United States Green Buildings Council, World Resources Institute), and industry (DaimlerChrysler, Dell, Herman Miller, Hewlett Packard, Nexant). EPA will continue to create affiliations with additional interested parties as the competition for the P3 Award progresses.
Sustainability in both the developed and developing world requires scientific and technical innovation to create designs that enable the earth and its inhabitants to prosper. EPA and its affiliates are conducting the competition for the P3 Award to demonstrate to the nation and the world the possibilities of innovative, inherently benign, integrated, interdisciplinary designs to simultaneously benefit people, prosperity, and the planet.
This Phase I competition is purposely designed to provide flexibility for creativity, allowing the interdisciplinary teams of students to: (1) define a technical challenge to sustainability; (2) discuss the relationship of the challenge to people, prosperity, and the planet; and (3) develop a design approach to address the challenge.
Challenges from a wide range of categories will be considered. Proposals can include but are not limited to the technical challenges listed as examples in the category descriptions. Categories include:
Challenges related to population growth and medical care, while important, are not included in this competition (other than the delivery or distribution systems of knowledge, goods, and supplies).
It is anticipated that a total of approximately $0.5 million will be awarded in this program depending on the availability of funds. EPA anticipates funding approximately fifty (50) grants under this RFA. The projected award per grant is $10,000 during the project period including direct and indirect costs. Proposals that exceed this amount will not be considered.
Institutions of higher education located in the U.S. are eligible to apply as the recipient of a grant to support teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students. Students must be enrolled in the college, university, or post-secondary educational institution they will be representing at the time the proposal is submitted. Institutions are allowed to submit more than one proposal where each proposal represents a unique design concept. For the purposes of grant administration, the team’s faculty advisor will be designated the principal investigator throughout the P3 Award grant and competition process.
Interdisciplinary teams, including representatives from multiple engineering departments and/or departments of chemistry, architecture, industrial design, business, economics, policy, social science, and others, are strongly encouraged to submit an application, through their institution.
Collaboration with colleges and universities outside the United States is permitted, but only U.S. institutions will be eligible for awards. Up to 40% of the total grant may be sub-contracted to another educational institution (domestic or foreign) as described in the Special Instructions for submitting an application for this RFA (Section G, Part 2).
Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact Thomas Barnwell in EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research, phone (202) 564-0824, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Institutional cost-sharing is not required for Phase I. However, if partners are providing contributions (funding and/or in-kind), this information should be included on the budget forms and should be described, as requested, in the research plan. (Note: see Section G, Part 2)
Special Instructions for Submitting an Application
The need for a sorting code to be used in the application and for mailing is described in the Special Instructions for this RFA. The sorting code and category descriptions for applications submitted in response to this solicitation are listed below. Select a single sorting code depending on the central focus of the proposed design. While it is EPA’s intent for the designs to be multidisciplinary, it is necessary to select the most appropriate sorting code to facilitate the review of applications.
Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in this announcement. If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. The following is the schedule for this RFA.
Application Receipt Date: March 25, 2004
The application review process can be found in the Special Instructions section of this announcement. Consideration of an application’s merit is based on the following criteria: (1) Definition of a technical challenge to sustainability; (2) Development of an innovative design approach with technical merit to address the challenge; (3) Discussion of how the challenge and proposed design relate to sustainability including people, prosperity, and the planet; (4) Description of strategy for measuring results, evaluation and implementation; and (5) Description of how P3 concepts will be implemented as an educational tool at the university.
Further information, if needed, may be obtained from the EPA official indicated below. E-mail inquiries are preferred.
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 66.515.
The authority for this RFA and resulting awards is contained in
Clean Air Act, Section 103, as amended, Public Law 95-95, 42
et seq.; Clean Water Act, Section 104, as amended, Public Law 95-217,
33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.; Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442,
as amended, Public Law 93- 523, Toxic Substances Control Act, Section
10, as amended
15 U.S.C. 2609; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide
Section 20, as amended 7 U.S.C. 136r.
Go to Forms Download Page to get required forms
At various places within the application, applicants are asked to identify the sorting code corresponding to their proposed research in the solicitation. The sorting codes and descriptions for applications submitted in response to this solicitation are listed below. Select a single sorting code for each project, based on the central focus of the proposed design. While it is EPA’s intent for the designs to be multidisciplinary, it is necessary to select the most appropriate sorting code to facilitate the review of applications.
The sorting code must be placed at the top of the abstract (location is shown in the abstract format, see attachment, NCER Form 2), in Box 10 of Standard Form 424 (see description below in the section on SF424), and in the address on the package that is sent to the EPA (see Section 4, How to Apply, below). Each application submitted must fall under only ONE sorting code. Applications submitted for more than sorting code will be assigned to the sorting designated on the first version received or to the first sorting code shown on the application.
The initial application is made through submission of the materials described below. It is essential that the application contain all information requested and be submitted in the formats described. Noncompliance with formatting instructions (page limits, font size, etc.) is grounds for dismissal prior to peer review. Please note that if an application is being considered for an award (i.e., after external peer review and internal review), additional forms and other information will be requested by the EPA Project Officer. The application must contain the following:
A. Standard Form 424: The applicant must complete SF424 (see attached form and instructions). This form will be the first page of the application. Instructions for completing the SF424 are included with the form. The form must contain the original signature of an authorized representative of the applying institution. Please note that both the Faculty Advisor and an administrative contact are to be identified in Section 5 of the SF424.
B. Key Contacts: The applicant must complete the Key Contacts Form
(NCER Form 1, see attached) as the second page of the application.
Please make certain that all contact information is accurate.
D. Abstract: The abstract is a very important document. All abstracts are provided to the peer review panelists, and some of the panelists may read only the abstract. Abstracts also play a critical role in programmatic review. Therefore, it is critical that the abstract accurately describes the research being proposed and conveys all the essential elements of the research. Also, the abstracts of applications that receive funding will be posted on the NCER web site.
The abstract, limited to one page, should include the information indicated in the example format (NCER Form 2, see attached) and described below (1-8):
E. Research Plan: This description must not exceed ten (10) consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins. The description must provide the following information:
The following sections must be included in the application, in addition to the 10-page Research Plan and partnership information.
F. Resumes: Provide the resume of the faculty advisor(s). The resume for each individual must not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins.
G. Budget: The applicant must present a detailed, itemized budget for the entire project. This budget must be in the format provided in the example (NCER Form 4, see attachment) and must not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages with 1-inch margins.
Budget for personnel and salaries will not be supported under this grant. Monies should be exclusively spent on materials, equipment, supplies, and travel to the competition for the P3 Award.
If a sub-agreement, such as a sub-contract to another educational institution (domestic or foreign), is included in the application, provide a separate budget for the sub-contract in the same format. Include the total amount for the sub-agreement under “Contracts” in the master budget.
If applicable, a brief statement concerning cost-sharing should be added to the budget justification, and estimated dollar amounts must be included in the appropriate categories in the budget table.
H. Budget Justification: Describe the basis for calculating the travel, equipment, supplies, and other costs identified in the itemized budget and explain the basis for their calculation. The budget justification should not exceed one consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins.
Budget information should be supported at the level of detail described below.
By submitting an application in response to this solicitation, the applicant grants EPA permission to make limited disclosures of the application to technical reviewers both within and outside the Agency for the express purpose of assisting the Agency with evaluating the application. Information from a pending or unsuccessful application will be kept confidential to the fullest extent allowed under law; information from a successful application may be publicly disclosed.
The original and eight (8) copies of the complete application (9 in all) and one (1) additional copy of the abstract, must be received by NCER no later than 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time on March 25, 2004.
To be considered timely, applications must be received by the Agency on or before the deadline published in the RFA. Applications received after the published deadline or applications that deviate from the prescribed format will be returned to the sender without further consideration. Also, applications exceeding the funding limits described in the RFA will be returned without review.
The application and abstract must be prepared in accordance with these instructions. Informal, incomplete, or unsigned applications will be returned without review. The original, signed copy of the application must not be bound or stapled in any way. The other eight (8) required copies of the application should be secured with paper or binder clips or secure staples.
Because of security concerns, applications cannot be personally delivered. They must be sent through regular mail or express mail.
The following address must be used for regular mail:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Please note: Due to uncertainties associated with timely delivery of regular mail, it is especially important to follow the procedures described in the second paragraph of section 2.B if this method of delivery is used.
The following address must be used for express mail:
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
After evaluation and selection for award, applicants recommended for funding 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, a quality control/quality assurance statement and/or to resubmit their proposal. EPA Project Officers will contact the faculty advisor(s) to obtain these materials. Note: The competitors for the P3 Award (Phase II) and a subsequent award for further development and implementation will be limited to those selected to receive support as a result of the competition under this RFA (Phase I).
Applications will be selected for an award subject to the availability of funding.
Collaborative applications involving more than one institution must be submitted as a single administrative package from one of the institutions involved.
A. Review and Selection Process. All grant applications will be reviewed by an appropriate technical peer review panel. This review is designed to evaluate each proposal according to the peer review criteria (see section 6B). Applications that are found to be the most meritorious by the peer reviewers will be subjected to a programmatic review within the EPA to assure the awards represent a balance among sorting categories for the P3 Award competition. Recommendations on funding will then be given to the NCER Director who will make the funding decisions. Selected applicants will be required to provide additional information (see above) and the application will be forwarded to the grants administration office for final approval and award in accordance with the EPA’s procedures.
Applicants will be notified about selection decisions within approximately four months of the application deadline. A summary statement of the scientific review by the peer panel will be provided to each applicant with the award or declination letter.
B. Peer Review and Criteria. In general, each peer review group will be composed of non-EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, and/or economists who are experts in their respective disciplines and proficient in the technical subjects they are reviewing.
Reviewers will be asked to assess which proposals are the most meritorious. The following criteria will be used in descending order of importance and relevance. Note: This order is not the same as the required order for proposal submission.
The funding mechanism for all awards issued under NCER solicitations will consist of assistance agreements from the EPA. All award decisions are subject to the availability of funds. In accordance with Public Law 95-224, the primary purpose of a grant is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute, rather than acquisition for the direct benefit or use of the Agency. In issuing a grant agreement, the EPA anticipates that there will be no substantial EPA involvement in the design, implementation, or conduct of the research.
Expectations and responsibilities of NCER grantees are summarized in this section; see http://www.epa.gov/ncer/guidance for full terms and conditions associated with an award, including what activities require prior approval of the EPA. However, these posted terms and conditions will be modified (generally simplified) for awards under this RFA.
A. P3 Award Competition. At least two team representatives (students and/or faculty advisors) will be expected to participate in the P3 Award Competition in Washington, D.C. in the late spring of 2005.
B. Approval of Changes after Award. Prior written approval is required from the EPA if there is to be any significant change in the project that deviates markedly from work described in the application. Examples of these changes are contained in 40 C.F.R. 30.25.
C. Human Subjects. A grant recipient must agree to meet all EPA requirements for studies using human subjects prior to implementing any work with these subjects. These requirements are given in 40 C.F.R. 26, referred to as the “Common Rule.” No work involving human subjects, including recruiting, may be initiated before the EPA has received a copy of the Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) approval of the project and the EPA has also provided approval. Where human subjects are involved in the research, the recipient must provide evidence of subsequent IRB reviews, including amendments or minor changes of protocol, as part of annual reports.
D. Animal Welfare. A grant recipient must agree to comply with the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-554), as amended. All projects involving vertebrate animals must have approval from the applying organization’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before issuance of an EPA grant.
E. Data Access and Information Release. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. All data sets, models, and databases developed under NCER grants may become accessible to the public and therefore freely available to all researchers. If such data are requested by the public, the EPA must ask for it, and the grantee must submit it, in accordance with A-110 and EPA regulations at 40 C.F.R. 30.36.
F. Reports. Grant recipients must agree to provide an abstract for posting on the NCER web site. Recipients must also provide a final report (with an executive summary for web posting) to be distributed to the judges prior to the P3 Award competition event on the National Mall. Details for the final report and executive summary will be provided to those receiving funding under this solicitation.
G. Acknowledgement of EPA Support. A grant recipient must agree to provide copies of any peer reviewed journal article(s) resulting from the research during the project period. In addition, the recipient should notify the EPA Project Officer of any papers published after completion of the grant that were based on research supported by the grant. NCER intends to post references to all publications resulting from the grant on the NCER web site.
EPA’s full or partial support should be acknowledged in journal articles, oral or poster presentations, news releases, interviews with reporters and other communications. Any documents developed under the agreement for distribution to the public or inclusion in a scientific, technical, or other journal shall include the following statement:
Additional general information on other NCER grants programs, including the Science To Achieve Results (STAR) program, forms used for applications, etc., may be obtained by exploring our web page at http://www.epa.gov/ncer. Specific technical questions should be directed to the EPA contact person whose name is provided in each solicitation.
This RFA requests information for proposal forms and in final reports. The information on proposal forms, including quality-related data, will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals. The judges will use final reports submitted by awardees, in part, to determine the winner(s) of the P3 Award. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers as part of the proposal review process, and to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs. Submission of the information is voluntary. However, failure to provide full and complete information may reduce the possibility of receiving an award. The OMB control number for this collection (General Administrative Requirements for Assistance Programs) is 2030-0020 (expires 2005). EPA regulations, as stated in 40 C.F.R. 30.54, require the inclusion of data quality planning documents, which are covered by Quality Assurance Specification and Requirements, OMB # 2080-0033.
See the specific RFA for applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) citations. Awards by the EPA are made and administered under the authority of 40 C.F.R. Part 30 and 40, and applicable statutes.
Sustainability – “…meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Our Common Future, Oxford University Pres, 1987)
Green Chemistry – “The design, manufacture, and application of chemical products and processes that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances.” (Anastas and Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press, 1998)
Green Engineering – The design and application of products, processes, and systems that use energy and material resources effectively and efficiently through the life cycle and reduce hazards to human health and the environment.