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U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program

Closed - for reference purposes only

Fall 2005 EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study

Sorting Codes: Several --See sorting codes list
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s): 66.514

Solicitation Opening Date: August 23, 2004
Solicitation Closing Date: November 23, 2004, 4 p.m. EST
Application Receipt Deadline Date: November 23, 2004, 4 p.m. EST

Table of Contents:
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
  Synopsis of Program
  Award Information
  Eligibility Information
  Contact Person
  Deadline/Target Date
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
  Introduction
  Background
  Authorities and Regulations
AWARD INFORMATION
ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  Eligible Applicants
  Cost Sharing
APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  The STAR Graduate Fellowship Pre-application Package
  Content and Format of Pre-applications
  Submission Dates and Times
  Sample Pre-application
  Student Pre-application Submission Check List
APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  Criteria
  Evaluation and Selection Process
AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
  Award Notices
  Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  Reporting
AGENCY CONTACTS

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Synopsis of Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is offering Graduate Fellowships for master's and doctoral level students in environmentally related fields of study. The deadline for receipt of pre-applications is November 23, 2004. Subject to availability of funding, the Agency plans to award approximately 100 new fellowships by July 21, 2005. Master's level students may receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years with funding available, under certain circumstances, over a period of four years. The fellowship program provides up to $37,000 per year of support.

Award Information
Anticipated Type of Award: Fellowship
Estimated Number of Awards: 100
Anticipated Funding Amount: $3,300,000 per year, program total
Potential Funding per Fellow per Year: $37,000
Letter of Intent Due Date: None
Pre-Application Proposal Due Date: November 23, 2004

Eligibility Information
Applicants must attend a fully accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants must also 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. EPA may choose to verify this number with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Contact Person: Stephanie Willett
phone: 202-343-9737, email: willett.stephanie@epa.gov

Deadline/Target Date: November 23, 2004, 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

Introduction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), invites pre-applications for the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for graduate environmental study for master’s and doctoral level students. The deadline for receipt of pre-applications is November 23, 2004. Subject to availability of funding, the Agency plans to award approximately 100 new fellowships by July 21, 2005. Master's level students may receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years, usable over a period of four years. The fellowship program provides up to $37,000 per year of support. This amount covers a monthly stipend of $1,667 for up to 12 months totaling $20,000 for the year, $5,000 for authorized expenses, and up to $12,000 for tuition and fees. The actual amount awarded per year will vary depending on the amount of tuition and fees and the number of months the stipend is required. These fellowships are intended to help defray the ever-increasing costs associated with advanced environmentally oriented study leading to a master's or doctoral degree.

Background

The STAR fellowship program was initiated in 1995. Approximately 1000 STAR fellowships have been awarded since the inception of the program. 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 immediate and long-term mission of EPA which is to protect public health and the environment. The STAR fellowship program has proven to be beneficial to both the public and private sectors by providing a steady stream of well-trained environmental specialists to our society to meet environmental challenges. It has also provided new environmental research in physical, biological and health sciences, engineering and social science.

Authorities and Regulation

The authority for this RFA and resulting awards is contained in the following:
Clean Air Act, Section 103, as amended, Public Law 95-95, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.; Clean Water Act, Section 104, as amended, Public Law 95-217, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6981; 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 Act, Section 20, as amended 7 U.S.C. 136r; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Section 311, 42 U.S.C. 9660

AWARD INFORMATION

The fellowship provides up to $37,000 per year of support. A maximum of $74,000 will be provided for master's fellows (two years) and up to $111,000 (three years) to doctoral students. The $37,000 annual support covers stipend, tuition, and expenses as follows:

Stipends: For the 2005-2006 academic year these will be $20,000 for 12-month tenures and prorated monthly at a maximum of $1,667 for shorter periods. Funds for unused months are forfeited. Stipends are paid directly to the Fellow. At its discretion, each fellowship institution may supplement a Fellow's stipend from institutional funds in accordance with the supplementation policy of the institution.

Tuition and Academic Fees: Up to $12,000 per year will be paid directly to the institution. For the purposes of this fellowship, health insurance is not considered to be an academic fee. Health insurance costs may, however, be paid from the expense budget.

Expense Allowance: Up to $5,000 will be provided to pay for items and activities for the direct benefit of the student's education and research, such as for health insurance, books, supplies, data analysis, publication costs, equipment (e.g., computers), travel to technical and scientific meetings, and domestic and international travel required to conduct the proposed research. Specific instructions regarding the disbursement and management of the expense allowance will be provided during the award process.

EPA Fellowship Conference: If requested, Fellows are expected to attend EPA Graduate Fellows Conferences as long as they are in the program, unless the immediate needs of their research project make attendance impractical. Resources to support this travel are to be taken from the expense allowance.

International Activities: The Fellow's proposed research may be conducted outside the United States. However, EPA allows only $5,000 for all expenses, including travel. See "Stipends and Allowances" for details. If at any time during the research project, it becomes necessary for you to work outside the United States and its territories, you must notify your Project Officer who will obtain the necessary EPA and State Department approvals before the fellowship funds can be used to conduct these activities. In addition, for travel to international meetings, approval must be obtained from EPA. Fellows who travel overseas will be required to comply with all provisions of the Fly America Act.

Under-Represented Scientists: The EPA recognizes the need for scientists of all backgrounds and ethnic groups. For this reason, women, minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Eligible Applicants

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. EPA may choose to verify this number with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Students 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. Students must attend a fully accredited U.S. college or university. Students must be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in an environmentally related field of specialization.
Students who have completed more than one year in the master's program or four years in the doctoral program are not eligible. Students enrolled in a master's program, however, may apply for a doctoral fellowship.

Acceptance of this fellowship does not necessarily preclude acceptance of other scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or grant aid. However, this fellowship may not be awarded to anyone who will simultaneously be receiving other federal assistance.
Employees of the U.S. government must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship.

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing is not required.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

The STAR Fellowship Pre-application Package

The application package for a STAR fellowship consists of two major parts:

  1. The pre-application, and
  2. Three (3) current letters of recommendation.

The pre-application provides the reviewers with information about you and your proposed research. The letters provide support for your pre-application.

A pre-application provides the information needed for merit review of the student and their research proposal. Following the merit review, top-rated applicants will be required to submit a brief formal application. Instructions for completing and submitting pre-applications are found in the sections that follow. Instructions must be followed exactly or the submission will not be reviewed. All submitted information must be written in English.

Content and Format of Pre-application Package

The pre-application part of your package consists of thirteen (13) items. The pre-application must be single-spaced and completed using a 12-point or equivalent typeface on 8-1/2 x 11-in paper with one-inch margins all around. Page limitations for individual components of the pre-application are specified below. You may use figures and tables, but do not deviate from the format requirements and page limits or the proposal will be ineligible. Do not submit materials permanently bound or in ring binders. You must submit the original and six (6) copies of all required materials together to the EPA by the closing date of this announcement.

Educational Levels

When completing the application package for a STAR fellowship you will need to describe your educational level at the time of submission. Choose one of the following:

1. Entering Master's Student (EM) if you are applying for, or enrolled in, a master's program and have completed less than one year* toward this degree.

2. Entering Doctoral Student (ED) if you are applying for, or are enrolled in, a doctoral program, have completed less than one year toward this degree, and have no other graduate or professional degree (e.g., MS, DVM, JD).

3. Doctoral Student (DS) if you are applying for, or enrolled in, a doctoral program, have completed less than one year toward this degree, but have completed another graduate or professional degree (e.g., MS, DVM, JD).

4. Continuing Doctoral Student (CD) if you are enrolled in a doctoral program and have completed more than one year, but less than four years*, toward this degree.

* Students who have completed more than one year of their master’s studies or four years of their Ph.D. program at the time of application are not eligible for the STAR fellowship.

ITEMS 1-8 COMBINED MUST NOT EXCEED ONE PAGE

Item 1 PERSONAL DATA -- Provide your full name (last name first), current address, permanent address (complete address including zip code), and home and work telephone numbers. Please include an e-mail address to which NCER can send an acknowledgment that your application has been received. If you do not receive an acknowledgment within 30 days of the submission deadline, immediately call 1-800-490-9194. (Optional -- for statistical reporting purposes only, we ask you to include your gender and race, e.g., African-American, white, Hispanic, native American, Asian or Pacific Islander).

Item 2 CITIZENSHIP STATUS -- State whether you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If you are a citizen, give the city of your birth. If you are a resident alien, provide your green card number. EPA may choose to verify this information.

Item 3 DEGREE SOUGHT -- State either master's or doctoral (e.g., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., M.P.H.). Include the month and year you expect the degree to be awarded.

Item 4 EDUCATIONAL LEVEL -- State either entering graduate student, doctoral student, or continuing doctoral student (as defined above).

Item 5 SORTING CODE -- Select a single Sorting Code and Title for your application. It is important that you select the most appropriate Sorting Code and Title from the list shown below because your pre-application will be reviewed by experts from the field you select. Select only one Sorting Code and Title.

F05-STAR-A1 Environmental Engineering (limited to pollution prevention; includes sustainability)
   
F05-STAR-A2 Environmental Engineering (limited to treatment and remediation)
   
F05-STAR-B1 Atmospheric Sciences (limited to environmentally related issues)
   
F05-STAR-B2 Environmental Chemistry and Environmental Materials Science
   
F05-STAR-B3 Geology (limited to environmentally related issues; includes hydrogeology)
   
F05-STAR-C1 Economics (limited to environmentally related issues; includes market incentives and health and ecosystem valuation)
F05-STAR-C2 Geography (limited to environmentally related issues)
   
F05-STAR-C3 Environmental Decision-making (limited to environmental education, environmental justice, community-based participatory research, intervention strategies, environmental behavior modification)
F05-STAR-C4 Urban/Regional Planning (limited to environmentally related issues)
   
F05-STAR-D1 Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Genetics (limited to environmentally related issues; includes genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics)
   
F05-STAR-D2 Microbiology (limited to environmentally related issues)
   
F05-STAR-D3 Public Health Sciences (limited to environmentally related issues; includes environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, biostatistics, and health risk assessment)
   
F05-STAR-D4 Toxicology (limited to environmentally related issues; includes pharmacokinetics and toxicodynamic modeling)
   
F05-STAR-D5 Health Physics (limited to research involving radiation interaction, detection, and dosimetry; radiation protection standards and regulations; biological effects, risk assessment and ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable radiation exposure) concepts; facility design and nuclear safety; radiological emergency management; environmental monitoring and assessment; and nuclear waste management)
   
F05-STAR-E1* Aquatic Systems Ecology (limited to multi-disciplinary, environmentally related projects)
   
F05-STAR-E2 Oceanography and Coastal Processes (limited to environmentally related issues)
   
F05-STAR-F1* Terrestrial Systems Ecology - plants and soils only (limited to multi-disciplinary, environmentally related projects in the area of soils, plants and the microorganisms that inhabit them.
   
F05-STAR-F2* Terrestrial Systems Ecology - includes animals (limited to multi-disciplinary, environmentally related projects that include animal research; the animal research need not be the primary focus of the project)
* These categories are designed for applications pertaining to the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, where there is not a more specific EPA code available.

Item 6 TITLE -- Provide a descriptive title for your research project, or your research area of interest if the specific topic has not yet been selected. This title will be posted on the NCER web site in the event of an award.

Item 7 COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OR DEPARTMENT -- Name and location of the college/university, school or department from which your degree will be obtained.

Item 8 NAME AND ADDRESS OF GRADUATE ADVISOR -- If you have a graduate advisor, give his or her name, address, and telecommunications data, including phone, fax, and e-mail, if available. If you do not yet have an advisor, write "NA.”

ITEM 9 MUST NOT EXCEED ONE PAGE

Item 9 STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES – Explain your academic and career goals and how your proposed course of study or research will help you achieve these goals. Include any background information you believe is pertinent and provide insight into why you have chosen the goals you are pursuing. You will be evaluated on your dedication to your studies and an environmentally oriented career. This statement will also provide insight into your organizational, analytical, and written communication skills.

ITEMS 10 & 11 COMBINED MUST NOT EXCEED ONE PAGE

Item 10 EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE – List the academic degrees you have received or expect to receive in the near future, including the date and the institution. Also list relevant experience, including paid employment, military service, internships, residencies, special studies, volunteer work, etc. Give dates and a short description of your duties in each position, listing most recent first. Give names and addresses of employers. List only relevant experience.

Item 11 PUBLICATIONS -- If you have published in the technical/scientific literature, provide a bibliography here. If you have not yet published, write "NA.”

ITEM 12 MUST NOT EXCEED 5 PAGES
EXCEPTION: CONTINUING DOCTORAL STUDENTS MAY HAVE 6 PAGES

Item 12 NARRATIVE STATEMENT– The narrative statement should reflect your educational level. All students must include a description of the scientific and, if appropriate, societal importance of their field of study. A detailed research plan is required for continuing doctoral students but is desirable for all applicants. At a minimum, answer the questions below for the appropriate educational level.

ENTERING MASTER'S STUDENT-- What are the degree requirements for your program? What is your planned course of study during the period of the fellowship? Do you know if you will be undertaking a thesis/special project? If so, describe it. If you do not know, what project would you like to propose? Why would it be important? How is it relevant to the protection of human health and the environment?

ENTERING DOCTORAL STUDENT-- What are the degree requirements for your program? What is your planned course of study during the period of the fellowship? If you could select your dissertation topic this year, what would it be? Why would it be important? How is it relevant to the protection of human health and the environment?

DOCTORAL STUDENT-- What are the degree requirements for your program? What is your planned course of study during the period of the fellowship? If you could select your dissertation topic this year, what would it be? Why would it be important? How is it relevant to the protection of human health and the environment? What are some of the most influential publications currently available in this area?

CONTINUING DOCTORAL STUDENT-- What is your dissertation topic? How is it relevant to the protection of human health and the environment? Describe your dissertation research project by addressing the following points:

A Goal of research--What problem are you focusing on and what is your hypothesis?
B. Rationale--What is the technical or societal need for this research? What significant research has been published on this topic and how do the results relate to your project?
C. Approach--How will you test your hypothesis?
D. Expected results--What scientific or other benefits are expected to result from this work?
E. Cited literature--Provide a list of cited literature, which can be in addition to the 5-page limit.

ITEM 13 MAY USE AS MANY PAGES AS NECESSARY

Item 13 TRANSCRIPT INFORMATION -- Provide, in tabular form, the following information from your transcripts: the institutions at which the credits were earned, dates, names and catalog numbers of courses taken, credit hours, grades received, and cumulative GPA for all courses taken at each degree level. If possible, course titles should not exceed the space available. Abbreviations are allowed. Note if courses were audited or not completed. If any institution you attended had a grading system different from the traditional "A, B, C" system, explain the system in a succinct footnote to Item 13. Do not leave anything out. Include data from your entire college career. DO NOT INCLUDE COPIES OF YOUR TRANSCRIPTS. Top-ranked applicants will be required to submit official copies of transcripts for validation prior to award of the fellowship.

Letters of Recommendation

Each application package MUST include three (3) current letters of reference from individuals who have knowledge of your academic record. If you have a sponsor or advisor in the program, one of these letters should come from that individual. Letters of recommendation are critical components of the pre-application. Select your references carefully and urge them to write unique letters specifically about you. Do not write the letters yourself. Letters that appear to be mass produced will not be ranked highly by the reviewers. At minimum, the letters should address your academic performance and potential, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and motivation in your chosen field. It is always useful if the writer also conveys a sense of who you are as an individual. EPA is bound by regulation to require three (3) letters of reference. If the pre-application does not include these three letters, it will not be reviewed. The original and six (6) copies of each required letter must be contained in an individual envelope sealed by the writer and must be included in the pre-application package. We will not accept reference letters sent separately.

Submission Dates and Times

Pre-applications MUST be received at EPA no later than 4:00 p.m., EST, on November 23, 2004. Because of security concerns, applications cannot be personally delivered. They must be sent through regular mail, express mail or a major courier. Due to uncertainties associated with timely delivery of regular mail, it is especially important to provide an e-mail address to which an acknowledgment of receipt notification can be sent (see item 1 of content and format for pre-applications).

If sending by regular U.S. mail, send the original AND SIX (6) COPIES of all required materials to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8725F)
Sorting Code: F05-STAR-XX (replace with the appropriate sorting code; see list provided)
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

For courier and express mail, send the original AND SIX (6) COPIES of all required materials to:

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8725F)
Sorting Code: F05-STAR-XX (replace with the appropriate sorting code; see list provided)
Woodies Building
Room 3500
1025 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 233-0686 (for express mail applications)

SAMPLE PRE-APPLICATION

The pages that follow constitute a sample pre-application for graduate fellowships.

NOTE!!!! Smart as he is, this hypothetical student probably would NOT receive an EPA fellowship because his curriculum has no obvious relationship to environmental concerns or the degree he is seeking in this discipline. His only chance would be if his narrative statement clearly made that connection. The purpose of this sample is to demonstrate format, not content.

Pre-application for STAR Graduate Fellowship

Page 1

1. Name:

Beckett, Samuel John
Current Address: 68 Dane Avenue, Somerville, MA 02899
Permanent Address: C/o John Beckett, Rte. 2, Box 98, Elk Ridge, Indiana 54096
Home Telephone: 101-555-1234
Work Telephone: 101-555-1111
Fax: 101-555-1010
E-Mail: Xxxxx@yyy.com
Gender: Male
Race: White

2. Citizenship Status: U.S. Citizen, Born in Elk Ridge, Indiana (Note: If this student were a Permanent Resident Alien, he would indicate his Green Card Number here.)

3. Degree Applying For: Ph.D. Expected 6/07

4. Education Level at Start of Fellowship: Continuing Doctoral

5. Sorting Code: F05-STAR-A2-Environmental Engineering

6. Title: The Development of Mathematical Relationships to Describe the Behavior of Chemical Contaminants at Hazardous Waste Sites.

7. Current School and Department: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Theoretical Mathematics, Cambridge, MA

8. Name and Address of Graduate Advisor (Sponsor):

J. C. Armstrong
Chairman, Department of Theoretical Mathematics
Room 464-82
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02899
Office Phone:(101) 555-1235 Fax: (101) 555-4321
E-mail: Xxxxxxx@mit.edu

Page 2

9. Statement of Objectives: This is a written account of your academic and environmental career goals, in which you relate your past accomplishments and future plans, and describe how your proposed plan of study or research will tie these together. The quality of this section is a key criterion for review, so be as articulate and thorough as possible.

Page 3

10. Education and Experience:

1/02 to Present: Enrolled in Ph.D. Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Current GPA: 4.0
1/02 to Present: Teaching Assistant MIT, School of Engineering. Contact: Philip Lonicro, (617)111-0001
11/99 to 1/00: Invented a Plasma Energy Drive System (Patent Number 876GB5F457YD)
1/01 to 12/01 Employed at Highbrow Technologies, Riverside CA.
1/00 to 12/01 California Institute of Technology, MS Applied Mathematics.
10/97to12/99 University of Indiana B.S. Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) 4.0 GPA (4 point scale)

11. Publications

Smith, A.B., Jones X,Y, and Beckett S.J. "Algorithms for Hazardous Waste Site Management.” Environ. Sci. Tech. 1(11), 111-222 (2001).
Smith, A.B., Jones X,Y, and Beckett S.J. "Spatial Analyses for the Assessment of Hazardous Waste Sites.” Environ. Sci. Tech. 2(8), 1-22 (1999).

Pages 4-9

12. Narrative Statement

Sam Beckett, our hypothetical candidate, must provide a detailed scope of work for his proposed research because he is a continuing Ph.D. student. He may not exceed six pages in describing the goals, rationale, approach, and references for his project. (Note: All other applicants have a five-page limit.)

Pages 10 and Beyond

13. Transcript Data

Institution Year Course # Title Credit Hrs Grade
MIT 2002 744 Special Project 5 In Progress
MIT 2002 740 Topology 5 In Progress
MIT 2002 735 Number Theory 4 In Progress
MIT 2002 998 722 Adv Topics in Chaos 4 In Progress
MIT 2002 719 Special Project 5 A
MIT 2002 716 Transfinite Math 5 A
Cal Tech 2001 Ph-96 Number Theory 8 A
Cal Tech 2001 Ph-85 Euclidian Geometry 4 A
Cal Tech 2001 R-65 Applied Physics 4 A
Cal Tech 2001 R-64 Applications Theory 4 A
Cal Tech 2000 R-63 Linear Geometry 4 A
Cal Tech 2000 R-62 Basic Java Language 4 P
Cal Tech 2000 R-61 C++ Programming 5 P
Cal Tech 2000 R-60 Special Project 4 A
Cal Tech 2000 R-59 Research Project 4 A
U. Indiana 1999 620 Applied Geometry 4 A
U. Indiana 1999 621 Advanced Calculus 4 A
U. Indiana 1999 666 Computing 4 A
U. Indiana 1998 431 Advanced Math 4 B+
U. Indiana 1998 444 Physical Education 4 P
U. Indiana 1997 522 English 4 C
U. Indiana 1997 101 Math 4 A
U. Indiana 1997 122 Geography 4 A
U. Indiana 1997 177 Statistics 4 A

STUDENT PRE-APPLICATION SUBMISSION CHECK LIST

Page 1

1. Personal Data
2. Citizenship Status
3. Degree Sought
4. Education Level
5. Sorting Code and Title
6. Title of Research Project
7. College/University, School and Department
8. Name and Address of Graduate Advisor

Page 2

9. Statement of Objectives

Page 3

10. Education and Experience
11. Publications

Page 4 to 8 (or 9 if continuing doctoral)

12. Narrative Statement

Page 9 (EM, ED, DS) or Page 10 (CD)

13. Transcript Information
(as many pages as needed)

Letters of Recommendation (3)

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria

Students at each educational level will be evaluated on his or her potential for success in a graduate study program based on the information provided in the pre-application as described above under “Content and Format for Pre-Applications.” The reviewers will consider academic records, recommendations, and career goals and objectives. Reviewers are asked to assign a summary score of either excellent, very good, good, fair or poor for each pre-application. This review is designed to evaluate each proposal according to its scientific merit.

Evaluation and Selection Process

The pre-applications and letters of recommendation will be reviewed by non-EPA experts from the appropriate field of study. Reviewers are recruited based on specialty fields represented by the pre-applications. Pre-applications that receive scores of excellent from the peer reviewers are subjected to further review within EPA. Finalists will be selected for award of a fellowship based on the availability of funds, reviewers' evaluations, and program goals, such as distribution of awards across disciplines, institutions and geography, degree level being sought, and other possible indicators of program balance. Final funding decisions are made by the NCER Director. When an award is made, the fellowship recipient must agree to provide an electronic abstract for posting on NCER’s web site at the beginning of the fellowship and an electronic final report at the end of the research project. Abstracts of research projects from previously funded fellows can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/.

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Award Notices

If you comply with the requirement to include an email address, you will be notified when we receive your package. If selected to receive a fellowship you will be contacted no later than May 30, 2005, and you should subsequently receive your award by July 21, 2005, 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.

Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

You are advised to retain this announcement for future reference. If selected to receive a fellowship you will be contacted no later than May 30, 2005. The official notification of an award will be made by the EPA’s Grants Administration Division. Selected applicants will be required to provide the following information to complete the application process:

1. EPA Form 5770-2, "Fellowship Application*”
2. EPA Form 5700-49, "Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters*"
* Forms are available on the NCER web page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/).
3. Sealed official transcripts from all graduate institutions (if so instructed by EPA)
4. Fellowship Recipient Abstract, not to exceed one page, which should include: Project Title, Name of Fellow, Institution, EPA Project Officer, Project Period, Research Category, Description of Research Project including Objective, Approach, Results or Expected Results, Keywords.

Administrative and Policy Requirements

Terms and conditions associated with this award can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/guidance.

Reporting

Fellowship recipients must provide annual progress reports in order to retain their funding, and must provide a final report upon termination of the award. Fellows must agree to maintain contact with the Agency for at least five years after graduation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Further information, if needed, may be obtained from the EPA official indicated below. E-mail inquiries are preferred.

Stephanie Willett; phone: 202-343-9737, email: willett.stephanie@epa.gov

For additional information or assistance in preparing your pre-application, first consult the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" on the NCER Home Page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer). EPA also maintains a toll-free telephone number which allows individuals to leave a recorded message or question. These will be answered through a return telephone call. To access this service, dial 1-800-490-9194.

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