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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
P3 Award Program

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

9th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity.

Funding Opportunity Numbers (FON) and Associated Research Areas:
EPA-G2012-P3-Q1 – Energy
EPA-G2012-P3-Q2 – Built Environment
EPA-G2012-P3-Q3 – Materials and Chemicals 
EPA-G2012-P3-Q4 – Water
EPA-G2012-P3-Q5 – Agriculture
EPA-G2012-P3-Q6 – Green Infrastructure
EPA-G2012-P3-Q7 – Clean Cookstoves

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.516

Solicitation Opening Date: September 29, 2011
Solicitation Closing Date: December 22, 2011, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time

Eligibility Contact: James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8093
Electronic Submissions: Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-7224
Technical Contacts: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102
Gregory Lank (lank.gregory@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8128

Table of Contents:
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Synopsis of Program
Award Information
Eligibility Information
Application Materials
Agency Contacts
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
A. Introduction
B. Background
C. Authority and Regulations
D. Expected Outputs and Outcomes
E. Research Areas
F. Special Requirements
G. References
II. AWARD INFORMATION
III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
A. Eligible Applicants
B. Cost Sharing
C. Other
IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
A. Internet Address to Request Application Package
B. Content and Form of Application Submission
C. Submission Dates and Times
D. Funding Restrictions
E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements
F. Submission Instructions for Phase II Applications
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Review Process for Phase I Applications
B. Review Process for Phase II Applications
C. Funding Decisions
VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
A. Award Notices
B. Disputes
C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Access Standard STAR Forms (Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page)
View research awarded under previous solicitations on the (P3 website)

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Synopsis of Program:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Awards program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people-- people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. Please see the P3 website for more details about this program.

Award Information:
Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: Approximately 40 awards for Phase I; Approximately 5 awards for Phase II.
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $1,050,000 total for all Phase I & II grant awards.
Potential Funding per Award: Up to $15,000 per Phase I grant including direct and indirect costs.  Proposals for Phase I grants must be for only one year. Proposals for Phase I grants requesting an award of more than $15,000 will not be considered.

Upon the successful completion of Phase I, grant recipients will have the opportunity to apply for a P3 Phase II grant of up to $90,000 total for two years including direct and indirect costs (see Background section for more information).  Proposals for Phase II grants requesting an award of more than $90,000 will not be considered.

Cost-sharing is not required for either Phase I or Phase II grants.

Eligibility Information:
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting public institutions of higher education) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting private institutions of higher education) located in the U.S. are eligible to apply. See full announcement for more details.

Application Materials:
To apply under this solicitation, use the application package available at Grants.gov (for further submission information see Section IV.E. “Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and other Submission Requirements”).  The necessary forms for submitting a P3 application will be found on the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) web site Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page.  If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, you need to allow approximately one week to complete the registration process.  This registration, and electronic submission of your application, must be performed by an authorized representative of your organization.

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the Grants.gov application submission process for this solicitation, call 1-800-490-9194 or send a webmail message at least 15 calendar days before the submission deadline to assure timely receipt of alternate submission instructions.  In your message  provide the funding opportunity number and title of the program, specify that you are requesting alternate submission instructions, and provide a telephone number, fax number, and an email address, if available.  Alternate instructions will be emailed whenever possible.  Any applications submitted through alternate submission methods must comply with all the provisions of this Request for Applications (RFA), including Section IV, and be received by the solicitation closing date identified above.

Agency Contacts:
Eligibility Contact: James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8093
Electronic Submissions: Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-7224
Technical Contacts: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102
Gregory Lank (lank.gregory@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8128

I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

A. Introduction
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the auspices of the Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), invites submissions to the 9th Annual P3-People, Prosperity & the Planet-Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability. P3 focuses on scientific projects and engineering designs that address the three components of sustainability: people, prosperity and the planet. The P3 Program is intended to support science-based projects and designs developed by interdisciplinary student teams that benefit people by improving their quality of life, promote prosperity by developing local economies, and protect the planet by conserving resources and minimizing pollution. Additional details about EPA’s sustainability research can be found in EPA’s Sustainability Research Strategy (PDF) (2007) which presents the role of EPA’s Office of Research and Development in improving understanding of the earth’s natural and man-made systems, assessing threats to those systems, and developing and applying new technologies and decision support tools.

The concept of sustainable development became widely promoted following the 1987 publication of Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).  That document defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”   Agenda 21 (United Nations, 1992), adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil in June 1992, built on that foundation to provide a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human activity impacts the environment.

The concept of sustainable development as encompassing activities that address people, prosperity and the planet continues to have international support as indicated by the United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome document which described the three components of sustainable development--economic development, social development and environmental protection--as “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars.”  That report went on to state that “poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development.” (United Nations, 2005).

In an article entitled Sustainability science and engineering: The emergence of a new metadiscipline, Mihelcic et al. (2003) provided a useful definition of sustainability for scientists and engineers as the “design of human and industrial systems to ensure that humankind’s use of natural resources and cycles do not lead to diminished quality of life due either to losses in future economic opportunities or to adverse impacts on social conditions, human health and the environment.”  Fundamentally, sustainability requires the balancing of economic prosperity, environmental responsibility, and social fairness.  It is imperative to recognize the key role scientific, engineering, and policy innovations can play in addressing the sustainable development challenge. Successful sustainable design recognizes the needs, available resources, and boundaries of the intended user.

The P3 Award Program is composed of two phases that award grants on a competitive basis.  The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to solicit proposals for innovative research projects and designs to compete for the first phase of the P3 Award Program. The first phase is a competition for one-year grants of up to $15,000 to test, research and develop innovative scientific projects or engineering designs that will promote sustainable development. In the spring of 2013, the Phase I grantees awarded from this solicitation are required to present their projects/designs at the annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, DC where they will have an opportunity to compete for Phase II grant awards of up to $90,000. The Phase II grant awards are intended to support the further development and demonstration of the sustainability projects/designs created in Phase I. The competitors for 2013 P3 Phase II grants are limited to recipients of Phase I grant awards from this solicitation.  Additional instructions for completing the Phase II proposals, which will be due approximately seven months after the Phase I grants are awarded, will be distributed to Phase I recipients.  Those projects identified for receipt of a Phase II grant will be recognized as P3 Award recipients on the P3 website.

This RFA represents the ninth National P3 Awards competition. Previously awarded projects funded through this program can be viewed at the recipients list of the P3 website.

B. Background
Increased awareness and understanding of sustainability are critical components for promoting a systematic shift towards more environmentally benign and sustainable products, processes, and systems. It is essential that all involved in the design, discovery, demonstration, and implementation of sustainable innovations understand the fundamental techniques and principles that underlie sustainability. 

This announcement addresses the first phase (Phase I) of the P3 competition by requesting proposals for innovative, research projects or designs from eligible institutions.  The Phase I grants are intended to support an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and/or graduate students to develop their projects/designs in preparation for competing for a P3 Phase II grant award to demonstrate their proposed projects/designs.  The EPA will fund approximately 40 Phase I research proposals from around the country during the 2012-2013 academic year.

The proposal process for the Phase II grant awards will begin in the Spring of 2013, when the student teams and their faculty advisor (the Principal Investigator [PI] on the grant) will be invited to submit their Project Report describing their Phase I project activities and their Phase II proposal for further development. The written Project Report and team presentations at the National Sustainable Design Expo (the Expo) held in Washington, D.C will be the basis for winners announced at the P3 Awards Ceremony in the Spring of 2013.  A panel of qualified experts will be convened to judge the competition and recommend competing Phase I teams to receive the P3 Awards and associated P3 Phase II grants. (More information about the Expo is available at the P3 website.

Partnerships with industry or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are strongly encouraged, particularly in Phase II. These partners are expected to help further develop the design, demonstrate the project in the field, and/or move the design to the marketplace. Matching contributions are not required in either the Phase I or the Phase II competition; however, anticipated partnerships should be identified.

The specific Strategic Goal and Objective from the EPA’s Strategic Plan that relate to this solicitation are
Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development, Objective 3.1:
Promote Sustainable and Livable Communities.

C. Authority and Regulations

  1. Statutory Authority The authorities for awarding research grants under this RFA are contained in the Clean Air Act (CAA), Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7403; Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 104, 33 U.S.C. 1254; the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-1; the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Section 20, 7 U.S.C. 136r; the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA), Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6981; and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Section 10, 15 U.S.C. 2609.  For research with an international aspect, the above statutes are supplemented, as appropriate, by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 102(2)(F).  Specific descriptions of the areas of research that are authorized by each statute are described below:

    CAA: Clean Air Act--Section 103:
    Section 103 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to institutions for research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention and control of air pollution.

    CWA: Clean Water Act--Section 104 (freshwater ecosystems):
    Section 104 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to colleges and universities to conduct basic research into the structure and function of freshwater aquatic ecosystems and to improve understanding of the ecological characteristics necessary to the maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of these systems.

    CWA: Clean Water Act--Section 104:
    Section 104 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to institutions for research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.

    SDWA: Safe Drinking Water Act--Section 1442:
    Section 1442 of the Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, training, studies, and demonstrations relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental diseases and other impairments of man resulting directly or indirectly from contaminants in water, or to the provision of a dependably safe supply of drinking water, including (A) improved methods: (i) to identify and measure the existence of contaminants in drinking water (including methods which may be used by State and local health and water officials), and (ii) to identify the source of such contaminants; (B) improved methods to identify and measure the health effects of contaminants in drinking water; (C) new methods of treating raw water to prepare it for drinking, so as to improve the efficiency of water treatment and to remove contaminants from water; (D) improved methods for providing a dependably safe supply of drinking water, including improvements in water purification and distribution, and methods of assessing the health related hazards of drinking water; and (E) improved methods of protecting underground water sources of public water systems from contamination.

    FIFRA: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act--Section 20:
    Section 20 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for pesticide-related research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstrations, and studies.

    SWDA: Solid Waste Disposal Act--Section 8001:
    Section 8001 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, public education programs and studies relating to: (1) adverse health and welfare effects from solid waste; (2) solid waste management programs; (3) resource recovery and conservation, and hazardous waste management systems; (4) production of usable forms of recovered resources; (5) waste reduction; (6) improved solid waste collection and disposal methods; (7) identification of solid waste components; (8) small scale and low technology solid waste management systems; (9) methods to improve performance of recovered solid waste; (10) improvements in land disposal practices; (11) methods for sound disposal of resources, including sludge and coal slurry; (12) methods of hazardous waste management; and (13) air quality impacts from the burning of solid waste.

    TSCA: Toxic Substance Control Act--Section 10:
    Section 10 of the Toxic Substance Control Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstrations and studies directed toward the development of the fundamental scientific basis of screening and monitoring techniques used to detect toxic chemical substances and quantify the effects of toxic chemical substances and mixtures in the environment.

    NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)--Section 102(2)(F):
    For research with an international aspect, the above statutes are supplemented, as appropriate, by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 102(2)(F) which authorizes support to foreign recipients and international work/travel by domestic recipients.  (NEPA cannot be the sole supporting statute for a proposed project.)

    Note that a project’s focus is to consist of activities within the statutory terms of EPA’s financial assistance authorities, specifically, the statute(s) listed above.  Generally, a project must address the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air pollution, water pollution, solid/hazardous waste pollution, toxic substances control, or pesticide control depending on which statue(s) is listed above.  These activities should relate to the gathering or transferring of information or advancing the state of knowledge.  Proposals should emphasize this “learning” concept, as opposed to “fixing” an environmental problem via a well-established method.  Proposals relating to other topics which are sometimes included within the term “environment” such as recreation, conservation, restoration, protection of wildlife habitats, etc., must describe the relationship of these topics to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

  2. Applicable regulations

    Applicable regulations include: 40 CFR Part 30 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations) and 40 CFR Part 40 (Research and Demonstration Grants).  Applicable OMB Circulars include: OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles for Educational Institutions) relocated to 2 CFR Part 220 and OMB Circular A-122, (Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations) relocated to 2 CFR Part 230. 

D. Expected Outputs and Outcomes
Note to the applicant: The term “output” means an environmental activity or effort, and associated work products, related to a specific environmental goal(s), (e.g., testing a new methodology), that will be produced or developed over a period of time under the grant. The term “outcome” means the result, effect, or consequence that will occur from the above activity(ies) that is related to an environmental, behavioral, or health-related objective.

The P3 program aims to generate research outputs in the form of innovative, inherently benign, integrated, and interdisciplinary designs that will advance the scientific, technical, and policy knowledge necessary to further the goals of sustainability. The desired outcomes of the P3 research are to simultaneously achieve three goals: (1) to maintain or improve human health and well-being; (2) to advance economic competitiveness; and (3) to protect and preserve the environment by effectively and efficiently using water, materials, and energy and minimizing the generation or emission of pollution or minimizing the use of hazardous substances.

E. Research Areas
Applicants should address one or more of the research areas listed below in their Phase I proposals. (Proposals can include, but are not limited to, technical challenges within the examples following each research area below.)  Review criteria specific to the P3 Program and against which the Phase I proposals will be evaluated are presented later in Section V. A. 2.  To fulfill Agency requirements for a research grant, all proposals should clearly articulate how the proposed project/design will result in pollution prevention and/or control. The link to pollution prevention can be a direct link such as reduction in air emissions from a more efficient engine design, or an indirect link such as water conservation approaches that reduce the energy needed to supply clean drinking water and thereby result in reduced air emissions. 

Energy (e.g., reduction in air emissions through innovative strategies for energy production and energy distribution; energy conservation; inherently benign energy through green chemistry, green engineering, development of alternative energy sources)
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q1 – Energy)

Built Environment (e.g., green building designs, transportation and mobility strategies, or smart growth approaches that result in environmental benefits such as air emission reductions or water quality improvements)
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q2 – Built Environment)

Materials and Chemicals (e.g., materials conservation; renewable feedstocks;  materials and chemicals that are inherently benign and energy-, water- and material efficient through their full life-cycles; recovery and reuse of materials through product, process, or system design; biomimicry that contributes to pollution prevention)
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q3 – Materials and Chemicals)

Water (e.g., research relating to causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction and elimination of water pollution; research on the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems for the maintenance of the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the systems; or research to ensure provision of a dependable safe supply of drinking water, including methods to treat raw water for drinking, improvements in water purification and distribution, and protection of underground water sources of public water systems) 
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q4 – Water)

Agriculture (e.g., reduction or elimination of pesticides, minimization of fertilizer and nutrient runoff, productive use of agricultural wastes.  Projects focused solely on food supply are not allowable.)
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q5 – Agriculture)

Green Infrastructure Green infrastructure uses natural vegetation or practices that mimic the hydrologic functions of natural vegetation to manage stormwater runoff while also improving air quality, reducing urban temperatures, mitigating climate impacts and supporting more livable and sustainable communities (e.g., research in this area would include the quantification of costs and benefits associated with green infrastructure projects including potential environmental and social benefits, and the development and evaluation of code policies and ordinances for communities that would promote green infrastructure and allow more holistic uses of water by matching intended uses with the quality of the water provided.)
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q6 – Green Infrastructure)

CleanCookstoves  The EPA is interested in proposals that research the design or development of efficient, clean cookstoves.  Since every region has different social and environmental inputs that affect what type of cookstove will work best, it is strongly suggested that teams have an in-country partner to provide the necessary information to most effectively innovate a clean cookstove fitting for that region that takes into account local fuel, availability of parts for maintenance, what “affordable” means for that region and what cultures and traditions are important for long term acceptance and sustainability of the innovated cookstove.           
(Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2012-P3-Q7 – Clean Cookstoves)

It is recognized that some proposals may be appropriate for more than one FON/research area, but the applicant should identify a primary FON/research area for application submission purposes.  The primary FON/research area is used to determine the appropriate peer review panel.

Please note the following Agency requirements for P3 research proposals:

  • All proposals should clearly articulate how the proposed project/design will result in pollution prevention and/or control or describe how the proposed project/design proposes research within the scope of the statutes described in Section C.1. above. (NEPA is a secondary supporting statute for international projects and cannot be the sole supporting statute for a proposed project.) 
  • Generally, a proposal to this solicitation should address the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air pollution, water pollution, solid/hazardous waste pollution, toxic substances control, or pesticide control. Proposals should not focus on fixing an environmental problem via a well-established method, but instead highlight their innovative research aspects. For example, a proposal to plant some trees in an economically depressed area in order to prevent erosion, or a proposal to start a routine recycling or composting program would not be considered appropriate for the P3 Program. However, the first instance of the application of a pollution-control technique or an innovative application of a previously used method would be considered appropriate for the P3 Program.

Review criteria specific to the P3 Program are presented in Sections V.A. and V.B.

F. Special Requirements
Agency policy and ethical considerations prevent EPA technical staff and managers from providing applicants with information that may create an unfair competitive advantage.  Consequently, EPA employees will not review, comment, advise, and/or provide technical assistance to applicants preparing applications in response to EPA RFAs.  EPA employees cannot endorse any particular application.

P3 Award projects (both Phase I & II) will not accommodate a Multiple PI application.  P3 Award projects should be submitted as a single Lead PI application.

These awards may involve the collection of “Geospatial Information,” which includes information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features or boundaries on the Earth or applications, tools, and hardware associated with the generation, maintenance, or distribution of such information. This information may be derived from, among other things, a Geographic Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, mapping, charting, and surveying technologies, or statistical data.

Your award may involve intellectual property. If that is the case, P3 teams are encouraged to ensure explanations about technologies and key components of prototypes are reviewed by their university’s technology transfer office prior to display at the National Sustainable Design Expo (the Expo). This is to ensure any issues related to patent filings or adjustments to intellectual property strategies, if needed, can be made prior to the public display at the Expo.

G. References
Journals

Mihelcic, J.R., Crittendan, J.C., Small, M.J., Shonnard, D.R., Hokanson, D.R., Zhang, Q. 2003. Sustainability science and engineering: The emergence of a new metadiscipline. Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 5314-5324.  4.

Reports

United Nations. 1992.  Agenda 21: Earth Summit - The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio. United Nations.

United Nations. 2005.  World Summit Outcomes Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer. United Nations.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. Sustainability Research Strategy. EPA 600/S 07/001

Book

World Commission on Environment and Development.  1987.  Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

II. AWARD INFORMATION

It is anticipated that a total of approximately $1,050,000 will be awarded under this announcement for Phase I and Phase II grant awards, depending on the availability of funds and quality of applications received.  The EPA anticipates funding approximately 40 grants for Phase I under this RFA.  The projected EPA award amount for each Phase I grant is up to $15,000 for its one year duration.  Requests for amounts in excess of a total of $15,000, including direct and indirect costs, will not be considered. The total project period for an application submitted for a Phase I grant may not exceed one year.

Based on the completed Phase I project/design, the proposal for additional funding under Phase II, and the reviews from the judging panel, EPA will select approximately 5 P3 Award winners from among recipients of Phase I funding, depending on the availability of funds. These P3 Award winners will be eligible to receive additional Phase II funding of up to $90,000 each. Proposals for Phase II grants with total budget requests exceeding $90,000, including direct and indirect costs, will not be considered.  The total project period for a Phase II grant may not exceed two years.

The EPA reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards, or make more or fewer awards than anticipated, under this RFA.  The EPA reserves the right to make additional Phase I or II awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available after the original selections are made.  Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months after the original selection decisions.

EPA intends to award only grants under this announcement. Under a grant, EPA scientists and engineers are not permitted to be substantially involved in the execution of the research.  However, EPA encourages interaction between its own laboratory scientists and grant Principal Investigators or P3 team members after the award of an EPA grant for the sole purpose of exchanging information in research areas of common interest that may add value to their respective research activities.  This interaction should be incidental to achieving the goals of the research under a grant.  Interaction that is “incidental” does not involve resource commitments.

III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

A. Eligible Applicants
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting public institutions of higher education) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting private institutions of higher education) located in the U.S. are eligible to apply to be the recipient of a grant to support teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students.  Profit-making firms are not eligible to receive assistance agreements from the EPA under this program. The students on the teams supported by the institution receiving the grant must be enrolled in the college or university they will be representing at the time the grant is submitted. Institutions are allowed to submit more than one application where each application represents a unique design concept and student team. For the purposes of grant administration, the team's faculty advisor will be designated the Principal Investigator throughout the P3 grant award and competition process. In addition to the Principal Investigator, each team selected for award will also be asked to provide contact information for a student lead.

Eligible nonprofit organizations include research institutes, corporations, or foundations that are part of a U.S. institution of higher education.  However, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible to apply.

National laboratories funded by Federal Agencies (Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers, “FFRDCs”) may not apply.  FFRDC employees may cooperate or collaborate with eligible applicants within the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations.  They may participate in planning, conducting, and analyzing the research directed by the applicant, but may not direct projects on behalf of the applicant organization.  The institution, organization, or governance receiving the award may provide funds through its assistance agreement from the EPA to an FFRDC for, supplies, equipment, and other expenses directly related to the research.  However, salaries for permanent FFRDC employees may not be provided through this mechanism.

Federal Agencies may not apply.  Federal employees are not eligible to serve in a principal leadership role on an assistance agreement, and may not receive salaries or augment their Agency’s appropriations in other ways through awards made under this program.

The applicant institution may enter into an agreement with a Federal Agency to purchase or utilize unique supplies or services unavailable in the private sector.  Examples are purchase of satellite data, census data tapes, chemical reference standards, analyses, or use of instrumentation or other facilities not available elsewhere.  A written justification for federal involvement must be included in the application.  In addition, an appropriate form of assurance that documents the commitment, such as a letter of intent from the Federal Agency involved, should be included.

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-awarded to another educational institution (domestic or foreign) as described in instructions for submitting to this RFA. If foreign work will be performed, in the process of funding the grant, EPA’s Office of Research and Development is required to obtain clearance from EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs and the U.S. Department of State before any funded foreign work or travel is performed.

Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov) in NCER, phone (703) 347-8093.

B. Cost-Sharing
Institutional cost-sharing is not required for Phase I or Phase II.  However, if there are partners who are providing contributions (funding and/or in-kind), this information may be included in the written budget justification or described in the research plan.

C. Other
Phase I application packages must substantially comply with the application submission instructions and requirements set forth in Section IV of this announcement or they will be rejected. In addition, where a page limitation is expressed in Section IV with respect to parts of the application, pages in excess of the page limit will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted to grants.gov (see Section IV.E. “Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements” for further information), on or before the solicitation closing date and time in Section IV of this announcement or they will be returned to the sender without further consideration. Also, applications exceeding the funding limits or project period terms described herein will be returned without review. Further, applications that fail to demonstrate a public purpose of support or stimulation (e.g., by proposing research which primarily benefits a Federal program or provides a service for a Federal agency) will not be funded since these are not appropriate uses of Federal assistance agreement awards.

Applications deemed ineligible for funding consideration will be notified within fifteen calendar days of the ineligibility determination.

As mentioned above, the competitors for the P3 Awards and the subsequent grant for further development and demonstration (Phase II) will be limited to those selected to receive support as a result of the competition under this RFA (Phase I).

IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Formal instructions for submission through Grants.gov follow in Section E.

A. Internet Address to Request Application Package
Use the application package available at Grants.gov (see Section E. “Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements”).  Note: With the exception of the current and pending support form (available at Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page), all necessary forms are included in the electronic application package.

An email will be sent by NCER to the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Administrative Contact (see below) to acknowledge receipt of the application and transmit other important information.  The email will be sent from receipt.application@epa.gov; emails to this address will not be accepted.  If you do not receive an email acknowledgment within 30 days of the submission closing date, immediately inform the Eligibility Contact shown in this solicitation.  Failure to do so may result in your application not being reviewed. Section E. “Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements” for additional information regarding the application receipt acknowledgment.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

The application is made by submitting the materials described below. Applications must contain all information requested and be submitted in the formats described.

  1. Standard Form 424

    The first page(s) of an application package must be the SF424 form. Instructions for completion of the SF424 are included with the form. The form and instructions are available at the Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page. The form must contain the electronic signature of an authorized representative of the applying institution (the principal investigator is not an authorized representative).

    Applicants are required to provide a “Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System” (DUNS) number when applying for federal grants or cooperative agreements. Institutions may receive a DUNS number by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting the D & B web site Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer. Please be aware that this process may take up to or may exceed two weeks to complete.

    Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” does not apply to the Office of Research and Development's research and training programs unless EPA has determined that the activities that will be carried out under the applicants' proposal (a) require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), or (b) do not require an EIS but will be newly initiated at a particular site and require unusual measures to limit the possibility of adverse exposure or hazard to the general public, or (c) have a unique geographic focus and are directly relevant to the governmental responsibilities of a State or local government within that geographic area.

    EPA will notify the successful applicant(s) if Executive Order 12372 applies to its proposal prior to award. If EPA determines that Executive Order 12372 applies to an applicant's proposal, the applicant must follow the procedures in 40 CFR Part 29. The applicant must notify their state's single point of contact (SPOC). To determine whether their state participates in this process, and how to comply, applicants should consult the Intergovernmental Review (SPOC List) . If an applicant is in a State that does not have a SPOC, or the State has not selected research and development grants for intergovernmental review, the applicant must notify directly affected State, area wide, regional and local entities of its proposal.

  2. Key Contacts
    The applicant must complete the “Key Contacts” form found in the Grants.gov application package. An “Additional Key Contacts” form is also available at the Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page and is to be completed for additional investigators. The Key Contacts form should also be completed for the primary investigators for any major sub-agreements. Please make certain that all contact information is accurate.
  3. Table of Contents
    Provide a list of the major subdivisions of the application indicating the page number on which each section begins.
  4. Abstract (2 pages)

    The abstract is a very important document in the review process. Therefore, it is critical that the abstract accurately and understandably describes the research or new design concept being proposed and conveys all the essential elements of the proposed project. Abstracts of applications that receive funding will be posted on the NCER web site.

    The abstract should include the information described below (a-l). Examples of abstracts for previous P3 grants may be found on the P3 web site.

    1. Funding Opportunity Number(s) and Research Area(s): Enter the full name of the solicitation (P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet) and the funding opportunity number and associated research area under which you are submitting your proposal. If your project is relevant to more than one research area, you may list additional research areas, labeled as such. The funding opportunity numbers and their associated research areas are listed at the beginning of this announcement, in section I.E. above, and in section IV.B.9.b below.

      Please note: Put the Funding Opportunity Number to which the proposal is being submitted in the upper right side of the “header” of the Abstract page. Each application should be submitted using a single FON.

    2. Project Title: Use the exact title of your project as it appears in the application. The title must be brief yet represent the major thrust of the project. Because the title will be used by those not familiar with the project, use more commonly understood terminology. Do not use general phrases such as “research on.”
    3. Principal Investigator (P.I.): This person will serve as the faculty advisor for the P3 student team. List the name of the PI and then the names and affiliations of any co-investigators/advisors who will significantly contribute to the project. Provide a web site URL or an email contact address for each investigator.
    4. Student Team. If student investigators are known at the time of the proposal, list student investigators and indicate whether each student is an undergraduate or graduate student. If student investigators are not yet known, provide a brief explanation of how and when the P3 student team will be formed.
    5. Institution: In the same order as the list of investigators, list the name, city and state of each participating university or other applicant institution. The lead institution applying for assistance must be clearly identified.
    6. Student Represented Departments and Institutions: List the departments and institutions that will be represented by the students participating on the team.
    7. Project Period: The Phase I project will begin on or about August 15, 2012 and end on or about August 14, 2013.
    8. Proposed EPA Project Cost: Show the total dollars requested from the EPA, including direct and indirect costs. (This cannot exceed $15,000.)
    9. Total Project Amount: Show the total dollar amount, including total dollars requested from EPA and an estimate of the total contribution (funding and/or in-kind) that will be provided by partners (such as education institutions, industry, NGOs), if applicable.
    10. Project Summary: Provide the following three subsections:
      • Objective: Provide a definition of the technical challenge to sustainability, describe how the proposed design approach will address the challenge, and identify the innovative scientific or technical aspects of the proposal.
      • Description: Describe the project/design and how it relates to the three aspects of sustainability: people, prosperity and the planet. Also identify how the P3 Project will provide education about the concepts of sustainability at the university or community level.
      • Results: Identify the expected outputs/outcomes of the project and provide a description of the strategy for measuring results, evaluation and demonstration.
    11. Contribution to Pollution Prevention or Control: Provide a brief statement describing how the proposed project/design will further the goals of pollution prevention and/or control.
    12. Supplemental Keywords: Without duplicating terms already used in the text of the abstract, list keywords to assist database searchers in finding your research. A list of suggested keywords may be found in the P3 Abstract format provided at: Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page.
  5. Research Plan and References
    1. Research Plan (12 pages)

      This plan must not exceed twelve (12) consecutively numbered (bottom center) 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins. While these guidelines establish the minimum type size requirements, applicants are advised that readability is of paramount importance and should take precedence in selection of an appropriate font for use in the plan.

      Note: Please be sure to review the Evaluation Criteria presented in Section V.A.2. to ensure that your proposal addresses all of the criteria against which it will be evaluated by the external panel of reviewers.

      Divide your research plan into the following sections and label accordingly.

      1. Project/Design
        • Describe your proposed research project/design, including goals and objectives.
        • Be sure to clearly state how the research project/design relates to pollution prevention/control or link the proposed research/design to one of EPA’s authorizing statutes provided in Section 1.C of this solicitation.
        • Explicitly identify the innovative research and/or development aspect of your proposed project/design.
        • Address the feasibility of the research project/design by demonstrating its scientific/technical soundness, and discussing the trade-offs in the proposed design approach.
      2. Challenge Definition
        • Identify the technical challenge your proposed research project/design will address in terms that are relevant, significant, and related to sustainability.
        • Provide a literature review of relevant and current approaches used to address the challenge.
      3. Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability (People, Prosperity and the Planet)

        Describe how the proposed project/design promotes sustainable environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social benefit.

        With respect to “People”:

        • Explain how you plan to engage with intended end users.
        • Describe how the proposed environmental and economic outcomes could benefit the intended users and society more generally.
        • Discuss how the project/design will reduce negative or increase positive impacts on human health.

        With respect to “Prosperity”:

        • Identify short- and long-term costs associated with the project/design, including potential implementation and maintenance costs.
        • Describe the potential economic benefits of the project/design, including market share, if appropriate.

        With respect to the “Planet”:

        • Discuss how the project/design will reduce negative or increase positive impacts on the environment, diminish resource consumption, and/or directly benefit the environment over its full lifecycle.
        • Address the impacts of the project/design on the local environment and ensure that it will not shift negative environmental impacts to another locality or media (e.g., air, water, land).
      4. Educational and Interdisciplinary aspects of your proposed project/design
        • Identify the educational benefits of the P3 project design, and describe how the team will use the P3 project to encourage sustainability among participants, institutions, and/or surrounding or involved communities.
        • Clearly identify the interdisciplinary aspects of your proposed project/design.
      5. Results (outputs/outcomes), Evaluation and Demonstration
        • Describe your expected results and their associated outputs and outcomes (as defined in Section I. D above).
        • Explain what qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation(s) will be used to determine success.
        • State the societal, economic, and environmental benefits of the proposed research project/design,
        • Address the transferability and/or scalability of the research project/design.
      6. Project Schedule and Milestones
        • Provide schedules for key milestones, project tasks and personnel.
        • Indicate anticipated roles and tasks of each team member or department represented.
        • Indicate anticipated interactions with any and all partners (see b. below), if applicable.
    2. Partnerships (if applicable): (Note: This section does not count toward the twelve page limit for the Research Plan outlined in section a. above.)

      Partnerships are strongly encouraged and will be particularly important for the demonstration strategies. While formal partnerships need not be established prior to submitting the proposal, indicate any and all anticipated partnerships including the type of partner (educational institution, industry and/or NGOs), matching contributions (funding and/or in-kind) provided by the partner, and the nature of the partnership. Formal letters of understanding or commitment from any and all partners should be submitted in support of the application, when available and appropriate and will be considered letters of intent/support as described in Section IV.B.9.a. below.

    3. References. (Note: This section does not count toward the twelve page limit for the Research Plan outlined in section a. above.)
  6. Budget and Budget Justification
    1. Budget

      Prepare a master budget table using “SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs” (aka SF-424A), available in the Grants.gov electronic application package and also at the Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page. Only complete “Section B-Budget Categories”. Provide the object class budget category (a. - k.) amounts under the “Grant Program, Function or Activity” heading. Each column reflects a separate budget year. Since P3 Phase I grants are one-year grants you will only need to fill in the Year 1 column which will automatically be copied into the total budget column (Column 5).

      Use ONLY the budget categories provided in the OMB-approved form (form SF-424A) and indicated in the following Budget Justification section (IV.B.6.b.).

      If a subaward or subcontract is included in the application, provide a separate SF-424A and budget justification for the subaward/subcontract. For subawards, include the total amount for the subaward under “Other” in the master SF-424A. Applicants may not use subagreements to transfer or delegate their responsibility for successful completion of their EPA assistance agreement. Therefore, EPA expects that subawards or subcontracts should not constitute more than 40% of the total direct cost of the total project budget. If a subaward/subcontract constitutes more than 40% of the total direct cost, additional justification may be required before award, discussing the need for the subaward/subcontract to accomplish the objectives of the research project.

      Please see Section IV. D below if your organization intends to identify specific contractors, including consultants, and subawardees in your proposal.

      Please note that institutional cost-sharing is not required. However, if voluntary cost-sharing is proposed, a brief statement describing the cost-sharing should be added to the budget justification (see IV.B.6.b. below). Cost-sharing does not need to be included in the formal “budget” submitted on the SF-424A form for approval.

      The budget must include travel expenses for the P3 team, or representatives of the P3 team, to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo. The Expo will be held in the spring of 2013 in Washington, DC.

      Please note that when formulating budgets for proposals/applications, applicants must not include management fees or similar charges in excess of the direct costs and indirect costs at the rate approved by the applicant’s cognizant audit agency, or at the rate provided for by the terms of the agreement negotiated with EPA. The term "management fees or similar charges" refers to expenses added to the direct costs in order to accumulate and reserve funds for ongoing business expenses, unforeseen liabilities, or for other similar costs that are not allowable under EPA assistance agreements. Management fees or similar charges may not be used to improve or expand the project funded under this agreement, except to the extent authorized as a direct cost of carrying out the scope of work.

    2. Budget Justification

      Note: The budget justification should not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins. It is in addition to the twelve (12) page limit for the Research Plan described in IV.B.5 above, and does not include additions under Nos. (6) and (7) below to support contracts and subawards. The categories must directly reflect those categories used in the budget and totals must correspond.

      The budget justification should describe the basis for calculating the costs identified in the budget using the object class budget categories provided on the SF-424A form. Indicate here if cost-sharing is proposed. Include a written description of the proposed cost-sharing that identifies the relevant budget categories and the estimated dollar amounts.

      Budget information should be supported at the level of detail described below. (Note: Please pay attention to the distinctions listed below. If your submitted budget is not consistent with the parameters detailed below, the processing of an award may be delayed until a revised budget is requested and submitted.)

      1. Personnel:
        • Personnel costs are not eligible under this solicitation.
      2. Fringe Benefits:
        • Fringe benefits are not eligible under this solicitation.
      3. Travel:
        • Be certain to include travel costs for an estimated number of P3 team members to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo featuring the EPA’s P3 Award which will be held in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2013.
        • Specify the estimated number of trips, number of travelers per trip, locations, and associated costs for each trip. Explain the need for any travel. If travel outside the United States is proposed, clearly identify who will be traveling, where they will be going, and the amount of funds requested from the EPA needed to cover the international travel.
      4. Equipment:
        • Identify all tangible, non-expendable property to be purchased that has an estimated cost of $5,000 or more per unit and a useful life of more than one year. Components of equipment that are less than $5,000 are “supplies.”
        • Any tangible property items with a unit cost of less than $5,000 should be entered in the “Supplies” category.
      5. Supplies:
        • “Supplies” means tangible property other than “equipment.”
        • Identify categories of supplies to be procured (e.g., laboratory supplies or office supplies and detail as much as possible). Specifically identify computers to be purchased or upgraded. Do not use miscellaneous.
      6. Contractual:
        • Specify the amount you anticipate expending for services/analyses or consultants and specify the purpose of the contracts and estimated cost.
        • Any procurement of services from individual consultants or commercial firms (including space for workshops) must comply with the competitive procurement requirements of 40 C.F.R. Part 30. Please see Section IV. D below for more details.
      7. Other:
        • List each item in sufficient detail for the EPA to determine the reasonableness of its cost relative to the research to be undertaken.
        • Subawards, such as those with other universities for members of the research team, are to be included in this category.
        • Subawards must have a separate itemized budget and budget justification, not to exceed one additional page each, included as part of the proposal.
        • Subawards may not be used to acquire services from consultants or commercial firms. Please see Section IV. D below for more details.
      8. Indirect Costs:
        • If indirect costs are included in the budget identify the cognizant federal audit agency and the approved indirect rate. If your organization does not have a cognizant federal audit agency, please note that in the proposal and provide a brief explanation for how you calculated your indirect cost rate. EPA will negotiate an indirect rate if necessary.
  7. Resumes

    Provide resumes for the faculty advisor, co-advisors and members of the student team. You may include resumes from staff of subawardees such as universities. Do not include resumes of consultants or other contractors. 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.

  8. Current and Pending Support

    Complete a current and pending support form (provided at the Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page) for each faculty advisor, and important co-worker. Do not include current and pending support for consultants or other contractors. Include all current and pending research regardless of source.

    Note to all prospective applicants requiring multiple Current and Pending Support Form pages: Due to a limitation in Adobe Acrobat's forms functionality, additional pages cannot be directly inserted into the original PDF form and preserve the form data on the subsequent pages. Multiple page form submissions can be created in Acrobat 8 and later using the "PDF Package" option in the "Create PDF from Multiple Files" function. If you have an earlier version of Adobe Standard or Professional, applicants will need to convert each PDF page of the form to an EPS (Encapsulated Post Script) file before creating the PDF for submission. The following steps will allow applicants with earlier versions of Adobe Standard or Professional to create a PDF package:

    1. Populate the first page of the PDF, and save it as a EPS (Encapsulated Post Script) file.
    2. Reopen the form, and populate it with the data for page 2. Save this page as a different EPS file. Repeat for as many pages as necessary.
    3. Use Acrobat Distiller to convert the EPS files back to PDF.
    4. Open Acrobat Professional, and combine the individual pages into a combined PDF file.
  9. Guidelines, Limitations, and Additional Requirements
    1. Letters of Intent/Letters of Support

      Letters of intent to provide resources for the proposed research or to document intended interactions are limited to one brief paragraph committing the availability of a resource (e.g., use of a person's time or equipment) or intended interaction (e.g., sharing of data, as-needed consultation) that is described in the Research Plan. Letters of intent are to be included as an addition to the budget justification documents. EPA employees are not permitted to provide letters of intent for any application.

      Letters of support do not commit a resource vital to the success of the proposal. A letter of support is written by businesses, organizations, or community members stating their support of the applicant's proposed project. EPA employees are not permitted to provide letters of support for any application.

      Note: Letters of intent or support must be part of the application; letters submitted separately will not be accepted. Any letter of intent or support that exceeds one brief paragraph (excluding letterhead and salutations) is considered part of the Research Plan and is included in the 12-page Research Plan limit. Any transactions between the successful applicant and parties providing letters of intent or support financed with EPA grant funds are subject to the funding restrictions described in Section IV. D. as well.

    2. Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and Research Areas

      At various places in the application, applicants are asked to identify the FON which corresponds to the research area under which the proposed research project is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the applicant to identify the proper FON based on the nature of the proposed research. Failure to do so could result in an inappropriate peer review assignment. Each application must be submitted using a single FON.

      Since the research proposed may be relevant and appropriate for more than one research area, additional research areas may be noted. If more than one research area is identified, the first one listed should correspond to the FON under which the application is submitted. This FON and its associated research area may be used to determine the expertise of the peer review panel that will evaluate the proposal.

      The Funding Opportunity Numbers and associated research areas for this RFA: 9th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet are listed below. Additional detail for each is provided above in Section I.E.

      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q1 – Energy
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q2 – Built Environment
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q3 – Materials and Chemicals
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q4 – Water
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q5 – Agriculture
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q6 – Green Infrastructure
      • EPA-G2012-P3-Q7 – Clean Cookstoves
    3. Confidentiality
      By submitting an application in response to this solicitation, the applicant grants the 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 to the extent permitted by law.

      EPA recommends that you do not include confidential business information (“CBI”) in your proposal/application. However, if confidential business information is included, it will be treated in accordance with 40 CFR 2.203. Applicants must clearly indicate which portion(s) of their proposal/application they are claiming as CBI. EPA will evaluate such claims in accordance with 40 CFR Part 2. If no claim of confidentiality is made, EPA is not required to make the inquiry to the applicant otherwise required by 40 CFR 2.204(c)(2) prior to disclosure. The Agency protects competitive proposals/applications from disclosure under applicable provisions of the Freedom of Information Act prior to the completion of the competitive selection process.

C. Submission Dates and Times
Applications must be transferred to Grants.gov no later than 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date.  Applications transferred after the closing date and time will be returned to the sender without further consideration.  EPA will not accept any changes to applications after the closing date.

It should be noted that this schedule may be changed without prior notification because of factors not anticipated at the time of announcement.  In the case of a change in the solicitation closing date, a new date will be posted on the funding opportunities page of the NCER web site and a modification posted on Grants.gov. 

Solicitation Closing Date: December 22, 2011, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time (applications must be submitted to Grants.gov by this time, see Section IV.E “Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements” for further information).

NOTE: Customarily, applicants are notified about evaluation decisions within six months of the solicitation closing date. Awards are generally made 8 months after the solicitation closing date.

D. Funding Restrictions
The funding mechanism for all awards issued under P3 solicitations will consist of assistance agreements from the EPA. All award decisions are subject to the availability of funds. In accordance with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., the primary purpose of an assistance agreement 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, the EPA anticipates that there will be no substantial EPA involvement in the design, implementation, or conduct of the research. However, the EPA will monitor research progress through email, phone conversations, and presentations/discussions at the Annual National Sustainable Design Expo.

A faculty advisor/principal investigator may submit more than one proposal.  However, each one must be submitted independently and each must propose an independent project.  (That is, the success of one project cannot be dependent upon the successful award of another proposal.)  You must also ensure that the research proposed in each application is significantly different from any other that has been submitted to the EPA or from any other financial assistance you are currently receiving from the EPA or other federal government agency.

Collaborative applications involving more than one institution must be submitted as a single administrative package from one of the institutions involved.

EPA awards funds to one eligible applicant as the recipient even if other eligible applicants are named as partners or co-applicants or members of a coalition or consortium. The recipient is accountable to EPA for the proper expenditure of funds.

Funding may be used to provide subgrants or subawards of financial assistance, which includes using subawards or subgrants to fund partnerships, provided the recipient complies with applicable requirements for subawards or subgrants including those contained in 40 CFR Part 30. Applicants must compete contracts for services and products, including consultant contracts, and conduct cost and price analyses to the extent required by the procurement provisions of the regulations at 40 CFR Part 30. The regulations also contain limitations on consultant compensation. Applicants are not required to identify subawardees/subgrantees and/or contractors (including consultants) in their proposal/application. However, if they do, the fact that an applicant selected for award has named a specific subawardee/subgrantee, contractor, or consultant in the proposal/application EPA selects for funding does not relieve the applicant of its obligations to comply with subaward/subgrant and/or competitive procurement requirements as appropriate. Please note that applicants may not award sole source contracts to consulting, engineering or other firms assisting applicants with the proposal based solely on the firm's role in preparing the proposal/application.

Successful applicants cannot use subgrants or subawards to avoid requirements in EPA grant regulations for competitive procurement by using these instruments to acquire commercial services or products from for-profit organizations to carry out its assistance agreement. The nature of the transaction between the recipient and the subawardee or subgrantee must be consistent with the standards for distinguishing between vendor transactions and subrecipient assistance under Subpart B Section .210 of OMB Circular A-133, and the definitions of subaward at 40 CFR 30.2(ff). EPA will not be a party to these transactions. Applicants acquiring commercial goods or services must comply with the competitive procurement standards in 40 CFR Part 30 and cannot use a subaward/subgrant as the funding mechanism.

Section V of the announcement describes the evaluation criteria and evaluation process that will be used by EPA to make selections under this announcement. During this evaluation, except for those criteria that relate to the applicant's own qualifications, past performance, and reporting history, the review panel will consider, if appropriate and relevant, the qualifications, expertise, and experience of:

  1. an applicant's named subawardees/subgrantees identified in the proposal/application if the applicant demonstrates in the proposal/application that if it receives an award that the subaward/subgrant will be properly awarded consistent with the applicable regulations in 40 CFR Part 30. For example, applicants must not use subawards/subgrants to obtain commercial services or products from for profit firms or individual consultants.
  2. an applicant's named contractor(s), including consultants, identified in the proposal/application if the applicant demonstrates in its proposal/application that the contractor(s) was selected in compliance with the competitive procurement standards in 40 CFR Part 30. For example, an applicant must demonstrate that it selected the contractor(s) competitively or that a proper non-competitive sole-source award consistent with the regulations will be made to the contractor(s), that efforts were made to provide small and disadvantaged businesses with opportunities to compete, and that some form of cost or price analysis was conducted. EPA may not accept sole source justifications for contracts for services or products that are otherwise readily available in the commercial marketplace.

EPA will not consider the qualifications, experience, and expertise of named subawardees/subgrantees and/or named contractor(s) during the proposal/application evaluation process unless the applicant complies with these requirements.

Each proposed project must be able to be completed within the project period and with the initial award of funds. Applicants should request the entire amount of money needed to complete the project. Recipients should not anticipate additional funding beyond the initial award of funds for a specific project.

E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements
Please read this entire section before attempting an electronic submission through Grants.gov. 

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the Grants.gov application submission process for this solicitation, call 1-800-490-9194 or send a webmail message at least 15 calendar days before the submission deadline to assure timely receipt of alternate submission instructions.  In your message  provide the funding opportunity number and title of the program, specify that you are requesting alternate submission instructions, and provide a telephone number, fax number, and an email address, if available.  Alternate instructions will be emailed whenever possible.  Any applications submitted through alternate submission methods must comply with all the provisions of this RFA, including Section IV, and be received by the solicitation closing date identified above.

Note:  Grants.gov submission instructions are updated on an as-needed basis.  Please provide your Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) with a copy of the following instructions to avoid submission delays that may occur from the use of outdated instructions.

  1. Preparing for Submission.  The appropriate electronic application package available through the Grants.gov site must be used for electronic submissions.  To begin the application process, go to Grants.gov and click on the “Apply for Grants” tab on the left side of the page.  Then click on “Apply Step 1:  Download a Grant Application Package” to download the compatible Adobe viewer and obtain the application package.  For more information on Adobe Reader please go to the Grants.gov Help Page.

    Note: Grants.gov is aware of a corruption issue when Adobe Reader application packages are saved in different versions of Adobe Reader.  It is recommended that applicants uninstall earlier versions of Adobe Reader and then install the version available and compatible through Grants.gov.

    The application package may be quickly accessed from the Grants.gov Download Application Package page using the appropriate FON.  Be sure to download the electronic application package for the appropriate FON.   Please register for announcement change notification emails.  Note: With the exception of the current and pending support form (available at Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page), all necessary forms are included in the electronic application package.

    The electronic submission of your application package must be made by an official representative of your institution who is registered with Grants.gov and authorized to sign for Federal assistance.  Most submission problems can be avoided by communicating with the AOR well before the solicitation closing date and allowing sufficient time for following the guidance provided below.  Note for organizations not currently registered: the registration process may take a week or longer to complete.  We recommend you designate an AOR and begin the registration process as soon as possible.

    For more information, go to Grants.gov and click on “Get Registered”. 

  2. Acknowledgement of Receipt.  The complete application must be transferred to Grants.gov no later than 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date (see “Submission Dates and Times”).  Grants.gov provides an on-screen notification of successful initial transfer as well as an email notification of successful transfer from Grants.gov to EPA.  While it is advisable to retain copies of these Grants.gov acknowledgements to document submission, the only official documentation that the application has been received by NCER is the email acknowledgement sent by NCER to the PI and the Administrative Contact.  This email will be sent from receipt.application@epa.gov; emails to this address will not be accepted.  If an email acknowledgment from receipt.application@epa.gov has not been received within 30 days of the solicitation closing date, immediately inform the Eligibility Contact shown in this solicitation.  Failure to do so may result in your application not being reviewed.
  3. Application Package Preparation.  The application package consists of a. through d. below.
    1. Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424):  Complete the form except for the “Competition ID” field and ensure that it is signed by an authorized representative of your institution.  (The faculty advisor is not an authorized representative.)
    2. EPA Key Contacts Form 5700-54:  Complete the form.  If additional pages are needed, see (d) below.
    3. SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs: Only complete “Section B-Budget Categories”.   Provide the object class budget category (a. - k.) amounts for each budget year under the “Grant Program, Function or Activity” heading.  Each column reflects a separate budget year.
    4. Project Narrative Attachment Form (click on “Add Mandatory Project Narrative”):  Attach a single electronic file labeled “Application” that contains the items described in Section IV.B.3. through IV.B.9.a (Table of Contents, Abstract, Research Plan, Partnerships (if applicable),  References, Budget Justification, Resumes, Current and Pending Support, and Letters of Intent/Support) of this solicitation.  In order to maintain format integrity, this file must be submitted in Adobe Acrobat PDF.  Please review the PDF file for conversion errors prior to including it in the electronic application package; requests to rectify conversion errors will not be accepted if made after the solicitation closing date and time. If Key Contacts Continuation pages (see Forms and Standard Instructions Download Page) are needed, place them before the Table of Contents (Section IV.B.3.). 

    Once the application package has been completed, the “Submit” button should be enabled.  If the “Submit” button is not active, please call Grants.gov for assistance at 1-800-518-4726.  Investigators should save the completed application package with two different file names before providing it to the AOR to avoid having to re-create the package should submission problems be experienced or a revised application needs to be submitted.  Note:  Revised applications must be submitted before the solicitation closing date and time.

  4. Submitting the application.  The application package must be transferred to Grants.gov by an AOR.  The AOR should close all other software before attempting to submit the application package.  Click the “submit” button of the application package. Your Internet browser will launch and a sign-in page will appear.  Note:  Minor problems are not uncommon with transfers to Grants.gov.  It is essential to allow sufficient time to ensure that your application is submitted to Grants.gov BEFORE 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date.  The Grants.gov support desk operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except Federal Holidays.

    A successful transfer will end with an on-screen acknowledgement.  For documentation purposes, print or screen capture this acknowledgement.  If a submission problem occurs, reboot the computer – turning the power off may be necessary – and re-attempt the submission. 

    Note:  Grants.gov issues a “case number” upon a request for assistance.

  5. Transmission Difficulties.  If transmission difficulties that result in a late transmission, no transmission, or rejection of the transmitted application are experienced, and following the above instructions do not resolve the problem so that the application is submitted to Grants.Gov by the deadline date and time, follow the guidance below.  The Agency will make a decision concerning each late submission on a case-by-case basis as to whether it should be forwarded for peer review.  All emails, as described below, are to be sent to Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov) with the FON in the subject line.

    Please note that if the application you are submitting is greater than 70 MB in size, please call or send an email message to the Electronic Submissions Contact listed for this RFA.  The Agency may experience technical difficulty downloading files of this size from Grants.gov.  Therefore, it is important that the Agency verify that the file can be downloaded.  The Agency will provide alternate submission instructions if the file cannot be downloaded.

    1. If you are experiencing problems resulting in an inability to upload the application to Grants.gov, it is essential to call Grants.gov for assistance at 1-800-518-4726 before the application deadline. Be sure to obtain a case number from Grants.gov.
    2. Unsuccessful transfer of the application package: If a successful transfer of the application cannot be accomplished even with assistance from Grants.gov due to electronic submission issues, send an email message by 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date. The email message must document the problem and include the Grants.gov case number as well as the entire application in PDF format as an attachment.
    3. Grants.gov rejection of the application package:  If a notification is received from Grants.gov stating that the application has been rejected for reasons other than late submittal, promptly send an email to Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov) with the FON in the subject line within one business day of the closing date of this solicitation.  The email should include any materials provided by Grants.gov and attach the entire application in PDF format.

F. Submission Instructions for Phase II Applications
Additional submission instructions for the Phase II competition will be provided to the Phase I awardees in the Fall of 2012. Phase II applications will be submitted directly to EPA.

Those receiving funding via a P3 Phase I grant are encouraged to apply for funding for a Phase II grant.  Phase II proposals require many of the same documents as submitted for the Phase I grant.  Phase II awards are separate grant awards.  The proposal for a P3 Phase II grant, which is a component of the Phase I Project Report, will be due in March 2013.

V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

A. Review Process for Phase I Applications

  1. External Peer Review

    All eligible grant applications are reviewed by an appropriate external technical peer review panel comprised of individual experts using the criteria below. This review is designed to evaluate each application according to how well it meets the criteria listed below. Each peer review panel includes non-EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, and/or economists who are accomplished in their respective disciplines and proficient in the technical subjects they are reviewing. Reviewers are asked to individually assign a score of either highly recommend, recommend, or not recommend to each application.  EPA translates the average of these individual scores into the final peer review score. All applicants will receive written feedback from the peer review.

  2. Criteria for External Peer Review of Phase I Awards

    All eligible grant applications for Phase I awards will be peer reviewed by an external peer review panel based on the criteria below. Each of the three criteria categories are equally weighted and the weightings for the bullets within each criteria category are as indicated.

    1. Project Description, Novelty and Evaluation (bullets listed in descending order of importance).
      • The proposed project proposes research that is scientifically sound, feasible, and appropriate to address the identified challenge.
      • The innovative research and/or development aspect of the design/project is clearly identified and supported by a literature review. (“Off-the-shelf” projects are not appropriate for the P3 Program.)
      • A qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation method is proposed to assess the projected environmental, economic, and social benefits of the project.
      • The scope of the project and its associated goals and objectives are clearly stated and appropriate for a one-year grant.
      • The proposed budget and project schedule are reasonable and appropriate for the project.
    2. Overall Sustainability of Proposed Project (bullets equally weighted).
      • The technical challenge being addressed is defined in terms that are relevant, significant, and related to sustainability.
      • The proposed project promotes sustainability in the developed or developing world and clearly identifies the potential for positive social, economic and environmental impacts (people, prosperity and the planet). 
    3. Educational and Teamwork Aspects of the Proposal (bullets equally weighted).
      • The proposed project has an educational aspect whereby basic sustainability concepts will be shared among participants, the institution(s), and/or the surrounding or involved communities.
      • The proposed student design reflects the contributions of an interdisciplinary team representing a breadth of skills and knowledge.  Teams may be composed of undergraduates, graduate students, or both. (An acceptable P3 team would not be composed of an individual and a faculty advisor.)
  3. Internal Programmatic Review

    Applications receiving final peer review scores of highly recommend or recommend as a result of the external peer review process will then undergo an internal programmatic review, as described below, conducted by at least one technical expert from the EPA. All other applications are automatically declined.  The purpose of the programmatic review is to ensure an integrated research portfolio for the Agency and help determine which applications to recommend for award.  In conducting the programmatic review, the EPA will consider information provided by the applicant and may consider information from other sources, including prior and current grantors and agency files. The internal programmatic review will assess:

    1. Relevance to EPA

      As part of the internal programmatic review EPA conducts an evaluation of the proposed project/design’s relevance to the following: EPA’s research priorities and  the strength and degree to which the proposed project/design is supported by EPA’s authorizing statutes.

    2. Past Performance

      One aspect of the internal programmatic review is an evaluation of the PI’s past performance under Federal agency assistance agreements (assistance agreements include grants and cooperative agreements but not contracts).  After the peer review, those applicants who received final scores of highly recommend or recommend as a result of the peer review process will be asked to provide additional information for the programmatic review pertaining to the proposed PI’s "Past Performance and Reporting History."  This information is required only for the proposed PI's performance under Federal agency assistance agreements initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project. 

      The specific information required for each agreement is shown below, and must be provided within three weeks of EPA's request. A maximum of three pages will be permitted for the response; excess pages will not be reviewed. Note: If no prior past performance information and/or reporting history exists, you will be asked to so state.

      1. Name of Granting agency.
      2. Grant/Cooperative agreement number.
      3. Grant/Cooperative agreement title.
      4. Brief description of the grant/cooperative agreement.
      5. A description of how the agreement is similar in size and scope to the proposed project and whether or not it was successfully managed and completed; if not successfully managed and completed, provide an explanation.
      6. Information relating to the proposed PI's past performance in reporting on progress towards achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreement.  Include the history of submitting timely progress/final technical reports, describe how progress towards achieving the expected results was reported/documented, and if such progress was not being made, provide an explanation of whether, and how, this was reported.
      7. Total (all years) grant/cooperative agreement dollar value.
      8. Project period.
      9. Technical contact (project officer), telephone number, and Email address (if available).

      The EPA will evaluate the PI’s past performance and reporting history under prior Federal agency assistance agreements initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project in two areas: first, in successfully managing and completing these prior Federal agency assistance projects, including whether there is a satisfactory explanation for any lack of success; second, in reporting progress toward achieving results under these agreements, including the proposed PI's history of submitting timely progress/final technical reports that adequately describe the progress toward achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreements.  Any explanation of why progress toward achieving the results was not made will also be considered.  Applicants whose proposed PI has no relevant past performance and/or reporting history, or for whom this information is not available, will be evaluated neither favorably nor unfavorably on these elements.

B. Review Process for Phase II Applications

  1. External Peer Review

    All phase I projects/designs will be evaluated by an external panel of judges made up of non-EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, economists and/or other professionals who are accomplished in their respective disciplines and proficient in the technical subjects they are evaluating. All Phase I teams will submit a written Project Report which will summarize their Phase I activities and include their proposed Phase II activities. This report will be due in mid-March 2013. In addition, all Phase I teams are required to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo which will be held in Washington, D.C. in April 2013.  At the Expo, the teams will be expected to display and discuss their projects to interested attendees and provide a presentation to an external panel of judges.

    Each Project Report and each Expo presentation/discussion will be evaluated by two sets of external judges; one set of judges will evaluate the Project Report and the other will evaluate the Expo presentation/discussion for each team. The judges will individually assign a score of excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor to each Project Report and to each Expo presentation/discussion based on the criteria presented below. EPA translates the individual scores from the judges into the final peer review score by equally weighting the average scores for the Project Report and the Expo presentation/discussion. Proposals receiving a final score of Excellent or Very Good as a result of this evaluation will undergo an internal programmatic review as described below. Reviewers may consider the education level of the team members when applying the criteria below.

  2. Criteria for External Review of Phase II Grant Awards

    The external panel of judges will base their evaluations of the written Project Reports and the presentations/discussions that take place at the National Sustainable Design Expo on the criteria below.  Each of the three criteria categories are equally weighted by the judges and the weightings for the bullets within each category are as indicated.

    1. Project Description, Novelty and Evaluation (bullets listed in descending order of importance).
      • The proposed project is scientifically sound, feasible, and appropriate to address the identified challenge.
      • The novel research and/or demonstration aspects of the design/project are clearly identified, and supported by a literature review.
      • A qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation method is proposed to assess the projected environmental, economic, and social benefits of the project.
      • The scope of the project and its associated goals and objectives are clearly stated and appropriate for a two-year grant.
      • The proposed budget and project schedule are reasonable and appropriate for the project.
    2. Overall Sustainability of Proposed Project (bullets equally weighted).

      This criterion addresses both the overall sustainability of the project/design as well as its potential for broader impacts.

      • The proposed project is defined in terms that are relevant, significant, and related to sustainability and clearly promotes sustainable development in the developed or developing world.
      • The potential for broader impacts (e.g. launch of green business, scale-up within a community, or transfer of the concept to new locations) as a result of Phase II funding exist and are made clear.
    3. Educational and Teamwork Aspects of the Proposal (bullets equally weighted).
      • The proposed student design reflects the contributions of an interdisciplinary team representing a breadth of skills and knowledge. 
      • The proposed project has an educational aspect whereby basic sustainability concepts will be shared among participants, the institution(s), and/or the surrounding or involved communities.
      • The composition of the team with respect to undergraduate and graduate students, and whether the project has a unique and far-reaching component related to sustainability education or environmental justice.
  3. Internal Programmatic Review

    Applications receiving final scores of excellent or very good as a result of the external judging process will undergo an internal programmatic review, as described below, conducted by at least one technical expert from the EPA. All other applications will not be considered for a P3 Phase II grant award.  The purpose of the programmatic review is to ensure an integrated research portfolio for the Agency and help determine which applications to recommend for award.  In conducting the programmatic review, the EPA will consider information provided by the applicant and may consider information from other sources, including prior and current grantors and agency files. The internal programmatic review will assess:

    1. Relevance to EPA

      As part of the internal programmatic review EPA conducts an evaluation of the proposed project/designs relevance to the following: EPA’s research priorities and the strength and degree to which the proposed project/design is supported by EPA’s authorizing statutes.

    2. Past Performance

      One aspect of the internal programmatic review is an evaluation of the PI’s past performance under Federal agency assistance agreements (assistance agreements include grants and cooperative agreements but not contracts).  The same information described in Section V.A.3.b. above (the past performance component of the Internal Programmatic Review for the P3 Phase I applications), will be requested for the Principal Investigator of the Phase II proposal as a component of the P3 Project Report which will be due in March 2013.  Note: If no prior past performance information and/or reporting history exists, you will be asked to so state.

      The EPA will evaluate the PI’s past performance and reporting history under prior Federal agency assistance agreements initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project in two areas: first, in successfully managing and completing these prior Federal agency assistance projects, including whether there is a satisfactory explanation for any lack of success; second, in reporting progress toward achieving results under these agreements, including the proposed PI's history of submitting timely progress/final technical reports that adequately describe the progress toward achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreements.  Any explanation of why progress toward achieving the results was not made will also be considered.  Applicants whose proposed PI has no relevant past performance and/or reporting history, or for whom this information is not available, will be evaluated neither favorably nor unfavorably on these elements.

C. Funding Decisions
Final decisions regarding who will be recommended to receive a Phase I or Phase II P3 Program grant are made by the NCER Director. Phase I decisions are made based on the results of the external peer review and the internal programmatic review. Phase II decisions are made based on the evaluations of the external panel of judges and the internal programmatic review. In addition, in making final funding decisions for P3 Phase I and II grant awards, the NCER Director may also consider available funds; the research areas represented; the geographic locations of the projects; the locations of the awarded institutions; the size of the educational institutions; and  the public or private nature of the institutions to ensure a variety of institutions is represented among the suite of P3 Phase I and II awards. Applicants selected for funding will be required to provide additional information listed below under “Award Notices.” The application will then be forwarded to EPA’s Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division (GIAMD) for award in accordance with the EPA’s procedures.

VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Award Notices
Customarily applicants are notified about evaluation decisions within five months of the solicitation closing date. A summary statement of the scientific review by the peer panel will be provided to each applicant with an award or declination letter.

Applicants to be recommended for funding will be required to submit additional certifications and an electronic version of the revised project abstract. They may also be asked to provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by the peer reviewers and/or submit a revised budget. The EPA Project Officer will contact the PI to obtain these materials.  Before or after an award, applicants may be required to provide additional quality assurance documentation.

The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency’s Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division. Applicants are cautioned that only a grants officer is authorized to bind the Government to the expenditure of funds; preliminary selection by the NCER Director in the Office of Research and Development does not guarantee an award will be made.

B. Disputes
Disputes related to this assistance agreement competition will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures set forth in 70 FR 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005) which can be found at Dispute Resolution Procedures. Questions regarding disputes may be referred to the Eligibility Contact identified below.

C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Expectations and responsibilities of NCER grantees are summarized in this section. See Guidance & Frequent Questions for the full terms and conditions associated with an award, including which activities require prior approval from the EPA.

  1. National Sustainable Design Expo

    The PI and members of the student team will be expected to budget for, and participate in, the National Sustainable Design Expo to be held in Washington, DC in the Spring of 2013.

  2. Approval of Changes after Award

    Prior written approval of changes may be required from EPA. Examples of these changes are contained in 40 C.F.R. 30.25.  Note: prior written approval is also required from the EPA Award Official for incurring costs more than 90 calendar days prior to award.

  3. Human Subjects

    A grant applicant 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 CFR § 26.  Studies involving intentional exposure of human subjects who are children or pregnant or nursing women are prohibited by Subpart B of 40 CFR § 26.  For observational studies involving children or pregnant women and fetuses please refer to Subparts C & D of 40 CFR § 26.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR § 46.101(e) have long required "... compliance with pertinent Federal laws or regulations which provide additional protection for human subjects."  EPA’s regulation 40 CFR § 26 is such a pertinent Federal regulation.  Therefore, the applicant's Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must state that the applicant's study meets the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR § 26.  No work involving human subjects, including recruiting, may be initiated before the EPA has received a copy of the applicant’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. 

  4. Animal Welfare

    A grant recipient must agree to comply with the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-544), as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2131-2156. The recipient must also agree to abide by the "U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals used in Testing, Research, and Training" (50 Federal Register 20864-20865. May 20, 1985).

  5. Data Access and Information Release

    After award, all data (including primary and secondary or existing data) must be made available to the NCER Project Officer without restriction and be accompanied by comprehensive metadata documentation adequate for specialists and non-specialists alike to be able to understand how and where the data were obtained and to evaluate the quality of the data. If requested, the data products and their metadata must be provided to the NCER Project Officer in a standard exchange format no later than the due date of the grant's final report or the publication of the data product's associated results, whichever comes first.

    Congress, through OMB, has instructed each federal agency to implement Information Quality Guidelines designed to "provide policy and procedural guidance...for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information, disseminated by Federal agencies." The EPA's implementation may be found at EPA Information Quality Guidelines (EPA IQG). These procedures may apply to data generated by grant recipients if those data are disseminated as described in the Guidelines.

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 located at 2 CFR Part 215 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. 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 the EPA regulations at 40 C.F.R. 30.36.

  6. Reporting

    A grant recipient is expected to manage assistance agreement funds efficiently and effectively and make sufficient progress towards completing the project activities described in the research plan in a timely manner.  The assistance agreement will include terms/conditions implementing this requirement.

    A grant recipient must agree to provide annual progress reports, with associated summaries, and a final report with an executive summary.  The summaries will be posted on NCER’s website.

    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 NCER Project Officer of any papers published after completion of the grant that were based on research supported by the grant.  NCER posts references to all publications resulting from a grant on the NCER web site.

  7. Acknowledgement of EPA Support

    EPA’s full or partial support must be acknowledged in journal articles, oral or poster presentations, news releases, interviews with reporters and other communications. Any documents developed under this agreement that are intended for distribution to the public or inclusion in a scientific, technical, or other journal shall include the following statement:

    This publication [article] was made possible by an EPA P3 Program grant award, Grant number SU83XXXX.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the grantee and do not necessarily represent the official views of the EPA.  Further, the EPA does not endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in the publication.

  8. Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting

    Applicants must ensure that they have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the sub-award and executive total compensation reporting requirements established under OMB guidance at 2 CFR Part 170, unless they qualify for an exception from the requirements, should they be selected for funding.

  9. Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Requirements

    Unless exempt from these requirements under OMB guidance at 2 CFR Part 25  (e.g., individuals), applicants must:

    1. Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application or proposal under this announcement.  CCR information can be found at the Central Contractor Registration website.
    2. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or proposal under consideration by an agency, and
    3. Provide its DUNS number in each application or proposal it submits to the agency.   Applicants can receive a DUNS number, at no cost, by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711, or visiting the D&B website Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
    If an applicant fails to comply with these requirements, it will, should it be selected for award, affect their ability to receive the award.
  10. Exchange Network

    EPA, states, territories, and tribes are working together to develop the National Environmental Information Exchange Network, a secure, Internet- and standards-based way to support electronic data reporting, sharing, and integration of both regulatory and non-regulatory environmental data. States, tribes and territories exchanging data with each other or with EPA, should make the Exchange Network and the Agency's connection to it, the Central Data Exchange (CDX), the standard way they exchange data and should phase out any legacy methods they have been using. More information on the Exchange Network is available at the Exchange Network website. Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Further information, if needed, may be obtained from the EPA officials indicated below. Information regarding this RFA obtained from sources other than these Agency Contacts may not be accurate. Email inquiries are preferred.

Eligibility Contact: James Gentry (gentry.james@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8093
Electronic Submissions: Todd Peterson (peterson.todd@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-7224
Technical Contacts: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102
Gregory Lank (lank.gregory@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8128

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