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

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

2002 Decision-Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy (DMVEP)

EPA/NSF PARTNERSHIP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
Interagency Announcement of Opportunity for Grants

National Science Foundation,
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences,
Division of Social and Economic Sciences

Opening Date: January 15, 2002
Closing Date: May 15, 2002

Summary of Program Requirements
Background
Program Description
Funding
Eligibility
Standard Instructions for Submitting an Application
Contacts

Access Standard STAR Forms and Instructions (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/index.html)
View NCER Research Capsules (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/publications/topical/)
View research awarded under previous solicitations  (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/research.search/rpt/abs/type/3)
NSF DMVEP Award Information (http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/epa/start/dmvep.htm) exit EPA


SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title:  Decision-Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

Sorting Code: 2002-STAR-E-1

Synopsis of Program: This solicitation seeks research that will contribute to the development of practical, credible approaches for estimating the benefits and costs of environmental policies and improving decision making about environmental issues.  The three specific research areas focus on 1) ecosystem valuation, 2) research linking individual environmental values with group or community valuation of environmental amenities and 3) the role of environmental information in environmental decision making.

Contact Person(s):
 Susan Carrillo;  Phone: (202) 564-4664;  email:  carrillo.susan@epa.gov
 Robert O’Connor; Phone: (703) 292-7263; email:  roconnor@nsf.gov
 Cheryl Eavey; Phone: (703) 292-7269; email:  ceavey@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s): 66.500, 47.075

Program Authorities: EPA: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et.seq and 40 CFR parts 30 and 40; for NSF: 42 U.S.C. 1861 et. seq.

Eligibility Information: Academic and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., and state or local governments are eligible for funding by EPA and NSF. (details below)

Award Information
 Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
 Estimated Number of Awards: Approximately ten
 Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $1.5 million
Potential funding per grant per year: $120,000 - $400,000/grant ($60,000- $200,000 per year for one to three years)

Deadline/Target Dates
 Letter of Intent Due Date(s):  None
 Application Proposal Due Date(s): May 15, 2002,  No later than 4:00 pm.


BACKGROUND

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announce their intent to support a special awards competition opening in Fiscal Year (FY) 2002. This competition has been developed based on a Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and NSF, which establishes a partnership for the support and merit review of fundamental, extramural environmental research.

This is the seventh year of this joint NSF and EPA competition. Information on the FY 1995 through 2001 competitions may be found on the Internet through: http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/start.htm exit EPA or http://www.epa.gov/ncer/.

In Fiscal Year 2002, the EPA and NSF are jointly soliciting grant applications that focus on the Decision-Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy (DMVEP) research area.  DMVEP encourages research that will contribute to the development of practical, credible approaches for estimating the benefits and costs of environmental programs and improving decision-making about environmental issues.  Awards made through this competition are dependent upon responsiveness of the proposals to the announcement, the quality of the proposed research and the availability of funds.

Proposals in response to this announcement must be received at EPA by May 15, 2002.  (See Standard Instructions for Submitting a STAR application for specific information on the application deadline.)  Extensions to the deadline will not be granted.  It is anticipated that awards will be made by Winter FY 2003. Awards resulting from this competition may be made by either EPA or NSF, at the option of the agencies, not the grantee.

Further information may be obtained from the EPA and NSF officials listed in the contacts section.  E-mail inquiries are preferred.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

In April, 2000 the DMVEP program completed an interim progress assessment to solicit expert recommendations to make the program more responsive to requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act and to identify under served DMVEP research areas where cost-effective results-oriented research could be undertaken.  In preparation for this program assessment, the program also issued a contract to compile information about grants made in previous years.

The assessment’s recommendations reaffirmed the partner agencies’ commitment to supporting research that would further decision-making and valuation-related sciences and contribute demonstrably to an improved environment.  Assessment participants suggested several important topic areas.  Three of these priority research areas are the focus of the FY 2002 DMVEP solicitation (see below).  The assessment encouraged expanded outreach efforts.  As a result this solicitation also requests proposals that outline a strategy to communicate the research results to users who can effect environmental improvement.

The FY 2002 Decision-Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy (DMVEP) competition solicits proposals in three focus areas:

  • research on ecosystems valuation, including methodological improvements as well as ways to incorporate non-monetizable or non-quantifiable ecological information into environmental policy decisions;
  • research linking individual environmental values with group or community valuation of environmental amenities; and research on community environmental decision-making in general;
  • research on the costs and benefits, use and affects of environmental information in environmental decision-making by individuals, communities, governments and other organizations.
The competition encourages proposals from researchers from all behavioral, social and economic sciences.  It supports both collaborative and interdisciplinary scientific efforts, as well as research conducted within a single disciplinary tradition.  It encourages collaborations with non-social science disciplines when needed to answer social science-based questions.  The competition especially encourages research that integrates valuation and decision-making approaches for environmental policy.  Investigators that will use survey, interview or focus group techniques should provide information about their plans for data collection and analysis, including information about their instruments, in the Project Description section of the proposal.  The Project Description section should also describe the policy relevance of the proposed research and explain how the results will be communicated to groups and organizations that can effect environmental problems.  Plans for data sharing should also be specified here.  The Standard Instructions for Submitting a STAR Application section in this announcement contains further important information about these requirements and how to meet them.

Relationship to Current EPA Activities

The EPA/NSF DMVEP program relates to activities of several EPA programs, including the:

Relationship to Current NSF Activities

This EPA/NSF activity relates to several NSF programs and initiative areas.  NSF social sciences programs, especially the Decision, Risk and Management Sciences program    (http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ses/drms exit EPA ) and the Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science and Technology program (http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ses/sdest), support research directed at:

  • increasing the understanding and effectiveness of problem solving, information processing, and decision making by individuals, groups organizations and society,
  • improving approaches and information for decision making concerning management and direction of research, science and technology, and
  • developing and transmitting knowledge about ethical and value dimensions associated with science, engineering and technology.
Other NSF social science programs supporting related research include cultural anthropology; economics; geography; methodology, measurement, and statistics; and sociology.  The EPA/NSF activity also relates to NSF initiatives in the areas of Biocomplexity and the Environment, and the Human Dimensions of Global Change.

OTHER GUIDANCE

Proposal budgets must include provisions for travel funds for annual progress reviews, and a final workshop to report on results.

FUNDING

EPA and NSF anticipate making approximately 10 awards, totaling about $1.5 million.  The projected award range is from $60,000 to $200,000 per award per year, with durations from 1 to 3 years.  Field experiments, survey research and multi-investigator projects may justify the higher end of this range; however, total requests in excess of $400,000 are discouraged.

ELIGIBILITY

Academic and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., And state or local governments are eligible for funding by EPA and NSF. Profit-making firms and federal agencies are not eligible for funding by EPA or NSF. Personnel in profit-making firms may participate as non-funded co-investigators or through subcontracts with the awardee institution.

Federal employees may cooperate or collaborate with eligible applicants within the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations. However, federal agencies, national laboratories funded by federal agencies (FFRDCs), and federal employees are not eligible to submit applications to this program and may not serve in a principal leadership role on a grant. Under exceptional circumstances the principal investigator's institution may subcontract to a federal agency or FFRDC to purchase unique supplies or services unavailable in the private sector. Examples are purchase of satellite data, census data tapes, chemical reference standards, unique analyses or instrumentation not available elsewhere, etc. A written justification for such federal involvement must be included in the application, along with an assurance from the federal agency that commits it to supply the specified service.  Federal employees may not receive salaries or in other ways augment their agency's appropriations through grants made by this program.  However, federal employees may interact with grantees so long as their involvement is not essential to achieving the basic goals of the grant.1

EPA and NSF welcome applications on behalf of all qualified social scientists and other professionals and strongly encourage women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the programs described in this announcement.

In accordance with Federal statutes and regulations and EPA and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from EPA and NSF.

1EPA encourages interaction between its own laboratory scientists and grant principal investigators for the sole purpose of exchanging information in research areas of common interest that may add value to their respective research activities. However, this interaction must be incidental to achieving the goals of the research under a grant. Interaction that is “incidental” is not reflected in a research proposal and involves no resource commitments.

Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact Jack Puzak in NCER, phone (202) 564-6825, email: puzak.jack@epa.gov.

STANDARD INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

A set of special instructions on how applicants should apply for a STAR grant is found on the NCER web site, http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/downlf.html, Standard Instructions for Submitting a STAR Application. The necessary forms for submitting an application will be found on this web site.  All applications should be submitted to EPA in accordance with the above-mentioned standard instructions. The deadline for receipt of the applications by NCER is no later than 4:00 p.m. ET, May 15, 2002.

Sorting Codes

The need for a sorting code to be used in the application and for mailing is described in the Standard Instructions for Submitting a STAR Application. The sorting code for applications submitted in response to this solicitation is  2002-STAR-E-1.



ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: In addition to the standard application requirements the "Project Description" section of proposals submitted to DMVEP may exceed the 15 page limit for the following two purposes:
Protocol Description.  Many proposals submitted to DMVEP will use survey or interview or focus group techniques in their research.  Proposals involving these techniques may include up to three additional pages, titled “Protocol” with information about these instruments.

Data Availability.  In addition, if the project will produce data and information of value to the broader research community, the applicant should also include a discussion titled “Data and Information Availability.”  This discussion, not to exceed two additional pages, should describe the data and information products, the management plans for their validation, quality control, archiving, costs for these activities, and whether and under what conditions the data will be made available to interested parties.



EPA Grant Administration

EPA will be responsible for the external peer review of all grant applications submitted under this solicitation.  Upon conclusion of the external peer review process, meritorious applications may be recommended for funding by EPA and NSF at the option of the agencies, not the applicant. EPA will conduct an internal programmatic review in addition to the external peer review to further evaluate applications.  The programmatic review will evaluate the proposals responsiveness to the RFA and relevancy to EPA’s mission.  NSF’s internal evaluation of the applications is described below. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in accordance with the individual policies of the awarding agency.

NSF Grant Administration

NSF grants awarded as a result of this announcement will be administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of the most recent NSF GC-1, "Grant General Conditions," or the FDP-III, "Federal Demonstration Partnership General Terms and Conditions," depending on the grantee organization.

More comprehensive information on the administration of NSF grants is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, (NSF 95-26) available electronically on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpm exit EPA .  The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, D.C. 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO web site at http://www.gpo.gov exit EPA .
Organizations applying to NSF for the first time, or which have not received an NSF award within the preceding two years, should refer to the NSF Grant Policy Manual, Section 500, for instructions on specific information that may be requested by NSF. First time NSF awardees will be required to submit organizational, management, and financial information, including a certification of civil rights compliance, before a grant can be made. One copy of the Grant Policy Manual will be provided free of charge to new grantees. Upon completion of an NSF project, a Final Project Report will have to be filed electronically (using FastLane). Applicants should familiarize themselves with the requirements so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the research plan to ensure that complete information will be available at the conclusion of the project.

NSF activities described in this publication are in the following category in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 47.075 Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

NSF Applicant Information

NSF will consider in its evaluation and award process the broader impacts of the proposed research activity, in addition to the criteria stated in the Review and Selection section of the Standard Instructions.

Questions to be considered are:

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?

How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of under represented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
In addition to the two evaluation criteria stated above, NSF will consider the following factors in making awards:

Integration of Research and Education

One of the principal strategies in support of NSF’s goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learner perspectives. Principal Investigators should address this issue in their proposal to provide reviewers with the information necessary to respond fully to both NSF merit review criteria. NSF staff will give it careful consideration in making funding decisions.
Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens - women and men, under represented minorities, and persons with disabilities - is essential to the health and vitality of social and behavioral sciences. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports. Principal Investigators should address this issue in their proposal to provide reviewers with the information necessary to respond fully to both NSF merit review criteria. NSF staff will give it careful consideration in making funding decisions.
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects.  Please contact the NSF program coordinator for more information.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation regarding NSF programs, employment, or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 306-0090 or through FIRS on 1-800-877-8339.

Privacy Act and Public Burden Statements

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation; Arlington, VA 22230.

Contact Person(s):
 Susan Carrillo;  Phone: (202) 564-4664;  email:  carrillo.susan@epa.gov
 Robert O’Connor; Phone: (703) 292-7263; email:  roconnor@nsf.gov
 Cheryl Eavey; Phone: (703) 292-7269; email:  ceavey@nsf.gov

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