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Culturally Diverse Academic Institutions Traineeship Program
Current RFA Announcement (1997)

The following RFA was written by the National Center for Graduation Education for Minorities in Notre Dame, Indiana. Although EPA provides funding support and traineeship opportunities or this program, the National Center for Graduate Education for Minorities (GEMs) (in Notre Dame, Indiana) manages the application and review program. the RFA is not an EPA document - it was written by GEMs and is posted here for reference purposes only:

SPONSORED BY

National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance
United States Environmental Protection Agency

Program Proposal Deadline:

November 15, 1996

Program Purpose:

The Culturally Diverse Academic Institutions Traineeship program supports the development of research projects to facilitate academic programs which provide career development and advanced degrees (master's and doctorate degrees) to graduate students in environmental science fields.

Program Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility criteria are directly related to an institution's academic programs, level of degrees awarded, and cultural environment. Participating institutions offer academic programs germane to identification, development and exploration of concerns or issues that enhance environmental conditions or eliminate environmental hazards. These institutions award graduate degrees and provide an environment of success for all of the country's citizenry. Examples of such institutions are in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) - as well as other higher education institutions.

Program Awards:

Program awards range up to $25,000 per master's degree and up to $75,000 per doctoral degree. The master's award provides a maximum of $20,000 to fund tuition & fees for two academic years plus $5,000 to support a fellow during a summer internship placement. The internship is normally a twelve week assignment between the student's first and second year of graduate school. The doctoral awards provide $25,000/year for tuition, fees, and stipend over a three year period. The three year funding period normally includes the first two years of course work and one year of research support.

Program Award Considerations:

Traineeship awards are made on a competitive basis to institutions submitting proposals which address the research needs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's laboratories. Prior year awards were made, but were not limited, to the following disciplinary areas *: biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental health & science, the physical sciences, and toxicology.

* Questions of inclusion and exclusion are generally based on the IPEDS Classification of Instruction Programs typology.

Additional Information:

Additional program information may be secured by contacting either:

GEM Northeastern Regional Office
EPA/CDAI Traineeship Program Office
University of Maryland
Stadium Drive Building # 092, Room 1108
College Park, MD 20742-3415

(301) 405-2849
GEM.1@nd.edu

GEM Central Office
EPA/CDAI Traineeship Program Office
University of Notre Dame
1118 North Eddy Street
South Bend, IN 46617

(219) 631-7778
GEM.1@nd.edu

FY97 PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT

Release Date:

October 01, 1996

Introduction:

The Culturally Diverse Academic Institutions Traineeship program supports 1) the development of academic programs that provide career development education in the environmental sciences and 2) the education of graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in environmental science and related disciplines. Institutions of higher education that participate in the program are selected on the basis of their academic programs, the level of degrees awarded and the diversity of cultural representation on their campus. To participate in the program, an institution must have graduate academic degree programs that are germane to the identification, development and exploration of issues or concerns which enhance the environment and eliminate environmental hazards. Participating institutions must also award graduate degrees (master's or doctorates) in environmental engineering, environmental health, or a related discipline. A third criteria for participating institutions is a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment where all students are encouraged to participate and succeed. Evidence of such an environment is shown by enrollment, retention and graduation rates. Examples of institutions with culturally diverse and pluralistic environments are found among the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) - as well as other institutions of higher education.

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is part of a solicitation package for the Culturally Diverse Academic Institutions (CDAI) Traineeship Awards program. The other part of the solicitation package is the Program Announcement which provides a brief overview of the traineeship program. It should be noted that it is not necessary to have a copy of the "announcement" in order to develop and submit a program proposal. Information in the announcement is also presented here in this RFP. Consequently, a copy of the program announcement is not needed nor required to submit a proposal.

The traineeship program is managed by The GEM Consortium and administered through the GEM Northeastern Regional Office (NERO). The mailing address and physical location of the NERO is Suite 1108 of the Stadium Drive Building (# 092) at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-3415. You may reach this office via telephone by dialing area code (301) and the voice number, 405-2849, or the facsimile transmission number, 405-4105.

All of the information requested in this document should be submitted per the guidelines and parameters as stated herein. In the event you have any comments or questions related to this solicitation or the traineeship program, please contact the above referenced office or the Associate Director for Research, Public Policy and Sponsored Projects at The GEM Central Office which is located at the University of Notre Dame. He may be reached by dialing area code (219) and the voice telephone number, 631-7778, or the facsimile transmission number, 287-1486. The GEM Central Office mailing address is P.O. Box 537, Notre Dame, IN 46556. The e-mail address is GEM.1@nd.edu. Please contact either office for clarification or more information germane to the program.

Program Awards:

Program awards range from $25,000 per master's degree student to $75,000 per doctoral student. The master's award provides $20,000 for fees, tuition, and stipend during two academic years plus a $5,000 allowance for personal support during a twelve week summer internship placement. The summer internship placement normally occurs between the student's first and second year of matriculation in an applicable graduate program at a participating institution. The doctoral awards provide $25,000 per year in tuition, fees, and stipend for a total of three years. The three year funding period includes two years of course work (normally years one and two) and one year of doctoral research support during the dissertation/thesis stage - normally year four or five. As evidenced by the funding pattern, students are expected to satisfy the degree requirements within two years for a master's degree and five years for a doctoral degree.

Program Award Considerations:

Traineeship awards are made on a competitive basis. One of the primary award considerations is the research needs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's laboratories. Another primary consideration is the institution's plan for selecting fellowship recipients and directing their academic program of study to produce a graduate within a timely manner through a robust graduate research experience. Previous awards were made to institutions submitting proposals in the following academic disciplines: biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental health & science, the physical sciences, and toxicology. However, it should be noted that awards are not limited to these specific disciplines. Any academic discipline associated or classified within these fields in the IPEDS Classification of Instruction Programs typology constitute viable academic program areas for consideration.

Transmittal Letter & Cover Page:

Proposals submitted in response to this Request For Proposal (RFP) must provide all of the information delineated and requested in this RFP. This information should be submitted in the format specified. The original proposal, plus two copies, must be sent so that they arrive at the EPA/CDAI Traineeship Program Office of the GEM Northeastern Regional Office by no later than November 15, 1996. If an institution is authorizing the submission of more than one proposal, all of the proposals should be transmitted under a single letter of transmittal that specifies 1) the information delineated below for each proposal submitted and 2) each proposal's rank order (i.e., institutional preference for funding as first preference, second preference, etc.) for EPA funding consideration based on the institution's academic plans, capabilities, and priorities.

The transmittal letter should be dated and typed on letter head stationery that reflects the name of the institution, organizational unit, and individual submitting the proposal(s). It should reference the enclosure(s) by a) name, b) amount requested, c) name of the individual who will administer the award and d) the rank order assigned by the institution. And it should indicate the telephone number of the individual to be contacted for clarification or explanation of any issues related to the submission.

The proposal cover page should be signed by the chief executive officer or the chief academic officer of the institution. It should also identify the proposal by including the following information on the cover page of the proposal - i.e.,:

  • Name of the Proposal;
  • Name of the Institution;
  • Amount of funding being requested via the proposal;
  • Name of the individual who will administer the award (Award Administrator);
  • Position & title of the Award Administrator;
  • Signature of the Award Administrator and date signed;
  • Institutional mailing address of Award Administrator;
  • Telephone number: area code - voice number - fax number; e-mail address (if applicable);
  • URL (if applicable) of the individual's/institution's homepage;
  • Date of submission;
  • Signature of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Academic Officer (CAO);
  • Title of CEO or CAO signatory; and
  • Date CEO or CAO signatory signed the proposal

Proposal Abstract:

A brief one page narrative abstract should be the first page following the title page. It should include a five line heading consisting of the Name of the Proposal (line 1), Name of the Institution (line 2), Amount of funding being requested via the proposal (line 3), Name of the Award Administrator (line 4) and Award Administrator's Position Title and organizational unit (line 5). The brief one page abstract should specify how the proposed curriculum or course of study complements and enhances a research or investigative project that is either (a) currently being pursued or (b) should be pursued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If known, the proposal should identify E.P.A. laboratory facilities and personnel who the institution believes would be a logical choice to supervise the student's summer internship placement. Applicable related research and researchers should also be identified in this one page abstract.

Body of the Proposal:

In addition to the cover page and abstract as addressed above, the body of the proposal should adhere to the following format and address each section sufficiently to clearly explicate the institution's intent vis-=E0-vis the proposal submitted. The major section headings are as follows:

  • Introduction - i.e., statement of purpose;
  • Goals and Objectives;
  • Method of Implementation;
  • Capability Statement;
  • Evaluation Methodology;
  • Budget Request;
  • Conclusion; and
  • Addenda.
While there is no page limit (minimum nor maximum) associated with the proposal, it is expected that proposals will be brief, succinct, and to the point. Below is an explanation of what should be included in each section.

The "Introduction" should provide a brief statement of purpose as to what the institution expects to achieve if the proposal is selected to be funded. It should identify the benefits that would accrue to the student, the academic department, the institution, and the Environmental Protection Agency. It should also address how the specific academic program of study is intended to affect the country and its environment.

The "Goals and Objectives" section should delineate specific actions and events to be accomplished through the proposed academic program experience. It should relate the program of study to an ongoing environmental research effort of the EPA and show how the proposed program will augment or benefit the EPA's efforts. If a particular business, community and/or segment of the population will benefit, they should be identified and the benefits explicated.

The "Method of Implementation" section should delineate and spell out the steps that will be followed in implementing the award. This includes the identification prerequisites for inclusion in an eligibility pool of fellowship recipients, how the fellowship recipients will be selected, the program of study that the fellows will be encouraged to follow including required courses and electives, individual research experiences to be pursued, and desired outcomes.

The "Capability Statement" section should address and identify the resources the institution has that will facilitate successful completion of a graduate degree by the selected Fellow(s). This includes, but is not limited to, faculty and staff, physical facilities, peers and other students working in the same or related disciplinary areas, team building research efforts, etc. Any attribute or institutional characteristics that will contribute and enhance the success of the research fellows experience should be addressed in this section.

Other than satisfactory completion of the academic degree program, what other indicators will be used to measure the success of this award if the institution's proposal is funded. This is particularly germane in instances where a student initially selected for the fellowship is unable to complete and graduate from the program and an alternate is selected to replace them. It becomes even more important if sufficient funds are not provided through the award for the initial fellow and the alternate replacement to complete the degree within the funds and time limits of the award - e.g., will the institution supplement the funding so that the replacement student will be able to finish?

The budget page must delineate by category - i.e., books, equipment, fees, tuition, and stipend - the estimated cost that will be incurred by the student selected to become a fellow in an EPA/CDAI sponsored graduate degree program. The budget page must also reflect how the EPA/CDAI award amount for the degree program will be distributed over the cost categories. If the award amount is insufficient to cover the estimated costs, the budget should specify (in a fourth column) the additional costs to be funded by the institution from another source. In addition, this section should include an institutional statement of commitment to provide the additional funds - i.e., beyond that requested in the proposal - necessary to ensure the funding of the student(s) through graduation. This situation only applies in instances where the $25,000 master's award and the $75,000 doctoral award are insufficient to support the student at the same level as other students enrolled in the same degree program.

EXAMPLE:

Expense Category Institution Estimated Cost EPA/CDAI Funding Institution Funding
1st Yr Fees 1,500 1,000 500
1st Yr Tuition 4,000 3,000 1,000
1st Yr Stipend 7,000 6,000 1,000
1st Yr Total 12,500 10,000 2,500
Internship 0 5,000 0
2nd Yr Fees 1,500 1,000 500
2nd Yr Tuition 4,000 3,000 1,000
2nd Yr Stipend 7,000 6,000 1,000
2nd Yr Total 12,500 10,000 2,500
Award Total 25,000 25,000 5,000

For example, if the average cost for an M.S. student in a proposed program= is $25,000 for books, equipment, fees, tuition and stipend to complete a= two year M.S. degree program, than the institution submitting the proposal= must 1) specify that books and equipment are to be paid for by the fellow= from stipend support and 2) commit in writing to provide the additional= $5,000 not provided through the EPA/CDAI Traineeship program award because= $5,000 of the EPA/CDAI award must support the student during the summer= internship assignment.

The "Conclusion" should specify why the institution believes its proposal should be funded. Given that limited funds are available, it is conceivable that all of the proposals submitted may not receive funding. This section provides an opportunity for an institution to make the case for funding its proposal rather than a competing proposal from another institution. Cases could be based on availability, expertise, need, etc. from any one of a number of perspectives.

Addenda should be kept to a minimum but include at least brief one page vitas or resumes of faculty and staff directly involved in the administration and application of the awards. A list of other funding sources, including the amount of funds available, should also be included either in this section or the budget section. One other significant series of information that would enhance an institution's application is data on an institution's culturally diverse and pluralistic environment where all students are encouraged to participate and succeed. This includes but is not limited to an institution's enrollment, retention and graduation rates by culturally demographic variables e.g., socio-economic status, sex, race, "institutional funding via scholarship-fellowship-assistantship" support, and ethnicity.

Additional Information:

Additional program information may be secured by contacting either:

GEM Northeastern Regional Office
EPA/CDAI Traineeship Program Office
University of Maryland
Stadium Drive Building # 092, Room 1108
College Park, MD 20742-3415

(301) 405-2849
GEM.1@nd.edu

GEM Central Office
EPA/CDAI Traineeship Program Office
University of Notre Dame
1118 North Eddy Street
South Bend, IN 46617

(219) 631-7778
GEM.1@nd.edu

FY97 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)

Release Date:

October 01, 1996

 

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