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

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

1998 Water and Watersheds Research

EPA/NSF/USDA PARTNERSHIP FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
Interagency Announcement of Opportunity

OPENING DATE: November 28, 1997
CLOSING DATE: April 1, 1998

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announce their intent to support a special awards competition in Fiscal Year (FY) 1998. This competition has been developed based on a Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and NSF in collaboration with USDA which establishes a partnership emphasizing the support and merit review of fundamental, extramural environmental research. NSF and EPA's Office of Research and Development are continuing their cooperation in this extramural grants program in FY 1998. This is the fourth year of the joint special awards competition and the first year with USDA. Information on the FY 1995 through 1997 competitions may be found on the Internet through: http://www.nsf.gov or http://www.epa.gov/ncerqa

This year's EPA/NSF Partnership competitions will include the following four research areas:

A. Water and Watersheds

B. Technology for a Sustainable Environment

C. Decision-making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

D. Environmental Statistics

This announcement solicits applications for the Water and Watersheds competition, EPA, NSF, and USDA anticipate awarding:

* Approximately $9 million with a projected award range from $100,000 to $300,000 per award per year and an approximate duration of 2 to 3 years. Total budgets should not exceed these guidelines. Proposals that request greater amounts will not be accepted into the competition.

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 by April 1, 1998. It is anticipated that awards will be made by Fall 1998. Awards resulting from this competition may be made by either EPA, NSF, or USDA at the option of the agencies, not the grantee.


Further information, if needed, may be obtained from the EPA, NSF, or USDA officials indicated below. E-mail inquiries are the preferred communication method.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE COMPETITION:

Dr. Robert E. Menzer
EPA National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance
menzer.robert@epamail.epa.gov
voice (202) 564-6849

Dr. James L. Edwards
NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences
jledward@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1400

Dr. Elbert L. Marsh
NSF Directorate for Engineering
emarsh@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1301

Mr. Jeff Fenstermacher
NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
jfenster@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1741

Information on Water and Watersheds:

Ms. Barbara Levinson
levinson.barbara@epamail.epa.gov
voice (202) 564-6911

Dr. Penny Firth
pfirth@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1480

Dr. Maurice Horton
mhorton@reeusda.gov
voice (202) 401-5971


2.0 WATER AND WATERSHEDS

2.1 Introduction

The goal of the Water and Watersheds competition is to develop an improved understanding of the natural and anthropogenic processes that govern the quantity, quality, and availability of water resources in natural and human-dominated systems, and an understanding of the structure, function, and dynamics of the coupled terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that comprise watersheds.

Human activities have made access to clean water and healthy aquatic ecosystems paramount issues in the U.S. and throughout the world. The integrated nature of watersheds, the landscape units that integrate terrestrial, aquatic, atmospheric and subsurface processes, provides a strong rationale for supporting interdisciplinary science and engineering research that uses a systems approach. For the purposes of this announcement, a systems approach is one that emphasizes the interactions among components of the watershed system (human, environmental, technological) and considers the factors that could impact the system if any component were to change. Such research is needed for decision-making that balances restoration, long-term protection, and informed management of water and watersheds with social considerations.

As we assess multiple stressors and the relative risks faced by the nation's aquatic resources and evaluate the natural capital represented in water and watersheds, we need a better knowledge base regarding how humans and their infrastructure interact with these systems. Information on water and watersheds should be assessed and integrated with the needs of decision-makers as a base for identifying areas where improved understanding is needed and for developing the models needed for management of entire watersheds.

This competition emphasizes well-integrated, interdisciplinary, fundamental or applied research on important scientific, engineering, and social principles for understanding, protecting, and restoring water resources and watershed processes in the U.S. and other regions of the world. A systems approach and general applicability of the research to watershed-scale questions are required in each proposal. Investigators are encouraged to bring together formerly disparate, state-of-the-art approaches to address watershed-scale issues and explore new paradigms that draw widely from different disciplines. The competition will only fund proposals that take an integrated systems approach as described in this announcement.

Social science research is defined, for the purposes of this announcement, as research that develops a systemic perspective on, and predictive understanding of, the impacts and spatial aspects of human behavior, institutions, and social and economic systems on water resources and watersheds. The most competitive proposals will be those that include social scientists on the team and propose rigorous research in the social sciences. The social science aspect of a proposal must not be an "add on" but must contribute to and be fully integrated into the research. Note that simply demonstrating applicability of the research to social, economic or management issues is not adequate for the purposes of this competition.

The most competitive proposals will be those that help integrate multiple goals of EPA, NSF, and USDA programs and address questions that are comprehensive in scale and transferable in scope. The degree to which disciplinary components and/or their sub-components are integrated in a systems approach will be a review criterion. Abstracts from the 1995 and 1996 awards may be found on http://www.epa.gov/ncer/.

2.2 New for 1998

The emphasis of this year's competition will be on research that considers restoration and rehabilitation of damaged or degraded systems. For this competition, the term rehabilitation will capture any and all improvements up to and including complete restoration. The degradation of ecosystem integrity has many components, including but not restricted to: water quality, hydrology and habitat, biological diversity, and effects of exotic species. Degradation presents a serious long-term threat to the nation's economic prosperity and security and the sustainability of remaining ecological systems.

2.3 Background and State of Knowledge

Scientists and engineers agree that ecological restoration of ecosystems is possible. In some cases watersheds and their freshwater ecosystems have been chronically altered for decades or even centuries. In other cases, acute stresses have impacted these systems. Irreversible changes, cost, and institutional and cultural barriers may make rehabilitation of function, but not structure, the only realistic alternative to accommodate the presence of humans. The ecosystem created thereby would function similarly, but not identically, to the natural one. (Robert Naiman et al. 1995, The Freshwater Imperative: A Research Agenda, Island Press, Washington, DC).

The challenge for researchers and planners involves scale: because ecosystems are interconnected and interactive, effective rehabilitation efforts should usually be conducted at a scale that includes all significant components of the watershed. This may pose institutional challenges because watersheds often cross political jurisdictions and include diverse economic and cultural subsystems. Assessment of rehabilitation must be on a time frame that enables measurement of how watershed systems endure stressful episodic natural events such as floods, droughts, storms, heavy cyclical predation, invasion by exotics and other perturbations (National Research Council, Water Science and Technology Board, 1992, Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems, Science, Technology, and Public Policy, National Academy Press, Washington, DC).

Key recommendations of the NRC report and the Freshwater Imperative research agenda (NRC 1992; Naiman et al 1995) can be stated as follows:

* Research needs to be focused on systems that can be restored with appropriate action rather than those that will recover without intervention or those that cannot be rehabilitated even with extensive intervention.

* Knowledge is needed on options for simultaneously reducing degradation and enhancing ecosystems to create displaced functions.

* Engineering aspects of restoration must be coupled with a sophisticated understanding of the natural system in question as well as the institutional, socioeconomic and cultural setting of the watershed.

* Research efforts should focus on responses of watershed systems to disturbance, pathways of recovery for key processes, measurement of progress toward new equilibria, and identification of environmental conditions under which systems shift to new equilibrium states.

* Research is also needed on the impacts and spatial aspects of human behavior and social and economic systems that influence the restoration and rehabilitation of water resources and watersheds.

2.4 Description

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture seek research proposals to address concepts of ecosystem rehabilitation in the context of the watershed system. This competition emphasizes research on important scientific principles related to watershed rehabilitation. Some or all of the following questions should be considered:

(1) What are the ecosystem and societal processes that we must understand before undertaking rehabilitation efforts? Can environmental responses to specific practices be predicted through a knowledge of basic processes regulating watershed systems?

(2) Which set of watershed characteristics are amenable to rehabilitation in the context of environmental and social factors? What kinds of environmental degradation are irreversible for all practical purposes?

(3) How can relative risk and degrees of rehabilitation be monitored and evaluated within their ecological and societal contexts? What metrics or objective criteria should be used to answer the questions "Is it working?" "Is it clean enough?" "Are we doing more harm than good?"

(4) What are both environmentally and economically appropriate approaches for setting rehabilitation priorities and goals at different spatial and temporal scales?

2.5 Review Criteria

In addition to the general review criteria listed in Section 5.0 of this announcement, Water and Watersheds proposals will also be judged on the degree to which the research components are integrated in a systems approach, and the likelihood that the proposed research will effectively address questions that are comprehensive in scale and transferable in scope. This competition encourages research which focuses on a specific site, but through which we can establish general principles and approaches to other sites. Innovative statistical and mathematical approaches are encouraged; however, all proposals are expected to use appropriate mathematical and statistical models and methodologies.

2.6 Additional Considerations

Stakeholder Involvement

The goals of community-based environmental protection are to enhance the community's understanding of environmental issues, build the capacity for communities to address these problems, develop tools, information and data to assist communities in addressing environmental problems, and ensure communities access to the most credible available scientific information. Community-based environmental protection considers an area or subregion from the standpoint of particular cultural, physical, ecological, or other characteristics with which people identify or assign value. A community-based approach is best suited for decision-making at the local to state level.

For the purposes of this competition, the most competitive proposals will demonstrate involvement of local governments and/or community groups from inception (developing the research questions and designing the project) to completion of the research project (analyzing and disseminating the results of the research). Proposals should have a specific geographic focus but the outcomes and outputs must be transferable. Please note that stakeholder involvement alone does not constitute social science research.

Mission Considerations

Restoration of ecological systems has been recognized as a major tool for reaching Clean Water Act goals. As a result, EPA's Five Year Strategic Plan (July 1994) specifies that the Agency will upgrade its ability to protect, maintain, and restore the ecological integrity of the nation's land and water, urban areas, and plant and animal species, including human health, by adopting a place-based focus. Numerous users in academia, industry, and Federal, State, and Local government tap this knowledge to produce products and services essential to achieving sustainable development.

This solicitation complements the ongoing research program in EPA Laboratories. The EPA Office of Research and Development's (ORD) in-house program is focused (1) on the development of ecosystem restoration practices and (2) on technologies that facilitate cost-effective decision-making by local communities and stakeholder groups engaged in watershed planning and place-based environmental protection.

The NSF strategic plan has three long-range goals: (1) to enable the U.S. to uphold a position of world leadership in all aspects of science, mathematics and engineering, (2) to promote the discovery, integration, dissemination, and employment of new knowledge in service to society, and (3) to achieve excellence in U.S. science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels. All research funded by NSF is expected to contribute to one or more of these goals.

The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) within USDA has strategic plan goals that focus on environmental research: (1) to generate the knowledge base necessary to address current and potential agricultural and environmental issues through funding of high priority, high quality fundamental and applied research, (2) to strengthen the nation's scientific, educational, managerial, and leadership capability in food, agricultural, and related environmental and human sciences to meet the current and future needs of agriculture, people, communities, and the nation in a global context, and (3) to promote and strengthen partnerships among USDA, the land-grant system, other federal agencies, and other public and private cooperators and collaborators. Research funded by USDA should contribute to one or more of these goals.

What will NOT be considered

This competition will not support site-specific projects for the sole purpose of restoration. New restoration efforts may be implemented only if the primary purpose is R&D, such as developing or validating models. As a general rule, investigators should attempt to make use of ongoing restoration efforts. Community partnerships are encouraged where the community funds the restoration effort and this grant funds the basic research associated with the questions elaborated above.

International considerations

The EPA, NSF, and USDA recognize that water and watersheds research has an international dimension. Creative research in foreign venues that has very clear transferability to U.S. issues is acceptable, however the investment by the Water and Watersheds competition in such research is expected to be a small proportion of the total.

3.0 ELIGIBILITY

Academic and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S., and State or local governments are eligible for funding by EPA, NSF, and USDA. 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. Profit-making firms and federal agencies are eligible to apply for funding by USDA ($1M of the $9M).

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, except for the USDA portion. 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 which 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. Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact Dr. Robert E. Menzer (listed in Section 1.0).

EPA, NSF, and USDA welcome applications on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers, 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, NSF, and USDA 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, NSF, and USDA.


4.0 INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION

4.1 Sorting Codes

In order to facilitate proper assignment and review of applications, each applicant is asked to identify the topic area in which the application is to be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to correctly identify the proper sorting code. Failure to do so may result in an improper review assignment. At various places within the application, applicants will be asked to identify this topic area by using the appropriate Sorting Code. The Sorting Code for Water and Watersheds is 98-NCERQA-M1.

The Sorting Code must be placed at the top of the abstract (as shown in the abstract format), on the title page (as shown in the title page format), and must also be included in the address on the package that is sent to EPA (see section 4.3). EPA, NSF or USDA may reassign proposals to other or multiple sorting categories to ensure optimal review of proposals.

4.2 The Application

The initial application is made through the submission of the application materials described below. It is important that the application contain all the information requested and be submitted in the formats described. If it is not, the application may be eliminated from review on administrative grounds. Once an applicant is chosen for award (i.e., after external peer review and internal programmatic review), additional documentation and forms will be requested by the Project Officer. The application contains the following:

A. Standard Form 424: The applicant must complete Standard Form 424 (see attached form and instructions). This form will act as a cover sheet for the application and should be its first page. Instructions for completion of the SF424 are included with the form. The form must contain the original signature of an authorized representative of the applying institution. Please note that both the Principal Investigator and an administrative contact should be identified in Section 5 of the SF424.

B. Key Contacts: The applicant must complete the Key Contacts Form (attached) as the second page of the submitted application.

C. Abstract: The abstract is a very important document. Prior to attending peer review panel meetings, some of the panelists may read only the abstract. Therefore, it is critical that the abstract accurately describe the research being proposed and convey all the essential elements of the research. Also, in the event of an award, the abstracts will form the basis for an annual report of awards made under this program. The abstract should include the following information:

1. Sorting Code: Use 98-NCERQA-M1.

2. Title: Use the exact title as it appears in the rest of the application.

3. Investigators: List the names and affiliations of each investigator who will significantly contribute to the project. Start with the Principal Investigator.

4. Project Summary: This should summarize: (a) the objectives of the study (including any hypotheses that will be tested), (b) the experimental approach to be used (which should give an accurate description of the project as described in the proposal), (c) the expected results of the project and how they address the research needs identified in the solicitation, and (d) the estimated improvement in risk assessment or risk management that will result from successful completion of the work proposed.

5. Supplemental Keywords: A list of suggested keywords is provided for your use. Do not duplicate terms already used in the text of the abstract.

The abstract must not exceed one 8.5x11 inch page of single spaced standard 12 point type with 1 inch margins (see attached format).

D. Project Description: This description must not exceed fifteen (15) consecutively numbered (center bottom), 8.5x11 inch pages of single spaced standard 12 point type with 1 inch margins, exclusive of the references cited and the results of prior Federal support. The description must provide the following information:

1. Objectives: List objectives of the proposed research and/or the hypotheses being tested during the project. Include a statement on the context of the proposed research in relation to other environmental research in the particular area of work; this statement should also be synopsized in the objectives section of the abstract.

2. Approach: Outline the methods, approaches, and techniques that you intend to employ in meeting the objective stated above.

3. Expected Results or Benefits: Describe the results you expect to achieve during the project and the benefits of success as they relate to the topics in the announcement under which the proposal was submitted.

4. Results from Prior Federal Support: Provide information on the results of research conducted with prior or current Federal support. This must be limited to five pages but is in addition to the 15-page limit. This section should include information on any prior Federal awards closely related to the application (i.e., not limited to EPA or NSF awards).

5. General Project Information: Discuss other information relevant to the potential success of the project. This should include facilities, personnel, project schedules, proposed management, interactions with other institutions, etc.

6. Important Attachments: Appendices or other information may be included but must remain within the 15-page limit. References and Results of Prior Federal Support are in addition to the 15-page limit.

E. Resumes: The resumes of all principal investigators and important co-workers should be presented using NCERQA Form 5, attached. Resumes must not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11 inch pages of single-spaced standard 12 point type with 1 inch margins.

F. Current and Pending Support: The applicant must identify any current and pending financial resources that are intended to support research. This should be done by Completing NSF Form 1239 (see attached) for each investigator and other senior personnel involved in the proposal. Failure to provide this information may delay consideration of your proposal. Updates of this information may be requested during the evaluation process.

G. Budget: A detailed, itemized budget for each year of the proposed project must be included. This budget must utilize the format shown in the attachment (do not try to squeeze your complete budget on the "form" shown as an example).

H. Budget Justification: This section should describe the basis for calculating the personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, construction, and other costs identified in the itemized budget. This should also include an explanation of how the indirect costs and charges were calculated. This justification should not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11 inch pages of single-spaced standard 12 point type with 1 inch margins.

I. Quality Assurance Narrative Statement: For any project involving data collection or processing, conducting surveys, environmental measurements, and/or modeling, provide a statement on how quality products will be assured. This statement should not exceed two consecutively numbered, 8.5x11 inch pages of single spaced standard 12-point type with 1 inch margins. This is in addition to the 15 pages permitted for the Project Description. The Quality Assurance Narrative Statement should, for each item listed below, either present the required information or provide a justification as to why the item does not apply to the proposed research. For awards that involve environmentally related measurements or data generation, a quality system that complies with the requirements of ANSI/ASQC E4, "Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection and Environmental Technology Programs," must be in place.

1. The activities to be performed or hypothesis to be tested (reference may be made to the specific page and paragraph number in the application where this information may be found); criteria for determining the acceptability of data quality in terms of precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness, comparability.

2. The study design including sample type and location requirements and any statistical analyses that were used to estimate the types and numbers of samples required for physical samples or similar information for studies using survey and interview techniques.
3. The procedures for the handling and custody of samples, including sample identification, preservation, transportation, and storage.

4. The methods that will be used to analyze samples collected, including a description of the sampling and/or analytical instruments required.

5. The procedures that will be used in the calibration and performance evaluation of the sampling and analytical methods used during the project.

6. The procedures for data reduction and reporting, including a description of statistical analyses to be used and of any computer models to be designed or utilized associated with verification and validation techniques.

7. The intended use of the data as they relate to the study objectives or hypotheses.

8. The quantitative and or qualitative procedures that will be used to evaluate the success of the project.

9. Any plans for peer or other reviews of the study design or analytical methods prior to data collection.

ANSI/ASQC E4, "Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection and Environmental Technology Programs" is available for purchase from the American Society for Quality Control, phone 1-800-248-1946, item T55. Only in exceptional circumstances should it be necessary to consult this document.

J. Postcard: The application must include a blank, self-addressed, stamped post card. This will be returned to the applicant to signify that the application has been received.

4.3 How to Apply

The original and fifteen (15) copies of the fully developed application and five (5) additional copies of the abstract (20 in all), must be received by NCER no later than 4:00 P.M. EST on the closing date, April 1, 1998.

The application and abstract must be prepared in accordance with these instructions. Informal, incomplete, or unsigned proposals will not be considered. Completed applications should be sent via regular mail to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8703R)
Sorting Code: 98-NCERQA-M1
401 M Street, SW
Washington DC 20460

For express mail applications, the following address must be used:
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8703R)
Sorting Code: 98-NCERQA-M1
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Room B-10105
Washington, DC 20004

Phone: (202) 564-6939 (for express mail applications)

Proposals must be submitted to only one topic area, using a single sorting code. Proposals submitted to more than one RFA topic will be assigned to the topic designated on the first version received or to the first sorting code designated on the application. If you wish to submit more than one application to EPA, NSF, or USDA, you must ensure that the research proposed is significantly different from the research in other proposals that have been submitted to this solicitation or from other grants you are currently receiving from any Federal government agency.

4.4 Guidelines, Limitations, and Additional Requirements

Applicants that are funded by USDA must agree to the legislated indirect cost rate of 14%.

Subcontracts for research to be conducted under the grant which exceed 40% of the total direct cost of the grant for each year in which the subcontract is awarded must be especially well justified.

Researchers may be invited to participate in an annual All-Investigators Meeting with EPA, NSF and USDA scientists and other grantees to report on research activities and to discuss areas of mutual interest. Travel funds should be budgeted to accommodate that eventuality.

The application must include a blank, self-addressed, stamped post card. This will be returned to the applicant to signify that the application has been received.


5.0 REVIEW AND SELECTION

5.1 Review Procedures

All grant applications are initially screened by EPA, NSF, and USDA to determine their compliance with legal and administrative requirements. Acceptable applications are then reviewed by an appropriate technical peer review group. This review is designed to evaluate each proposal according to its technical merit. Each review group is composed primarily of non-EPA scientists, engineers, and/or social scientists who are experts in their respective disciplines. The reviewers use the following criteria to guide them in their reviews:

1. The originality and creativity of the proposed research, the potential contribution the proposed research could make to advance scientific knowledge in the environmental area, the appropriateness and adequacy of the research methods proposed, and the appropriateness and adequacy of the Quality Assurance Narrative Statement,

2. The qualifications of the principal investigator(s) and other staff, including knowledge of pertinent literature, experience, and publication records as well as the likelihood that the proposed research will be successfully completed.

3. The availability and/or adequacy of the facilities and equipment proposed for the project.

4. The responsiveness of the proposal to the research needs set forth in this solicitation.

5. Although budget information is not used by the reviewers as the basis for their evaluation of scientific merit, the reviewers are asked to provide their input on the appropriateness and/or adequacy of the proposed budget and its implications on the potential success of the proposed research. Input on requested equipment is of particular interest.

Grants are selected on the basis of technical merit, relevancy to the research priorities outlined, program balance, and budget. In addition to the above criteria, other factors that will be taken into consideration by NSF in the evaluation and award process are described in section 6.4, paragraph 3.

Copies of the evaluations by the technical reviewers will be provided to each applicant. Funding decisions are the sole responsibility of EPA and NSF.

5.2 Proprietary Information

By submitting an application in response to this solicitation, the applicant grants EPA, NSF, and USDA permission to share the application with technical reviewers both within and outside the Agencies. Applications containing proprietary or other types of confidential information will not be reviewed.

6.0 GRANT ADMINISTRATION

Upon conclusion of the review process, meritorious applications may be recommended for funding by either EPA, NSF, or USDA at the option of the agencies, not the applicant. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in accordance with the individual policies of the awarding agency.

6.1 EPA Grant Administration

The funding mechanisms for all awards issued under this solicitation will consist of grant agreements between EPA and the recipient. In accordance with Public Law 95-224, grants are used to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute rather than acquisition for the direct benefit of the Agency. In using a grant agreement, EPA anticipates that there will be no substantial involvement during the course of the grant between the recipient and the Agency.

EPA grants awarded as a result of this announcement will be administered in accordance with 40 CFR Part 30 and 40 or the most recent FDP terms and conditions, depending upon the grantee institution.

EPA provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering related to environmental protection. The awardee is solely responsible for the conduct of such activities and preparation of results for publication. EPA, therefore, does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

6.2 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 Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26, July 1995), for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, D.C. 20402. The telephone number at GPO is (202) 512-1800 for subscription information. The manual is also available on the Internet at: www.nsf.gov

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 (NSF Form 98A) form will be sent to the grantee. Applicants should review this form prior to proposal submission so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the proposal 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 categories in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 47.041 Engineering; 47.049 Mathematical and Physical Sciences; 47.050 Geosciences; 47.074 Biological Sciences; 47.075 Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

6.3 USDA Grant Administration

USDA award authority for this program is contained in section 2(b) of the Act of August 4, 1965, as amended (7U.S.C.450i(b)). Under this program, subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary may award competitive research grants, for periods not to exceed five years, for the support of the research projects to further programs of the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Proposals may be submitted by any state agricultural station, college, private organization, corporation, or individual. Proposals from scientists at non-United States organizations will not be considered for support. Funds available to pay indirect costs on research grants awarded competitively by CREES may not exceed 14 per centum of the total Federal funds provided under each ward. Entities are encouraged to purchase only American equipment or products.

6.4 NSF Applicant Information

The Foundation provides awards for research and education in the sciences and engineering. The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such research and preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for the research findings or their interpretation.

The Foundation welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists and engineers and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research and education related programs described here. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.

NSF will consider in its evaluation and award process the broader impacts of the proposed research activity, in addition to addressing the criteria stated in section 5.1. Questions to be considered are: 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 underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, 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?

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 projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

Privacy Act. The information requested on proposal forms is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals and 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 application review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers, and researchers as necessary to complete assigned work; and to other government agencies in order to coordinate programs. See Systems of Records, NSF 50, Principal Investigators/Proposal File and Associated Records, and NSF-51, 60 Federal Register 4449 (January 23, 1995), Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, 59 Federal Register 8031 (February 17, 1994).

Public Burden. Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of your receiving an award.

The 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 or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Gail A. McHenry, Reports Clearance Officer, Information Dissemination Branch, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 245, Arlington, VA 22230.

The National Science Foundation has TDD (Telephonic Device for the Deaf) capability, which enables individuals with hearing impairment to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment, or general information. To access NSF TDD, dial (703) 306-0090; for FIRS, 1-800-877-8339.


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I need Adobe Acrobat Reader first...take me to the Adobe download site.

I have the Reader and I have printed the HTML version of the announcement above.....I just need the PDF version of the STAR Interagency Research Grant Forms.

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