FEDERAL AGENCY: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) Office of Environmental Education
TITLE: Environmental Education Regional Grants -- Solicitation Notice for 2012
ACTION: Solicitation Notice
RFP NUMBER: EPA-EE-12-01
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 66.951
Purpose: The purpose of the Environmental Education (EE) Regional Grant Program is to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.
Application Deadline: Applications must be postmarked by December 12, 2012, 11:59 pm local time or submitted electronically via www.grants.gov by December 12, 2012, 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) in order to be considered for funding. See Section IV(D) for more details about the deadline.
Number and Value of Awards: The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $2,160,000 nationwide. EPA expects to award one (1) grant per Region for an expected 10 grants nationwide; the award amount is approximately (but no more than) $216,000, subject to the availability of funds, the quality and quantity of applications received, and other applicable considerations.
Cost Sharing Requirement: Applicants must demonstrate how they will provide non-federal matching funds of at least 25% of the total cost of the project.
Start Date: Applications should plan for projects to start no earlier than March 11, 2013.
CONTENTS BY SECTION
I. Funding Opportunity Description
II. Award Information
III. Eligibility Information
IV. Application and Submission Information
V. Application Review Information
VI. Award Administration Information
VII. Agency Contacts
A – Federal Forms and Instructions
B – Checklist for Proposal
C – Expected Outputs and Outcomes and Examples of Performance Measures
D – Instructions for Electronic Submissions (www.grants.gov)
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
A. Background and Summary
Under this solicitation EPA is seeking grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, as described in this notice, and that will serve as models that can be replicated in a variety of settings. Under this solicitation EPA expects to award environmental education grants from the 10 EPA Regional offices.
Grantees that receive awards under this solicitation must establish methods to document and report measurable results from grant projects. To ensure that grant proposals are competitive, applicants should carefully read Sections IV and V regarding how to structure a proposal and what criteria will be used to evaluate proposals. EPA receives a large number of grant applications under this program and can fund just a small percentage of those applications received.
Applicants must demonstrate that their proposal is for a project for which they (the applicant) have not been previously awarded a grant by EPA’s EE program; or the applicant must demonstrate that they are expanding, broadening or otherwise enhancing a project previously funded by EPA’s EE Grant Program in such a way that it could serve as a replicable model of environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. In addition, EPA encourages applications for funding of projects that provide a variety and range of educational and environmental priorities, geographic areas, and audiences as compared to the pool of previously funded projects in each Region. Go to the EPA website www.epa.gov/education/grants/index.html#grants=4 to see the list and descriptions of proposals previously funded by this program.
This grant program funds environmental education (EE) projects that will serve as models of practices, methods and/or techniques that can be replicated in a variety of settings.
“Environmental Education (EE)” is defined in the National Environmental Education Act of 1990 (the Act) as “educational activities and training activities involving elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students, as such terms are defined in the State in which they reside, and environmental education personnel, but does not include technical training activities directed toward environmental management professionals or activities primarily directed toward the support of noneducational research and development.” The Act also states that “The Office of Environmental Education shall…support development and the widest possible dissemination of model curricula, educational materials, and training programs for elementary and secondary students and other interested groups, including senior Americans.”
EPA further clarifies that environmental information and outreach may be important elements of EE projects, but these activities by themselves are not environmental education. By itself, environmental information only addresses awareness and knowledge, usually about a particular environmental issue. Outreach involves information dissemination and requests or suggestions for action on a particular issue (often without the critical thinking, problem solving and decision making steps in between). EE increases public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provides the participants in its programs the skills necessary to make informed environmental decisions and to take responsible actions. EE is based on objective and scientifically sound information and does not advocate a particular viewpoint or a particular course of action. EE teaches individuals how to weigh various sides of an issue through critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills on environmental topics. EE covers the range of steps and activities from awareness to action with an ultimate goal of environmental stewardship. EE involves lifelong learning; its audiences are of all age groups, from very young children through senior citizens. EE can include both outdoor and in-classroom education, in both formal and informal settings.
Below are definitions of terms used throughout this solicitation.
(1) “Environmental Information” provides facts or opinions about environmental issues or problems. Information is essential to any educational effort. However, environmental information is not, by itself, environmental education. Information provides facts or opinions whereas education teaches people how to think, analyze, and solve problems.
(2) “Environmental Outreach” disseminates information and sometimes asks audiences to take specific action, but doesn’t necessarily teach people how to analyze an issue. Outreach often presents a particular point of view, and often in pursuit of a particular goal. Examples may include a community meeting to inform residents about a toxic site in their area and where they can go for help, or a campaign to get volunteer participants for a beach or stream cleanup event.
(3) “Environmental Stewardship” is voluntary commitment, behavior, and action that results in environmental protection or improvement. Stewardship refers to an acceptance of personal responsibility for actions to improve environmental quality and to achieve sustainable outcomes. Stewardship involves lifestyles and business practices, initiatives and actions that enhance the state of the environment. Some examples are: live or conduct business in such a way as to minimize or eliminate pollution at its source; use energy and natural resources efficiently; decrease the use of hazardous chemicals; recycle wastes effectively; and conserve or restore forests, prairies, wetlands, rivers, and urban parks. Stewardship can be practiced by individuals, groups, schools, organizations, companies, communities, and state and local governments.
C. Educational and Environmental Priorities
In order to be eligible, all applications must: (1) address at least one of the EPA educational priorities listed below, (2) address at least one EPA environmental priority listed below; and, (3) be for a project that satisfies the definition of “environmental education” as defined under Section I(B).
The educational and environmental priorities listed below are not in order of importance or preference. Proposals may address more than one priority in each category. However, it is important that a proposal is clear as to what the focus of the project will be and how that focus will contribute to a replicable project that will model quality outputs and outcomes and that has a vision for advancing and strengthening the field of practice of environmental education.
EPA’s Educational Priorities
(1) Community Projects: Addressing environmental stewardship in a local formal or informal educational context in rural, suburban and urban settings, and using outdoor, place-based, experiential, service learning and/or community-focused stewardship activities as the primary teaching tool(s).
(2) Human Health and the Environment: Educating students of any age group, from the very young through the elderly, and training* their educators or community leaders on how to teach, in formal and non-formal settings, in the outdoors and in classrooms, about human health threats from environmental pollution and how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health.
(3) Career Development: Educating students of any age group, from the very young through the elderly, and training* their educators or community leaders on how to teach, in formal and non-formal settings, about environmental issues, solutions and stewardship for the purpose of encouraging interest in careers in environmental fields.
*A note on training educators: EPA has funded various kinds of projects focused on the skills needed to be an effective environmental educator. A resource to help guide projects that address EE “teaching skills” is the Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators developed with EPA funds. You may download or order a copy of this publication by going to EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/education/resources.html.
EPA’s Environmental Priorities
In addition to addressing at least one educational priority listed above, and satisfying the definition of environmental education, all proposals must address at least one of EPA’s environmental priorities listed below. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA has identified the following priorities that help focus the work of the Agency.
(1) Protecting Air Quality – These efforts help protect the health of all Americans and the ecosystems we depend on by preventing pollution and increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, reducing industrial air pollution and pollution from vehicles and engines, protecting the stratospheric ozone layer, reducing acid rain, and addressing climate change. See more information at www.epa.gov/air/.
(2) Assuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution – These efforts protect all Americans and the environment from potential risks from pesticides and toxic chemicals and prevent pollution before it begins. See more information at www.epa.gov/aboutepa/ocspp.html.
(3) Cleaning Up Our Communities – These efforts provide guidelines for safe and environmentally-friendly practices in waste management and support the redevelopment and reuse of potentially contaminated sites. See more information at www.epa.gov/aboutepa/oswer.html.
(4) Protecting America’s Waters – These efforts ensure that drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife. See more information at www.epa.gov/aboutepa/ow.html.
These priorities focus on environmental challenges that require a population that is diverse, informed, environmentally literate, as well as willing and able to translate their knowledge and skills into decisions and actions that protect the environment in every community, including but not limited to minority, low income, and tribal communities. As such, we encourage proposals that reach out to a variety of communities, especially those that can be demonstrated to be more likely affected adversely (e.g., higher rates of medical problems due to environmental factors) by environmental risks than other communities. Environmental education is an important non-regulatory tool the Agency uses to help meet its mission.
Applicants may work with partners to develop, design and implement proposed projects. Partnerships can strengthen recruitment plans by increasing potential numbers and diversity of audiences, can increase the variety of and accessibility to expertise needed to create a model project, and can assist in meeting the matching funds requirement. See Section III(B) for more information about the matching funds requirement.
E. Statutory Authority
Section 6 of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-619) authorizes the award of these Environmental Education Grants.
F. Linkage to EPA’s Strategic Plan and Expected Outputs and Outcomes
(1) Linkage to EPA’s Strategic Plan. All proposals must support EPA’s cross-cutting strategy of Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and one or more of the following Strategic Goals of the Agency:
· Goal 1: Taking Action on Climate Change and Improving Air Quality
· Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development
· Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution
See EPA’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan at www.epa.gov/planandbudget/strategicplan.html.
(2) Expected Outputs and Outcomes (See Appendix C). Recipients of these grants will design, develop and implement replicable educational projects that advance and strengthen the field of practice of environmental education by providing models of quality methods, practices and techniques and creating a vision for how to inspire behavioral change through non-regulatory means and raise public awareness of actions that can be taken to promote environmental stewardship. During the evaluation process for proposals, EPA will determine if each work plan contains well-defined outputs and outcomes. Outputs and short-term outcomes must occur and be reported to EPA within the project period. Progress should at least begin on medium-term or long-term outcomes during the project period. For more detailed information on expected outputs and outcomes from environmental education grants, please see Appendix C.
G. Other Funding Opportunities
Please note that this is a very competitive grant program. Limited funding is available and not all grant proposals can be funded. If your project is not funded, you may wish to review other available grant funding opportunities on the federal site www.grants.gov, or on the grants page of the website for the National Environmental Education Foundation at www.neefusa.org/grants/.
Section II. Award Information
A. Funding Type
The funding for selected projects will be in the form of a grant.
B. Number and Amount of Awards
EPA expects approximately $2,160,000 to be available for grants in the amount of approximately (but no more than) $216,000. Each of EPA’s 10 Regions anticipates funding one (1) grant, resulting in 10 grants nationwide, subject to the availability of funds and the quality of applications received.
C. Start Date and Length of Project Period
Proposals should plan for their projects to begin no earlier than March 11, 2013. Applicants should plan for a flexible start date since the date awards are made varies from Region to Region. EPA will accept proposals for one or 2 year project periods, but the total funding will be the same regardless of the project period (i.e., if a 2 year project is proposed, the award amount is approximately $216,000 for the whole 2 years and no additional funding will be issued for the second year.) The proposal must demonstrate clearly how the project will be completed in the time frame proposed.
D. Funding and Partial Funding Provisions
EPA reserves the right to reject all proposals and make no awards under this announcement or make fewer awards than expected.
EPA also reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement consistent with Agency policy and guidance if additional funding becomes available after the original selections are made. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than 6 months after the original selection decisions.
In appropriate circumstances, EPA reserves the right to partially fund proposals by funding discrete portions or phases of a proposed project. If EPA decides to partially fund a proposal, it will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicants or affect the basis upon which the proposal, or portion thereof, was evaluated or selected for award, and therefore maintains the integrity of the competition and selection process.
E. Multiple Proposals
Applicants can submit more than one proposal under this solicitation so long as each one is for a different project and is separately submitted.
Section III. Eligibility Information
A. Eligible Applicants
Any local education agency, college or university, state education or environmental agency, nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a noncommercial educational broadcasting entity as defined and licensed by Federal Communications Commission may submit a proposal. Applicant organizations must be located in the United States or territories and the majority of the educational activities must take place in the United States; or in the U.S. and Canada or Mexico; or in U.S. Territories. A teacher’s school district, an educator’s nonprofit organization, or a faculty member’s college or university may apply, but an individual teacher or faculty member may not apply.
“Tribal education agencies” that are eligible to apply include a school or community college which is controlled by an Indian tribe, band, or nation, which is recognized as eligible for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians and which is not administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal organizations do not qualify unless they meet that criteria or the non-profit criteria listed above. The terms for eligibility are defined in Section 3 of the Act and 40 CFR 47.105.
B. Matching Funds
Non-federal matching funds of at least 25% of the total cost of the grant project are required for awards made under this announcement. The matching requirement is explained in detail in Section IV(C)(4) under Budget and Non- Federal Match. In order to ensure you meet the match requirement, divide the total cost of the project, including the minimum 25% match, by 4. For example, if the total cost of your project is $288,000 then your match must be a minimum of $72,000 and your request from EPA would be $216,000. (Some applicants find it easier to divide the dollar amount they are requesting from EPA by 3 in order to figure their required match; e.g., if you are asking for $216,000 from EPA to fund your project, then you must have a match of $72,000, or $216,000 divided by 3). Please see Section IV(C)(4) for additional information about matching funds. In order to be eligible for funding consideration, proposals must demonstrate how the applicant will meet the match requirement if it is selected for award. Under appropriate circumstances, applicants may use partnerships to assist with matching funds requirements. See Section I(D) above for further information about Partnerships. Applicants must be aware, however, that regardless of whether it is their partners or their own organization that proposes providing the matching funds, the applicant itself is responsible for meeting the cost share requirement.
C. Threshold Eligibility Criteria
Proposals must meet the following threshold criteria to be eligible for funding consideration under this solicitation. Failure to meet any of the following criteria in the proposal will result in automatic disqualification of the proposal for funding consideration. Ineligible applicants will be notified within 15 calendar days of the determination that they are ineligible based on threshold criteria.
(1) a. Proposals must substantially comply with the application submission instructions and requirements set forth in Section IV of this announcement or else they will be rejected. Where a page limit is specified in Section IV for the work plan, pages in excess of the page limitation will not be reviewed.
b. Proposals must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 pm, December 12, 2012 EST, hand delivered by close of business on December 12, 2012, in the Regional Office, or postmarked by 11:59 pm, December 12, 2012 local time in order to be considered for funding. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their proposal reaches the designated person/office specified in Section VII of the announcement by the submission deadline.
c. Applications submitted electronically, hand delivered, or postmarked after the submission deadline will be considered late and returned to the sender without further consideration unless the applicant can clearly demonstrate that it was late due to EPA mishandling or because of technical problems associated with www.grants.gov. Applicants should confirm receipt of their proposal with the appropriate contact listed in Section VII(C) as soon as possible after the submission deadline—failure to do so may result in your proposal not being reviewed.
(2) The applicant must be an eligible organization as described in Section III(A) above.
(3) The applicant must demonstrate how it will meet the non-federal match as required in Section III(B) above.
(4) The amount requested from EPA must be no more than $216,000. Proposals for projects to receive EPA funding greater than $216,000 will be rejected.
(5) All proposals must be for projects that satisfy the definition of “environmental education” as defined under Section I(B).
(6) All proposals must address at least one of the educational priorities listed in Section I(C).
(7) All proposals must address at least one of the EPA’s environmental priorities listed in Section I(C).
(8) Applicants must demonstrate that their proposal is for a project for which they (the applicant) has not been previously awarded a grant by EPA’s EE program and a statement to this effect must be included in the first paragraph of the Project Summary; or the applicant must demonstrate that they are expanding, broadening or otherwise enhancing a project previously funded by EPA’s EE Grant Program in such a way that it could serve as a replicable model of environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.
Grantees currently or previously funded by EPA’s EE grant program who are interested in applying under this solicitation must list all of those previously funded projects of the last three (3) years, clearly labeled as “EPA EE Grants”, in the Past Performance section of their proposal.
(9) Applicants can submit more than one proposal under this solicitation so long as each one is for a different project and is separately submitted.
D. Ineligible Activities
Environmental education funds cannot be used for:
(1) Technical training of environmental management professionals;
(2) Environmental “information” and/or “outreach” projects that have no additional educational component, as described in Section I(B);
(3) Advocacy promoting a particular point of view or course of action;
or political activities as defined in OMB Circulars
A-87 www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a087_2004/, and
(5) Non-educational research and development; or
(6) Construction projects–EPA will not fund construction activities such as the acquisition of real property (e.g., buildings) or the construction or modification of any building.
Ineligible activities: If a proposal is submitted that includes any ineligible tasks or activities, that portion of the proposal will be ineligible for funding and may, depending on the extent to which it affects the proposal, render the entire proposal ineligible for funding.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
A. Submission Requirements
Please follow the instructions below and do not submit additional items or forms. Please do not refer to websites or online tools in your proposal as the reviewers will evaluate only the materials provided in the application. This solicitation notice describes all the information and forms necessary to prepare a complete proposal package, as well as a description of the review process that will be used in each EPA Region and the criteria and point system under which your proposal will be reviewed and ranked (see Section V). Applicants should take these criteria into consideration when designing proposals and should address them directly in their proposals. If an applicant is selected as a finalist after the evaluation process is concluded, EPA will provide them with additional federal forms and any other information and instructions needed to complete the process.
Note: Proposals must either be for projects for which the applicant has not been previously awarded a grant by EPA’s EE program, and a statement to this effect included in the first paragraph of the Project Summary, or the applicant must explain clearly how a project previously funded by EPA’s EE Grant Program is being expanded, broadened or strengthened or in some way enhanced to make it a model, replicable project that has the potential to advance and strengthen the field of EE. Grantees currently or previously funded by EPA’s EE grant program who are interested in applying under this solicitation must list all of those previously funded projects, clearly labeled as “EPA EE Grants”, in the Past Performance section of their proposal. See Section III(C)(8).
Applicants have the option to submit their proposals in one of two ways: (1) hard copy; or (2) electronically through www.grants.gov. Regardless of the option chosen, applicants must submit the information described below. If you wish to apply with hard copy (paper) submission, please follow the instructions below for “Hard Copy Submission” and go to the environmental education website www.epa.gov/education/grants/ where you can access and print the two required federal forms. If you wish to apply electronically via www.grants.gov, please follow the instructions below and in Appendix D for “Electronic Submission”. Electronic submissions must be completed by 11:59 pm EST, December 12, 2012, in order to be considered eligible. Note that registration for www.grants.gov can take a week or longer. Further detailed instructions are available on www.grants.gov and can be downloaded.
Hard Copy Submission: Applicants choosing to submit applications in hard copy must submit an original and two copies of the proposal materials described below (by mail, express delivery service, or hand delivery) to the Regional Office in which the project will be located. The 10 EPA Regional Offices and the EE contacts in them are listed in Section VII (Agency Contacts). The original, signed package must be postmarked by 11:59 pm, December 12, 2012 local time or hand delivered by close of business in the appropriate Regional Office on December 12, 2012.
Electronic Submission: The electronic submission of your proposal must be made by an official representative of your institution who is registered with Grants.gov and is authorized to sign applications for Federal assistance. For more information, go to www.grants.gov and click on “Get Registered” on the left side of the page. Note that the registration process may take a week or longer to complete. If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, please encourage your office to designate an authorized organization representative (AOR) and ask that individual to begin the registration process as soon as possible. Please see Appendix D for additional instructions.
B. Format of Proposal Submission
The required contents of the proposal package are described in detail below. The entire narrative portion of the Work Plan (which includes the Project Summary, Project Description, and Project Evaluation) shall not exceed 7 single-spaced pages. Pages in excess of the page limit will not be reviewed.
“One page” refers to one side of a single-spaced typed page. The pages must be letter-sized (8 ˝ X 11 inches); recommended font size is no smaller than 10 point. The Detailed Budget and Appendices (i.e., Timeline, Logic Model, Technical Expertise/Qualifications, and Partnership Commitment Letters) are not included in the page limit.
C. Contents of Submission
A complete proposal package must contain all of the information outlined below (original and 2 copies of each, if submitting a hard copy application). Please also refer to the additional instructions provided under “Instructions” below. Also, please see Appendix B -- Checklist for Proposal.
(1) Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance
(2) SF 424A Budget Information
(3) Work plan (not to exceed 7 single spaced pages total):
(a) Project summary (recommended not to exceed 1 page);
(b) Project description;
(c) Project evaluation;
(4) Detailed budget (no page limit)
(5) Appendices (no page limit):
(b) Logic model;
(c) Programmatic capability and past performance; and
(d) Partnership letters of commitment (only if you have partner organizations making a commitment to the project – please NO letters of endorsement or recommendation)
(1) Standard Form (SF) 424 – Application for Federal Assistance. Complete the form. Refer to Appendix A for additional instructions.
(2) Standard Form (SF) 424A – Budget Information. Complete only Section B with the EPA funds and matching funds in separate columns and with the totals in column 5. Do not complete Section A, C, D, E or F of this form. Refer to Appendix A for additional instructions.
NOTE: The two federal forms required are available online at www.epa.gov/education/grants/ and the website also has examples of completed forms. You can enter your data and budget information on the online forms and print a hard copy (and print or make 2 additional copies) to be submitted by mail or delivery service with your proposal if you choose to submit hard copies rather than electronically through www.grants.gov. Only finalists will be asked to submit additional federal forms necessary to process a federal grant.
(3) Work Plan. A work plan describes your proposed project. The work plan (and the appendices described below as applicable) must address the requirements in Section I of this solicitation as well as any applicable threshold eligibility requirements in Section III(C) and the evaluation criteria in Section V(A). Grant reviewers look at many proposals when scoring them, and providing your information in the order listed prevents information from being overlooked. The work plan and budget will be scored based on the ranking factors identified in Section V(A). The work plan must not exceed 7 single-spaced pages total; excess pages will not be reviewed.
(a) Project Summary: Provide a recommended one page overview of your entire project in the following format.
(i) Organization and Partnerships: Briefly describe: 1) your organization, 2) who will manage and implement your project, and 3) list your key partners for this grant, if applicable. Partnerships are considered a contribution to the success of projects. See Section I(D) for more information about the use of partnerships in applications submitted under this solicitation. (Note: Letters of Commitment from your partners must be included with your application.) Full details about your organization and staff will be in an appendix.
(ii) Summary: Provide a concise statement that your organization is not currently receiving and has not previously received funding for this project from EPA’s EE Grant Program, or explain clearly how a project previously funded by EPA’s EE Grant Program is being expanded, broadened or strengthened or in some way enhanced to make it a model, replicable project that has the potential to advance and strengthen the field of EE. (Note: Grantees currently or previously funded by EPA’s EE grant program who are interested in applying under this solicitation also must list all of the previously funded projects of the last three (3) years, clearly labeled as “EPA EE Grants”, in the Past Performance section of their proposal.)
Next, briefly explain how your project will serve as a model program for creating behavioral change that benefits the environment, how it could be replicated in other settings, and how it provides a vision or standard for advancing and strengthening the field of practice of environmental education. Clearly explain the project goals and objectives, and how it meets the definition of environmental education given in Section I(B). In addition, identify the educational priority or priorities listed in Section I(C) that your project addresses, as well as how your project addresses one or more of EPA’s environmental priorities listed in Section I(C).
Your summary should use ordinary terms to provide reviewers with an understanding of the purpose and expected outcomes of your project. A person unfamiliar with your project should be able to read the summary and understand your plan.
(iii) Implementation/Delivery Method: Explain how you will reach your audience, such as workshops, field trips, interactive programs, conferences, etc.
(iv) Audience: Describe the demographics of your target audience including the number and types you expect to reach, such as educators and students and specific age/grade levels. An important priority for EPA is expanding the conversation on environmentalism by reaching a variety of audiences. Where appropriate, describe how the project will reach diverse communities, including but not limited to minority, low income and tribal communities.
(v) Costs: List the types of expenses on which you will spend the EPA portion of the grant funds. (Note: The form 424A and the detailed budget are where you will include your full allocation of costs.)
(b) Project Description: Describe precisely what your project will achieve and how it will serve as a model for advancing and strengthening the field of practice of environmental education, using the following headings – what, why, how, and who. Explain each aspect of your proposal clearly and address each topic below. If you choose to reorder the following paragraphs, include the headings below or you risk the possibility of information being overlooked when the project is scored. Please address all of the following to ensure that grant reviewers can fully comprehend and evaluate your proposal.
(i) What: (1) Identify the educational priority or priorities your project will be addressing. Educational priorities are defined under Section I(C). (2) Identify the environmental issue(s) you will be addressing, and EPA environmental priorities are defined under Section I(C). (4) Explain the goals of your project and your vision of the project as a replicable model for advancing and strengthening the field of practice of environmental education, including but not limited to such goals as broadening and diversifying the audiences reached through environmental education and creating new or strengthening existing EE practices, methods and/or techniques. (5) Explain the part of your project that will encourage behavioral change that improves the environment and increase environmental stewardship as defined in Section I.
NOTE: Your project may address more than one environmental and/or educational priority. However, it is important that a proposal is clear as to what the focus of the project will be and how that focus will contribute to a model, replicable project with quality outputs and outcomes and with a vision for advancing and strengthening the field of environmental education.
(ii) Why: Explain the need for a project such as the one you are proposing to serve as a model in the field of environmental education. Why are you proposing this particular project and why have you chosen the goals for your project? Explain why you have chosen the educational priority(ies) and environmental issue(s) that you are focusing on, including why this priority and this issue are important to your specific goals and to your audience. Cite studies or sources, where appropriate, that verify the need for your project.
(iii) How: Explain how you will reach your goals and objectives. Clearly explain how you will achieve your expected outputs and outcomes including those described in the Appendix. This includes clearly identifying your activities as well as the materials and implementation/delivery methods that will be used.
NOTE: Please see the information provided in the online FAQs at www.epa.gov/education/grants/ about developing, evaluating, and selecting educational materials to be used as part of your proposal. The “Excellence in EE” series of publications listed at www.epa.gov/education/resources.html includes guidelines for: developing and evaluating educational materials; the initial preparation of environmental educators; and using environmental education in grades K-12 to support state and local education reform goals. The Ocean Literacy Framework at http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/?page_id=47, the Energy Literacy Framework at www1.eere.energy.gov/education/energy_literacy.html, and the Climate Literacy Framework at www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/climate-literacy are examples of other government-sponsored resources for developing educational materials and/or helping environmental educators understand and teach about some of the environmental issues listed in Section I(C) of this document.
Clarify for the reviewers how you will complete all basic steps of your project from beginning to end. Do not omit steps that lead up to or follow the actual delivery methods (e.g., if you plan to make a presentation about your project at a local or national conference, specify where). Explain how your project will encourage behavioral change that improves the environment and increase environmental stewardship as defined in Section I(B). Explain how you envision your project serving as a model in the field of environmental education, how it will advance and strengthen the field, and how it could be replicated in a variety of settings.
(iv) Who: Identify your target audience and the numbers to be reached. Discuss the needs of that audience and why you have chosen to target them. Also, explain your recruitment plan to attract your target audience, and identify incentives to be used such as teacher stipends or continuing education credits, or partnerships that will facilitate recruitment. An important priority for EPA is expanding the conversation on environmentalism by reaching a variety of audiences. Proposals should be clear as to how they will reach a variety of audiences, including but not limited to minority, low income, and tribal communities.
(c) Project Evaluation: In this section, you must explain your plans for meeting the goals and objectives of your project and for tracking and measuring your progress towards achieving the expected outputs and short-term outcomes. If your medium- and long-term outcomes can also be measured within the project period, explain your plans for that evaluation as well. For additional information on project outputs and outcomes, please refer to Appendix C. Evaluation plans may be quantitative and/or qualitative and may include, for example, evaluation tools, observation, or outside consultation. Pre- and post-training measurements are recommended to determine if your performance measures for learning are being satisfied. If funded by EPA, grant recipients must be willing to report evaluation results to EPA. Please be sure to include project evaluation activities in your timeline of activities explained in Section IV(C)(5) below. For additional guidance on project evaluation please see My Environmental Education Evaluation Resource Assistant at http://meera.snre.umich.edu, which is a website partially supported with EPA funds to assist educators and others in evaluating their educational projects. Please note: Section I(F)(1) above explains that all EE grants must support the EPA Strategic Plan. In addition, all EPA grants must have an outcome of environmental improvement or protection over time.
(4) Budget and Non-Federal Match. Create a detailed budget table with three columns titled “EPA Funds”, “Non-EPA Funds”, and “Total” to show how EPA funds and non-federal matching funds will be used. Make sure you demonstrate how you will meet the non-Federal match requirement described in Section III(4) of this solicitation. In the detailed budget, use the same order and headings listed on the Budget Form 424A. These cost categories are: personnel/salaries; fringe benefits; travel; equipment over $5,000; supplies; contract costs; other costs; and indirect costs, where appropriate, since not all applicants will use every cost category. Provide details for each expense, such as personnel (number of staff, title or role in project, hourly wage, and percentage of time spent on project), travel (reasons for travel, costs and locations of trips, and costs per mile for travel and per diem per person), and supplies (provide categories and detailed listings according to the project tasks in which they will be used). Make sure you factor in the costs for all proposed activities and clarify which will be paid by EPA or will be paid by matching funds. (See Appendix A, Instructions for the SF424 Application, which includes instructions for preparing a detailed budget.)
Please note the following funding restrictions:
-- Generally applicants are allowed to include indirect costs; such as expenses for rent, supplies and other administrative and office support costs on the "indirect costs" line of their proposed budget as long as they have a federally approved/negotiated indirect cost rate agreement in place. Usually organizations without a federally approved/negotiated indirect cost rate agreement must submit an indirect cost rate proposal to their cognizant Federal agency (with copy to EPA if EPA is not the cognizant agency) for approval within 90 days of the date of being awarded a grant if they wish to be reimbursed for indirect costs. In such cases, recipients are not allowed to seek reimbursement for indirect costs until an approved indirect cost rate is obtained.
However, if the recipient does not have a current
negotiated indirect cost rate or proposal, and if EPA is the recipient’s
cognizant agency, EPA can allow the recipient to charge a flat indirect cost
rate of 10% of salaries and wages (see 2 CFR Part 230, Appendix A).
Please note: Recipients that opt to use the 10% flat rate are obligated to use the flat rate for the life of the grant award.
To find more information on indirect cost rate agreements, go to www.aqd.nbc.gov/services/ICS.aspx.
-- If you anticipate earning program income as a result of your EPA award, show the estimated amount, explain how it is to be earned (the source of income – e.g., workshop fees), and how it will be used to enhance your project. When you do use program income on your project, it is important that you include the amount in your detailed budget.
-- EPA’s EE Grant Program will not fund the acquisition of real property (including buildings) or the construction or modification of any building. EPA may, however, fund activities such as creating a nature trail with educational signs or building a bird watching station, as long as these items are an integral part of the environmental education project, and the cost is a relatively small percentage of the total amount federal funds requested.
-- Funds for salaries and fringe benefits may be requested only for those personnel who are directly involved in implementing the proposed project and whose salaries and fringe benefits are directly related to specific products or outcomes of the proposed project. EPA strongly encourages applicants to request reasonable amounts of funding for salaries and fringe benefits to ensure that your proposal is competitive.
Matching Funds Explanation: Non-federal matching funds must be at least 25% of the total cost of the project. The match must be for allowable costs and may be provided by the applicant or a partner organization or institution. The match may be provided in cash or by in-kind contributions and other non-monetary support. In-kind contributions often include salaries or other verifiable costs such as supplies/materials, and this value must be carefully documented. In the case of salaries, applicants may use fair market value for the locale. If the match is provided by a partner organization, the applicant is still responsible for proper accountability and documentation. All grants are subject to federal audit.
IMPORTANT: The required matching non-federal share is 25% of the ENTIRE cost of the project. To calculate 25% of the entire cost of the project, calculate how much you will spend on the entire project from beginning to end, including both federal funds and your own funds, and divide this amount by 4. The amount resulting will be the amount you will need to contribute to the project as the minimum match. For example, if the total cost of the project is $288,000, divide this amount by 4, which equals $72,000. Your match needs to be at least $72,000 and the amount you request from EPA would be $216,000. (Some applicants find it easier to calculate their match requirement by dividing the amount of federal funds they are requesting by 3; e.g., if you are requesting $216,000 from EPA then your match requirement is $216,000 divided by 3 = $72,000.)
Amount of EPA Request
Total Project Cost
$216,000 maximum request
Other Federal Funds: You may not use any federal funds to meet any part of the required 25% match described above, unless it is specifically authorized by statute. If you have already been awarded federal funds for a project for which you are seeking additional support from this grant program, you must indicate those funds in the budget section of the work plan. You must also identify the project officer, agency, office, address, phone number, and the amount of the federal funds.
(5) Appendices. Appendices provide information on your timeline, logic model, past performance and programmatic capability, and any partnerships with other organizations.
(a) Timeline – Include a “timeline” to link your activities to a clear project schedule and indicate at what point over the months of your budget period each action, event, milestone, product development, and evaluation will occur. Please ensure that you have realistic goals and will use effective methods to reach them.
(b) Logic Model – Provide a graphic to display the outputs and outcomes developed through the project. An example of a basic logic model is attached in Appendix C of this document. Our website has a basic logic model where you can enter your data and print a copy to submit with a proposal (http://www.epa.gov/education/grants/#grants=1). Refer to Appendix C for additional instructions and information on outputs and outcomes.
(c) Programmatic Capability and Past Performance – Attach a description of your programmatic capabilities and ability to successfully implement and manage the proposed project including staff expertise/qualifications, staff knowledge, and resources or the ability to obtain them to successfully achieve the goals and vision of the project, and your organizational experience and past history in performing tasks similar to the proposed project. Include a paragraph describing the qualifications of each of the key personnel conducting the project and how each will contribute to the timeliness and successful outputs and outcomes of your project. If you send resumes for the key personnel conducting the project, please keep them to a maximum of 3 one-page resumes.
Please also submit a list of federally funded assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) similar in size, scope and relevance to the proposed project that your organization performed within the last three (3) years (no more than 5 agreements, and preferably EPA agreements) and describe (i) whether, and how, you were able to successfully complete and manage those agreements and (ii) your history of meeting the reporting requirements under those agreements including whether you adequately and timely reported on your progress towards achieving the expected outputs and outcomes of those agreements (and if not, explain why not) and whether you submitted acceptable final technical reports under the agreements. In evaluating applicants under these factors in Section V(A), EPA will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources, including information from EPA files and from current/prior grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information provided by the applicant). If you do not have any relevant or available past performance or past reporting information, please indicate this in the proposal and you will receive a neutral score for these factors (a neutral score is half of the total points available in a subset of possible points). If you do not provide any response for these items, you may receive a score of 0 for these factors.
Note: If you have received or are receiving grant funds from EPA’s EE Grant program in the past three (3) years, you must clearly label those as “EPA EE Grants” when responding to this item. (Note: You must list all previously EPA funded EE grants from the last three (3) years, even if you are proposing in this application to expand, broaden or strengthen a project previously funded by EPA’s EE Grant Program or in some way enhance it to make it a model, replicable project for which you are seeking funding under this RFP.)
(d) Partnership Letters of Commitment – If the applicant organization has partners, such as commercial enterprises, non-profit organizations, schools or school districts, state and local agencies, or other entities, letters of commitment should be included from partners explaining their role in and/or funding of the proposed project. If no letters are included, it will be assumed the applicant has no partners. Applicants must be aware, however, that regardless of whether it is their partners or their own organization that proposes providing the matching funds, the applicant itself is responsible for meeting the cost share requirement described in Section III(B) of the announcement. See Section I(D) for further information about the value of partnerships. If an applicant does not have partners for this project, the proposal should be clear about how the project will be completed effectively without partners.
Note: Do not include letters of endorsement or recommendation or have letters mailed in later. Regardless of the source, letters of endorsement or recommendation will not be considered in evaluating proposals. Please do not submit other appendices or attachments.
D. Submission Deadline Due Date – Proposal packages must be postmarked by December 12, 2012, 11:59 pm local time, hand delivered by close of the local business day on December 12, 2012, or submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by December 12, 2012, 11:59 pm EST in order to be considered for review.
E. Pre-proposal/Application Assistance and Communications
In accordance with EPA’s Assistance Agreement Competition Policy (EPA Order 5700.5A1), EPA staff will not meet with individual applicants to discuss draft proposals, provide informal comments on draft proposals, or provide advice to applicants on how to respond to ranking criteria. Applicants are responsible for the contents of their applications/proposals. However, consistent with the provisions in the announcement, EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about the announcement. In addition, if necessary, EPA may clarify threshold eligibility issues with applicants prior to making an eligibility determination.
At least two webinars/conference calls will be conducted by EPA staff to answer questions about this solicitation notice from potential applicants. Please go to www.epa.gov/education/grants/ for announcements of dates/times and call-in numbers, or to sign up to be on an email list for notifications of dates/times and call-in numbers for the webinars/calls.
Answers to frequently asked questions about this program will be listed on the website (www.epa.gov/education/grants/). For information on whom to contact, please see Section VII(C) of this announcement. Email inquiries only.
F. Contracts and Subawards
Applicants that plan on using project funds for contracting or subawards must comply with the following requirements.
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 Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. 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 Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. 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 solely based 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) or subgrant at 40 CFR 31.3, as applicable. 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 or 40 CFR Part 31.36 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, as appropriate and relevant, the qualifications, expertise, and experience of:
(i) 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 Parts 30 or 31. For example, applicants must not use subawards/subgrants to obtain commercial services or products from for profit firms or individual consultants.
(ii) 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 or 40 CFR 31.36 as appropriate. 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.
Note: No sub-awards for amounts of $5,000 or less may be made under this solicitation notice.
G. Confidential Business Information
In accordance with 40 CFR 2.203, applicants may claim all or a portion of their proposal as confidential business information. EPA will evaluate confidentiality claims in accordance with 40 CFR Part 2. Applicants must clearly mark proposals or portions of proposals they claim as confidential. 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. However, competitive proposals/applications are considered confidential and protected from disclosure prior to the completion of the competitive selection process.
H. Management Fees
When formulating budgets for proposals, applicants must not include management fees or similar charges in excess of the direct 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. These are fees added to the direct costs in order to accumulate and reserve funds for ongoing expenses, unforeseen liabilities, or for other similar costs that are not allowable under EPA grants. Management fees or similar charges may not be used to improve or expand the project funded, except to the extent authorized as a direct cost of carrying out the scope of work.
Section V. Application Review Information
A. Evaluation and Scoring
Only proposals that meet all of the eligibility criteria in Section III will be evaluated on a 100 point scale using the criteria below. Applicants should take these criteria into consideration when designing proposals and should address them directly in their proposals. The following criteria and points will be used to score eligible proposals:
(1) Project Summary – Maximum Score: 3 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on the extent to which the project summary clearly and completely addresses the content and format described in Section IV(C)(3)(a).
(2) Project Description – Maximum Score: 40 points
(i) What: Maximum Score: 10 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on the substance, clarity and completeness of the explanation of what the project will entail, including the educational and environmental priorities addressed, the goals the project hopes to achieve, and how it will serve as a replicable model for advancing and strengthening the field of practice of environmental education. Please refer to Section IV(C)(3)(b)(i) for content and format required.
(ii) Why: Maximum Score: 10 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on the substance, clarity and completeness of the explanation of the need for a project such as the one proposed to serve as a model, including why the particular goals, priorities and audience(s) have been chosen. See Section IV(C)(3)(b)(ii) for further information.
(iii) How: Maximum Score: 10 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on the substance, clarity and completeness of the explanation of how the project will accomplish its goals and objectives, including how the project will encourage behavioral change and environmental stewardship and how its methods or programs will serve as model(s) that can be replicated in a variety of settings and how it will advance and strengthen the field of environmental education. See Section IV(C)(3)(b)(iii) for further information.
(iv) Who: Maximum Points: 10 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on how well the project:
identifies the target audience, numbers reached, why they were chosen, and clearly explains the recruitment plan, including incentives to be used such as teacher stipends or continuing education credits and if/how the applicant’s partner(s) will help with recruitment. (5 points).
reaches a diverse audience, including but not limited to minority, low income and tribal communities, and demonstrates how the project will help address environmental issues that are more likely to adversely affect the audience(s) targeted. (5 points).
See Section IV(C)(3)(b)(iv) for further information.
(3) Project Evaluation – Maximum Score: 10 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated based on the substance, clarity and completeness of the explanation of how the project’s success in meeting its goals and objectives will be achieved and tracked and measured. This includes evaluating the applicant’s plan for tracking and measuring its progress towards achieving the expected project outputs and outcomes, including those in Appendix C, and its support of EPA’s Strategic Plan and the improvement of the environment over time. See Section IV(C)(3)(c) for more information.
(4) Budget – Maximum Score: 14 points. Under this factor, proposals will be evaluated on:
(i) How well the budget information clearly and accurately shows how funds will be used. (9 points)
(ii) Whether the funding request is reasonable given the activities proposed and provides a good return on the investment. (5 points)
(5) Timeline, Logic Model, and Partnership Letters of Commitment – Maximum Score: 18 points. Under this factor proposals will be evaluated on the extent to which they clearly and completely address the content of each of the following. Please review Section IV(C)(5) for information on what content and format is expected in each of these appendices.
(i) Timeline: The extent to which the timeline links the activities to a clear project schedule and clearly indicates a realistic timeline of when each action, event, milestone, product development and evaluation will occur. (6 points)
(ii) Logic Model: The extent to which the logic model graphic displays outputs and outcomes developed through the project in accordance with the instructions and information in Appendix C. (6 points)
(iii) Partnership Letters of Commitment: Proposals will be evaluated based on the extent to which the applicant will engage with other partners to help effectively develop and implement the project as a model that could be replicated and could advance and strengthen the field of EE. If the applicant has partners, they should provide letters of commitment from them. If no letters of commitment are provided, it will be assumed the applicant has no partners for the project. If the applicant does not intend to have partners then it should explain how it will effectively perform the project without partners. Please do not send letters of endorsement or recommendation; they are not helpful and will not be considered. (6 points)
(6) Programmatic Capability and Past Performance – Maximum Score: 15 points. Under this criterion, applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to successfully complete and manage the proposed project taking into account the applicant’s:
(i) past performance in successfully completing and managing the assistance agreements identified in response to Section IV(C)(5)(c) of the announcement. (2 points)
(ii) history of meeting the reporting requirements under the assistance agreements identified in response to Section IV(C)(5)(c) of the announcement including whether the applicant submitted acceptable final technical reports under those agreements and the extent to which the applicant adequately and timely reported on their progress towards achieving the expected outputs and outcomes under those agreements and if such progress was not being made whether the applicant adequately reported why not. (2 points).
(iii) organizational experience and plan for the timely and successful achievement of the objectives of the proposed project. (5 points).
(iv) staff expertise/qualifications, staff knowledge, and resources or the ability to obtain them, to successfully achieve the goals of the proposed project. (6 points)
Note: In evaluating applicants under items i and ii of this criterion, the Agency will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources including agency files and prior/current grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information supplied by the applicant). If you do not have any relevant or available past performance or past reporting information, please indicate this in the proposal and you will receive a neutral score for these subfactors (items i and ii above-a neutral score is half of the total points available in a subset of possible points). If you do not provide any response for these items, you may receive a score of 0 for these factors.
B. Review and Final Selections
The review process to be used by the 10 EPA Regional Offices is described below.
All eligible proposals will be evaluated on the 100 point scale described in Section V(A) above by a review panel in each Region (i.e., each Region will convene a panel of reviewers for applications in its Region). Each panel will consist of three reviewers comprised of EPA staff and/or external peer reviewers approved by EPA. Proposals will be reviewed and scored, and then will be ranked based on the reviewers’ scores, and the scores and rankings will be provided to the EPA Regional Selection Official(s) for final funding decisions. In addition to providing the rankings and scores to the Selection Officials, EPA staff will also brief the Selection Official(s) on the EPA educational and environmental priorities, geographic areas, and audiences that are addressed in the highest ranked proposals.
Final funding selection decisions will be made by the Selection Official in each Regional Office based on the rankings and scoring by the evaluation panel in that Region, and may also take into account the factors identified above that they will be briefed on in order to ensure an efficient and effective use of federal funds.
Section VI. Award Administration Information
A. Notification to Applicants
Applicants will receive a confirmation that EPA has received their proposal after EPA has entered information about all proposals into a database. The 10 EPA Regional offices operate independently, so specific dates are not available for when EPA will contact the highest scoring finalists to request additional federal forms and other information as recommended by reviewers and send non-selection notification to the others. Non-selection notification will be sent within 15 calendar days after a decision of non-selection. If selected for a grant, an award package will be mailed to the recipient organization explaining the responsibilities of the grantee.
Notification of receipt of applications, as well as selection and non-selection notification will be sent to the individual identified on line #21 of the SF424.
B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
The Environmental Education Grant Program Regulations provide additional information on EPA’s administration of this program (57 FR 8390; Title 40 CFR, part 47). Also, EPA’s general assistance regulations at 40 CFR Part 31 apply to state, local, and Indian tribal governments and 40 CFR Part 30 applies to all other applicants such as nonprofit organizations. A listing and description of general EPA Regulations applicable to the award of assistance agreements may be viewed at: www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/applicable_epa_regulations_and_description.htm.
Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs may be applicable to awards, resulting from this announcement. Applicants selected for funding may be required to provide a copy of their proposal to their State Point of Contact (SPOC) for review, pursuant to Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. This review is not required with the Initial Proposal and not all states require such a review.
Non-profit applicants that are recommended for funding under this announcement are subject to pre-award administrative capability reviews consistent with Section 8b, 8c and 9d of EPA Order 5700.8 - Policy on Assessing Capabilities of Non-Profit Applicants for Managing Assistance Awards (www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/award/5700_8.pdf). In addition, non-profit applicants that qualify for funding may, depending on the size of the award, be required to fill out and submit to the Grants Management Office the Administrative Capabilities Form with supporting documents contained in Appendix A of EPA Order 5700.8.
C. Unpaid Federal Tax Liabilities and Felony Convictions for Non-Profit and For-Profit Organizations
Awards made under this announcement are subject to the provisions contained in the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, HR 2055, Division E. Sections 433 and 434 regarding unpaid federal tax liabilities and federal felony convictions. These provisions prohibit EPA from awarding funds made available by the Act to any for-profit or non-profit organization: (1) subject to any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; or (2) that was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on its behalf convicted) of a felony criminal conviction under any Federal law within 24 months preceding the award, unless EPA has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation, or such officer or agent, based on these tax liabilities or convictions, and determined that such action is not necessary to protect the Government’s interests. Non-profit or for-profit organizations that are covered by these prohibitions are ineligible to receive an award under this announcement.
D. Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/System for Award Management (SAM) 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/SAM information can be found at www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.
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 at: www.dnb.com.
If an applicant fails to comply with these requirements, it will, should it be selected for award, affect their ability to receive the award.
E. 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.
F. Progress Reports and Work Products
Specific financial, technical, and other reporting requirements to measure the grant recipient’s progress will be identified in the EPA grant award agreement. Grant recipients must submit periodic formal progress reports, as instructed in the award agreement. Also, two copies of a Final Technical Report and two copies of all work products must be sent to the EPA project officer within 90 days after the expiration of the project period.
Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005) located on the web at: www.epa.gov/ogd/competition/resolution.htm. Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the person or persons listed in Section VII(C) of this announcement.
H. Unfair Competitive Advantage
EPA personnel will take appropriate actions in situations where it is determined that an applicant may have an unfair competitive advantage, or the appearance of such, in competing for awards under this announcement. Affected applicants will be provided an opportunity to respond before any final action is taken.
I. Unliquidated Obligations
An applicant that receives an award under this announcement is expected to manage assistance agreement funds efficiently and effectively and make sufficient progress toward completing the project activities described in the work-plan in a timely manner. The assistance agreement will include terms/conditions implementing this requirement.
J. Website References in the Solicitation Notice
Any non-federal websites or website links included in this solicitation are provided for proposal preparation and/or informational purposes only. U.S. EPA does not endorse any of these entities or their services. In addition, EPA does not guarantee that any linked, external websites referenced in this solicitation comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.
K. Data Access and Information Release
EPA has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the data first produced under the awards to be made under this solicitation and authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes under 40 C.F.R. § 30.36(c). In addition, pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 30.36(d), if EPA receives a Freedom of Information Act request for research data that (1) relates to published research findings produced under an EPA award and (2) was used by the Federal Government in developing an agency action that has the force and effect of law, then EPA shall request, and the award recipient shall provide, within a reasonable time, the research data so that it may be made available to the public through procedures established under the FOIA.
Section VII. Agency Contacts
A. Internet: www.epa.gov/education/grants/
Please visit our website where you can view or download: federal forms, a basic logic model template, “Tips for Developing Successful Grant Applications” (www.epa.gov/education/grants/#grants=2), descriptions of projects funded under this program in each state, Frequently Asked Questions (www.epa.gov/education/grants/), and other education links and resource materials.
B. Notification of Future Environmental Education Grant Cycles
If you wish to be notified when the next Solicitation Notice is issued, you should visit our website (www.epa.gov/education/grants/) where you can log in for notification of a new notice.
C. Mailing Addresses
Applications submitted in hard copy should be sent via U.S. Postal Service, express mail (such as FedEx and UPS), courier service (or otherwise hand delivered) to the EPA Regional Office where the proposed project will be located. See below for complete address information for Regional Offices. (NOTE: EPA cannot be responsible for applications sent to the wrong address.)
U.S. EPA Regional Offices
EPA Region I – CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
U.S. EPA, Region 1
5 Post Office Square, Mail Code ORA-01-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
EPA Region II – NJ, NY, PR, VI
U.S. EPA, Region 2
New York, NY 10007-1866
EPA Region III – DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV
U.S. EPA, Region 3
Environmental Education Grants (3PA00)
1650 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
EPA Region IV – AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN
U.S. EPA, Region 4
Office of Public Affairs
61 Forsyth Street, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30303
EPA Region V – IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI
U.S. EPA, Region 5
Environmental Education (AT-18J)
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
EPA Region VI – AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
U.S. EPA, Region 6
Office of External Affairs (6XA-A)
1445 Ross Avenue Dallas, TX 75202
EPA Region VII – IA, KS, MO, NE
Up until September 30, 2012:
U.S. EPA, Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Effective October 1, 2012, Region VII offices will move to:
U.S. EPA Region 7
Office of Public Affairs
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219
EPA Region VIII – CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY
U.S. EPA, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
EPA Region IX – AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Guam, Marianas Islands
U.S. EPA, Region 9
Environmental Education (CED-4)
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Region X – AK, ID, OR, WA
U.S. EPA, Region 10
Public Environmental Resource Center
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900 (ETPA-086)
D. For Further Information
Applicants who need clarification about specific requirements in this Solicitation Notice may contact the Office of Environmental Education at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Information given to applicants in response to inquiries is solely for the purpose of clarifying specific requirements in this Solicitation Notice. Email inquiries only.
Please do not mail applications to EPA Headquarters.
Please check our Frequently Asked Questions online at www.epa.gov/education/grants/ before contacting EPA Headquarters with a question.
Also please check our website at www.epa.gov/education/grants/ for announcements of dates, times and call-in numbers for conference calls that will be held by EPA’s EE program to answer potential applicants’ questions. You can also go to the same site to sign up for notifications about the calls.
U.S. EPA Headquarters
Environmental Education Grant Program Office of Environmental Education
Karen Scott (EEgrants@epa.gov)
Appendix A Appendix A: Federal Forms and Instructions
Instructions for the SF 424 – Application for Federal Assistance
This is a standard Federal form to be used by applicants as a required face sheet for the Environmental Education Grants Program. An interactive PDF version of this form is available online at www.epa.gov/education/grants/.
1. Select "Application.”
2. Select “New.”
3. Leave blank.
4. Leave blank.
5. a. Leave blank.
b. Leave blank.
6. Leave blank.
7. Leave blank.
8. a. Enter the legal name of the applicant organization.
b. Enter the Employee/Taxpayer Identification Number as assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
c. Enter the DUNS number of the application organization.
d. Enter the address (including street, city, state, and zip code) of the applicant organization.
e. Enter information as appropriate.
f. Enter the name, telephone number, fax, and e-mail address of the person to be contacted on matters involving this application. Middle name and suffix are optional.
9. Enter the appropriate letter to identify the applicant organization. If a not-for-profit organization, the organization must be categorized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS to be eligible for this grant program.
10. Enter “Environmental Protection Agency.”
11. Enter “66.951.”
12. Enter “EPA-EE-12-01”
13. Leave blank.
14. List only the major areas affected by the project.
15. Enter the title of the project for which you are applying (brief title such as “Place-Based EE for Students and Teachers”)
16. a. List the Congressional District where the applicant organization is located.
b. List the Congressional District(s) affected by the project. If the project affects an entire state, enter “STATEWIDE.”
To identify the appropriate Congressional District, go to www.house.gov/.
17. Enter the project start and end dates for the project (e.g., 2/18/13 to 2/18/14).
18. Enter the amount of funding requested or to be contributed during the funding/budget period.
a. Enter the amount of money you are requesting from EPA.
b. Enter the amount of money the application organization is contributing.
c. Enter the amount of money a state organization is contributing, as appropriate.
d. Enter the amount of money a local organization is contributing, as appropriate.
e. Enter the amount of money another organization is contributing, as appropriate.
f. Enter the amount for any program income which you expect will be generated by the project: e.g., income from admission fees to a conference financed by the grant funds. In your budget narrative explain how the income will benefit the project.
g. Enter the total amount of the project. The total of lines (b-e) must be at least 25% of the amount entered into (g) because this grant program has a matching requirement of 25% of the total allowable project costs. Divide the total amount entered in (g) by 4 to determine the match required for your proposal.
19. Select "c. Program is not covered by E.O. 12372."
20. Answer as appropriate.
21. Enter the name, title, telephone number and e-mail of the person authorized to contract or obligate the applicant organization to the terms and conditions of the grant. If you are submitting a hard copy application, print a copy of the SF-424 and sign it (preferably in blue ink to identify the original).
Instructions for the SF-424A - Budget
This is a standard federal form used by applicants as a basic budget.
Section A - Budget Summary –Do NOT complete – Leave whole page blank for this program.
Section B - Budget Categories - Complete Columns (1), (2) and (5) as stated below.
All funds requested and contributed as a match must be listed under the appropriate Object Class categories listed on this form. Please round figures to the nearest dollar. In column (1) list by category how EPA funds will be spent; in column (2) list matching funds by category; then add across and put the totals in column (5) per category. Many applicants will have blank lines in some Object Class Categories and no applicant should use line 6(g) Construction because it is an unallowable cost for this program. NOTE: Your total dollar figures on the Form 424 and 424A and detailed budget should all be the same. Your detailed budget should list costs under the same object class categories used on this form, but with significantly more information; for example the 424A will have a total for travel and the detailed budget will list number of travelers and trips, locations, per diem costs, etc.
Line 6(i) - Show the totals of lines 6(a) through 6(h) in each column.
Line 6(j) - Show the amount of indirect costs. Please note: if you are claiming indirect costs, you MUST either: 1) have an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement on file with a Federal Agency, or 2) submit an indirect cost rate proposal to the EPA or other Federal agency (with copy to EPA) for approval within 90 days of being awarded a grant. Recipients are not allowed to seek reimbursement for indirect costs until an approved indirect cost rate is obtained. Note: If the recipient does not have a current negotiated IDC rate or proposal, and if EPA is the recipient’s cognizant agency, EPA can allow the recipient to charge a flat IDC rate of 10% of salaries and wages (see 2 CFR Part 230, Appendix A). Recipients that opt to use the 10% flat rate are obligated to use the flat rate for the life of the grant award.
Line 6(k) - Enter the total amount of Lines 6(i) and 6(j).
Line 7 - Program Income - Enter the estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project. Do not add or subtract this amount from the total project amount. Describe the nature and source of income in the detailed budget description and your planned use of the funds to enhance your project.
Instructions for Detailed Itemization of Costs
The proposal must also contain a detailed budget description as specified in Section IV(C)(4) of this Notice, and should conform to the following:
Personnel: List all participants in the project by position title. Give the percentage of the budget period for which they will be fully employed on the project (e.g., half-time for half the budget period equals 25%, full-time for half the budget period equals 50%, etc.). The detail should include for each person: Percentage of Time on project X Annual Salary and/or hourly wage = Personnel Cost. List this data for all personnel and then put the total on the Form 424A.
Fringe Benefits: Indicate percentage of basic salary and what it includes, such as health insurance.
Travel: If travel is budgeted, show trips, travelers, destinations, costs per mile, per diem and purpose of travel.
Equipment: Identify each piece of equipment with a cost of $5,000 or more per unit to be purchased and explain the purpose for which it will be used. Less costly items are listed under supplies.
Supplies: List categories of supplies; e.g., laboratory supplies and office supplies for items that can be grouped. If the supply budget is less than 2% of total costs, you do not need to itemize.
Contractual: Specify the nature and cost of such services and how costs were determined such as by using estimates or historical information. Explain how you will select your contractor. EPA may require review of contracts for personal services prior to their execution to assure that all costs are reasonable and necessary to the project.
Construction: Not allowable for this program.
Other: Specify all other costs under this category. These may include costs such as: stipends for teachers, costs for buses for field trips, fees for entrance to parks and nature centers, printing, postage, conference fees for booths, and other costs that do not fall under the categories listed above.
Indirect Costs: Provide the percentage rate used and explain how charges were calculated for this project. Please note: if you are claiming indirect costs, you MUST either: 1) have an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement on file with a Federal Agency, or 2) submit an indirect cost rate proposal to the EPA or other Federal agency (with copy to EPA) for approval within 90 days of being awarded a grant. Recipients are not allowed to seek reimbursement for indirect costs until an approved indirect cost rate is obtained. Note: If the recipient does not have a current negotiated IDC rate or proposal, and if EPA is the recipient’s cognizant agency, EPA can allow the recipient to charge a flat IDC rate of 10% of salaries and wages (see 2 CFR Part 230, Appendix A). Recipients that opt to use the 10% flat rate are obligated to use the flat rate for the life of the grant award.
Income: If you anticipate earning program income as a result of your EPA award, show the estimated amount, explain how it is to be earned (the source of income), and how it will be used to enhance your project. When you do use program income on your project, it is important that you include the amount in your detailed budget.
Example of a Detailed Itemized Budget Table
Total Project Cost
Be sure to double check your Detailed Itemized Budget against Form 424, Section 18 and Form 424A Section B to ensure the amounts you are requesting match each other.
Appendix B – Checklist for Proposal
Checklist for Content of Proposal Submission – Please submit only the following documents in this order (Please send the original and two copies for hard copy submissions.):
_____ Standard Federal Application Form (SF-424)
_____ Budget Form (SF-424A) - Section B – 1 page only - Use 3 columns - EPA share, matching share, and total in column 5
_____ Project Summary Sheet –recommended 1 page – format required
_____ Project Description (what, why, how, who) - Format optional -- use headings to help reviewers find everything.
_____ Project Evaluation Criteria for key outputs and outcomes
_____ Detailed Budget – Use three columns to show EPA, non-Federal, and the total portions for each expense. Use the same order and categories used on 424A, but with much greater detail. Be sure to double check your Detailed Budget against Form 424, Section 18 and Form 424A Section B to ensure the amounts you are requesting match each other.
_____ Timeline – List all major activities and milestones over project period
_____ Logic model showing outputs and outcomes
_____ Programmatic Capability and Past Performance
_____ Letters of commitment from partners explaining the tasks or funding they will provide
Please do not submit letters of recommendation or endorsement from individuals or organizations that explain the merits of your project or your past accomplishments. They will not add to your score regardless of who sends them on your behalf. Also, please do not submit unnecessary cover letters, maps and other attachments, binders and binder sheets, and audio visuals such as videos or CDs. These create a burden for the reviewers and are not helpful, nor are they reviewed or evaluated.
Appendix C – Expected Outputs and Outcomes and Examples of Performance Measures (Logic Model)
Expected Outputs and Outcomes. Outputs and short-term outcomes must occur and be reported to EPA within the project period. Progress should at least begin on medium-term or long-term outcomes during the project period. Recipients of these grants will further EPA’s strategic goals by implementing educational projects that improve behavior through non-regulatory means, raise public awareness of actions that can be taken to prevent pollution, expand the conversation on environmentalism, and promote environmental stewardship. During the evaluation process for proposals, EPA will determine if each work plan contains well-defined outputs and outcomes as described below.
(a) Outputs are activities, efforts, and/or work products that the applicant proposes to produce or provide during the project period to support an environmental goal. Expected outputs funded under this announcement may include: recruitment for projects that provide replicable models on how to educate teachers, students, and the public about environmental issues; classroom activities, workshops, or field trips; training sessions for formal and informal educators; development of educational materials and websites; designing methods to measure increased scores on standardized tests; and designing systems or methods to report the results to EPA. Grant proposals must clearly define measurable quantitative or qualitative outputs that can be reported during the funding period. After the project is implemented, grant recipients are required to submit to EPA status reports about their progress in achieving outputs. See examples of outputs below.
(b) Outcomes are the results, effects, or consequences that will occur from carrying out the activities or outputs of the environmental education project that is supportive of an EPA strategic goal. Outcomes may have behavioral or health-related elements, but all must be environmental, educational and quantitative. Outcomes should include efforts to reach traditionally under-served audiences such as tribes, communities of color, economically distressed communities and/or geographically isolated communities. All of them may not necessarily be achievable during the project period. Outcomes are classified as short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Short-term outcomes include: increased learning, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation. This type of outcome must be expected to occur during the project period. Medium-term outcomes include: decisions, actions, practices, and behavior that are the foundations of stewardship to protect the environment. For example, a project that provides a model of how to best teach students about an environmental issue may include actions such as students cleaning up a stream, beach, habitat, or nature trail. A project directed at modeling community-focused EE may include outcomes like homeowners using more environmentally friendly methods in their landscaping or choosing more energy efficient practices in their homes. Most projects will accomplish some medium-term outcomes during the project period. Long-term outcomes include: models of programs that have enhanced civic responsibility and environmental improvements. These long-term outcomes may occur after the project closes, such as establishing a more environmentally literate public that takes action to restore or protect a watershed or transform a Brownfield site into an inner city park. Anticipated outcomes for environmental education grants include:
(1) Promotion and expansion of environmental stewardship;
(2) Increased environmental knowledge and public awareness of environmental issues as measured by pre- and post-training tests or other evaluation techniques;
(3) Improved environmental literacy among students as measured by improved scores on standardized achievement tests or other evaluation techniques;
(4) Improved educator access to training on environmental topics and EE methods and materials;
(5) Sustainable environmental education programs.
Examples of Performance Measures (Logic Model). This chart provides examples of some of the outputs and outcomes Environmental Education Grants may produce. It is intended as guidance to define terms used in this announcement. A basic logic model template can be found on the EPA Environmental Education web site (www.epa.gov/education/grants/) and used to print out a specific version that complements your grant proposal.
Sample Logic Model of
PROJECT PERFORMANCE MEASURES
(examples of outputs and outcomes for various types of model EE projects)
Recruitment of teachers, students, or other target audience
Videos, CDs, DVDs, websites
Conferences and presentation of results
Increased access to environmental education resources and programs
Students and teachers learn skills
Increased environmental knowledge
Increased motivation to become stewards and protect habitat and the environment
Educators are motivated to train others
Assessment of learning; measuring success
Changes in awareness about issues and decisions that affect the environment
Students and community leaders make decisions to improve their environment
Specific actions are taken to improve the environment
Environmental stewardship is underway
Assessment of actions to improve the environment; Measuring success
Establishment of sustainable environmental education programs
Improved environmental literacy and environmental change for the better
Increased stewardship leads to civic responsibility for environmental protection, habitat preservation, and prevention of environmentally induced human health problems.
Appendix D – Instructions for Grants.gov Electronic Submissions for Announcement Number EPA-EE-12-01
General Application Instructions
The electronic submission of your proposal must be made by an official representative of your institution who is registered with Grants.gov and is authorized to sign applications for Federal assistance. For more information, go to www.grants.gov and click on “Get Registered” on the left side of the page. Note that the registration process may take a week or longer to complete. If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, please encourage your office to designate an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and ask that individual to begin the registration process as soon as possible.
To begin the proposal process under this grant announcement, go to www.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. To apply through grants.gov you must use Adobe Reader applications and download the compatible Adobe Reader version (Adobe Reader applications are available to download for free on the Grants.gov website. For more information on Adobe Reader please visit the Help section on grants.gov at www.grants.gov/help/help.jsp or www.grants.gov/aboutgrants/program_status.jsp).
Once you have downloaded the viewer, you may retrieve the application package by entering the Funding Opportunity Number, EPA-EE-12-01, or the CFDA number that applies to the announcement (CFDA 66.951), in the appropriate field. You may also be able to access the proposal package by clicking on the Application button at the top right of the synopsis page for this announcement on www.grants.gov (to find the synopsis page, go to www.grants.gov and click on the “Find Grant Opportunities” button on the left side of the page and then go to Search Opportunities and use the Browse by Agency feature to find EPA opportunities).
Proposal Submission Deadline: Your organization’s AOR must submit your complete proposal package electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than 11:59 pm EST, December 12, 2012. Please submit all of the proposal materials described below.
The following forms and documents are required to be submitted under this announcement:
I. Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424)
II. Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A)
III. Work plan prepared as described in Section IV(C) of the announcement.
IV. Budget and Non-Federal Match
(b) Logic model;
(c) Technical experience, qualifications and past performance; and
(d) Partnership letters of commitment (only if you have partner organizations making a commitment to the project – please NO letters of endorsement or recommendation)
The proposal package must include all of the following materials:
I. Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance
Complete the form. There are no attachments. Please be sure to include organization fax number and email address in Block 5 of the Standard Form SF 424. Please note that the organizational Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be included on the SF-424. Organizations may obtain a DUNS number at no cost by calling the toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711.
II. Standard Form SF 424A – Budget Information:
Complete the form. There are no attachments.
The total amount of federal funding requested for the project period should be shown on line 5(e) and on line 6(k) of SF-424A. If indirect costs are included, the amount of indirect costs should be entered on line 6(j). The indirect cost rate (i.e., a percentage), the base (e.g., personnel costs and fringe benefits), and the amount should also be indicated on line 22.
III. Work Plan-Project Narrative Attachment
Prepare in accordance with the instructions in Section IV(C) of the announcement. The document should be readable in PDF or MS Word and consolidated into a single file.
IV. Budget and Non-Federal Match-Project Narrative Attachment
Prepare in accordance with the instructions in Section IV(C) of the announcement. The document should be readable in PDF or MS Word and consolidated into a single file.
V. Appendices-Project Narrative Attachment or Other Attachments Form
Prepare in accordance with the instructions in Section IV(C) of the announcement. The document should be readable in PDF or MS Word and consolidated into a single file. Appendices include:
(b) Logic model;
(c) Programmatic capability and past performance; and
(d) Partnership letters of commitment (only if you have partner organizations making a commitment to the project – please NO letters of endorsement or recommendation)
Application Preparation and Submission Instructions
Documents I through III listed under Proposal Materials above should appear in the “Mandatory Documents” box on the Grants.gov Grant Application Package page. The Other Attachments, Document IV, appears in the Optional Documents box.
For documents I and II, click on the appropriate form and then click “Open Form” below the box. The fields that must be completed will be highlighted in yellow. Optional fields and completed fields will be displayed in white. If you enter an invalid response or incomplete information in a field, you will receive an error message. When you have finished filling out each form, click “Save.” When you return to the electronic Grant Application Package page, click on the form you just completed, and then click on the box that says, “Move Form to Submission List.” This action will move the document over to the box that says, “Mandatory Completed Documents for Submission.”
For documents III, IV, and V, you will need to attach electronic files. Beginning August 15, 2012, applicants are now limited to using the following characters in all attachment file names.
Valid file names may only include the following UTF-8 characters:
A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore ( _ ), hyphen (-), space, period.
If applicants use any other characters when naming their attachment files their applications will be rejected.
Prepare your work plan as described in Section IV of the announcement and save the document to your computer as an MS Word, PDF or WordPerfect file. When you are ready to attach your work plan to the application package, click on “Project Narrative Attachment Form,” and open the form. Click “Add Mandatory Project Narrative File,” and then attach your proposal (previously saved to your computer) using the browse window that appears. You may then click “View Mandatory Project Narrative File” to view it. Enter a brief descriptive title of your project in the space beside “Mandatory Project Narrative File Filename;” the filename should be no more than 40 characters long. To attach the other required documents (IV Budget and Non-Federal Match and V Appendices), you may click “Add Optional Project Narrative File” and proceed as before or use the Other Attachments from that appears in the Optional Box. When you have finished attaching the necessary documents, click “Close Form.” When you return to the “Grant Application Package” page, select the “Project Narrative Attachment Form” and click “Move Form to Submission List.” The form should now appear in the box that says, “Mandatory Completed Documents for Submission.”
Once you have finished filling out all of the forms/attachments and they appear in one of the “Completed Documents for Submission” boxes, click the “Save” button that appears at the top of the Web page. It is suggested that you save the document a second time, using a different name, since this will make it easier to submit an amended package later if necessary. Please use the following format when saving your file:
“Applicant Name – FY12 Region5ModelGrant – 1st Submission” or “Applicant Name – FY 12 Region5ModelGrant– Back-up Submission.” If it becomes necessary to submit an amended package at a later date, then the name of the 2nd submission should be changed to “Applicant Name – FY12 Region5ModelGrant– 2nd Submission.” Note: Please substitute the “5” in the name with the number of the EPA Region in which you are proposing to conduct your project.
Once your proposal package has been completed and saved, send it to your AOR for submission to U.S. EPA through Grants.gov. Please advise your AOR to close all other software programs before attempting to submit the proposal package through Grants.gov.
In the “Application Filing Name” box, your AOR should enter your organization’s name (abbreviate where possible), the fiscal year (e.g., FY12), and the grant category (e.g., Region5ModelGrant). The filing name should not exceed 40 characters. From the “Grant Application Package” page, your AOR may submit the application package by clicking the “Submit” button that appears at the top of the page. The AOR will then be asked to verify the agency and funding opportunity number for which the application package is being submitted. If problems are encountered during the submission process, the AOR should reboot his/her computer before trying to submit the proposal package again. [It may be necessary to turn off the computer (not just restart it) before attempting to submit the package again.] If the AOR continues to experience submission problems, he/she may contact Grants.gov for assistance by phone at 1-800-518-4726 or email at www.grants.gov/help/help.jsp or contact EPA Headquarters staff as identified in Section VII of the announcement.
Proposal packages submitted thru grants.gov will be time/date stamped electronically.
If you have not received a confirmation of receipt from EPA (not from grants.gov) within 60 days of the proposal deadline, please contact the appropriate Regional EPA staff as identified in Section VII of the announcement. Failure to do so may result in your proposal not being reviewed.