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

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

4th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity.

Funding Opportunity Number:

  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z1 - Agriculture
  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z2 - Materials and Chemicals
  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z3 - Energy
  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z4 - Information Technology
  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z5 - Water
  • EPA-G2007-P3-Z6 - Built Environment

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.516

Solicitation Opening Date: August 16, 2006
Solicitation Closing Date: December 21, 2006; 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Eligibility Contact: Tom Barnwell: 202-343-9862; email: barnwell.thomas@epa.gov
Electronic Submissions: Bronda Harrison: 202-564-1790; email: harrison.bronda@epa.gov
Technical Contact: Julie Beth Zimmerman: 202-343-9689; email: zimmerman.julie@epa.gov

Table of Contents:
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
  Synopsis of Program
  Award Information
  Eligibility Information
Application Materials
  Contact Person(s)
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
  A. Introduction
  B. Background
  C. Authorities and Regulations
  D. Specific Areas of Interest/Expected Outputs and Outcomes
  E. References
  F. Special Requirements
II. AWARD INFORMATION
III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  A. Eligible Applicants
  B. Cost Sharing
C. Other
IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  A. Internet Address to Request a Application Package
  B. Content and Form of Application Submission
  C. Submission Dates and Times
  D. Funding Restrictions
E. Submission Instructions and Other Submission Requirements
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  A. Peer Review
  B. Programmatic Review
  C. Funding Decisions
VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
  A. Award Notices
  B. Disputes
  C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Access Standard Application Forms (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/)

View research awarded under previous solicitations (http://www.epa.gov/P3)

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Synopsis of Program
The P3 competition will provide grants to teams of college students to research, develop, and design solutions to challenges to sustainability. P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planet - the three pillars of sustainability - as the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention. The P3 Awards program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the natural systems of the planet, and providing a higher quality of life for its people. EPA and its affiliates offer the P3 Awards competition to respond to the technical needs of the developed and developing world in moving towards the goal of sustainability. Please see the P3 website (http://www.epa.gov/P3) for more details about this program.

Award Information:
Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: Approximately 50 awards for Phase I; Approximately 10 awards for Phase II
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $1,250,000 total for all awards
Potential Funding per Grant: Up to $10,000 per Phase I grant for one year including direct and indirect costs. Proposals for Phase I grants with budgets exceeding $10,000 will not be considered. Upon the successful completion of Phase I, Phase I grant recipients will have the opportunity to apply for Phase II funding of up to $75,000 for one additional year including direct and indirect costs (see Background section for more information). Proposals for Phase II grants with budgets exceeding $75,000 will not be considered. Cost-sharing is not required for either Phase I or Phase II grants.

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

Application Materials:
You may submit either a paper application or an electronic application (but not both) for this announcement. The necessary forms for submitting a P3 application will be found on the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) web site, http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/. To apply electronically, you must use the application package available at Grants.gov (see "Submission Instructions for Electronic Applications" in Section IV). If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, you need to allow approximately one week to complete the registration process to apply electronically. This registration, and electronic submission of your application, must be performed by an authorized representative of your organization.

Contact Persons:
Eligibility Contact: Tom Barnwell; phone: 202-343-9862; email: barnwell.thomas@epa.gov
Electronic Submissions Contact: Bronda Harrison; phone: 202-564-1790; email: harrison.bronda@epa.gov
Technical Contact: Julie Beth Zimmerman; phone: 202-343-9689; email: Zimmerman.julie@epa.gov

I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

A. Introduction
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the auspices of the Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), and its partners (see Background section for specific names) invite submissions under the 4th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability. P3 is the next step beyond P2 - pollution prevention - and focuses on the three components of sustainability: People, Prosperity, and the Planet.

P3 Awards will be given to the winners of a national, intercollegiate design competition among interdisciplinary student teams for their research, development, and design solutions to the scientific, technical, and policy challenges of sustainability. The Brundtland Commission has defined sustainability as ".meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, 1987)

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to select innovative design proposals for support to compete for a P3 Award. Note: The competitors for the P3 Awards, and a subsequent award for further development and demonstration (Phase II), will be limited to those selected to receive support as a result of the competition under this RFA (Phase I). Additional instructions for the Phase II proposals can be found below in the section entitled "Instructions for Phase II proposals".

This RFA represents the fourth National P3 Awards competition. The projects funded through the first, second, and third competitions can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/P3.

B. Background
Among the critical components to promote a systematic shift towards more environmentally benign and sustainable products, processes and systems, is increased awareness and training. It is essential that all involved in the design, discovery, demonstration, and implementation of innovations understand the fundamental methodologies, techniques, and principles that underlie sustainability and design. In addition, it is imperative to recognize that scientific, engineering, and policy innovation play a key role in addressing the persistent challenges of under-development in the world. Fundamental to the success of sustainable designs are considerations of people, prosperity, and the planet that recognize the needs, available resources, and boundaries of the intended user.

This announcement, which addresses the first phase of the competition for Phase I awards, requests innovative design proposals from eligible institutions to obtain support for a student team to compete for one of EPA's P3 Awards. In Phase I, EPA will fund approximately 50 student design projects from around the country during the 2007-2008 academic year for research and development of their sustainable designs.

Phase II will begin in the Spring of 2008 when the student teams and their faculty advisor (the Principal Investigator on the grant) will be invited to submit their completed Phase I design to compete for one of EPA's P3 Awards. (Recipients of Phase I grants may submit a proposal to EPA requesting additional funds from EPA for Phase II as described in the "Instructions for Phase II proposals" section below.) The Phase I design and the proposal for Phase II submitted at the completion of Phase I will be included in the evaluation for the selection of winners at the P3 Awards competition, along with a demonstration event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The National Academies (National Academy of Science/National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine) will convene a panel to judge the competition for the P3 awards.

Partnerships with industry or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are strongly encouraged, particularly in Phase II. These partners are expected to help further develop the design, demonstrate the project in the field, and/or move the design to the marketplace. Matching contributions are not required in the either the Phase I or the Phase II competition; however, anticipated partnerships should be identified. Partners for the P3 project can represent industry or NGOs and they do not necessarily need to be those included on the list of EPA's P3 Partners below.

At this time, there are more than 40 affiliate organizations from government, industry and NGOs participating in the implementation of the competition. Partners for this competition include:

Government

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • Office of the Federal Environmental Executive
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Industry

  • DaimlerChrysler
  • Dell
  • Herman Miller
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Nexant
  • US Business Council for Sustainable Development

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

  • Association of American Geographers
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American National Standards Institute
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors
  • Association of University Leaders for Sustainable Future
  • Business Roundtable
  • Education for Sustainability Western Network
  • Engineers Forum for Sustainability
  • Engineers without Borders
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • Global Environment and Technology Foundation
  • Green Chemistry Institute
  • Industrial Design Society of America
  • Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Institute for Society, Ecology, and Environment
  • International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST)
  • Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute
  • National Center for Manufacturing Sciences
  • The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) - Description
  • National Council for Science and the Environment
  • US Green Buildings Council
  • US Partnership for the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development
  • WERC
  • World Resources Institute

EPA will continue to create affiliations with additional interested parties as the competition for the P3 Awards continues to evolve. These new partners will be added to the EPA P3 website as they are formalized. These partners provide in-kind support for EPA's P3 Awards competition.

Sustainability in both the developed and developing world requires scientific and technical innovation to create designs that enable the earth and its inhabitants to prosper. EPA and its partners are conducting the competition for the P3 Awards to demonstrate to the nation and the world the possibilities of innovative, inherently benign, integrated, and interdisciplinary designs to simultaneously benefit people, prosperity, and the planet.

The primary specific Strategic Goal, Objective and Sub-objective from EPA's Strategic Plan that relate to this solicitation are: Goal 5: Compliance and Environmental Stewardship, Objective 5.4: Enhance Science and Research, Sub-objective 5.4.2: Conducting Research. The EPA's Strategic Plan can be found at http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/plan/2003sp.pdf (PDF, 239pp., 4.75MB, about PDF).

C. Authorities and Regulations
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 66.516.

The authority for this RFA and resulting awards is contained in Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7401; Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C.; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6901; Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-l; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, 15 U.S.C. 2609; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, 7 U.S.C. 136r.

A project must consist of activities within the statutory terms of these EPA grant authorities. Most of the statutes authorize grants for the following activities: "research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies." These activities relate generally to the gathering or transferring of information or advancing the state of knowledge. Grant proposals should emphasize this "learning" concept, as opposed to "fixing" an environmental problem via a well-established method. For example, a proposal to plant some trees in an economically depressed area, in order to prevent erosion, would probably not, in itself, fall within the statutory terms "research, studies" etc., nor would a proposal to start a routine recycling program.

On the other hand, the statutory term "demonstration" can encompass the first instance of the application of a pollution control technique, or an innovative application of a previously used method. Similarly, the application of established practices may qualify when they are part of a broader project which qualifies under the term "research". However, EPA cannot fund demonstration projects year after year for an indefinite period of time.

In order to be funded, a project's focus generally must be one that is specified in the statutes listed above. For most of the statutes, a project must address the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air pollution, water pollution, or solid/hazardous waste pollution, or, in the case of grants under the Toxic Substances Control Act or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, to "carrying out the purposes of the Act". The overarching concern or principal focus must be on the statutory purpose of the applicable grant authority, in most cases "to prevent or control pollution". In light of this, proposals relating to other topics which are sometimes included within the term "environment" such as recreation, conservation, restoration, protection of wildlife habitats, etc., should describe the relationship of these topics to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

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

This Phase I competition is purposely designed to provide flexibility for creativity, allowing the interdisciplinary teams of students to: (1) define a technical challenge to sustainability; (2) discuss the relationship of the challenge to people, prosperity, and the planet; and (3) develop a design approach to address the challenge.

Challenges from a wide range of categories will be considered. Proposals can include, but are not limited to, the technical challenges listed as examples in the category descriptions below. All projects, regardless of category, should be student led with faculty involvement, as appropriate and necessary.

Categories include:

  • agriculture (e.g., irrigation practices, reduction or elimination of pesticides)
  • materials and chemicals (e.g., materials conservation; renewable, bio-based feedstocks; inherently benign materials and chemicals through green engineering and green chemistry; biotechnology; recovery and reuse of materials through product, process, or system design)
  • energy (e.g., reduction in air emissions through innovative strategies for energy production and energy distribution; energy conservation; inherently benign energy through green chemistry, green engineering; biotechnology)
  • information technology (e.g., delivery of and access to environmental performance, technical, educational, or public health information related environmental decision-making)
  • water (e.g., water quality, quantity, conservation, availability, and access)
  • built environment (e.g., environmental benefits through innovative green buildings, transportation and mobility strategies, and smart growth as it results in reduced vehicle miles traveled or reduces storm water runoff)

Challenges related to population growth and medical care, while important, are not included in this competition (other than the delivery or distribution systems of knowledge, goods, and supplies).

The P3 Awards program aims to generate research outputs in the form of innovative, inherently benign, integrated, and interdisciplinary designs that will advance the scientific, technical, and policy knowledge necessary to further the goals of sustainability. The desired outcomes of the P3 research are to minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances, utilize resources and energy effectively and efficiently, and simultaneously advance the goals of economic competitiveness and human health and environmental protection for societal benefit.

E. References

  1. The World Commission on Environment and Development (ed.), Our Common Future. 1987, Oxford University Press, New York.

F. Special Requirements
Agency policy prevents EPA technical staff and managers from providing individual applicants information that may create an unfair competitive advantage. Consequently, EPA employees will not review, comment, advise, provide technical assistance to applicants preparing applications in response to EPA RFAs, endorse an application or discuss in any manner how the Agency will apply the published evaluation criteria for this competition.

Groups of two or more eligible applicants may choose to form a consortium and submit a single application for this assistance agreement. The application must identify which organization will be the recipient of the assistance agreement and which organizations(s) will be subawardees of the recipient.

II. AWARD INFORMATION

It is anticipated that a total of approximately $500,000 will be awarded under this announcement for Phase I, depending on the availability of funds. The EPA anticipates funding approximately 50 grants for Phase I under this RFA. The projected award per Phase I grant is up to $10,000, for one year. Requests for amounts from EPA in excess of a total of $10,000 including direct and indirect costs, will not be considered although total project costs may exceed $10,000. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed one year.

Based on the completed Phase I design, the proposal for additional funding under Phase II, and recommendations from the judging panel convened by the National Academies, EPA will select up to ten P3 Award winners, depending on the availability of funds. These P3 Award winners will be eligible to receive the additional Phase II funding of up to $75,000 each from EPA, bringing the total funding under this solicitation for Phase I and Phase II to approximately $1,250,000. The competitors for the grants for further development and demonstration (Phase II) will be limited to those selected to receive support as a result of the competition for Phase I and have won a P3 award.

The EPA reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards or make fewer awards than anticipated under this RFA. The EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this RFA without further competition if additional funding becomes available. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than four months after the original selection decisions.

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

III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

A. Eligible Applicants
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to public institutions of higher education) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to private institutions of higher education) located in the U.S. are eligible to apply to be the recipient of a grant to support teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students. The students on the teams supported by the institution receiving the grant must be enrolled in the college, university, or post-secondary educational institution they will be representing at the time the proposal is submitted. Institutions are allowed to submit more than one proposal where each proposal represents a unique design concept and student team. For the purposes of grant administration, the team's faculty advisor will be designated the Principal Investigator throughout the P3 Awards grant and competition process.

Universities and educational institutions must be subject to OMB Circular A-21. Profit-making firms are not eligible to receive grants from the EPA under this program. Eligible nonprofit organizations include research institutes, corporations, or foundations that are part of a U.S. institution of higher education. However, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible to apply.

Federal Agencies may not apply. Federal employees are not eligible to serve in a principal leadership role on an assistance agreement, and may not receive salaries or augment their Agency's appropriations in other ways through awards made under this program. National laboratories funded by Federal Agencies (Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers) may not apply.

Interdisciplinary teams, including representatives from multiple engineering departments and/or departments of chemistry, architecture, industrial design, business, economics, policy, social science, and others, are strongly encouraged to submit an application through their institution.

Collaboration with colleges and universities outside the United States is permitted, but only U.S. institutions will be eligible for awards. Up to 40% of the total grant may be sub-contracted to another educational institution (domestic or foreign) as described in instructions for submitting to this RFA. If foreign work is performed, in the process of funding the grant, EPA's Office of Research and Development is required to obtain clearance from EPA's Office of International Activities and the U.S. Department of State.

Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact Tom Barnwell in NCER, phone 202-343-9862, email: barnwell.thomas@epa.gov

B. Cost-Sharing
Institutional cost-sharing is not required for Phase I or Phase II. However, if partners are providing contributions (funding and/or in-kind), this information should be included on the budget forms and should be described, as requested below, in the research plan. In addition, a brief statement concerning cost-sharing should be added to the budget justification.

C. Other
Applications must substantially comply with the application submission instructions and requirements set forth in Section IV of this announcement or they will be rejected. In addition, where a page limitation is expressed in Section IV with respect to parts of the application, pages in excess of the page limit will not be reviewed. Applications must be received by the EPA, or Grants.gov, on or before the solicitation closing date and time in Section IV of this announcement or they will be returned to the sender without further consideration. Also, applications exceeding the funding limits or project period term described herein will be returned without review. Further, applications that fail to demonstrate a public purpose of support or stimulation (e.g., by proposing research which primarily benefits a Federal program or provides a service for a Federal agency) will not be funded.

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

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

IV. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

You may submit either a paper application or an electronic application (but not both) for this announcement. Instructions for both types of submission follow. If not otherwise marked, instructions apply to both types of submissions.

A. Internet Address to Request Application Package
For paper applications, forms and instructions can be found on the NCER web site: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/P3/forms/.

For electronic applications, use the application package available at Grants.gov (see "Submission Instructions for Electronic Applications").

For both paper and electronic applications, an email will be sent by NCER to the Principal Investigator and the Administrative Contact (see below) to acknowledge receipt of the application and transmit other important information. The email will be sent from receipt.application@epa.gov; email to this address will not be accepted. If you do not receive an email acknowledgment within 30 days of the submission closing date, immediately inform the Eligibility Contact shown in this solicitation. Failure to do so may result in your application not being reviewed. See "Submission Instructions for Electronic Applications" for additional information regarding acknowledgment of receipt of electronically submitted applications. Please note: Due to often lengthy delays in delivery, it is especially important that you monitor NCER's confirmation of receipt of your application when using regular mail.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission
The application is made by submitting the materials described below. It is essential that the application contain all information requested and be submitted in the formats described.

  1. Standard Form 424

    The applicant must complete Standard Form 424. This form will be the first page(s) of the application. Instructions for completion of the SF424 are included with the form. (However, note that EPA requires that the entire requested dollar amount appear on the 424, not simply the proposed first year expenses.) The form must contain the original (or electronic) signature of an authorized representative of the applying institution.

    Applicants are required to provide a "Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System" (DUNS) number when applying for federal grants or cooperative agreements. Organizations may receive a DUNS number by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting the web site at http://www.dnb.com exit EPA.

    Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," applies to most EPA programs and assistance agreements, unless the program or assistance agreement supports tribal, training/fellowships (other than Wastewater and Small Water Systems Operator training programs), and research and development (with some exceptions). The SF424 refers to this Executive Order requirement. National research programs are generally exempt from review unless the proposals (a) require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), or (b) do not require an EIS but will be newly initiated at a particular site and require unusual measures to limit the possibility of adverse exposure or hazard to the general public, or (c) have a unique geographic focus and are directly relevant to the governmental responsibilities of a State or local government within that geographic area. To determine whether their state participates in this process, and how to comply, applicants should consult http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html .

  2. Key Contacts

    The applicant must complete the "Key Contacts" form as the second page of the application; a Key Contacts continuation page is also available at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms. The Key Contacts form should also be completed for major sub-agreements (i.e., primary co-investigators). Please make certain that all contact information is accurate.

  3. Table of Contents

    Provide a list of the major subdivisions of the application indicating the page number on which each section begins. (Not required for electronic submissions.)

  4. Abstract (1 page)

    The abstract is a very important document in the review process. Therefore, it is critical that the abstract accurately describes the research being proposed and conveys all the essential elements of the research. Also, the abstracts of applications that receive funding will be posted on the P3 web site.

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

    1. Research Category and Funding Opportunity Number: Enter the full name of the solicitation (P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet) and the funding opportunity number that appears in the front of this announcement that best represents the proposed project. (Be sure to use the appropriate number.)
    2. Title: Use the exact title of your project as it appears in the application. The title must be brief yet represent the major thrust of the project. Because the title will be used by those not familiar with the project, strike a balance between highly technical words and phrases and more commonly understood terminology. Do not use general phrases such as "research on."
    3. Faculty Advisor: List the Faculty Advisor, then the names and affiliations of each co-advisor who will significantly contribute to the project. Provide a web site URL or an e-mail contact address for additional information.
    4. Institutions: In the same order as the list of advisors, list the name and city/state of each participating university or other applicant institution. The lead institution applying for the grant must be clearly identified.
    5. Student Represented Departments and Institutions: List the departments and institutions that will be represented through student participation on the team.
    6. Project Period: The Phase I project will begin on or about September 30, 2007 and end on or about May 30, 2008.
    7. Project Amount (EPA): Show the total dollar request, including direct and indirect costs, to the EPA for the entire project period such that the budget total does not exceed $10,000, including direct and indirect costs.
    8. Total Project Amount: Show the total dollar amount, including total dollar request from EPA and an estimate of the total contribution (funding and/or in-kind) that will be provided by partners (such as educational institutions, industry, NGOs) for Phase I.
    9. Project Summary: Cover the following: (1) Definition of a technical challenge to sustainability; (2) Development of an innovative design approach with technical merit to address the challenge; (3) Discussion of how the challenge and proposed design relate to sustainability including people, prosperity, and the planet; (4) Description of strategy for measuring results, evaluation and demonstration; and (5) Description of how P3 concepts will be used as an educational tool at the university.
    10. Supplemental Keywords: Supply keywords to assist database searchers in finding your research, without duplicating terms already used in the text of the abstract. A complete set of keywords is very important. A list of suggested keywords will be found at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/P3/forms.
  5. Research Plan
    1. Research Plan (10 pages)

      Applications should focus on a limited number of research objectives that adequately and clearly demonstrate that they meet the RFA requirements. Explicitly state the main hypotheses that you will investigate, the data you will create or use, the analytical tools you will use to investigate these hypotheses or analyze these data, the results you expect to achieve, and the methods you will use to ensure the quality of your work. Research methods must be clearly stated so that reviewers can evaluate the appropriateness of your approach and the tools you intend to use. A statement such as: "we will evaluate the data using the usual statistical methods" is not specific enough for peer reviewers.

      This description must not exceed ten (10) consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins. While these guidelines establish the minimum type size requirements, applicants are advised that readability is of paramount importance and should take precedence in selection of an appropriate font for use in the proposal.

      The description must provide the following information:

      1. P3 Project Description: Address the peer review criteria (see Section V, Application Review Information). Include the criteria subheadings [challenge definition; innovation and technical merit; relationship of challenge to sustainability; and measurable results (outputs/outcomes), evaluation method, and demonstration strategy; and integration of P3 concepts as an educational tool].
      2. Project Schedule: Show significant steps and milestones in the project. Clearly depict the project's duration, and include key milestones and project tasks from research to design to development to demonstration. Indicate anticipated role and tasks of each team member or department represented. Also, indicate anticipated interactions with any and all partners (see 4 below), if applicable.
      3. Partnerships (if applicable): (Note: This description does not count toward the ten (10) page limit.) Partnerships are strongly encouraged and will be particularly important for the demonstration strategies. While formal partnerships need not be established prior to submitting the proposal, indicate any and all anticipated partnerships including the type of partner (educational institution, industry and/or NGOs), matching contributions (funding and/or in-kind) provided by the partner, and the nature of the partnership. The team may partner with one of EPA's partners listed above or may identify others. Formal letters of understanding or commitment from any and all partners should be submitted in support of the application, when available and appropriate.
      4. Important Attachments:

        References cited are in addition to the 10-page Research Plan limit.

        Please see section on letters of intent/letters of support for more details on these attachments.

        Appendices including drawings or preliminary data may be included but must remain within the 10-page limit.

  6. Budget and Budget Justification
    1. Budget

      Prepare a budget table using the guidance and form found at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/, and select "All required forms." Any project containing sub-agreements that constitute more than 40% of the total direct cost of the application will be subject to special review. Additional justification for use of such subcontracts must be provided, discussing the need for this agreement to accomplish the objectives of the research project.

      Please note that institutional cost-sharing is not required. However, if cost-sharing is proposed, a brief statement concerning cost-sharing should be added to the budget justification, and estimated dollar amounts must be included in the appropriate categories in the budget table.

    2. Budget Justification (2 pages in addition to the Section 5 page limitations)

      Describe the basis for calculating the personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and other costs identified in the itemized budget. The budget justification should not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins.

      Budget information should be supported at the level of detail described below:

      1. Personnel: Personnel costs are not eligible under this solicitation.
      2. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are not eligible under this solicitation.
      3. Travel: Specify the estimated number of faculty advisors and students who will require travel funds to participate in the demonstration event for the P3 Awards on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in late spring of 2008.
      4. Equipment: Identify all tangible, non-expendable personal property to be purchased that has an estimated cost of $5,000 or more per unit and a useful life of more than one year. (Personal property items with a unit cost of less than $5,000 are considered supplies.)
      5. Supplies: "Supplies" means tangible property other than "equipment." Identify categories of supplies to be procured (e.g., laboratory supplies or office supplies). Specifically identify computers to be purchased or upgraded.
      6. Contractual: Identify each proposed contract or consultant sub-agreement (grant or contract) and specify its purpose and estimated cost.
      7. Other: List each item in sufficient detail for the EPA to determine the reasonableness of its cost relative to the research to be undertaken. Note that sub-agreements, such as those with other universities for members of the research team, are included in this category and may represent up to 40% of the overall project budget.
      8. Indirect Costs: If indirect costs are included in the budget, indicate the approved rate and base with an explanation of how the indirect costs were calculated.
  7. Resumes

    Provide resumes for each faculty advisor and student team leader. The resume for each individual must not exceed two consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins.

  8. Current and Pending Support

    Complete a current and pending support form (provided at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms) for each faculty advisor, showing financial resources intended to support research related to the proposal or that would consume the investigators' time.

  9. Guidelines, Limitations, and Additional Requirements
    1. Letters of Intent/Letters of Support

      Letters of intent to provide resources for the proposed research or to specify intended interactions are limited to one brief paragraph committing the availability of a resource (e.g., use of a person's time or equipment) or intended interaction (e.g., sharing of data, as-needed consultation) that is described in the Research Plan. Letters of intent are to be included as an addition to the budget justification documents.

      All letters that do not commit a resource vital to success of the proposal are considered letters of support. Letters of support, and letters of intent that exceed one brief paragraph, are considered part of the Research Plan and are included in the 10-page Research Plan limit.

      Note: these letters must be part of the application; letters submitted separately will not be accepted.

    2. Funding Opportunity Number(s) (FON)

      At various places in the application, applicants are asked to identify the Funding Opportunity Number. The number must be placed at the top of the abstract. For paper submissions, the number must also be placed in the address on the package that is sent to the EPA (see below).

      Applicants must select the FON corresponding to their proposed research topic area. It is the responsibility of the applicant to identify the proper FON based on the nature of the proposed research. Failure to do so could result in an inappropriate peer review assignment. If your research seems to fit under more than one FON, choose the most appropriate one. For electronic submissions, use the appropriate electronic application package (see "Submission Instructions for Electronic Applications") for the chosen Funding Opportunity Number. Each application must be submitted using a single FON. The Funding Opportunity Numbers for this RFA are:

      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z1 - Agriculture
      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z2 - Materials and Chemicals
      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z3 - Energy
      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z4 - Information Technology
      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z5 - Water
      • EPA-G2007-P3-Z6 - Built Environment
    3.  

    4. Confidentiality

      By submitting an application in response to this solicitation, the applicant grants the EPA permission to make limited disclosures of the application to technical reviewers both within and outside the Agency for the express purpose of assisting the Agency with evaluating the application. Information from a pending or unsuccessful application will be kept confidential to the fullest extent allowed under law; information from a successful application may be publicly disclosed to the extent permitted by law.

      In accordance with 40 CFR 2.203, applicants may claim all or a portion of the application as confidential business information (for example, hypotheses or methodologies contained in the research narrative that the applicant wishes to protect from possible public disclosure). EPA will evaluate confidentiality claims in accordance with 40 CFR Part 2. Applicants must clearly mark applications/proposals or portions of applications/proposals they claim as confidential. If no claim of confidentiality is made, the EPA is not required to make an inquiry to the applicant as otherwise required by 40 CFR 2.204(c) (2) prior to disclosure.

C. Submission Dates and Times
For paper copy submissions, the original and two (2) copies of the complete application (3 in all, see E. below), must be received by NCER no later than 4:00 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date. Electronic applications must be transferred to Grants.gov no later than 4:00 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date. Applications received after the closing date and time will be returned to the sender without further consideration.

It should be noted that this schedule may be changed without prior notification because of factors not anticipated at the time of announcement. In the case of a change in the application closing date, a new date will be posted on the NCER web site (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/) and a modification posted on www.grants.gov.

Solicitation Closing Date: December 21, 2006; 4:00 pm Eastern Time for both paper and electronic submissions
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 2007

D. Funding Restrictions
The funding mechanism for all awards issued under this RFA will consist of assistance agreements from the EPA. All award decisions are subject to the availability of funds. In accordance with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., the primary purpose of an assistance agreement is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statute, rather than acquisition for the direct benefit or use of the Agency. In issuing a grant, the EPA anticipates that there will be no substantial EPA involvement in the design, implementation, or conduct of the research. However, the EPA will monitor research progress through annual reports provided by grantees and other contacts, including site visits, with the faculty advisor.

If you wish to submit applications for more than one P3 funding opportunity you must ensure that the research proposed in each application is significantly different from any other that has been submitted to the EPA or from any other financial assistance you are currently receiving from the EPA or other federal government agency.

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

Any contracts for services or products funded with EPA financial assistance must be awarded under the competitive procurement procedures of 40 CFR Part 30. Moreover, naming a specific contractor in the application does not relieve the applicant of its obligations to comply with competitive procurement requirements. Also, the regulations contain limitations on consultant compensation.

E. Submission Instructions and Other Submission Requirements
You may submit either a paper application or an electronic application (but not both) for this announcement.

  1. Submission Instructions for Paper Applications

    Three (3) copies of the application must be submitted: 1) an original, signed copy; 2) a single-sided copy on plain white paper for scanning (please label this copy); and 3) another photocopy for administrative purposes. Do not permanently bind or staple any of these copies; please use either binder or paper clips to secure them.

    Because of security concerns, paper applications cannot be personally delivered. They must be sent through regular mail, express mail, or a major courier.

    The following address must be used for regular mail:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Peer Review Division (8725F)
    Funding opportunity number: EPA- G2007-P3-XX (applicant: replace the "XX" with the appropriate number)
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20460

    The following address must be used for express mail and couriers:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Peer Review Division (8725F)
    Funding opportunity number: EPA- G2007-P3-XX (applicant: replace the "XX" with the appropriate number)
    1025 F Street, NW (Room 3500)
    Washington, DC 20004
    Phone: (202) 233-0686
  2. Submission Instructions for Electronic Applications

    Please read this entire section before attempting an electronic submission through Grants.gov.

    1. Preparing for Submission. The appropriate electronic application package available through the http://www.grants.gov site must be used for electronic submissions. In order to view the application package, download the PureEdge viewer (click on "Apply for Grants", then see "Apply Step 1"). The application package may be quickly accessed from https://apply.grants.gov/forms_apps_idx.html using the appropriate Funding Opportunity Number. Be sure to download the electronic application package for the appropriate FON Number. "Register to Receive Notification" in order to receive automatic notification of announcement updates.

      The electronic submission of your application package must be made by an official representative of your institution who is registered with Grants.gov and authorized to sign for Federal assistance. For more information, go to http://www.grants.gov and click on "Get Registered." 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 AOR and begin the registration process as soon as possible. Most submission problems can be avoided by communicating with the AOR well before the solicitation closing date and allowing sufficient time for following the guidance provided below.

    2. Acknowledgement of Receipt. The complete application must be transferred to Grants.gov no later than 4:00 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date (see "Submission Dates and Times"). Grants.gov provides acknowledgements of application receipt that include an on-screen notification of successful initial transfer as well as an e-mail notification of successful transfer from Grants.gov to EPA. While it is advisable to retain copies of these Grants.gov acknowledgements to document submission, the only official documentation that the application has been received by NCER is the e-mail acknowledgement sent by NCER to the Principal Investigator and the Administrative Contact. This email will be sent from receipt.application@epa.gov; email to this address will not be accepted. If an email acknowledgment from NCER (not support@grants.gov) has not been received within 30 days of the solicitation closing date, immediately inform the Eligibility Contact shown in this solicitation. Failure to do so may result in your application not being reviewed.
    3. Application Package Preparation. The application package consists of 1 though 4 below.
      1. On the initial electronic Grant Application Package page, complete the "Application Filing Name" field by entering the Principal Investigator's name, starting with the last name. Note: Applicants do not need to complete the "Competition ID" field.
      2. Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424): Complete the form.
      3. EPA Key Contacts Form 5700-54: Complete the form. If additional pages are needed, see (4) below.
      4. Project Narrative Attachment Form (click on "Add Mandatory Project Narrative"): Attach a single electronic file labeled "Application" that contains the items contained in Section IV.B.4. through IV.B.9.a of this solicitation. This file must be submitted in Adobe Acrobat PDF. Please review the PDF file for conversion errors prior to including it in the electronic application package; requests to rectify conversion errors will not be accepted if made after the solicitation closing date and time. If Key Contacts Continuation pages (see http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms) are needed, place them before the Abstract (IV.B.4.).

        Once the application package has been completed, the "Submit" button should be enabled. If the "Submit" button is not active, please contact Grants.gov for assistance (Telephone: 1-800-518-4726). Investigators should save the completed application package with two different file names before providing it to the AOR to avoid having to re-create the package should submission problems be experienced.

    4. Transfer of Files. The application package must be transferred to Grants.gov by an AOR. The AOR should close all other software before attempting to submit the application package. Click the "submit" button of the application package. Your Internet browser will launch and a sign-in page will appear. Note: Minor problems are not uncommon with transfers to Grants.gov. It is essential to allow sufficient time to follow all trouble-shooting instructions before 4:00 pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date.

      A successful transfer will end with an on-screen acknowledgement. For documentation purposes, print this acknowledgement using "Print Screen." If you experience submission problems, reboot the computer - turning the power off may be necessary - and re-attempt the submission. If submission problems continue, contact Grants.gov for assistance (Telephone: 1-800-518-4726).

    5. Transmission Difficulties. If transmission difficulties that result in a late transmission, no transmission, or rejection of the transmitted application are experienced, follow the guidance below. NCER may decide to review the application if it is clearly demonstrated that the late submission was due solely as a result of problems associated with the transfer to Grants.gov. The decision regarding acceptance of the application for review will be made by NCER management and provided to the applicant within ten working days of the request. All e-mails, as described below, are to be sent to Harrison.bronda@epa.gov with the FON in the subject line.
      1. Late transfer due to electronic submission problems: Should electronic submission problems result in the application being transferred to Grants.gov after 4:00 pm but before 5:00pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date, send an e-mail documenting the problem and include the Grants.gov "case number".
      2. Unsuccessful transfer of application package: If a successful transfer of the application cannot be accomplished due to electronic submission issues, send an e-mail before 5:00pm Eastern Time on the solicitation closing date. Document the problem, include the Grants.gov "case number," and attach the entire application.
      3. Grants.gov rejection of application: If a notification is received from Grants.gov stating that the application has been rejected for reasons other than late submittal, immediately send an email which includes any materials provided by Grants.gov, with the entire application attached.
  3. Instructions for Phase II proposals

    Those receiving funding under Phase I are invited to apply for Phase II funding must provide, as described below, a summary, comprehensive overview of their research objectives and results (outputs/outcomes), as well as publications and presentations, in language that would be understood by the educated public. P3 teams should describe conclusions and implications for further research, development, or demonstration as described below. P3 teams are also encouraged to provide website links to their publications or related research efforts. The Phase II proposals will be due on April 10, 2008.

    The Phase II proposal, including items listed in A and B below, must not exceed fifteen (15) consecutively numbered (bottom center), 8.5x11-inch pages of single-spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-inch margins. While these guidelines establish the minimum type size requirements, applicants are advised that readability is of paramount importance and should take precedence in selection of an appropriate font for use in the proposal. The description should contain the following information:

    1. Summary of Previous (Phase I) Results
      1. Background and problem definition
        • Relationship to people, prosperity and the planet
        • Relevance and significance to developing or developed world
        • Implementation of the P3 project as an educational tool
      2. Purpose, objectives, scope
      3. Data, outputs, outcomes, findings
      4. Discussion, conclusions, recommendations
        • Streamlined life cycle costing and analysis, if appropriate
        • Quantifiable benefits to people, prosperity, and the planet (estimated or actual)
        • Qualitative benefits to people, prosperity, and the planet
    2. Work plan for Phase II

      Applications should be focused on a limited number of research objectives that adequately and clearly meet the RFA requirements. Explicitly state how Phase II will build on the successes achieved in the Phase I project. Detail the methods and approaches that will be used to further the design in terms of development or demonstration.

      The Phase II proposal must provide the following information:

      1. P3 Phase II Project Description

        Address the Phase II review criteria (see Section V, Application Review Information). Include the criteria subheadings [Challenge Definition and Relationship to Phase I; Innovation and Technical Merit; Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability; Measurable Results (outputs/outcomes), Evaluation Method, and Demonstration Strategy; and Integration of P3 Concepts as an Educational Tool].

      2. Project Schedule

        Show significant steps and milestones in the project. Clearly depict the project's duration, and include key milestones and project tasks building on the timeline from research to design (Phase I) through development and demonstration (Phase II). Indicate anticipated role and tasks of each team member or department represented. Also, indicate anticipated interactions with any and all partners (see 3 below), if applicable.

      3. Partnerships (if applicable). Note: This description does not count towards the page limit.

        Partnerships are strongly encouraged and considered particularly important for the demonstrations.

        Formal partnerships should be established prior to drafting the Phase II proposal. Detail any and all partnerships established for the purposes of competing for the P3 Awards including the type of partner (educational institution, industry and/or NGOs), matching contributions (financial and/or in-kind) provided by the partner, the nature of the partnership, and the role of the partner in the project.

        Formal letters of intent including anticipated support for Phase II of the project from any and all partners should be submitted in support of the application, when available.

      4. Important Attachments

        References cited are in addition to the 15-page Research Plan limit.

        Please see section on letters of intent/letters of support under B.9 above for more details on these attachments.

        Appendices including drawings or preliminary data may be included but must remain within the 15-page limit.

V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

A. Peer Review
All eligible grant applications are reviewed by an appropriate external technical peer review panel comprised of individual experts using the criteria below. This review is designed to evaluate each application according to its scientific merit. Each peer review panel includes non-EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, and/or economists who are accomplished in their respective disciplines and proficient in the technical subjects they are reviewing. Reviewers are asked to individually a score of either highly recommended, recommended, or not recommended to each application. EPA translates the average of these individual scores into the final panel review score.

The following are the criteria for the Phase I awards. The criteria used to select P3 Award winners, and subsequent awardees for Phase II funding, are listed in the "Criteria for Phase II awards" part of this Section.

Criteria for Phase I Awards

An external peer review panel will be asked to assess which Phase I proposals are the most meritorious. The following criteria will be used in descending order of importance. Note: This order is not the same as the required order for proposal submission.

  1. Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability (people, prosperity, and the planet)

    Does the proposed project integrate and sustain environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social benefit across scales in the developing and/or developed world?

    People: Do the proposed environmental and economic outcomes benefit society? Does the project meet the needs of the intended end user? If the design is intended for the developing world, does it have the potential to improve quality of life? If it is intended for the developed world, does it use energy and material resources effectively and efficiently through the life cycle while reducing hazards to human health and the environment?

    Prosperity: Does the proposal mention or consider short- and long-term costs?

    Planet: In general, will the design reduce impacts on the environment and human health, diminish resource consumption, and/or directly benefit the environment? Does the proposal demonstrate: (1) That design demonstration will not exhaust or degrade the local environment or shift the environmental impacts to another locality? (2) That the proposed project is less damaging or more beneficial to the health of natural systems than the traditional design?

  2. Challenge Definition

    Is the technical challenge defined in terms that are relevant and significant related to sustainability? Is the scope of the project clearly described? Are potential or realized project characteristics, opportunities, and limitations described?

  3. Innovation and Technical Merit

    Is the design novel? Is the design interdisciplinary? Does the proposal address feasibility of the design, demonstrate scientific/technical soundness, and discuss trade-offs in the design approach? Are the proposed approach and suggested materials adequate and appropriate?

  4. Measurable Results (outputs/outcomes), Evaluation Method, and Demonstration Strategy

    Can the goals and objectives be determined and achieved? Do the methods to quantify the benefits seem applicable, effective, and appropriate? Have the necessary partnerships been developed or will they be pursued? Can the design or approach be replicated in other situations?

  5. Integration of P3 concepts as an Educational Tool

    Will the proposed plans maximize the educational benefits of the P3 Award program?

Phase I Review and Selection Process

All grant applications for Phase I awards will be peer reviewed to evaluate each proposal according to its scientific merit.

Applications receiving scores of highly recommended or recommended as a result of the peer review process will then undergo a programmatic review conducted by technical experts from the EPA, including individuals from the Office of Research and Development (ORD) and program and regional offices involved with the science or engineering proposed. All other applications are automatically declined. The internal programmatic review is discussed in the next section.

Criteria for Phase II Awards

The reviewers convened by the National Academies will be asked to assess which P3 Phase II proposals are the most meritorious. The following criteria will be used in descending order of importance. Note: This order is not the same as the required order for proposal submission.

  1. Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability (People, Prosperity, and the Planet)

    How well does the proposed follow-on work for Phase II integrate and sustain environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social benefit across scales in the developing and/or developed world? Does the proposal address how future generations may be affected by the design?

    People: Do the proposed environmental and economic outcomes benefit society? Does the project meet the needs of the intended end user? If the design is intended for the developing world, does it have the potential to improve quality of life? If it is intended for the developed world, does it use energy and material resources effectively and efficiently through the life cycle while reducing hazards to human health and the environment?

    Prosperity: Does the proposal mention or consider short- and long-term costs?

    Planet: In general, will the design reduce impacts on the environment and human health, diminish resource consumption, and/or directly benefit the environment? Does the proposal demonstrate: (1) That design demonstration will not exhaust or degrade the local environment or shift the environmental impacts to another locality? (2) That the proposed project is less damaging or more beneficial to the health of natural systems than the traditional design?

  2. Challenge Definition and Relationship to Phase I

    Is the technical challenge defined in terms that are relevant and significant related to sustainability? Is the scope of the project clearly described? Are potential or realized project characteristics, opportunities, and limitations described? Was Phase I of the project successful? How does Phase II build on the successes in Phase I? What are the lessons learned from Phase I and how will they be applied in Phase II? How will Phase II advance and improve progress in Phase I?

  3. Innovation and Technical Merit

    Is the design novel? Is the design interdisciplinary? Does the proposal address feasibility of the design, demonstrate scientific/technical soundness, and discuss trade-offs in the design approach? Are the proposed approach and suggested materials adequate and appropriate? What is the likelihood of success for the work proposed in Phase II?

  4. Measurable Results (Outputs/Outcomes), Evaluation Method, and Demonstration Strategy

    How will the goals and objectives for Phase II be achieved? Are the potential realized benefits described in terms of people, prosperity, and the planet? Is the proposed strategy for moving the design from research to development (Phase I) to demonstration (Phase II) adequate and realistic? Have the necessary partnerships been developed or are they being pursued? Is the design or design approach applicable and replicable to the extent appropriate?

  5. Integration of P3 Concepts as an Educational Tool

    Was Phase I of the P3 project successfully implemented as an educational tool? Will the proposed plans for Phase II maximize the educational benefits of the project? Will student awareness be increased in terms of the impacts of their designs on people, prosperity, and the planet beyond those directly participating on the P3 project?

Phase II Review and Selection Process

As part of the second phase of the P3 program, the judges convened by the National Academies will evaluate the Phase I projects and review the Phase II proposals to recommend projects to receive one of EPA's P3 Awards. The evaluation of Phase I will consist of assessing the summary submitted along with the demonstration of the project at the event on the National Mall in May 2008. The judges will review the Phase II proposals prior to the P3 Awards competition on the National Mall. The judges will use the Phase II criteria above to make recommendations to the EPA on the top projects that should be considered for a P3 Award and for the opportunity to receive Phase II funding. Winners of the P3 Award will be chosen by EPA and will be eligible for additional funding to support further development and demonstration as described in the Phase II proposal. EPA will make the final decisions to select projects to receive the Phase II funding.

B. Programmatic Review
Applications receiving scores of highly recommended or recommended as a result of the peer review process will then undergo an internal programmatic review, as described below, conducted by technical experts from the EPA, including individuals from the Office of Research and Development (ORD) and program and regional offices involved with the science or engineering proposed. All other applications are automatically declined.

In addition, after the peer review, those applicants who received scores of highly recommended or recommended as a result of the peer review process will be asked to provide additional information for the programmatic review pertaining to the proposed Lead Principal Investigator's (PI) "Past Performance and Reporting History." The applicant must provide the EPA Project Officer with information on the proposed Lead PI's past performance under prior Federal agency assistance agreements in terms of how progress towards achieving the results intended under each agreement was reported. This information is required only for the proposed Lead PI's performance under Federal assistance agreements initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project.

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

  1. Name of Granting Agency.
  2. Grant/Cooperative agreement number.
  3. Grant/Cooperative agreement title.
  4. Brief description of the grant/cooperative agreement.
  5. A description of how the agreement is similar in size and scope to the proposed project.
  6. Information relating to the proposed Lead PI's past performance in reporting on progress towards achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreement, and if such progress was not made, an explanation of whether, and how, this was reported.
  7. Total (all years) grant/cooperative agreement dollar value.
  8. Project period.
  9. Technical contact (project officer), telephone number, and E-mail address (if available).

The purpose of the programmatic review is to assure an integrated research portfolio for the Agency and help determine which applications to recommend for award. In conducting the programmatic review, the EPA will consider information provided by the applicant and may consider information from other sources, including prior and current grantors and agency files.

The internal programmatic review panel will assess:

  1. The relevance of the proposed science to EPA research priorities.
  2. The proposed Lead PI's past performance (under Federal agency assistance agreements initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project), in reporting progress towards achieving results under these agreements, including the proposed Lead PI's history of submitting timely progress/final technical reports that adequately describe the progress toward achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreements. Any explanation of why progress towards achieving the results was not made will also be considered. Applicants whose proposed Lead PI has no relevant past performance history, or for whom this information is not available, will be evaluated neither favorably nor unfavorably on past performance.

C. Funding Decisions
Final funding decisions are made by the NCER Director based on the results of the peer review and internal programmatic review including past performance considerations. In addition, in making the final funding decisions, the NCER Director may also consider program balance and available funds. Applicants selected for funding will be required to provide additional information listed below under "Award Notices." The application will then be forwarded to EPA's grants administration office for award in accordance with the EPA's procedures.

VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION

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

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

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

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

C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Expectations and responsibilities of NCER grantees and cooperative agreement holders are summarized in this section, although the terms grant and grantee are used.

  1. Meetings: Principal Investigators will be expected to budget for, and participate in, the National Sustainable Design Expo featuring EPA's P3 Awards on the National Mall in Washington, DC in May 2008.
  2. Approval of Changes after Grant Award: Prior written approval is required from the EPA if there will be a significant change from the work described in the application. Examples of these changes are contained in 40 C.F.R. 30.25. Note: prior written approval is also required from the EPA for incurring costs more than 90 calendar days prior to award.
  3. Human Subjects: A grant recipient must agree to meet all EPA requirements for studies using human subjects prior to implementing any work with these subjects. These requirements are given in 40 C.F.R. 26, referred to as the "Common Rule." No work involving human subjects, including recruiting, may be initiated before the EPA has received a copy of the applicant's Institutional Review Board's (IRB) approval of the project and the EPA has also provided approval. Where human subjects are involved in the research, the recipient must provide evidence of subsequent IRB reviews, including amendments or minor changes of protocol, as part of annual reports.
  4. Animal Welfare: A grant recipient must agree to comply with the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-544), as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2131-2156. The recipient must also agree to abide by the "U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals used in Testing, Research, and Training" (50 Federal Register 20864-20865. May 20, 1985).
  5. Data Access and Information Release: After award, all data (including primary and secondary or existing data) must be made available to the NCER Project Officer without restriction and be accompanied by comprehensive metadata documentation adequate for specialists and non-specialists alike to be able to understand how and where the data were obtained and to evaluate the quality of the data. If requested, the data products and their metadata must be provided to the NCER Project Officer in a standard exchange format no later than the due date of the grant's final report or the publication of the data product's associated results, whichever comes first.

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

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. If such data are requested by the public, the EPA must ask for it, and the grantee must submit it, in accordance with A-110 and the EPA regulations at 40 C.F.R. 30.36.

  6. Reporting: A grant recipient must agree to provide a final report with an executive summary for web posting at the conclusion of Phase I.

    A grant recipient must agree to provide copies of any peer reviewed journal article(s) resulting from the research during the project period. In addition, the recipient should notify the EPA Project Officer of any papers published after completion of the grant that were based on research supported by the grant. NCER posts references to all publications resulting from a grant on the NCER web site.

  7. Acknowledgement of EPA Support: EPA's full or partial support must be acknowledged in journal articles, oral or poster presentations, news releases, interviews with reporters and other communications. Any documents developed under this agreement that are intended for distribution to the public or inclusion in a scientific, technical, or other journal shall include the following statement:
    This publication [article] was developed under P3 Research Assistance Agreement No. __________ awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by the EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of [name of recipient] and the EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication.

VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

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

Eligibility Contact: Tom Barnwell: 202-343-9862; email: barnwell.thomas@epa.gov
Electronic Submissions: Bronda Harrison: 202-564-1790; email: harrison.bronda@epa.gov
Technical Contact: Julie Beth Zimmerman: 202-343-9689; email: zimmerman.julie@epa.gov

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