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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Center for Environmental Research
P3 Award Program

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

6th 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 Numbers and Associated Research Areas:

  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q1 Agriculture
  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q2 Materials and Chemicals
  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q3 Energy
  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q4 Information Technology
  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q5 Water
  • EPA-G2009-P3-Q6 Built Environment

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.516

Solicitation Opening Date: September 22, 2008
Solicitation Closing Date: December 23, 2008: 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Eligibility Contact: William Stelz (stelz.william@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8039
Electronic Submissions Contact: Ron Josephson (josephson.ron@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-0442
Technical Contact: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102

Table of Contents:
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Synopsis of Program
Award Information
Eligibility Information
Application Materials
Agency Contacts
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
A. Introduction
B. Background
C. Authority and Regulations
D. Expected Outputs and Outcomes
E. Research Areas
F. References
G. 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 Application Package
B. Content and Form of Application Submission
C. Submission Dates and Times
D. Funding Restrictions
E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Review Process for Phase I Applications
B. Review Process for Phase II Applications
C. Funding Decisions
VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
A. Award Notices
B. Disputes
C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
VII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Access Standard STAR 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3 Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Awards program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people-- people, prosperity, and the planet the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while 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 6 awards for Phase II
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $950,000 total for all awards
Potential Funding per Award: Up to $10,000 per Phase I grant for one year including direct and indirect costs. Proposals for Phase I grants requesting an award of more than $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 two additional years including direct and indirect costs (see Background section for more information). Proposals for Phase II grants requesting an award of more than $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 degree-granting public institutions of higher education) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting private institutions of higher education) located in the U.S. are eligible to apply. See full announcement for more details.

Application Materials:
To apply under this solicitation, use the application package available at Grants.gov (for further submission information see Section IV.E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements). The necessary forms for submitting a STAR application will be found on the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) web site, http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/. If your institution is not currently registered with Grants.gov, you need to allow approximately one week to complete the registration process. This registration, and electronic submission of your application, must be performed by an authorized representative of your institution.

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the Grants.gov application submission process for this solicitation, call 1-800-490-9194 or send a webmail message to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/contact_us.html at least 15 calendar working days before the submission deadline to assure timely receipt of alternate submission instructions. In your message provide the funding opportunity number and title of the program, specify that you are requesting alternate submission instructions, and provide a telephone number, fax number, and an email address, if available. Alternate instructions will be e-mailed whenever possible. Any applications submitted through alternate submission methods must comply with all the provisions of this RFA, including Section IV, and be received by the solicitation closing date identified above.

Agency Contacts:
Eligibility Contact: William Stelz (stelz.william@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8039
Electronic Submissions Contact: Ron Josephson (josephson.ron@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-0442
Technical Contact: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102

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 http://www.epa.gov/ncer/P3 for list) invite submissions to the 6th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability. P3 focuses on scientific projects and engineering designs that address the three components of sustainability: people, prosperity and the planet. The P3 Program is intended to support science-based designs developed by interdisciplinary student teams that benefit people by improving their quality of life, promote prosperity by developing local economies, and protect the planet by conserving resources and minimizing pollution. Additional details about EPAs sustainability research can be found in EPAs Sustainability Research Strategy (2007) which presents the role of EPAs Office of Research and Development to improve understanding of the earths natural and man-made systems, to assess threats to those systems, and to develop and apply new technologies and decision support tools.

The concept of sustainable development became widely promoted following the 1987 publication of Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). That document defined sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Agenda 21 (United Nations, 1992), adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil in June 1992, built on that foundation to provide a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human activity impacts the environment.

The concept of sustainable development as encompassing activities that address people, prosperity and the planet continues to have international support as indicated by the United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome document which described the three components of sustainable development--economic development, social development and environmental protection--as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars. That report went on to state that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development. (United Nations, 2005).

In an article entitled Sustainability science and engineering: The emergence of a new metadiscipline, Mihelcic et al. (2003) provided a useful definition of sustainability for scientists and engineers as the design of human and industrial systems to ensure that humankinds use of natural resources and cycles do not lead to diminished quality of life due either to losses in future economic opportunities or to adverse impacts on social conditions, human health and the environment. Fundamentally, sustainability requires the balancing of economic prosperity, environmental responsibility, and social fairness.

The P3 Award Program is composed of two phases that award grants on a competitive basis. The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to solicit science-based, innovative research design proposals to compete for the first phase of the P3 competition. The first phase of the P3 Award Program is a competition for one-year grants of up to $10,000 to test scientific hypotheses and principles by developing scientific or engineering designs that will promote sustainable development. In the spring following Phase I grant awards, Phase I grantees are required to present their designs at the annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, DC where they will have an opportunity to compete for Phase II grant awards of up to $75,000. The Phase II grant awards are to support the demonstration and further development of the sustainability designs created in the first phase of the program. The competitors for the P3 Phase II grants 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, which will be due approximately 8 months after the Phase I grants are awarded, will be distributed to Phase I recipients following award of the Phase I grants. Those projects identified for receipt of a Phase II grant are also recognized as P3 Award recipients and will be recognized as such on the P3 website.

This RFA represents the sixth National P3 Awards competition. The projects funded through the first five competitions can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/P3.

B. Background
Among the critical components of promoting 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 sustainable innovations understand the fundamental methodologies, techniques, and principles that underlie sustainability. In addition, it is imperative to recognize the key role scientific, engineering, and policy innovations can play in addressing the persistent challenge to sustainable development around in the world. Fundamental to the success of sustainable designs is recognizing the needs, available resources, and boundaries of the intended user.

This announcement addresses the first phase (Phase I) of the P3 competition by requesting innovative, science-based design proposals from eligible institutions. The Phase I grants are intended to support an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and/or graduate students to develop their projects in preparation for competing for a Phase II grant award to demonstrate their proposed designs. In Phase I, the EPA will fund approximately 50 student design projects from around the country during the 2009-2010 academic year to research and develop their sustainable designs.

The proposal process for the Phase II grant awards will begin in the Spring of 2010, when the student teams and their faculty advisor (the Principal Investigator on the grant) will be invited to submit their Project Report which will describe their Phase I project activities and their Phase II proposal for further development. The written Project Report and team presentations at the National Sustainable Design Expo (the Expo) held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C will be considered in the selection of winners at the P3 Awards competition in the Spring of 2010. . A panel of qualified experts will be convened to judge the competition and provide recommendations for the P3 Phase II grant and associated P3 Award recipients. (More information about the Expo is available at the P3 website.)

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 either the Phase I or the Phase II competition; however, anticipated partnerships should be identified.

Sustainability requires scientific and technical innovation to create designs that enable the earth and its inhabitants to prosper. The EPA is conducting the competition for the P3 Awards in order to demonstrate to the nation and the world the possibilities of innovative, environmentally benign, and interdisciplinary designs that simultaneously benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect and preserve the planet.

The specific Strategic Goal and Objective from EPAs Strategic Plan that relate to this solicitation are: Goal 5: Compliance and Environmental Stewardship, Objective 5.4: Enhance Societys Capacity for Sustainability through Science and Research. The EPAs Strategic Plan can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/plan/2006/entire_report.pdf (PDF) (184 pp, 11.56 MB, about PDF).

C. Authority and Regulations

  1. Statutory

    The authorities for this RFA and resulting awards are contained in the Clean Air Act (CAA), Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7403; Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 104, 33 U.S.C. 1254; the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-1; the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Section 20, 7 U.S.C. 136r; the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA), Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6981; and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Section 10, 15 U.S.C. 2609. For research with an international aspect, the above statutes are supplemented, as appropriate, by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 102(2)(F). Specific descriptions of the areas of research that are authorized by each statute are described below:

    CAA: Clean Air Act--Section 103:
    Section 103 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to institutions for research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention and control of air pollution.

    CWA: Clean Water Act--Section 104 (freshwater ecosystems):
    Section 104 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to colleges and universities to conduct basic research into the structure and function of freshwater aquatic ecosystems and to improve understanding of the ecological characteristics necessary to the maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of these systems.

    CWA: Clean Water Act--Section 104:
    Section 104 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants to institutions for research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.

    SDWA: Safe Drinking Water Act--Section 1442:
    Section 1442 of the Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, training, studies, and demonstrations relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental diseases and other impairments of man resulting directly or indirectly from contaminants in water, or to the provision of a dependably safe supply of drinking water, including (A) improved methods: (i) to identify and measure the existence of contaminants in drinking water (including methods which may be used by State and local health and water officials), and (ii) to identify the source of such contaminants; (B) improved methods to identify and measure the health effects of contaminants in drinking water; (C) new methods of treating raw water to prepare it for drinking, so as to improve the efficiency of water treatment and to remove contaminants from water; (D) improved methods for providing a dependably safe supply of drinking water, including improvements in water purification and distribution, and methods of assessing the health related hazards of drinking water; and (E) improved methods of protecting underground water sources of public water systems from contamination.

    FIFRA: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act--Section 20:
    Section 20 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for pesticide-related research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstrations, and studies.

    SWDA: Solid Waste Disposal Act--Section 8001:
    Section 8001 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, public education programs and studies relating to: (1) adverse health and welfare effects from solid waste; (2) solid waste management programs; (3) resource recovery and conservation, and hazardous waste management systems; (4) production of usable forms of recovered resources; (5) waste reduction; (6) improved solid waste collection and disposal methods; (7) identification of solid waste components; (8) small scale and low technology solid waste management systems; (9) methods to improve performance of recovered solid waste; (10) improvements in land disposal practices; (11) methods for sound disposal of resources, including sludge and coal slurry; (12) methods of hazardous waste management; and (13) air quality impacts from the burning of solid waste.

    TSCA: Toxic Substance Control Act--Section 10:
    Section 10 of the Toxic Substance Control Act authorizes the EPA to make grants for research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstrations and studies directed toward the development of the fundamental scientific basis of screening and monitoring techniques used to detect toxic chemical substances and quantify the effects of toxic chemical substances and mixtures in the environment.

    NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)--Section 102(2)(F):
    For research with an international aspect, the above statutes are supplemented, as appropriate, by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 102(2)(F) which authorizes support to foreign recipients and international work/travel by domestic recipients.

  2. Applicable regulations

    Applicable regulations include: 40 CFR Part 30 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations) and 40 CFR Part 40 (Research and Demonstration Grants). Applicable OMB Circulars include: OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles for Educational Institutions) relocated to 2 CFR Part 220, OMB Circular A-110 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations) relocated to 2 CFR Part 215, and OMB Circular A-122, (Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations) relocated to 2 CFR Part 230.

D. Expected Outputs and Outcomes
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 activity(ies) that is related to an environmental, behavioral, or health-related objective.

The P3 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 economic competitiveness and maintain or improve human health.

E. Research Areas
The Phase I competition is designed to foster creativity by allowing interdisciplinary teams of students to:

  1. identify the technical challenge to sustainability their design will address;
  2. discuss the relationship of the challenge to people, prosperity, and the planet; and
  3. propose a scientifically-based design approach to address the challenge.

Challenges in a wide range of research areas will be considered. All projects must be science-based research or development as defined in 40 CFR Part 30.2 Subpart (dd) (see Section III.C. below for language) and as authorized by one or more of the statutes described in Section C.1. above. (NEPA is a secondary supporting statute and can not be the sole supporting statute for a proposed project.)

Projects that apply established approaches to address a sustainability challenge to a new regional location are not appropriate for the P3 competition. (These are sometimes referred to as off-the-shelf projects.)

Applicants must address one or more of the research areas listed below in their Phase I proposals. (Proposals can include, but are not limited to technical challenges within the examples listed following each research area below.):

  • Agriculture (e.g., reduction or elimination of pesticides)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q1 Agriculture)
  • 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)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q2 Materials and Chemicals)
  • 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)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q3 Energy)
  • Information Technology (e.g., delivery of and access to environmental performance, technical, educational, or public health information related to environmental decision-making)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q4 Information Technology)
  • Water (e.g., water quality or conservation, drinking water treatment and supply)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q5 Water)
  • 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)
    (Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2009-P3-Q6 Built Environment)

All projects, regardless of research area, must be student-led with faculty involvement, as appropriate and necessary.

It is recognized that some proposals may be appropriate for more than one FON/research area, although the applicant must identify a primary FON/research area for application submission purposes.

F. References
Mihelcic, J.R., Crittendan, J.C., Small, M.J., Shonnard, D.R., Hokanson, D.R., Zhang, Q. 2003. Sustainability science and engineering: The emergence of a new metadiscipline. Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 5314-5324. 4.

United Nations. 1992. Agenda 21: Earth Summit - The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio. United Nations.

United Nations. 2005. World Summit Outcomes. United Nations. (www.un.org/summit2005 exit EPA)

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. Sustainability Research Strategy. EPA 600/S 07/001 (http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/pdfs/EPA-12057_SRS_R4-1.pdf (72 pp, 1.38 MB))

World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

G. Special Requirements
Agency policy prevents EPA technical staff and managers from providing individual applicants with information that may create an unfair competitive advantage. Consequently, EPA employees will not review, comment, advise, and/or provide technical assistance to applicants preparing applications in response to EPA RFAs, nor will they 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 organization(s) will be subawardees of the recipient.

These awards may involve the collection of Geospatial Information, which includes information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features or boundaries on the Earth or applications, tools, and hardware associated with the generation, maintenance, or distribution of such information. This information may be derived from, among other things, a Geographic Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, mapping, charting, and surveying technologies, or statistical data.

Your award may involve intellectual property. If that is the case, P3 teams are encouraged to ensure explanations about technologies and key components of prototypes are reviewed by their universitys technology transfer office prior to display at the National Sustainable Design Expo (the Expo). This is to ensure any issues related to patent filings or adjustments to intellectual property strategies, if needed, can be made prior to the public display at the Expo.

Please Note: P3 Award projects (both Phase I & II) will not accommodate a Multiple PI application. P3 Award projects shall be submitted as a single Lead PI application.

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 and quality of applications received. The EPA anticipates funding approximately 50 grants for Phase I under this RFA. The projected EPA award amount for each Phase I grant is up to $10,000 for one year. Requests for amounts in excess of a total of $10,000, including direct and indirect costs, will not be considered. The total project period for an application submitted for a Phase I grant 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, EPA will select approximately six P3 Award winners from among recipients of Phase I funding, depending on the availability of funds. These P3 Award winners will be eligible to receive 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 $950,000. Proposals for Phase II grants with budget requests exceeding $75,000, including direct and indirect costs, will not be considered. The total project period for a Phase II grant may not exceed two years.

The EPA reserves the right to reject all applications and make no awards, or make more or fewer awards than anticipated, under this RFA. The EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available after the original selections are made. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months after the original selection decisions.

EPA intends to award 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 or P3 team members 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 degree-granting public institutions of higher education) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (limited to degree-granting 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. Profit-making firms are not eligible to receive assistance agreements from the EPA under this program. 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 application where each application 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 grant award and competition process. In addition to the Principal Investigator, each team selected for award will also be asked to provide contact information for a student lead.

Universities and educational institutions must be subject to OMB Circular A-21. 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.

National laboratories funded by Federal Agencies (Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers, FFRDCs) may not apply. FFRDC employees may cooperate or collaborate with eligible applicants within the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations. They may participate in planning, conducting, and analyzing the research directed by the applicant, but may not direct projects on behalf of the applicant organization. The institution, organization, or governance receiving the award may provide funds through its assistance agreement from the EPA to an FFRDC for, supplies, equipment, and other expenses directly related to the research. However, salaries for permanent FFRDC employees may not be provided through this mechanism.

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 Agencys appropriations in other ways through awards made under this program.

The applicant institution may enter into an agreement with a Federal Agency to purchase or utilize unique supplies or services unavailable in the private sector. Examples are purchase of satellite data, census data tapes, chemical reference standards, analyses, or use of instrumentation or other facilities not available elsewhere. A written justification for federal involvement must be included in the application. In addition, an appropriate form of assurance that documents the commitment, such as a letter of intent from the Federal Agency involved, should be included.

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-awarded to another educational institution (domestic or foreign) as described in instructions for submitting to this RFA. If foreign work will be performed, in the process of funding the grant, EPAs Office of Research and Development is required to obtain clearance from EPAs Office of International Activities and the U.S. Department of State.

Potential applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility should contact William Stelz (stelz.william@epa.gov) in NCER, phone (202) 343-9802.

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 in the budget justification and should be described, as requested below, in the research plan.

C. Other
Phase I application packages 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 Grants.gov (see Section IV.E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements for further information), or through any authorized alternate submission methods described in Section IV, 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.

Applicants must address one or more of the research areas listed in Section I.E in order to be considered for funding.

Projects that apply established approaches to address a sustainability challenge to a new regional location are not appropriate for the P3 competition and will not be considered for funding. (These are sometimes referred to as off-the-shelf projects.)

All projects, regardless of research area, must be student-led with faculty involvement, as appropriate and necessary.

An individual applicant may submit more than one proposal, however, each one must be submitted independently and each must propose an independent project. (That is, the success of one proposal cannot be dependent upon the successful award of another proposal).

Projects proposed for support from the P3 program must propose research and development activities consistent with the definition found in 40 CFR Part 30.2 Definitions; Subpart (dd): Research and development means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities, colleges, and other non-profit institutions. Research is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Development is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

A projects focus must also propose activities within the statutory terms of EPAs financial assistance authorities listed in I.C. above. Generally, a project must address the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air pollution, water pollution, solid/hazardous waste pollution, toxic substances control, or pesticide control depending on which statute(s) is referenced. These activities should relate to the gathering or transferring of information or advancing the state of knowledge 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 fall within the statutory terms research or development, nor would a proposal to start a routine recycling program. However, the statutory term development 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. Proposals relating to other topics which are sometimes included within the term environment such as recreation, conservation, restoration, protection of wildlife habitats, etc., must be described in terms of their relationship to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

As mentioned above, the competitors for the P3 Awards and the 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

Formal instructions for submission through Grants.gov follow in Section E.

A. Internet Address to Request Application Package
Use the application package available at Grants.gov (see Section E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements). Note: With the exception of the budget form and the current and pending support form (available at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms), all necessary forms are included in the electronic application package.

An email will be sent by NCER to the Principal Investigator (PI) 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; emails 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 Section E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements for additional information regarding the application receipt acknowledgment.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission
The application is made by submitting the materials described below. Applications must 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. The form must contain the 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, does not apply to the Office of Research and Development's research and training programs unless EPA has determined that the activities that will be carried out under the applicants' proposal (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.

    If EPA determines that Executive Order 12372 applies to an applicant's proposal, the applicant must follow the procedures in 40 CFR Part 29. The applicant must notify their state's single point of contact (SPOC). To determine whether their state participates in this process, and how to comply, applicants should consult http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html. If an applicant is in a State that does not have a SPOC, or the State has not selected research and development grants for intergovernmental review, the applicant must notify directly affected State, area wide, regional and local entities of its proposal.

    EPA will notify the successful applicant(s) if Executive Order 12372 applies to its proposal prior to award.

  2. Key Contacts

    The applicant must complete the Key Contacts form found in the Grants.gov application package. An Additional Key Contacts form 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 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.

  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 scientific research or new design concept being proposed and conveys all the essential elements of the proposed project. Abstracts of applications that receive funding will be posted on the NCER web site.

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

    1. Funding Opportunity Number(s) and Research Area(s): 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 and associated research area under which you are submitting your proposal. If your project is relevant to more than one research area, you may list additional research areas, labeled as such. The funding opportunity numbers and their associated research areas are listed at the beginning of this announcement and in section I.E. above.

      Please note: The Funding Opportunity Number (see sections I.E. above or IV.B.9.b. below) to which the proposal is being submitted must be placed in the upper right side of the header of the Abstract page.

    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. Principal Investigator: This person will serve as the faculty advisor for the P3 student team. List the name of the PI and then the names and affiliations of any co-investigators/advisors who will significantly contribute to the project. Provide a web site URL or an e-mail contact address for each investigator.

      If student investigators are known at the time of the proposal, identify a student lead and list student investigators and indicate whether they are under-graduate or graduate students.

    4. Institution: In the same order as the list of investigators, list the name, city and state of each participating university or other applicant institution. The lead institution applying for assistance must be clearly identified.
    5. Student Represented Departments and Institutions: List the departments and institutions that will be represented by the students participating on the team.
    6. Project Period: The Phase I project will begin on or about August 15, 2009 and end on or about August 14, 2010.
    7. Project Amount: Show the total dollars requested from the EPA for the entire project period such that the total does not exceed $10,000, including direct and indirect costs.
    8. Total Project Amount: Show the total dollar amount, including total dollars requested 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), if applicable.
    9. Project Summary: Address the following:
      1. Definition of the technical challenge to sustainability;
      2. Description of how the proposed design approach, with the innovative scientific or technical aspects clearly identified, will 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 the P3 project will provide education about the concepts of sustainability at the university or community level.
    10. Relevance to EPA Mission: Provide a brief statement identifying one or more of EPAs authorizing statues and describing how your project will further the goals of the statute(s). Refer to the list of statutes that authorize EPA to fund research provided in Section I.C. of this solicitation.
    11. Supplemental Keywords: Without duplicating terms already used in the text of the abstract, list keywords to assist database searchers in finding your research. A complete set of keywords is very important. A list of suggested keywords may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms.
  5. Research Plan and References
    1. Research Plan (12 pages)

      This plan (including parts 1 and 2 below) must not exceed twelve (12) 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 of the research plan must provide the following information:

      1. P3 Project Description: Structure your description using the sub-headings presented below (i-v). To the extent appropriate and relevant to your proposed project/design, please address the issues identified in the bullets within each sub-heading below.
        1. Challenge Definition
          • State the scientific hypothesis that you intend to test with your proposed project/design.
          • Define the technical challenge the proposed project/design will address in terms that are relevant, significant, and related to sustainability.
          • Clearly describe the scope of the project.
          • Identify all of the research area categories to which your proposal is relevant.
        2. Innovation and Technical Merit
          • Identify what is innovative or inventive in your proposed design.
          • Provide a literature review of relevant and current approaches used to address the challenge.
          • Highlight the interdisciplinary aspects of your proposed approach.
          • Address the feasibility of the design, demonstrate the scientific/technical soundness, and discuss trade-offs in the proposed design approach.
          • Address the adequacy and appropriateness of materials to be used.
        3. Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability (People, Prosperity and the Planet)

          Describe how the proposed project design promotes sustainable environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social benefit.

          With respect to People:

          • Identify how the project meets the needs of the intended end users.
          • Identify how the proposed environmental and economic outcomes benefit society.
          • Identify how the project uses energy and material resources effectively and efficiently through the life cycle while reducing hazards to human health and the environment.

          With respect to Prosperity:

          • Identify short- and long-term costs associated with the project, including potential implementation and maintenance costs.
          • Describe the economic benefits of the project.

          With respect to the Planet:

          • Discuss how the design will reduce impacts on the environment and human health, diminish resource consumption, and/or directly benefit the environment.
          • Address the impacts of the project on the local environment and ensure that it will not shift negative environmental impacts to another locality or media (e.g., air, water, land).
          • If appropriate, discuss how the proposed design is less damaging or more beneficial to the health of natural systems than the traditional design.
        4. Measurable Results (outputs/outcomes), Evaluation Method, and Demonstration Strategy
          • Identify how the identified goals and objectives will be determined and achieved.
          • Propose applicable, effective and appropriate methods to quantify the benefits of the proposed project/design.
          • Address whether necessary partnerships have been developed or will be pursued.
          • Address the transportability of the design or approach, indicating whether it can be replicated in other situations or locations.
        5. Integration of P3 Concepts as an Educational Tool
          • Identify the educational benefits of the P3 project design and how the team will use the P3 project to encourage sustainability among participants, institutions, and/or surrounding or involved communities.
      2. Project Schedule. Show significant steps and milestones for the project. Clearly depict the projects 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 b. below), if applicable.
    2. Partnerships (if applicable): (Note: This section is not covered by the 12-page limit for the Research Plan for Phase I)

      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. Formal letters of understanding or commitment from any and all partners should be submitted in support of the application, when available and appropriate and will be considered letters of intent/support as described in Section IV.B.5.d.(1) below.

    3. References. (Note: This section does not count toward the twelve (12) page limit for the Research Plan outlined in section a. above.)
    4. Important Attachments.
      1. Letters of Intent/Letters of Support. Please see Section IV.B.9.a. for details on these attachments. Any letters exceeding one brief paragraph are considered part of the Research Plan and therefore contribute to the 12-page limit for the Research Plan.
      2. Appendices. These would be any drawings or preliminary data. These may be included but must remain within the 12-page limit for the Research Plan.
  6. Budget and Budget Justification
    1. Budget

      Prepare a budget table using the guidance found at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms/, and select All required forms. Note: The budget categories are also indicated in the following Budget Justification section (IV.B.6.b.). The budget table should be attached to the Project Narrative Attachment Form electronic file [see Section IV.E.3.(d) Project Narrative Attachment Form]. If a subaward, such as a subagreement with an educational institution is included in the application, provide a separate budget and budget justification for the subaward. Include the total amount for the subaward under Other in the master budget. Any project containing subawards or subcontracts that constitute more than 40% of the total direct cost of the application will be subject to special review. Additional justification discussing the need for the subaward/subcontract to accomplish the objectives of the research project must be provided.

      Please note that institutional cost-sharing is not required. If cost-sharing is proposed, a statement describing the cost-sharing should be added to the written budget justification (see (IV.B.6.b. below).

      The budget must include travel expenses for the Principal Investigator and the student team, or representatives of the student team, to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo to be held in the spring of 2010 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

      Please note that when formulating budgets for proposals/applications, applicants must not include management fees or similar charges in excess of the direct costs and indirect costs at the rate approved by the applicants cognizant audit agency, or at the rate provided for by the terms of the agreement negotiated with EPA. The term "management fees or similar charges" refers to expenses added to the direct costs in order to accumulate and reserve funds for ongoing business expenses, unforeseen liabilities, or for other similar costs that are not allowable under EPA assistance agreements. Management fees or similar charges may not be used to improve or expand the project funded under this agreement, except to the extent authorized as a direct cost of carrying out the scope of work.

    2. Budget Justification [Note: This section should be limited to 2 pages in addition to the twelve (12) page limit for the Research Plan described in IV.B.5. above, and not including additions under Nos. (6) and (7) below to support contracts and subawards.]

      Describe the basis for calculating travel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and/or other costs identified in the budget. Indicate here if cost-sharing is proposed. Include a written description of the proposed cost-sharing that identifies the relevant budget categories and the estimated dollar amounts. 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. (Note: Please pay attention to the distinctions listed below. If your submitted budget is not consistent with the parameters detailed below, the processing of an award may be delayed until a new budget is requested and submitted.)

      1. Personnel:
        • Personnel costs are not eligible under this solicitation.
      2. Fringe Benefits:
        • Fringe benefits are not eligible under this solicitation.
      3. Travel:
        • Be certain to include travel costs for an estimated number of faculty advisors and students to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo featuring the EPAs P3 Award which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in spring of 2010.
        • Specify the estimated number of trips, locations, and associated costs for each trip. Explain the need for any travel. If travel outside the United States is proposed, clearly identify who will be traveling, where they will be going, and what of the funds requested from the EPA are needed to cover the international travel.
      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.
        • Any personal property items with a unit cost of less than $5,000 should be entered in the Supplies category.
      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 for services/analyses or consultants and specify its purpose and estimated cost.
        • Contracts must have a separate budget and budget justification, not to exceed one additional page each, included as part of the application.
        • Personnel costs are allowable for specialized consultant fees. (See Section IV.D. Funding Restrictions for requirements associated with consultants.)
      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 subawards, such as those with other universities for members of the research team, are included in this category.
        • Subawards must have a separate budget and budget justification, not to exceed one additional page each, included as part of the application.
      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. Include all current and pending research regardless of source.

  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 document 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 12-page Research Plan limit.

      Note: Letters of intent or support must be part of the application; letters submitted separately will not be accepted. Any transactions between the successful applicant and parties providing letters of support or intent financed with EPA grant funds are subject to the funding restrictions described in Section IV.D.

    2. Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and Research Areas

      At various places in the application, applicants are asked to identify the FON(s) which corresponds to the research area under which the proposed research project is being submitted. Each application must be submitted using a single FON. 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.

      Since the research proposed may be relevant and appropriate for more than one research area, additional research areas may be noted. If more than one research area is identified, the first one listed should correspond to the FON under which the application is submitted. This research area may be used to determine the expertise of the peer review panel that will evaluate the proposal. When submitting a proposal via Grants.gov, each application must be submitted using a single FON.

      The Funding Opportunity Numbers and associated research areas for this RFA: 6th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet are listed below. Additional detail for each is provided above in Section I.E.

      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q1 Agriculture
      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q2 Materials and Chemistry
      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q3 Energy
      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q4 Information Technology
      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q5 Water
      • EPA-G2009-P3-Q6 Built Environment
    3. 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 or portions of applications 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
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 solicitation 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 23, 2008, 4:00 pm Eastern Time (applications must be submitted to Grants.gov by this time, see Section IV.E Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements for further information).

NOTE: Customarily, applicants are notified about evaluation decisions within six months of the solicitation closing date. Awards are generally made 9 months after the solicitation closing date.

D. Funding Restrictions
The funding mechanism for all awards issued under P3 solicitations 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 Principal Investigator(s). 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.

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 Part 30. 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 Part 30. 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 based solely 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). 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 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, if appropriate and relevant, the qualifications, expertise, and experience of:

  1. 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 Part 30. For example, applicants must not use subawards/subgrants to obtain commercial services or products from for profit firms or individual consultants.
  2. 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. 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.

Each proposed project must be able to be completed within the project period and with the initial award of funds. Applicants should request the entire amount of money needed to complete the project. Recipients should not anticipate additional funding beyond the initial award of funds for a specific project.

E. Submission Instructions for Phase I Applications and Other Submission Requirements
Please read this entire section before attempting an electronic submission through Grants.gov.

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the Grants.gov application submission process for this solicitation, call 1-800-490-9194 or send a webmail message to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/contact_us.html at least 10 working days before the submission deadline to assure timely receipt of alternate submission instructions. In your message provide the funding opportunity number and title of the program, specify that you are requesting alternate submission instructions, and provide a telephone number, fax number, and an email address, if available. Alternate instructions will be e-mailed whenever possible. Any applications submitted through alternate submission methods must be received by the solicitation closing date identified above.

Note: Grants.gov submission instructions are updated on an as-needed basis. Please provide your Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) with a copy of the following instructions to avoid submission delays that may occur from the use of outdated instructions.

  1. Preparing for Submission

    The appropriate electronic application package available through the Grants.gov site must be used for electronic submissions. To begin the application process, go to http://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. (Note: The PureEdge viewer is not needed to submit an application to this funding opportunity.) For more information on Adobe Reader please go to http://www.grants.gov/help/help.jsp.

    Note: Grants.gov is aware of a corruption issue when Adobe Reader application packages are saved in different versions of Adobe Reader. It is recommended that applicants uninstall earlier versions of Adobe Reader and then install the version available and compatible through Grants.gov.

    The application package may be quickly accessed from https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms_apps_idx.html using the appropriate FON. Be sure to download the electronic application package for the appropriate FON. Please register for announcement change notification emails. Note: With the exception of the budget form and the current and pending support form (available at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/forms), all necessary forms are included in the electronic application package.

    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. 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. Note for institutions not currently registered: the registration process may take a week or longer to complete. We recommend you designate an AOR and begin the registration process as soon as possible.

    For more information, go to http://www.grants.gov and click on Get Registered.

  2. Acknowledgement of Receipt

    The complete application package 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 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 PI and the Administrative Contact. This email will be sent from receipt.application@epa.gov; emails 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 a. though d. below.

    1. On the initial electronic Grant Application Package page, complete the Application Filing Name field by entering the PIs 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 (d) below.
    4. Project Narrative Attachment Form (click on Add Mandatory Project Narrative): Attach a single electronic file labeled Application that contains the items described in Section IV.B.3. through IV.B.9.a (Table of Contents, Abstract, Research Plan, References, Budget and Budget Justification, Resumes, Current and Pending Support, and Letters of Intent/Support) of this solicitation. In order to maintain format integrity, 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 Table of Contents (IV.B.3.).

    Once the application package has been completed, the Submit button should be enabled. If the Submit button is not active, please call Grants.gov for assistance at 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 or a revised application needs to be submitted. Note: Revised applications must be submitted before the solicitation closing date and time.

  4. Submitting the Application

    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, including contacting Grants.gov, 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 or screen capture this acknowledgement. If a submission problem occurs, reboot the computer turning the power off may be necessary and re-attempt the submission. If submission problems continue, call Grants.gov for assistance (Telephone: 1-800-518-4726).

    Note: Grants.gov issues a case number upon a request for assistance.

  5. Transmission Difficulties

    If transmission difficulties that result in a late transmission, no transmission, or rejection of the transmitted application are experienced, and following the above instructions do not resolve the problem so that the application is submitted to Grants.Gov by the deadline date and time, follow the guidance below. NCER may decide to review the application if it is clearly demonstrated that transmission difficulties were due solely as a result of problems associated with the transfer to Grants.gov and documentation that these instructions were followed is provided. 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 Ron Josephson (josephson.ron@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 5:00 pm EST on the solicitation closing date, send an e-mail before 5:00 pm EST on the deadline date. The email must document the problem and include the Grants.gov case number.
    2. Unsuccessful transfer of the application package: If a successful transfer of the application cannot be accomplished even with assistance from Grants.gov due to electronic submission issues, send an email before 5:00 pm EST on the solicitation closing date. The email must document the problem, include the Grants.gov case number, and attach the entire application.
    3. Grants.gov rejection of the application package: If a notification is received from Grants.gov stating that the application has been rejected for reasons other than late submittal, promptly send an email that includes any materials provided by Grants.gov and attach the entire application.
  6. Submission Instructions for Phase II Proposal Packages

    Additional submission instructions for the Phase II competition will be provided in the Fall of 2009 to the Phase I awardees following award of the Phase I grants. Grants.gov will NOT be used to submit the Phase II applications, they will be submitted directly to EPA.

    Those receiving funding via a P3 Phase I grant are encouraged to apply for funding for a Phase II grant to demonstrate the project. Phase II proposals require many of the same documents as submitted for the Phase I grant. Phase II awards are separate grant awards. The proposal for a P3 Phase II grant, which is a component of the Phase I Project Report, will be due on or around April 1, 2010.

V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

A. Review Process for Phase I Applications

  1. External 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 how well it meets the criteria as well as 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 assign a score of either highly recommend, recommend, or not recommend to each application. EPA translates the average of these individual scores into the final panel review score. All PIs will receive written feedback from the peer review.

  2. Criteria for Phase I Awards

    All eligible grant applications for Phase I awards will be peer reviewed by an external peer review panel to evaluate each application relative to the criteria below. Evaluation of applications against these criteria is intended to identify those projects that propose sustainable designs that are scientifically sound, reflect creative thought and awareness of the current state of knowledge relative to the identified challenge, and offer a team of students the opportunity to work together to address a real-world problem. The criteria below are listed in descending order of importance.

    1. General Relationship of Challenge to Sustainability
      • The proposed project promotes sustainable development in the developed or developing world and the potential for positive social, economic and environmental impacts (people, prosperity and the planet) are clearly indicated and sufficiently addressed.
    2. Challenge Definition
      • The scope of the project and its associated goals and objectives are reasonable and clearly described.
      • The technical challenge is defined in terms that are relevant, significant, and related to sustainability.
    3. Innovation and Technical Merit
      • The proposed project is scientifically sound, appropriate to address the identified challenge and feasible.
      • The novel research and/or development aspects of the design/project are clearly identified, and supported by a literature review.
    4. Measurable Results (outputs/outcomes), Evaluation Method and Demonstration Strategy
      • An evaluation method and measureable results are proposed to quantify the projected benefits. These can be qualitative or quantitative.
    5. Integration of P3 Concepts as an Educational Tool
      • The proposed project has an educational aspect whereby basic sustainability concepts will be shared among participants, institutions, and/or the surrounding or involved communities.
    6. Interdisciplinary teamwork
      • The proposed student design will reflect the contributions of an interdisciplinary team.
    7. Budget and Project Schedule
      • The proposed budget and project schedule are reasonable and appropriate for the project.
  3. Internal Programmatic Review

    Applications receiving scores of highly recommend or recommend 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.

    After the peer review, those applicants who received scores of highly recommend or recommend as a result of the peer review process will be asked to provide additional information for the programmatic review pertaining to the proposed PIs "Past Performance and Reporting History." The applicant must provide the EPA Project Officer with information on the proposed PI's past performance and reporting history under prior Federal agency assistance agreements (assistance agreements include grants and cooperative agreements but not contracts) in terms of: (i) the level of success in performing each agreement, and (ii) how progress towards achieving the results intended under each agreement was reported. This information is required only for the proposed PI's performance under Federal assistance agreements (assistance agreements include grants and cooperative agreements but not contracts) initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project.

    The specific information 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 and/or reporting history exists, you will be asked to so state.

    • Name of Granting Agency
    • Grant/Cooperative agreement number
    • Grant/Cooperative agreement title
    • Brief description of the grant/cooperative agreement
    • A description of how the agreement is similar in size and scope to the proposed project and whether or not it was successfully performed; if not successfully performed, provide an explanation.
    • Information relating to the proposed PI's past performance in reporting on progress towards achieving the expected results (outputs/outcomes) under the agreement. Include the history of submitting timely progress/final technical reports, describe how progress towards achieving the expected results was reported/documented, and if such progress was not being made, provide an explanation of whether, and how, this was reported.
    • Total (all years) grant/cooperative agreement dollar value
    • Project period
    • 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 and EPAs statutory authority.
    2. The proposed PI's past performance under Federal agency assistance agreements (assistance agreements include grants and cooperative agreements but not contracts) initiated within the last three years that were similar in size and scope to the proposed project in two areas: First, in successfully performing these prior Federal assistance projects, including whether there is a satisfactory explanation for any lack of success. Second, in reporting progress towards achieving results under these agreements, including the proposed 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 PI has no relevant past performance and/or reporting history, or for whom this information is not available, will be evaluated neither favorably nor unfavorably on these elements.
    3. The geographic and topical distribution of the research portfolio.

B. Review Process for Phase II Applications

  1. External Panel of Judges

    All Phase I recipients are expected to participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo which will be held on the National Mall in April 2010. Prior to attending the Expo, all Phase I grantees will submit a written Project Report which will summarize their Phase I activities as well as present their proposed Phase II activities. In addition, they will be expected to display and discuss their projects at the Expo. Prior to the Expo, the EPA will make arrangements to engage an external panel of judges made up of non-EPA scientists, engineers, social scientists, economists and other professionals with relevant expertise who are accomplished in their respective disciplines and proficient in the technical subjects represented among the P3 projects. These judges will use the Phase II criteria presented below to evaluate the Phase II proposals based on both the written Project Reports and interviews with each of the P3 teams conducted at the Expo. The judges may also correlate their expectations with the academic level of the students involved in each team. The judges will then make recommendations to the EPA on the projects to be considered for a P3 Award and Phase II funding. The panel will be asked to ensure that among the projects recommended to EPA, to the extent possible given the evaluation criteria, there will be projects representing at least three of the six P3 research areas and projects proposed for both the developed and developing world. Winners of the P3 Award will be chosen by EPA based on recommendations from the external judges and as stated in Section C. below. P3 Award winners will be eligible for additional funding to support further development and demonstration as described in their Project Report.

  2. Criteria for Phase II Awards

    The judges will be asked to assess the P3 Phase II proposals based on the same evaluation criteria (in descending order of importance) used in evaluating the Phase I proposals (see V. A. 2. above) with the following additional considerations:

    1. An additional criterion will be added to the top of the list. The judges will be asked to consider the overall sustainability of the proposed project as the most important criterion. This is intended to be inclusive of the impact of the concept being proposed as well as the impact of the project itself and the likelihood that the project may result in a new, more sustainably-based business or can be applied in new locations.
    2. The judges will also be able to consider whether the proposal involves highly interdisciplinary teams (as appropriate for the project) or projects that have a unique and far-reaching component related to sustainability education.

C. Funding Decisions
All final decisions regarding who will receive a Phase I or Phase II P3 Program grant are made by the NCER Director. Phase I decisions are made based on the results of the external peer review and internal programmatic review. Phase II decisions are made based on the recommendations of the panel of expert judges. In addition, in making final funding decisions for P3 Phase I and II grant awards, The NCER Director may also consider program balance, available funds and distribution of award recipients. Applicants selected for funding will be required to provide additional information listed below under Award Notices. The application will then be forwarded to EPAs Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division (GIAMD) for award in accordance with the EPAs procedures.

VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Award Notices
Customarily, applicants are notified about evaluation decisions within six months of the solicitation 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 the PI to obtain these materials.

The official notification of an award will be made by the Agencys Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division. Applicants are cautioned that only a grants officer is authorized to 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. See http://www.epa.gov/ncer/guidance for the full terms and conditions associated with an award, including which activities require prior approval from the EPA.

  1. National Sustainable Design Expo

    The PI and the student team, or a subset of the student team, will be expected to budget for, and participate in, the National Sustainable Design Expo to be held the Spring following award on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

  2. Approval of Changes after 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 applicant 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. For observational studies involving children or pregnant women or nursing mothers please refer to Subparts B & D of 40 C.F.R. § 26. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR § 46.101(e) have long required "... compliance with pertinent Federal laws or regulations which provide additional protection for human subjects." EPAs regulation 40 C.F.R. Part 26 is such a pertinent Federal regulation. Therefore, the applicant's Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must state that the applicant's study meets the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR § 26. No work involving human subjects, including recruiting, may be initiated before the EPA has received a copy of the applicants 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://epa.gov/quality/exmural.html#genreqts. 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 located at 2 CFR Part 215 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 Project Report with an executive summary for web posting prior to the 2010 National Sustainable Design Expo.

    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

    EPAs 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 as part of the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability. 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.

    A graphic that may be converted to a slide or used in other ways, such as on a poster, is located at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/guidance/star_images.html. EPA expects recipients to use this graphic in oral and poster presentations.

  8. Exchange Network

    EPA, states, territories, and tribes are working together to develop the National Environmental Information Exchange Network, a secure, Internet- and standards-based way to support electronic data reporting, sharing, and integration of both regulatory and non-regulatory environmental data. States, tribes and territories exchanging data with each other or with EPA, should make the Exchange Network and the Agency's connection to it, the Central Data Exchange (CDX), the standard way they exchange data and should phase out any legacy methods they have been using. More information on the Exchange Network is available at www.exchangenetwork.net exit EPA.

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: William Stelz (stelz.william@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8039
Electronic Submissions Contact: Ron Josephson (josephson.ron@epa.gov); phone: 703-308-0442
Technical Contact: Cynthia L. Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov); phone: 703-347-8102

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