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National Center for Environmental Research


EPA/NSF Partnership for Environmental Research

EPA/NSF Joint Competition
Interagency Announcement of Opportunity

  • Water and Watersheds
  • Technology for a Sustainable Environment
  • Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy



The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announce their intent to support a special awards competition in Fiscal Year (FY) 1996. This NSF-EPA competition has been developed based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed on December 8, 1994 which establishes a partnership between the two agencies emphasizing the support and merit review of fundamental, extramural environmental research. As EPA's Office of Research and Development expands its extramural grants program in FY 1996, NSF is providing assistance and consultation. This is the second year of the joint special awards competition. Information on the FY 1995 competition may be found on the Internet through: http://www.nsf.gov/stratare/egch/envresop.htm or http://www.epa.gov. The three research areas targeted by this Announcement of Opportunity are:

2.0 TOPIC A : Water and Watersheds

3.0 TOPIC B: Technology for a Sustainable Environment

4.0 TOPIC C: Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

Awards made through this competition are dependent upon responsiveness of the proposals to the announcement, the quality of the proposed research, and the availability of funds. Under this announcement, NSF and EPA anticipate awarding:
  • Approximately $6 million for Water and Watersheds, with a projected award range from $75,000 to $500,000 per award per year, and an approximate duration of 2 to 3 years.
  • Approximately $5 million for Technology for a Sustainable Environment, with a projected award range from $75,000 to $150,000 per award per year, and an approximate duration of 2 to 3 years.
  • Approximately $2.5 million for Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy, with a projected award range from $60,000 to $100,000 per award per year, and an approximate duration of 2 to 3 years.

Proposals in response to this announcement must be received by 7 May 1996. It is anticipated that awards will be made by Fall 1996. Awards resulting from this competition may be made by either NSF or EPA, at the agencies' option, not the grantee's.

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

 Information on Proposal Submission
 Information on Proposal Review
 Grant Administration



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

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

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

Dr. Robert E. Menzer
EPA National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance
Internet: menzer.robert@epamail.epa.gov
voice (202) 260-5779

Dr. Melinda L. McClanahan
Internet: mcclanahan.melinda@epamail.epa.gov
fax (202) 260-0450
voice (202) 260-7474

Information on Water and Watersheds:

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

Dr. Ian MacGregor
Internet: imacgreg@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1553

Ms. Barbara Levinson
Internet: levinson.barbara@epamail.epa.gov
fax (202) 260-0211
voice (202) 260-5983

Information on Technology for a Sustainable Environment

Dr. Robert Wellek
Internet: rwellek@nsf.gov
fax (703) 306-0319

Dr. Marge Cavanaugh
Internet: mcavanau@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1842

Mr. Stephen A. Lingle
Internet: lingle.stephen@epamail.epa.gov
voice (202) 260-5748

Information on Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

Dr. Robin Cantor
Internet: rcantor@nsf.gov
voice (703) 306-1757

Mr. Gregory C. Ondich
Internet: ondich.greg@epamail.epa.gov
fax (202) 260-4524
voice (202) 260-5753

Dr. Mary Jo Kealy
Internet: kealy.mary@epamail.epa.gov
fax (202) 260-5732
voice (202) 260-5728

Dr. Alan Carlin
Internet: carlin.alan@epamail.epa.gov
fax (202) 260-5732
voice (202) 260-5499


Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation will be accepted from colleges, universities, and other not-for-profit institutions in the U.S. Organizations affiliated with local, state, or federal government units (including FFRDCs) are not considered eligible. Personnel associated with entities such as national labs, state agencies, and FFRDCs are encouraged to participate as co-investigators on proposals originating at eligible institutions, within the limits imposed by applicable legislation and regulations. Federal employees may not receive salaries or in other ways augment their agency's appropriations through grants made by this program.

NSF and EPA welcome proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers, and other professionals, and strongly encourage women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the programs described in this announcement.

In accordance with Federal statutes and regulations and NSF and EPA policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation or the Environmental Protection Agency.


Proposals submitted in response to this Announcement must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines provided in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (NSF 95-27) with the exceptions and additional considerations noted in the topic-specific sections above (sections 2.3, 3.4 and 4.3). The GPG may be found in most university offices of sponsored research or may be obtained electronically via the Science and Technology Information System (STIS). Instructions for obtaining documents through STIS are printed on the inside front cover of this announcement.

Single copies of the GPG brochure and other NSF publications referenced in this announcement are available at no cost from: NSF Publications and Supplies Unit, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room P-15, Arlington, VA 22230, (703) 306-1130, or via e-mail from: pubs@nsf.gov. EPA documents referenced in this announcement are available through the Government Printing Office (S/N 055-000-00466-8), or electronically through the EPA-sponsored CLU-IN Clean-up Information Bulletin Board, system operator (301) 589-8368, modem access (301) 589-8366.


For purposes of administration of the competition, applicants are requested to indicate one of the three topics (A, B, or C) in the box in the upper left corner of the cover page printed at the end of this announcement. If the cover page provided in the GPG is used instead, please write in one of these three topic areas in the box labeled: "FOR CONSIDERATION BY NSF ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT(S)."

A. Water and Watersheds

B. Technology for a Sustainable Environment

C. Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

Collaborative proposals involving more than one institution should be submitted as a single administrative package from one of the institutions involved. The package should include one project summary, one table of contents, one results from prior support, one project description, one section for references, and one copy of special information as specified in GPG section II.D.10. Additionally, the package should include, for each university and its PI/co-PIs, a signed cover sheet, budget pages and explanation, biographic sketches, current and pending support for each PI, and facilities and other resources unique to each institution. Group proposals, as described in GPG section II.D.12.b, will not be accepted for the three component competitions described in this announcement.

The "Results from Prior Support" section should include information on prior Federal awards most closely related to the proposal, (i.e. not limited to NSF awards). The information requested in GPG Section II.D.4 should be supplied for the most relevant federal awards received in the past five years. Please note the authorized exception to the GPG for Water and Watersheds proposals detailed in Section 2.3 of this announcement.

Twenty stapled copies of each proposal package, including one copy bearing original signatures from all institutions, should be mailed to:

Announcement No. NSF 96-45
National Science Foundation
Room P-60 - PPU
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230

The closing date for proposal submission for this competition is 7 May 1996. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement must be:

1) received at the address given above no later than 7 May 1996; or,

2) be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than 2 May 1996.

NOTE: The 7 May 1996 deadline is final. Proposals received after 7 May, or postmarked later than 2 May 1996 will not be accepted .

For those proposals selected for funding by EPA, supplemental information will be needed to fulfill EPA regulatory requirements that differ from those of NSF. EPA will provide the applicant institution with the requisite forms at the appropriate time.


EPA and NSF use similar general criteria in review of competitive grant proposals. NSF's criteria are described in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 95-27). For this joint NSF-EPA announcement, proposals will be evaluated through the standard NSF merit review process, as conducted jointly by NSF and EPA. Compliance with Federal certification requirements is a prerequisite for receiving awards under this program.

General criteria used in the evaluation of proposals are:

  • Overall merit of the proposal, including unique and innovative methods, approaches, or concepts demonstrated in the proposal.
  • The qualifications and capabilities of the investigators.
  • Potential to contribute to the advancement of the specific topic areas of the program in particular.
  • Potential to enhance training and information transfer in the topic areas of this program.

Additional considerations important to the proposal review process are described in the topic-specific sections of this announcement (see Sections 2.3, 3.4 and 4.3).

Final selection of awardees by NSF and EPA will be based on recommendations by peer reviewers and programmatic considerations. It is expected that grant awards will be made by Fall 1996. Appropriate officials may be contacted after 15 September 1996 regarding proposal status.


Upon conclusion of panel merit review, meritorious proposals may be recommended for funding by either NSF or EPA, at the agencies' option, not the proposer's. Subsequent grant administration procedures will be in accordance with the individual policies of the awarding agency.


NSF grants awarded as a result of this announcement will be administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of NSF GC-1, "Grant General Conditions," or FDP-II, "Federal Demonstration Project General Terms and Conditions," depending on the grantee organization.

For NSF awards, more comprehensive information on the administration of NSF grants is contained in the Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26, July 1995), for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, D.C. 20402. The telephone number at GPO is (202) 512-1800 for subscription information.

Organizations applying to NSF for the first time, or which have not received an NSF award within the preceding 2 years, should refer to the NSF Grant Policy Manual, Section 500, for instructions on specific information that may be requested by NSF. First time NSF awardees will be required to submit organizational, management, and financial information, including a certification of civil rights compliance, before a grant can be made. One copy of the Grant Policy Manual will be provided free of charge to new grantees.

Upon completion of an NSF project, a Final Project Report (NSF Form 98A) form will be sent to the grantee. Applicants should review this form prior to proposal submission so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the proposal plan to ensure that complete information will be available at the conclusion of the project.

Activities described in this publication are in the following categories in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): 47.041 Engineering; 47.049 Mathematical and Physical Sciences; 47.050 Geosciences; 47.074 Biological Sciences; 47.075 Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.


The funding mechanism for all EPA awards made in response to this announcement will consist of a grant agreement between EPA and the recipient institution. In accordance with Public Law 95-224, a grant is used to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute rather than acquisition for the direct benefit of the Agency.

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

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

(NOTE: A complete proposal forms kit is provided in the Grant Proposal Guide , NSF 95-27)

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2.0 TOPIC A : Water and Watersheds

3.0 TOPIC B: Technology for a Sustainable Environment

4.0 TOPIC C: Decision Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy

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