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2012 EPA Research Progress Report

Supporting and Building Partnerships

EPA supports the nation's leading scientists and engineers to facilitate the pursuit and dissemination of high-quality research to build a strong foundation for Agency actions and decisions. Additionally, EPA researchers cultivate and maintain partnerships with research colleagues at colleges and universities around the world, at partner federal and state human health and environmental agencies, and other entities throughout the scientific community.

The Agency's extramural research program funds research grants, graduate and undergraduate fellowships, and large research centers through a competitive solicitation processes and independent peer review. These programs engage the nation's best scientists and engineers in targeted research that complements EPA's own research.

EPA is also one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The SBIR program was established in 1982 to strengthen the role of small business in federal research and development, create jobs, and promote technical innovation. EPA's SBIR program awards funds to innovative small businesses that have novel concepts for products and technologies that will help spur economic growth while advancing a more sustainable future.

Research Highlights

EPA Research Grants and Fellowships for 2012

EPA funds research grants and graduate fellowships in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. The program engages the nation's best scientists and engineers in targeted research that complements EPA's own intramural research program and supports partners in other federal agencies.


STAR Grants to Support Air Quality Measurement Technology and Management

Four projects received grant funding totaling approximately $1.25 million to develop and demonstrate new air quality measurement technology.


STAR Grants to Support Research on the Impacts of Global Climate Change

EPA awarded 14 grants, totaling more than $8 million, to support research into ways to provide the information and tools needed for effective air and water quality management during anticipated increases in extreme events such as large storms and severe droughts.


STAR Grants to Support Chesapeake Bay

EPA awarded the University of Maryland a grant totaling $691,674 for supporting a research center to identify new, collaborative approaches to reduce urban stormwater from reaching Chesapeake Bay.


STAR Grants to Support the Environmental Impact and Mitigation of Oil Spills

EPA awarded four grants, totaling $1.9 million, to explore the development of innovative oil spill mitigation technologies and to provide needed technical assistance to Gulf Coast communities impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


STAR Grants to Support Treatment Technologies for Small Drinking Water Systems

EPA awarded 11 grants, totaling $5.5 million, to support research on and demonstration of new and existing drinking water treatment technologies in small, public water systems to reduce or eliminate chemical contamination.


STAR Grants to Support Computational Toxicology

EPA awarded eight grants, totaling nearly $8.6 million, to support research to develop new, innovative ways to test and screen chemicals and chemical mixtures.


Collaborating on Health Disparities Research

EPA is a partner in the Federal Collaboration on Health Disparities Research , a coordinated, federal effort to target health improvement in populations disproportionately affected by disease, injury and/or disability. The collaboration pools scientific expertise and resources to advance the research needed to accelerate the elimination of health disparities in vulnerable populations.


Stoking the Economic Engine: EPA's Small Business Innovation Research Awards

EPA's SBIR program was established to ensure that new technologies are developed to solve priority environmental problems.


P3—Winning the Sustainable Future

The three "Ps" of P3 are People, Prosperity and the Planet. Established in 2004, the competition is focused on supporting innovative designs that benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect the planet while advancing sustainability around the world.


Image of Chesapeake Bay taken from the International Space Station

Supporting Innovation

Innovative organizations recognize the importance of tapping the collective expertise of their staff and encouraging everyone to contribute ideas and submit possible solutions that support the organizational mission. EPA's Office of Research and Development has embraced this concept to harness the talent and energy of its scientists and engineers.


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