Strategic Research Action Plans Fiscal Years 2023-2026
Research in EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) provides solutions needed to meet today’s complex environmental and human health challenges. Research is organized around six highly integrated and transdisciplinary national research programs that are closely aligned with the Agency's strategic goals and cross-Agency strategies. Each program is guided by a Strategic Research Action Plan (StRAP) developed by EPA with input from its many internal and external partners and stakeholders.
On this page:
- Air, Climate, and Energy StRAP
- Chemical Safety for Sustainability StRAP
- Health and Environmental Risk Assessment StRAP
- Homeland Security StRAP
- Safe and Sustainable Water Resources StRAP
- Sustainable and Healthy Communities StRAP
In addition to outlining a research framework, the StRAPs also describe the overall structure and purpose of the Program. The strategic directions and research areas identified in each StRAP serve as planning guides for ORD’s research centers to design specific research products to address the needs of both internal and external Agency partners and stakeholders. Partner engagement is an essential part of the StRAP development process to identify research needs to be addressed.
Additional information on ORD's research planning process: ORD's Strategic Research Planning
EPA’s Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) National Research Program (NRP) recognizes that addressing the increasing risks posed by climate change and reducing the disproportionate burdens faced by low-income and minority communities requires effective air quality risk management with consideration of criteria and other toxic air pollutants, indoor air quality, wildfires, and the transformation of the Nation’s energy and transportation systems. It lays the foundation for research that promotes the strategic objectives of the Agency to improve air quality, address the causes and consequences of climate change, and protect public health and the environment. Research activities in ACE are organized broadly around two topics: 1) understanding air pollution and climate change and their impacts on human health and ecosystems, and 2) responding to risks and impacts and preparing for the future.
EPA's Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) National Research Program is focused on addressing the pressing environmental and health challenge of a lack of sufficient information on chemicals needed to make informed, risk-based decisions. Improving the safe production, use, and disposal of chemicals is a major priority in support of actions to protect human health and the environment. Research activities in CSS are organized broadly around three topics: 1) chemical evaluation, 2) complex systems science, and 3) knowledge delivery and solutions-driven translation to support chemical safety decisions.
EPA’s Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) National Research Program is designed to develop and apply state-of-the-science research to characterize the impacts on human and ecological systems, whether they result from exposure to single, complex, or multiple physical, chemical, or biological stressors. In doing so, HERA provides key components of the scientific foundation for risk assessments to inform decisions aimed at protecting human health and the environment. Research activities in HERA are organized broadly around two topics: 1) science assessments and translation and 2) advancing the science and practice of risk assessment.
EPA’s Homeland Security (HS) National Research Program addresses science gaps related to oil spill response, protecting water systems, and cleanup of wide areas contaminated with high-priority Homeland Security Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear agents. This includes contamination incidents due to natural disasters, pathogens that cause communicable diseases, covert release of chemicals, and agricultural incidents with animal and crop diseases. Research activities in HS are organized broadly around three topics: 1) contaminant characterization and risk assessment, 2) environmental cleanup and infrastructure remediation, and 3) community engagement and systems-based tools supporting resilience equity.
EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) National Research Program provides robust research and scientific analyses to innovatively and economically support safe and adequate supplies of water—protecting people’s health and livelihood while restoring and maintaining watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. Targeted research will yield the innovative tools and information needed to protect and restore watersheds, aquatic ecosystems, and water infrastructure to provide clean, adequate, and equitable supplies of water for optimum human health and ecosystem functions. Research activities in SSWR are organized broadly into three interrelated topics: 1) watersheds, 2) nutrients and harmful algal blooms, and 3) water treatment and infrastructure.
EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) National Research Program takes a systems approach to integrate the full range of available data from public health, physical, natural, and social sciences, toxicology, engineering, and ecosystems research to support Agency priorities and empower communities to make scientifically informed decision. Research is done with and for communities to improve their access to clean air, water, and land for increased health and well-being where people live, learn, work, and play. Research activities in SHC are organized broadly into three interrelated topics: 1) advancing remediation and restoration of contaminated sites, 2) materials management and beneficial reuse of waste, and 3) integrated systems approaches to building healthy and resilient communities.