Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Research Program

To (1) support research to determine the environmental and human health effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides; (2) identify, develop, and demonstrate effective pollution control techniques; and (3) support research to explore and develop

credit: Cancer Research UK
strategies and mechanisms for those in the social, governmental, and environmental arenas to use in environmental management decisions.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2017: The STAR Program will fund the highest quality research in the following research areas:

1) Air climate and energy research assess human and ecosystem exposures and effects associated with air pollutants and climate change.

2) Safe and sustainable water research provides the resource management tools that allow decision makers to systematically consider complex tradeoffs occurring in a watershed on a regional or national scale.

These tools are based on an improved understanding of the impacts of environmental stresses such as waterborne chemicals and microbial contaminants on aquatic systems and the potential impacts of anthropogenic processes.

This research will also address issues related to the nation's aging water infrastructure; high priority water quality and availability research; and promising approaches such as green infrastructure; 3) Sustainable and healthy communities research program supports the Agency's effort to protect and restore land, and support community health.

This research focuses on developing data and tools for forecasting and assessing ecological and community health, designing near-term approaches for sustainable solutions to address environmental contaminants present in communities, and developing sustainable practices to help communities manage waste and materials; infrastructure, energy and water; transportation; and planning and zoning for buildings and land use; and 4) Chemical safety and sustainability research underpins the analysis of risks and potential health impacts across the broad spectrum of EPA programs and provides the scientific foundation for pesticide and toxic substances programs, pollution prevention.

Specifically, this research allows the Agency to more quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively assess potential chemical toxicity.

Please check the NCER website: for an updated listing of all solicitations.

FY 2018, EPA did not include funding for this activity in the FY 2018 budget request.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: 1.

Utilize a freshwater crustacean and a freshwater gastropod as model ecological receptors to develop bioenergetic markers and population models for predicting adverse ecological effects in response to two emerging contaminants, pyroclostrobin fungicide and perfluorooctane sulfonate.


Develop new and improved Environmental Public Health Indicators related to the school environment, and explore appropriate statistical methodology in order to evaluate linkages between the school environment and children's health and school performance.


Communicate to the public the importance of the effects of nutrient loading and the consequences for ecological services.

This will be achieved through the development of an organizational framework, quantification of spatially scalable ecological services production function, investigation of household preferences and economic value of water quality, preference surveys to estimate willingness to pay, and the production of an Integrated Assessment Model (IAM).


Use a preference function model to value changes in water quality benefits.

The findings will be adaptable to alternative study-sites and will address critical deficiencies in traditional benefit transfer studies.


Develop an integrated modeling framework to characterize present and future health risks in an elderly population jointly exposed to ozone and extreme heat.

Fiscal Year 2017: Projects listed for FY 16 will cross over into FY 2017.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or the contacts listed in the solicitations.

Solicitations are located at:

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of Massachusetts $ 465,535   2022-10-012025-09-30
Medical University Of South Carolina The $ 376,846   2022-10-012025-09-30
University Of Wisconsin System $ 741,864   2022-09-012025-08-31
Drexel University $ 1,350,000   2022-09-012025-08-31
Emory University $ 1,349,998   2022-09-012025-08-31
Iowa State University Of Science And Technology $ 1,350,000   2022-09-012025-08-31
Medical College Of Wisconsin, Inc., The $ 1,349,999   2022-09-012025-08-31
Regents Of The University Of Minnesota $ 742,000   2022-09-012025-08-31
University Of Missouri System $ 740,014   2022-09-012025-08-31
University Of Texas At Austin $ 741,054   2022-09-012025-08-31

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Applications received for the STAR Program - FY 16: 87. New awards for the STAR Program - FY 16: 9. Abstracts of current grant awards, and annual interim and final summary results of the research are available on the homepage: Fiscal Year 2017: Applications received for the STAR Program - FY 17 est.: 187. New awards for the STAR Program - FY 17 est.: 0. Abstracts of current grant awards, and annual interim and final summary results of the research are available on the homepage: Fiscal Year 2018: NA.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) generally does not accept unsolicited proposals for the STAR program.

All STAR awards are made in response to competitive requests for applications (RFAs) or requests for initial proposals (RFIPs).

Funds awarded via grants/cooperative agreements are available for allowable direct cost expenditures incident to the performance of research plus allocable portions of allowable indirect costs of the institutions, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: Some solicitations issued under this CFDA may allow for the submittal of Multiple Investigator applications.

The applicability of Multiple Investigator applications will be described in the solicitations.

For further information, please see the EPA Implementation Plan for Policy on Multiple Principal Investigators ( Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving company-owned or -rented vehicles or government-owned vehicles, or while driving privately-owned vehicles when on official government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the government.

Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to conduct initiatives of the type described in section 3(a) of the Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving Executive Order that was signed on October 1, 2009.

Generally this program makes Federal awards on a discretionary basis.

For further information, please contact the Headquarters or regional office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

Public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public and private institutions of higher education, and hospitals located in the U.S., state and local governments, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, and U.S.

territories or possessions are eligible to apply.

Profit-making firms and individuals are not eligible to apply.

Non-profit organization, as defined by 2 CFR Part 200, means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative or other organization that: (1) is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable or similar purposes in the public interest; (2) is not organized primarily for profit; and (3) uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve and/or expand its operations.

Note that 2 CFR Part 200 specifically excludes the following types of organizations from the definition of ?non-profit organization? because they are separately defined in the regulation: (i) institutions of higher education; and (ii) state, local and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments.

While not considered to be a ?non-profit organization(s)? as defined by 2 CFR Part 200, Institutions of Higher Education and state, local and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments are, nevertheless, eligible to submit applications under this program.

Hospitals operated by state, tribal, or local governments or that meet the definition of nonprofit at 2 CFR 200.70 are also eligible to apply.

For-profit colleges, universities, trade schools, and hospitals are ineligible.

Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible to apply.

Foreign governments, international organizations, and non-governmental international organizations/institutions 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 research personnel, 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.

Federal employees may not receive salaries or augment their Agency?s appropriations through awards made under this program unless authorized by law to receive such funding.

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 to the extent authorized by law.

Examples are purchase of satellite data, 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.

Certain competitions may allow for early career awards.

The following requirements in addition to the requirements listed above apply to early career awards.

The early career awards will support research performed by PIs with outstanding promise at the Assistant Professor or equivalent level.

Principal investigators from applicant institutions applying for the early career portion of the RFA must meet the following additional eligibility requirements: 1.

Hold a doctoral degree in a field related to the research being solicited by the closing date of the RFA; 2.

Be untenured at the closing date of the RFA; 3.

By the award date, be employed in a tenure-track position (or tenure-track-equivalent position) as an assistant professor (or equivalent title) at an institution in the U.S., its territories, or possessions.

Note: For a position to be considered a tenure-track-equivalent position, it must meet all of the following requirements: (1) the employing department or organization does not offer tenure; (2) the appointment is a continuing appointment; (3) the appointment has substantial educational responsibilities; and (4) the proposed project relates to the employee's career goals and job responsibilities as well as to the goals of the department/organization.

Senior researchers may collaborate in a supporting role for early career awards.

Early career applications should not propose significant resources for senior researchers and may not list senior researchers as co-PIs.

Applicants will be asked to verify their early career status.

See RFAs at: for additional information pertaining to eligibility requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public nonprofit institutions/organizations and private nonprofit institutions/organizations located in the U.S.; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; U.S. territories or possessions; Anyone/General Public, Education Professional, Student/Trainee, Graduate Student, Scientists/Researchers.


The EPA may request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary resources to carry out the research. EPA may ask applicants to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications. EPA may also ask the lead principal investigator/contact principal investigator for information documenting past performance. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as 'Information Contacts' or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

When applicable, an environmental impact assessment is made by the Office of Research and Development as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Competitive RFAs or RFIPs for grants/cooperative agreements are announced widely through the Internet, university and scientific organizations, among other mechanisms. Applicants must propose EPA mission relevant research based on excellent science as determined through peer review by experts drawn from the national and international scientific community. Other more specialized scientific areas may be solicited via joint RFAs with other Federal agencies. The STAR program may fund research centers that focus on long-term, multi-disciplinary research. This program is subject to the provisions of 2 CFR Part 200 and 2 CFR Part 1500. Specific details on the application process are described in the solicitations which are located at: Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements. Customarily, applicants are notified of award decisions within six months of the close of the RFA. After being recommended for award, applicants will be required to submit additional certifications and may be requested to submit an electronic version of the project abstract, provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by the peer reviewers, and provide a revised budget. EPA Project Officers will contact the Lead Principal Investigator/Contact Principal Investigator to obtain these materials. The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency's Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division. Before or after award, certain applicants will be expected to provide additional quality assurance documentation.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C 1254; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C 6981; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, 7 U.S.C 136r; National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Section 102(2(F); Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C 7403; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, 15 U.S.C 2609; Safe Drinking Water Act, Title 42, Part 3000, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C 300j-1.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

As shown in the specific solicitations, which are accessible through the EPA website at Approximately three to six months from the close of the solicitation.


Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as 'Information Contacts.' Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.


None. A standard grant application should be prepared and submitted as a new grant, which will be reviewed in the same manner as the original application and will compete for available funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program has no matching requirements. The Office of Research and Development reserves the right to impose a cost share requirement under certain competitions. See individual RFAs. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are normally funded for a minimum of 3 years. Total approved project period may not exceed 5 years. Grants are generally fully funded or incrementally funded (on an annual basis), subject to the availability of funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance is either fully funded (lump sum) or incrementally funded on an annual basis.

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

A grant recipient must agree to provide annual progress reports, with associated summaries for posting on NCER's web site, and a final report with an executive summary for web posting.

A grant recipient must agree to provide copies of any peer reviewed journal article(s) resulting from the research during the project period.

The recipient also agrees to provide expenditure and invention reports as appropriate.

Progress Reports are required under this program.

No expenditure reports are required.

Performance Monitoring is required under this program.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.


The record retention requirements of 2 CFR Part 200 apply. Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate charges to each grant, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $49,200,000; FY 17 est $28,400,000; and FY 18 est $0 - FY 16 $49.2M; FY 17 est. $28.4M; FY 18 est. $0.0M.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

New awards range from $799,000 to $10,000,000 total per grant and average $266,000 to $2,000,000 per fiscal year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

2 CFR Part 200 & 2 CFR Part 1500 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards) and Research and Demonstration Grant Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 40).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or the contacts listed in the solicitations. Solicitations are located at:

Headquarters Office

Ron Josephson EPA, 2777 Crystal Drive (One Potomac Yards), Arlington, Virginia 22202 Email: Phone: 703-308-0442

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. See the web page ( for additional information on the evaluative criteria for the RFAs.

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