Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study

 

The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) offers undergraduate fellowships to students in environmentally related fields of study. This program is intended to strengthen the environmental research capacity of institutions of higher education that receive limited funding to build such capacity.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
66.513
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 Applications received for the Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship Program- FY 16: 0. New awards for the Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship Program-FY 16 est.: 33. New awards for the Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship Program-FY 16: 33.
Fiscal Year 2017 No applications were received and no new awards were made under this program in FY17.
Fiscal Year 2018 No applications were received and no new awards will be made under this program in FY18.
Authorization
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, as amended by P.L. 106-74
Clean Air Act, Section 103
Clean Water Act, Section 104
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001
Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, as amended by P.L. 106-74
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Section 102(2)(F)
Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants must attend a fully accredited four-year U.S. college or university (located in the U.S. or its territories) for the fellowship period. Individuals must be citizens of the U.S. or its territories or possessions, or be lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence. You must have your green card at the time of application to be eligible for this Fellowship opportunity. Do not provide the green card number with your application; however, you may be asked to provide it at a later time to verify eligibility with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security. The GRO Undergraduate Fellowship is intended for students entering their last two years of full time study before obtaining their first bachelor's degree. Students who have already earned one bachelor's degree and are pursuing additional degrees are not eligible. The fellowship tenure is for 2 full academic years (9 months each) with a required paid summer internship after their first year. Thus, only students who will be entering their last two years of college will be considered eligible. In order to receive the fellowship, the student must attend a fully accredited four-year U.S. institution of higher education. This school must be among those that are not highly funded for research and development capacity. For the purposes of this solicitation, students attending those institutions receiving more than $35 million in annual federal research and development funding are ineligible to apply under this solicitation. Institutions who exceed this threshold can be identified in the National Science Foundation's publication "Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2012," Page 37, Table 12, column 2. These data can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2015/nsf15305/pdf/nsf15305.pdf. Students attending those institutions either not listed, or listed as having received $35 million or less as designated in column 2 of Table 12 are eligible to apply. Students attending two-year institutions, community colleges, and those not in attendance at an institution of higher education at the time of application submittal may be eligible to apply. However, in order to be eligible to receive the fellowship, students attending two-year institutions, community colleges, or those not in attendance at the time of application will need to show evidence of having received their Associate's degree, demonstrate that they only have two years left of undergraduate studies for completion of their Bachelor's degree, and will also need to demonstrate that they have been accepted to attend an accredited eligible four-year institution. This requirement is considered satisfied if the student is transferring to an accredited eligible four-year institution which has an Articulation Agreement with the two-year institution, thus meaning that all credits will transfer towards requirements for the Bachelor's degree. An Articulation Agreement is a signed contract between a community or technical college and a four-year college or university that guarantees that a student who earns an associate's degree at a participating two-year institution can transfer all of the general education core credits to the four-year institution toward the completion of baccalaureate degree requirements. More information can usually be obtained directly from the institution's Registrar. Alternately, a student with an Associate's degree may provide a letter from the Registrar of the accredited eligible four-year institution verifying that upon matriculation, the student will only have two remaining years of undergraduate study to complete the first Bachelor's degree. Students must be pursuing a bachelor's degree in an environmentally-related field, such as biology, health, the social sciences, or engineering. Students must have two (2) years remaining from the start of the Fall semester (Fall 2015) before receiving their initial bachelor's degree. Students must have at least a "B" average overall at the time of application submittal and during the tenure of the fellowship. Applicants who currently have another federal fellowship are not eligible. However, acceptance of a fellowship under this solicitation does not necessarily preclude acceptance of another private, state, regional, local, or non-profit scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, research assistantship, teaching assistantship, or grant aid. Employees of the U.S. government may apply, but must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship. Applications must be submitted by the student. Applications submitted by the institution on behalf of the student will be rejected without review. The exact term (start and end dates) of the undergraduate fellowship is negotiated with the student and covers a period of nine months for each fellowship year. Students seeking a bachelor's degree may be supported for a maximum of two academic years. EPA recognizes that scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical (STEM) competence is essential to the Nation's future well-being in terms of national security and competitive economic advantage. For instance, the health and vitality of the economy is predicated, in part, on the availability of an adequate supply of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians, to develop innovative technologies and solutions. In other words, this country must engage all available minds to address the challenges it faces. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities historically have been under-represented in the STEM fields. For this reason, EPA strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to apply. 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.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Individual/Family; Student/Trainee
Credentials/Documentation
EPA may request that fellows document their affiliation with an eligible institution. The EPA may also request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, and experience in the field to carry out the fellowship.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. NCER invites applications for undergraduate fellowships in academic disciplines including engineering, environmental science, and physical science. 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) in the competitive announcement .
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Specific details on the application process are described in the solicitations which are located at: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through https://www.grants.gov.
Award Procedure
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. The official notification of an award will be made by the EPA's Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division.
Deadlines
Specific information regarding deadlines is provided in the competitive announcement.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days. Approximately three to six months from the close of the solicitation.
Appeals
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.
Renewals
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA assistance listing will be described in the competitive announcement. Please visit(https://www.epa.gov/research-grants) for additional information on the evaluative criteria for the competitive announcement.
How may assistance be used?
Funds are to provide resources to allow for fellowships related to environmental issues. The GRO program enhances and supports quality environmental education for undergraduates, and thereby encourages them to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level, and pursue careers in environmentally-related fields, such as biology, health, the social sciences, and engineering.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: EPA includes reporting requirements for fellowships in the terms and conditions of the agreements. Performance Monitoring is required under this program.
Auditing
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.
Records
The record retention requirements of 40 CFR Part 46 are applicable. All records related to a fellowship agreement must be maintained for three years after the completion date inserted on the "Completion of Studies Notice" (EPA Form 5770-9). EPA, the Inspector General, Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, has the right of timely and unrestricted access to documents, papers, or other records related to a fellowship, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts and copies of such documents. The rights of access in this paragraph are not limited to the required retention period, but shall last as long as records are retained.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The term of the fellowship is negotiated with the student and covers a period of nine months for each fellowship year. Students seeking a bachelor's degree may be supported for a maximum of two years. Assistance is fully funded (lump sum).
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For general questions, 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: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants .
Headquarters Office
Ron Josephson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development/NCER), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Mail Code: 8725R)
Washington, DC 20460 US
josephson.ron@epa.gov
Phone: 202-564-7823
Website Address
https://www.epa.gov/research-grants
Financial Information
Account Identification
68-0107-0-1-304
Obligations
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$0.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$0.00; FY 16$0.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No information is available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Fellowship Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 46).
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 1. The goal of this study is to assess contamination by quantifying the pathogens Salmonella and Aeromonas in comparison to fecal indicators in an impaired stream. The results of this study will inform management of impaired waters. 2. The fellow will investigate volatile organic compounds found in ambient air samples in order to monitor local air quality. This will be achieved through analyzing aerosol filter samples by gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS). 3. The fellow will investigate the effects of drainage tiles on sub-surface erosion rates through isotopic analysis of fallout radionuclides in samples of river sediment in the Vermillion River watershed in northeast Ohio. Understanding the sources and magnitude of sediment pollution is of critical importance in the Great Lakes watershed, as sediment and the contaminants it may carry has a detrimental effect on aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality. 4. Biofuels are potentially promising alternatives to conventional petrofuels, as they are renewable and release substantially lower emissions than their fossil fuel counterparts. Although there has been much progress made with respect to biofuel research, there are many setbacks that make it hard for these fuels to be fully implemented. This research works to optimize biofuels by studying properties of fuel synthesis and fuel cold flow behavior, while considering interactions with the environment. 5. The ecological context of chemical pollutant exposure can enhance susceptibility to chemical toxicity, and variation in environmental conditions – such as shifts in temperature resulting from climate change – may heighten the adverse impacts of pollutants. This research will examine the interactions between chemical exposure and environmental context by testing how the adverse reproductive effects of exposure to 4-nonylphenol in an estuarine fish model are influenced by thermal regime. 1. The goal of this study is to assess contamination by quantifying the pathogens Salmonella and Aeromonas in comparison to fecal indicators in an impaired stream. The results of this study will inform management of impaired waters. 2. The fellow will investigate volatile organic compounds found in ambient air samples in order to monitor local air quality. This will be achieved through analyzing aerosol filter samples by gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS). 3. The fellow will investigate the effects of drainage tiles on sub-surface erosion rates through isotopic analysis of fallout radionuclides in samples of river sediment in the Vermillion River watershed in northeast Ohio. Understanding the sources and magnitude of sediment pollution is of critical importance in the Great Lakes watershed, as sediment and the contaminants it may carry has a detrimental effect on aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality. 4. Biofuels are potentially promising alternatives to conventional petrofuels, as they are renewable and release substantially lower emissions than their fossil fuel counterparts. Although there has been much progress made with respect to biofuel research, there are many setbacks that make it hard for these fuels to be fully implemented. This research works to optimize biofuels by studying properties of fuel synthesis and fuel cold flow behavior, while considering interactions with the environment. 5. The ecological context of chemical pollutant exposure can enhance susceptibility to chemical toxicity, and variation in environmental conditions – such as shifts in temperature resulting from climate change – may heighten the adverse impacts of pollutants. This research will examine the interactions between chemical exposure and environmental context by testing how the adverse reproductive effects of exposure to 4-nonylphenol in an estuarine fish model are influenced by thermal regime.
Fiscal Year 2017 No new projects were funded during FY 2017.
Fiscal Year 2018 No new projects will be funded during FY 2018.

 


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