Regional Applied Research Efforts (RARE)


The RARE program provides the EPA Regional offices with a mechanism to fund innovative research partnerships to support near term research. RARE projects address a wide array of environmental science issues critical to the Office of Research and Developments regional partner communities and address regional and national research priorities. Funding Priority 2023: EPA does not expect to support awards under this program in FY 23.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6981
Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C. 1254
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20(a), as amended by P.L. 106-74, 7 U.S.C. 136r
Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10(a), as amended by P.L. 106-74, 15 U.S.C. 2609
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203, 16 U.S.C. 1431
Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7403
Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-1
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Section 311, 42 U.S.C. 9660
National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(I)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Public and private institutions of higher education, public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, hospitals, and laboratories located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; U.S. territories or possessions; and foreign universities/organizations are eligible. Profit-making firms and individuals are not eligible to apply. Consistent with the definition of Nonprofit organization at 2 CFR ? 200.1, the term nonprofit organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated mainly for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest and is not organized primarily for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization. The term includes tax-exempt nonprofit neighborhood and labor organizations. Note that 2 CFR ? 200.1 specifically excludes Institutions of Higher Education from the definition of non-profit organization because they are separately defined in the regulation. While not considered to be a nonprofit organization(s) as defined by 2 CFR ? 200.1, public or nonprofit Institutions of Higher Education 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 ? 200.1 are also eligible to apply as nonprofits or as instrumentalities of the unit of government depending on the applicable law. For-profit colleges, universities, trade schools, and hospitals are ineligible. Nonprofit organizations that are not exempt from taxation under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code must submit other forms of documentation of nonprofit status; such as certificates of incorporation as nonprofit under state or tribal law. Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible for EPA funding as provided in the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 2 U.S.C. 1611. 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. An award recipient 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. 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.
Beneficiary Eligibility
State, Local, Public nonprofit institution/organization, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Anyone/general public, Graduate Student, Scientist/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 principal investigator for information documenting past performance.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is required for this listing. 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 Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through
Award Procedure
For non-competitive awards made under this assistance listing, EPA will conduct an administrative evaluation to determine the adequacy of the application in relation to grant regulations and to technical and program evaluation to determine the merit and relevance of the project. The Agency will then advise the applicant if funding is being considered. A final work plan will then be negotiated with the applicant. The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency's Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division. After being recommended for award, applicants will be required to submit additional certifications and may be requested to provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by the peer reviewers, a revised budget, and/or make appropriate revisions. EPA Project Officers will contact Principal Investigators to obtain these materials. Before or after award, certain applicants will be expected to provide additional quality assurance documentation.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 120-180 days.
Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable. Copies of these procedures may also be found at:
None. A standard grant application should be prepared and submitted electronically as a new grant using, which will be reviewed in the same manner as the original application.
How are proposals selected?
Consistent with the merit review regulations in 2 CFR 200.205, non-competitive awards will be evaluated for merit including: the relevancy of the proposed project to EPA's strategic plan and the objectives of the program; the availability of funds within EPA; the seriousness, extent, and urgency of the environmental problems toward which the project is directed; the degree to which the project can be expected to produce results that will have general application to pollution control problems nationwide; whether the project is consistent with existing plans or ongoing planning for the project area at the State, regional, and local levels; the existence and extent of local public support for the project; whether the proposed project is environmentally sound; consistency of project objectives with the protection of human health and the environment and contributes to scientific knowledge in the topic area; overlap or duplication of proposed work with other ongoing or completed projects; the technical feasibility of the project; soundness and originality of approach and adequacy of research methods; the anticipated public benefits to be derived from the project in relation to the costs of the project; significance of anticipated results; qualifications and competency of the staff identified for the project considering their demonstrated prior performance in the proposed or other research areas; adequacy of the support offered by the applicant's organization in terms of general facilities, support personnel and services, library, specific equipment and/or facilities available to the investigator; appropriateness of the proposed project period and project budget; and probability the project will be adequately managed to ensure timely and successful achievement of the stated objectives and outputs/outcomes to achieve program goals.
How may assistance be used?
Funds awarded via grants/cooperative agreements are available for allowable direct cost expenditures associated with 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: Geospatial Resources at EPA.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Performance Monitoring is required under this program. Requirements and frequency of reporting will be determined at time of award.
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.
Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes in grants available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients grants and cooperative agreements records. Recipients must maintain all records until 3 years from the date of submission of final expenditure reports as required by 2 CFR 200.334. If questions, such as those raised because of audits remain following the 3-year period, recipients must retain records until the matter is completely resolved.
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
Grants are normally funded on a 12-month basis (annual). Total approved project period typically does not exceed 2 years (over 180 days). Assistance is either fully funded (lump sum) or incrementally funded on an annual basis. EPA may incrementally fund grants and cooperative agreements under this program. Approval of subsequent funding increments is dependent on satisfactory project progress, continued relevance of the project to EPA's priorities and availability of funds. Renewals and extensions of funding are not available.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA headquarters contact listed in this assistance listing.
Headquarters Office
Valerie Blank
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004 US
Phone: 202-531-2140
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $0.00; FY 24 est $0.00; FY 21$115,000.00; FY 20$4,000.00; FY 19$120,000.00; FY 18$25,000.00; FY 17$200,000.00; FY 16 est $135,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No awards have been made this fiscal year and last fiscal year under this program.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR 1500 (EPA Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards); 40 CFR Part 33 (Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in United States Environmental Protection Agency Programs); 40 CFR Part 40 (EPA Research and Demonstration Grants).
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 1) Design of innovative water treatment enhancements for small community drinking water facilities experiencing high nitrate loads in source water; 2) Tribal high performance home analysis. NA
Fiscal Year 2017 1) Natural attenuation of septic-system nitrogen from thickly settled coastal zones; 2) Application of lower cost air monitoring technologies for local-scale air quality investigation in an environmental justice community.
Fiscal Year 2018 1) Water quality project work, including field sampling and evaluation of fecal indicator abundance; 2) Biosensors tool research; including sample collection and methodology development.
Fiscal Year 2019 1. The project will identify historic trends in nitrogen loading in the Barnegat Bay estuary using fossil, historic, and extant bivalve and gastropod shells as geochemical archives to determine the timing and magnitude of the baseline shift in nitrogen inputs that occurred in the estuary. The study will use high resolution aerial imagery to identify spatiotemporal patterns in wetland fragmentation and will examine whether patterns of marsh fragmentation correspond with patterns of eutrophication.
Fiscal Year 2023 No new awards have been made in FY 23.


Federal Grants Resources