Surveys, Studies, Investigations and Special Purpose Grants within the Office of Research and Development


The Office of Research and Development (ORD) supports surveys, studies, and investigations to determine the environmental effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides. This program also funds program participant support (e.g., fellowships) associated with these areas and supports projects that address a stated problem or opportunity relating to science and public health that inform decision-making at the local, state and industrial levels. The program also provides support for conferences/workshops relating to these topic areas. Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2023: Priorities include supporting surveys, studies and investigations relating to air quality, air pollution, improving the science behind risk assessment, water quality and supply, climate change, toxic substances, pesticides, toxicology, drinking water, health effects from exposure to pollutants, environmental science and policy, pollution prevention, and improving human health and the environment. This funding priority also supports conferences/workshops and program participant support/professional development relating to these areas.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Environmental Protection Agency
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 An estimated 6 grant/cooperative agreements may be made in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. Data on the number of applications received and the exact number of awards made in FY 2016 are not available. Summary information of the funded research is available in the USA Spending.GOV website. Database. Six grant/cooperative agreements were made in Fiscal Year 2016. Summary information of the funded research is available in the USA Spending.GOV website. Database.
Fiscal Year 2017 An estimated three grant/cooperative agreements were made in Fiscal Year 2017. Summary information of the funded research is available in the USA Spending.GOV website:
Fiscal Year 2018 NA
Fiscal Year 2019 Applications received in FY 2019 - 4; New awards made in FY2019: 4
Fiscal Year 2020 Applications received- FY 20: Five (5). New awards- FY 20: Four (4). For additional accomplishments under this assistance listing, please visit:
Fiscal Year 2022 Applications received- FY 22: 1. New awards- FY 22: 1.
Fiscal Year 2023 Applications received- FY 23: 2. New awards- FY 23: 1.
Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C. 7403
Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C. 300j-1
Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10(a), as amended by P.L. 106-74, 15 U.S.C. 2609
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20(a), as amended by P.L. 106-74, 7 U.S.C. 136r
Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C. 1254
Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C. 6981
National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(I), 42 U.S.C. 4332
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Section Section 311(c)
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203, 16 U.S.C. 1431
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
For certain competitive funding opportunities under this assistance listing, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy. This program is available to U.S. States, territories and possessions, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments of the U.S., and the District of Columbia; public and private universities and colleges, public and private nonprofit institutions, hospitals, and laboratories located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; State and local government departments; and foreign universities/organizations. Profit-making firms and individuals are not eligible to receive assistance agreements from the EPA under this program. 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
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; U.S. territories or possessions; anyone/general public; education professionals; health professionals; students/trainees; graduate students; scientists/researchers; hospitals; foreign universities/organizations; and individuals.
The Agency may request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training experience in the field, and the necessary equipment to carry out the research. EPA may ask applicants or principal investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications. EPA may ask principal investigators 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 competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications 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. 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. Customarily, applicants are notified about award decisions within six months of the receipt of the application. After being recommended for award, applicants will be required to submit additional certifications and an electronic version of the revised project abstract, and may be requested to provide responses to comments or suggestions offered by reviewers, a revised budget, and/or make appropriate revisions. EPA Project Officers will contact Principal Investigators to obtain these materials. The official notification of an award will be made by the Agency's Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division. Before or after award, certain applicants will be expected to provide additional quality assurance documentation.
For competitive awards, deadlines will be specified in the competitive announcement. For noncompetitive awards, contact headquarters for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 120-180 days.
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). 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. For competitive awards, 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 and will compete for available funds. For non-competitive awards, 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?
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this assistance listing will be described in the competitive announcement. Consistent with the merit review regulations in 2 CFR 200.205, non-competitive awards will be evaluated for merit including: overlap or duplication of proposed work with other ongoing or completed projects; the relevancy of the proposed project to EPA's strategic plan; quality of the proposed work with regard to the soundness/feasibility and/or uniqueness of approach and significance of anticipated results (outputs/outcomes); the qualifications and competency of the staff identified for the project in light of 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 plan for timely and successfully achieving the objectives of the project and the overall program; and appropriateness of the proposed project period and project budget.
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 the established policies of EPA. Funds may be available to support activities including but not limited to experiments, surveys, studies, investigations, public education programs, and monitoring where authorized by specific statutes, in both science and engineering disciplines. 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 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 for a minimum of 3 years (over 180 days). Total approved project period may not exceed 5 years. 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
Individuals are encouraged to communicate with the appropriate EPA headquarters contact listed in this assistance listing or the contacts listed in the solicitation for competitive awards.
Headquarters Office
Ron Josephson, Eligibility Contact
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004 US
Phone: 202-564-7823
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$1,175,000.00; FY 23 est $500,000.00; FY 24 est $600,000.00; FY 21$229,000.00; FY 20$165,000.00; FY 19$400,000.00; FY 18$84,000.00; FY 17$800,000.00; FY 16$2,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
New awards range from $10,000 to $15,000 total per award. Average awards total $12,500.
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 No content available. Projects supported include conferences for exposure science, teratology (protection of human health during pregnancy), environmental toxicology and chemistry, advancing the science of toxicology, and environmental laboratory measurement and accreditation
Fiscal Year 2017 Projects supported include conferences for exposure science, teratology (protection of human health during pregnancy), environmental toxicology and chemistry, advancing the science of toxicology, and environmental laboratory measurement and accreditation
Fiscal Year 2018 Conduct air quality research, improve the science behind risk assessment, water quality research, drinking water research, research to improve human health and the environment, and research related to Homeland Security. Surveys, studies, and investigations to determine the environmental effects of air quality, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and pesticides will also be funded under this category. Additionally, this funding priority provides support for conferences relating to the areas above.
Fiscal Year 2019 1. Support for a conference highlighting the latest findings and concepts related to the understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity; creating a forum that fosters dialog, networking, and idea sharing; and encouraging and mentoring of new trainees on pathways to successful careers in the various disciplines embraced by toxicology. 2. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to provide training opportunities for early career public health professionals. Program participants placed at EPA will gain practice-based professional learning experiences and perform activities under the mentorship of EPA experts in the field of environmental health and its interface with policy, science and technology. 3. Support for a conference that will help the field of citizen science continue to grow and mature to help achieve scientific, environmental, and social outcomes. The conference will help transform scientific research and learning, broaden participation in science and address key scientific challenges. 4. Support for a conference that includes sessions that address vitally important issues confronting scientists, engineers, water utilities, industry groups, and public health professionals in the production and delivery of high quality potable water.
Fiscal Year 2023 An example of the type of project that is funded under this assistance listing includes support for a conference which will bring together research scientists from around the world to present their latest research concerning functional neurotoxicological effects and the mechanisms of those effects.


Related Federal Grants

Federal Grants Resources