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March 8, 2016 / Rob Dyball

Funding: Human Well-Being and Ecosystem Services

Integrating Human Health and Well-Being with Ecosystem Services

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity.

Funding Opportunity Number: EPA-G2016-STAR-A1
EPA-G2016-STAR-A2: Early Career Projects

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.509

Solicitation Opening Date: February 22, 2016
Solicitation Closing Date: April 21, 2016, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time

Synopsis of Program:
For many people, the relationship between ecosystems and their own health and well-being can be unclear.  This makes it difficult for individuals as well as communities to consider ecosystems and the services they provide in personal and organizational decision making.  However, decisions—particularly at the community level—can be made significantly more robust and sustainable if they consider the benefits of ecosystems and the impacts of human activity on ecosystems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA or EPA), through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, seeks applications for collaborative, community-based research that will foster better understanding of how ecosystems support human health and well-being.  Specifically, this research should examine how communities can integrate ecosystem services1 with human health and well-being to inform their decision making and management practices.  It should also develop information that allows communities to integrate environmental, societal and economic information and to better manage multiple stressors and their cumulative impacts on humans and ecosystems.  The ultimate goal is to help communities achieve their own objectives.

1 Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature—clean air and water, fertile soil for crop production, pollination, and flood control. (U.S. EPA, 2014a).

This solicitation provides the opportunity for the submission of applications for projects that may involve human subjects research.  Human subjects research supported by the EPA is governed by EPA Regulation 40 CFR Part 26 (Protection of Human Subjects).  This includes the Common Rule at subpart A and prohibitions and additional protections for pregnant women and fetuses, nursing women, and children at subparts B, C, and D.  Research meeting the regulatory definition of intentional exposure research found in subpart B is prohibited by that subpart in pregnant women, nursing women, and children.  Research meeting the regulatory definition of observational research found in subparts C and D is subject to the additional protections found in those subparts for pregnant women and fetuses (subpart C) and children (subpart D).  All applications must include a Human Subjects Research Statement (HSRS, as described in Section IV.C.5.c of this solicitation), and if the project involves human subjects research, it will be subject to an additional level of review prior to funding decisions being made as described in Sections V.C and V.D of this solicitation. Additional information can be found in Section I.A of the full announcement.

Guidance and training for investigators conducting EPA-funded research involving human subjects may be obtained here:
Basic Information about Human Subjects Research
Basic EPA Policy for Protection of Subjects in Human Research Conducted or Supported by EPA

In addition to regular awards, this solicitation includes the opportunity for early career awards. The purpose of the early career award is to fund research projects smaller in scope and budget by early career PIs. Please see Section III of this Request for Applications (RFA) for details on the early career eligibility criteria.

Award Information:
Anticipated Type of Award: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: Approximately three regular and three early-career awards
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $3 million total for all awards
Potential Funding per Award: Up to a total of $600,000 for regular awards and $400,000 for early-career awards, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of three years.
Cost-sharing is not required.  Proposals with budgets exceeding the total award limits will not be considered.

Eligibility Information:
Public nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes public institutions of higher education and hospitals) and private nonprofit institutions/organizations (includes 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.

This funding opportunity strongly encourages partnerships that include communities or community-based organizations.  See Sections I.D and IV.C.5.d of the full announcement for more details. Special eligibility criteria apply to the early career award portion of this RFA.  See full announcement for more details.

Application Materials:
To apply under this solicitation, use the application package available at (for further submission information see Section IV.F. “Submission Instructions and other Submission Requirements”).  Note: With the exception of the current and pending support form (available at Research Funding Opportunities: How to Apply and Required Forms), all necessary forms are included in the electronic application package. Make sure to include the current and pending support form in your submission.

If your organization is not currently registered with, you need to allow approximately one month to complete the registration process. Please note that the registration process also requires that your organization have a unique entity identifier (formerly ‘DUNS number’) and a current registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) and the process of obtaining both could take a month or more.  Applicants must ensure that all registration requirements are met in order to apply for this opportunity through and should ensure that all such requirements have been met well in advance of the submission deadline.  This registration, and electronic submission of your application, must be performed by an authorized representative of your organization.

If you do not have the technical capability to utilize the application submission process for this solicitation, see Section IV.A below for additional guidance and instructions.

Agency Contacts:
Technical Contact: Anne Sergeant (; phone: 202-564-6474
Eligibility Contact: Ron Josephson (; phone: 202-564-7823
Electronic Submissions: Debra M. Jones (; phone: 202-564-7839

Kathy Sykes, Senior Advisor for Aging and Sustainability
U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development
Sustainable and Healthy Communities
1300 Penn Ave. NW, Room 41284
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 564-3651

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