EPA s STAR Grants Program  Presentation for CFARE

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EPA s STAR Grants Program Presentation for CFARE

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1. EPA’s STAR Grants Program Presentation for CFARE/NAAEA Preconference Montreal, CA July 26,2003 Will Wheeler U.S. EPA, ORD/NCER [email protected] Purpose: explain grants process and help you be more successful in the future—helps us because we want more fundable proposals.Purpose: explain grants process and help you be more successful in the future—helps us because we want more fundable proposals.

2. Overview Basics at EPA Research Strategy & associated RFAs Grants process Tips for success

3. STAR Grants Science to Achieve Results: grants and fellowships Open competitions and peer review National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) Part of Office of Research & Development http://www.epa.gov/ncer/ Announcements: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_list/elists/

4. EPA Offices Involved Other offices assist with planning, solicitations, and reviewing grants National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) Part of Office of Policy, Economics, & Innovation Coordinate research activities Home page: http://www.epa.gov/ncee Announcements list: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/pages/announce

5. Other EPA Offices Rest of ORD Four other labs and centers Coordinate research programs Most other offices have some involvement Clients Media Offices (Water, Air, Solid Waste, Pesticides & Toxics) Chief Financial Officer, Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Environmental Information Regional Offices

6. Economics Solicitations Request for Applications (RFAs) Several subject areas per year Valuation for Environmental Policy Market Mechanisms and Incentives Corporate Environmental Behavior Other occasional solicitations Each subject area runs a few years/takes a break Starting next year there will be three standing solicitations: Valuation (collapsing DMVEP and Children’s Health solicitations) Also, our Fellowship program may returnStarting next year there will be three standing solicitations: Valuation (collapsing DMVEP and Children’s Health solicitations) Also, our Fellowship program may return

7. Decision Sciences Component of (former) Decision-Making and Valuation RFA Joint with National Science Foundation Topic areas split Under review at National Academy of Sciences (due April 2004) Will not resume before review

8. Economics Research Strategy Will define areas of focus for economics research at EPA Interviews with 21 offices Currently at Science Advisory Board for peer review Available at http://es.epa.gov/ncer/events/news/2003/06_23_03a.html

9. Strategy—Next Steps State of the Science Reports to identify key research gaps Plan internal and external research NCER will produce multi-year plan for future RFAs Specific topics within each broad area Long-term questions Practical and “pure” research Plan will not be immutable: it may change in response to changing priorities, but probably not by much.Plan will not be immutable: it may change in response to changing priorities, but probably not by much.

10. Strategy Priorites Ecological and Health Valuation Environmental (Compliance) Behavior and Decision-making Market Mechanisms and Incentives Benefits of Environmental Information Disclosure

11. Valuation Valuation for Environmental Policy RFA (January) Merger of two previous solicitations Decision-Making and Valuation Valuation of Children’s Health Ecological and Human Health both came out high

12. Valuation Directions Human Health Valuation Morbidity, children’s health, mortality Ecological Valuation Two focus areas Widely applicable or transferable values Use of indicators Improving accuracy of benefit transfer

13. Market Mechanisms and Incentives Market Mechanisms and Incentives RFA (planned March, opened July, closes October 22) Trading in practice and trading in new contexts Apply lessons learned from existing markets to new or redesigned markets

14. Environmental Behavior Corporate Environmental Behavior RFA (planned July, probably October) Surprise” of strategy How entities make process, disposal, and location decisions Perceptions of costs Reactions to interventions (voluntary and information programs)

15. Benefits of Information Disclosure Proposed new RFA Examine benefits of information disclosure rules such as Toxics Release Inventory, Consumer Confidence Reports

16. Grants Process Write solicitation Announced on NCEE & NCER web pages and email lists, RESECON Three levels of review (External) Peer Review (Internal) Programmatic Review (Internal) NCER Director

17. Peer Review Interdisciplinary panel of external reviewers Evaluate Originality and creativity of proposal Qualifications of PI(s) Availability/adequacy of equipment Responsiveness of proposal Appropriateness/adequacy of budget Five-point scale: “very good” or “excellent” proposals move to relevancy review Division of labor—three reviewers read each proposal and lead discussion, although the entire panel discusses and votes. The panel has breadth and depth of expertise. If you want to volunteer to be a reviewer, send me an emailDivision of labor—three reviewers read each proposal and lead discussion, although the entire panel discusses and votes. The panel has breadth and depth of expertise. If you want to volunteer to be a reviewer, send me an email

18. Relevancy Review Interdisciplinary panel of EPA economists and other scientists NCEE, ORD (not NCER), media programs and other offices,Regions participate Evaluate relevance to program priorities Similar division of labor as with peer review panel.Similar division of labor as with peer review panel.

19. NCER Director Final decision Inputs: Reviews Portfolio—research gaps Priorities (plan, Administrator) Available budget (how much?)

20. Tips for Success--General Average success rate of 12%-15% Depends on solicitation and funding Fund about half of proposals that pass peer review DON’T CRAM Solicitations are open for 3+ months Research plan will be on website Look at previous solicitations and abstracts of successful proposals

21. Tips for Success—Process Follow instructions (NCER’s Guidance page) and read FAQs http://es.epa.gov/ncer/guidance/ Six characteristics of successful proposals Responsiveness, scale, simplicity, clarity, knowledge of the subject matter, appropriate expertise Following process means having the right forms and filling them out properly. You can fail by making one big mistake or several little mistakes, either on the instructions or substance.Following process means having the right forms and filling them out properly. You can fail by making one big mistake or several little mistakes, either on the instructions or substance.

22. Six Characteristics (1) Responsive Scale Budget within maximum Appropriate scale and complexity Simplicity Focus on approximately one to three research objectives Proposal is not a “Christmas tree”—do not try to hang a lot of ideas on it. Objectives should be adequately and clearly explained (small number vs. scattershot)—in any case we’ll probably only fund well-explained parts of proposal. There are exceptions, but not typically for standing solicitations (e.g. Center for Integrated Assessment of Climate Change).Proposal is not a “Christmas tree”—do not try to hang a lot of ideas on it. Objectives should be adequately and clearly explained (small number vs. scattershot)—in any case we’ll probably only fund well-explained parts of proposal. There are exceptions, but not typically for standing solicitations (e.g. Center for Integrated Assessment of Climate Change).

23. Six Characteristics (2) Clarity Explicitly state hypotheses, data, and analytic (econometric) tools Focused, not vague Knowledge of the subject matter Be up-to-date Appropriate expertise Knowledge—probably at least one reviewer will be know the literature at least as well as you do Knowledge—probably at least one reviewer will be know the literature at least as well as you do

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