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Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study

Number: 66.513
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Office: Office of Research and Development (ORD)

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
66.513 Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study
Federal Agency (030):
Office of Research and Development (ORD), Environmental Protection Agency
Authorization (040):
Clean Air Act, Section 103, 42 U.S.C 7403; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, 7 U.S.C 136r; National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Section 102(2)(F); Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442, 42 U.S.C 300j-1; Clean Water Act, Section 104, 33 U.S.C 1254; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, 42 U.S.C 6981; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10, 15 U.S.C 2609.
Objectives (050):
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.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2013: The Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship Program will support undergraduate fellowships in the following areas: Natural and Life Sciences (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Biology, Ecology, Microbiology, Molecular Sciences, etc.); Environmental Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Environmental Studies, Urban Sustainability and Land Use Planning, Environmental Health, Environmental Policy, Environmental Education, Native/Tribal Environmental Science, etc.); Engineering (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Environmental Engineering, Waste Management, Green Building Engineering, Biotechnology, etc.); Social Sciences (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Economics, International Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Environmental Justice, etc.); Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Biogeochemistry, Water Quality, etc.); Mathematics and Computer Science (includes pollution prevention and/or control-related study in Environmental Information Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Bioinformatics, etc.).
Types of Assistance (060):
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Fellowship awards are made in response to a competitive solicitation. Funds are to provide resources to allow for fellowships related to environmental issues. No matching funds are required. 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: http://geodata.epa.gov.

Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving company-owned or -rented vehicles or government-owned vehicles, or while driving privately-owned vehicles when on official government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the government. Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to conduct initiatives of the type described in section 3(a) of the Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving Executive Order that was signed on October 1, 2009.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
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.


Applicants must attend a fully accredited 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. Resident aliens must include their green card number in their application. You must have your green card at the time of application to be eligible for this Fellowship opportunity. EPA may verify this number 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 2009," Table 16, column 2. These data can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf13303/content.cfm?pub_id=4199&id=2. Students attending those institutions either not listed, or listed as having received $35 million or less as designated in column 2 of Table 16 are eligible to apply.


Students attending two-year institutions, community colleges, and 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 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 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, and engineering. Students must have two (2) years remaining from the start of the Fall semester 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 this fellowship 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.

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.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
Individual/Family; Student/Trainee.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
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. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
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) listed as "Information Contacts" or see Appendix IV of the Catalog. NCER invites applications for undergraduate fellowships in academic disciplines including engineering, environmental science, and physical science. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. For regular mail, completed paper applications must be submitted to the following address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Peer Review Division (8725P); Funding Opportunity Number: (include appropriate number as shown in the solicitation),1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. For express mail and couriers, completed paper applications must be submitted to the following address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Peer Review Division (8725P), Funding Opportunity Number: (include appropriate number as shown in the solicitation); 2777 Crystal Drive (One Potomac Yards), 6th Floor South Building, Arlington, VA 22202. Specific details on the application process are described in the solicitations which are located at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.
Award Procedure (093):
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.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
Approximately 210 days from the close of the solicitation.
Appeals (096):
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 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
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. The official notification of an award will be made by the EPA's Grants and Interagency Agreement Management Division. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance is fully funded (lump sum).
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. No expenditure reports are required. EPA includes reporting requirements for fellowships in the terms and conditions of the agreements. Reporting requirements are also identified in the fellowship regulations, 40 CFR Part 46. Performance Monitoring is required under this program.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. 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 (113):
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.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Project Grants) FY 13 $1,800,000; FY 14 est $0; and FY 15 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
The undergraduate fellowship provides up to $20,700 per year of academic support and $8,600 for internship support for a combined total of up to $50,000 over the life of the fellowship. Awards range from $28,900 to $48,900 total per fellowship and average $46,000 total.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: Applications received for the Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship Program- FY 13: 131. New awards for the Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship Program-Information for FY 2013 is not yet available. Fiscal Year 2014: Information not available. Fiscal Year 2015: Information not available.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
Fellowship Regulations, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 46).
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
See Regional Agency Offices. 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: http://www.epa.gov/ncer.
Headquarters Office (152):
Georgette Boddie, USEPA, Potomac Yards, South 2777 Crystal Drive, Rm# S11948, Arlington, Virginia 22202 Email: boddie.georgette@epa.gov Phone: 703-347-8049
Website Address (153):
http://www.epa.gov/ncer
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: Information not available. Fiscal Year 2014: Information not available. Fiscal Year 2015: Information not available.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. See the Web page (http://www.epa.gov/ncer) for additional information on the evaluative criteria for the RFAs.