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Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships For Undergraduate Environmental Study

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This federal aid program is managed by:

Office of Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency


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 2010: 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, Political Science, International Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Environmental Justice, Communication & Culture, etc.); Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences (includes pollution prevention and/or control related study in Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Soil Science, 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.).

Funding obligations:

(Project Grants) FY 09 $1,900,000; FY 10 est $2,100,000; FY 11 est $2,100,000

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Fellowship awards are made in response to competitive solicitations. 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: 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.

Examples of Funded Projects:

Fiscal Year 2010: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Program Accomplishments:

Fiscal Year 2010: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Types of Assistance:


Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

The undergraduate fellowship provides up to $19,700 per year of academic support and $9,500 for internship support for a combined total of up to $48,900 over the life of the fellowship. Awards range from $31,000 to $48,900 total per fellowship and average $39,000 total.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

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. If selected to receive a fellowship, the fellow will be contacted no later than seven months after the close of the solicitation and should subsequently receive official notification of award by no later than 9 months after the close of the solicitation for the fall term. Please note that this schedule may be changed without notification due to factors that were not anticipated at the time of announcement. 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 incrementally funded on an annual basis.

Applicant Eligibility:

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, EPA considers ineligible those institutions receiving more than $35 million in annual federal research and development funding. 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 2007,' Table 12 column 2. These data can be found at: (28 pp, 76 KB, about PDF). Applicants attending eligible institutions with substantial minority enrollment are particularly encouraged to apply. Examples of such schools are those that the U.S. Department of Education lists as 'Accredited Postsecondary Minority Institutions' consistent with Executive Orders 13125 (Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs), 13230 (President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans), 13256 (White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and 13270 (Executive Order on Tribal Colleges and Universities), which seek to advance the development of the Nation's full human potential, advance equal opportunity in higher education, strengthen the capacity of these institutions to provide the highest quality education, and increase opportunities for these institutions to participate in and benefit from Federal programs. Note however, that not all of these schools receive $35 million or less annually in Federal Research and Development expenditures. For specific information regarding Federal funding to minority-serving institutions, see FY 2005 Federal S&E Obligations Reach Over 2,400 Academic and Nonprofit Institutions; Data Presented on Minority-Serving Institutions, at (8pp, 443 K). Students attending two-year institutions, community colleges, and not in attendance at an institution of higher education may be eligible to apply. However, in order 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, will need to demonstrate that they only have two years left of undergraduate studies for completion of the Bachelor's degree, and will 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 a 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 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. Students must have two (2) years remaining from the start of the Fall semester (Fall 2011) before receiving their initial bachelor's degree. Students must have at least a 'B' average overall. Acceptance of this fellowship does not necessarily preclude acceptance of another scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or grant aid. However, this fellowship does preclude receiving other federal fellowships. 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 years. Employees of the U.S. government must be able to prove separation from Federal service before accepting this fellowship. EPA recognizes the need for scientists and engineers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Broadening opportunities for, and enabling participation of all individuals, including women, men, minorities and persons with disabilities, are essential to the health and vitality of science and in particular, the environmental research and development enterprise. For this reason, EPA strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

Individual/Family; Student/Trainee.

Award Procedure:

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.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Georgette Boddie, USEPA Headquarters, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W. Mail Code: 8723F, Washington, District of Columbia 20460 Email: Phone: (202) 343-9741.

Website Address:

Related Programs:


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