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U.S Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center For Environmental Research
Programmatic Terms and Conditions
For all Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Assistant Agreements

Every EPA Assistance Agreement has Terms and Conditions. They include Administrative and Programmatic Terms and Conditions. What follows are the Programmatic Terms and Conditions for all (non-center) STAR Assistant Agreements.

General. As a result of this agreement, the recipient agrees to provide to EPAs National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) annual progress reports with associated summaries, and a final report with an executive summary along with a copy of any papers resulting from the research conducted.

  1. Annual Progress Reports. The recipient agrees to submit annual progress reports to the EPA Project Officer within 90 days after the end of each reporting period regardless of whether the agreement was fully or partially funded. If the agreement was partially funded, so that an additional increment of funding is to be provided, EPA may elect to not provide further funding until the recipient has submitted the required annual progress report. The reporting period begins at the project start date, or, for subsequent years, on the annual anniversary of the start date. The reports should generally not exceed five 81/2" X 11" pages, exclusive of the summary discussed below. These reports shall provide the information requested below in addition to information required by 40 C.F.R. 40.160.
    1. Brief statements covering work status, work progress, preliminary data, results, and evaluations made during the reporting period, including a comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals and objectives (outputs/outcomes) for the period. Address difficulties you have encountered (or might encounter) in carrying out this project and remedial actions (to be) taken. If the aims of the project have not changed from the original application, state this. If these have been modified, provide the revised aims and discuss the reason for the modification.
    2. A discussion of any absence or changes of key personnel involved in the project.
    3. A discussion of expenditures to date along with a comparison of the percentage of the project completed to the project schedule, and an explanation of any costs which are higher than originally estimated. Revised budget information will be required under this agreement if any significant changes in the size or scope of the project or in the originally-negotiated total estimated costs are anticipated for the project period.
    4. Statements addressing how the quality assurance requirements of 40 C.F.R. 30.54 and the agreement are being met, especially focusing on the assurance of data quality relevant to environmental measurements and data generation.
    5. Results (outputs/outcomes) to date, emphasizing findings and their significance to the field, their relationship to the general goals of the award, their relevance to the Agencys mission, and their potential practical applications.
    6. Planned activity for the subsequent reporting period, including a description of equipment, techniques, and materials to be used or evaluated.
    7. Publications arising from this project. Copies of publications and reprints which have not previously been submitted to the Agency should be enclosed with the report.
    8. Annual Report Summaries with each annual progress report. These will be placed on the EPA/NCER HomePage. NCER will not alter the content of a summary without consultation with the Principal Investigator. The summary should be submitted in the following format:

      NCER Assistance Agreement Annual Report Summary (1-2 pages)

      Date of Report:
      EPA Agreement Number:
      Research Category:
      Project Period:
      Objective of Research:
      Progress Summary/Accomplishments:
      Future Activities:
      Supplemental Keywords:
      Relevant Web Sites:

  2. Final Report. The recipient agrees to submit a final report to the EPA Project Officer by 90 calendar days after the expiration of the project period. The Project Officer may require clarifications of the final report before the report is considered acceptable. Although there are no page restrictions on the final report (other than on the executive summary below), EPA does not expect a final report of great length. However, this document shall include a discussion of:
    1. Project activities over the entire period of funding, describing the recipient's achievements with respect to the stated project goals and objectives (outputs/outcomes).
    2. The complete details of all technical aspects of the project--both negative and positive--the recipient's findings, conclusions, and results, including the associated quality assurance results.
    3. An evaluation of (a) the technical effectiveness and economic feasibility of the methods or techniques investigated or demonstrated, if applicable, and/or (b) an explanation of how the research adds to our understanding of or solutions for environmental problems or is otherwise of benefit to the environment and human health. This discussion should be a minimum of one paragraph long and written in terms understandable by the educated layman.
    4. For projects involving computer modeling, the recipient agrees to provide the following information with the final report:
      1. Model description, key assumptions, version, source and intended use;
      2. Performance criteria for the model related to the intended use;
      3. Test results to demonstrate the model performance criteria were met (e.g., code verification, sensitivity analyses, history matching with lab or field data, as appropriate);
      4. Theory behind the model, expressed in non-mathematical terms;
      5. Mathematics to be used, including formulas and calculation methods;
      6. Whether or not the theory and mathematical algorithms were peer reviewed, and, if so, include a summary of theoretical strengths and weaknesses;
      7. Number and uncertainty associated with parameters (how data was selected/obtained and assessed to assure it met requirements, or, documentation of the weakness due to known uncertainty and variability);
      8. Input data requirements and how data will be selected/obtained and later assessed to assure it met requirements, or, documentation of the weakness due to known uncertainty and variability;
      9. Hardware requirements; and
      10. Documentation (e.g., users guide, journal publications, model code).
    5. Also, the recipient agrees to submit an Executive Summary with the final report. This will be placed on the EPA/NCER HomePage along with a list of publications. NCER will not alter the content of a summary without consultation with the Principal Investigator. Note: the recipient need not create this summary if the final report is ten pages or less, and is suitable for inclusion in the NCER Homepage. The summary should be submitted in the following format:

      NCER Assistance Agreement Final Report Executive Summary (3-5 pages)

      Date of Final Report:
      EPA Agreement Number:
      Research Category:
      Project Period:
      Description and Objective of Research:
      Summary of Findings:
      Supplemental Keywords: (do not duplicate terms used in Progress summary)
      Relevant Web Sites

  3. Annual Meeting Attendance. The Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (Project Manager) will attend annual EPA Research Grants Seminars (otherwise known as program reviews or All-Investigators Meetings) if requested by EPA, to present and discuss the project. Per original RFA instructions, expenses for travel to these meetings have been provided within the funding for this agreement.
  4. Publications and/or Other Public Release of Results.
    1. The recipient will provide copies of any peer reviewed journal article(s) resulting from this research, in addition to the final technical report. The recipient shall submit three copies of each article to the EPA Project Officer. EPA encourages the independent publication of the results of its extramural research in appropriate scientific journals. Any journal article so published, however, must contain the following statement:

      Although the research described in this article has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency through grant/cooperative agreement (number) to (name), it has not been subjected to the Agencys required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

    2. Because NCER intends to post references to all publications resulting from the agreement on its HomePage, the recipient is encouraged to continue to notify the Project Officer of any papers that are published based on the research under the agreement.
    3. An acknowledgment of EPA support should be included on Web pages and stated during all media interviews.
  5. Form of Reports. The recipient agrees to provide final and annual reports and associated summaries in an electronic format. The electronic versions shall be submitted in PC format, using commonly available word processing software or PDF. When requested by the Project Officer, these reports shall also be submitted in hardcopy format.
  6. Other recipient responsibilities.
    1. Although 40 C.F.R. 30.25 (f) allows the recipient to grant itself a one-time extension to the project period under certain conditions, the recipient may not do so if, via this extension, the project period will exceed five years. Any extension of the expiration date which approaches five years must be requested at least thirty days in advance and approved by the Project Officer and Award Official. This approval is necessary due to certain Federal restrictions on the use of funds and the requirements of 40 C.F.R. 40.125-1. For any other extension the recipient is required to notify the EPA Award Official and Project Officer in writing, with the supporting reasons and revised expiration date, at last 10 days before the expiration date specified in the award.
    2. Prior written approval is required from EPA if there is to be a significant project change. Examples of these changes are contained in 40 C.F.R. 30.25.
    3. If the recipient desires to transfer, by contract or other means, a significant part of the research effort after an award has been made, the recipient must submit a written justification to the Project Officer. This statement should include a description of the scientific/technical impact on the project and a budget estimate to the Award Official. (Contractual arrangements that were proposed in the application do not require additional approval.) The agency decision will be transmitted in writing by the Award Official.
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