€8.2 million available for Environmental Research in the EPA Research Call for 2017 to help tackle major societal challenges

The EPA has today launched its Annual Research Call seeking proposals to help identify solutions to emerging and complex environmental problems.  The 2017 Research Calls have a particular focus on the importance of a clean, protected environment for our health, our wellbeing and our quality of life, in line with the current EPA Strategic Plan, Our Environment, Our Wellbeing.

With up to €8.2 million available for new research projects, the Research Calls are divided into three main research strands:

  • Water
  • Climate
  • Sustainability.

The EPA Green Enterprise Call is also opening today.

Dr Alice Wemaere, EPA Research Manager, said,

“The EPA Research Programme funds research that addresses knowledge gaps and provides the evidence base to inform policy-making by government.  As part of the 2017 Research Call we anticipate receiving research proposals addressing a wide range of topics, for example, emerging contaminants, antimicrobial resistance, human biomonitoring, or linkages between health and our environment including projects on air quality, noise, odour and climate.

“The Research Call process for environmental proposals is competitive and we expect to be assessing many high quality submissions from the research community. We are also particularly pleased to be bringing in changes to the EPA’s research application process and funding rules, reflecting the current national drive on research integrity, research impacts and gender equality. The EPA is committed to supporting Irish researchers and to building their capacity to enable them to compete for European research funds.”

The EPA has been funding research in Ireland since 1994 and is currently funding more than 200 on-going research projects.

Further details about the 2017 EPA Research Calls are available on the EPA website.

Notes to Editor

EPA Research Calls are open to all types of organisations, within and outside Ireland. To apply for EPA funding, you must be registered on the EPA’s online Grant Application and project Management system. Research Proposals must be submitted in response to one of the topics included in the Call Descriptions.

The call timeframe is outlined below:

  • Call opening: 5th May 2017
  • Call submission deadline: 3rd July 2017 (5pm)
  • Call authorisation deadline: 14th July 2017 (5pm)
  • November 2017: award of new projects

Queries relating to the call: research@epa.ie

Irish researchers have already drawn down €12.9m in EU funding during the first three years of Horizon 2020 in environmental-related research, for which the EPA is the National Delegate and Contact Point. It is expected that this success will continue for the duration of Horizon 2020, with more opportunities becoming available to the research community in climate and sustainable development-related research across the whole of the Horizon 2020 research programme. Other EU funding, such as the Climate and Water Joint Programming Initiatives, has also been availed of by Irish researchers.

Changes in the EPA’s research application form and funding rules reflect the current national drive on research integrity, research impacts as well as gender equality. Changes in funding rules include for example, eligibility of maternity/paternity/adoptive leave to promote gender equality in researcher careers).  In addition, in line with other national funding agencies (such as HRB, IRC and SFI), higher education institutions will be required to have secured the minimum Athena SWAN gender equality accreditation by end 2019 in order to be eligible to compete for research funding allocated by the EPA. By end 2023, the institutions will be required to hold the intermediate (silver) level accreditation to be eligible for competitive research funding.
Further details about the EPA Research Programme are on the EPA website.

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