Advancing Actionable Alternatives to Vertebrate Animal Testing for Chemical Safety Assessment

Funding Agency:
Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research that will promote the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies that address the “3Rs” of toxicity testing: 1) reduce, 2) refine, and/or 3) replace vertebrate animal testing. For the purposes of this RFA, alternative test methodsrefer to those that incorporate the “3Rs” principles. Pertinent research includes approaches such as analog/read-across techniques, mathematical models, and tiered testing approaches that integrate evidence from multiple sources to help accomplish these goals. In addition to the development of new alternative test methods and strategies, translational science approaches that use available data to develop and/or advance actionable approaches for risk assessment of chemicals are also critical. In this context, approaches that facilitate the use of existing animal data sources to reduce, refine, or replace the need for new vertebrate animal tests are as welcome as those that provide new data streams. The research activities to be funded under this announcement are intended to advance the science underpinning the use of non-vertebrate test methods, and to develop actionable alternative approaches to: 1) developmental toxicity tests in humans; 2) reproductive toxicity tests in humans; and/or 3) ecotoxicity tests.

The STAR Program’s goal is to stimulate and support scientific and engineering research that advances EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. It is a competitive, peer-reviewed, extramural research program that provides access to the nation’s best scientists and engineers in academic and other nonprofit research institutions. STAR funds research on the environmental and public health effects of air quality, environmental changes, water quality and quantity, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides.

Deadline: Sep. 25, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public and private institutions of higher education, and hospitals located in the U.S., state and local governments, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply.  See full announcement for more details.



Amount Description

Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $4,250,000 total for all awards
Potential Funding per Award: Up to a total of $850,000, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of 3 years. Cost-sharing is not required.  Proposals with budgets exceeding the total award limits will not be considered.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

September 25, 2018