Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities Request for Applications (RFA)

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 community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. For purposes of this competition and the evaluation of applications, “underserved communities” refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, including people of color, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and other populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks.

Deadline: April 28, 2022

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Specifically, this RFA seeks research that addresses the following research areas:

1. Understanding how air quality, the environment, and public health in underserved communities might be improved through the transformations of the energy sector (e.g., wide-spread adoption of renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies, electrification of transportation services and household energy use) while minimizing potential negative impacts;

2. Identifying approaches or strategies to ensure that energy transitions provide air quality benefits and reduce environmental risks while meeting the energy and mobility needs of underserved communities;

3. Understanding how socioeconomic, cultural, behavioral, institutional, and systems factors drive individual and household decisions regarding the adoption of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies and building modifications, and new transportation modes in underserved communities;

4. Understanding how socioeconomic, organizational, and institutional factors affect decisions at the organizational, governmental, and community levels regarding the adoption and diffusion of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies, building modifications, and new transportation modes in underserved communities; and,

5. Identifying and evaluating potential multi-pollutant and/or multi-sectoral approaches to achieve climate, air quality, and other environmental goals while maximizing potential positive impacts as well as minimizing potential negative impacts to underserved communities arising from large-scale energy systems transformation.

Eligibility Requirements

Public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public and private institutions of higher education, and hospitals located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply. Special eligibility criteria apply to the early career award portion of this RFA. See full announcement for more details.

Amount Description

EPA intends to award 6 regular applications and 5 early career applications (as defined in Section III.A). This is an estimate and is subject to change based on funding levels, the quality of applications received, and other applicable considerations. See Section V.F. Funding Decisions for additional information.

Potential Funding per Award: Up to a total of $1,125,000 per regular award, and up to a total of $650,000 per early career award, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of four years. Cost-sharing is not required. Applications with budgets exceeding the total award limits will not be considered.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 28, 2022