Research Call Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to be registered with an organisation to create an application?


When registering as an applicant on the SmartSimple portal you will need to include the details of your organisation (see SmartSimple FAQs).

Can researchers from outside Ireland apply?

Yes. The research is open to researchers outside of Ireland.

However the research topics detailed in the call documentation identify environmental issues for Ireland and therefore proposals should address these.

Although not a requirement we encourage Irish partners to be involved as part of the project team.

Can we apply for more than one project?


If a Principal Investigator (PI) has been awarded a grant under a previous call can they submit an application under the new call?


Can a Principal Investigator (PI) be the lead on more than one live project?


Can a micro SME can lead a research team and submit a proposal in response to the EPA Research Calls?

Yes.  The funding rate is 100% - refer to the Guide for Applicants for full details of the EPA’s funding rules.

Is it possible to have two Principal Investigators on one project?

It is possible to have two PIs on a project-based award. However, for the purposes of applying using our SmartSimple system only one person can complete the online application form and be listed as the PI.

Can I submit or participate in a proposal for a call topic which my organisation is co-funding?

No. Researchers may not apply for or participate in projects which are to be co-funded by their organisation, even if their organisation would not be in receipt of funding.

Where can I find more information on the application requirements?

Full details are provided in the EPA Research Call – Guide for Applicants.

Funding & Budget

Can I apply for funding greater than the indicative budget specified in the Technical Description?

No.  Proposals that request funding in excess of the maximum specified for the call topic will be considered to be invalid and will not proceed to evaluation stage under any circumstances.

Does the EPA Research Programme follow the same rules as Horizon 2020?

The EPA Research Programme runs according to the EPA ‘s Funding rules. There are similarities with Horizon 2020, but there are some differences, for example, it is not a requirement to submit research proposal carried out by transnational consortia. Please note that the EPA Research Programme runs on a not for profit basis.

Where can I find more information on budget and financial eligibility rules?

Full details are provided in the EPA Research Call – Guide for Applicants.

Project Type/Term

Can a project duration be greater than the number of months indicated in the Technical Description?

No. Proposals that exceed the maximum duration specified for the call topic will be considered to be invalid and will not proceed to evaluation stage under any circumstances. 

Can a 4 year PhD student participate as part of a 3 year project?

This is possible, however it should be noted that funding related to the PhD will only be reimbursed in relation to the period that they are working on the specified project.

For example if the project is of 3 years duration and the PhD student is not recruited until the end of month three, funding will only be reimbursed for 2 years and nine months.

Can a project designated as a Desk Study or Medium Scale Study be undertaken as a Research Fellowship?



How can I access SmartSimple?

SmartSimple can be accessed by this link

I can't see my organisation on SmartSimple, what do I do?

If your organisation has made an application previously, it should appear when you start typing in the ‘Organisation Name’ box.

If not, clear your internet history and refresh your application, if the problem still persists try moving to a different browser.

If your organisation has not registered with us, please complete the Organisation registration Page on SmartSimple.

When registering please note that the email address given for the applicant and primary or secondary contact cannot be the same.

Is it possible to have the role of Applicant and Primary/Secondary contact using the same email address?

No – these roles conflict within the system. 

For Private Companies, NGO’s Charities etc it is normally the managing Director, CEO or Finance Officer who would be nominated as the Primary contact.

In the case of Third level Institutions it would be Research Administration Office staff.

For sole traders please provide alternate email addresses – one for your role as an Applicant and another for your role as Primary contact.

Is it possible to register as an applicant and have another person as the project leader of that application, or does it have to be the same person?

The person registering as the applicant is the project leader.

Where can I find guidance on using SmartSimple?

Guidance on using SmartSimple can be found here:

EPA’S Grant Management and Application Portal (SmartSimple)

Links to User Guides and Video Tutorials are also available once you are logged into the portal.