Research Pillars

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a statutory role in coordinating environmental research. EPA Research has a strong focus on policy and has been driven by national regulations and European Directives. Policy-related research plays a vital role in ensuring that European Union (EU) and national policies are implemented in the most cost-effective manner.

EPA Research consists of three key pillars:

1) Climate

Targeted climate change research is needed in Ireland to inform practical response to, and strategic engagement on, climate change.
Climate change remains an unresolved collective challenge. Actions to address its causes and consequences are needed. These actions can also give rise to major societal benefits and development opportunities. The 2014-2020 period is central to advancing actions on climate change.

2) Water

The water pillar deals with groundwater, surface water, transitional and coastal water; as well as wastewater, drinking, bathing and shellfish waters.
Ireland’s waters are one of our major natural resources. Plentiful availability of good quality water offers a significant competitive advantage to sectors such as agriculture, industry and tourism. Water is a resource that must be carefully managed, and improving water quality status is a national priority for Ireland.

3) Sustainability

The environment is a strategic and valuable asset for Ireland which must be protected and proactively managed to ensure it forms the basis for a healthy society and our economic wellbeing.
In line with Irish, European and international policies, Ireland needs to transition towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon and environmentally-friendly economy in which the resources and services provided by our planet are protected and enhanced, and citizens’ health and wellbeing are safeguarded.


A series of research calls under these pillars are being announced periodically over the course of the EPA Research programme.
Please refer to the EPA Funding Page to find out if a call is open currently.