EPA Research call Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This page provides a list of frequently asked questions and answers that relate to the EPA Research call and Green Enterprise call.

Application

  • Can researchers from outside Ireland apply?

    A core principle of the funding provided under the EPA Research Programme is that it promotes the development of research capacity on the island of Ireland. Therefore, applications for funding will only be considered where the lead applicant organisation is located on the island of Ireland.

    Whilst co-applicant organisations located in other jurisdictions may participate in projects funded by the EPA Research Programme (as Co-applicants), they are restricted in terms of the categories of expenditure considered eligible for funding. Further details are provided in the EPA Research Programme 2021-2030 Guidelines and Terms & Conditions

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

    Yes. When registering as an applicant on the EPA's Grant Management and Application Portal you will need to include the details of your organisation. Organisations must be approved by the EPA – if your organisation has not been approved by the EPA you will not be able to submit an application.

  • Can I apply for more than one project?

    Yes, however you can only create one application per Call Topic.

  • Can I apply for funding if I am Post Doc Researcher on a temporary contract?

    To be eligible to apply you would need to have a contract of employment with the Host Organisation at the time of application. If the application is successful and selected for funding you would then need to have a contract of employment in place with the same Host Organisation for the duration of the Research Project. Please note that all applications for EPA funding have to be approved by the research office of the Host Institution.

  • If a Lead Applicant has been awarded a grant under a previous call can they submit an application under the new call?

    Yes

  • Can a Lead Applicant be the lead on more than one live project?

    Yes

  • Is it possible to have two Lead Applicants on one project?

    No. For the purposes of applying using the EPA's Grant Management and Application Portal only one person can complete the online application form and be listed as the Lead Applicant. All other applicants should be invited and listed as Co-applicants.

  • 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 out more about the application process and eligibility requirements?

Funding and budget

Project type/term

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

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

EPA’s Grant Management and Application Portal

  • Are all activities listed in the Project Scope for each Call Topic expected to be addressed?

    Innovative research proposals are invited to address the scope of the topics included in the call. Proposals should therefore cover/address (but are not limited to) all aspects as listed in the Topic Scope.

  • How can I access the portal?

    The EPA's Grant Management and Application Portal can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://epa.smartsimple.ie/s_Login.jsp 

  • I can't find my organisation on the portal, 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 is not registered on our system you will need to submit a registration request – click on the Applicants Register Here button on the portal login page.

    Before registering please refer to the User Registration Guide and the instructions at the top of the registration page.

     

  • Where can I find guidance on using the portal?

    Guidance on using the EPA's Grant Management and Application portal can be found on the Grants Management page of the EPA Website, or accessed when logged into the portal.

  • Invalid session message or frequent time-outs - I can't access the system.

    The system will automatically log you out after 60 minutes of inactivity. If you are experiencing invalid session messages, or are frequently being logged out of the system after less than 60 minutes of inactivity please follow these steps to try and resolve the issue:

    • Check you are using a stable internet connection and that your connection is active
    • Clear your internet cache/history, including saved passwords, auto form-fill data and cookies (IMPORTANT: this action will clear all saved passwords and cookies, including those for other sites)
    • Re-enable pop-ups from the site https://epa.smartsimple.ie
    • Allow cookies for this site (if prompted)
    • Contact your IT support unit and ask that they add the site to the safe list of sites which be accessed
    • Try connecting using a different network
    • Do not use the back and forward arrows on your internet browser to move between the pages and areas in the system - use the links and buttons provided on the interface

    If the above actions do not resolve the issue please contact your IT support team.

  • Invalid username or password

    If you have attempted to login several times using incorrect login details you will be temporarily locked out of the system - please wait at least 10 minutes before trying again. If invalid username or password messages continue to appear on the screen, before attempting to login again please:

    • Clear your internet cache/history, including saved passwords, auto form-fill data and cookies (WARNING: this action will clear all saved passwords and cookies, including those for other sites)
    • Re-enable pop-ups from the site https://epa.smartsimple.ie
    • Allow cookies for this site (if prompted)
    • Request a password reset
    • Ensure you are using a password which corresponds to the username you are trying to log in with (your username is your email address)
    • Ensure you are using the latest password reset issued by email – the emails are issued instantly however depending on your incoming mail server settings they may take a few minutes to arrive. Each time you request a password reset it over-writes the previous password therefore please allow time for the latest email to arrive.

Other

EPA Research Call 2022 FAQs

  • Where are the Open topics?

    There are two Open topics in the EPA Research Call 2022, namely:

    • Protecting and Restoring Our Natural Environment 2022 Call Topic 6: Use of data - Copernicus for environment monitoring & assessment; and
    • Delivering a Healthy Environment 2022 Call Topic 11: Research to address priorities identified in the antimicrobial resistance gap analysis report to help further our understanding of the environmental dimension of AMR 
  • What is the deadline for technical queries?

    For the EPA Research 2022 Call, the deadline for technical queries is Wednesday 25th May 2022 (17:00 GMT).

  • Can you provide more detail for the project referenced in the technical description for the Green and Circular Economy 2022 Call Topic 7

    Please see below the project abstract for the EPA and DAFM-funded research project: 2021-GCE-1039 - Opportunities for Green Public Procurement to improve implementation of circular practice.

    “Green Public Procurement (GPP) has been identified as a policy instrument to reduce the environmental impact of public expenditure on goods and services, which is significant; average annual public sector spending can reach 11% of Ireland's GDP. Green criteria are already used within sustainable procurement of stationery, IT equipment, cleaning products, vehicle fleets and to a certain extent within construction projects. However, there exist further opportunities to accelerate GPP through adoption and application of recommended criteria developed as part of the EU GPP Toolkit. For example, public investment can make up to 50% of construction spending in Ireland thus there is significant scope within this sector to embed GPP criteria in practice, such as tender award criteria limiting embodied carbon and clauses defining project team competencies.
    There are, however, challenges facing accelerated GPP in Ireland: implementation is not yet extensive, particularly in public building projects, due to a number of factors, including the mostly voluntary nature of GPP, lack of awareness, perceived higher cost of “greener" materials, a lack of supporting data on quantification of the associated costs and benefits of GPP, and limited availability of tools for assessing the sustainability or circularity credentials of public building projects. Therefore, in collaboration with public bodies, this project will review current Irish GPP policy and practice at local and national level in relation to the built environment, identifying the potential opportunities to embed GPP in project definition and award criteria, assess the value chain impact of improved GPP strategy, and develop an implementation framework through an innovation systems approach. Strategic case study projects e.g. social housing, schools, or public centres will be identified and undergo life cycle assessment, costing and bio-economic modelling to quantify the environmental, economic and social impacts of GPP, comparing existing practice against alternative circular building design solutions promoted by GPP criteria, including design for disassembly and reuse. Consideration will be given to the substitution effects of low embodied carbon materials, such as timber products, for carbon intensive materials such as steel and concrete, while a list of new products and services for GPP in Ireland will be collated. A Cost-Benefit Analysis tool will be developed to support decision making for GPP implementation.
    This project will be delivered by leading researchers at NUI Galway, together with partners in Galway City and County Councils, the Atlantic Seaboard North Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) and the Department of Education, bringing together significant expertise in building design, environmental economics and social policy, timber engineering, lifecycle assessment, public procurement, architecture and planning of public infrastructure projects. Direct partnership with public project planning, procurement and design teams will enable an effective review and pathway to embed project findings and training materials in local and national GPP policy, implementation and practice
    .”

     

Protecting and Restoring Our Natural Environment 2022 Call Topic 4

  • Is this call expecting the creation of new methods and tools or the adaption/prioritisation of existing tools?

      No - we need this project to assess what is done elsewhere and to propose options for Ireland to consider. In Ireland, we have some tools recently developed to identify water bodies with hydromorphological deviation from unimpacted. In other jurisdictions regulations have been developed that consider the hydromorphological impact and build mitigation into the regulatory controls e.g. to mitigate the impact of an impoundment.

    1. Does this call expect field validation of methods and tools? (this does appear unrealistic under the proposed budget)

      No, this is desk-based. There is separate on-going research looking at the impact of physical change/modification on water quality.

    2. Is it mandatory for all four water body settings to be included under this project and does the call expect the prioritisation of inland water bodies

      Yes, all must be considered. Hydromorphology is a supporting element for all surface waters. Ultimately, very few coastal waters are impacted by hydromorphology, but even transitional waters are impacted e.g. by flood defences alongside the more obvious rivers and lakes.

    3. Is the call seeking linkages of hydromorphological methods/tools and regulations across these the four water body types?

      There is no regulation relating to hydromorphology in Ireland. This project is to provide supporting information, and to identify practice elsewhere in relation to hydromorphology regulations and how they are used e.g. in planning development, through regulation of abstractions, drainage, flood defence etc.

    Green Enterprise call FAQs

    • Can third level institutions apply for Green Enterprise funding?

      The Green Enterprise programme is not structured or intended to provide funding to the third level sector and is restricted by state aid rules. This means that all organisations applying for funding have to provide written declarations that they have not been in receipt of more than €200,000 in state aid in the last three years including any funding applied for as part of this programme. Accordingly, it may be challenging for any third level institution to meet this criterion.

    • Can applicants from outside of Ireland apply for funding under the Green Enterprise Call?

      No. The Green Enterprise call is not open to applicants outside of Ireland.

    • Can project partners be added to Green Enterprise proposals?

      The financial rules of the Green Enterprise Programme do not allow partner organisations to participate. However, where an applicant requires expertise not available within their own organisation, they can use the resources of an external provider by way of external assistance. Any external assistance arrangement must be mindful of public procurement obligations.

    • Why are Green Enterprise grant awards subject to De Minimis State Aid rules

      The Green Enterprise Programme provides funding of up to €100,000 to undertakings through state resources which provides an advantage to those undertakings and has the potential to distort competition. The scheme does not fall within the scope of the Global Block Exemption Regulation. Therefore the scheme is administered under De Minimis.