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, you may submit more than one proposal but you may only submit one application for any one Call Topic Identifier, as stated in the Technical Description Document. Please note that if you submit multiple applications, they must be distinct in terms of the content of the application and you must have the capacity to deliver should multiple projects be successful.

     

  • I am on a temporary contract. Is it possible to submit an application that includes my salary?

    Applicants do not need to be permanent members of staff to submit an application but would have to have a contract with the lead organisation at the time of application and for the duration of the project, that is specifically and exclusively for the purpose of performing relevant work packages of the proposed project. Those on a temporary contract should also consult their Organisations policy on whether or not they allow those on temporary contracts to apply for Research funding as a lead applicant.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If an applicant has not previously been funded by the EPA, how will their past performance be taken into account in the evaluation process?

    In the evaluation process, all applicants will be assigned a past performance score of 1.0, unless they have not met the EPA’s reporting requirements. As such, applicants who have not been previously funded by the EPA will receive a 1.0. This is detailed in the Evaluation Process document.

  • Does the call allow partnership with NI?

    Yes. Organisations from Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for funding as a lead applicant. They can also be funded as a co-Applicant on applications submitted by another organisation located on the island of Ireland.

  • Does an application require engagement from TTO?

    No. Given the focus of EPA Research on providing evidence relevant to the development and implementation of environmental policy, this is not usually necessary. However, if your application includes information where management of intellectual property rights may be relevant or important, you may wish to engage with your TTO. You should also review the EPA’s intellectual property and open access policies, as detailed in the EPA Research Guidelines and Terms & Conditions document.

     

  • 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.

  • For universities, should requests for salary costs include the pension contribution?

    In respect of DPER Circular 28/2016 the EPA recognise the confusion in regard to pension in the Higher Education and wider Public Sector and understand there is ongoing dialogue between DPER and representative bodies of Public Service employers on the matter. In recognition of this fact the EPA will allow HEIs to budget for pension in accordance with IUA pay scales, however funding in respect of all such budgeted amounts and the associated overhead will be ringfenced and will only be eligible for inclusion on claims for reimbursement when revised and specific guidance on the matter has been issued from DPER to the EPA. Should revised guidance not be issued prior to the completion date of affected projects then the funding allocated to pension (and associated overhead) based on the budget submission for the project will be decommitted. Reallocations of such funding will not be permitted under any circumstances.

    Please refer to the EPA Research Programme 2021-2030 Guidelines and Terms & Conditions

     

  • Can salary costs or buy-out hours be requested for permanent staff?

    No

  • For a small company, such as a start-up, who is the appropriate person to authorise submission of an application?

    For a small company this would normally be the Managing Director or equivalent.

EPA’s Grant Management and Application Portal

  • 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.

EPA Research Call 2023

  • Clarification on Themes and Topics

    For the purposes of the Application Portal, the term “Call Topic Reference” is used to identify submissions under both Themes and Topics. Please refer carefully to the “Call Topic Reference” provided in Technical Description document when creating your application. For example, submissions under the “Theme: Advancing Climate Science for Ireland” will use the Call Topic Reference “Addressing Climate Change Evidence Needs - Topic 3” to create the application (as specified on p. 10 of the Technical Description Document). While there is overlap in the nomenclature used, careful reference to the Technical Description Document will ensure that the correct Call Topic Reference is used by applicants.

     

    Please note that the correct Call Topic Reference must be selected for an application to be considered eligible and that this cannot be changed after an application has been created.

  • How many projects will be funded under each of the Themes in the EPA Research Call 2023?

    It is envisaged that 3 projects will be funded under each of the Themes (i.e., a total of 15 projects), subject to the outcome of the review process and available budget. The EPA may elect to fund additional proposals deemed fundable if sufficient budget is available.

  • Additional Information: Facilitating a Green and Circular Economy - Topic 6

    Given the EPA’s statutory requirement in this area, can additional information be provided on (1) access to relevant laboratory equipment, (2) is it expected that the Construction Product Regulations be considered in a proposal, and (3) whether they can advise on current sampling protocols?

    Where relevant to the proposal, the EPA can facilitate access to relevant laboratory equipment.

    As set out in the Background and Scope sections of the Technical Description for this Topic, it is expected that proposals would draw a link between measured levels of natural radioactivity, relevant materials in the Construction Product Regulations, such as aggregates, and the circular economy.

    The EPA cannot provide any information on sampling protocols but applicants may find the following paper of relevance: Lee EM, Menezes G, Finch EC. Natural radioactivity in building materials in the Republic of Ireland. Health Phys. 2004 Apr;86(4):378-83.

    Applicants are advised that since the finalisation of the Call Topic, the following publication has been issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency which may be of relevance: Regulatory Control of Exposure Due to Radionuclides in Building Materials and Construction Materials

     

Other