Grants for Air Research

EPA’s Science to Achieve Results or STAR program funds research grants and graduate fellowships in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. In addition, through this same competitive process, EPA periodically establishes large research centers in specific areas of national environmental concern. The STAR program engages the nation’s best scientists and engineers in targeted research that complements EPA’s own intramural research program and research by partners in other federal agencies.

EPA’s STAR program supports air pollution research in three broad areas:
  • Measuring air pollution exposure and effects in humans and ecosystems
  • Delivering innovative tools and technologies to reduce and prevent harmful emissions
  • Delivering modeling, monitoring, measurement metrics and critical science information to make decisions regarding air quality to protect public health and the environment

Past Awards

The following grants have been awarded to academic institutions and non-profit research organizations to address important questions in air pollution science:
  • Anthropogenic Influences on Organic Aerosol Formation and Regional Climate Implications Grants

    Anthropogenic Influences on Organic Aerosol Formation and Regional Climate Implications Grants

    EPA awarded 14 grants totaling over $4.5 million in 2013 to improve understanding of the linkages between gas phase chemistry and secondary organic formation and the interaction of anthropogenic and biogenic emissions. Specifically, these projects use field measurements to further understand the extent to which people influence both the homogenous and heterogeneous processes contributing to organic aerosols from multiple sources within the multipollutant mixture. This is improving understanding of important chemical mechanisms and climatic properties of organic aerosol.

  • Dynamic Air Quality Management Grants

    Dynamic Air Quality Management Grants

    EPA awarded five grants totaling almost $2 million in 2012 for developing a more agile, adaptive air quality management (AQM) system (referred to as dynamic) that can be used to improve understanding of the conditions that influence air pollution. This research is improving the rate at which new information is incorporated into the AQM process as well as advancing strategies for management of air pollution episodes.
  • Developing the Next Generation of Air Quality Measurement Technology Grants

    Developing the Next Generation of Air Quality Measurement Technology Grants

    EPA awarded four grants totaling over $1 million in 2012 to develop and demonstrate air quality measurement technology. These projects are improving air pollution technologies to address emerging air pollution issues and improve the spatial and temporal coverage of air pollution measurement data. This is enabling a better understanding of the characterization of air pollution and air pollution exposure at a lower cost to develop solutions to air pollution problems.

  • Exploring New Air Pollution Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets Grants

    Exploring New Air Pollution Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets Grants

    EPA awarded five grants totaling $1.5 million in 2011 to use existing datasets from health studies, to analyze health outcomes for which the link to air pollution is not well established, or to identify “new” at-risk populations. These projects are providing scientists and policy decision makers with a better understanding of the health effects of exposure to air pollution, improving health risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses.

  • The Health Effects Institute Grant

    The Health Effects Institute Grant

    EPA awarded a $25 million grant for the continuation of the Health Effects Institute between 2010 and 2015. HEI is an independent, nonprofit corporation supported jointly by EPA and industry. The Strategic Plan of HEI 2010-2015 identifies ways to improve understanding of the health effects of the air pollution mixture as a top priority and will focus HEI’s efforts on three key components of that mixture: particulate matter, the gases and air toxics. HEI’s research also includes measuring health outcomes and benefits resulting from air quality actions; and assessing potential health consequences of new fuels and technology.

  • Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA-Air) Grant

    Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA-Air) Grant

    In 2004, EPA awarded $33 million in funding for 10 years to the University of Washington to conduct the  Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA-Air). The study is designed to examine the relationship between long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter and other pollutants and the progression of cardiovascular disease over time. The study investigates these impacts in a multi-city, multi-ethnic cohort of the United States. This research is providing new and critically important information to understand the relationship between ambient air pollution and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

  • Clean Air Research Centers Grants

    Clean Air Research Centers Grants

    In 1999, EPA funded four Clean Air Research Centers totaling $32 million in grants focused on understanding air pollution. The Centers are investigating the health effects of exposure to particulate matter (PM), ozone, and other air pollutants. These Centers are taking an integrated approach to characterize and understand the complex interactions linking single and multipollutant exposures with human health effects.

  • Exploring New Air Pollution Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets Grants

    Exploring New Air Pollution Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets Grants

    EPA awarded five grants totaling $1.5 million in 2011 to use existing datasets from health studies, to analyze health outcomes for which the link to air pollution is not well established, or to identify “new” at-risk populations. These projects are providing scientists and policy decision makers with a better understanding of the health effects of exposure to air pollution, improving health risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses.

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