The Environmental Research and Education Foundation is seeking applications for its Research Grants Program to address all areas of integrated solid waste management, with a strong focus towards research that increased sustainable solid waste management practices.
It should be noted that EREF defines solid waste to include:
- municipal solid waste (e.g. residential, commercial, institutional)
- construction & demolition debris
- certain industrial wastes (e.g. exploration & production waste, coal ash) and
- Other wastes typically managed by the solid waste industry or generated by the public not included in the above items (e.g. electronic waste, disaster debris, etc).
Research Topic Areas
Pre-proposal topics must relate to sustainable solid waste management practices and pertain to the following topic areas:
- Waste minimization
- Waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals or other useful products. This includes, but is not limited to, the following technologies:
- Anaerobic digestion
- Other thermal or biological conversion technologies
- Strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g. organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.)
- Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000 with the average grant amount in recent years being $160,000.
- Typical project durations are about 2 years. It should be noted that proposed research in excess of $300,000 or longer than 3 years should contain sufficient details that justify the need for the higher than average amount requested and longer project duration.
It is EREF’s policy that all results from funded projects are made publicly available and are without bias. Thus, EREF will typically avoid funding proposals prepared with the following aims:
- To directly commercialize and/or patent a particular technology or process
- To provide venture capital or operating funds for start-up companies
- To provide funds that primarily aid in the formation or initialization of community programs (e.g. recycling programs, re-use projects, etc)
- To directly support lobbying activities
- To fund conferences or events, except as noted under “Educational Projects”
- To conduct research or evaluations with an extremely narrow scope. Examples include projects that impact a small portion of the solid waste stream, benefit a single entity or community, or that cover a very small geographical area (e.g. a single county or town).
- Non-U.S. Institutions: There are no restrictions in regards to geographic location. Any U.S. or non-U.S. institutions are eligible to apply.
- Non-Academic Institutions: Proposals will be accepted from non-academic institutions provided the principal investigators are qualified to conduct the research.
- Multiple Institutions: Submissions may include multiple institutions.
- Who Can Serve as a Principal Investigator: Principal investigators (PI) must be qualified to do the work proposed and should be experts in the subject matter referenced in the pre-proposal/proposal. Typically this would include full-time faculty at academic institutions, post-doctoral employees, and principals or senior personnel at non-academic institutions. Graduate students are not eligible to be principal investigators. However, graduate students are encouraged to consider applying to EREF’s scholarship program.
For more information, visit https://erefdn.org/research-grants-projects/how-to-apply-for-grant/