APPENDIX A

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROGRAM

The Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) was initiated at the direction of the U.S. Congress, as noted in the introduction to this report. On February 9, 1996, the EMSP was announced jointly by the Offices of Energy Research (ER) and Environmental Management (EM). The program announcement (Program Notice 96-10; see Appendix A) was published in the Federal Register and on the World Wide Web, and a similar notification was sent to the national laboratories. As indicated in the program announcement, the objectives of this basic science program are to

  • provide scientific knowledge that will revolutionize technologies and cleanup approaches to significantly reduce future costs, schedules, and risks;

  • “bridge the gap” between broad fundamental research that has wide-ranging applicability, such as that performed in DOE's Office of Energy Research, and needs-driven applied technology development, conducted in EM's Office of Science and Technology; and

  • focus the nation's science infrastructure on critical DOE environmental management problems.

By the preproposal deadline of February 28, 1996, DOE had received 2,200 applications. The preproposals were reviewed by ER research program managers and EM staff to determine whether the projects involved medium– to long–term basic research and were responsive to one or more of the priorities identified in the program announcement. After this review, 775 applicants were encouraged to submit full proposals. By May 8, 1996, DOE received 810 full proposals, of which approximately 270 were received from DOE laboratories and 540 from outside the DOE system, including universities and private organizations. A large number of multi-investigator and multi-institution proposals were also received.

The committee understands12 that proposal review is being carried out in a two-step process—the first to assess scientific “merit” and the second to assess program “relevance”—that is being managed jointly by ER program managers and EM staff. Merit review is being obtained through

12  

Information on the proposal review process was provided to the committee by EM and ER staff during its two information-gathering meetings.



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BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROGRAM:: INITIAL ASSESSMENT APPENDIX A ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROGRAM The Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) was initiated at the direction of the U.S. Congress, as noted in the introduction to this report. On February 9, 1996, the EMSP was announced jointly by the Offices of Energy Research (ER) and Environmental Management (EM). The program announcement (Program Notice 96-10; see Appendix A) was published in the Federal Register and on the World Wide Web, and a similar notification was sent to the national laboratories. As indicated in the program announcement, the objectives of this basic science program are to provide scientific knowledge that will revolutionize technologies and cleanup approaches to significantly reduce future costs, schedules, and risks; “bridge the gap” between broad fundamental research that has wide-ranging applicability, such as that performed in DOE's Office of Energy Research, and needs-driven applied technology development, conducted in EM's Office of Science and Technology; and focus the nation's science infrastructure on critical DOE environmental management problems. By the preproposal deadline of February 28, 1996, DOE had received 2,200 applications. The preproposals were reviewed by ER research program managers and EM staff to determine whether the projects involved medium– to long–term basic research and were responsive to one or more of the priorities identified in the program announcement. After this review, 775 applicants were encouraged to submit full proposals. By May 8, 1996, DOE received 810 full proposals, of which approximately 270 were received from DOE laboratories and 540 from outside the DOE system, including universities and private organizations. A large number of multi-investigator and multi-institution proposals were also received. The committee understands12 that proposal review is being carried out in a two-step process—the first to assess scientific “merit” and the second to assess program “relevance”—that is being managed jointly by ER program managers and EM staff. Merit review is being obtained through 12   Information on the proposal review process was provided to the committee by EM and ER staff during its two information-gathering meetings.

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BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROGRAM:: INITIAL ASSESSMENT the use of peer review panels, comprised of scientists from industry, national laboratories, and universities, organized along disciplinary lines (Table A–1)13, consistent with normal ER practices. The panels will discuss each of the proposals before them, and the panelists will provide individual ratings of each proposal as must fund, should fund,or do not fund. Following the panel meetings, federal ER program managers will determine an overall rating for each proposal.14 All of the proposals receiving overall ratings of must fund for scientific merit will be put forward for relevance review. Additionally, the proposals that received a strong recommendation of should fund will be put forward for review in case additional funds are available. This review will be undertaken by a panel of EM program managers from DOE headquarters and field offices who are knowledgeable of EM's needs and priorities. Federal ER program managers will participate in these reviews. The relevance review is scheduled for July 9, 1996, in Washington, D.C. In July 1996, the Director of the Office of Energy Research will make final decisions on the awards with the concurrence of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology, Office of Environmental Management. Award funds will be obligated by the end of FY 1996. Program administration will be provided through DOE's Idaho field office. 13   The panel meetings were held on June 17-25, 1996, in the Washington, D.C., area. 14   The panels were not constituted under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and therefore are prohibited from determining a consensus rating.

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BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROGRAM:: INITIAL ASSESSMENT TABLE A-1 Panels Convened by ER for Merit Review of EMSP Proposals Review Panel(s)a Number of Proposals Plant Science 35 Analytical Chemistry 105 Separations Science 75 Catalysis 25 Heavy Elements Chemistry 40 General Inorganic Chemistry 50 Geophysics 35 Geochemistry 35 Flow Modeling 40 Flow, Field, and Bio/Geochemistry 55 Engineering Science 35 Materials Science 70 Applied Mathematics 10 Health Science and Risk Assessment 40 Bioremediation 160 Total 810 aMultiple panels were convened for areas that received large numbers of proposals (e.g., bioremediation).