SERDP Funding Process
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) addresses high-priority environmental needs of the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SERDP invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development.
Through a competitive process, SERDP funds both Federal and private sector organizations to perform environmental research and development. A Call for Proposals (CFP) is issued to the Federal sector. A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is available to the non-Federal sector (industry and academia) via the System for Award Management. Proposals from the private sector do not require a DoD partner.
There are two solicitations annually—a “Core” solicitation and a SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) solicitation. Both solicitations are released in late October or early November and request proposals that address focused research and development topics called Statements of Need (SON).
The process used for evaluation and selection of both Core and SEED proposals is shown below.
Projects funded under the Core solicitation vary in cost and duration, consistent with the scope of the project. Proposals must respond to one of the Core SONs issued with the solicitation.
The BAA process for private sector proposals and the CFP process for Federal organizations both begin with the submission of a pre-proposal due in early January. SERDP recognizes that there is significant cost involved in preparing a full proposal and seeks to limit this effort to proposals that are expected to be competitive. Based upon the pre-proposal evaluation, each of the pre-proposal submitters will be notified as to whether SERDP requests or does not request the submission of a full proposal. All full proposals from both the BAA and the Federal Call undergo an external peer review. Following the peer review, the top-ranked proposals are reviewed by SERDP Technical Committees (STC) that include experts from the DoD, the DOE, and the EPA to recommend projects for funding.
Upon selection by the SERDP executive director, each multi-year proposal requires final review by the SERDP Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Submitters make an oral presentation before the SAB, usually in September or October of each year. Assuming a positive recommendation by the SAB, projects then receive formal approval. Funding is typically available the following March for Federal organizations and May for private sector organizations.
The SEED program provides a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $250,000) for projects up to approximately one year in duration to investigate innovative approaches that entail high technical risk and/or require supporting data to provide risk reduction or proof of concept. SEED proposals must be in response to one of the SEED SONs. Projects that are successful in this first year will be considered for additional follow-on funding.
SEED proposals undergo an initial screening review at the SERDP Office. Meritorious proposals are then reviewed by the STC that make recommendations for funding to the SERDP executive director. The SEED proposals selection process does not require a briefing to the SAB.
ESTCP Funding Process
The mission of the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) is to demonstrate and validate promising innovative environmental and energy technologies and methodologies that address the DoD’s high priority environmental requirements. ESTCP demonstrations are conducted at DoD facilities and sites to document improved efficiency, reduced liability, improved environmental outcomes, and direct cost savings.
To be eligible for ESTCP funding, technologies must have completed laboratory testing successfully and, when applicable, initial small-scale field testing as well. Only limited development work is supported under ESTCP. Demonstrations should be designed to generate cost and performance data that will more rapidly transition mature environmental science and technology to fielding and commercialization. To foster regulatory and end-user acceptance, ESTCP projects create a partnership between technology developers, DoD users, and the regulatory community.
Each year, ESTCP solicits proposals from the DoD, Federal agencies outside the DoD, and private sector organizations (industry and academia). The solicitation is usually issued in the January/February timeframe with pre-proposals due in March. Funds are generally available the following March for Federal organizations and June for private sector organizations. The illustration below reflects the ESTCP review and selection process.
DoD Call for Proposals – DoD organizations respond to a DoD Call for Proposals. Only the Services and defense agencies are allowed to serve as the lead organization and submit proposals under this call. Participation by organizations outside the DoD is encouraged through partnership with the lead DoD organization.
Call for Proposals for Federal Organizations Outside DoD – Federal participants outside the DoD respond to a separate federal Call for Proposals. Pre-proposals in response to this call are permitted to have a DoD partner, but one is not required.
Broad Agency Announcement – A BAA is available to the non-Federal sector (industry and academia) via the System for Award Management. Proposals from the private sector are permitted to have a DoD partner, but one is not required.
ESTCP uses a two-phase selection process. Recognizing that there is a significant cost involved in writing a full proposal, ESTCP seeks to limit this effort to proposals that are expected to be competitive.
Pre-proposals submitted in response to the two calls for proposals and the BAA are reviewed by the ESTCP Technical Committees (ETC). Based upon this evaluation, each of the pre-proposal submitters will be notified as to whether ESTCP will accept the submission of a full proposal. In addition to the written full proposal, an oral briefing is presented to the ETCs, typically in September. The ETCs make recommendations for project funding, which are forwarded to the ESTCP Director.
DoD liaisons are assigned to proposals from the private sector and Federal organizations outside the DoD that are selected to move on to the full proposal stage and that do not already involve a DoD partner. The role of the liaison is to assist in selecting and gaining access to an appropriate demonstration site. The liaison will also provide insight into DoD needs, as well as aid in validating the technology's cost and performance, interfacing with the regulatory and user community, and supporting the transfer of the technology across the DoD.
FY23 Full Proposal Guidance
The links on this page provide guidance for the preparation of SERDP and ESTCP full proposals. SERDP and ESTCP accept full proposals only upon request after review of a pre-proposal. Proposals submitted outside this process will not be reviewed.