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 Federal Business Opportunities. 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.

SERDP Funding Process Chart

SERDP Funding Process Chart

Core Solicitation

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 Government Technical Committees that include experts from the DoD, the DOE, and the Environmental Protection Agency (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.

SEED Solicitation

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 multi-agency Government Technical Committees that make recommendations for funding to the SERDP Executive Director. The SEED proposals selection process does not require a briefing to the SAB.


Schedule of events, solicitation deadlines, and training opportunities.

View Calendar

Full Proposal Guidance

Information for those requested to submit full proposals.

View SERDP Guidance – FY 2023

View ESTCP Guidance – FY 2023