Air Pollution Research Planning Process

This page last reviewed June 27, 2017

Research Ideas

If you are interested in submitting a research idea for the Board's consideration, you can do so through our website at

We accept research ideas year round, however the deadline for your idea to be considered for the FY2018-2019 Annual Research Plan is August 7, 2017. 

Ideas submitted after the deadline will be reviewed for future research planning.

Sign up on our listserv to receive the next announcement for the Research Ideas Solicitation and other notices.

To learn more about the Research Idea Solicitation process, visit

ARB’s annual research plan is designed to address the Board’s priority research needs. The Board is primarily interested in projects that will assist in addressing the future research needs in the general areas of Health and Air Quality Standards, Exposure Assessment, Technology Advancement and Pollution Prevention, and Global Climate Change. However, research ideas outside of the key areas of interest will also be considered. The nature and scope of proposed research ideas will vary as will the size and duration of the project. While there is no minimum or maximum funding amount that may be suggested for the conduct of the proposed research, suggested budgets are expected to be consistent with our historical levels. The Board's research budget is approximately $5 million dollars per year and typically supports 15-25 projects with two to three year durations. There is no specified minimum or maximum project budget, but typical budgets range from $50,000-$650,000.

The Current Annual Research Plan

The Annual Research Plan describes the research projects the Board will fund in the following fiscal year. The planning timeline, process, open solictation notice, and previous plan documents are discussed in the sections below.

ARB's 2017-2018 DRAFT Annual Research Plan was approved by the Board at the April 27, 2017 Meeting.


Below is the basic research planning timeline for 2014-2015, provided for reference only.

FY 2014-15 planning flowchart

Development and Implementation of the Research Plan

To develop ARB’s Annual Research Plan, ARB staff identify research priorities by collecting input internally and from other agencies to identify research needs that will support key ARB programs, and soliciting the general public for research ideas (previously called research concepts).  Research ideas are then developed into the Annual Research Plan and into scopes of work that become part of a solicitation for proposals.  Once the Board approves the conceptual project descriptions outlined in the Annual Research Plan, ARB staff pursue proposals (and ultimately contracts) to perform research that is not conducted in-house.  ARB’s proposal solicitations usually target the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems (per the Health and Safety Code), but occasionally ARB issues a public request for proposals (RFP).  ARB’s Research Screening Committee (RSC) reviews full proposals before they are presented to the Board for formal approval and funding.  Proposals that are approved by the Board are developed into contracts that designate a scope of work, milestones, a budget, and a project start and end date.  Most projects are required to submit a Final Report that must be reviewed by the RSC and presented to the Board for approval.  Once the Final Report has been approved by the Board, the contract is final and the report is made available to the public.  Active contracts and related documents are available on ARB's main Research webpage. Previous Annual Research Plan documents are available on the Plan Archive pages.

*Please note: ARB is required by the California Health and Safety Code, Section 39704, to consider the expertise of the California State University or University of California sytems when awarding contracts.

For more information about Air Pollution Research, email Sarah Pittiglio or by phone at (916) 324-0627 .