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For Applicants | Focus AreasVietnam/ Bioremediation of Dioxin and Furans

Applicant Resources

PDF version of RFA (Request for Applications)
Eligible Countries:


Additional Criteria for Applicants:

Please see Section V of the Solicitation for General Eligibility requirements. For this focus area, applicants must be based at or have an affiliation with an institution of higher education (university), non-profit organization (NGO), or government-managed research laboratory, center, or institute.


Dioxin, a chemical constituent of Agent Orange® used as a defoliant by the United States during the U.S.-Vietnam war (1962-1971), remains present in soil and sediment in Vietnam at concentrations posing potential human health and ecological risks. The U.S. operated bulk storage facilities for Agent Orange® and related defoliants at Phu Cat, Da Nang, and Bien Hoa Airfields. Soil at these airfields was contaminated from releases of concentrated defoliant during storage and handling and by repeated ground application of the diluted product. Although much of the contaminated soil with dioxin concentrations greater than 1,000ppt has been or will be treated to destroy residual dioxin, significant quantities of soil containing dioxin below 1,000ppt has been landfilled or otherwise isolated to prevent direct human and ecologic contact.

PEER is seeking to support research projects focused on remediation of soil containing dioxin at concentrations between 20ppt and 1,000ppt, using bioremediation, phytoremediation, and photo-degradation methodologies. Additionally, the research should:
  • Consider treatment efficacy at various concentration ranges of dioxin
  • Account for the byproducts of remediation and degradation in a mass balance or similar evaluation
  • Assess the effect of remediation on soil horticultural and physical properties
  • Consider the effect of likely co-located contaminants such as arsenic.
PEER encourages proposals that connect their research to development of technologies suitable for treatment of soils contained in landfills constructed at Phu Cat and Da Nang Airfields and areas where dioxin remains in shallow surface soils due to past application.

Projects of interest include those focused on reducing the toxicity and/or volume of residual dioxin and co-located contaminants such as arsenic in soils. Research that investigates methods of remediation that could be applied in localized areas to reduce human and ecologic exposure risks are especially encouraged. Interdisciplinary research teams that are able to contribute to multiple levels and aspects of the research question(s) and that can ultimately increase local, community, and/or national environmental remediation capabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

PEER will accept proposals that incorporate novel research methods and study design, such as crowdsourcing or other citizen-science approaches. Projects that field test novel techniques or technologies for contaminant detection and treatment are encouraged if they are designed to help understand or remedy the effects of residual dioxin contamination on people, environments, or economies.

Duration of Project:

Projects should be designed to be implemented in one to three years with budgets of $40,000 to $80,000 (USD) per year for one institution (single institution award) and $100,000 (USD) per year for awards involving support for more than one institution (multiple institution awards). Proposals received for projects greater than three years in length will not be considered for funding. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.