ANNOUNCEMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
FULL ANNOUNCEMENT TEXT
I. Funding Opportunity Description
In response to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (P.L. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will provide grants and cooperative agreements for measurement science and engineering research in the following six focus areas of critical national importance: energy, environment and climate change, information technology/cybersecurity, biosciences/healthcare, manufacturing, and physical infrastructure, with priority funding in areas of special interest to NIST as described below. The program is intended to advance the state of knowledge and practice in these areas of critical national importance, in support of NIST’s mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. The program will advance purposes established in Section 3 of the Recovery Act by:
Competitive proposals will also result in achieving commencement of activities as quickly as possible consistent with prudent management. Applicants may propose projects that include collaboration between scientific staff and NIST to help advance these program objectives. Please see information in Award Administration Information section regarding collaborations with NIST employees.
Proposals submitted to the Recovery Act Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program must address one of the areas of critical national importance listed below. Applicants should clearly note which program area (e.g., energy) the proposal is addressing. Proposals that address the sub-topics listed below will receive high priority for consideration of funding. Applicants whose proposal addresses a sub-topic listed below should also clearly note which sub-topic the proposal addresses.
In the area of energy, the sub-topics are:
In the area of environment and climate change, the sub-topics are:
In the area of information technology/cybersecurity, the sub-topics are:
In the area of biosciences/healthcare, the sub-topics are:
In the area of manufacturing, the sub-topics are:
In the area of physical infrastructure, the sub-topics are:
Authority: 15 U.S.C. § 272(b) and (c); Pub. L. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115.
II. Award Information
NIST plans to award up to $35 million in grants and cooperative agreements (20-60 awards expected), as appropriate to support measurement science and engineering research in areas of critical national importance. Where cooperative agreements are used, the nature of NIST’s "substantial involvement" will generally be collaboration with the recipient by working jointly with a recipient scientist in carrying out the scope of work, or specifying direction or redirection of the scope of work due to inter-relationships with other projects requiring such cooperation.
Proposals for research or other activity under this notice should have a duration lasting between one and three years. All projects approved by NIST, including multiple-year projects, will be fully funded at the time of award. Award terms will describe how recipients with satisfactory performance will draw down funds as needed from a Department of Treasury account.
Individual awards are expected to range between $500,000 and $1,500,000. Projects are expected to start in September of 2009.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
This program is open to U.S. institutions of higher education; U.S. non-profit organizations; U.S. commercial organizations; and state, local, and Indian tribal governments.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement
IV. Application/Proposal and Submission Information
1. Application Package
The forms listed in 2.a. through 2.e. below are available as part of the Grants.gov application package and can be completed through the download application process. Requests for paper copies of the application package can be made to Christopher Hunton at 301-975-5718 or email@example.com or to Sue Li at 301-975-8817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Content and Form of Application/Proposal Submission
Complete applications/proposals must include the following forms and documents:
Proposal submissions must include a Technical Proposal and a Budget Narrative. Proposals that are submitted without a Technical Proposal and/or a Budget Narrative will be rejected. There is no set format for the Technical Proposal and the Budget Narrative; however, they must be word-processed documents written by the applicant. The Technical Proposal should describe in depth the scope of the proposal, its goals, the methods and equipment to be used, its schedule, the personnel working on the project and their qualifications, and the institutional capabilities of the applicant. The Budget Narrative should detail the funds requested by object class, their purposes, and the timetable for using the funds for each year of expected funding.
The Technical Proposal is limited to 25 pages. There is no page limit for the budget narrative.
The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete and that it conforms to the requirements of this notice.
If submitting a paper application each applicant must submit one signed original and two paper copies of the complete application. Facsimile, electronic mail, and or forms of electronic application submissions other than Grants.gov will not be accepted.
3. Submission Dates and Times
All applications must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Monday, July 13, 2009. This deadline applies to any mode of proposal submission, including courier, express mailing, and electronic. Do not wait until the last minute to submit a proposal. NIST will not make any allowances for late submissions, including incomplete Grants.gov registration. Any proposals not received by the due date will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant without review.
Important: All applicants, both electronic and paper, should be aware that adequate time must be factored into applicant schedules for delivery of the application. Electronic applicants are advised that volume on Grants.gov is currently extremely heavy, and if Grants.gov is unable to accept applications electronically in a timely fashion, applicants are encouraged to exercise their option to submit applications in paper format. Paper applicants should allow adequate time to ensure a paper application will be received on time, taking into account that guaranteed overnight carriers are not always able to fulfill their guarantees.
4. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs)
Proposals under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."
5. Other Submission Requirements
Proposals may be submitted in hard copy or in electronic format as follows:
Paper submissions require an original and two (2) copies.
Electronic submission: Electronic proposals should be uploaded to www.grants.gov
The following forms are available as part of the Grants.gov application kit and can be completed through the download application process.
The list of certifications and assurances referenced in item number 21 of the SF-424 is contained in the SF-424B.
In order for an application to be considered complete, it must meet all the application documentation requirements stated in the Federal Funding Opportunity notice.
Applicants may choose to scan or create the necessary documents and then attach them to the application in Grants.gov. Applicants should carefully follow specific Grants.gov instructions to ensure the attachments will be accepted by the Grants.gov system. A receipt from Grants.gov indicating a proposal is received does not provide information about whether attachments have been received.
For further information or questions regarding applying electronically for this announcement, please contact Christopher Hunton at 301-975-5718, e-mail address Christopher.Hunton@nist.gov or Sue Li at 301-975-8817.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to start early and not to wait until the approaching due date before logging on and reviewing the instructions for submitting an application through Grants.gov. The Grants.gov registration process must be completed before a new registrant can apply electronically. If all goes well, the registration process takes from 3 to 5 business days. If problems are encountered, the registration process can take up to 2 weeks or more. Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and must be registered with the Federal Central Contractor Registry and with a Credential Provider, as explained on the Grants.gov web site. After registering, it may take several days or longer from the initial log-on before a new Grants.gov system user can submit an application. Only authorized individual(s) will be able to submit the application, and the system may need time to process a submitted application. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive from Grants.gov. If problems occur while using Grants.gov, the applicant is advised to (a) print any error message received, and (b) call Grants.gov directly at 800-518-4726 for immediate assistance. Grants.gov hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (except for Federal holidays). For assistance with using the Grants.gov, you may also contact email@example.com.
Please refer to important information in "Submission Dates and Times" above to help ensure your application is received on time.
V. Application/Proposal Review Information
The evaluation criteria the technical reviewers will use in evaluating the proposals are as follows:
Each of these factors will be given equal weight in the evaluation process.
2. Selection Factors.
The Selecting Official anticipates recommending proposals for funding in rank order unless a proposal is justified to be awarded out of rank order based on one or more of the following selection factors:
Therefore, the highest scoring proposals may not necessarily be selected for an award. If an award is made to an applicant that deviates from the scores of the reviewers, the Selecting Official will justify the selection in writing based on selection factors described above.
3. Review and Selection Process
An initial administrative review of timely submitted proposals will be conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of the proposal. Responsive and complete proposals will be considered further. Proposals that are nonresponsive and/or incomplete will be eliminated. Applicants will be notified if their proposal will not receive merit review. Each responsive and complete proposal will receive three independent technical reviews, which will include three individual written evaluations and scores, based on the evaluation criteria. The three scores for each proposal will be averaged. No consensus advice will be given by the technical reviewers. The individual proposal evaluations and average scores of each proposal will be considered by an Evaluation Board (a committee made up of seven (7) Federal employees: one chair and one coordinator for each of the focus areas). This Board will rank the proposals and make funding recommendations based on the selection factors described above to a Selecting Official for further consideration. In making final selections, the Selecting Official (Chief Scientist, NIST) will select funding recipients based upon the Evaluation Board’s rank order of the proposals and the selection factors. NIST reserves the right to negotiate the cost and scope of the proposed work with the applicants that have been selected to receive awards. Applicants may be asked to modify work plans or budgets and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to final approval of an award. NIST also reserves the right to reject a proposal where information is uncovered that raises a reasonable doubt as to the responsibility of the applicant. The final approval of selected proposals and award of grants will be made by the NIST Grants Officer. The award decision of the NIST Grants Officer is final.
4. Additional Information
a. Applicants may not submit replacement and/or revised pages and/or documents for any portion of a proposal once that portion has been submitted unless specifically requested by NIST.
b. One copy of each incomplete, nonresponsive, or non-selected proposal will be retained for three (3) years for record keeping purposes and the other three (3) copies will be destroyed. After three (3) years the remaining copy will be destroyed.
VI. Award Administration Information
1. Anticipated Announcement and Award Date.
NIST plans to make awards by September, 2009.
2. Award Notices.
Successful finalists will receive a grant or cooperative agreement award document from the Grant Officer. The document will be mailed via surface mail in triplicate. The recipient should have an authorized official at the organization sign and return two copies to the address listed in the award document. The award document will also include the standard terms and conditions, general terms and conditions (if any), and special award conditions (if any) that are applicable.
3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, which are contained in the Federal Register Notice of February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696), are applicable to this solicitation. On the form SF-424, the applicant’s 9-digit Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number must be entered in item 8.c. Organizational DUNS. The DUNS number provided MUST be the DUNS number for the entity within the applying institution that will be responsible for drawing down funds from the Automated Standard Application for Payment System (ASAP). Institutions that provide incorrect DUNS numbers may experience significant delays in receiving funds.
Collaborations with NIST Employees: All proposals should include a description of any work proposed to be performed by an entity other than the applicant, and the cost of such work should be included in the budget.
If an applicant proposes collaboration with NIST, the statement of work should include a statement of this intention, a description of the collaboration, and prominently identify the NIST employee(s) involved, if known. Any collaboration by a NIST employee must be approved by appropriate NIST management and is at the sole discretion of NIST. Prior to beginning the merit review process, NIST will verify the approval of the proposed collaboration. Any unapproved collaboration will be stricken from the proposal prior to the merit review.
Use of NIST Intellectual Property: If the applicant anticipates using any NIST-owned intellectual property to carry out the work proposed, the applicant should identify such intellectual property. This information will be used to ensure that no NIST employee involved in the development of the intellectual property will participate in the review process for that competition. In addition, if the applicant intends to use NIST-owned intellectual property, the applicant must comply with all statutes and regulations governing the licensing of Federal government patents and inventions, described at 35 U.S.C. §§200-212, 37 CFR Part 401, 15 CFR §14.36, and in Section B.21 of the Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements, 73 FR 7696 (Feb. 11, 2008). Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Chief Counsel for NIST, 301-975-2803.
Any use of NIST-owned intellectual property by an applicant is at the sole discretion of NIST and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis if a project is deemed meritorious. The applicant should indicate within the statement of work whether it already has a license to use such intellectual property or whether it intends to seek one.
If any inventions made in whole or in part by a NIST employee arise in the course of an award made pursuant to this notice, the United States government, acting through NIST, may retain its ownership rights in any such invention. Disposition of NIST's retained rights in such inventions will be determined solely by NIST, and may include, but is not limited to, the grant of a license(s) to parties other than the applicant to practice such inventions, or placing NIST’s retained rights into the public domain.
Research Projects Involving Human Subjects, Human Tissue, Data or Recordings Involving Human Subjects: Any proposal that includes research involving human subjects, human tissue, data or recordings involving human subjects must meet the requirements of the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects, codified for the Department of Commerce at 15 CFR Part 27. In addition, any proposal that includes research on these topics must be in compliance with any statutory requirements imposed upon the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other federal agencies regarding these topics, all regulatory policies and guidance adopted by DHHS, the Food and Drug Administration, and other Federal agencies on these topics, and all Presidential statements of policy on these topics.
NIST will accept the submission of proposals containing research activities involving human subjects. The human subjects research activities in a proposal will require approval by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) possessing a current registration filed with DHHS and to be performed by institutions possessing a current, valid Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) from DHHS that is linked to the cognizant IRB. In addition, NIST as an institution requires that IRB approval documentation go through a NIST administrative review; therefore, research activities involving human subjects are not authorized to start within an award until approval for the activity is issued in writing from the NIST Grants Officer. NIST will not issue a single project assurance (SPA) for any IRB reviewing any human subjects protocol proposed to NIST.
President Obama has issued Exec. Order No. 13,505, (74 FR 10667, March 9, 2009), revoking previous Executive Orders and Presidential statements regarding the use of human embryonic stem cells in research. NIST will follow any guidance issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) pursuant to the Executive Order and will develop its own procedures based on the NIH guidance before funding research using human embryonic stem cells. NIST will follow any additional polices or guidance issued by the current Administration on this topic.
Research Projects Involving Vertebrate Animals: Any proposal that includes research involving vertebrate animals must be in compliance with the National Research Council's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals'' which can be obtained from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20055. In addition, such proposals must meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq.), 9 CFR Parts 1, 2, and 3, and if appropriate, 21 CFR Part 58. These regulations do not apply to proposed research using pre-existing images of animals or to research plans that do not include live animals that are being cared for, euthanized, or used by the project participants to accomplish research goals, teaching, or testing. These regulations also do not apply to obtaining animal materials from commercial processors of animal products or to animal cell lines or tissues from tissue banks.
Collaborations making use of Federal Facilities: All proposals should include a description of any work proposed to be performed using Federal facilities.
If an applicant proposes use of NIST facilities, the statement of work should include a statement of this intention and a description of the facilities. Any use of NIST facilities must be approved by appropriate NIST management and is at the sole discretion of NIST. Prior to beginning the merit review process, NIST will verify the availability of the facilities and approval of the proposed usage. Any unapproved facility use will be stricken from the proposal prior to the merit review. Examples of some facilities that may be available for collaborations are listed on the NIST Technology Services web site, http://ts.nist.gov/.
Notification of Recovery Act Requirements: Recovery Act limitations are applicable to the projects funded in this Notice. Recipients must comply with the following three provisions of the Recovery Act, as applicable, and any other terms required by the Act or that may be added to the recipient’s award pursuant to guidance implemented by the Office of Management and Budget.
Buy American Act Provision: Unless waived by DoC, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Recovery Act, may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States. This provision shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements.
Davis Bacon Act: Under Section 1606 of the Recovery Act, projects using Recovery Act funds require the payment of not less than the prevailing wages under the Davis-Bacon Act to "all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government."
False Claims Act: Each recipient or sub-recipient awarded funds under the Recovery Act shall promptly refer to an appropriate inspector general any credible evidence that a principal, employee, agent, contractor, sub-grantee, subcontractor, or other person has submitted a false claim under the False Claims Act or has committed a criminal or civil violation of laws pertaining to fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, gratuity, or similar misconduct involving those funds.
Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds. The agency expects programs under this notice to be implemented in general compliance with any guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget regarding the President’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of March 20, 2009, Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds, 74 FR 12531 (March 25, 2009).
Best Practices to Promote Equality of Opportunity. Pursuant to OMB Guidance (see, "Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," April 3, 2009) and consistent with the Recovery Act and other applicable laws, DoC encourages recipients to implement best practices to promote equality of opportunity, to provide opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses, including veteran-owned small businesses and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and to follow sound labor practices.
Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: The funding periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice and request for proposals are subject to the availability of funds, as well as to Department of Commerce and NIST priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and NIST will not be held responsible for proposal preparation costs. Publication of this notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or NIST to award any specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds. No funding is anticipated at this time to provide further support beyond the award period to any project that may receive funds under this program.
4. Reporting Requirements
Reporting requirements are described in the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions dated March, 2008, found on the Internet at: http://oamweb.osec.doc.gov/docs/GRANTS/DOC%20STCsMAR08Rev.pdf.
The references in Sections A.01 and B.01 of the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions, dated March 2008 to "Financial Status Repor (SF-269)" and "SF-269" are hereby replaced with the "Federal Financial Report (SF-425)" and "SF-425," respectively, as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (73 FR 61175, October 15, 2008). As authorized under 15 CFR §§ 14.52 and 24.41, the OMB-approved SF-425 shall be used in the place of the SF-269 and SF-272 under the uniform administrative requirements and elsewhere under awards in this program where such forms are referenced.
In addition, as set out in Section 1512(c) of the Recovery Act, no later than ten (10) daysafter the end of each calendar quarter, any recipient that receives funds under the Recovery Act from NIST must submit a report to NIST that contains:
Recipients that must report information in accordance with paragraph (d) above must register with the Central Contractor Registration database (http://www.ccr.gov/) or complete other registration requirements as determined by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Section 1512(d) further requires that no later than thirty (30) days after the end of each calendar quarter, NIST must make the information in reports submitted under section 1512(c) of the Recovery Act as outlined above publicly available by posting the information on a Web site. OMB Memo M-09-10, "Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,"' which can be accessed at http://www.recovery.gov/, provides information on requirements for Federal agencies under the Recovery Act. Recipients must also comply with any additional guidance which may be forthcoming related to responsibilities of recipients of grants and cooperative agreements under the Recovery Act.
VII. Agency Contact(s)
Questions should be directed to the following contact persons: