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04-02
Grant Information Circular



February 3, 2004
SYNOPSES REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCEMENTS OF
GRANT AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

PURPOSE: To provide information about Grants.gov FIND and Grants.gov; and to provide instructions on how to prepare a synopsis for transmittal to Grants.gov.

BACKGROUND:
(a) On October 8, 2003, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a policy directive, "Use of Grants.Gov FIND", requiring Federal agencies to use the Grants.gov FIND module of the Grants.gov Program to electronically post synopses of grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities. This policy directive includes a standard set of data elements to be used by Federal agencies when posting synopses to http://www.Grants.gov. The posting of standard synopses in an electronic environment provides potential applicants the opportunity to locate opportunities in one place and decide whether or not to apply for the opportunity.

(b) The purpose of the Grants.gov FIND module is to provide potential applicants with the following:

(1) Enough information about any opportunity to decide whether they are interested in viewing the full announcement.
(2) Information on one or more ways to obtain the full announcements.
(3) One common Web site for all Federal grant opportunities searchable by key word, date, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number or specific agency name.

GUIDANCE:

(a) All announcements of grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities shall be synopsized using the standard set of data elements (enclosed), prescribed by OMB. The synopsis shall be prepared in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS), located here; by using the Electronic Posting System (EPS). The EPS has been revised to incorporate additional data elements required for Grants.gov. Depending upon user input, the EPS will transmit announcements to Grants.gov, to FedBizOpps (the procurement site for announcements), or to both sites. Synopses shall be electronically posted to: http://www.Grants.gov, no later than three business days after release of the full announcement.

(b) This requirement applies to all announcements of grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities with the following exceptions: announcements of opportunities for awards less than $25,000 for which 100 percent of eligible applicants live outside of the United States; and single source announcements of opportunities that are specifically directed to a known recipient.

(c) The following questions and answers provide additional clarifications.

(1) Question: What are Grants.gov, Grants.gov FIND and Grants.gov?
Answer: The vision of the Grants.gov program is to: "Provide a simple, unified "storefront" for all customers of Federal grants to electronically find opportunities, apply, and manage grants". The Grants.gov Program is currently in development, with some modules complete and others in the planning stages. Grants.gov FIND is a module of the Grants.gov Program. Grants.gov FIND hosts information on all competitive grant opportunities from all 26 Federal grant-making agencies from one location - http://www.Grants.gov. Grants.gov FIND is a module of the Grants.gov Program, while Grants.gov is the specific web site where grant and cooperative agreement opportunities are posted.

(2) Question: What is a synopsis and how is it different than an announcement?
Answer: In the context of this GIC, a synopsis is a notice of a proposed financial assistance opportunity published in the Governmentwide point of entry (GPE) for grants, currently Grants.gov. A synopsis provides potential applicants with enough information about a grant or cooperative agreement opportunity to decide whether they are interested in viewing the full announcement. An announcement refers to a solicitation used to announce grant and cooperative agreement opportunities: for example, a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) or an announcement for a training grant.

(3) Question: Does the requirement to synopsize announcements of grant and cooperative agreement opportunities apply to all NASA Centers?
Answer: Yes. The requirement applies to all Federal government announcements for grants and cooperative agreements, which includes announcements issued at NASA Headquarters and at NASA Centers. This requirement applies to Federal government agencies only, and therefore does not apply to NASA contractors.

(4) Question: Are there any exceptions to the requirement to synopsize announcements of grant and cooperative agreement opportunities?
Answer: Yes, there are two exemptions that apply to NASA: (1) Announcements of opportunities for awards less than $25,000 for which 100 percent of eligible applicants live outside of the United States; and (2) Single source announcements of opportunities which are specifically directed to a known recipient. [Note: As a rule, NASA does not issue research grants and cooperative agreements to foreign organizations. Refer to the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook, Provision § 1260.12(e)(2) for NASA policy on foreign participation.] If an announcement does not fall under these two categories, then the announcement must be synopsized or a request for an exemption must be directed to OMB, Office of Federal Financial Management through the NASA Office of Procurement, Sponsored Business Research Activities Group (Code HK).

(5) Question: Who posts the synopsis?
Answer: The OMB policy directive only places the obligation on "Federal agencies" to electronically post synopsis of grant and cooperative agreement opportunities. Within NASA, the program office and the procurement office must work together to ensure that the synopsis requirements have been met.

(6) Question: I am publishing a synopsis of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). When should the synopsis be published?
Answer: It is important to note that the timing requirements for synopses of grants and cooperative agreements, as published in the Handbook differ from the synopses requirements for prospective contract actions, as stated in Part 5 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Where a particular BAA could potentially result in the award of: (1) grants or cooperative agreements; and (2) contracts, the synopsis of the BAA should be posted at both the Government Point of Entry - currently at http://www.fbo.gov, and Grants.gov at http://www.Grants.gov, using the timeframe in FAR 5.203. In accordance with FAR Part 5.203, the timeframe for posting of the synopsis is at least 15 days prior to the release of the announcement. The FAR provides several exceptions to the synopsis requirement, as discussed in FAR 5.202.

Notwithstanding the above requirements, if prior to release of the BAA it is decided that subsequent awards will be limited to grants and/or cooperative agreements, publishing a synopsis at http://www.fbo.gov is not required. However, publication is required in the Government wide portal for announcements of grants and cooperative agreements at: http://www.Grants.gov. A synopsis of the Federal opportunity shall be posted at http://www.Grants.gov no later than three business days after the release of the full announcement. (Three business days after release of the announcement represents the latest timeframe that the synopsis can be published - the synopsis can also be published before the announcement is released.)

(7) Question: The Provision includes the statement: "All synopses shall include instructions regarding where to obtain the full announcement for the opportunity". What does this mean?
Answer: Synopses are only a summary of the announcement and do not incorporate the full announcement. The full announcement is a separate document. The synopsis may provide an Internet site, e-mail address, or telephone number that potential applicants can use to obtain the full announcement. NASA HQ research announcement are typically posted to the Research Opportunities Online site at: http://research.hq.nasa.gov/research.cfm. NASA Center announcements are typically posted to the NASA Acquisition Internet Service here.

(8) Question: What is the "Grants.gov FIND Data Element/Format"?
Answer: The Grants.gov FIND Data Element/Format is a standard set of data elements to be used by Federal agencies when posting synopses at http://www.Grants.gov. The Grants.gov FIND Data Element/Format is enclosed.

(9) Question: What number should be used for the "Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)".
Answer: NASA is exempt from this requirement. Insert "00.000" (which means "non-applicable") in this field.

(10) Question: What Action Code should be selected for announcements that may result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements?
Answer: Choose Action Code "P" (Presolicitation Notice - Synopsis). Do not use Action Code "S" (Special Notice).

(11) Question: In the Presolicitation Type field of the EPS, what is the difference between the "Noncommercial Competitive" and the "BAA/CAN/NRA Competitive" options?
Answer: Before choosing a "Presolicitation Type", first find out whether the announcement contemplates award of grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or some combination of the three types of instruments. If the announcement anticipates award of contracts only, choose the following Presolicitation Type: "Noncommercial Competitive". If the announcement anticipates the award of grants or cooperative agreements (even if contract awards are also anticipated), choose "BAA/CAN/NRA Competitive".

 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This GIC is effective as dated and shall remain in effect until canceled or superseded.

HEADQUARTERS CONTACTS: Suzan P. Moody, Code HK, (202) 358-0503, email: Suzan.P.Moody@nasa.gov.


James. A. Balinskas
Director, Contract Management Division


GIC 04-02 Enclosure

Grants.gov FIND Data Elements/Format


The data elements below represent all of the information that the program and procurement offices need prior to issuing a synopsis of a grant or cooperative agreement funding opportunity. The program and procurement offices complete the "User Input" column for each announcement. The information in the User Input column is then provided to the office that transmits the synopsis.

The term "announcement" refers to announcements of grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities, including NASA Research Announcements (NRAs) and Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs).

 

Data Element Description Is NASA input required? User Input
NASA user identification User ID of NASA representative who is authorized to post information to the Grants.gov site. One entry required. (Note: The person who posts the synopsis will provide this information.)
NASA user password Password of NASA representative who is authorized to post information in the Grants.gov site. One entry required. (Note: The person who posts the synopsis will provide this information.)
Announcement type Type of announcement to which the synopsis relates: (a) initial announcement or (2) a modification to a previously issued announcement. One entry required. If this is a modification to a previously issued announcement, the only required fields are the date and the changes made to the initial announcement.  
Funding opportunity title NASA's title for the funding opportunity (including program subcomponent names, as NASA deems appropriate.) One entry required.  
Funding opportunity number The number, if any that NASA assigns to the announcement. For a modification of a previously issued announcement, use the funding opportunity number of the earlier announcement. NFS 1804.7100 describes the solicitation numbering scheme. (Note: This NFS site will be updated in the near future.) If the NASA program does not assign a number to the announcement, this field is optional because Grants.gov will assign a number. If this is a modification, include the number of the initial announcement. This number may be the NASA assigned number or the Grants.gov assigned number.  
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number Number(s) of the CFDA listing(s) for program(s) included in the announcement, e.g., 12.300). NASA is exempt from this requirement. Insert "00.000" (meaning "non-applicable".)  
Federal Agency Name - "NASA" Name of the NASA organization responsible for the announcement, including agency name and as applicable, specific subcomponent (e.g., department, bureau, directorate, or division). Examples include: "NASA Headquarters, Office of Space Science"; "NASA, Ames Research Center"; and "NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center - Procurement Office". Optional. If an office name is not provided, Grants.gov will insert the office name provided when the NASA office responsible for transmitting the synopsis initially registered and obtained a user ID and password.  
NASA contact for electronic access problems Should list name of a person (e.g., webmaster) to whom potential applicants should refer questions if they cannot link from Grants.gov to the full announcement (this person is distinct from the programmatic and other agency contacts who are listed in the full announcement). For Headquarters research announcements, the contact is the NASA Peer Review Services. For other NASA announcements, the contact is the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS). At least one entry required. May list more than one.  
E-mail address for NASA contact for electronic access problems. E-Mail address of NASA contact who can help with electronic access problems. For Headquarters research announcements, the contact is the NASA Peer Review Services at research@hq.nasa.gov. For other NASA announcements, the contact is the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) at helpdesk.msfc@msfc.nasa.gov. Required. May list only one.  
Telephone number for NASA contact for electronic access problems. Telephone number of NASA contact who can help with electronic access problems. The telephone number of the NASA Peer Review Services is: (202) 479-9376. The telephone number for NAIS: is (866) 419-6297. Required. May list only one.  
Funding opportunity description. A concise description of the funding opportunity, designed to contain sufficient information for potential applicants to decide whether they are interested enough to read the full announcement. Required.  
Funding instrument type Types of instruments that may be awarded (codes proved for system-to-system interface):
Grant (G)
Cooperative Agreement (CA)
Procurement Contract (PC)
Other (O).
Note that if your announcement states that you may award procurement contracts, as well as assistance instruments, the announcement must be posted to both the procurement and assistance modules of Grants.gov FIND.
Required. Select all that apply (up to 4 codes).  
Category of funding activity Designed to allow potential applicants to narrow their search to programs in the CFDA categories of interest to them. Note that the terms are defined in the CFDA. List all categories that apply (codes provided for system-to-system interface):
Agriculture (AG)
Arts (AR-see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA)
Business and Commerce (BC)
Community Development (CD)
Consumer Protection (CP)
Disaster Prevention and Relief (DPR)
Education (ED)
Employment, Labor and Training (ELT)
Energy (EN)
Environment (ENV)
Food and Nutrition (FN)
Health (HL)
Housing (HO)
Humanities (HU-see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA)
Income Security and Social Services (ISS)
Information and Statistics (IS)
Law, Justice and Legal Services (LJL)
Natural Resources (NR)
Regional Development (RD)
Science and Technology and other Research and Development (ST)
Transportation (T)
Other (O-see text field entitled "Explanation of other category of funding activity'' for clarification.)
The most common category for NASA programs is "Science and Technology and other Research and Development (ST)".
At least one entry required and may list as many as needed. There is no default value. If the category of funding activity does not clearly fit in any listed category, must select, "Other".  
Explanation of "other" category of funding activity. A text description of "Other" category or categories of funding activity applicable to the funding opportunity. Required if NASA selects "other" as a category of funding activity, either by itself or in combination with one or more categories.  
Estimated total program funding. The total amount of funding NASA expects to make available for awards under this announcement. Optional. Default, if NASA does not provide input, is "not available." However, agencies should provide this information whenever possible.  
Expected number of awards The number of individual awards NASA expects to make under this announcement. Optional. Default, if NASA provides no input, is "not available." However, agencies are strongly encouraged to provide this information whenever possible.  
Ceiling, if any, on amount of individual award. The maximum dollar amount for an individual award under this announcement that NASA will not exceed. Required. Enter a number. If there is no ceiling, then enter "none".  
Floor, if any, on amount of individual award. Any minimum dollar amount for an individual award under this announcement (i.e., if NASA will not make smaller awards under any circumstances). Required. Enter a number. If there is no floor, then enter "none".  
How to get full announcement. Hypertext stating where to get the full announcement, if it is available on the Internet. This field should include the descriptor that precedes the URL for the full announcement (e.g., "Click on the following link to see the full text of the announcement for this funding opportunity"). For NASA Headquarters research announcements, enter: "NASA Research Opportunities Online" and for all other types of announcements enter: "NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS)". Required.  
Electronic link to full announcement. The URL for the full announcement, unless the announcement is uploaded in Grants.Gov FIND. The URL will be: http://research.hq.nasa.gov/research.cfm for NASA Headquarters research announcements and NAIS Home page for all other announcements. Agency input is optional because there will be no URL if the agency uploads the announcement in Grants.Gov FIND and does not also post it on the Internet.  
Eligible applicants

Designed to help potential applicants narrow their searches to programs where they are most likely to be eligible, although they still must read the full announcement for details because eligibility may be further limited to certain subsets of applicants within categories below (codes provided for system-to-system interface). 99-Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity below), subject to any exceptions listed in the text field entitled "Additional information on eligibility".
Government Codes:
00-State governments
01-County governments
02-City or township governments
04-Special district governments
05-Independent school districts
06-State controlled institutions ofhigher education
07-Native American tribal governments(Federally recognized)
08-Public Housing Authorities/Indianhousing authorities

Non-Government organizations:
11-Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribalgovernments)
12-Nonprofits with 501(C)(3) IRS status, other than institutions ofhigher education.
13-Nonprofits without 501(C)(3) IRS status, other than institutions of higher education
20-Private institutions of higher education
21-Individuals
22-For-profit organizations other than small businesses
23-Small businesses
25-Others (see text field entitled "Additional information on eligibility" for clarification)

Required to either select "99" for unrestricted or select all others that apply.  
Additional information on eligibility. Explanatory information to provide any needed clarification of the meaning of "unrestricted" (e.g., all but foreign entities) to identify types of recipients meant by "all others," or to provide further information about limitations for any other categories (e.g., for categories 6 and 20, a limitation to historically Black colleges and universities). Required if agency selects either category 25 or category 99 in "eligible applicants" field. If NASA selects category 99 and there are not further limitations, enter "no restrictions". Optional for additional information related to any category other than 99 or 25.  
Cost sharing or matching requirement. Answer to question: Is cost sharing or matching required? (Y or N). Required.  
Due date for applications Date when applications are due (or latest date when applications accepted, if the announcement has multiple due dates or is a general announcement that is open for a specified period with applications accepted at any time during that period).
Note: This field must contain the date when pre-applications, rather than applications, are due if an applicant must submit a pre-application to be considered for an award.
This field is required if the "Explanation of application due dates" field (below) is not completed. If the "Explanation of application due dates" field is completed, then this field is optional. NASA does not generally require pre-applications. (Note: Notices of Intent and Advance Notices are not pre-applications.)  
Explanation of application due dates.

Used by agencies wanting to post more information about due date(s) for potential applicants. For example, the field may be used to describe programs with multiple due dates or ones where applications are accepted at any point within a broad time window. The field also may be used to add information about the time when applications are field due (e.g., 5 p.m. EDT on the date given in the "Due date for applications" field).

NASA generally encourages applicants to submit a "Notice of Intent (NOI)" or an "Advance Notice". Include the due date of the NOI or Advance Notice in this field, along with the due date of the proposal. For announcements that encourage the submission of a NOI, this field may include a reference to the "Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement" located at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/. Announcements that encourage the submission of an Advance Notice should include instructions on how to submit the Advance Notice or a link to a web page that provides these instructions.

Optional. Note: The "Due date for applications" field (above) is required if this "Explanation of application due dates " field is not completed.  
Date of Grants.gov FIND posting. Month, day, and year when NASA wants the synopsis posted on Grants.Gov FIND (e.g., some agencies may build in delays to allow announcements to appear first in the Federal Register or at agencies Internet site. Format is MMDDCCYY. If there is no reason for a delay then enter the same day that the synopsis is transmitted. NASA does not publish announcements in the Federal Register. Required.  
Date for Grants.Gov FIND to archive. Month, day and year when the agency wants to synopsis archived. Format is MMDDCCYY. Optional. Default. If NASA provides no input, is 30 days after the date given in the "Due date for applications" field.  


 


 

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