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Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer

The use of FAQs is intended to interpret existing policy rather than to create new policy. Consequently, the grant and cooperative agreement community should use FAQs in the same way as they use informal guidance received from the NASA Headquarters Office of Procurement, i.e., as one source of information available to Grants Management Specialists or Grants Management Officers in working through an issue or concern. These are general responses and may or may not fit the particular circumstances of an individual program, grant, or recipient. In all cases, we encourage the reader to verify they are using the most current regulatory guidance available by checking the government websites referenced in this document, particularly the Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook and related grant information circulars and notices, which will always contain current NASA requirements.

  1. Announcements of Federal and NASA Funding Opportunities
  2. Awards
  3. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
  4. Central Contractor Registration
  5. DUNS Number
  6. Federal Demonstration Partnership
  7. Foreign Participation in NASA Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  8. Grant and Cooperative Agreement Administration
  9. NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook
  10. NASA Directives System
  11. NASA Research Announcements
  12. Payment Management System
  13. Points of Contact
  14. Procurement Metrics
  15. Proposals
  16. Required Reports
  17. Standard Announcement Format
  18. Synopsis Requirements
  19. Taxpayer Identification Number
  20. Unsolicited Proposals

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(1) Announcements of Federal and NASA Funding Opportunities

(a)
Q:
Where may I find announcements of Federal and NASA funding opportunities?

A: The following sites are important sources of information:

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(2) Awards

(a)
Q:
What are the differences between a NASA procurement contract, grant and cooperative agreement?

A: Section A, Provision 1260.12 of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook) defines the different types of award instruments. Section A of the Handbook is located at: granta.doc.

A procurement contract is a mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish supplies or services (including construction), and the buyer pays for them. The principal purpose of a procurement contract is to acquire, for NASA's direct use or benefit, a well?defined, specific effort clearly required for the accomplishment of a scheduled NASA mission or project. If it is determined that a procurement contract is the appropriate type of funding instrument to meet NASA's purposes, the procurement shall be conducted under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) (48 CFR Chapter 18). The FAR may be accessed at: https://www.acquisition.gov; and the NFS may be accessed at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/regs/nfstoc.htm.

A grant is be used as the legal instrument to reflect a relationship between NASA and a recipient whenever the principal purpose is the transfer of anything of value to the recipient to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute. Grants are distinguished from cooperative agreements in that substantial involvement is not expected between NASA and the recipient when carrying out the activity. Grants are distinguished from contracts in that grants provide financial assistance to the recipient to conduct a fairly autonomous program; contracts entail acquisition. Grants are subject to the Handbook, located at: grcover.htm.

A cooperative agreement is be used as the legal instrument reflecting a relationship between NASA and a recipient whenever the principal purpose is the transfer of anything of value to the recipient to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute, and substantial involvement is anticipated between NASA and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity (31 U.S.C. 6305). Characteristics inherent in a cooperative agreement include those that apply to a grant, plus the following:
(1) Substantial NASA involvement in and contribution to the technical aspects of the effort are necessary for its accomplishment. This could involve an active NASA role in collaborative relations, access to a NASA site or equipment, or sharing NASA facilities and personnel. For example, a university investigator could work for a substantial amount of time at a NASA Center, a NASA investigator could work at a university, or the collaboration could be such that a jointly authored report or education curriculum product is appropriate;
(2) The project, conducted as proposed, would not be possible without extensive NASA?recipient technical collaboration;
(3) The nature of the collaboration shall be clearly defined and specified in the special condition at 1260.51, "Cooperative agreement special condition".

 

(b)
Q:
Who determines the type of funding instrument (a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, or an intra-NASA funding instrument) to be awarded from a selected proposal?

A: For non-NASA recipients, NASA determines the appropriate funding instrument for each award based on the nature of the program for which the competition was held and the type of proposing institution. Occasionally an announcement will specify the types of awards that will be made based on its unique circumstances or requirements. Please refer to Section A, Provision 1260.12, "Choice of award instrument", of the Handbook at: granta.doc.

 

(c)
Q:
Why is an award sometimes slow in being implemented after selection?

A: NASA is committed to implement awards within 46 days after the selections are announced to the proposers. However, sometimes additional materials are needed from the proposer (e.g., revised budgets and/or budget details) before NASA may legally obligate Federal money. Contracts and cooperative agreements with for-profit entities take longer owing to greater complexity. Finally, NASA's ability to distribute funds is dependent on the timely approval of its budget through the Federal budget process, which occasionally may be delayed; such a delay can significantly affect the implementation of awards, especially those whose nominal start dates would fall in the first quarter of the Government fiscal year (October through December).

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(3) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

(a)
Q:
What is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)?

A: The CFDA is a database of all Federal financial assistance programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. The CFDA website is located at: http://www.cfda.gov/. Please note that you cannot apply for an assistance program through the CFDA.

 

(b)
Q:
What is a CFDA number?

A: The CFDA number identifies the assistance programs in the Catalog.

 

(c)
Q:
Are NASA Programs assigned a CFDA number?

A: NASA has been granted an exemption to this requirement through assignment of a placeholder code and title, so insert: "00.000" (meaning "not applicable") when asked to provide a CFDA number.

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(4) Central Contractor Registration

(a)
Q:
What is the Central Contractor Registration (CCR)?

A: The Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the primary vendor database for the Federal government. The CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency missions. Both current and potential government vendors are required to register in the CCR in order to be awarded various funding instruments, including contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements. Vendors are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Vendors must update or renew their registration annually to maintain an active status. CCR validates the vendor's information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies' finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Additionally, CCR shares the data with several government procurement and electronic business systems.

 

(b)
Q:
Who is required to register in the CCR database?

A: All recipients of NASA grants and cooperative agreements must register in the CCR database. There are exceptions, but these exceptions are not expected to apply to NASA awards. Any organization that plans to submit a proposal to NASA should consider registering in the CCR database at their earliest convenience.

 

(c)
Q:
Is it possible to register in the CCR database without first obtaining a DUNS number?

A: No, a DUNS number is required to register in the CCR database.

 

(d)
Q:
How do I register my organization in the CCR?

A: Information for registering in the CCR and online documents can be found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1. Before registering applicants and recipients should review the CCR Handbook (March 2003). In the CCR Handbook is a Registration Worksheet. It is recommended that registrants print this worksheet and gather the needed information prior to starting the online registration process. The fastest and easiest method to register is by computer. To register via the computer, click on "Start New Registration." Registering in the CCR should be first preparation step in the submission for a grant or cooperative agreement. Allow a minimum of 5 days to complete the CCR registration. Organizations can register independently of submitting a grant application. There is no cost associated with registration. Please note that recipients are required to maintain their data in the CCR database and will be responsible for the accuracy of the information at all times.


(e)
Q:
Why must I register my organization in the CCR database prior to submission of a proposal, rather than prior to award?

A: This change is made to prepare NASA for integration with the interagency portal for grant application submission at: http://www.Grants.gov, and is necessary because Grants.gov plans to require CCR registration.

 

(f)
Q:
What is a Commercial And Government Entity (CAGE) Code?

A: The CAGE code is a five-character identification number assigned by the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) to identify a commercial or Government entity; or a code assigned by a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that is recorded and maintained by DLIS in the CAGE master file. The process to obtain a CAGE code is incorporated in the CCR registration. Therefore, your organization will be assigned a CAGE Code upon activation in the CCR.

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(5) DUNS Number

(a)
Q:
What is a DUNS number?

A: The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). The DUNS Number is site-specific. Therefore, each distinct physical location of an entity (such as branches, divisions, and headquarters) may be assigned a DUNS number. In order to provide on-the-spot DUNS Number assignment, D&B does not control or limit who may request or receive a DUNS number. It is the organization's responsibility to manage their DUNS numbers. Additional information is located at: http://www.dnb.com/us/.

 

(b)
Q:
What is the purpose of the DUNS number?

A: The Federal Government will use the DUNS number to better identify related organizations that are receiving funding under grants and cooperative agreements, and to provide consistent name and address data for electronic grant application systems.

 

(c)
Q:
What is a DUNS +4 number?

A: As stated in Part 2.101 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a DUNS +4 number is the DUNS number assigned by D&B plus a 4-character suffix that may be assigned by a business concern. (D&B has no affiliation with this 4-character suffix). This 4-character suffix may be assigned at the discretion of the business concern to establish additional CCR records for identifying alternative Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) accounts.

 

(d)
Q:
How and when should applicants obtain a DUNS number?

A: You should verify that you have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one as soon as possible if there is a possibility you will be applying for future Federal grants or cooperative agreements. There is no need to wait until you are submitting a particular application. Potential applicants may call D&B at 1-866-705-5711 to register and obtain a DUNS number. The process to request a DUNS number takes about 10 minutes and is free of charge. Potential applicants may also register for their DUNS number at Dun & Bradstreet's web site: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm;jsessionid=AE20AED14FC1F137DC58D711EB4FC4CE.app1. Click on the link that reads, "DUNS Number only" at the left hand, bottom corner of the screen to access the free registration page. Please note that registration via the web site may take up to fourteen business days to complete.

 

(e)
Q:
May I use the same DUNS number for all applications for Federal grants and cooperative agreements?

A: Yes, each distinct physical location of your organization is required to use the same DUNS number for all applications for Federal grants and cooperative agreements.

 

(f)
Q:
I work at a NASA Center. Am I required to obtain a DUNS number to apply for NASA announcements of grants and cooperative agreements (including NRAs)?

A: Yes. The requirement to obtain a DUNS number applies to all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements, including Federal entities responding to Broad Agency Announcements. This requirement went into effect on October 1, 2003. In many cases, you will find that your NASA Center or other Federal organization is already registered. Please note that you do not obtain a DUNS number for yourself, but rather submit the DUNS number of your Center. DUNS numbers and CAGE codes for NASA centers can be found at duns.html.

 

(g)
Q:
Are organizations outside of the United States required to obtain a DUNS Number?

A: All organizations applying for NASA grant and cooperative agreement opportunities are required to obtain a DUNS number. However, foreign organizations are rarely awarded grants and cooperative agreements with NASA. Instead they most often enter into international agreements with NASA. If a foreign organization plans to apply for NASA funding (which is rarely sought or approved), then the foreign organization will obtain a DUNS number using the same method as domestic organizations. Use the procedure outlined in FAQ 5(d).

 

(h)
Q:
I am about to submit a proposal to NASA. Where in my proposal should I list my DUNS number?

A: If you plan to submit an unsolicited proposal, then include your DUNS number in the Transmittal Letter or Introductory Material. If you plan to submit a proposal through NSPIRES, then the system will automatically ask you for your DUNS number and include your DUNS number on your Cover Page. For all other proposals, include your DUNS number on your proposal cover sheet, next to your organization's name.

 

(i)
Q:
Are collaborators or sub-recipients required to obtain a DUNS number?

A: No. The requirement to obtain a DUNS number applies to the entity that meets the agency's or program's eligibility criteria and has the legal authority to apply. For example, a consortium established as a legal entity (joint venture) must obtain a DUNS number for that consortium. Otherwise, the DUNS number of the lead entity that will actually receive an award (if one is made) is used.

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(6) Federal Demonstration Partnership

(a)
Q:
What is the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP)?

A: The Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) is a cooperative initiative among federal agencies and institutional recipients of federal funds. The FDP was established to increase research productivity by streamlining the administrative process and minimizing the administrative burden on principal investigators while maintaining effective stewardship of federal funds. The FDP web page is located at: http://thefdp.org/. NASA is a participating agency in the FDP, and therefore has established FDP terms and conditions which are applied to member institutions' grants.

 

(b)
Q:
Where can NASA's FDP terms and conditions be found?

A: FDP terms and conditions can be found at Exhibit D, "Federal Demonstration Partnership Terms and Conditions" of Section A of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook). The Handbook is located at: granta.doc.

 

(c)
Q:
How can I find out if an organization is a member of the FDP?

A: The FDP has a Directory Search Page located at: http://nrc59.nas.edu/search_directory.cfm.

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(7) Foreign Participation in NASA Grants and Cooperative Agreements

(a)
Q:
Are foreign organizations eligible to submit an application under NASA Broad Agency Announcements?

A: It is NASA policy that, in general, research with foreign organizations will not be conducted through grants or cooperative agreements, but instead will be accomplished through an international agreement with NASA on a no-exchange-of-funds basis. In these cases, NASA enters into agreements undertaking projects of international scientific collaboration. NASA funding is not normally used for subcontracted foreign research efforts. The direct purchase of supplies and/or services, which do not constitute research, from non-U.S. sources by U.S. award recipients is permitted. In rare instances, NASA may enter into an international agreement under which funds will be transferred to a foreign recipient. NASA policy on performing research with foreign organizations on a no-exchange-of-funds basis is set forth at NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) 1835.016-70. The NFS is located at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/regs/nfstoc.htm. The NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook), Provision 1260.12, "Choice of Award Instrument", paragraph (e) also describes NASA's policies with regard to foreign participation through grants and cooperative agreements. The Handbook is located at:grcover.htm.

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(8) Grant Administration

(a)
Q:
Can audits occur, and are they important?

A: Yes, Government auditors frequently check contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements for evidence of fraud, waste, and/or mismanagement by the recipient organization. Therefore, it is important to keep clear and accurate records to avoid misunderstandings.

 

(b)
Q:
Who owns any equipment purchased through the award?

A: Title to most equipment purchased or fabricated for the purpose of conducting research by an academic institution or other nonprofit organization using NASA funds normally vests with the recipient institution of the award. In some instances, NASA may elect to take title but, if so, the recipient will be notified of that intention when the purchase is approved by NASA. Title to equipment acquired by a commercial organization using Federal funds provided through any type of award vests with the Government. For additional information, please refer to Section A, Provision 1260.27, "Equipment and other property", of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook), located at: granta.doc.

 

(c)
Q:
What are the uses of a no-cost extension?

A: A no-cost extension to an award allows the completion of the objectives for which the proposal was selected that have not been accomplished in the originally specified period of performance owing to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., the inability to hire a critically important graduate student or postdoctoral employee in time; the breakdown of a unique and critical piece of equipment; or the inability to coordinate important activities with Co-Investigators through circumstances beyond the control of the Principal Investigator). A no-cost extension may not be implemented merely to use funds that are unspent because of the untimely planning of activities within the original period of performance. For a one-time extension of a grant or a cooperative agreement with a non-commercial firm, the recipient must notify NASA in writing with the supporting reasons and revised expiration date (not to exceed twelve months) before the expiration date specified in the award. For cooperative agreements with commercial firms, the parties may extend the expiration date if additional time is required to complete the milestones at no increase in Government resources. Requests for approval for no-cost extensions must be forwarded to the NASA Grant or Contracting Officer no later than ten days prior to the expiration of the award to be considered. For a contract, an appropriate request must be submitted for NASA's approval by the recipient organization. Further details on no-cost extensions are included in Section A, Provision 1260.23, "Extensions", of the Handbook, located at: granta.doc; and Section D, Provision 1274.909, located at: grantd.doc

 

(d)
Q:
Can an award be suspended or terminated?

A: The award document will contain a provision that is incorporated by reference that addresses terminations and suspensions (usually 1260.24 or Subpart 1274.922, depending on the type of award). The Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook sets forth three cases providing for whole or partial termination of an award. First, an award may be terminated for material failure to comply with the terms and conditions of an award. Awards may also be terminated by mutual agreement between the recipient institution and NASA. In the event of such a termination, the recipient is typically not entitled to expend any more funds except to the extent required to meet commitments that, in the judgment of NASA, had become firm before the mutually agreed upon date of the termination (for the portion terminated if a partial termination). Finally, the award recipient may also request termination of all or part of the grant by written request to the Agency.

NASA may also take other actions for material failure to comply with the terms of an award. For example, the Agency may temporarily withhold cash payments or disallow the cost of activities not in compliance with the award. NASA may also withhold future awards for failure to comply with the terms of an award.

For complete information on suspension and termination of awards, please refer to Section B of the Handbook, Provision 1260.161, "Termination" and 1260.162, "Enforcement" grantb.doc.

 

(e)
Q:
Once an award has been implemented, for what types of actions must prior approval from NASA be requested?

A: Prior approval requirements are set forth in the FAR, the NFS, and the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook. Several of the most common situations requiring prior written authorization from NASA are: transfer of the project to another institution at which the Principal Investigator (PI) takes employment; a substantive change in objectives or scope of the project; a change in the designation of the PI, e.g., because of a change in employment status; a substantial change in the PI's commitment of effort; the intent to award a subcontract in excess of $100,000 or to purchase equipment in excess of $5,000 that was not part of the original budget and new or revised allocations for purchase of equipment.

The recipient organization requests approval for such actions from the NASA Grant or Contracting Officer, who often will ask for a recommendation from the cognizant Technical Monitor. However, only the NASA Grant or Contracting Officer can officially approve or deny such requests.

 

(f)
Q:
Where may I find the administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements?

A: For grants and cooperative agreements with: institutions of higher education; hospitals; other non-profit organizations; and commercial organizations that do not involve cost sharing, the administrative requirements are included in Section A of the Handbook, located at: granta.doc, and in Section B of the Handbook, located at: grantb.doc. For grants and cooperative agreements with state and local governments, the administrative requirements are located in Section C of the Handbook, located at: grantc.doc. For awards with commercial organizations involving cost sharing, the administrative requirements are included in Section D of the Handbook, located at: grantd.doc.

 

(g)
Q:
Where can I find guidance concerning the allowability of costs incurred under a grant or cooperative agreement?

A: Section B, Provision 1260.127, "Allowable costs" of the Handbook includes the set of Federal principles for determining allowable costs that are applicable to each kind of recipient. Section B is located at: grantb.doc. Please note that a grant is capped by the total amount allotted. For awards with commercial organizations involving cost sharing, the cost accounting standards and principles of 48 CFR Chapter 99, as implemented by FAR Parts 30 and 31 apply. For further information, refer to Section D, Provision 1274.204, "Costs and Payments", located at: grantd.doc

 

(h)
Q:
How is NASA to be acknowledged in publications?

A: Except for articles or papers published in scientific, technical, or professional journals, the exposition of results from NASA supported research should also include the following disclaimer: "Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration." As a courtesy, any release of a NASA photograph or illustration should list NASA first on the credit line followed by the name of the Principal Investigator's Institution. An example follows: "Photograph <or illustration, figure, etc.> courtesy of NASA <or NASA Center managing the mission or program> and the<Principal Investigator's institution>." For additional information, refer to Provision 1260.22, "Technical Publications and Reports" of Section A of the Handbook.

 

(i)
Q:
What office performs the administration of the grant or cooperative agreement?

A: The cover page of the grant or cooperative agreement document will state the office responsible for contract administration. In most cases, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will administer the grant or cooperative agreement. To find the ONR office designated for your grant or cooperative agreement, visit https://www.onr.navy.mil/en/Contracts-Grants/Regional-Contacts.

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(9) NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook

(a)
Q:
What is the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook) and where is it located?

A: This handbook consists of four sections that prescribe the policies and procedures relating to the award and administration of NASA grants and cooperative agreements. Section A provides the text of provisions and special conditions and addresses NASA's authority, definitions, applicability, amendments, publications, deviations, pre-award requirements and post-award requirements currently covered by 14 CFR part 1260. Section B relates to grants and cooperative agreements with: institutions of higher education; hospitals; other non-profit organizations; and commercial organizations that do not involve cost sharing. Section C adopts the administrative requirements of OMB Circular No. A-102 and relates to administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements to state and local governments. Section D relates to awards with commercial firms that involve cost sharing. The Handbook is located at: grcover.htm.

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(10) NASA Directives System

(a)
Q:
Where may I find NASA Policy Directives (NPDs) and the NASA Procedures and Guidelines (NPGs)? More specifically, where can I find guidance on statements of work?

A: NPDs and NPGs are now called NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) and are included in NASA's Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library. The NODIS Library is located at: http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/library/main_lib.html. NPR 5600.2, "Statement of Work (SOW): Guidance for Writing Work Statements" is located at: http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/library/displayDir.cfm?Internal_ID=N_PG_5600_002B_&page_name=main.

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(11) NASA Research Announcements

(a)
Q:
What is a NASA Research Announcement and how it is different than other types of announcements?

A: NASA commonly issues three types of solicitations for scientific and technical research that are broadly defined as follows:

o NASA Research Announcement (NRA) - A NRA is used to solicit and competitively select relatively nonspecific research, technology, and/or education projects and investigations to be funded through NASA's ongoing Research and Analysis budgets. Awards made through NRA's are typically for three years and for relatively limited amounts of money ($50 to 200 K), although some awards can be as much as $1 M (e.g., construction and flight of a suborbital experiment payload). NRA awards may be a contract, grant, or a cooperative agreement.

o Announcement of Opportunity (AO) - An AO is used to competitively select relatively well-defined science investigations for a specific research opportunity funded by a specific element in NASA's budget, most commonly a NASA space mission (or program of missions such as the Explorer missions) that may, but does not always, involve the provision and operation of experiment hardware. Science investigations carried out through an AO almost always involve a considerable degree of oversight by NASA to ensure adherence to cost and schedule requirements and are almost always funded through a contract since well-defined "deliverables" are involved. Contracts awarded through an AO can be for hundreds of millions of dollars and may have periods of performance lasting ten years or more for space flight missions.

o Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) - A CAN is used to solicit unique research programs and/or related activities that involves a relatively high degree of interaction and cooperation between NASA and the selected recipient(s) to achieve NASA's desired objectives (e.g., to develop and operate a research institute, an extensive educational/public outreach activity, or a specified technology capability). Funding through a CAN is always done through a cooperative agreement award and can be for amounts up to several millions of dollars and for time periods as long as five years.

Most NRAs issued by NASA Headquarters will rely upon the NASA Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement located at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/ to specify the organization and submission of proposals. However, because of their highly unique characteristics, AO's and CAN's will usually include their own specific instructions concerning the format and content of proposals, although frequently the instructions for a proposal's Proposal Cover Page may be identical to that given in this Guidebook owing to the use of the common proposal data base system by Headquarters that is accessed through the Web site http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/.

 

(b)
Q:
Is all the information that is required to submit a proposal included in the NASA Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement?

A: Starting with the formal publication of this Guidebook, most NRAs released by NASA Headquarters will only contain information specific to the technical description of that one advertised program. The NRA will then refer prospective proposers to this Guidebook for all common or "default" requirements, policies, procedures, and formats to be used for the preparation of proposals unless specifically exempted otherwise in the NRA. It is the intention of NASA to restrict exceptions to these standards to items that are unique to a given NRA.

 

(c)
Q:
What are the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator (PIs), the Pi's Institution, and NASA with regard to the NRA process?

A: The Principal Investigator is expected to provide scientific and technical leadership for the proposed research and the timely publication of results. The Pi's institution has responsibility for general supervision of all award activities, especially for all fiduciary matters, and also for notifying NASA of any significant problems relating to financial or administrative matters, including issues of scientific misconduct and when the PI must be changed for some reason. NASA is responsible for the appropriate and timely review, selection, and funding of proposals submitted in response to the NRA and for monitoring the selected proposals during their periods of performance.

 

(d)
Q:
What happens if the Principal Investigator (PI) changes institutions?

A: When a PI leaves his/her organization during the course of an award to that institution, that organization has the option of nominating an appropriately qualified replacement PI or recommending termination of the award. In the former case, NASA has the right of approval of the recommended replacement PI. If the replacement is approved, the award continues at the original institution through its nominal period of performance. However, if NASA judges that participation of the original PI is critical to the project owing to his/her unique knowledge and capabilities, then NASA will seek the agreement of both the Pi's original and new institutions for the implementation of a new award at the Pi's new institution to complete the project. For additional information, please refer to Section A 1260.73 , "Transfers, novations, and change of name agreements" of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook). This Handbook is located at: grcover.htm.

 

(e)
Q:
Why aren't all proposals that are highly rated by peer review selected for funding?

A: Although a proposal in response to an NRA may nominally be judged by peer review to be of intrinsically high merit, it still may not be selected owing to the programmatic issues of relevance to NASA's stated interests and/or to budget limitations. Regarding this latter factor, most of NASA's NRAs are oversubscribed by factors ranging typically from two to five and can be even much higher. The entirety of the factors leading to a decision of selection or nonselection will be conveyed to the proposers during the course of a debriefing after selections are announced.

 

(f)
Q:
Are proposals from NASA Centers subject to peer review?

A: All proposals submitted in response to a NRA or AO are subjected to exactly the same peer review process regardless of the submitting organization, including NASA Centers. For additional information on the peer review process refer to the NASA FAR Supplement, Section 1835.016-71 on NASA Research Announcements and Section 1872.403-1 on Announcements of Opportunity.

For proposals submitted in response to a NASA announcement (including a CAN), technical evaluation of proposals will be conducted by the cognizant NASA technical office and may be based on peer reviews, as stated in Provision 1260.11, "Evaluation and selection" of the Handbook. Section D of the Handbook, Provision 1274.209(g), "Evaluation and Selection" includes additional information on the peer review of cooperative agreements with commercial firms.

 

(g)
Q:
Are proposals submitted from NASA Centers subject to Full Cost Accounting?

A: Yes. NASA is operating on the basis of full cost accounting, which will be applicable to all research proposals submitted by its Centers and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The web site for Full Cost Accounting is: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/fullcost/. More specific guidance will be forthcoming.

 

(h)
Q:
What is NASA's policy about releasing data and results derived through its sponsored research awards?

A: As a Federal Agency, NASA requires prompt public disclosure of the results of its sponsored research and, therefore, expects significant findings from supported research to be promptly submitted for peer reviewed publication with authorship(s) that accurately reflects the contributions of those involved. Likewise, as a general policy and unless otherwise specified, NASA no longer recognizes a "proprietary" period for exclusive use of any new scientific data that may be acquired through the execution of the award; instead, all data collected through any of its funded programs are to be placed in the public domain at the earliest possible time following their validation and calibration. However, small amounts of data (for example, as might be taken during the course of a suborbital (rocket or balloon), Space Shuttle, or Space Station investigation) are usually left in the care of the Principal Investigator. In any case, NASA may require that any data obtained through an award be deposited in an appropriate public data archive as soon as possible after calibration and reduction. If so, NASA will negotiate with the institution for appropriate transfer of the data and, as necessary, may provide funds to convert the data into an easily used format using standard units.

 

(i)
Q:
Where can I find more detailed information to help me develop my proposal?

A: NASA has issued a: "Guidebook for proposers responding to a NASA Research Announcement (NRA)", which is posted at: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/.

 

(j)
Q:
Why doesn't NASA release the names of its peer reviewers?

A: NASA solicits the most knowledgeable, nonconflicted peers available to review the proposals it receives. It is NASA's opinion, which is generally substantiated by the reviewers it has used, that preserving the anonymity of the participants in the review process promotes more candid comments than if this practice was not used. During the conduct of a panel a NASA Program Officer is present to ensure that the discussions and written text remain focused on the technical qualities of the proposals being discussed. The only review comments that are actually preserved for the record are those on the Summary Evaluation form, which reflects the opinion of the entire panel and not those of any one reviewer. After debriefing, a proposer has the right to challenge what are perceived to be factual errors in this consensus review.

 

(k)
Q:
How will I know when the selection date will be announced for a particular NRA?

A: The Research Opportunities Online webpage will soon include a column entitled "Selection Date" in the schedule for open solicitations. This column provides an anticipated selection date (or selection time frame) and will be updated regularly. This web page is located at: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/. Please note that this website only lists NASA Headquarters research opportunities. For NRAs that are released from NASA Centers, please refer to the NRA itself for information on the anticipated selection date or contact the point of contact listed in the NRA.

 

(l)
Q:
The "Instructions for Budget Summary" section of the "Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement (NRA)" states that the rate of pay for consultants is limited to the equivalent of the daily rate for Level IV of the Executive Schedule. Where may I find the Executive Schedule?

A: The rates of pay for the Executive Schedule may be found as part of the Office of Personnel Management's webpage: http://www.opm.gov/oca/03tables/html/ex.asp.

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(12) Payment Management System

(a)
Q:
What is the Payment Management System (PMS)?

A: The PMS is a full service centralized grants payment and cash management system, operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Program Support Center, Division of Payment Management. The PMS accomplishes all grant payment-related activities for NASA from the time of grant award through closeout of a grant, and is one of the two grants payment systems selected for the entire Federal Government. The main purpose of this system is to serve as the fiscal intermediary between awarding agencies and the recipients of grants and contracts, with particular emphasis on: (1) expediting the flow of cash between the Federal government and recipients; (2) transmitting recipient disbursement data back to the awarding agencies; and (3) managing cash flow advances to grant recipients. The following website provides more information about the PMS: http://www.dpm.psc.gov.

 

(b)
Q:
What are the roles of NASA and the recipient in the grant payment process?

A: NASA transmits data about the recipient of a grant to the PMS. The recipient completes the 1199A Direct Deposit Form in order to register banking data within the PMS. The recipient also requests funding via an assigned payment method through Payment Management, which is (generally) paid on a next day basis, and completes quarterly reports (PMS 272), which certify the disbursement of the funds. To get started, review the "Funding and Requests" section of the PMS, located at: http://www.dpm.psc.gov/grant_recipient/funding_requests/funding_requests.aspx.

 

(c)
Q:
How are recipients "paid"?

A: The award will state the process for payment. For most non-profit organizations, the Financial Management Office of the NASA Center assigned financial cognizance of the grant will make advance payments through a Letter of Credit. An advance payment is a payment made to a recipient upon its request either before outlays are made by the recipient or through the use of predetermined payment schedules. A letter of credit allows the recipient to withdraw funds up to a certain sum. These advance payments are made using the DHHS' PMS, in accordance with procedures provided to the Recipient. For most awards to commercial organizations that involve cost sharing, the Government's payment of its share of the costs is contingent upon the accomplishment of tangible milestones.

 

(d)
Q:
What NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook) provisions address grant payments?

A: Grant payments are addressed in: Section A, Provisions 1260.26, "Financial management" and 1260.56, "Withholding", located at: granta.doc; and in Section B 1260.122, "Payment", located at: grantb.doc.

 

(e)
Q:
What financial reports are recipients required to submit?

A: Recipients of all NASA grants and cooperative agreements are required to submit a quarterly Federal Cash Transaction Report (SF272), and a properly certified final Federal Cash Transaction Report (SF272). The quarterly reports are due electronically, within 15 working days following the end of each quarter of the Federal fiscal year (i.e. December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30). The final report is due in paper format, within 90 calendar days after the expiration date of the grant/cooperative agreement.

 

(f)
Q:
What is a Federal Cash Transaction Report?

A: This PMS report shows the award authorization and prior cumulative disbursements reported against the individual awards. The recipient reports current net disbursements cumulative through current reporting period and indicates any documents that are missing from this report (through the SF272-A form). In addition, the PMS will inform the recipient of the resolution of any previously reported award problems. The data elements of the 272 are as follows: Cash on Hand Beginning of Reporting Period; Total Receipts; Total Cash Available; Net Disbursements; Adjustments of Prior Periods; Cash on Hand End of Period; and Cash Requirements for the Ensuring Number of Days.

 

(g)
Q:
Whom can I contact in the event I have problems with the PMS?

A: The phone number for the PMS Help Desk is (877) 614-5533. Depending on the nature of your question, you can also contact the Administrative Grant Officer, or the Grant Officer that awarded your grant.

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(13) Points of Contact

(a)
Q:
How do I find a technical point of contact to discuss my research area of interest?

A: NASA's Mission Directorates' web pages can be found under the organization of NASA Headquarters: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/hq/organization/index.html. Then, search through the web site of each directorate for more information on it and the appropriate point of contact.

 

(b)
Q:
Where can a researcher responding to a Broad Agency Announcement (for example, a NASA Research Announcement or Announcement of Opportunity) find assistance in submitting their Notice of Intent and Proposal Cover Page?

A: Researchers requiring assistance with the "Proposal Online" web site at http://proposals.hq.nasa.gov/proposal.cfm can obtain assistance from the Peer Review Services Help Desk by sending an e-mail to Proposals@hq.nasa.gov; or by calling (202) 479-9376 (Monday to Friday 8 AM-6PM EST/EDT).

 

(c)
Q:
Where should questions on NASA announcements be directed?

A: Inquiries concerning announcements should be directed to the NASA point-of-contact listed in the "Full Text of the Announcement", Section VII, "NASA Contact(s)". This section provides potential applicants a point(s) of contact for answering questions or helping with problems while the funding opportunity is open. This section can include points of contact that may be reached in multiple ways; a fax or e-mail address that multiple people access; and different contacts for distinct kinds of help. Inquires concerning the NASA Research Opportunities Online web site may be directed by email to: research@hq.nasa.gov.

 

(d)
Q:
Where should questions on NASA awards be directed?

A: Questions on technical matters after an award are addressed to the Technical Monitor identified on the cover page of the award document. Questions about administrative, contractual, and budgetary matters are addressed to the NASA Grants or Contracting Officer. The Principal Investigator's (PI) institutional research/grants office will know this point of contact from the official award document. It is important for the PI to know the various points of contact, including his/her institution's research/grants office, the NASA Grants or Contracting Officer, the NASA Technical Monitor, and/or the NASA Program Officer. Note that the NASA Technical Monitor and Program Officer may be the same person.

 

(e)
Q:
Who monitors an award?

A: An award is monitored by the NASA Technical Monitor or the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative, who serves as an official resource to the NASA Grants or Contracting Officer, respectively. This person is knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the award and provides scientific and technical advice, including reviews of progress reports, to the Contracting or Grants Officer. The Contracting or Grants Officer has responsibility to ensure that the award is properly administered, including technical, cost, and schedule aspects.

 

(f)
Q:
Is a grant or cooperative agreement awarded to the Principal Investigator (PI) or to the Pi's Institution?

A: Although the PI usually originates and writes the proposal and has technical/scientific leadership of the work, NASA's funding awards are legally issued to the proposing institution at which the PI is employed and not to the PI personally. Although a PI may use the term "my grant" (or contract or cooperative agreement), the distinction between the PI and the legal grant recipient is real, and the PI should understand the various responsibilities for the administration of the award.

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(14) Procurement Metrics

(a)
Q:
Where can I find metrics on NASA procurement actions?

A: The NASA Procurement Library, "Procurement Metrics" web page is located at: v-Metrics.htm. The "Annual Procurement Reports" section presents summary data on all NASA procurement actions. This section also presents detailed information on contracts, grants, agreements, and other procurements over $25,000 awarded by NASA for each fiscal year using appropriated funds. Additionally, the "Charts and Graphs" section in the middle of the page includes metrics on grants and cooperative agreements.

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(15) Proposals

(a)
Q:
Does the proposal cover page have to be signed?

A: Yes, the offeror's signature on the proposal cover page is required to demonstrate that the offer is valid.

 

(b)
Q:
What is NASA's policy for submitting late proposals?

A: Proposals or proposal modifications received after the latest date specified for receipt may be considered if a significant reduction in cost to the Government is probable or if there are significant technical advantages, as compared with proposals previously received.

 

(c)
Q:
Who may be listed as participating personnel on a proposal?

A: Every person who has agreed in writing to perform a significant role in a proposed effort, even if at no cost, is entitled to be listed as a Co-Investigator. However, proposers are reminded that, since one of the nominal requirements for the Science/Technical/Management Section of a proposal is the justification of each key member of a proposal's team then the stated contributions and qualifications of proposal personnel will be evaluated as part of the peer review process. Inclusion of unjustified personnel can lead to a downgrading of a proposal's rating.

 

(d)
Q:
What are certifications and assurances?

A: Certifications and assurances are specific legal requirements that have to be met by proposers. Examples of NASA certifications are the "Lobbying" and the "Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters" statements. An example of a NASA assurance is the NASA Form 1206, "Assurance of Compliance with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Regulations Pursuant to Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs".

 

(e)
Q:
What are the NASA Requirements for certifications and assurances?

A: Grant officers are required to ensure that all necessary certifications, disclosures, and assurances have been obtained prior to awarding a grant or cooperative agreement. Each announcement will include the required certifications and assurances or (include a reference to where the certifications and assurances may be found). Signature by the recipient's Authorizing Institutional Representative (AIR) (also referred to as the Authorizing Organizational Representative) on the proposal Cover Page may confirm that all necessary certifications and assurances are met, (provided that the signature block has a statement to that effect). Another option is for the AIR to individually sign each certification and assurance. Section A, Provision 1260.10(c) of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook) includes additional information.

 

(f)
Q:
Do offerors need to submit certified cost and pricing data with proposals?

A: Certified cost and pricing data, as described in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), is not a requirement for NASA grants and cooperative agreements. However, a Budget Summary is required in accordance with Section A, Provision 1260.10(b), of the Handbook, located at: v-Metrics.htm. The Budget Summary is described in more detail in Exhibit A to Section A. While certified data is not required for contract awards resulting from Broad Agency Announcements, an offeror seeking a contract may be required to submit cost information in accordance with FAR 15.403. The FAR is located at: https://www.acquisition.gov.

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(16) Required Reports

(a)
Q:
Are there required reports?

A: Yes. Required reports include technical, financial, property, invention or other specialized reports applicable for certain types of grants (such as education grants). The award document will include a complete list of required reports and schedules for their submission. Especially significant is the Federal Cash Transaction Report (SF 272) that is due at the end of each Federal fiscal quarter from the institution holding the award. The required reports are discussed in more detail in Exhibit G to the Handbook. If the resulting award is a contract, reporting requirements will be detailed in the award.

 

(b)
Q:
Does NASA provide blank forms for the interim and final reports that are required by the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook?

A: NASA does not provide blank forms for these reports. The requirements for the report contents are described in the provisions of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook (Handbook), located at: grcover.htm. NASA is currently working on an online mechanism for submitting the interim and final technical reports. This online mechanism will provide a more specific template for such reports. For further assistance with the reports, please refer to 1260.22 of the Handbook or contact the Grant Officer at the NASA Center that issued the grant. Note that the SF272, Federal Cash Transaction Report is completed online through the Payment Management System (see FAQ number 12).

 

(c)
Q:
What reports are due when a grant or cooperative agreement is terminated before the end of the period of performance?

A: In accordance with Section B, Provision 1260.151 of the Handbook; final performance reports are due 90 calendar days after the expiration or termination of the award. The Handbook also states that if inappropriate, a final technical or performance report shall not be required after completion of the project. Therefore, it is recommended that the recipient contact the Grant Officer assigned to the grant or cooperative agreement. Reporting requirements can differ depending on the technical organization and other grant-specific circumstances. Section B of the Handbook is located at: grantb.doc.

 

(d)
Q:
Are recipients who are required to use the Letter of Credit system also required to submit SF-272s, Federal Cash Transaction Reports?

A: Yes. For additional information see FAQ number 12.

 

(e)
Q:
Why are all these requirements and details about awards necessary?

A: Funding using U.S. Federal monetary resources is a privilege accorded to U.S. institutions by NASA acting on behalf of the U.S. Congress and the public at large. The recipient is legally obligated to use the funds appropriately and conscientiously to justify their continued appropriation through the Federal budget. This obligation necessarily entails attention to the details of how the award is competed and selected, and then how the selected activities are carried out, in order to provide public accountability of the Nation's financial resources throughout the process.

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(17) Standard Announcement Format

(a)
Q:
What is the standard announcement format?

A: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a policy directive on June 23, 2003 to establish a standard format for Federal agency announcements of funding opportunities under programs that award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements. The format is designed so that similar types of information will appear in the same sections in announcements of different Federal funding opportunities. A government-wide format will help potential applicants more easily and quickly find the information they need about Federal opportunities. Toward that end, there is text in each of the format's sections to describe the types of information that an agency would include in that section of an actual announcement. The Federal awarding agencies jointly developed this format as part of their grant streamlining efforts to implement the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999.

 

(b)
Q:
When is the standard announcement format applicable?

A: The standard format applies to all NASA announcements of funding opportunities under programs that award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, including NRAs. Since the standard announcement format is a requirement for Federal government agencies, NASA Centers are required to use the format. (Note: for purposes of this guidance, JPL is NOT a NASA Government Center.)

 

(c)
Q:
What is an announcement and how is it different than a synopsis?

A: An announcement refers to a solicitation used to announce contract, grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunities. A synopsis is a notice of proposed contract actions and/or a notice of contract award published in the Government-wide point of entry (GPE), currently FedBizOpps and Grants.gov. The standard format applies to announcements (including NRAs) and does not address the format or content of synopses.

 

(d)
Q:
Does the standard announcement format apply to all Broad Agency Announcements (BAA)?

A: The standard announcement format applies to all BAAs, except for Announcements of Opportunity (AOs). The format for AOs is addressed in NASA FAR Supplement Part 1872, "Acquisitions of Investigations". The decision was made to apply to standard announcement format to NRAs and Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs) and not AOs because NRAs and Cans typically result in the award of grants and cooperative agreements.

 

(e)
Q:
Is the writer of the announcement permitted to add any information that is not covered in the standard announcement format?

A: Yes. If the writer of the announcement wishes to include information on a subject that the format does not specifically discuss, the writer may address that subject in whatever section(s) is most appropriate. Please note that the standard announcement format was written with much flexibility, and in most cases, there is a logical section in the format to include the information.

 

(f)
Q:
Which sections of the standard announcement format are required and which sections are optional?

A: Each section is marked "Required" or "Optional". Within each section, the terms "must", and "shall" denote required sections. Use of the terms "should", "may", or "can" implies that the writer has discretion in including the information. (Have legal check this answer.)

 

(g)
Q:
Does the standard format apply to NRAs when a pre-determination has been made that the NRA will result in the award of a contract(s) only, or a combination of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts?

A: Yes. The NASA Office of Procurement has decided to require the same format for all NRAs, regardless of the type of award instrument that will result from the NRA. A consistent format for all NRAs will benefit the research community by helping them more easily and quickly find the information they need about NRAs.

 

(h)
Q:
Is the standard announcement format applicable to announcements for education, facility, and training grants and cooperative agreements?

A: Yes. A Grant Information Circular (GIC) will be issued to address the standard announcement format as it applies to announcements for grants and cooperative agreements (other than NRAs).

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(18) Synopsis Requirements

(a)
Q:
What are Grants.Gov, Grants.Gov FIND and Grants.gov?

A: 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. Beginning October 1, 2003, Grants.Gov FIND will host 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 FedGrants.gov was the specific website where grant and cooperative agreement opportunities were posted. As of December 19, 2005, Grants.gov has consolidated the FIND and APPLY functions at www.grants.gov

 

(b)
Q:
Does the requirement to synopsize announcements of grant and cooperative agreement opportunities apply to all NASA Centers?

A: 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.

 

(c)
Q:
Are there any exceptions to the requirement to synopsize announcements of grant and cooperative agreement opportunities?

A: 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, for example, earmarks. If an announcement does not fall under these two categories, then 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.

 

(d)
Q:
Who posts the synopsis?

A: 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.

 

(e)
Q:
The Provision includes the statement: "The synopsis shall be electronically posted to: http://www.Grants.gov no later than three business days after release of the full announcement. Can the synopsis be posted before the announcement is released?

A: Yes, synopses can be published in advance of the release of the announcement. Three business days after release of the announcement represents the latest timeframe that the synopsis can be published. The synopses requirements for grants and cooperative agreements, as published in the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Handbook are distinct from the synopses requirements stated in Part 5 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and NASA Supplement.

 

(f)
Q:
How is the synopsis prepared and transmitted to Grants.gov?

A:The synopsis is prepared in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS), located at: index.cgi; by using the Electronic Posting System (EPS). The EPS has been revised to incorporate additional data elements required for Grants.gov. The EPS will transmit announcements to Grants.gov, to FedBizOpps (the procurement site for announcements), or to both sites, depending on user input.

 

(g)
Q:
What Action Code should be selected for announcements that may result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements?

A: Choose Action Code "P" (Presolicitation Notice - Synopsis). Do not use Action Code "S" (Special Notice).

 

(h)
Q:
In the Presolicitation Type field, what is the difference between the "Noncommercial Competitive" and the "BAA/CAN/NRA Competitive" options?

A: 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".

 

(i)
Q:
What are the synopsis requirements for Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs)?

A: BAAs include NRAs, Announcements of Opportunity, and Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs). 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 https://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 https://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.)

All NASA synopses are prepared in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS), located at: index.cgi. Depending on the user's input, NAIS will transmit the synopsis to FedBizOpps only, FedBizOpps and Grants.gov, or to Grants.gov only as appropriate.

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(19) Taxpayer Identification Number

(a)
Q:
Question: What is a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)?

A: A TIN is the number required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be used by the applicant in reporting income tax and other returns. The TIN may be either a Social Security Number or an Employer Identification Number. Applicants submit their TIN with their proposals.

 

(b)
Q:
What is the purpose of the TIN?

A: The TIN may be used by the Government to collect and report on any delinquent amounts arising out of the recipient's relationship with the Government.

(c)
Q:
I am a NASA Principal Investigator and I am planning to submit a proposal to NASA. The proposal instructions require me to submit a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). What number do I provide?

A: NASA has one TIN to be used by PIs for all proposals, regardless of NASA Center. The number is: 53-0201509.

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(20) Unsolicited Proposals

(a)
Q:
What are the guidelines and requirements for submitting unsolicited proposals?

A: A guidebook entitled: "Guidance for the Preparation and Submission of Unsolicited Proposals" is available at unSol-Prop.html. This document provides guidelines for the preparation of formal unsolicited proposals to those who wish to convey their creative methods or approaches to NASA.

 

(b)
Q:
I am considering submitting an unsolicited proposal. May I talk with a NASA Program Manager before submitting an unsolicited proposal?

A: Yes. The "Policy" section of the guidebook encourages contact between the Proposer and NASA technical personnel before an extensive effort is expended in preparing a detailed proposal. This preliminary contact allows the Proposer to find out what kind of work is currently being done in a particular field, if the work proposed is sufficiently related to current NASA mission goals to warrant a formal submission, the level of funding support currently being expended in that field, and whether NASA has any interest in the type of work being proposed. The NASA Office of Procurement recommends that the Proposers become familiar with the following sections of the guidebook: "Defining an Unsolicited Proposal" and "What is not an Unsolicited Proposal" before contacting NASA technical personnel.

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