[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 102 (Tuesday, May 27, 2008)]
[Pages 30380-30381]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-11719]



National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket No: 080411556-8593-01]

Construction Grant Program Notice of Availability of Funds

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United 
States Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Funds; Request for Proposals.


SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 
United States Department of Commerce (DoC), is soliciting grant 
proposals for construction of research science buildings. Grant funding 
is available to institutions of higher education and non-profit 
organizations on a competitive basis.

DATES: Proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time, 
Monday, July 21, 2008. Review, selection, and grant award processing is 
expected to be completed by the end of September 2008.

ADDRESSES: Proposals must be submitted to NIST as follows:
    Paper submission: Send to National Institute of Standards and 
Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701.
    Electronic submission: http://www.grants.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Lambis via e-mail at 
[email protected] or telephone (301) 975-4447.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additional Information. The Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2008 (Pub. L. 110-161) (the ``Act'') appropriated 
``$30,080,000 * * * for a competitive construction grant program for 
research buildings'' to NIST. Additional information on the program was 
provided in an explanatory statement that under Section 4 of the Act 
has the same effect as a Conference Report: ``The research buildings 
should span all the applicable sciences, as they relate to the 
Department of Commerce. These grants shall be awarded to colleges, 
universities, and other non-profit science research organizations on a 
competitive basis.'' 153 Congressional Record H15790 (Dec. 17, 2007). 
The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement for this request for 
proposals is available at http://www.grants.gov.
    Statutory Authority. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Pub. L. 
    CFDA. 11.615 Construction Grant Program.
    Program Description. The goals and objectives of the program are to 
provide competitively awarded grant funds for research science 
buildings through the construction of new buildings or expansion of 
existing buildings. For purposes of this program, ``research science 
building'' means a building or facility whose purpose is to conduct 
scientific research, including laboratories, test facilities, 
measurement facilities, and/or observatories.
    Funding Availability. Approximately $29 million is available for 
construction of research science buildings. We expect to issue awards 
with Federal shares in the $10 million-$15 million range.
    Eligibility Criteria: Institutions of higher education and non-
profit organizations are eligible to apply for awards under this 
    Evaluation Criteria. The evaluation criteria that will be used in 
evaluating proposals are as follows:
    1. Scientific and technical merit of the proposed use and need for 
Federal funding (50 percent).
    (Addresses the science and technology activities the building/
facility will support and why the research infrastructure is needed to 
meet those science and technology activities; the building's/facility's 
targeted impact on the science and technology knowledge and 
infrastructure base; and the need for Federal funding, due to a lack of 
alternative funding sources.)
    2. The quality of the design of the research science building (25 
    (Addresses the quality of design information for the building/
facility to establish that the design of the building/facility has the 
ability to meet the safety, physical, environmental and experimental/
operational requirements of the science and technology activities the 
building/facility is expected to support.);
    3. Adequacy of the detailed Project Execution Plan (PEP) for 
construction of the research science building (25 percent). The PEP 
must address:
    a. Project Scope and Requirements
    (Addresses the type of Work/task Breakdown Structure (WBS) approach 
and the work/task elements used to organize and define the total scope 
of the project by tasks; the descriptions of each work/task breakdown 
element; the organization and documentation of the task components in a 
way that aggregates the subtasks into unified task descriptions; and 
enables their use throughout project management life-cycle to identify 
and monitor project progress, as well as link tasks to budget and 
schedule plans.);
    b. Adequacy of the Proposed Project Schedule and Budget (Although 
cost sharing is not required it is encouraged for a proposal to be 
competitive and will be considered as a selection factor.)
    (Addresses the task schedule and budget descriptions associated 
with the Work/task Breakdown Structure being utilized. Addresses the 
sources and levels of cost sharing if proposed.);
    c. Capability to Manage the Project; and
    (Addresses the approach for project management tracking and 
control, from kick-off through close-out, which may consist of: tools 
and techniques (manual and automated systems) used to gather, integrate 
and disseminate the outputs of project management processes during the 
life of the award; an analysis of risks and how they may be mitigated; 
and cost control mechanisms. Addresses the management plan for 
direction and implementation of the project, including capability 
descriptions of the performing organizations and associated key 
personnel.); and
    d. Financial Commitments to Implement the PEP.
    (Addresses the current and any pending commitments required for the 
building/facility to be established and become fully operational, by 
the organizational name/contact that has the fiduciary authority over 
the funds).
    Selection Factors. The Selecting Official shall recommend proposals 
for award based upon the Evaluation Board's rank order of the proposals 
and the following selecting factors:
    1. Degree to which project complements DoC science and technology 
program priorities (see Program Priorities below), including the amount 
and quality of experience that the institution that will use the 
facility has had with novel research.
    2. Experience promoting national impacts through research outcomes, 
training, cooperation with Federal programs, opportunities for visiting 
    3. Assuring a balance/distribution among the program priorities 
(see Program Priorities below).
    4. Availability of funds.
    5. Credibility of plans to transition to operational status (i.e., 
staffing and equipping the building, and operational readiness).

[[Page 30381]]

    6. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or 
other Federal agencies.
    7. Degree to which the applicant is proposing cost share. (A 
minimum of 25% would be viewed favorably; 50% even more favorably.)
    8. Adequacy of information needed to assess compliance with and to 
make a determination under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended.
    9. Applicant's prior Federal award performance.
    Program Priorities: All applicable fields of science that relate 
directly to the programs of DoC's three science organizations: NIST, 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 
Specifically, these include science related to measurements, oceans or 
atmosphere, or telecommunications. More information about those 
programs can be found on the agencies' Web sites (http://www.nist.gov, 
http://www.noaa.gov, and http://www.ntia.doc.gov).
    Selection Process. An initial administrative review 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. Each of the remaining proposals will receive three 
independent reviews, which will include three written evaluations and 
scores, based on the evaluation criteria. No consensus advice will be 
given. The individual proposal evaluations and scores will be 
considered by an Evaluation Board (a committee made up of four Federal 
employees), and this Board will present ranking and funding 
recommendations based on the evaluation criteria to a Selecting 
Official for further consideration. In making final selections, the 
Selecting Official (Chief Facilities Management Officer, NIST) will 
select funding recipients based upon the Evaluation Board's rank order 
of the proposals and the selection factors. The selection of proposals 
by the Selecting Official is final. NIST reserves the right to 
negotiate the cost and scope of the proposed work with the applicants 
that have been selected to receive awards. This may include requesting 
that the applicant delete from the scope of work a particular task that 
is deemed by NIST to be inappropriate for support against the 
evaluation criteria or selection factors. 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 
    Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs). Proposals under this program are not subject to Executive 
Order 12372.
    Administrative Procedure Act and Regulatory Flexibility Act. Prior 
notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other 
law, for rules relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or 
contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). Because prior notice and an opportunity 
for public comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any 
other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required and has not been prepared.
    E.O. 13132 (Federalism). This notice does not contain policies with 
Federalism implications as defined in Executive Order 13132.
    E.O. 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review). This notice is not a 
significant regulatory action under Sections 3(f)(3) and 3(f)(4) of 
Executive Order 12866, as it does not materially alter the budgetary 
impact of a grant program and does not raise novel policy issues. This 
notice is not an ``economically significant'' regulatory action under 
Section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order, as it does not have an effect 
on the economy of $100 million or more in any one year, and it does not 
have a material adverse effect on the economy, a sector of the economy, 
productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or 
safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.
    Paperwork Reduction Act. Notwithstanding any other provision of the 
law, no person is required to, nor shall any person be subject to 
penalty for failure to, comply with a collection of information, 
subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 
unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This document contains 
collection-of-information requirements subject to the PRA. The use of 
Standard Forms 424, 424C, 424D, and LLL; and CD-346 have been approved 
by OMB under the respective control numbers 4040-0004, 4040-0008, 4040-
0009, 0348-0046, and 0605-0001.
    Administrative and National Policy Requirements. 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 7696-01), are applicable to this solicitation.

    Dated: May 20, 2008.
Richard F. Kayser,
Chief Scientist.
[FR Doc. E8-11719 Filed 5-23-08; 8:45 am]