[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 2, 2010)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4286]
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Institute of Standards and Technology
[Docket No.: 100201057-0059-01]
National Institute of Standards and Technology Construction Grant
AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
Department of Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of availability of funds.
SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
announces that it is holding a competition for the NIST Construction
Grant Program, and is soliciting proposals for financial assistance for
FY 2010. 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
DATES: A Letter of Intent (Form NIST-1102) is required and must be
received no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, March 29, 2010. The
corresponding full proposal must be received no later than 3 p.m.
Eastern Time, Monday, April 26, 2010. Review, selection, and grant
award processing is expected to be completed in September 2010.
ADDRESSES: Letters of Intent may only be submitted by paper to:
National Institute of Standards and Technology; Construction Grant
Program; 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701; Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701;
Attn: Anneke Tingle--301-975-5060. The corresponding full proposals may
be submitted by paper or electronically. Paper Submissions: National
Institute of Standards and Technology; Construction Grant Program; 100
Bureau Drive, Stop 4701; Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701; Attn: Anneke
Tingle--301-975-5060. Electronic submissions: http://www.grants.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Lambis at 301-975-4447 or by
e-mail at [email protected].
Additional Information. The full Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)
announcement for this request for proposals contains detailed
information and requirements for the program. Applicants are strongly
encouraged to read the FFO announcement in developing proposals. The
full FFO announcement is available at http://www.grants.gov and on the
NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/ncgp/.
Statutory Authority. The statutory authority for this program is
the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8) and Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117).
CFDA. 11.618, NIST Construction Grant Program.
Program Description. The Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L.
111-8) appropriated $30 million to NIST ``for a competitive
construction grant program for research science buildings. Additional
information on the program provided in an Explanatory Statement
published in the Congressional Record (which serves as the Conference
Report) indicates that Congress intended to provide NIST $30,000,000
for competitive construction grants for research science buildings.
(See 155 Cong. Rec. H1735 (daily ed. Feb. 23, 2009).) The statement
also indicates that ``grants shall be awarded to colleges,
universities, and non-profit science research organizations on a merit
basis. Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L.
111-117) appropriated an additional $20 million to NIST for a
competitive construction grant program for research science buildings.
Pursuant to the statutory authorities cited above and in
consideration of the legislative history, NIST publishes this notice to
set forth the program goals and objectives, and to solicit Letters of
Intent and full proposals for the NIST Construction Grant Program. 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 for the conduct of scientific
research, including laboratories, test facilities, measurement
facilities, research computing facilities, and observatories. In
addition, ``expansion of existing buildings'' means that space to
conduct scientific research is being expanded from what is currently
available for the supported research activities. NIST seeks proposals
that successfully address the evaluation criteria below.
The following projects are unallowable/ineligible under this
1. Projects to construct or expand a building not intended for
performing research or that will predominately be equipped with routine
office equipment and/or lecture/class room furnishings.
2. Projects to construct facilities that will primarily benefit
undergraduate research training programs, rather than the creation of
new graduate level research programs, or expanding existing graduate
level research programs.
3. Projects to construct facilities that will primarily benefit the
education of the general public rather than support research
4. Projects that include tasks for constructing shell space that
will not be completed into research space within the grant will have
these tasks removed.
The following items, regardless of whether they are allowable under
the Federal cost principles, are unallowable under this program and may
not be used as cost sharing:
1. Ancillary Structures, rights-of-way surveys, appraisals, etc.
2. Costs or charges associated with routine maintenance, or
operation of the facility.
3. Equipment used for research or otherwise that is not an integral
part of the building's structure, e.g., table top equipment, portable
air conditioners, etc. Equipment that is an integral part of the
building such as fume hoods, HVAC equipment, built-in autoclave, etc.,
4. Furniture other than fixed laboratory casework.
5. Interior decorating.
6. Landscaping or other improvements exterior to the footprint of
the building, unless required for its operation.
7. Purchase of land.
8. Relocation expenses.
9. Safety equipment items, e.g., fire extinguishers, first-aid
kits, etc. Built-in safety items, e.g., eye wash stations or chemical
showers, however, are fixed items and are allowable.
10. Storage costs.
11. Telephone and/or network equipment, e.g., servers, storage,
racks, etc., however, IT and telephone cabling and wiring installed
during construction is allowable.
12. Training, unless related to regulatory compliance for
Funding Availability. Up to $50 million is available for new grants
for the FY 2010 competition. NIST anticipates funding three to five
projects with Federal shares in the $10 million--$15 million range with
a project period of performance of up to five (5) years, although there
is an expectation that most of the projects will be completed prior to
five years. The anticipated start date will be one month after the
award is made. The period of performance depends on the construction
Eligibility Criteria. U.S. institutions of higher education and
non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
Restrictions on Submission of Letters of Intent and Full Proposals and
on Proposal Funding
Each applicant organization may submit only two Letters of Intent
(form NIST-1102), in response to this solicitation, and two
corresponding full proposals. If more than two Letters of Intent are
received from the same applicant organization, NIST will acknowledge
receipt of each and provide notice that if more than two full proposals
are received from the same applicant organization at the time of full
proposal submission, all full proposals from that same applicant
organization will be rejected and returned without review. A full
proposal may not be submitted unless NIST has received the required
Letter of Intent by the deadline and the applicant has received an
acknowledgement letter from NIST. If a full proposal is submitted to
NIST from an applicant who did not submit the required Letter of Intent
for their full proposal, the full proposal will be rejected and
returned to the applicant without review. Although each applicant
organization may submit two full proposals, only one full proposal
project from each applicant organization may be funded.
Institutions of Higher Education Status as Single or Multiple
Applicants: Large, multi-campus academic systems usually have distinct
campuses with their own chancellors, student admissions, and separate
research or research training activities. Such a campus, which exists
as a separate university, with its own student programs and degrees,
qualifies as a separate entity for the purpose of submitting a Letter
of Intent and corresponding full proposal.
If a university includes multiple colleges of study, whether
located in the institution's main campus or located some miles from the
main university campus on a physically distinct campus, they are not
considered separate entities. Campuses in a multi-campus situation may
independent proposals if they are part of a multi-campus system, such
as a state university system or state community college system, and
have independent administrative structures typical of universities or
community colleges. Campuses headed by Department Heads, Deans, Center
Directors or other administrators at similar levels are not eligible to
submit an independent proposal.
If a university established a Research Foundation specifically to
promote, encourage and provide assistance to the research activities of
the university, and the Research Foundation is a separate non-profit
science research organization, is incorporated under State laws and
regulations, and is led by a separate governing board and committees,
it still supports the activities of the university and cannot be
considered an organization with interests distinct from the university.
It has no students or faculty of its own, separate from the university.
Accordingly, research proposals submitted by the Research Foundation
will count toward the institutional proposal limit.
Use of NIST-1102, Letter of Intent. A ``letter of intent'' may only
be submitted using the mandatory form NIST-1102, Letter of Intent. If a
``letter of intent'' is submitted in other than the required form NIST-
1102, Letter of Intent, the applicant will NOT be eligible to submit a
corresponding full proposal. Additionally, failure to provide all
required information on the NIST-1102, Letter of Intent, may result in
the applicant being ineligible to submit a corresponding full proposal.
Cost Sharing Requirements. This program requires a cost share of at
least 20 percent of the yearly total project costs.
Evaluation Criteria. The evaluation criteria that will be used in
evaluating proposals are as follows:
1. Scientific and technical merit of the proposed use of the
facility and the need for Federal funding (50 percent).
This criterion addresses the intellectual merit and broader impacts
of the proposed use of the facility; the strategic research directions
planned with the facility and how well the plan is conceived and
organized; what the facility will enable in terms of the advancement of
knowledge and understanding within a specific field(s) or across
different fields; the qualifications of the proposed key researchers
(individuals or teams) which will use the facility, as well as the
management team that will lead them; the potential for targeted impacts
resulting from the use of the facility that are unlikely to be achieved
with the current infrastructure, such as what transformative or
creative concepts may expand the science and technology knowledge base;
the extent to which the facility will enhance collaborations within and
outside of the institution; and the need for Federal funding due to a
lack of alternative funding sources, specifically what other sources
2. The quality of the design of the research science building (25
This criterion addresses the quality of the design information
provided for the building/facility to establish that the design has the
ability to meet the safety, physical, environmental, experimental/
research (e.g. unique environmental controls--vibration, humidity
temperature etc.), and operational (e.g. utilities and circulation of
people) requirements of the science and technology activities the
building/facility is expected to support. It also addresses whether or
not preliminary drawings and plans, together with appropriate
estimates, of in-house or vendor costs, are complete, in progress, or
planned. Furthermore, it addresses the rationale for and summary
specifications of the building/facility, including location, size,
configuration, environmental controls for research space, utility
needs, gross and/or assignable square footage, assignments of square
footage to research and non-research related activities (e.g., routine
administrative office space, conference rooms, classrooms, etc.), and
the assigned purpose by areas. Finally, this criterion addresses the
incorporation of green/sustainable design features in the project.
3. Adequacy of the detailed Project Management Plan (PMP) for
construction of the research science building/facility (25 percent).
The program will evaluate the following four aspects of the PMP, which
do not vary in importance:
a. Project Scope and Requirements
This aspect of the PMP addresses the description and organization
of project work packages (project tasks/elements) in a clear and
complete Work/task Breakdown Structure (WBS) approach that comprises
the total scope of the building/facility project from inception through
commissioning of the facility, including descriptions of each work
package and its associated subtasks, the relationship between the work
packages and their associated subtasks, consolidated into a unified
project scope description that will be used by project management key
personnel throughout the project management life-cycle to identify and
monitor project progress, as well as link and track work packages and
subtasks to the budget and schedule plans addressed in c.(2) below. In
addition, this criterion addresses which work packages are proposed to
be within, before, or after the project period. The project period
covers only the Federal and the allowable auditable cost sharing
portion of the project.
b. Adequacy of the Proposed Project Time Schedule and Linkage to the
Budget, Including the Clarity of the Budget and the Budget Narrative
This aspect of the PMP addresses the time schedule for implementing
the work packages and associated subtasks described within the WBS
addressed in c.(1) above, and how the budget costs associated with the
work packages correctly sum up to each of the cost categories of the
SF-424C by project year.
c. Capability To Manage the Project
This aspect of the PMP addresses the approach planned for project
management monitoring and risk control during the life of the award,
from kick-off through close-out, which may include tools, techniques
and processes (manual and automated systems). It also addresses an
analysis of potential project risks (e.g. timing, cost and/or scope
changes), where in the schedule risk(s) may be expected, and how the
risk(s) may be mitigated through specific control mechanisms, and the
planning/control decision making process to implement the control
mechanisms. Finally, it addresses the management plan for direction and
implementation of the project, including capability descriptions of the
performing organizations and experience summaries for the manager with
fiduciary project responsibility, the project manager, and other key
project personnel as appropriate.
d. Soundness of the Financial Commitments To Implement the PMP
This aspect of the PMP addresses the current and any pending
commitments required for the building/facility to be constructed,
commissioned and become fully operational, including any risk(s)
associated with finalizing funding commitments and the organizational
name/contact that has the fiduciary authority over the funding
1. Letter of Intent--Form NIST-1102. An initial administrative
review of timely received letters of intent will be
conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness.
NIST will send an acknowledgement letter to all applicants who timely
submit a Letter of Intent with results of the review. It is expected
that the Letter of Intent will be reviewed for eligibility of the
proposed applicant and proposed project, and whether or not the
scientific research to be performed in the building/facility will
complement one or more programs of DoC's three science organizations'
Program Priorities. (See section V.3. Program Priorities of the FFO
2. Full Proposal. An initial administrative review of timely
received full proposals will be conducted to determine compliance with
requirements and completeness. Proposals that are nonresponsive and/or
incomplete will be eliminated. Each of the responsive and complete
proposals will receive a minimum of three independent reviews, which
will include written evaluations and scores, based on the evaluation
criteria. Reviews addressing evaluation criteria 2 and 3 above may be
performed by non-Federal Engineers or Architects. No consensus advice
will be given by the reviewers. Failure of an applicant to cooperate
with NIST in identifying feasible measures to reduce or avoid
identified adverse environmental impacts of its proposed project may
result in the applicant not receiving an award. (See National
Environmental Policy Act section below for more information.)
The individual proposal evaluations and scores will be considered
by an Evaluation Board(s), a committee comprised of Federal employees.
This Board(s) will present proposals in numerical rank order and
provide funding recommendations, based on the evaluation criteria, to a
Selecting Official for further consideration. In making final
selections, the Selecting Official, who is the Chief Facilities
Management Officer at 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
and cannot be appealed.
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 (or of a lower priority compared with
competing uses of funds) 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 final and cannot be
Applicants may not submit replacement and/or revised pages and/or
documents for any portion of a proposal once that portion has been
submitted unless specifically requested by NIST.
One copy of each incomplete, nonresponsive, or non-selected
proposal will be retained for three (3) years for record keeping
purposes and the other two (2) copies will be destroyed. After three
(3) years the remaining copy will be destroyed.
The Selecting Official shall recommend proposals for award based
upon the Evaluation Board's rank order of the proposals, and may select
a proposal out of rank based on one or more of the following selecting
1. Assuring a balance/distribution of projects across the program
priorities (see FFO section V.3. Program Priorities).
2. Availability of Federal funds.
3. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or
other Federal agencies.
4. Applicant's prior Federal award performance.
5. Assuring a balance/distribution of funds across regional/
6. Whether the applicant has received previous funding under the
NIST Construction Grant Program.
As noted above, no more than one full proposal per applicant
organization will be funded.
All applicable fields of science that complement one or more
programs of DoC's three science organizations: NIST, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National
Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). Specifically,
these include science related to measurements, oceans and atmosphere,
and 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).
Proposals are only required to link to the program priorities of
one of the three DoC science organizations. Proposals that address
program priorities of more than one organization are not considered to
be more competitive based on that fact alone.
Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal
Programs). Proposals under this program are not subject to Executive
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
determined to be not significant under Executive Order 12866.
Paperwork Reduction Act. Notwithstanding any other provision of the
law, no person is required to, nor shall any person be subject to a
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 notice contains
collection-of-information requirements subject to the PRA. The use of
Form NIST-1101, NIST Construction Grant Program Budget Narrative, NIST-
1101A, NIST Construction Grant Program Budget Narrative, and NIST-1102,
Letter of Intent Construction Grant Program, have been approved under
OMB Control No. 0693-0055; CD-593, U.S. Department of Commerce National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Questionnaire & Checklist
has been approved under OMB Control No. 0690-0028; and SF-424,
Application for Federal Assistance, SF-424C, Budget Information--
Construction Programs, SF-424D, Assurances--Construction Programs, and
SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, have been approved by OMB
under the respective control numbers 4040-0004, 4040-0008, 4040-0009,
Title, Encumbrances, and Security Interest. Prior to disbursement
of any funds under the award, the recipient will be required to furnish
evidence, satisfactory in form and substance to NIST that title to real
property is vested
in the Recipient, and that it has obtained any rights-of-way,
easements, State and local government permits, long-term leases, or
other property interests. The Recipient will also be required to
disclose all encumbrances to NIST, which shall not interfere with the
construction, intended use, operation, or maintenance of the project
during its estimated useful life.
In addition, grant recipients will be required to execute a
security interest or other statement of NIST's interest in the property
(building), acceptable to NIST, which must be perfected and placed on
record in accordance with local law. This security interest will
provide that, for the estimated useful life of the building (20 years),
the recipient will not sell, transfer, convey, or mortgage any interest
in the real property improved in whole or in part with Federal funds
made available under the award, nor shall the recipient use the
property for purposes other than the purposes for which the award was
made, without the prior written approval of the Grants Officer. Such
approval may be withheld until such time as the recipient first pays to
NIST the Federal share of the property as provided in 15 CFR Part 14.
No funds under the award shall be released until the recipient has
complied with this provision, unless other arrangements satisfactory to
NIST are made.
DoC Pre-Award Notification Requirements. The Department of Commerce
Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative
Agreements, which are contained in the Federal Register Notice of
February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696-01), are applicable to this solicitation.
Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number and Dun and Bradstreet Data
Universal Numbering System
On the form SF-424 items 8.b. and 8.c., the applicant's 9-digit
Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN) and 9-digit Dun and
Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number must be
consistent with the information on the Central Contractor Registration
(CCR) (http://www.ccr.gov) and Automated Standard Application for
Payment System (ASAP). For complex organizations with multiple EIN/TIN
and DUNS numbers, the EIN/TIN and DUNS number MUST be the numbers for
the applying organization. Organizations that provide incorrect/
inconsistent EIN/TIN and DUNS numbers may experience significant delays
in receiving funds if their proposal is selected for funding. Please
confirm that the EIN/TIN and DUNS number are consistent with the
information on the CCR and ASAP.
National Environmental Policy Act. The Department must analyze the
potential environmental impacts, as required by the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). General information on compliance with
NEPA can be found at the following Web sites: http://www.nepa.noaa.gov,
and the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) NEPAnet, http://ceq.hss.doe.gov/nepa/nepanet.htm.
Consequently, as part of an applicant's proposal, and under their
description of their program activities, applicants are required to
provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, safety
concerns, locations, site characteristics, surrounding environment,
species and habitat that might be affected, construction activities,
and any environmental concerns that may exist (e.g., the use and
disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, impacts to endangered and
threatened species, or any social, economic or cultural impacts to the
surrounding environment) and in accordance with the required CD-593,
U.S. Department of Commerce National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Environmental Questionnaire & Checklist.
It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain all necessary
Federal, state, and local government permits and approvals where
necessary for the proposed work to be conducted. Applicants are
expected to design their projects so that they minimize the potential
for adverse impacts to the environment. Applicants will also be
required to cooperate with the Department in identifying feasible
measures to reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental
impacts of their proposed project. The failure to do so may be grounds
for not making an award to the applicant or enforcement action if an
award is eventually made.
Documentation of requests/completion of required environmental
authorizations and permits, including the Endangered Species Act, if
applicable, should be included in the proposal. Applications will be
reviewed to ensure that they contain sufficient information to allow
Department staff to conduct a NEPA analysis so that appropriate NEPA
documentation, required as part of the proposal, can be submitted to
the NIST Grants and Agreements Management Division along with the
recommendation for funding for selected applications.
Applicants proposing activities that cannot be covered by a Program
Environmental Assessment (PEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact
(FONSI) or whose activities are not covered under another agency's NEPA
compliance procedures that can be analyzed and adopted for use by the
Department, will be informed after the technical review stage to
determine if NEPA compliance and other requirements can otherwise be
expeditiously met so that a project can proceed in a timely manner. If
an award is made, no funds shall be expended for construction
activities under the award until NIST determines compliance with NEPA.
If additional information is required during the period of the
award, funds can be withheld by the Grants Officer under a special
award condition requiring the recipient to submit additional
environmental law compliance information sufficient to enable the
Department to assess any impacts that a project may have on the
Reporting. Award Recipients shall provide access to information
that is required to assess the project's progress throughout the
project life cycle. The following reports are required:
1. Technical Performance Reports. Award Recipients shall submit a
technical performance report in triplicate (an original and two copies)
on a calendar quarter basis for the periods ending March 31, June 30,
September 30, and December 31, or any portion thereof. Reports are due
no later than 30 days following the end of each reporting period. A
final technical performance report shall be submitted within 90 days
after the expiration date of the award. Two copies of the technical
performance reports shall be submitted to the Project Manager and the
original report to the NIST Grants Officer. Technical performance
reports shall contain information as prescribed in 15 CFR 14.51.
2. Financial Reports. For recipients under this program, Article
A.01 of the DoC Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions
dated March 2008 is revised as follows:
Award Recipients shall submit a Federal Financial Report (SF-425)
in triplicate (an original and two copies) on a calendar quarter basis
for the periods ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December
31, or any portion thereof. Reports are due no later than 30 days
following the end of each reporting period. A final SF-425 shall be
submitted within 90 days after the expiration date of the award. All
SF-425s shall be submitted to the NIST Grants Officer.
Reporting requirements are described in the Department of Commerce
Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions dated March, 2008,
found on the Internet at: http://oamweb.osec.doc.gov/docs/GRANTS/DOC%20STCsMAR08Rev.pdf.
The references to Financial Reporting Form SF-269 in the DoC
Standard Terms & Conditions, A.01 and B.01, are hereby replaced with
the SF-425, ``Federal Financial Report,'' as required by the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) (73 FR 61175, October 15, 2008). As
authorized under 15 CFR 14.52 and 24.41, the OMB approved SF-425 shall
be used in the place of the SF-269 and SF-272 under the uniform
administrative requirements and elsewhere under awards in this program
where such forms are referenced.
Dated: February 24, 2010.
Marc G. Stanley,
Acting Deputy Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-4286 Filed 3-1-10; 8:45 am]
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