Frequently Asked Questions
this is an informal listing of questions and supplied answers.
This does not supercede The Federal Register Notice. Also,
the .pdf files listed are best viewed using Acrobat Reader
4.0, the files are viewable using an earlier version, but
some features will not display (contains some special characters).
Why was I not selected?
Answer: With 133 proposals received requesting nearly
$75M against an availability of $5M it was a highly competitive
selection process. Our funding only permitted us to fund nine
proposals in FY01. All selections were made in accordance
with the criteria and procedures outline in the April 13,
2001 Federal Register announcement.
If I was not selected, will I be considered during the FY02
Answer: Yes. In the June 8, 2001, Federal Register
announcement we stated that, "Should NIST receive additional
funding for the CIPGP in fiscal year 2002, NIST may use that
funding for making additional awards to proposals evaluated
under the fiscal year 2001 competition." NOTE: Only those
applications that were complete and responsive to the FY 2001
competition will be considered for awards in FY 2002.
Will I be notified?
Answer: The 9 award recipients have been notified.
If you did not receive a FY 2001 award we will be sending
a letter stating whether your proposal was rejected (because
it was incomplete or non-responsive) or not selected.
Can I change, amend or modify my proposal for FY 2002 consideration?
Question: I cannot make the deadline. Can I get an
Answer: No. The schedules to review, approve, and commit
funds for the program is extremely tight. All proposals must
be received (not just postmarked) by the deadline.
Is the evaluation process different for one-year proposals
versus four-year proposals?
Answer: All proposals are evaluated against the same
criteria and with the same process. However, the reviewers
must be satisfied that each year of the grant, including the
last, will produce valuable results. Since the IT field is
changing rapidly, it may be hard to prove to the reviewers
that the problem will not have been solved before the start
of year 4. It is recommended that all proposals be targeted
to the minimum amount of time necessary for the project.
Do smaller proposals receive preference over large grants?
Answer: No. All proposals are evaluated and shall be
selected in accordance with the criteria published in the
Federal Register Notice dated April 13, 2001. However, a large
proposal must have a proportionally larger effort and show
the promise for proportionally greater progress. That is,
a $1,000,000 proposal should be 10 times as valuable as a
$100,000 proposal. It is recommended that all proposals be
targeted to the minimum amount of funding necessary for the
Question: Are no-cost extensions possible?
Answer: Any grant award made by NIST will be subject
to the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and
Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals,
Other Non-Profit, and Commercial Organizations (15
CFR Part 14) or Uniform Administrative Requirements for
Grants and Agreements with State, Local and Indian Tribal
Governments (15 CFR Part 24). The
post-award administrative guidelines related to no-cost extensions
are found at 14.25(2) and 24.30(d). Generally, a one-time
extension of up to 12 months after the date of expiration
can be approved by the Grant Officer after certain conditions
How does this program differ from the previous Information
Assurance programs sponsored by DoD?
Answer: The CIPGP is focussed upon commercial, not
military, systems and on critical infrastructure issues. Most
of the critical infrastructure is owned and managed by the
private sector. CIPGP will focus on large-scale infrastructure
Are foreign entities eligible?
Answer: Provided that all other eligibility considerations
are met, foreign entities are eligible. However, the research
proposed must be applicable to the U.S. critical infrastructure
protection issues. For example, foreign policy and regulatory
issues would not be within scope of the program.
How are intellectual property (IP) rights handled?
Answer: Applicants should review regulations applicable
to most Federal grants, codified in the Commerce Department
at 15 CFR Sec. 14.36, which establishes
intellectual property requirements for recipients of grants
and cooperative agreements. In addition, applicants should
review 37 CFR Part 401 that regulates grantee inventions.
legal department for an applicant may contact the legal counsel
at the NIST Grants Office for more specific information relating
to special circumstances. They can be reached at 301-975-5035
Are agencies of the federal government eligible?
Why are other federal agencies excluded?
Answer: The short answer is that the congressional
directive is for a "grants" program, not a general mandate
to support CIP. Grants and cooperative agreements are "financial
assistance"--that is, Federal support for an activity will
benefit the public. See 31 USC Sec. 6304-05. A Federal organization
does not have legal authority to "augment" its appropriations
with financial assistance from another Federal entity unless
Congress has passed a law specifically stating that the entity
is authorized to be eligible for a financial assistance program
the case of CIP, the legal authority is the same authority
that is applicable to all of the NIST labs, 15 USC Sec. 272(b)
and (c). This authority does not authorize providing financial
assistance to Federal entities.
Federal entities mistakenly propose to participate in financial
assistance programs under the authority of the Economy Act,
31 USC Sec. 1535. This law allows Federal agencies to purchase
goods or services from other agencies under specified conditions.
This is not an appropriate authority for financial assistance,
however, because that law involves procuring goods or services.
CIP is a financial assistance program, not a program that
seeks to procure services for NIST. Thus, the Economy Act
would not be an appropriate legal authority for Federal participation
Can Federal agencies participate as sub-contractors or partners?
Answer: If a Federal entity is not eligible to receive
financial assistance, it is also not eligible as a subrecipient.
The eligibility requirements for a recipient flow down to
a subrecipient. Federal entities might be able to participate
in other ways, however.
example, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement,
Memorandum of Understanding, or other agreement in which each
side bore its own costs might be appropriate, and would also
provide the benefit of encouraging Federal technology transfer.
As one Federal entity would not be providing funds to another,
there is no possibility of an inappropriate augmentation of
appropriations. In addition, some Federal entities have legal
authority to charge for services performed (for example, Congress
passed a law that allows NIST to charge for some calibration
services). So, if a Federal entity had legal authority to
charge for certain services, that might be an acceptable "subcontract"
under a financial assistance award. This authority should
be clearly identified in the proposal. It must be clear that
the contract truly involved procurement and not fundamental
work on the project, which would suggest that the agreement
was really a subaward, even if someone titled it as a contract.
Are commercial companies allowed to make a profit on these
Answer: Profit is not customarily allowed in Federal
grant and cooperative agreement programs. Grants and cooperative
agreements are "financial assistance"-that is, the purpose
of the arrangement is to provide Federal support for an activity
that will benefit the public. See 31 USC Sec. 6304-05. In
financial assistance, the Federal government ordinarily supports
only the actual costs of fulfilling the project activities.
In contrast, profit is customary in Federal procurement contracts,
because the purpose of the arrangement is for a company to
provide a service directly to the government. See 31 USC Sec.
Where can I retrieve an electronic copy of OMB Circular A-102?
Answer: The web site for OMB Circulars for financial
assistance is: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/#circulars
Where on the application forms do I actually describe the
Answer: You may attach up to 25 pages to SF 424 to
completely describe the project, the facilities and resumes
of the principal investigators if you chose to include everything.
In this narrative, you should address all the pertinent issues
as stated in the FRN.
Where can we locate the Federal Domestic Assistance number
for the CIGP? Is this the same as the docket number listed
on the federal register notice?
Answer: The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
(CFDA) Number is 11.609 "Measurement and Engineering Research
and Standards" for this program.
Does Section D of Budget Form 424a forecast cash needs during
performance or would that be N/A as Federal Funds for future
project covers this? Or, is Section D for the current project
year and Section E for future projects?
Answer: Section D of the 424A, Forecasted Cash of Current
Needs, is for the 1st year of funding by quarter when a multi-year
project is proposed. Section E of the 424A, Budget Estimate
of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of the Project, is for
the out years.
Is Form CD-346, Application for Funding Assistance, filled
out for key personnel or all personnel proposed to work on
the grant, or for the company?
The Form CD-346 is to be completed for "key-personnel" of
the applicant organization (i.e., Business Official and/or
Institution Official) and is required for "commercial" and
"non-profit organizations" only.
Is Form CD-512 for the company and CD-346 for individuals
Answer: The CD-511 is the Certification for Debarment,
Suspension & Other Responsibility Matters; Drug Free Workplace
Requirements and Lobbying and must be signed by a person that
can bind the applicant to the certifications. The CD-512 Form
is the Lobbying Certification that also reflects Ineligibility
and Voluntary Exclusion--Lower Tier Covered Transactions and
Lobbying and is also signed by a person that can bind the
applicant to the certifications. The Form CD-346 is to be
completed for "key-personnel" of the applicant organization
(i.e., Business Official and/or Institution Official) and
is required for "commercial" and "non-profit organizations"
Is there any preference for breaking the proposal into Technical/Management/Cost,
or should this be Technical only, to make easier for evaluators
to find criteria for evaluation, with no Management discussion.
Answer: We have no preference.
What is the ideal start date from your point of view? When
do the funds have to used by (i.e one year from date of approval,
end of FY 2001 etc).
Answer: It is our intention that selected proposals
would be awarded by September 30, 2001. The start date would
then be somewhere around the end of September 2001. Once the
Government, in an award document, obligates the CIPGP funding
it is then available for expenditure until the end of the
award period, which could be more than one year.
From a practical point of view. What is a viable project size
in a dollar amount and time span? I have read the RFP and
it is not clear what moneys are really allocated for new grants.
Would it be best to create a list of options around a central
Answer: The project size in dollar amount and time
span will vary depending on the scope of the technical proposal.
The FR notice indicates the anticipated funding availability.
Where can I find more information on the intellectual property
(intangible property), and on patents/inventions?
Answer: Intangible property provisions can be found
at 15 CFR Part 14, Uniform Administrative Requirements for
Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education,
Hospitals, Other Non-Profit, and Commercial Organizations.
This reference can be found at http://www.doc.gov/oebam/cfr14.htm.
patents/inventions are discussed on http://www.gpo.gov/su_docs
CFR Title 37 Part 401.
What is Federal Executive Order 12372?
Answer: Please see the following website http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/ptfp/Application/eo12372.html
Is form SF-LLL required?
Answer: Form SF-LLL is only required if your organization
has information to disclose on lobbying activities. The form
can be found online at http://whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/#forms
Does the 25-page limit include the budget?
Answer: No. The 25-page limit is only for the technical
proposal portion that is attached as part of SF-424.