Pilot Grants 2013 — Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I obtain the application package for the Pilot Projects grant opportunity (2012-NIST-NSTIC-01)?
For the abbreviated proposal, you need only the SF-424 form and the Federal Funding Opportunity notice which is available through Grants.gov at  http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;

2. What rights does the government have in intellectual property created on an NSTIC project?
Intellectual property rights are covered in the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions available at http://www.osec.doc.gov/oam/archive/docs/GRANTS/DOC%20STCsMAR08Rev.pdf Term M.04. In general, the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act apply.

3. What rights does the government have to pre-existing intellectual property used in the project?
Neither the NSTIC Pilot Grant Program Federal Funding Opportunity Notice (http://www.nist.gov/nstic/2012-nstic-ffo-01.pdf), nor the applicable statutes, regulations or policies referenced therein, dictate that the Federal government shall own a license under pre-existing patents belonging to a Pilot Program grantee. This is to be distinguished, of course, from the disposition of rights to "subject inventions" made by a grantee under the Pilot Grant Program. Rights in such "subject inventions" are governed by the Bayh-Dole Act, 35 U.S.C. § 200 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 37 CFR Part 401, including the standard patent rights clause, 37 CFR § 401.14.

4. Does the "Buy American Act" apply to the selection of NSTIC grants?
This applies to contracting and purchases and is not applicable to the selection of grants.

5. Does the SF-424 count against the page limit?
No, the SF-424 does not count against the page limit.

6. Are foreign-owned eligible to receive funding under the NSTIC grants?

  • Foreign-owned companies located in the U.S. may be applicants or sub-awardees on proposed NSTIC projects.
  • Entities not located in the U.S. may not be applicants or sub-awardees.
  • Entities located outside the U.S. may be contractors on NSTIC projects as long as the applicant can justify that their participation conforms to Department of Commerce Standard Terms and Condition L.03 on p.26 of the document at http://www.osec.doc.gov/oam/grants_management/policy/documents/DOC_Standard_Terms_and_Conditions_01_10_2013.pdf which states “Recipients are hereby notified that they are encouraged, to the greatest extent practicable, to purchase American-made equipment and products with funding provided under this award.”

7. Can a project include multiple separable technical efforts?
All projects will be evaluated against the criteria found in the FFO. Having multiple separable research efforts is not precluded by the FFO, and such projects will be evaluated using the same evaluation criteria.

8. Are vendors and sub-awardees required to have an audit?

  • Vendors are not required to have an audit under this program.
  • Sub-awardees that are non-profit, educational institutions, or governmental organizations are subject to OMB Circular A-133. Organizations that expend more than $500K in Federal funds (across all received awards) in a single fiscal year (fiscal year as defined by the organization’s accounting) will be required to have an audit that meets the requirements contained in Circular A-133.
  • Sub-awardees that are for-profit organizations must meet the audit requirements outlined in the Special Award Conditions of the Notice of Award.  Under this program, a non-Federal audit that meets the requirements contained in OMB Circular No. A-133 is required for any for-profit organization that expends $500,000 or more in NIST and/or DOC funds during its fiscal year.