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Q: If a two-year project is awarded in February 2022, does it run only to September 30, 2024, or does it start the following fiscal year and run to September 2025?
A: Neither; periods of performance are based on the start date of the award rather than the Federal fiscal year in which the award begins. This means that if your award period begins March 23, 2022, it would run until March 22, 2024.

Q:  How many grants will be awarded and what is the dollar amount of each grant?
A: NIST anticipates funding up to (4) awards with a maximum amount of $957,850 per award and a maximum project performance period of two (2) years.  The awards will be fully funded.

Q:  Will proposals be categorized based on dollar amount or will all be in one category for funding selection?
A: Proposals will not be categorized by funding amount requested.

Q: Is there an archive of previously funded projects/proposals?
A:  Award information for the FY2020 MBAMGP NOFO can be found at

Q: Where can I find information about the relevant technical programs?
A: NIST has a public website that provides information pertaining to its work in additive manufacturing.

Q: Will NIST staff provide review or comment on any proposals, summaries/synopsis of potential applicants?
A: No, NIST staff are not able to review or provide comments on pre-submission proposals or project summaries.

Q: When will the FAQ site be taken down?
A: The FAQ’s page will remain available for the duration of this competition.


Q: Who is eligible to apply for a Metals-based Additive Manufacturing Grant Program (MBAMGP)cooperative agreement?
A: Eligibility for the program listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is open to all non-Federal entities. Eligible applicants include accredited institutions of higher education; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations incorporated in the United States; state, local, territorial, and Indian tribal governments; foreign public entities; and foreign organizations. Please note that individuals and unincorporated sole proprietors are not considered “non-Federal entities” and are not eligible to apply under this NOFO. Although Federal entities are not eligible to receive funding under this NOFO, they may participate as unfunded collaborators.

Q: Are senior personnel or Principal Investigators (PIs) permitted to be on more than one team?
A: Yes, senior personnel and/or PIs may be included on multiple teams (though their time must be distributed appropriately among the multiple projects.)

Q: If there are multiple Co-PI’s from separate institutions should a single proposal be submitted in which a single award is requested, or should the institutions submit independently requesting multiple awards?
A: A single proposal should be submitted identifying the lead institution and the roles of each additional collaborator.

Q: Are Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) eligible to receive funding under this NOFO?
A: For the purposes of this NOFO, we are only considering agencies receiving direct appropriations from Congress as federal entities. Entities that operate an FFRDC under contract from a federal agency would be eligible, provided they are able to demonstrate that accepting the award would not violate the operating agreement with their sponsoring agency.


Q: What are we permitted to use the grant funding for?
A: Funds may be used for the conduct (i.e., programmatic activities) and operational activities (i.e., grant administration, management, and oversight) directly associated with the award. General information on allowability of costs is available in 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Q: Can proposals include optional tasks?
A: No. Applications must only include anticipated activities and costs associated with the total proposed research effort.

Q: Can grant funds be used to pay for federal salaries or the use of federal resources?
A: No, grant funds cannot be used to pay a federal employee or pay for the use of federal resources.

Q: Can we use foreign entities as a contractor?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there a limit on indirect costs?
A: Any limitations on indirect costs are described in section IV.2.a.(7) g. and IV.2.a.(8) of the NOFO.

Q: Can guest researchers from other Federal agencies be involved in a proposal?
A: Guest researchers from other Federal agencies may participate in a project once awarded, however applicants must verify whether that researcher’s employer (i.e., the other Federal agency) authorizes the participation. If the researcher is a Federal employee, grant funds cannot be used to pay any portion of the Federal employee’s salary.  Also note that prior to award, Federal employees may not participate in preparing the grant application.


Q: Are collaborations with NIST employees allowable?
A: Collaborations with NIST employees are allowable. Applicants intending to collaborate with NIST employees should carefully read Section VI.2.e. of the NOFO. Any collaboration by a NIST employee must be approved by appropriate NIST management and is at the sole discretion of NIST. Any collaboration with a NIST employee will not make an application more or less favorable in the competitive process.

Q: Are there conditions for partnership between industry and universities or laboratories for those proposals that have multiple collaborators?
A: There are no additional conditions set forth in this NOFO. If multiple entities are working on a single proposal, each entity’s role must be represented appropriately in the application.

Q: What is the mechanism for involving other government funded labs?
A: NIST does not have an established mechanism for engaging Federal partners. Interested applicants must independently initiate this process.


Q: How are Intellectual Property (IP) and Proprietary Data (PD) handled during the review and research processes? 
A: IP and PD included in research proposals are kept confidential during the review process to the extent permitted by law; see Section VIII.1 of the NOFO. Proposal reviewers are required to sign a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement.

Rights for IP generated during a financial assistance award are governed by Federal Law; see 2 CFR 200.315.  See also, Section C.03 of the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions, dated November 12, 2020.

Q: Can you describe the NIST policy on patents?
A: It is part of NIST's mission to transfer the results of its research, including intellectual property, to industry, academia and government agencies. Generally, inventions conceived in whole or in part by a grantee or contractor of the Federal government are subject to the Bayh Dole Act. Subject to certain conditions, contractors or grantees who invent while using Federal funds are entitled to elect to retain their ownership interest in the invention. If such an invention is co-invented by a Government employee and a Federal grant recipient or contractor, the government will retain its ownership interest in the invention and the contractor or grantee will be entitled to elect to retain their ownership interest in the invention. As such, an invention that is jointly created will be jointly owned when the contractor or grantee elects to retain title. Further, the contractor or grantee may be given the opportunity to apply for an exclusive license to the government's interest in the jointly owned invention. Inventions made solely by NIST employees are owned solely by NIST, although such inventions may be made available for licensing. Further information can be found in the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions, Section C.03.


QWhom do I contact if I have questions?
A: For all questions not answered in the FAQ, refer to Section VII of the NOFO for a list of agency contacts.

Proprietary technical discussions about specific project ideas will not be permitted, and NIST staff will not critique or provide feedback on specific project ideas while the competition is in progress.

Q: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) mentions 20 pages maximum. Is this single- or double-spaced?
A: The application should be double-spaced between lines, in accordance with sections IV.2.a.(6) and IV.2.c.(4) of the NOFO.

Q: Will references/citation be counted toward the page count of the proposal?
A: Any references/citations that are included in the proposal will not be counted as part of the 20-page limit of the Project Narrative.

Q: Would a Cover Page count against the 20-page total for the Project Narrative?
A: Yes, a cover page will count against the overall Project Narrative length.

Q: Do graphics, photos, and diagrams count against the 20-page limit of the Project Narrative?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there a place in the proposal for letters of support and other supplementary documents?
A: Letters of support and other supplementary documents not listed in the NOFO may be attached to the proposal through, however these documents will count towards the 20-page limit of the Project Narrative.

Q: Is there any specific font type or size required?
A: Font must be easy to read (10-point minimum). A smaller type may be used in figures and tables but must be clearly legible. See Section IV.2.c.(3) of the NOFO.

Q: Why do I need to submit a Data Management Plan?
A:In accordance with NIST Policy 5700.00 Managing Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, and NIST Order 5701.00Managing Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, applicants must include a Data Management Plan (DMP) for any project that will generate research data.  See Section IV.2.a.(11). of the NOFO for more information.

Q: Do all sub-awardees or PIs need to register through or should the organization?
A: At the time of application submission, only the actual applicant (i.e., the lead organization whose legal name, legal address, DUNs, and EIN will be provided in the grant application) must be registered in

Q: Are the names of graduate students required? Should their resumes be attached?
A: The names and resumes of the graduate students assisting in research are not required. They may be attached at the discretion of the proposer.  These attachments would not be considered part of the page limit of the Project Narrative, but are limited to two pages each.

Q: What personnel are required to submit resumes?
A: The Principal Investigator (PI)/Project Leader are considered Key Personnel and must submit a resume. Refer to Section IV.2.a.(6) of the NOFO for page limitation and additional information.

Q: When filling out the SF-424 (R&R), is the applicant the Principal Investigator or the University/Institution?
A: The applicant is the non-Federal entity submitting the application. Individuals and unincorporated sole proprietorships may not apply to this competition.

Q: For multi-year proposals, are you expecting a proposed budget for the entire duration?
A: Yes. The budget materials (SF-424A and budget narrative) must include all federal funding being requested, at the time of submission. If you plan a 2-year proposal, the budget materials MUST include detailed information for all 2 years of the proposed project.

Q: Cost share is not required but would it increase funding chances if provided?
A: No. Cost share is not required and will not increase funding chances.

Q: Does a proposal need to identify a lead institution?
A: The institution submitting the application via is the lead institution and assumes legal responsibility for any award made in this competition.

Q: What time period should be covered in the Budget Narrative?
A: The Budget Narrative must include all Federal funds requested, for the entire award period.

Q: What is the range of start dates for proposed work to begin?
A: The earliest anticipated start date will be in May of 2022. Proposed start dates later in Fiscal Year 2022 may be negotiated with NIST prior to award.

Created December 7, 2021, Updated December 9, 2021