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NIST Opens $20 Million Grant Competition to Support New Scientific Research Facilities

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has launched a new competition for grants to support the construction of new or expanded scientific research facilities at institutions of higher education and nonprofit scientific research organizations.

Through the NIST Construction Grant Program (NCGP), the agency expects $20 million to be available for grants ranging from $5 to $10 million over a period of no more than five years.

The program provides competitively awarded, cost-shared grants for the construction of new science research buildings or the expansion of existing buildings, including laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities and observatories. Since 2008, the program has provided over $250 million in grant funding for new or expanded facilities at 24 institutions across the nation to pursue research in topics ranging from earthquakes and ocean ecology to nanoscale engineering and quantum physics.

Because the NCGP is currently funded under a continuing resolution (Public Law 111-242, Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, as amended), the 2011 competition is contingent on final appropriations for fiscal year 2011.

Proposed projects must complement the research goals of one or more of the U.S. Commerce Department's three science agencies, NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). These agencies conduct research in measurement science, engineering, oceanography, atmospheric research and telecommunications. Non-federal cost sharing of at least 20 percent of the yearly total allowable project costs is required.

Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (form NIST-1102) to join the competition to NIST by 3 p.m. Eastern Time on February 24, 2011, and if determined to be eligible, a corresponding full proposal must be submitted by 3 p.m. Eastern Time on March 24, 2011. Proposals will be evaluated according to the scientific and technical merit of the proposed use of the facility, the need for federal funding, the quality of the design of the science research facility, and the adequacy of the project management plan. NIST also may consider the balance and distribution of projects across the Commerce Department's program priorities and whether proposed projects would duplicate other federally funded initiatives.

Full details of the competition, including deadlines, application procedures and requirements, are available at and the NCGP Web site ( The current NCGP competition is assigned Funding Opportunity Number 2011-NIST-NCGP-01 and falls under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 11.618.

Released January 25, 2011, Updated January 13, 2023