Recovery Act Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program, Federal Funding Opportunity



  • Federal Agency Name: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Commerce

  • Funding Opportunity Title: Recovery Act Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program

  • Announcement Type: Initial

  • Funding Opportunity Number: 2009-NIST-ARRA-MSE-Research-01

  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 11.609

  • Dates: All applications must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Monday, July 13, 2009. Late proposals will not be reviewed nor considered.

  • Proposal Submission Address:

- For electronic submission - Applicants should follow the Application Instructions provided at

- Paper submission:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1060
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1060

  • Funding Opportunity Description: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is establishing a financial assistance program to award research grants and cooperative agreements to support measurement science and engineering research proposals in the following six focus areas: energy, environment and climate change, information technology/cybersecurity, biosciences/healthcare, manufacturing, and physical infrastructure as part of NIST's activities implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or Recovery Act).

  • Total Amount to be Awarded: Up to $35 million in grants and cooperative agreements.

  • Anticipated Amounts: NIST anticipates funding 20-60 proposals at the level of $500,000 to $1,500,000 per award for a project period of up to 3 years. Competitive proposals will result in achieving commencement of activities as quickly as possible consistent with prudent management.

  • Funding Instrument: Grant or Cooperative Agreement

  • Who Is Eligible: All programs listed in this funding opportunity notice are open to U.S. institutions of higher education; U.S. non-profit organizations; U.S. commercial organizations; and state, local, and Indian tribal governments.

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: None


I. Funding Opportunity Description

In response to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (P.L. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will provide grants and cooperative agreements for measurement science and engineering research in the following six focus areas of critical national importance: energy, environment and climate change, information technology/cybersecurity, biosciences/healthcare, manufacturing, and physical infrastructure, with priority funding in areas of special interest to NIST as described below. The program is intended to advance the state of knowledge and practice in these areas of critical national importance, in support of NIST's mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. The program will advance purposes established in Section 3 of the Recovery Act by:

  • creating jobs,
  • promoting economic recovery,
  • providing investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health,
  • making investments in research areas such as environmental protection and infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits, and
  • helping to stabilize state and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.

Competitive proposals will also result in achieving commencement of activities as quickly as possible consistent with prudent management. Applicants may propose projects that include collaboration between scientific staff and NIST to help advance these program objectives. Please see information in Award Administration Information section regarding collaborations with NIST employees.

Program Priorities

Proposals submitted to the Recovery Act Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program must address one of the areas of critical national importance listed below. Applicants should clearly note which program area (e.g., energy) the proposal is addressing. Proposals that address the sub-topics listed below will receive high priority for consideration of funding. Applicants whose proposal addresses a sub-topic listed below should also clearly note which sub-topic the proposal addresses.

In the area of energy, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research on nanoscale metrology to support advanced mechanisms for energy transport, storage, and conversion.

  2. Research on advanced metrology for hydrogen fuel storage and distribution.

  3. Research in support of next generation biofuels, including characterizing thermochemical and thermophysical properties of biofuels to optimize feedstock utilization and processing.

  4. Research on measurement technologies to accelerate the deployment of Smart Grid to the US electric power system. This includes research covering the fundamental physical properties of devices for ultra high energy efficiency silicon carbide power semiconductors.

  5. Research in support of next generation photovoltaics, including advanced microscopy techniques (scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning tunneling spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy) and materials performance characterization methods.

  6. Research to advance metrology in support of advanced energy storage, including methods that integrate in-situ measurements of material microstructure to identify variations in charge transport pathways, interfacial measurements of electrochemical processes, and the long term stability and reliability of advanced energy storage materials, including fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, and thermoelectric devices.

  7. Research in measurement science to enable net zero energy, high-performance buildings. Areas of interest include:

    1. development of measurement systems to monitor building energy use (e.g., systems to provide detailed, ongoing information on how energy is being used within a building; non-destructive measurement systems to identify construction defects, such as insulation voids; systems to identify performance degradations in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration (HVACR) equipment);

    2. linking embedded intelligence to building control systems (i.e., combining new measurement technology and performance metrics with analysis techniques that can be implemented in building automation and control products to detect and respond to faults and operational errors and inefficiencies);

    3. identifying performance measures of emerging building energy technologies (i.e., actual, as opposed to advertised or rated, performance measures and data before making capital investments); and

    4. the development of carbon footprint metrics/tools for building sustainability evaluations (i.e., rigorous carbon footprint assessment over the building service life to link green building technology innovation to environmental/economic benefits).

In the area of environment and climate change, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research to support the accurate measuring and modeling of aerosols and their impact on climate change.

  2. Research to develop advanced measurement capabilities to monitor greenhouse gas emissions.

  3. Research to improve the measurement of the vertical transmittance of the atmosphere from the near-infrared to the ultraviolet spectral regions.

  4. Research to develop optical radiation measurement technology to improve the calibration of climate and weather satellites operating from the far-infrared to the ultraviolet.

  5. Research on advanced buoy sensor technology to support accurate ocean color, ocean chemistry, and other critical measurements.

  6. Research to better characterize environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials, including nanomaterial physical and chemical properties, measurements of fate, transport, and environmental stability of nanomaterials, and of the in vitro and in vivo toxicity of well characterized nanomaterials.

In the area of information technology/cybersecurity, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research to develop measurement techniques and tools to support critical IT infrastructure, including cybersecurity, biometrics, computer forensics, software testing, information access, cryptography, and human and language technology.

  2. Research to develop measurement science for complex information systems, especially research in network science and the mathematical foundations of measurement science for information systems.

  3. Research to develop measurement tools to support advanced network technologies, including development of test suites for network security protocols to support conformance and interoperability testing, and research to develop the methods and metrics to measure interoperability, security, and performance of cloud computing systems.

  4. Research enabling fundamental advances in computational science and engineering associated with measurement and standards. Of particular interest are mathematical knowledge management, computational materials science, visual data analysis, and the verification and validation of computer models. Also of interest are mathematical applications in metrology, including the optimization of measurement instrumentation and standardized techniques for post-processing of physical measurements.

  5. Research to develop advanced measurements necessary for the characterization of high speed optical and wireless communications components, systems, and propagation paths.

  6. Research to support experimental and theoretical efforts relevant to quantum information science.

  7. Research to develop advanced image analysis techniques and tools relevant to measurement science, especially for applications in computational biology and medicine. Examples include segmentation techniques, pattern recognition, and image-based information management and retrieval.

In the area of biosciences/healthcare, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research to develop advanced measurement systems and associated standards for analysis of systems of proteins, nucleic acids and metabolites relevant to the discovery and visualization of disease signatures in blood and tissue. Disease signatures are biomolecular profiles and anatomical features that are indicative of the onset and progression of disease.

  2. Research to develop advanced measurement tools and standards for analysis of human cells – cells in circulation, somatic cell lines, and reprogrammed somatic cells.

  3. Research to develop higher order reference methods and standards for nucleic acids, proteins and non-peptide hormones in blood.

  4. Research to develop advanced measurement systems and reference materials to enable safer and more cost-effective protein biologic drugs. Analytical systems are needed for measuring aggregation as it impacts protein biologic drug immunogenicity, three-dimensional structure, and post-translational modifications.

  5. Research to develop standards and validation tools for the next generation of molecular imaging systems for clinical medicine. Research should focus on developing systems (physical, biochemical and computational) for accurate coupling of molecular probes with gross anatomical imaging using SPECT, PET or other imaging systems.

  6. Research on advanced techniques, technologies, and software to enable the development of quantitative medical imaging platforms.

In the area of manufacturing, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research to support advanced metrology and techniques relevant to nanofabrication and nanomanufacturing of nanoscale components.

  2. Research to develop the measurement tools and methods necessary for the development of (Post-CMOS) nanoelectronics, including work that advances the direct nanomanufacturing of functional materials, such as nanowires, carbon nanostructures, and organic electronics materials.

  3. Research in next-generation nanometrology, i.e., that advances the science of dimensional metrology in support of future emerging U.S. nanotechnology. Examples of research interests include: high throughput nanometrology with scatterfield microscopy, scanning particle-beam microscopy, x-ray diffraction methods, and atomic force microscopy for nanoparticle metrology and manipulation.

  4. Research to develop new types of information models, analysis tools, interfaces, metrics, and test methods that address manufacturing IT challenges, in areas such as: model-based manufacturing enterprises, sustainable manufacturing, product lifecycle analysis, supply chain integration, and distributed manufacturing simulation.

  5. Research in measurement science for intelligent manufacturing robotics and automation, with a focus on characterization of constituent components of intelligent manufacturing systems, including robotics.

  6. Research in measurement and standards for science-based manufacturing, i.e., metrology and standards infrastructure necessary for a science-based approach to the manufacture of complex, high-value, knowledge-intensive products. Research topics include: material processing; metal-based additive processes; coordinated 5-axis motion; in-situ 3-degree fabricated parts; performance metrics for manufacturing equipment used as measuring tools; and manufacturing process monitoring and control using wireless sensor networks.

In the area of physical infrastructure, the sub-topics are:

  1. Research on advanced sensor concepts for infrastructure inspection, focused on new, nondestructive inspection techniques with extended capabilities, including, but not limited to, acoustic, ultrasonic, optical, thermal, magnetic, and electro-magnetic techniques. Of particular interest are methods that go beyond flaw detection to measure properties (e.g., strength, toughness).

  2. Research to develop and build a unique, large-capacity, 3D multi-axial mechanical testing system on a NIST neutron beamline for high-resolution 3D stress mapping of loaded structural components, including connections and subassemblies, pipelines and weldments.

  3. Research on advanced metrology to enable the development and application of renewable materials – focused on methods that advance the reliable manufacturing and use of of bioplastics and biofeedstocks, to validate service life and reliability of new materials, including lead-free solder, in electronics, and to monitor the effect of processing on the properties of materials from renewable sources.

  4. Research on measurement tools to improve construction productivity. Interests include: development of metrics for construction productivity; real-time construction process sensing and control systems; tools that enable automated access and integration of diverse information systems; and evaluation of integrated intelligent and automated construction systems.

  5. Research on the development of multi-scale models that predict life-cycle performance of construction and building materials and the development of measurements of degradation and lifecycle performance of construction materials (including flammability and nanoparticle release rates), and research to produce sustainability metrics to quantify life-cycle performance by integrating technical, economic, and environmental performance (including energy consumption).

  6. Research on the tools, models, and methods necessary to reduce the risk of fire spread in buildings and in wildland-urban interface communities, ensuring effective and safe use of emerging fire service technologies, and deriving lessons from post-fire investigations.

  7. Research on the tools, models, and methods necessary to enhance the resilience of structures and communities to disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, windstorms, and fires). Specific interests include:

a. Laboratory test data for developing structural fragilities, improving nonlinear analytical models that assess hysteretic behavior, and validating performance-based design assessment capabilities for critical new and existing lateral force-resisting systems, from initial loading to collapse initiation, including, but not limited to: steel braced frames; steel or concrete frames with masonry infill; reinforced concrete shear walls; reinforced masonry; limited ductility steel moment frames; concrete gravity frames; light wood or cold-formed steel framing systems; precast concrete gravity systems; reinforced concrete diaphragm chords and collectors; and, wood, precast concrete, or steel deck diaphragms.

b. Validated tools to evaluate structural response for both new and existing buildings, from initial loading to failure, to extreme loads, community-scale loss estimation and for measuring disaster resilience;

c. Validated tools to support community-scale loss estimation for natural disasters, and to assess risk mitigation and disaster resilience;

d. Performance-based guidelines for cost-effective design of new buildings and rehabilitation of existing buildings that are subjected to extreme loads produced by earthquakes, hurricanes, windstorms, and fires; and

e. Experimental/analytical investigation of steel connections and concrete members in fire exposures.

Authority: 15 U.S.C. § 272(b) and (c); Pub. L. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115.

II. Award Information

NIST plans to award up to $35 million in grants and cooperative agreements (20-60 awards expected), as appropriate to support measurement science and engineering research in areas of critical national importance. Where cooperative agreements are used, the nature of NIST's "substantial involvement" will generally be collaboration with the recipient by working jointly with a recipient scientist in carrying out the scope of work, or specifying direction or redirection of the scope of work due to inter-relationships with other projects requiring such cooperation.

Proposals for research or other activity under this notice should have a duration lasting between one and three years. All projects approved by NIST, including multiple-year projects, will be fully funded at the time of award. Award terms will describe how recipients with satisfactory performance will draw down funds as needed from a Department of Treasury account.

Individual awards are expected to range between $500,000 and $1,500,000. Projects are expected to start in September of 2009.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

This program is open to U.S. institutions of higher education; U.S. non-profit organizations; U.S. commercial organizations; and state, local, and Indian tribal governments.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement


IV. Application/Proposal and Submission Information

1. Application Package

The forms listed in 2.a. through 2.e. below are available as part of the application package and can be completed through the download application process. Requests for paper copies of the application package can be made to Christopher Hunton at 301-975-5718 or or to Sue Li at 301-975-8817 or

2. Content and Form of Application/Proposal Submission

Complete applications/proposals must include the following forms and documents:

  1. SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance
  2. SF-424A, Budget Information Non-Constructions
  3. SF-424B, Assurances Non-Construction
  4. CD-511, Certification Regarding Lobbying
  5. SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (IF APPLICABLE)

Proposal submissions must include a Technical Proposal and a Budget Narrative. Proposals that are submitted without a Technical Proposal and/or a Budget Narrative will be rejected. There is no set format for the Technical Proposal and the Budget Narrative; however, they must be word-processed documents written by the applicant. The Technical Proposal should describe in depth the scope of the proposal, its goals, the methods and equipment to be used, its schedule, the personnel working on the project and their qualifications, and the institutional capabilities of the applicant. The Budget Narrative should detail the funds requested by object class, their purposes, and the timetable for using the funds for each year of expected funding.

The Technical Proposal is limited to 25 pages. There is no page limit for the budget narrative.

The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete and that it conforms to the requirements of this notice.

If submitting a paper application each applicant must submit one signed original and two paper copies of the complete application. Facsimile, electronic mail, and or forms of electronic application submissions other than will not be accepted.

3. Submission Dates and Times

All applications must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Monday, July 13, 2009. This deadline applies to any mode of proposal submission, including courier, express mailing, and electronic. Do not wait until the last minute to submit a proposal. NIST will not make any allowances for late submissions, including incomplete registration. Any proposals not received by the due date will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant without review.

Important: All applicants, both electronic and paper, should be aware that adequate time must be factored into applicant schedules for delivery of the application. Electronic applicants are advised that volume on is currently extremely heavy, and if is unable to accept applications electronically in a timely fashion, applicants are encouraged to exercise their option to submit applications in paper format. Paper applicants should allow adequate time to ensure a paper application will be received on time, taking into account that guaranteed overnight carriers are not always able to fulfill their guarantees.

4. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs)

Proposals under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."

5. Other Submission Requirements

Proposals may be submitted in hard copy or in electronic format as follows:

Paper submission:
Jason Boehm
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1060
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1060

Paper submissions require an original and two (2) copies.

Electronic submission: Electronic proposals should be uploaded to

The following forms are available as part of the application kit and can be completed through the download application process.

  • SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF-424A, Budget Information – Nonconstruction Programs
  • SF-424B, Assurances – Nonconstruction Programs
  • CD-511, Certification Regarding Lobbying
  • SF-LLL, Certification Regarding Lobbying Disclosure (if applicable)

The list of certifications and assurances referenced in item number 21 of the SF-424 is contained in the SF-424B.

In order for an application to be considered complete, it must meet all the application documentation requirements stated in the Federal Funding Opportunity notice.

Applicants may choose to scan or create the necessary documents and then attach them to the application in Applicants should carefully follow specific instructions to ensure the attachments will be accepted by the system. A receipt from indicating a proposal is received does not provide information about whether attachments have been received.

For further information or questions regarding applying electronically for this announcement, please contact Christopher Hunton at 301-975-5718, e-mail address or Sue Li at 301-975-8817.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to start early and not to wait until the approaching due date before logging on and reviewing the instructions for submitting an application through The registration process must be completed before a new registrant can apply electronically. If all goes well, the registration process takes from 3 to 5 business days. If problems are encountered, the registration process can take up to 2 weeks or more. Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and must be registered with the Federal Central Contractor Registry and with a Credential Provider, as explained on the web site. After registering, it may take several days or longer from the initial log-on before a new system user can submit an application. Only authorized individual(s) will be able to submit the application, and the system may need time to process a submitted application. Applicants should save and print the proof of submission they receive from If problems occur while using, the applicant is advised to (a) print any error message received, and (b) call directly at 800-518-4726 for immediate assistance. hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (except for Federal holidays). For assistance with using the, you may also contact

Please refer to important information in "Submission Dates and Times" above to help ensure your application is received on time.

V. Application/Proposal Review Information

1. Criteria.

The evaluation criteria the technical reviewers will use in evaluating the proposals are as follows:

  1. Technical merit of the proposal. Reviewers will consider the applicant's approach and the extent to which the proposal effectively addresses scientific and technical issues necessary to achieve success.

  2. Qualifications of Technical Personnel. Reviewers will consider the ability of the proposed personnel to perform the proposed work as measured by evidence of skills, training and past professional accomplishments.

  3. Relevance to NIST Programs. Reviewers will consider the degree to which the proposed work addresses topics of national importance as identified in the solicitation as well as the relevance of the work to advancements in measurement science and engineering of interest to current and future NIST programs.

  4. Potential Impact of Proposal. Reviewers will consider the potential technical effectiveness of the proposal, the value it would contribute to the field of research, and its potential to enhance U.S. economic security and quality of life.

Each of these factors will be given equal weight in the evaluation process.

2. Selection Factors.

The Selecting Official anticipates recommending proposals for funding in rank order unless a proposal is justified to be awarded out of rank order based on one or more of the following selection factors:

a. Availability of Federal funds,

b. Redundancy,

c. Balance/distribution of funds by research areas described in the Funding Opportunity Description section of this Notice,

d. Relevance to objectives of Recovery Act

Therefore, the highest scoring proposals may not necessarily be selected for an award. If an award is made to an applicant that deviates from the scores of the reviewers, the Selecting Official will justify the selection in writing based on selection factors described above.

3. Review and Selection Process

An initial administrative review of timely submitted proposals will be conducted to determine compliance with requirements and completeness of the proposal. Responsive and complete proposals will be considered further. Proposals that are nonresponsive and/or incomplete will be eliminated. Applicants will be notified if their proposal will not receive merit review. Each responsive and complete proposal will receive three independent technical reviews, which will include three individual written evaluations and scores, based on the evaluation criteria. The three scores for each proposal will be averaged. No consensus advice will be given by the technical reviewers. The individual proposal evaluations and average scores of each proposal will be considered by an Evaluation Board (a committee made up of seven (7) Federal employees: one chair and one coordinator for each of the focus areas). This Board will rank the proposals and make funding recommendations based on the selection factors described above to a Selecting Official for further consideration. In making final selections, the Selecting Official (Chief Scientist, NIST) will select funding recipients based upon the Evaluation Board's rank order of the proposals and the selection factors. NIST reserves the right to negotiate the cost and scope of the proposed work with the applicants that have been selected to receive awards. Applicants may be asked to modify work plans or budgets and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to final approval of an award. 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.

4. Additional Information

a. 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.

b. One copy of each incomplete, nonresponsive, or non-selected proposal will be retained for three (3) years for record keeping purposes and the other three (3) copies will be destroyed. After three (3) years the remaining copy will be destroyed.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Anticipated Announcement and Award Date.

NIST plans to make awards by September, 2009.

2. Award Notices.

Successful finalists will receive a grant or cooperative agreement award document from the Grant Officer. The document will be mailed via surface mail in triplicate. The recipient should have an authorized official at the organization sign and return two copies to the address listed in the award document. The award document will also include the standard terms and conditions, general terms and conditions (if any), and special award conditions (if any) that are applicable.

3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements: 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), are applicable to this solicitation. On the form SF-424, the applicant's 9-digit Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number must be entered in item 8.c. Organizational DUNS. The DUNS number provided MUST be the DUNS number for the entity within the applying institution that will be responsible for drawing down funds from the Automated Standard Application for Payment System (ASAP). Institutions that provide incorrect DUNS numbers may experience significant delays in receiving funds.

Collaborations with NIST Employees: All proposals should include a description of any work proposed to be performed by an entity other than the applicant, and the cost of such work should be included in the budget.

If an applicant proposes collaboration with NIST, the statement of work should include a statement of this intention, a description of the collaboration, and prominently identify the NIST employee(s) involved, if known. Any collaboration by a NIST employee must be approved by appropriate NIST management and is at the sole discretion of NIST. Prior to beginning the merit review process, NIST will verify the approval of the proposed collaboration. Any unapproved collaboration will be stricken from the proposal prior to the merit review.

Use of NIST Intellectual Property: If the applicant anticipates using any NIST-owned intellectual property to carry out the work proposed, the applicant should identify such intellectual property. This information will be used to ensure that no NIST employee involved in the development of the intellectual property will participate in the review process for that competition. In addition, if the applicant intends to use NIST-owned intellectual property, the applicant must comply with all statutes and regulations governing the licensing of Federal government patents and inventions, described at 35 U.S.C. §§200-212, 37 CFR Part 401, 15 CFR §14.36, and in Section B.21 of the Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements, 73 FR 7696 (Feb. 11, 2008). Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Chief Counsel for NIST, 301-975-2803.

Any use of NIST-owned intellectual property by an applicant is at the sole discretion of NIST and will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis if a project is deemed meritorious. The applicant should indicate within the statement of work whether it already has a license to use such intellectual property or whether it intends to seek one.

If any inventions made in whole or in part by a NIST employee arise in the course of an award made pursuant to this notice, the United States government, acting through NIST, may retain its ownership rights in any such invention. Disposition of NIST's retained rights in such inventions will be determined solely by NIST, and may include, but is not limited to, the grant of a license(s) to parties other than the applicant to practice such inventions, or placing NIST's retained rights into the public domain.

Research Projects Involving Human Subjects, Human Tissue, Data or Recordings Involving Human Subjects: Any proposal that includes research involving human subjects, human tissue, data or recordings involving human subjects must meet the requirements of the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects, codified for the Department of Commerce at 15 CFR Part 27. In addition, any proposal that includes research on these topics must be in compliance with any statutory requirements imposed upon the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other federal agencies regarding these topics, all regulatory policies and guidance adopted by DHHS, the Food and Drug Administration, and other Federal agencies on these topics, and all Presidential statements of policy on these topics.

NIST will accept the submission of proposals containing research activities involving human subjects. The human subjects research activities in a proposal will require approval by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) possessing a current registration filed with DHHS and to be performed by institutions possessing a current, valid Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) from DHHS that is linked to the cognizant IRB. In addition, NIST as an institution requires that IRB approval documentation go through a NIST administrative review; therefore, research activities involving human subjects are not authorized to start within an award until approval for the activity is issued in writing from the NIST Grants Officer. NIST will not issue a single project assurance (SPA) for any IRB reviewing any human subjects protocol proposed to NIST.

President Obama has issued Exec. Order No. 13,505, (74 FR 10667, March 9, 2009), revoking previous Executive Orders and Presidential statements regarding the use of human embryonic stem cells in research. NIST will follow any guidance issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) pursuant to the Executive Order and will develop its own procedures based on the NIH guidance before funding research using human embryonic stem cells. NIST will follow any additional polices or guidance issued by the current Administration on this topic.

Research Projects Involving Vertebrate Animals: Any proposal that includes research involving vertebrate animals must be in compliance with the National Research Council's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals'' which can be obtained from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20055. In addition, such proposals must meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq.), 9 CFR Parts 1, 2, and 3, and if appropriate, 21 CFR Part 58. These regulations do not apply to proposed research using pre-existing images of animals or to research plans that do not include live animals that are being cared for, euthanized, or used by the project participants to accomplish research goals, teaching, or testing. These regulations also do not apply to obtaining animal materials from commercial processors of animal products or to animal cell lines or tissues from tissue banks.

Collaborations making use of Federal Facilities: All proposals should include a description of any work proposed to be performed using Federal facilities.

If an applicant proposes use of NIST facilities, the statement of work should include a statement of this intention and a description of the facilities. Any use of NIST facilities must be approved by appropriate NIST management and is at the sole discretion of NIST. Prior to beginning the merit review process, NIST will verify the availability of the facilities and approval of the proposed usage. Any unapproved facility use will be stricken from the proposal prior to the merit review. Examples of some facilities that may be available for collaborations are listed on the NIST Technology Services web site,

Notification of Recovery Act Requirements: Recovery Act limitations are applicable to the projects funded in this Notice. Recipients must comply with the following three provisions of the Recovery Act, as applicable, and any other terms required by the Act or that may be added to the recipient's award pursuant to guidance implemented by the Office of Management and Budget.

Buy American Act Provision: Unless waived by DoC, none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Recovery Act, may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States. This provision shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements.

Davis Bacon Act: Under Section 1606 of the Recovery Act, projects using Recovery Act funds require the payment of not less than the prevailing wages under the Davis-Bacon Act to "all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government."

False Claims Act: Each recipient or sub-recipient awarded funds under the Recovery Act shall promptly refer to an appropriate inspector general any credible evidence that a principal, employee, agent, contractor, sub-grantee, subcontractor, or other person has submitted a false claim under the False Claims Act or has committed a criminal or civil violation of laws pertaining to fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, gratuity, or similar misconduct involving those funds.

Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds. The agency expects programs under this notice to be implemented in general compliance with any guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget regarding the President's Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of March 20, 2009, Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds, 74 FR 12531 (March 25, 2009).

Best Practices to Promote Equality of Opportunity. Pursuant to OMB Guidance (see, "Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," April 3, 2009) and consistent with the Recovery Act and other applicable laws, DoC encourages recipients to implement best practices to promote equality of opportunity, to provide opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses, including veteran-owned small businesses and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and to follow sound labor practices.

Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: The funding periods and funding amounts referenced in this notice and request for proposals are subject to the availability of funds, as well as to Department of Commerce and NIST priorities at the time of award. The Department of Commerce and NIST will not be held responsible for proposal preparation costs. Publication of this notice does not obligate the Department of Commerce or NIST to award any specific grant or cooperative agreement or to obligate all or any part of available funds. No funding is anticipated at this time to provide further support beyond the award period to any project that may receive funds under this program.

4. Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements are described in the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions dated March, 2008, found on the Internet at:

The references in Sections A.01 and B.01 of the Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions, dated March 2008 to "Financial Status Repor (SF-269)" and "SF-269" are hereby replaced with the "Federal Financial Report (SF-425)" and "SF-425," respectively, 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.

In addition, as set out in Section 1512(c) of the Recovery Act, no later than ten (10) daysafter the end of each calendar quarter, any recipient that receives funds under the Recovery Act from NIST must submit a report to NIST that contains:

  1. The total amount of Recovery Act funds received from NIST;

  2. The amount of Recovery Act funds received that were expended or obligated to projects or activities;

  3. A detailed list of all projects or activities for which Recovery Act funds were expended or obligated; and

  4. Detailed information on any subcontracts or subgrants awarded by the recipient to include the data elements required to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (PL 109-282), allowing aggregate reporting on awards below $25,000 or to individuals, as prescribed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Recipients that must report information in accordance with paragraph (d) above must register with the Central Contractor Registration database ( or complete other registration requirements as determined by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Section 1512(d) further requires that no later than thirty (30) days after the end of each calendar quarter, NIST must make the information in reports submitted under section 1512(c) of the Recovery Act as outlined above publicly available by posting the information on a Web site. OMB Memo M-09-10, "Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,"' which can be accessed at, provides information on requirements for Federal agencies under the Recovery Act. Recipients must also comply with any additional guidance which may be forthcoming related to responsibilities of recipients of grants and cooperative agreements under the Recovery Act.

VII. Agency Contact(s)

Questions should be directed to the following contact persons:

Subject Area Point of Contact

Administrative, budget, cost-sharing, and eligibility questions

Dr. Jason Boehm
Phone: 301-975-4455
Fax: (301) 216-0529

Project evaluation criteria and other programmatic questions

Dr. Jason Boehm
Phone:  301-975-4455
Fax:  301-216-0529

Proposal submission

Christopher Hunton
Phone: 301–975–5718
Fax: 301–840-5976
Sue Li
Phone:  301-975-8817
Fax:  301-840-5976

Grant rules and regulations

Grants & Agreements Management  Division
Phone: 301-975-5718
Fax: 301-840-5976

Created July 14, 2009, Updated October 05, 2010