Infrastructure FOA

August 16, 2017: DOE-NE’s Consolidated Scientific Infrastructure Support Funding Opportunity Announcement is delayed pending completion of the internal DOE administrative review process. We will notify you when the Funding Opportunity Announcement has been issued.

NSUF FOA Page for Infrastructure FOA

University Infrastructure Funding Program

The FY2018 University Infrastructure Funding Program will be administered by the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF.INL.gov) rather than the NEUP Integration Office (NEUP.INL.gov). This change will be largely transparent to the user community. Changes to the program and other important program details are listed below.

The FOA (DE-FOA-000-    ) was released on August 10, 2017 at Grants.gov. Users will apply directly through http://www.grants.gov. Applications will be due on October 27, 2017, with the anticipated award announcement by July 2018.

The FOA has two areas for users to apply for funding.
•    Area 1 – University Reactor Upgrades Infrastructure Support
•    Area 2 – General Scientific Infrastructure Support for Universities

Additionally, since NSUF Integration is an important consideration for all infrastructure investments, applicants should demonstrate the ability to integrate equipment into the Nuclear Science User Facilities program to: create new NSUF partner facilities or bolster capabilities at existing NSUF partner facilities. All applicants should review the NSUF Capabilities and Partners at: NSUF.INL.gov (partners) and NSUF-Infrastructure.INL.gov (capabilities).

Contact information:

Technical questions can be submitted to:
    •   Brenden Heidrich (Technical Point of Contact)
        o    NSUF@INL.gov
        o    208-526- 8117

Procurement questions can be submitted to:
    •   Shawn Tinsley (DOE-ID Contract Specialist)
        o    tinslesm@id.doe.gov
        o    208-526- 3997

Historical Awards and Information:

2009-2016    NEUP Integration Office, under the Infrastructure tab

2017            The NSUF, FY 2017 Infrastructure Grants Awardees

Official Copy of the FOA and Application Portal:

http://www.grants.gov/

Solicitation Funding Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-000    

FY2017 FOA Webinars (FY2018 coming soon):

https://neup.inl.gov/SitePages/FY17_Webinar_Presentations.aspx

Forms and Documents Related to the FOA:

Form or Document Link
SF 424 – Application for Federal Assistance (OMB 4040-0004) http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html?sortby=1
SF 424A Excel, "Budget Information - Non Construction Programs" http://energy.gov/management/office-management/operational-management/financial-assistance/financial-assistance-forms
Certifications and Assurances form http://energy.gov/management/downloads/certifications-and-assurances-use-sf-424
SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html?sortby=1
Department of Energy Merit Review Guide for Financial Assistance http://energy.gov/management/office-management/operational-management/financial-assistance
Federal Assistance Reporting Checklist, DOE F 4600.2 http://energy.gov/management/office-management/operational-management/financial-assistance/financial-assistance-forms

Q&A:

A Co-PI involved in computational chemistry research already has a computer with necessary software but needs the updated version, as well as a more powerful computer to run the software. Are purchases of software and computer upgrades allowable?
Software upgrades and computers can be included in an application as long as it supports the objectives of the NEUP stated in the FOA including to support, maintain, or enhance the University’s capacity to attract and teach high quality students interested in nuclear energy related studies or to build the University’s NS&E basic research and education capabilities.

NSUF encourages applications that will benefit the largest number of users. Starting in FY2016, the NSUF is supporting the FALCON supercomputer at Idaho National Laboratory. If an application could be run on the FALCON machine, NSUF could be inclined to purchase the software for installation there and then grant access to the researchers. Anyone with questions on HPC applications should contact NSUF.




Can you clarify the cost sharing/matching section for all the Infrastructure calls?
For General Scientific Infrastructure, cost sharing is encouraged, but not required for projects below $250,000.

For projects above $250,000, the applicant is required to cost match dollar for dollar up to a limit of $2,000,000 in federal funding.

For Reactor Upgrades, cost sharing is encouraged but not required.




I attempted to follow the link to FedConnect but was unable to locate the FOA documents. Can you direct me to where the documents can be viewed?
The combined Funding Opportunity Announcement for General Scientific Infrastructure and Reactor Upgrades can be found on both www.grants.gov. If an applicant has difficulty locating the documents, or has any other questions regarding the FOA, contact us at nsuf@inl.gov.




If I was awarded an infrastructure grant last year, am I eligible to apply this year?
Yes, however, institutions with “no cost” time extensions on infrastructure grants may be deemed ineligible based on performance issues. This policy went into effect after the FY 2015 award period. Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis for universities with “no cost” time extensions.




In regard to matching funds – can we use some of the non-federal student support funds as matching funds?
Applicants are required to provide support letters for any matching included in the application. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to identify the funds available to support the match and to ensure the use of the funds (to support installation and/or facility upgrades for the equipment included in the application) do not violate any requirements invoked by the funding source and the funds intended use. Non-federal student support funds do not appear to be intended for the purposes required by this FOA. The applicant should make sure to explicitly explain in the application how the cost match will be accomplished.




Is the support limited to instruments related expenses only or can we request any funds to support students/lab assistants and/or research related activities?
For GSI, an application MAY include the purchase, set-up, and vendor installation costs for equipment and instrumentation, as well as building modifications that immediately support the installation and operation of the equipment.

For Reactor Upgrades, applications can be submitted for all equipment and instrumentation and associated facility upgrade requests that support nuclear energy-related R&D or education at university research reactors.

The application CANNOT include hiring or other human capital costs or the operation and maintenance of equipment.

It also CANNOT include non-standard installation costs for equipment and instrumentation that are beyond the vendor's standard installation cost.

Personnel or indirect university costs are NOT allowed.




Is this a limited submission opportunity (each university can submit only one proposal)?
Yes, each university is permitted to submit a single, separate application for each area (one for Reactor Upgrades and one for General Scientific Infrastructure).




Can PIs still link General Scientific Infrastructure and R&D projects together similar to opportunities in previous years?
GSI and R&D proposals can no longer be linked.




What qualifies as a vendor under this FOA? Does a vendor have to be a commercial entity or can it be a manufacturing facility at a university?
NSUF does not make distinctions between different types of vendors. Past applications have involved procurement of commercial equipment and custom-manufactured equipment.

With that being said, the expectation for vendor quotes is the same regardless of vendor. Any vendor quote submitted to this FOA should have as much detail, and have the same attributes and qualities, as a commercial vendor quote. The ability of the vendor to complete the scope of work defined in the application will be taken into account as part of the project implementation review.