Infrastructure FOA

Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research Funding Program

The FY2018 Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research funding program is administered by the Nuclear Science User Facilities.

The FOA (DE-FOA-0001773) was released on October 19, 2017 at Grants.gov and NSUF.inl.gov. Users will apply directly through Grants.gov. Applications will be due on November 30, 2017, with the anticipated award announcement by July 2018.

The FOA has two areas for universities to apply for funding.

•    Area 1 – University Reactor Upgrades Infrastructure Support

•    Area 2 – General Scientific Infrastructure Support for Universities

Additionally, since the awarded capabilities should be able to facilitate as much research as possible, 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 either create new NSUF partner facilities or bolster capabilities at existing NSUF partner facilities.

All applicants should review the NSUF partners and capabilities.

Contact information

Technical questions can be submitted to:


    •   Dr. Brenden Heidrich (Technical Point of Contact)

        o    NSUF@INL.gov

        o    208-526-8117

Procurement questions can be submitted to:


    •   Mrs. JoAnne Hanners (DOE-ID Contract Specialist)

        o    hannerj@id.doe.gov

        o    208-526-0852

Historical Awards and Information

2009-2016    NEUP Integration Office, under the Infrastructure tab

2017            The NSUF, FY 2017 Infrastructure Grants Awardees

FY 2018    FOA Webinars



Official Copy of the FOA and Application Portal

Grants.gov - Solicitation Funding Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-0001773



National Laboratory Infrastructure

National laboratory infrastructure support is not covered under this FOA. The NSUF utilizes an annual infrastructure gap analysis as a basis for determining specific needs and locations for addressing national laboratory infrastructure support. National laboratories are encouraged to submit scientific infrastructure needs through the Request for Information (RFI) - University, National Laboratory, Industry and International Input on Potential Office of Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Investments (DE-SOL-0008318).  The official copy of the RFI is located at Grants.gov.

Request for Information – Potential Infrastructure Investments (DE-SOL-0008318)

Submit a Response to this RFI 


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



Questions & Answers

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 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.



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?


The NSUF does not make distinctions between different types of vendors. Past applications have involved procurement of commercial equipment and custom-manufactured 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.

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.