The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on February 25th announced a new competition for grants for the construction of new or expanded scientific research buildings at institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations. NIST has $50 million available for the cost-sharing grants and anticipates funding 3 to 5 projects with grants of $10 to $15 million each.
The NIST grants will fund new or expanded facilities for scientific research in fields related to measurement science, oceanography, atmospheric research or telecommunications, the research fields of the Commerce Department’s three science agencies: NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Candidate projects could include laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities or observatories.
“Our outstanding academic and non-profit research institutions have always been essential to the nation’s economic and competitive strength,” NIST Director Pat Gallagher said. “NIST’s Construction Grant Program represents an important, long-term investment to ensure that these organizations have the state-of-art facilities needed to conduct their research.”
Grant proposals will be evaluated based on three criteria: scientific and technical merit of the proposed use of the facility and the need for federal funding; quality of the design of the facility; and adequacy of the project management plan for construction of the facility. Applicant organizations, which must be institutions of higher education and nonprofit science research organizations, must fund at least 20 percent of the annual project costs to meet the cost-sharing requirement.
Interested organizations must provide NIST with a Letter of Intent (submitted on form NIST-1102) outlining the proposed project by 3 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, March 29, 2010. Organizations that submit timely Letters of Intent may then submit corresponding full proposals, which must be received by 3 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, April 26, 2010. NIST expects to announce the awards in September, 2010.
Applicant organizations may submit Letters of Intent and full proposals for no more than two projects. Academic campuses within multi-campus systems (those that award their own degrees, have independent administrative structures, admission policies, alumni associations, etc.) qualify as separate institutions.
Letters of Intent must be submitted on paper using form NIST-1102 to “National Institute of Standards and Technology, Construction Grant Program, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4701, attn. Anneke Tingle.” Full proposals may be submitted on paper or on-line through Grants.gov.
For more information, forms and important details of the application process, see:
- NIST Construction Grant Program Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/ncgp
- NIST Federal Register “Notice of Availability of Funds,” docket number100201057-0059-01
- NIST announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity
- Grants.gov web site (look for Funding Opportunity number 2010-NIST-CONSTRUCTION-01 or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 11.618)