Government Agreements for I/UCRC Memberships and Research Projects
SUBMISSION DEADLINE NOTICE: Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPRs) or Inter-Agency Agreement (IAAs) should be submitted to the NSF I/UCRC program by August 8th to ensure obligation of funds prior to the end of FY 2016. All submissions sent after August 8th will be returned to the agency if funds are due to expire at the end FY 2016. Submissions that are sent after August 8th can be held over until the new fiscal year if the funds are not due to expire until the end of FY 2017.
Agency MIPR/IAA Conditions
The MIPR or IAA request is a mechanism that Federal Agencies may use to obtain a membership in an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Alternately, the agency may deal directly with the I/UCRC and academic institution to obtain membership. Working directly with the institution saves the expense of the NSF cost recovery fee for handling the transfer of funds for that agency. The advantages of using the MIPR or IAA process with NSF are:
- The MIPR/IAA mechanism is often faster and less complicated for agencies to execute.
- The I/UCRC grants are awarded via a competitive peer review process at NSF which may eliminate the need for an agency to hold a competitive procurement process.
- NSF already has an active research grant with the institution eliminating the need for sole source justifications with an institution's I/UCRC.
- Memberships in an I/UCRC require a fully executed membership agreement which often needs to go through that agency’s legal department. The use of a MIPR or IAA eliminates this requirement which saves the agency time and resources.
Statutory Authority for I/UCRC Grants
NSF has a specific statutory authority that authorizes other Federal Agencies to transfer funds to NSF and NSF to use those funds to provide additional support to scientific and engineering research or education. It is recommended that agencies use this provision of the NSF Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75), as the statutory authority for transfer of funds.
Below is the link to NSF Act of 1950, and the IAA specific references:
Why FAR 17.5 does not apply to Interagency Agreements
In Accordance with FAR 17.502-2, the Economy Act applies only when more specific statutory authority does not exist. Because the NSF Act of 1950 is a more specific authority than the Economy Act and it authorizes the other Federal Agency to send funds and NSF to use those funds to support scientific and engineering research or education, it should be cited by both parties as authority for the transaction. Furthermore, when funds from other federal agencies are applied to an NSF grant, the MIPR or IAA can only be executed as a financial assistance agreement.
If the agency transferring funds cites the Economy Act (excluding the FAR 17.5) in the paperwork, the following language must be included in the body of the MIPR request document:
“This non-acquisition/contract/procurement agreement is being entered into pursuant to the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). Acceptance is made with the understanding that funds will be made available pursuant to the terms and conditions of the NSF award and in accordance with the appropriation cited on the agreement.”
Regardless of the statutory authority used by the other agency (including the above mentioned), NSF must accept the funds under the NSF Act of 1950.
When funds from a MIPR or IAA are applied to an NSF grant, billing must be cost reimbursable, and payment will be done via IPAC (Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection System) notification.
Occasionally, an obligated MIPR/IAA may not have been billed and invoiced by the university and thus NSF is unable to bill the other agency. The university is responsible to ensure that the following steps have taken place:
- Requesting agency: Notifies both NSF (IIPInteragency@nsf.gov) and the University that there is an outstanding amount against the MIPR.
- University: Informs NSF’s Cash Management Section that the amounts under the MIPR/IAA have been expended.
- NSF's Accounting Operations Branch: Receives report from the Cash Management section and submits an invoice to the requesting agency
Send all requests and inquiries electronically to Carl Anderson, I/UCRC Technical Point of Contact, at IIPInteragency@nsf.gov with a copy to DMAJUMDA@nsf.gov. The subject line should start with the words "MIPR/IAA Request" followed by the agency's agreement number. This will help expedite initial processing and facilitate follow-up.
Program Officer: Debasis Majumdar, phone (703) 292-4709
Technical Contact: Carl Anderson, phone (703) 292-4545
Grants/Awards: Mae Powell, phone (703) 292-4583
Billing: Ivonne Garcia, phone (703) 292-8359