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Government Agreements for I/UCRC Memberships and Research Projects

SUBMISSION DEADLINE NOTICE: The deadline for submitting Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request (MIPR) or Interagency Agreement (IAA) request to the I/UCRC program is July1 for fiscal year 2014. All submissions after this date will likely not be processed and obligated until the end of October in the next fiscal year.

Agency MIPR/IAA Conditions
MIPR and IAA requests are received by NSF as supplemental funding to an existing NSF GRANT, and NSF cannot change the terms and conditions of the GRANT as a result of the MIPR or IAA. Since GRANTS are financial assistance award, MIPRs and IAAs cannot be accepted as acquisition or contractual actions. Actions containing contractual language or additional terms and conditions will not be accepted.

Preparation Instructions:
The following items should be sent via email to the NSF Program Office to: Alexandria Hale (ahale@nsf.gov).

1) Agency IAA/MIPR Request form:
The following language MUST be included in the body of the request when the MIPR or IAA cites a Statutory Authority other than the NSF Act of 1950 as amended for transfer of funds:

Statutory Authority: "This is a non-acquisition/contract/procurement agreement 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."
The following language MUST be included in the body of the request to describe the funded activity:

Description: "Funds are to obtain membership and/or augment ongoing research projects at the I/UCRC for (insert the center's research thrust) at the (insert the university's name) in (insert university location). Deliverables may include two reports annually which will be available at the center's bi-annual meetings. NSF is authorized to deduct 6.30% (based on the total transaction) for administrative cost recovery. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds are not being used for this request."

2) NSF Financial Data Sheet
This form must be completed before the I/UCRC program can begin processing a MIPR or IAA. It takes about three weeks before an acceptance is generated by NSF for center memberships.

Timelines

  • 15 to 30 days - to process an agency MIPR/IAA request once NSF receives a complete and accurate MIPR/IAA package.
  • 10 to 30 days - to process an I/UCRC's request to obtain the funds coming from an agency

 

General Overview
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:
http://www.house.gov/legcoun/Comps/NSF.PDF


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.

Billing
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:

Additional Information
Send all requests and inquiries electronically to Alexandria Hale, I/UCRC Technical Point of Contact, at ahale@nsf.gov with a copy to lhornak@nsf.gov or spriya@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.

I/UCRC Team:
Program Officer: Dr. Lawrence Hornak, phone (703) 292-2678
Program Officer: Dr. Shashank Priya, phone (703) 292-4709
Technical Contact: Alexandria Hale, phone (703) 292-7083
Grants/Awards: Kim Bub, phone (703) 292-4331
Billing: Jennifer Judy, phone (703) 292-7580

 

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