THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NSF 13-501

Small Business Technology Transfer Program Phase I Solicitation FY-2012 (STTR)


Program Solicitation
NSF 11-561

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 10-590

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Engineering
Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

December 16, 2011

Please do not submit proposals prior to October 17, 2011, otherwise the proposal will be returned without review.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1, was issued on October 1, 2010 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Cost Sharing: The PAPPG has been revised to implement the National Science Board's recommendations regarding cost sharing. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. In order to assess the scope of the project, all organizational resources necessary for the project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Mandatory cost sharing will only be required when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director. See the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.g(xi) for further information about the implementation of these recommendations.

Data Management Plan: The PAPPG contains a clarification of NSF's long standing data policy. All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans. FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate. Links to data management requirements and plans relevant to specific Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Programs, or other NSF units are available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan: As a reminder, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. Please be advised that if required, FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

All proposals that fail to address the following items will be considered non-responsive and will be returned without review:

  1. A proposal submitted after 5:00 p.m. (proposer's/submitter's local time) on the deadline date. The "proposer's time" is the time zone associated with the company's address, as registered with NSF at the time of proposal submission.

  2. A proposal that does not contain all the required components uploaded into the appropriate module within FastLane. See the required components below that make up a complete proposal. All proposals must have each of the items listed below, without exception.

A complete proposal consists of the following:

  1. Project Summary (reference section A.9.2)

  2. Project Description (15 page limit) and all 6 parts (reference section A.9.3)

  3. References Cited (reference section A.9.4) - required by NSF for all proposals

  4. Biographical Sketches (reference section A.9.5)- required by NSF for all proposals

  5. Budget and Subcontract budgets (reference section A.9.6)

  6. Current and Pending Support - the proposal being submitted is considered "pending support" by NSF and must be listed (reference section A.9.7). This means that ALL submitted proposals MUST contain this document, without exception.

  7. Equipment, Instrumentation, Computers, and Facilities (reference section A.9.8) - required by NSF for all proposals

  8. Supplementary Documents (reference section A.9.9)

  1. Unallowable items uploaded to the Supplementary Documents section other than the following:
  1. Letters of Support for Technology (no more than 3 letters; reference section A.9.9.1)

  2. Post Doc Mentoring Plan (required if funds are included on line "B.1 Post Doctoral Scholars" on the proposer's budget or a subaward budget; reference section A.9.9.2)

  3. Company Commercialization History must be provided using the NSF template if Phase II SBIR/STTR awards have been received previously (reference section A.9.9.3)

  4. Data Management Plan (reference section A.9.9.4) - required by NSF for all proposals

  5. Letters regarding Use of Human subjects e.g. Institutional Review Board or IACUC approval of animal use (if applicable; reference section A.9.9.5)
  1. A proposal with a budget exceeding $150,000.

  2. A proposal missing a Company Commercialization History, if the company certified on the Cover Page that it has previously received SBIR/STTR Phase II funding. The Company Commercialization History must be submitted using the NSF template (reference section A.9.9.3).

  3. A proposal with documents placed in the "Additional Single Copy Documents" module in FastLane (other than Suggested Reviewers and/or Proprietary Information). Items placed in this module are not accessible to reviewers.

  4. A collaborative proposal (defined as simultaneous proposal submissions from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award). Note - Small business concerns are encouraged to collaborate with research institutions;however, only one proposal should result.

  5. A proposal lacking sufficient technical/commercial potential substance to justify review.

  6. A proposal that does not fall within the scope of the topic or subtopic as delineated in the topic or subtopic description.

  7. A proposal not containing research proposed in science, engineering, or education.

  8. Unacceptable objectives as defined in Section IV.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Small Business Technology Transfer Program Phase I Solicitation FY-2012 (STTR)

Synopsis of Program:

The Small Business Technology Transfer program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) requires researchers at universities and other non-profit research institutions to play a significant intellectual role in the conduct of each STTR project. These researchers, by joining forces with a small company, can spin-off their commercially promising ideas while they remain primarily employed at the research institution. The program is governed by Public Law 112-17.

NSF seeks to help reach the nation's future broadband goals and the larger objective of alleviating growing pressure on limited radio spectrum resources. Innovative approaches, technologies, and policies are required to enable more flexible and efficient access to the radio spectrum. The stakes are high in technology development as the country that develops the key intellectual property to enable the efficient use of the spectrum and adopts new and effective spectrum regulations is expected to have strong competitive advantages in the manufacturing of new communications systems, and increased productivity in using this technology. For information reference section A.10.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.041 --- Engineering

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Fixed Amount Awards

Estimated Number of Awards: 35 (pending availability of funds).

Anticipated Funding Amount: $5,250,000 (pending availability of funds).

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Only firms qualifying as a small business concern are eligible to participate in the STTR program. Socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns are particularly encouraged to participate. For an STTR Phase I Proposal, a minimum of 40% of the research, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the small business concern and a minimum of 30% of the research, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the collaborating research institution.

    Proposals from joint ventures and partnerships are permitted, provided the entity created qualifies as a small business in accordance with this solicitation. Proposing firms are also encouraged to take advantage of research expertise and facilities that may be available to them at colleges, universities, national laboratories, and from other research providers. Such collaborations may include research subcontracts, consulting agreements or the employment of faculty as senior personnel and of graduate or undergraduate students as assistants by the small business.

PI Limit:

The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) must be with the small business concern at the time of the award. A PI must spend a minimum of two calendar months on an STTR Phase I project. Employment releases and certifications of intent shall be required prior to award. Primary employment is defined as 51% employed by the small business.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

An organization must not submit more than one (1) proposal. If more than one (1) proposal is submitted, the additional proposals will be returned without review.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

No person may participate as the principal investigator for more than one (1) proposal submitted to this solicitation. It is the responsibility of the submitting organization to ensure that no person is listed as the PI on more than one (1) proposal submitted to this solicitation.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: This solicitation contains information that deviates from the standard NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) proposal preparation guidelines. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Indirect costs are limited to an effective rate of 150% of salaries and wages. (See Section V.A.9.6)

  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    December 16, 2011

    Please do not submit proposals prior to October 17, 2011, otherwise the proposal will be returned without review.

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. NSF Merit Review Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

The National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent agency of the Federal Government, invites eligible small business concerns to submit Phase I proposals for its FY 2012 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. NSF will support high-quality projects on important scientific, engineering, or science and engineering education problems and opportunities that could lead to significant commercial and public benefit if the research is successful.

The STTR solicitation is issued pursuant to the authority contained in Public Law 112-17. STTR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBA Policy Directive.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The primary objective of the STTR Program is to increase the incentive and opportunity for small firms to undertake cutting-edge, high-risk, high-quality scientific, engineering, or science and engineering education research that would have a high-potential economic payoff if the research is successful. The STTR program expands the public and private partnership to include collaborative opportunities for small businesses and non-profit research institutions. A team approach is required in an STTR project where at least one research investigator is employed by the small business concern and at least one investigator is employed by a collaborating research institution.

The fundamental mission of NSF is to promote discoveries and to advance education across the frontiers of knowledge in science and engineering. Consistent with that mission, NSF encourages and supports a wide range of proposals from the research and education community and also from the private small business sector. These proposals are reviewed under NSF's merit review criteria, which cover both the quality of research (intellectual or technical merit) and its potential impact on society (broader/commercial impacts).

The STTR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-17. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF STTR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of the NSF and the purpose of the STTR legislation by transforming scientific discoveries into both societal and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization. Accordingly, NSF has formulated an STTR solicitation topic: Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) (see section A.10).

Successful proposers will conduct Research and Development (R&D) on projects that:

  1. Provide evidence of a commercially viable product, process, device, or system, and
  2. Meet an important social or economic need.

Projects should have the following:

  • High potential commercial payback, and
  • High-risk efforts.

Projects may also address:

  • Research tools which meet significant commercial market needs, or,
  • Applications that result in multipurpose commercially viable functions.

For more in-depth program information, please reference the following web site: http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/program_reqs.jsp.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

STTR Phase I proposals may be submitted for funding up to $150,000. STTR Phase I projects are for 12 months. The program expects to make approximately 35 fixed amount awards. Anticipated funding amount is approximately $5,250,000 (subject to the availability of funds and the quality of proposals). Award notification is typically within five months from the proposal submission deadline date. All awards will have an effective date of July 1, 2012.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Only firms qualifying as a small business concern are eligible to participate in the STTR program. Socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns are particularly encouraged to participate. For an STTR Phase I Proposal, a minimum of 40% of the research, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the small business concern and a minimum of 30% of the research, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the collaborating research institution.

    Proposals from joint ventures and partnerships are permitted, provided the entity created qualifies as a small business in accordance with this solicitation. Proposing firms are also encouraged to take advantage of research expertise and facilities that may be available to them at colleges, universities, national laboratories, and from other research providers. Such collaborations may include research subcontracts, consulting agreements or the employment of faculty as senior personnel and of graduate or undergraduate students as assistants by the small business.

PI Limit:

The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) must be with the small business concern at the time of the award. A PI must spend a minimum of two calendar months on an STTR Phase I project. Employment releases and certifications of intent shall be required prior to award. Primary employment is defined as 51% employed by the small business.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

An organization must not submit more than one (1) proposal. If more than one (1) proposal is submitted, the additional proposals will be returned without review.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

No person may participate as the principal investigator for more than one (1) proposal submitted to this solicitation. It is the responsibility of the submitting organization to ensure that no person is listed as the PI on more than one (1) proposal submitted to this solicitation.

Additional Eligibility Info:

DUNS Number: A DUNS number is a nine-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet Information Services. If the proposer does not have a DUNS number, he or she must contact Dun and Bradstreet by telephone at (800) 333-0505 or online at http://www.dnb.com/us/. A DUNS number is issued at no charge and is a required data element for receipt of an award from NSF. A proposal can be submitted to NSF without a DUNS number if necessary.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement: The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006 (P.L. 109-282) requires agencies to make award and subaward information available for search by the public. Agencies must make award data available beginning January 1, 2008 and subaward data available beginning January 1, 2009.

Please note that registration is required of organizations only. To register in the CCR, go to http://www.ccr.gov/. Proposers are advised to allot two business weeks to complete the registration process. Failure to complete the CCR registration process prior to proposal submission may impact the processing of an organization's proposal.

Unacceptable objectives: Proposed efforts directed toward systems studies; market research; commercial development of existing products or proven concepts; straightforward engineering design for packaging; laboratory evaluations; incremental product or process improvements; evolutionary optimization of existing products; and evolutionary modifications to broaden the scope of an existing product or application are examples of projects that are not acceptable for STTR. Projects deemed unacceptable will be returned without review to the proposer.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Instructions: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines specified in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-PUBS (7827) or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

The following instructions supplement the GPG guidelines.

A.1. Responsiveness to NSF STTR Program and Topic.

A.1.1 Communication with the NSF Program Manager: A company planning to submit a proposal in response to this solicitation is encouraged to describe the innovation and business opportunity to the cognizant program manager via email and receive feedback prior to proposal submission. You may contact the program officer at any time before the submission deadline. Note, however, the communication with the program manager will become increasingly difficult as the deadline approaches.

A.1.2 Designation of Topic and Subtopics. This STTR solicitation has only one topic; therefore designate "Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS)" as the topic. A firm MUST identify the appropriate subtopic on the cover page. The subtopics for this solicitation are listed below and explained more fully in section V.A.10:

  1. Spectral efficiency
  2. Reconfigurable wireless platforms
  3. Security of wireless systems
  4. Legacy: Backwards and forwards interoperability and compatibility
  5. Special-purpose wireless systems
  6. Wireless system tests, measurements, and validation
  7. Economic models for spectrum resource sharing:

A.2. Phase I Proposal Objectives. An STTR Phase I proposal must describe the research effort needed to investigate the feasibility of the proposed scientific or technical innovation. The primary objective of the Phase I effort is to determine whether the innovation has sufficient technical merit for proceeding into a Phase II project. A secondary objective is to assess potential commercial feasibility of the proposed work.

A.3. Phase I Project Requirements. The deliverable at the end of an STTR Phase I grant is a technical report that summarizes the experimental and theoretical accomplishments of the research proposed. This report serves as the basis for a Phase II proposal.

A.4. Administrative and Technical Screening. All proposals that fail to address the following items will be considered non-responsive and will be returned without review:

  1. A proposal submitted after 5:00 p.m. (proposer's/submitter's local time) on the deadline date. The "proposer's time" is the time zone associated with the company's address, as registered with NSF at the time of proposal submission.

  2. A proposal that does not contain all the required components uploaded into the appropriate module within FastLane. See the required components below that make up a complete proposal. All proposals must have each of the items listed below, without exception.

A complete proposal consists of the following:

  1. Project Summary (reference section A.9.2)

  2. Project Description (15 page limit) and all 6 parts (reference section A.9.3)

  3. References Cited (reference section A.9.4) - required by NSF for all proposals

  4. Biographical Sketches (reference section A.9.5)- required by NSF for all proposals

  5. Budget and Subcontract budgets (reference section A.9.6)

  6. Current and Pending Support - the proposal being submitted is considered "pending support" by NSF and must be listed (reference section A.9.7). This means that ALL submitted proposals MUST contain this document, without exception.

  7. Equipment, Instrumentation, Computers, and Facilities (reference section A.9.8) - required by NSF for all proposals

  8. Supplementary Documents (reference section A.9.9)

  1. Unallowable items uploaded to the Supplementary Documents section other than the following:

    1. Letters of Support for Technology (no more than 3 letters; reference section A.9.9.1)

    2. Post Doc Mentoring Plan (required if funds are included on line "B.1 Post Doctoral Scholars" on the proposer's budget or a subaward budget; reference section A.9.9.2)

    3. Company Commercialization History must be provided using the NSF template if Phase II SBIR/STTR awards have been received previously (reference section A.9.9.3)

    4. Cooperative Research Agreement (reference section A.9.9.4)

    5. Data Management Plan (reference section A.9.9.5) - required by NSF for all proposals

    6. Letters regarding Use of Human subjects e.g. Institutional Review Board or IACUC approval of animal use (if applicable; reference section A.9.9.6)

  2. A proposal with a budget exceeding $150,000.
  3. A proposal missing a Company Commercialization History, if the company certified on the Cover Page that it has previously received SBIR/STTR Phase II funding. The Company Commercialization History must be submitted using the NSF template (reference section A.9.9.3).

  4. A proposal with documents placed in the "Additional Single Copy Documents" module in FastLane (other than Suggested Reviewers and/or Proprietary Information). Items placed in this module are not accessible to reviewers.

  5. A collaborative proposal (defined as simultaneous proposal submissions from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award). Note - Small business concerns are encouraged to collaborate with research institutions;however, only one proposal should result.

  6. A proposal lacking sufficient technical/commercial potential substance to justify review.

  7. A proposal that does not fall within the scope of the topic or subtopic as delineated in the topic or subtopic description.

  8. A proposal not containing research proposed in science, engineering, or education.

  9. Unacceptable objectives as defined in Section IV.

A.5. Marking Proprietary Information. To the extent permitted by law, the Government will not release properly identified and marked technical data. If the proposal contains proprietary information, check the box at the bottom of the proposal cover page and identify proprietary technical data in the proposal by clearly marking the information and providing a legend or footnote. Typically, proprietary information is marked in the text either with an asterisk at the beginning and end of the proprietary paragraph, underlining the proprietary sections, or choosing a different font type. An entire proposal should not be marked proprietary.

A.6. Human Subjects and Animal Use. Please refer to Chapter II, Sections D.5 and D.6 of the GPG (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg). Note that in some cases, product testing involves human subjects. In addition to the information in the GPG, please refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp. Look for federal-wide assurances under the Office of Human Research Protection website.

If human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is indicated, and it is not in hand at the time of submission, there must be a plan for such approval; a supporting letter regarding IRB approval should be provided under supplementary documents. The approval must be readily attainable within six weeks of informal notification of recommendation for award to ensure continued processing for funding. The small business has three basic options with regard to human subjects review: 1) establish your own IRB (see Office of Human Rights Protection (OHRP) at Health and Human Services (HHS) http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/assurances/; 2) use the review board of a (usually local) university or research institution, either via consultants to the project, a project subcontract, or directly through its own contacts; and 3) use a commercial company.

Animal use in funded projects requires approval of the company or collaborating institutions' Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Please refer to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/rig.shtml for additional information.

A.7. Debriefing on Unsuccessful Proposals. When a proposal is declined, verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, summaries of review panel deliberations, if any, and a description of the process by which the proposal was reviewed will be available electronically.

Phase I proposals that have been declined or returned without review by NSF are NOT eligible for reconsideration under the same program solicitation; however, proposals may be resubmitted under a subsequent solicitation, after suitable revision, conditional upon their falling within the scope of the subsequent topic or subtopic offerings.

A.8. General Requirements

A.8.1 Sample Limitations. Samples, videotapes, slides, appendices, or other ancillary items will not be accepted. Websites containing demonstrations, etc., may be cited in the proposal, but reviewers are not required to access them.

A.8.2 Page Format. Multiple column formats are not accepted.

A.9. Required Format.

The required format of a Phase I proposal is described in the following paragraphs. Each proposal submitted to the NSF STTR program will use the following FastLane Forms:

Cover Sheet
Project Summary
Table of Contents (automatically generated)
Project Description
References Cited
Biographical Sketches
Budgets and Budget Justification (also required for each subaward)
Current and Pending Support
Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

Supplementary Docs (do not upload additional documents besides the following when applicable):

  1. Letter(s) of Support for Technology or Market Opportunity (3 maximum),
  2. Post Doc Mentoring Plan (if applicable),
  3. Company Commercialization History on the NSF Template (if applicable),
  4. Cooperative Research Agreement,
  5. Data Management Plan, and
  6. Letter(s) regarding human subjects Institutional Review Board or IACUC approval of animal use (if applicable).

Single Copy Documents - Suggested Reviewers and/or Proprietary Info are the only items permitted. Documents uploaded here are not accessible to reviewers.

A.9.1. Cover Sheet and Certification. Complete topic and subtopic fields must be included on the cover sheet. All proposals must be electronically signed. For information regarding electronic signature, reference the FastLane webpage.

A.9.2. Project Summary. An edited version of the Project Summary will be available to the public if a proposal is awarded. The Project Summary shall be written in the third person and shall begin as follows: "This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project...". The summary must have the following components:

  1. A summary paragraph limited to 200 words addressing the intellectual merits of the proposed activity. No proprietary information should be included in the summary. Include a brief identification of the problem or opportunity, the research objectives, a description of the research, and the anticipated results.

  2. A summary paragraph limited to 200 words addressing the broader impacts/commercial potential of the proposed activity. Include information on the potential commercial value, societal impact, and enhanced scientific and technological understanding.

  3. A listing of key words. The key words or phrases should identify the areas of technical expertise in science, engineering, or education which are to be invoked in reviewing the proposal; and the areas of application that are the initial target of the technology.

  4. The subtopic name.

A.9.3 Project Description. The project description shall contain the following parts in the following order and must not exceed 15 pages.

Part 1: Identification and Significance of the Innovation. The first paragraph shall contain a clear and succinct statement specifying the research innovation proposed, and a brief explanation of how the innovation is relevant to meeting a need described in the subtopic narrative.

Part 2: Background and Phase I Technical Objectives. List and explain the key objectives to be accomplished during the Phase I research, including the questions that must be answered to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of the proposed concept. It is important to show how potential customer needs will be met if the research is successful. Therefore, Phase I proposers are strongly encouraged to consider commercial potential as well as the technical challenges of their research.

Part 3: Phase I Research Plan. This section must provide a detailed description of the Phase I research approach. The description must include the following:

  • A technical discussion of the proposed concept,
  • What is planned and how the research will be carried out,
  • The plan to achieve each objective, and
  • The sequence of experiments, tests, and computations involved in the measurement of those objectives.

Part 4. Commercial Potential. Proposals must describe the business opportunity to be enabled by the proposed innovation. The information contained within the Commercial Potential section should convey the scope and nature of this business opportunity. This section should briefly describe the current as well as the anticipated market landscape and the resources required to address the opportunity. The goal of this section is to justify, from a market-opportunity perspective, why a Phase I feasibility study should be undertaken.

In preparing the description of the commercial potential, you are strongly encouraged to address the following four sections: market opportunity, company/team, product/competition and revenue/finance. A well crafted Commercial Potential section is typically 3-5 pages in order to fully address the four sections referenced below.

  • The market opportunity - Describe the anticipated target market or market segments and provide a brief profile of the potential customer. What customer needs will be addressed with the innovation? Estimated size of the market being addressed? What barriers to entry exist?
  • The Company/Team - What are the origins of the company/team? How many current employees are there? What is the revenue history, if any, for the past three years? Give a brief description of the experience and credentials of the personnel responsible for taking the innovation to market. How does the background and experience of the team enhance the credibility of the effort; have they previously taken similar products/services to market? Does proposed research mesh with company objectives? How does the proposed technology sit within the company mission?
  • Product or technology and competition - How does your product or service sit within the competitive landscape? What is the main competition? What is the value proposition for the product or service enabled by the innovation? How do you plan to protect any IP generated from the proposed innovation? What critical milestones must be met to get the product or service to market?
  • Financing and revenue model - based upon revenue assumptions, describe how you plan to finance your innovation.

Part 5. Consultants and Subawards/Subcontracts. Keep in mind that an STTR Phase I project requires a minimum of 40% of the research, as measured by the budget, to be performed by the small business concern, and a minimum of 30% of the research, as measured by the budget, by the collaborating research institution. The remaining 30% may be allocated as appropriate to achieve the objectives of the proposed STTR Phase I project.

Consultant: The services of each consultant must be justified within the context of the proposal. In this section of the proposal, information must be provided on each consultant's expertise, organizational affiliation, and contribution to the project. In addition, each consultant, whether paid or unpaid, must provide a signed statement that confirms availability, time commitment, role in the project, and the agreed consulting rate (not to exceed $600 per day). The maximum consulting rate under this solicitation is $600 per day (NSF defines a day as 8 hours). This rate is exclusive of any indirect costs, travel, per diem, clerical services, fringe benefits, and supplies.

The signed consultant statements (with the required stated number of days at $600 per day) must be uploaded as part of the proposal budget justification.

Subaward (also known as the subcontract): Subawards (including contracts, subcontracts and other arrangements) are used for research, describe the tasks to be performed and how these are related to the overall project. A minimum of 30% of the research (as measured by the budget) must be performed by a research institution. A Co-PI from the research institution must be identified on the subaward proposal budget.

Each subaward must use a proposal budget, and provide details of subaward costs by cost category. Each subawardee budget must be prepared in FastLane.

Purchases of analytical or other routine services from commercial sources and the acquisition of fabricated components from commercial sources are not regarded as reportable subaward activity. Such items -- routine analytical or other routine services -- should be reported on the Budget under Other Direct Costs/Other (Line G.6 on the budget form).

All research, including subawards and consultancies, must be carried out in the U.S. (See definition of Place of Performance.)

Note: If a subawardee lists Post Docs as part of the subaward budget, a Post Doc Mentoring Plan must be provided. For more information on what is required see the information at the following link: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf09_29/gpg_2.jsp#IIC2j. Upload the mentoring plan into the supplemental docs module of FastLane. A Post Doc Mentoring plan template can be obtained at: http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/Sample_Postdoc_Mentoring_Plan.doc

Part 6. Equivalent or Overlapping Proposals to Other Federal Agencies. A firm may elect to submit proposals for equivalent or overlapping work under other Federal solicitations or may have received or expect to receive other Federal awards for equivalent or overlapping work. The firm must certify on the proposal cover page whether another Federal Agency has received this proposal (or an equivalent or overlapping proposal). In addition, the proposer must inform NSF of overlapping or equivalent proposals and awards as follows: (a) related federal awards (ongoing or completed); (b) proposals that have been submitted under other government solicitations; and (c) anticipated submissions (within the upcoming calendar year) to other agencies of related proposals. For all such cases, the following information is required:

  • The name, address and telephone contact of the sponsoring agency to which the proposal was or will be submitted,
  • Date(s) of proposal submission(s),
  • Title, number, and date of solicitation under which the proposal was submitted or will be submitted,
  • Title and performance period of the proposal, and
  • Name and title of principal investigator, annual person-months (calendar-months) devoted by any personnel on the equivalent or overlapping project who are participating as PI or senior personnel on this proposal.

If no equivalent or overlapping proposals are under consideration, explicitly state: NONE. NSF will not make awards that duplicate research funded or expected to be funded by other agencies, although in some cases NSF may fund portions of work described in an overlapping proposal provided that the budgets appropriately reduce costs and allocate costs among the various sponsors. If a proposer fails to disclose equivalent or overlapping proposals as provided in this section, the proposer could be liable for administrative, civil or criminal sanctions.

A.9.4. References Cited. Provide a comprehensive listing of relevant references, including patent numbers and other relevant intellectual property citations. References must be uploaded into the system.

A.9.5. Biographical Sketches. (A maximum of 2 pages per person.) Provide relevant biographical information for the Principal Investigator (PI) and key personnel (including consultants and key members of the subaward team). Biographical Sketches must be uploaded into the system.

A.9.6. Budget. The total budget shall not exceed $150,000 for the STTR Phase I proposal (including all sub-awards). Budget line items must be shown in detail in the budget justification.

List the principal investigator and senior personnel by name with their time commitments budgeted in person-months and the dollar amount for the performance period. The PI must be budgeted for a minimum of two (2) months to the project.

Do not list company employees under B.1 Post Doctoral Scholars. If the subawardee institution budgets funds on line B.1 Post Doctoral Scholars, the company is responsible for ensuring that a Post-Doc Mentoring Plan is included with the proposal (see A.9.9.2).

The reimbursement rates for consultants are a direct cost that cannot exceed the daily equivalent rate paid to an Executive Level IV Federal employee. As of January 2009, that rate is $600 per day (NSF defines a day as 8 hours). Indicate the number of days proposed per consultant. Consultant travel should be shown under the domestic travel category, E-1, but counts as an outsourcing expense.

The budget justification should provide a line by line explanation of each budget item (including the signed consultant letter/s) and should indicate the specifics of the materials and supplies required. Permanent equipment, patent expenses, and foreign travel are not allowable expenditures. Tuition costs are not considered research or research and development. Accordingly, they are not acceptable costs and should not be included on the budget for the company and the subawardee.

One domestic trip (for up to two persons, normally the PI and an individual associated with business operations) is required to attend a two-day grantee workshop in the DC area. The intent of this workshop is to discuss the research program with a program officer and to learn the mechanics of preparing a Phase II proposal; therefore this trip must be included in the Phase I budget. An explicit statement acknowledging attendance at the grantee workshop is required on the budget justification page. A good budget estimate is $2,000 per person to cover the conference registration fee and travel expenses.

Indirect costs plus fringe benefits is limited to an effective rate of 150% of salaries and wages (i.e. Line C + Line I should not be more than $150% of Line A + Line B). The following expenses will not be funded as part of the indirect cost pool:

  • Independent Research and Development (IR&D)
  • Patent and patent related expenses will not be funded as either a direct or indirect cost
  • Sales and marketing expenses
  • Business development
  • Manufacturing and production expenses

Reasonable fees (estimated profit) will be considered under Phase I. The amount of the fee approved by NSF cannot exceed seven percent (7%) of the total indirect and direct project costs. The proposal bottom line cannot exceed $150,000 for STTR Phase I proposals.

Detailed documentation of budget line items is required for ALL budget items and must be documented on the budget justification page.

A.9.7. Current and Pending Support of Principal Investigator and Senior Personnel. This section should provide information about all research to which the principal investigator and other senior personnel either have committed time or have planned to commit time during the STTR Phase I period of performance, whether salary for the person involved is included in the budgets of the various projects. All current project support from whatever source (Federal, State, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations) must be listed. Current and Pending Support must be uploaded into the system. The proposal being submitted is considered "pending" and therefore MUST appear in the Current and Pending Support module.

For all ongoing or proposed projects or proposals that will be submitted in the near future -- but excluding any proposals already cited above in the Equivalent or Overlapping Proposals to other Federal Agencies section -- that involve the Principal Investigator or senior personnel, provide the following information:

  • Name of sponsoring organization,
  • Title and performance period of the proposal, and
  • Annual person-months (calendar months) devoted to the project by the principal investigator and each of the senior personnel.

A.9.8. Equipment, Instrumentation, Computers, and Facilities. Provide a description that specifies the availability and location of significant equipment, instrumentation, computers, and physical facilities necessary to complete the portion of the research that is to be carried out by the proposing firm in Phase I. Purchase of permanent equipment is not permitted in a Phase I project (reference definition of Permanent Equipment). DO NOT use budget line item D for Phase I proposals. This document must be uploaded into the appropriate module in Fastlane for all proposals.

If the equipment, instrumentation, computers, and facilities for this research are not the property (owned or leased) of the proposing firm, include a statement signed by the owner or lessor which affirms the availability of these facilities for use in the proposed research, reasonable lease or rental costs for their use, and any other associated costs. Upload images of the scanned statements into this section.

A.9.9. Supplementary Documents. The items permitted in this module for a Phase I proposal are limited to the following (if applicable):

A.9.9.1. Letters of Support for Technology or Market Opportunity (no more than three letters). Letters of support act as an indication of market validation for the proposed innovation and add significant credibility to the proposed effort. Letters of support should demonstrate that the company has initiated dialog with relevant stakeholders (potential customers, strategic partners or investors) for the proposed innovation and that a real business opportunity may exist should the technology prove feasible. The letter(s) must contain affiliation and contact information for the signatory stakeholder.

A.9.9.2. Post Doc Mentoring Plan. If a proposal requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers, a Post Doc Mentoring Plan must be included as a supplementary document. The plan must provide a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. The mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, irrespective of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subawardee organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative project. Proposers are advised that the mentoring plan may not be used to circumvent the 15-page project description limitation. A template for the Post Doc Mentoring Plan can be obtained at: http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/Sample_Postdoc_Mentoring_Plan.doc

A.9.9.3. Company Commercialization History. A Company Commercialization History is required for all proposers certifying receipt of previous Phase II awards from any Federal agency. The NSF Commercialization History Template must be used. All items must be addressed in the format outlined in this template. Additional narratives and commercialization history documents from other SBIR/STTR agencies are not permitted.

A.9.9.4. Cooperative Research Agreement. See the Cooperative Research Agreement (CRA) model. The proposing small business concern must provide a signed written CRA between the small business and the research institution at the time of award. For proposal submission, place a draft of the CRA or a letter stating that a CRA will be provided upon notification of award recommendation.

A.9.9.5 Data Management Plan. Proposals must contain a supplementary document labeled "Data Management Plan" which should include the statement, "All data generated in this STTR Phase I project is considered proprietary." Fastlane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing the newly required Data Management Plan. See exceptions: http://nsf.gov/eng/general/ENG_DMP_Policy.pdf

A.9.9.6. Human Subjects Institutional Review Board or IACUC Approval for Animal Use. Please refer to Chapter II, Sections D.5 and D.6 of the GPG (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg). Note that in some cases, product testing involves human subjects. In addition to the information in the GPG, please refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp. Look for federal-wide assurances under the Office of Human Research Protection website.

Animal use in funded projects requires approval of the company or collaborating institutions' Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Please refer to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/rig.shtml for additional information.

A.10. Research Topic - Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS)

The fundamental mission of NSF is to promote discoveries and to advance education across the frontiers of knowledge in science and engineering. Consistent with that mission, NSF encourages and supports a wide range of proposals from the research and education community and from the private small business sector. These proposals are reviewed under NSF's merit review criteria, which cover both the quality of research (intellectual or technical merit) and its potential impact on society (broader impacts or commercial potential).

The STTR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-17. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF small business program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the STTR legislation by transforming scientific discovery into both societal and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization. NSF has formulated a solicitation topic for STTR that conforms to the legislation. The STTR Topic for this solicitation is Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS). Proposals must address one of the subtopics that are outlined below. Proposals that are not responsive to the subtopics outlined below will be returned without review. When submitting a proposal to the Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum topic, code the proposal to the corresponding subtopic under which you are submitting the proposal, e.g., subtopic B. Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) should be coded with the acronym "EARS" in the subtopic box on the cover page. In addition, use the code as the first item in the key words/phrases portion of the Project Summary of your proposal.

NSF expects synergy in the proposed research. An interdisciplinary and interdependent team approach is required in response to this STTR topic. Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation should explicitly explain the educational value of the product to be developed. The subtopics for this solicitation are as follows:

Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum for Learning:

  1. Spectral efficiency. This includes (but is not limited to) innovations that improve spectral efficiency on an "instantaneous" basis, such as mitigation of unwanted emissions, filter technology, interference cancellation, etc., and improvements on a "system-wide" basis, such as dynamic spectrum access and frequency re-use.

  2. Reconfigurable wireless platforms, including, but not limited to, cognitive radio, software-defined radio, adaptive antennas, etc.

  3. Security of wireless systems.

  4. Legacy: Backwards and forward interoperability and compatibility. A major challenge of moving to a new and more efficient spectrum-use model will be a lengthy and complex transition period that will allow for the co-existence of novel new systems and regulations with the multitude of existing legacy systems and regulations.

  5. Special-purpose wireless systems may be difficult to accommodate within bold new spectrum-use models because of fundamental limitations on frequency agility due to basic operational requirements, extreme sensitivity to interference, or potentially drastic consequences due to failure of an RF link. Innovative solutions for accommodating such systems are needed. These systems may include (but are not limited to) medical devices, surveillance, remote sensing, and passive systems such as radio telescopes.

  6. Wireless system tests, measurements, and validation. New technology that can result in improvements in spectrum efficiency and access will require new test & measurement solutions and standards and regulatory validation. In addition, measurements and metrics required to establish existing and future levels of spectrum occupancy and efficiency will be required.

  7. Economic models for spectrum resource sharing. There exists a need for interdisciplinary research in the areas of market and non-market-based mechanisms for spectrum access and usage to efficiently organize the sharing of scarce spectrum resources. Research themes include - but are not limited to - real-time auctions, market design, spectrum valuation, spectrum management for the home user and managing mixed-rights spectrum.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF 11-561) in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

Indirect costs are limited to an effective rate of 150% of salaries and wages. (See Section V.A.9.6)

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    December 16, 2011

    Please do not submit proposals prior to October 17, 2011, otherwise the proposal will be returned without review.

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this program solicitation through use of the NSF FastLane system. Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.

Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project, as described in a one-page supplementary document, will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts criterion.

NSF staff also will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

    Additional Review Criteria:

    The STTR program has additional criteria which reflect the legislative emphasis of the program and complement the standard NSF review criteria listed above.

    "What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?"
    1. Is the proposed plan a sound approach for establishing technical and commercial feasibility?
    2. To what extent does the proposal suggest and develop unique or ingenious concepts or applications?
    3. How well qualified is the technical team (Principal Investigator, key staff, consultants, and subawardees) to conduct the proposed activity?
    4. Is there sufficient access to resources (materials and supplies, analytical services, equipment, facilities, etc.)?
    5. Does the proposal reflect state-of-the-art in the major research activities proposed? (Are advancements in state-of-the-art likely?)
    "What are the broader impacts/commercial potential of the proposed activity?"
    1. What may be the commercial and societal benefits of the proposed activity?
    2. Does the outcome of the proposed activity lead to a marketable product or process that warrants significant NSF support?
    3. Given the stage of the proposed effort, is the team well-balanced between technical and business skills?
    4. Has the proposing firm successfully commercialized SBIR or STTR-supported technology where prior awards have been made? (Or, has the firm been successful at commercializing technology that has not received SBIR or STTR support?)
    5. Has the proposer evaluated the competitive advantage of this technology vs. alternate technologies that can meet the same market needs?
    6. Does the proposal lead to enabling technologies (instrumentation, software, etc.) for further innovation?
    7. How well is the proposed activity positioned to attract further funding from non-SBIR sources once the project ends?

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1); * or Research Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions: STTR Phase I and Phase II awards are subject to availability of funds. NSF has no obligation to make any specific number of STTR Phase I or Phase II awards based on a solicitation and may elect to make several or no awards under any specific subtopic. STTR Phase I awards are 12-month, fixed-price grants and shall not exceed $150,000. The STTR Phase II fixed-priced grants typically will not exceed $500,000 per award. A Phase II award is based on a Phase I award. STTR Phase II awards normally will be made for a 24-month period of performance. (For information on Phase II, reference Phase II proposal preparation found on the SBIR/STTR web site (Phase II Award Information). Reasonable fees for profit (not to exceed 7% of the total direct and indirect costs) will be considered under both phases.

C. Reporting Requirements

The Principal Investigator must submit a final project report to the cognizant Program Officer within 15 days after expiration of a grant.

Failure to provide the required final project report will delay NSF review and processing of any pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of final project reports. Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) publications; and, other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system. Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.

The Phase I final report will be due to NSF within 15 days of the expiration of the grant. A Phase II proposal requires an approved Phase I Final Report to be uploaded as part of the Phase II proposal package.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

nsfpubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230



Policies and Important Links

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