Effective Date: October 18, 2004
Expiration Date: October 18, 2016
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The following questions and answers provide for additional clarifications.
A.1 Question: What is an announcement, and how does it differ from a synopsis?
A.1.1 Answer: In the context of this NPR, an announcement refers to NRAs, CANs, and other solicitations used to announce grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities. A synopsis is a notice of proposed contract actions and/or a notice of grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunity published in the Government-wide point of entry (GPE), currently Federal Business Opportunities (http://www.fbo.gov) for procurement contracts, and FedGrants.Gov (http://www.grants.gov/) for grants and cooperative agreements. The standard announcement format applies to NRAs, CANs, and announcements of grants and cooperative agreements and does not address the format or content of synopses.
A.2 Question: Does the standard announcement format apply to announcements issued at NASA Centers?
A.2.1 Answer: Yes. The requirement to implement the standard announcement format applies across the Federal Government. The standard announcement format applies to all NASA announcements for grants and cooperative agreements, including announcements issued at NASA Headquarters and at NASA Centers.
A.3 Question: Does the standard announcement format apply to all Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs)?
A.3.1 Answer: The standard announcement format applies to all BAAs except for Announcements of Opportunity (AOs). AOs are addressed in NFS Part 1872, "Acquisitions of Investigations," located at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/regs/1872.htm. The decision was made to apply the standard announcement format to NRAs and CANs and not AOs because NRAs and CANs typically result in the award of grants and cooperative agreements, while AOs typically result in the award of contracts.
A.4 Question: Does the standard format apply to NRAs when a predetermination has been made that the NRA will result either in the award of a contract(s) only, or in a combination of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts?
A.4.1 Answer: Yes. The NASA Office of Procurement has decided to require the same format for all NRAs, regardless of the type of award instrument that will result from the NRA. A consistent format for all NRAs will benefit the research community by helping them more easily and quickly find the information they need about NRAs.
A.5 Question: Is the standard announcement format applicable to announcements for education, facility, and training grants and cooperative agreements?
A.5.1 Answer: Yes.
A.6 Question: How does NASA's standard announcement format for grants and cooperative agreements differ from the standard announcement format issued by OMB in the Federal Register?
A.6.1 Answer: In most respects, NASA's standard announcement format is the same as the format issued by OMB in the Federal Register. There are a few differences. Specific NASA requirements are inserted throughout the format, for example, the NASA Safety Statement is added. The NASA format includes additional guidance to assist the writer of the announcement. For example, the OMB format states: "If the funding opportunity is subject to Executive Order (EO) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," you must say so." The NASA format includes a discussion of when this Executive order applies and how to find the text of the Executive order on the Internet. Another change is that the NASA format deletes any requirements that are not applicable to NASA. For example, since NASA does not publish announcements in the Federal Register, that portion of the OMB format that addresses publication in the Federal Register is deleted from the NASA format.
A.7 Question: Is the writer of the announcement permitted to add any information that is not covered in the standard announcement format?
A.7.1 Answer: Yes. If the writer of the announcement needs to include information on a subject that the format does not specifically discuss, the writer may address that subject in whatever section(s) is most appropriate. Please note that the standard announcement format was written with much flexibility, and in most cases, there is an appropriate section in the format to include the information.
A.8 Question: Which sections of the standard announcement format are required and which sections are optional?
A.8.1 Answer: Each section is marked "Required" or "Optional." Within each section, the terms "must" and "shall" denote required sections. Use of the terms "should," "may," or "can" implies that the writer has discretion in including the information.
A.9 Question: What is the Guidebook for Proposers Responding to a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) (Guidebook)?
A.9.1 Answer: This Guidebook, located at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/proposer2009.pdf, includes information that is standard for all NASA Headquarters NRAs: for example, all policies and procedures for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as those for NASA's review and selection of proposals for funding. NRAs will often reference the standard information in this Guidebook, rather than repeating this information in the announcement. One advantage of the Guidebook is that potential applicants can familiarize themselves with NASA requirements well in advance of writing a proposal.
A.10 Question: What is the difference between the standard announcement format and the Guidebook?
A.10.1 Answer: The standard announcement format provides a uniform format for writing announcements that may result in the award of a grant or cooperative agreement. The standard announcement format is directed towards the writer of the announcement. The Guidebook includes all standard information for responding to NASA HQ NRAs and is directed toward the person submitting proposals in response to an NRA
A.11 Question: Is the Guidebook applicable to either NRAs issued at NASA Centers or announcements of grants and cooperative agreements issued at NASA HQ and NASA Centers?
A.11.1 Answer: The Guidebook is not directly applicable to NRAs issued at NASA Centers and announcements of grants and cooperative agreements issued at NASA HQ/NASA Centers; however, the Guidebook has standard information that can be applied to announcements (i.e. the NASA mission, the Vision for Space Exploration, and instructions on certifications and assurances). Writers of announcements can "cut and paste" applicable portions of the Guidebook into their announcements and tailor this information to their unique circumstances, or refer to a section(s) of the Guidebook in the applicable section of the announcement. Centers issuing NRAs are encouraged to use the Guidebook to the maximum practical extent.
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