Effective Date: October 07, 2021
Expiration Date: October 07, 2026
a. This directive establishes policy for the applicability, use, and maintenance of the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual (GCAM). Recognizing NASA's responsibility for the proper stewardship and oversight of grants and cooperative agreements (hereafter referred to as "award"), the GCAM establishes comprehensive, Agency-wide policy, requirements, and guidance for award management.
b. It is NASA's policy to comply with all applicable Federal laws,
regulations, policies, and guidelines regarding award, receipt,
distribution, and administration of Federal funds entrusted to NASA for
the purpose of making grant and cooperative agreement awards. NASA
created the GCAM to ensure NASA personnel and award recipients remain
compliant with applicable regulations and policies.
a. This NPD is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers. This NPD applies to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (a Federally Funded Research and Development Center), as well as recipients of grants, cooperative agreements, or other agreements only to the extent specified or referenced in the applicable grants or agreements. Specifically:
(1) This NPD applies to recipients of NASA grants and cooperative agreements.
(2) This NPD applies to NASA Grant Officers (GO), Technical Officers (TO), and any other NASA personnel engaged in issuing and administering NASA awards.
b. This NPD applies to all activities funded by NASA grants and cooperative agreements.
c. In this directive, all mandatory actions (i.e., requirements) are denoted by statements containing the term "shall." The terms "may" or "can" denote discretionary privilege or permission, "should" denotes a good practice and is recommended but not required, "will" denotes expected outcome, and "are/is" denotes descriptive material. Note: Care should be taken when reading NASA policy versus policy and guidance from external organizations as terminology is used differently. The above definitions are relevant to NASA policy.
d. In this directive, all document citations are assumed to be the latest
version unless otherwise noted.
a. Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act (1977), 31 U.S.C § 6301 et seq.
b. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200 (2 CFR pt. 200).
c. NASA Supplement to Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR Part 1800 (2
a. NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual (GCAM).
a. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), Grants Policy and Compliance Branch (GPC), develops policy and guidance to ensure all NASA assistance awards and award management activities comply fully with applicable Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines, including updating the GCAM as necessary. GPC will ensure that the GCAM is accessible to award recipients and NASA staff engaged in awards management and administration in the following location: https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/pub/pub_library/srba/index.html.
b. GPC updates the GCAM annually. GPC issues changes or clarifications to the policies in the GCAM throughout the year by releasing grant information circulars (GICs) that inform the annual GCAM update.
c. GOs located in the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) are responsible for the issuance and oversight of awards in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the GCAM. GOs located at the various NASA Centers are also responsible for oversight of awards under their purview in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the GCAM but may not issue awards.
d. TOs, other managers, administrators, and subject matter experts at various NASA Centers and mission directorates are responsible for technical oversight of the awards in their portfolio in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the GCAM, where applicable.
e. NASA assistance award recipients ensure that all activities funded by
NASA and administered by their organization are compliant with Federal,
state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines, as well as the terms
and conditions outlined in the Notice of Award, which are also provided
in full text in the GCAM.
NPR 5810.1, Standard Format for NASA Research Announcement and Other
Announcements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, dated March 16, 2017.
Assistance Listing -- a Government-wide public catalog of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities. The assistance listing contains financial and non-financial assistance programs that benefit the American public.
Cooperative Agreement -- a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency and a recipient or a pass-through entity and a subrecipient that:
(1) The principal purpose of the relationship is to transfer a thing of value to the state or local government or other recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States instead of acquiring (by purchase, lease, or barter) property or services for the direct benefit or use of the U.S. Government; and
(2) Substantial involvement is expected between the executive agency and the state or local government or other recipient when carrying out the activity contemplated in the agreement.
Grant -- a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and a non-Federal entity that:
(1) Is used to enter into a relationship when the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value to carry out a public purpose authorized by a law of the United States; and not to acquire property or services for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity's direct benefit or use; and
(2) Is distinguished from a cooperative agreement in that it does not provide for substantial involvement of the Federal awarding agency in carrying out the activity contemplated by the Federal award.
NASA Center -- Any of the collection of facilities and installations designated by NASA and usually grouped by function (e.g., research, construction, and administration).
Program -- An investment by NASA that has a defined architecture and/or technical approach, requirements, funding level, and a management structure that initiates and directs one or more projects. A program defines a strategic direction that the Agency has identified as needed to accomplish Agency goals and objectives.
Principal Investigator -- The primary individual external to NASA responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, or other federally sponsored project in conjunction to the Authorized Organization Representative.
Program Manager -- A generic term for the person who is formally assigned to oversee the program. A program manager could be designated as a program lead, program director, or some other term, as defined in the program's governing document.
Technical Assistance -- Providing advice, support, and/or training.
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
GCAM NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual
GIC Grant Information Circulars
GO Grant Officer
GPC Grant Policy and Compliance Branch
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NPD NASA Policy Directive
NSSC NASA Shared Services Center
OCFO Office of the Chief Financial Officer
PD Program Director
PI Principal Investigator
TO Technical Officer
This document does not bind the public, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract. This document is uncontrolled when printed. Check the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library to verify that this is the correct version before use: https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov.