[unav_all] MRI 2015, general project support, and new proposal/award rules at NSF

Meghan Miller meghan at unavco.org
Mon Dec 1 17:34:27 MST 2014

UNAVCO Community,

This message has three topics:  
(1) General NSF proposal calls and planning for UNAVCO support   - deadlines vary
(2) Partnering with UNAVCO for Major Research Instrumentation proposals under the revised call for proposals -   due date January 22, 2015
(3) New and greatly revised NSF Grant Proposal Guide and Award Administration Guide become effective December 26, 2014

You can also come by the UNAVCO booth at AGU to consult about any of this........

(1) General proposal calls and requesting proposal / budget planning, letters of support (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?ord=date&org=NSF&sel_org=GEO&status=1&x=0&y=0; http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?ord=date&org=NSF&sel_org=XCUT&status=1&x=0&y=0)
This is a reminder that proposal deadlines and target dates are rapidly approaching for a number of funding opportunities. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you are planning to include UNAVCO project support in your upcoming proposals, or if you want help planning instrument deployments, data acquisition, or broader impacts.  UNAVCO can assist you with technical planning and budgeting of engineering and equipment support services for proposals submitted to relevant programs within the National Science Foundation Directorate for Geosciences.  Project types include GPS/GNSS, Borehole Geophysics, Geodetic Imaging (LiDAR and InSAR), and Education and Outreach.

Please note expanded UNAVCO services including daily solutions for your GPS observations provided from the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) Analysis and Solution Coordination Centers, real-time GPS streaming data and data solution products, an expanded state-of-the-art terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) pool, borehole geophysics (strainmeters*/seismometers/tiltmeters), satellite InSAR data, ground control for airborne laser scanning in collaboration with NCALM, power and communications systems for extreme environments, and cyberinfrastructure development.  UNAVCO also helps investigators plan for broader impact through independent and UNAVCO-related projects including workshops, short courses, mentoring of RESESS interns, and other outreach activities.

*Instrument availability: “EarthScope borehole strainmeter and seismometer instrumentation purchased, but not installed, during PBO construction is available for PI-driven research that benefits the goals of the EarthScope program…” [See EarthScope solicitations for details]

Project support, including proposal planning assistance, may be requested through our web site at: http://achaia.unavco.org/public/newproject/supportform.aspx

(2) Partnering with UNAVCO for Major Research Instrumentation proposals - full proposals due January 22

NSF has posted some important revisions to the 2015 Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) call 15-504, with an NSF deadline of January 22, 2015.   If you are considering using UNAVCO resources for an MRI submission, we are asking for your early consideration of the following guidance.  Depending on proposal pressure and the level of support requested, board review may be needed to establish priority for UNAVCO participation. 

If you are interested in submitting an MRI proposal with UNAVCO in January 2014, there are a few paths forward:
 As for universities, UNAVCO can submit up to the organizational limit of three MRI proposals (or subawards, with the caveats below) if at least one of them is for instrument development, although we are not planning to lead any such submissions at this point.

Note the new stipulation that: 
Subawards may be included in development proposals but not in acquisition proposals unless the submitting organization is a non-Ph.D. granting institution of higher education. 
1. Subaward option 1:   Submission of an MRI - Instrument Development proposal with the work by UNAVCO included as less than 20% of the total budget in the form of a subaward.  In such a case, UNAVCO participation would not count against UNAVCO's organizational limit of 3.  UNAVCO is unlikely to be able to contribute to any cost share requirement, as our sources of non-federal funds is quite limited.  For such a project, support can be requested through the web page at http://facility.unavco.org/project_support/project_support.html.

2.  Subaward option 2:    UNAVCO can participate as a subawardee on any instrumentation development proposal from a Ph.D.-granting institution, up to UNAVCO's institutional limit.   Again, UNAVCO is unlikely to be able to contribute to the 30% cost share requirement, so the match would need to be made by other collaborators.

3.  Subaward option 3:  For non-Ph.D.-granting academic institutions, UNAVCO can participate as a subaward on any MRI proposal, up to UNAVCO's institutional limit.   These institutions are exempt from the cost-share requirement.

UNAVCO-led proposals - none anticipated for 2015. 
4.  UNAVCO submission of an MRI proposal on behalf of, or in collaboration with, member institutions.  Because UNAVCO is subject to the cost share requirement, and yet has only negligible non-federal sources for matching funds, this option requires a plan to meet the 30% cost share requirement with non-federal (e.g., non-UNAVCO) resources.   

At this time, UNAVCO is not planning to lead a direct submission for 2015.   I did want to remind you that this is technically possible or for your longer term planning, however.   When UNAVCO does lead, remember that a university may contribute to meeting UNAVCO's cost share without counting the UNAVCO submission against the university's organizational limit, as long as the university is not receiving a related award or subaward (or the subaward is less than 20% of an Instrument Development proposal).  Real and in-kind contributions of international or commercial partners can also meet the cost sharing requirement.  

For 2015:
If you are submitting an MRI for 2015 and want UNAVCO support through a subaward, please let me know soon so that we can anticipate any conflicts. 

We have typically requested the following information so that the board  can prioritize if interest exceeds capacity:
1.  Preliminary project summary with science goals, and a description of intellectual merit and broader impacts.
2.  Draft project budget
3.  A short memorandum that addresses these questions (not more than 1 page):
	A.  How does the project align with UNAVCO's mission and goals?
	B.  How will the proposed project serve the UNAVCO Community?
	C.  What is the plan/commitment to meet the match requirement?
	D.  How mature is the concept?  Is the project feasible?
	E.  What NSF program will the project serve (EAR, OPP, AGS, etc….)?

If you have any questions about an MRI or any other submission, please call or flag me - or a UNAVCO Director - at AGU so that we can talk about the best way to move projects forward (deadlines below).

(3) New and greatly revised NSF Grant Proposal Guide and Award Administration Guide become effective December 26, 2014 (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf15001/index.jsp?org=NSF).
 As some of you may know, a major push to uniform guidance for federal awards across all agencies has led to extensive revisions to proposal and award administration requirements into a single, so-called Super Circular (Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide or PAPPG).  NSF makes this guidance effective for all proposals with deadlines on or after December 26, 2014, regardless of submission date.   This means that your grant offices and ours may need more time than usual to push proposals.

NSF notes:
The PAPPG has been revised to implement 2 CFR § 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). The Uniform Guidance incorporates language from eight existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars into one consolidated set of guidance in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Let us know how we can best support your project needs going forward.   

The Project Support Request form is also a good place to start:  http://achaia.unavco.org/public/newproject/supportform.aspx


M. Meghan Miller
President, UNAVCO
6350 Nautilus Drive
Boulder, CO  80301

Voice:  303/381-7514
By cell:  720/320-0026
Fax:  303/381-7501
meghan at unavco.org

Please acknowledge UNAVCO sponsors and awards:

Upcoming Deadlines and Target Dates:

You can find the full list of active GEO funding opportunities here:

You can find the full list of Crosscutting and NSF-wide funding opportunities here:

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