May 20, 2008

The Department of Commerce’s (DoC) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks grant proposals for the construction of science research buildings from institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations. The agency announced today on the Grants.gov Web site that it will award approximately $29 million in congressionally directed funding for a special one-time competitive grant program. Awards are expected to range in size from approximately $10 million to $15 million.

The grant program was created under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-161) to provide funding for the construction of new buildings or the expansion of existing buildings for the sciences as they relate to DoC and its agencies, which include NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Grants will be made on a competitive basis to institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations. Proposals will be evaluated by considering the scientific and technical merits of the proposal, the quality of the design of the proposed science research building, and the adequacy of a project execution plan that includes project scope, schedule, budget, management and financial support for the project. Selections also will be based on the degree to which the proposed project complements DoC science and technology programs; the applicant’s experience in promoting national impacts through research outcomes, training, cooperation with federal programs, and opportunities for visiting researchers; whether or not the proposed project would duplicate other federally funded projects; the amount of additional funding the applicant is prepared to supply; and other factors.

The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. ET, July 21, 2008. NIST expects to announce selections by the end of September 2008. The full announcement of the federal funding opportunity, with complete details on competition rules, evaluation criteria, selection process, eligibility, required forms and submission procedures, is available at http://www.grants.gov/. In the right column, click “grant search” under Quick Links and search by CFDA number 11.615.

Links to construction grant program documents:

- Grants.gov: Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (http://www.grants.gov/, in the right column, click “grant search” under Quick Links and search by CFDA number 11.615).
- A Federal Register notice announcing this competition also will be published shortly. In the event of any discrepancies between the Federal Register notice (FRN) and other documents announcing this request for proposals, the FRN will prevail.