RFP-I Frequently Asked Questions


Q.      Who is eligible to be a lead institution in a Research Consortium? Can a non-US institution be a member of a Research Consortium?
A.      Each Research Consortium will be administered at a US academic or non-profit research institution (the Lead Research Institution). It is anticipated that the Lead Research Institution will be located in a Gulf State. However, the selection will be made by the Research Board based on the evaluation criteria delineated in RFP-I. The collaborating members or institutions participating in each Consortium should bring world-class capabilities into the Consortium and may be drawn as needed from US and foreign universities and government laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and other US and non-US institutions with unique, world-class capabilities.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can individual investigators apply for Research Consortium grants?
A.      A separate RFP, RFP-II, will be issued following the release of RFP-I. RFP-II will request proposals from individual or collaborative efforts involving a PI and co-PIs from up to three additional institutions and will be focused on the same research themes described in RFP-I.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Are recipients of initial BP (GRI) Fast-Track Grants eligible to submit proposals to this RFP?
A.      Yes, recipients of initial BP (GRI) Fast-Track Grants are eligible to submit proposals to this RFP.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      I did not see anything about federal agency participation in the RFP. Can federal agencies be part of a Research Consortium?
A.      Yes, federal agencies can participate. In the RFP, it is indicated in Section II: Structure of the GRI, the second sub-section "Governance", second paragraph, sentence 4 that: "The collaborating members or institutions participating in each Consortium should bring world-class capabilities into the Consortium and may be drawn as needed from US and foreign universities and government laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, and other US and non-US institutions with unique, world-class capabilities."
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can an investigator be a PI in both RFP-I and RFP-II proposals?
A.      An investigator can be a PI in both a RFP-I proposal and a RFP-II proposal if the proposed research projects are not the same. However, if an investigator is the PI (Director) of a Consortium (RFP-I) we expect that the Consortium effort will require a significant allocation of time and effort and that it would be extremely difficult for someone to be both the PI (Director) of a Consortium and a PI in response to RFP-II.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can investigators propose to only RFP-II without having any involvement in or association with RFP-I?
A.      Yes. There is no requirement to be involved research funded under an RFP-I proposal in order to submit a proposal for RFP-II.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can NOAA employees apply for GRI funding ?
A.      NOAA employees who are interested in collaborating with GRI-funded researchers should consult with NOAA's general counsel for natural resources for additional clarification or a review of their particular case.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.     
A.      Our understanding is that Sea Grant personnel at a university are university employees and not NOAA employees. As such, it is appropriate to have Sea Grant partners within consortia.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      The Atlanta University Center Dual Degree Engineering Program has been made aware of this opportunity through BP. The AUC DDEP operates in the AUC Consortium to coordinate engineering and liberal arts education for students of the AUC Dual Degree Engineering Program. We are a non-profit organization working with 15 institutions of higher education. We, the AUC DDEP, would like to act as the lead for this effort and need to ensure this meets the criteria established by the GRI RB. Please advise.
A.     
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      May I participate two different consortium ?
A.      Yes. A researcher may participate in two different consortium. However, there should be a clear statement in the body of each proposal that this is the case. If the funding request is for the same research in each consortium, then funding would be provided through only one consortium if both consortia were chosen for award of a grant. In addition, the pending support section of the proposal should reflect the submission in the other consortium proposal. A person may be Lead PI of only one Consortium proposal.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can non-Lead PIs, proposing similar research avenues, participate in more than one consortia proposal?
A.      Yes. A non-lead investigator or PI or Co-PI can participate in more than one consortia proposal. It must state that they are doing so clearly in
each of the proposals in the body of the proposal and it should be recorded in the pending support table section of the proposal. In the event that the proposed research is the same in more than one consortium proposal chosen for a grant award, the non-lead investigator will not be double-funded for the same proposed research.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      If a scientist receives funding for NRDA research are they eligible to participate in a Research Consortium?
A.      Yes, as long as the science is not the same. It is the responsibility of the investigator to check with the parties involved in the NRDA process to determine whether there are rules or regulations that would hinder them from submitting a proposal to the GRI RFP-I.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      I am a new assistant professor at Washington State University and have just learned about the GRI. Unfortunately I saw that your deadline for the LOI just passed and I was wondering if there is a chance to send you a brief summary of a project that would target the microbial community that is associated with crude oil using latest sequencing technologies?
A.      Thank you for your interest in the GRI. The deadline for a letter of intent, which is a pre-requisite for full proposal submission to RFP-I, has passed and the GRI does not accept unsolicited proposals. You may visit http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/letters-of-intent/ to determine which universities or organizations have submitted letters of intent for potential contacts. A RFP-II will be released in the next few months that will request proposals from individual investigators or a principal investigator and up to three co-investigators. Please sign up for e-alerts/announcements on the GRI website to be notified when RFP-II has been released.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      I have learned that a number of institutions intend to submit multiple proposals as "host". In doing so they interpret the guidance as only excluding more than one proposal with the same single theme. This would not preclude, for example, submitting one for theme 1, another for themes 1+2 and a third for themes 1+2+3. In short, all non-identical combinations of the numbers 1 thru 5.
A.      Our previous answer to this scenario stands which is "An Institution can be the Lead Institution for more than one Consortium providing that the themes addressed are not exactly the same: e.g. the Institution could be Lead for a Proposal for theme 1 and a proposal that addressed themes 1,2 and 3, but not two proposals that both addressed themes 1 and 3 together."  Unfortunately, we cannot anticipate all of the proposal development strategies and gradations that will be submitted and are unable to address each as we do not wish to preempt the review process.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can the Lead Research Institute be a pre-existing, well-established Consortium of Universities? And if yes, then can the Director be from one of the member Universities (i.e. the Director resides within the pre-existing Consortium, but does not physically live in the same city)?
A.      A pre-existing consortium may be a lead research institute as long as it has the financial mechanisms and administrative structure in place to carry out the financial, administrative, and legal functions specified in the RFP-I and GRI Master Research Agreement. The lead investigator or PI may be from one of the member universities of the consortium as long as the lead investigator or PI meets the criteria of the RFP-I and it can be shown in the proposal that he/she can carryout the duties of the lead investigator or PI even while officially located in a location other than the consortium headquarters.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      I have been reviewing the RFP-I solicitation dated 25 April 2011 AND have also been reviewing the FAQ's for this RFP. In my review of the solicitation, I do not see a reference to a "limit" on the number of proposals from one institution based on "theme." Can you please point out the section and/or page where this information is reflected? Thank you!
A.      The RFP-I was written to be informative, practical, and consistent with the Master Research Agreement. However, the Research Board recognized that it would be impractical to issue an RFP-I that addresses all possible questions by potential proposers in detail. Therefore, in anticipation of the  questions of clarification that would be submitted by potential proposers, such as contingency was addressed in sections 3.0, 5.0, and 8.0 of RFP-I. The answers to the FAQs to which the questioner refers are deemed as clarifications of RFP-I and therefore are consistent with sections 3.0 and 5.0 of RFP-I.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Does a Research Consortium proposal have to address all five research themes listed in the RFP?
A.      No, a Research Consortium must propose to address at least one of the themes or propose a cross-disciplinary program of work involving a grouping of some of the topics included within the themes.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      What research themes are to be addressed by the Research Consortium proposals?
A.     
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      Can the Lead Research Institution submit more than one proposal (i.e., one for Theme 1 and one for Themes 2-3 or must they be combined)?
A.      Yes, the Lead Research Institution can submit proposals for different themes but not for the same theme. However, it is anticipated that the PI (Director of the Research Consortium) in the case cited would not be the same for the Theme 1 project and for the Themes 2-3 project.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      From an earlier FAQ: an Institution can only submit one proposal per theme. Do proposals that address different subsets of themes fall into that ruling?  For example, if they submitted one for theme 4, could they submit a second that integrates themes 4 and 5 (with different Directors)?
A.      An Institution can be the Lead Institution for more than one Consortium providing that the themes addressed are not exactly the same: e.g. the Institution could be Lead for a Proposal for theme 1 and a proposal that addressed themes 1, 2 and 3, but not two proposals that both addressed themes 1 and 3 together.

Obviously, if one Consortium proposal addresses only a single theme (e.g. theme 2) and the second Consortium proposal addresses themes 1 and 2, then the theme 2 aspects of the second Consortium proposal should be connected where appropriate to the theme 1 aspects of the second Consortium proposal.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      What is the role that engineering disciplines can play in this GRI RFP-I? The RFP on page seven, paragraph three states "The GRI RFP-I requires interdisciplinary efforts involving experts in physical, chemical, geological, and biological oceanography; marine biology; coastal and reef ecosystems, fisheries, and wildlife ecology; public health; and associated development of physical, chemical, and biological instrumentation, advanced modeling, and informatics..."
A.      The examples of disciplines were not intended to be an exclusive list and all disciplines that are relevant to the themes are encouraged to apply.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      The RFP indicates that a lead institution can only submit one proposal for each subcategory (e.g. 1, 2, 3..). Within subcategory 3 there is a very wide scope for research. A proposal focusing on wetlands would be very different from one focusing on oceanic nekton. Can the same lead institution submit more than one proposal in the same subdiscipline if the research focus is very different?
A.      The intent of this RFP is to encourage the formation of Consortia for reasons stated in the RFP. Having more than one proposal in each "sub-discipline" is counter to the intent of the RFP. As a point of clarification, the Research Themes are not "sub-disciplines" from the perspective of this RFP. Further, there are ways of innovative thinking that could tie together aspects of research for both wetlands and oceanic nekton, or of separately tying oceanic nekton together with another theme and wetlands with another theme. Think Consortia not "subdividing."
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.     
A.      Results can be interpreted as a synonym for 'objectives' in the context of the RFP-I situation. Also, 'public health' should be interpreted in the broadest meaning of the term public health.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      If a lead institution submits more than one proposal with identical themes will one be selected over the others by the GRI Board?
A.      A Lead Institution is allowed to submit only one proposal for a specific theme or set of themes as the Lead Institution. Multiple proposals from the same institution for exactly the same theme or set of themes will not be funded by the GRI. In the event that more than one proposal is received from the same Lead Institution for exactly the same theme or set of themes, all those proposals from that institution will be disqualified.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      For Research Theme 3, there seems to be some difference in opinion as to the intent of the scope of allowable work. Must ALL the research allowed relate directly to oil spills or oil (and dispersant) effects; or, can some relate more broadly to restoration which may involve oiled habitats as well as other forms of stresses around the Gulf? And, can some research relate more broadly to defining baseline conditions in the Gulf for use in understanding future spills and other disturbances?
A.      Research Theme 3 is not intended as a broad-brush statement for all stresses in the Gulf (human caused and/or natural), independent of oil and gas inputs and dispersants. Interactions of other stresses with oil and gas and with dispersants would be a legitimate subject for proposing research within the scope of RFP-I. The GRI funded research is not intended to address all aspects of restoration of Gulf ecosystems from the complete range of human caused adverse impacts. The focus is as written in the RFP-I and the Master Research Agreement referenced in RFP-1.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      Can the Research Theme/set of themes be changed between the LOI Update and the Full Proposal?
A.      The purposes of the Letter of Intent and Letter of Intent Update are articulation of interest, creation of collaboration opportunities, and preparation for the peer review process. The Letter of Intent Update Form will not be considered as part of the formal review. Only the full proposal, to be submitted by 9:00pm EDT 11 July, 2011, will be reviewed for purposes of selection and award. Collaboration changes, including changing Research Themes as noted in this question, are allowed between the submission of the LOI update and the full proposal; there is no formal mechanism to notify the GRI of these changes.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      What defines a Research Consortium?
A.     
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Can a Research Consortium include a for-profit entity?
A.      It is expected that the vast majority of the work contemplated in the GRI will be conducted in either academic or not-for-profit institutions. However, there is a possibility that a Research Consortium may have an existing relationship, or may find it advantageous to enter into a new relationship, with a private or for-profit entity. Their contributions could be in the form of products, services, and expertise that will be crucial to the delivery of the research objectives. As with all participants in the GRI, any activities by private or for-profit entities will be subject to the terms of the GRI Master Research Agreement (MRA).
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      How many organizations are necessary for a Research Consortium?
A.      A Research Consortium will involve four or more universities, institutions, or independent organizations. Combinations of departments, centers, or institutes located at one university do not constitute a Research Consortium for the purposes of this RFP.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Is there a maximum number of organizations that can form a Research Consortium?
A.      No, there is no maximum number.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      May departments, institutes, or centers from the same university or organization join to create a Research Consortium?
A.      Combinations of departments, centers or institutes located at one university or within one organization do not constitute a Research Consortium for the purposes of this RFP.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      What will happen if a Research Consortium includes less than 4 institutions?
A.      If a proposal is submitted with less than 4 institutions then the proposal will not be considered a Consortium and would therefore not be eligible for funding under RFP-I. Such a proposal will be returned without review.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      I am interested in participating in a Research Consortium but currently do not have connections established with other institutions. Is there a way to connect with other interested groups?
A.      An online forum (http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/bbpress/) has been created to allow individuals to post availability and interest in potential collaborations. You will need register and then you can post your information in the forum. Several individuals posting and then connecting may build a Consortium or an established Consortium may find another collaboration here. Established Consortia will be encouraged to review this forum to look for and potentially develop additional collaborations.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      The Instructions indicate that you are limited to 20 co-PIs, but an FAQ indicates that "there is no maximum number" of organizations. Can a Research Consortium only have 20 co-PIs?
A.      There is no limit to the number of organizations or individuals participating in a proposed research consortium. However, for logistical reasons, there is a limit to the number of individuals that can be identified in the Letter of Intent (LOI). If there are more than 20 participants in your Consortium, in the LOI please identify 20 participants that represent all the institutions involved and then the full suite of Consortium personnel in the full proposal, according to the instructions found here: http://griresearchboard.org/rfp/GRI_RFP_I_Instructions.pdf. The LOI is intended to improve opportunities for collaboration and to provide essential information for avoiding conflicts of interest in the review process.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      In order to better manage a large consortium, is it permissible to have 2 Co-Directors instead of a single Director, provided of course that one of the Directors is at the lead institution, in one of the Gulf states?
A.      No. There should be only one Director (Lead PI) and one Lead Institution.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Must final IRB & IACUC approvals be obtained for consortium members PRIOR to the submission deadline or can "Just In Time" guidelines be adhered to, as mandated by NIH standard procedures?
A.      As noted in the RFP-I, the GRI will follow the NSF guidelines. As such, NSF does not require an approved IACUC protocol when a proposal is submitted.  It is only needed before the work is undertaken. All that is required in the proposal is a description of what the investigators will do to secure approval and the process at the university or institution involved.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Just to clarify the question on Restricted Funding, if other support we receive is for the same but say additional work and is not "double dipping" then it would or would not be acceptable?
A.      Funding for the same type of research but additional work, i.e not "double-dipping", is acceptable. However, there should be a clear explanation of this circumstance in the proposal and why it is appropriate for the GRI to support the additional similar research, e.g. more of the same samples and analyses or more of the same types of at sea measurements in a different location or at a different time.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Would you please explain what article 20.2.4 - No Application of Open Meetings or Records Laws mean?
A.      This provision is between BP and GOMA.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Is a letter of intent (LOI) required?
A.      Yes, a LOI is required in order to submit a full proposal. If a Consortium submits a proposal but did not submit a LOI by the submission deadline, the full proposal will returned without review.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      When is the letter of intent (LOI) deadline?
A.      The deadline to submit a LOI is May 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm EDT and must be submitted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/loi-submission-form/. An LOI update must be submitted by June 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm EDT.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      What information needs to be included in the letter of intent (LOI)?
A.      Complete instructions for LOI submission can be found on the RFP-I webpage: http://griresearchboard.org/rfp/GRI_RFP_I_Instructions.pdf

The required components of the LOI are listed in the Instructions document (available for download at the above link). The LOI does not have a page limit; no formal letter or uploaded file(s) are required. The LOI form requests basic information on the proposed Consortium: Consortium Title, Director and Lead Institution, up to 20 proposed Consortium members (there is no limit to the number of collaborators included in the full proposal), estimated funding request, which Research Theme or Themes will be studied by the Consortium, and the special capabilities that the proposed Research Consortium brings to the GRI. The text field for special capabilities that the proposed Research Consortium brings to the GRI is a descriptive field with unlimited characters. The LOIs are intended to improve opportunities for collaboration between and among those interested in being participants in Consortia and to provide essential information to avoid conflicts of interest in the review process. All requested information is submitted via the web submission form http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/loi-submission-form/
There appear to be 23 steps in the LOI because of the potential to list 20 Consortium members.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      If institutions of (and subsequently the focus and structure of) a Research Consortium change between submission of a letter of intent (LOI) and full proposal submission, what actions are required (i.e., should GRI be notified of changes)? Can I modify partnerships and/or collaborations after the submission of my LOI?
A.      Yes. The LOI will be published at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/letters-of-intent/ to improve the opportunities for collaboration between and among those interested in being participants in Consortia. In order to produce robust partnership and collaborations you are free to amend your proposed partnerships in order to enhance the quality of your research efforts. An update to the LOI is required and will provide an opportunity to modify submitted information; the deadline for this is June 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST and must be submitted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/loi-update-form/
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Can I request that my letter of intent (LOI) not be published at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/letters-of-intent/?
A.      To ensure the broadest consideration of potential contributors, the identity and research foci of each proposed Consortium, as provided in a LOI, will be posted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/letters-of-intent/ in order to produce robust partnerships and collaborations. The proposed participants in a Consortium may be updated prior to submission of the proposal as noted in the Instructions for LOIs and for proposals in a later section of this RFP. All LOIs will be published.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Can you clarify "Special Capabilities" (textbox on Page 2 of the LOI). Do you intend this to be synopsis of the proposal, so that the overall objectives and approach of the proposal can be ascertained? Is there a limit on the size of this response?
A.     
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Can the lead institution change after you submit an LOI? In other words can the lead be updated with the June 6 LOI update?
A.      Yes, as long as the information is updated by June 6, LOI Update deadline.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      I made a mistake on the LOI filed. Is it possible to change this error?
A.      Each LOI applicant will have an opportunity to make corrections/update the LOI (before 9 pm EDT 6 June 2011), at this page: http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/loi-update-form/.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Where can I view the consortium that have submitted LOI's?
A.      Information regarding the submitted Letters of Intent can be found at http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/letters-of-intent/
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      If an institution has no changes to make to the original LOI submitted, is it necessary for an updated LOI to be submitted by the June 6, 2011 deadline?
A.     
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Are personnel additions/deletions/modifications allowed after the updated LOI is submitted on June 6?
A.      Yes. Please note that the purposes of the Letter of Intent and Letter of Intent Update are articulation of interest, creation of collaboration opportunities, and preparation for the peer review process. The Letter of Intent Update Form will not be considered as part of the formal review.  Only the full proposal, to be submitted by 9:00pm EDT 11 July, 2011, will be reviewed for purposes of selection and award.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      If institutions of a Research Consortium change between submission of a letter of intent (LOI) and full proposal submission, what actions are required (i.e., should GRI be notified of changes)? Can I modify partnerships and/or collaborations after the submission of my updated LOI? In other words, after the submission of the updated LOI on June 6th, are collaboration changes allowed and how should the GRI be notified of the changes?
A.      The purposes of the Letter of Intent and Letter of Intent Update are articulation of interest, creation of collaboration opportunities, and preparation for the peer review process.  The Letter of Intent Update Form will not be considered as part of the formal review.  Only the full proposal, to be submitted by 9:00pm EDT 11 July, 2011, will be reviewed for purposes of selection and award.  Collaboration changes are allowed between the submission of the LOI update and the full proposal; there is no formal mechanism to notify the GRI of these changes.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Updating the LOI is not intuitive as it does not recall the previously submitted information. For example how can we delete and or add a partner?
A.      The LOI update submission form does not auto-populate with original LOI data. If there are changes and/or additions to be made, please re-enter the full set of requested LOI information.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      Can the PI be changed in the LOI, and subsequently in the proposal? The PI is a federal employee and it will be replaced by a university professor. Please advise if this can be done.
A.      The LOI update should include any known changes to proposed Consortium members, including the proposed Consortium PI. Lead Institutions may be changed, as long as the information is updated by June 6, LOI Update deadline. The purposes of the Letter of Intent and Letter of Intent Update are articulation of interest, creation of collaboration opportunities, and preparation for the peer review process. The Letter of Intent Update Form will not be considered as part of the formal review. Only the full proposal, to be submitted by 9:00pm EDT 11 July, 2011, will be reviewed for purposes of selection and award. Collaboration changes, including a change in PI as noted in this question, are allowed between the submission of the LOI update and the full proposal; there is no formal mechanism to notify the GRI of these changes. However, changes in the Lead Institution must be updated by June 6, LOI Update deadline.
  Category:   LOI
  
Q.      When is the full proposal submission deadline?
A.      The deadline to submit a full proposal is July 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST and must be submitted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/proposal-upload-to-rb/.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      If, after submitting my proposal, I realize that it is incomplete, can I withdraw the proposal and submit a revised version?
A.      No. Following submission, a proposal cannot be withdrawn and modified for resubmission in the same RFP.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Are there specific forms to be used for the proposal?
A.      Yes. The forms can be accessed via the web at: http://griresearchboard.org/rfp/RFP-I.html
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Will the lead institution submit one proposal on behalf of all consortia, or does each institution submit an LOI and proposal through the wesbite?
A.      The lead institution of a proposed research consortium will submit one proposal.  In order for the lead institution to submit a full proposal, there must be a letter of intent (LOI) submitted by 9:00pm EDT 9 May 2011.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.     
A.      The page ranges for components of the Consortium Description are flexible; however, the maximum page limit for the Consortium Description is 35 pages and all required elements must be included.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      118 Consortia submitted LOIs. Are you also expecting 118 proposals? Or will you remove some that do not meet the requirements and advise the rest to submit proposals. It will be inefficient to request proposals from institutions that the Board knows it will not fund. If that is the case, do you expect to notify those institutions?
A.      There will be no selection process of proposed Consortia until after full proposals are submitted, thus every proposed Research Consortium that submitted a LOI is welcome to submit a full proposal for review.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Is it possible to submit a Current and Pending Support document for the PI in Excel spread sheet format? The file would include all the items in the template. Our institution uses this format when we submit to NSF and all other government agencies.
A.      In order for consistency during review, please use the templates that were indicated in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      The 2-page CV has no instructions on it suggesting a minimum content. Some FAQs indicate that the NSF format will be used, while others will not. The NSF format has a place for conflicts of interest, for example, which the review team will need to consider before sending to reviewers. Is there some additional guidance about the content categories that are expected?
A.      There is not a standard format or template for the biographical sketches of key personnel. Please include information as you deem appropriate, within the two-page limit.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Is there anyone to contact or any formal process to follow if an LOI is withdrawn and a proposal is not submitted?
A.      Please send an email to info@gulfresearchinitiative.org to officially withdraw your LOI (or LOI update). Be sure to include the LOI submission number.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Another problem with the templates: If there is more then one page using the same template, the form fields are named the same and will over write in all the pages that use that template regardless of what the name of the file is. The only way around this is to create pdf portfolios when combining all the pages. Is this what you meant us to do?
A.      In order to insert or merge templates with the same form fields (the Current and Pending Template, for example) into your proposal, you will need to flatten the form fields of each template after you have completed it. To do this in Adobe Reader, print the file to the PDF driver and re-save. In Adobe Acrobat, choose Flatten Form Fields under the Advanced Tab, PDF Optimizer, Discard Objects.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      There is not enough room on the Current and Pending Support form to put in full proposal titles. They scroll off the page. What should we do?
A.      RFP-I templates have been updated to correct this issue. Please re-download them at: http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      On version 3 of the current and pending support form, the last section on the page will not let me enter the Total Award Period Covered information. Some of the PI's in our group are just leaving this section blank and moving on to a second page. Is this acceptable or is there a way to fix that field?
A.      This is an error in the form. It has been fixed and re-posted here: http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      In our planned budget, some Consortium members will get >$100k and some <$100k per year. Do we need a separate budget sheet for EVERY co-PI, or just the institution (if multiple co-PIs from that institution), or just those co-PIs receiving >$100k?
A.      As described in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions, please submit a separate budget for each participating institution (with a single co-PI or multiple co-PIs) where a sub-award exceeds $100,000 per year.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Should we list this proposal as a pending proposal on our current and pending support forms?
A.      Yes. This follows NSF practice.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      I am a sub-award with an annual dollar amount of over $100K/per year. Do fill out one budget template combining the 3 years and one combined 2-page budget justification? Instructions say "Submit a separate budget and budget justification (two-page limit) for each participating institution in cases where the sub-award exceeds $100K per year." And the Lead Institution would need to do the budget template for each year, with a separate justification after each yearly template, correct?
A.      For subawards exceeding $100,000 per year, please fill out an annual budget template for each of the three years where the subaward exceeds $100,000. Lead institutions should provide an annual budget and justification for each of the three years of proposed research.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      When compiling our complete application package, is there a specific order we should adhere to when uploading the lead organization and consortium partners' budgets, justifications, and indirect cost rate agreements? For example, should all the budgets be presented together, followed by all the justifications and IDC agreements; or should we group these documents together for each institution?
A.     
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      What is meant by "derivatives" in the bullet: Policies and provisions for re-use, distribution, and the production of derivatives" in the section f of the Consortium description on page 4 of the GRI_RFP_Instructions. Please define "derivatives".
A.      Derivatives, as used on page 4 of the  RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions, is meant to include any data products developed from raw data.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      I do not see a template for the institutional letter of collaboration. Where can I find this form?
A.      Letters of support or collaboration as seem to be indicated by this question may not be submitted. Please refer to the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions for details on required sections of the full proposal. We recognize that as part of their own internal procedures, institutions may require this of their collaborators. The proposals responding to RFP-I will have formal budgets for funded collaborators and are required to set forth in the body of the proposal the arrangements for collaborations within a consortium, as noted in RFP-I and the instructions for proposals. There is no place in the RFP-I process and the proposal itself for "letters of support/Collaboration" for entities not directly involved with the consortium's proposed research.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      What action will the GRI Research Board take if a section of the proposal exceeds the page limit specifications?
A.      If a section exceeds the page limit specified in the RFP-1 Instructions, the proposal will be deemed ineligible and will be administratively withdrawn without review. The applicant will not be given an opportunity to resubmit a shortened/modified version.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.     
A.      The 35 page limit applies to the Consortium Description. The Facilities, Equipment, Ship Time and Other Resources synopsis should be 1 page in length, as indicated in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.     
A.      Key investigators who are faculty, research faculty, and post doctoral researchers are required to complete the Current and Pending Support form.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      There are several institutions, such as Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association, and the Harte Research Institute, taking on roles of data management, outreach and education, and synthesis. Is there more specific information on what they will be doing so that proposal preparers will know what is available from these groups versus what they should be proposing with their consortia under these topics?
A.      Please refer to the Publication, Data, and Intellectual Property Section of the RFP-I, the bottom of page 17 to top page 18. The GRI Research Database will be created and managed by the GRI AU. Research Consortia will be required to adhere to all GRI data policies.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Can letters of support be submitted and, if so, do they count towards the page limit?
A.      Letters of support may not be submitted. Please refer to the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions for details on required sections of the full proposal.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      A previous FAQ on the statement of participation in multiple Consortia only says it should be in the body of each proposal. Should this be in the Narrative Description of Supplementary Objectives or elsewhere?
A.      The Narrative Description of the Approach, within the Consortium Description, should specify the lead role of each consortium member institution in each research topic/goal area, which members of the consortium will be working on each sub-topic (or sub-project) within the proposed activities and the number of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students involved in each sub-topic (or sub-project).  This could be illustrated with a table of partnerships, as described in Appendix B of the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions. If consortium participants are proposing to participate in multiple research consortia, this should be noted and addressed in the Narrative Description of the Management Plan for the Consortium and also included in their current and pending support forms.
A.      The Narrative Description of the Approach, within the Consortium Description, should specify the lead role of each consortium member institution in each research topic/goal area, which members of the consortium will be working on each sub-topic (or sub-project) within the proposed activities and the number of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students involved in each sub-topic (or sub-project).  This could be illustrated with a table of partnerships, as described in Appendix B of the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Weblinks to proposal illustrations The rfp states that captions on figures can direct the reader to a digital file of the image. Is there a central server where these images can be loaded? Or can we give a link pointing to a departmental or other website at our own campus?
A.      The images should be included in the single PDF proposal. The RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions encourage applicants to annotate their figure legend if color is an important aspect because reviewers may print the proposal in black and white. Reviewers will have access to the electronic PDF, so they can view the figure electronically for the color.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.     
A.      In the table of partnerships, please specify the lead role of each consortium member institution in each research topic/goal area, which members of the consortium will be working on each sub-topic (or sub-project) within the proposed activities and the number of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students involved in each sub-topic (or sub-project). If an investigator is located at a institution that is not a consortium member, please indicate that the institution is affiliated.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Are letters of commitment required for any personnel (PI, Co-PIs, collaborators, affiliates, etc.) for this applications?
A.      Letters of commitment are not required for any personnel. Please refer to the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions for details on required sections of the full proposal.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      The reporting requirements are not clearly defined in the RFP. The only mention of required reports that I could identify is found in the Master Research Agreement. What will the reporting requirements be (i.e., quarterly, annually) for proposals chosen for awards?
A.     
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      The Cover Sheet Template only allows room for 12 co-PIs and the Lead PI. However there are more than 12 institutions involved, so the Steering Committee (up to 20 PIs/institutions) will include more than those listed on the Cover Page. How do we include someone from each institution on the cover? Also, the proposal instructions state that C&P forms are only needed from those listed on the cover page of the proposal, which means some of the major co-PIs will not need to submit them?
A.      If your proposed consortium has more than 12 collaborating institutions, please use a second cover sheet to include the additional co-PIs.  In order to insert or merge multiple Cover Page Templates into your proposal, you will need to flatten the form fields of each Cover Page Template after you have completed it. To do this in Adobe Reader, print the file to the PDF driver and re-save. In Adobe Acrobat, choose Flatten Form Fields under the Advanced Tab, PDF Optimizer, Discard Objects. Please include Current and Pending forms for each PI and co-PI listed on the cover sheet(s).
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      On page 5 of the GRI_RFP_Instructions under the Narrative Description of the Data Management Objectives, what is meant by the statement "It is essential that provision be made that video data tagged with appropriate information be included in the data submission". Is this indicating that any video data submitted to the archive be appropriately tagged? Or is this referring to an additional type of video data?
A.     
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Details to include in subaward proposals.  The level of detail in my sub proposals varies substantially institution to institution. Some are limited to little more than budget, justification and signatures. Others have lengthy statements of work, methods, etc.  Can these "extensive" sub proposals be included or should the critical text be included in the 35 page limit and only the fiscal matters included with Budget and Justification in the final full proposal submission?
A.     
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Given the broad scope of our research, a 5 page reference section is not adequate. Is it permissible to use an abbreviated citation listing, such as that used in AAAS's Science (where the article title is not listed)?
A.      All references must include the full citation, including article title as described in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions. Only essential references need to be cited.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      What expenditures will the awarded funds support?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      What indirect cost rate will GRI allow?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      If we need ship time, will there be a dedicated vessel in the Gulf for the purposes of this research, or do we need to negotiate with individual ship operators to ascertain availability?
A.      You need to negotiate with individual ship operators and provide the information and costs in your Consortium proposal and budget. At the time of Consortia selection and execution of grants, the Research Board may facilitate coordination of ship use to maximize effectiveness for research and simultaneously reduce costs to the extent practicable (without jeopardizing achieving the objectives of the funded research).
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      May a PI lease some equipment under this RFP, and if so, what are the budget constraints, if any, for these leases?
A.      Yes,  if the equipment needs to be leased, all costs should be clearly stated in the proposal budget and justification provided in the proposal.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Some "equipment" is expendable, such as XBTs. Are these allowable costs?
A.      Yes. Expenses such as these need to be included under supplies and small expendable equipment.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The RFP discusses a potential 3 year plan at a range of $1-7.5M/consortium/year. The response to the LOI reminds us to adhere to the guidelines of $1-7.5M per proposal. Does that mean we should only prpose a budget for the first year, and that should be reflected in the LOI "Total Cost"?
A.      The total funds available for distribution to Research Consortia through RFP-I will be a minimum of $37.5 million per year.  Four to eight Research Consortia will be selected, and funding for each is estimated to be between $1 million (minimum) and $7.5 million (maximum) per year.  The estimated funding request included for the LOI should be a total request for 3 years.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Is there any limitation on the percentage of the overall budget that can be allocated to a consortium member who is not located in a Gulf state?
A.      No, there is no limitation on the percentage of the overall budget that can be allocated to a consortium member who is not located in a Gulf state.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Our university has a federally negotiated rate of 43% modified total direct costs. In this indirect calculation, we can charge our full indirect rate on the first $25,000 of each subaward.
A.      The GRI expects that the lead institution of a research consortium will pass through funding for sub-awards without applying the lead institution's overhead rate. However, the GRI is prepared to accept the normal NSF practice of paying ON-CAMPUS rate on the first $25,000.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      In the Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions, it is stated that no duplication of overhead for subcontracts is allowed. When we, as a university, include subcontracts in funding proposals, the total funds requested by the subcontractor include overhead fees applied per their institutional policies.
A.      The GRI expects that the lead institution of a research consortium will pass through funding for sub-awards without applying the lead institution's overhead rate. However, the GRI is prepared to accept the normal NSF practice of paying ON-CAMPUS rate on the first $25,000.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.     
A.      The anticipated start date is 1 September 2011, with the understanding that consortium could negotiate a 90-day pre-award period during the grant negotiations. Year 2 funding will be 12 months in duration, as well as years 3 and 4. Note, however, that the second and third years of funding (year 3 and year 4 of the GRI) are subject to adequate progress on the proposed research and to all of the stipulations noted in the RFP-I.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      If you do have subcontracts over $100,000 do they fill out the budget form provided or their own spreadsheet?
A.      For each subcontract over $100,000 per year, submit a separate budget form [ http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/RFP-I-Annual-Budget-Template-V2.pdf ] and justification.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The RFP indicates that a budget is required for each year of the project. Is a cumulative budget also required?
A.      Provide an annual budget for each of the three years of proposed research (http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Annual-Budget-Template.pdf).  The cumulative funding is included in the cover page (http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Cover-Page-Template1.pdf).
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The proposed consortia are to be large, complex, multi-institutional consortia, subject to unusually demanding management responsibilities, very similar to a NOAA Sea Grant Institutional proposal, where a separate management budget contains allowed charges above and beyond those recovered through normal institutional F&A rates. Will any of these additional administrative functions that will be provided by the Lead Research Institution of the Research Consortium be reimbursable as direct charges?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Two questions have addressed the issue of "duplication of indirects on subcontracts."  The posted responses stated "GRI is prepared to accept the normal NSF practice of paying off-campus rate on the first $25,000." However, this is not normal NSF practice--normal NSF practice is to allow for ON-campus F&A to be charged by the lead institution on the first $25k of each subcontract. This is in line with standard language in federally-negotiated F&A rate agreements.
A.      We apologize, we used the term "Off-Campus" by mistake and inappropriately. The correct answer is that we expect the use of normal NSF practice of ON-CAMPUS F&A for the first $25,000 of a subcontract to another organization/institution and the organization or institution receiving the subcontract would apply its normal F&A for allowable costs in the subcontract that they receive.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The Preparation and Submission Instructions state that a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement should be included in the proposal as supporting documentation. Should we include only the rate agreement for the lead institution or should we include rate agreements for the lead institution and each sub-award?
A.      Please include a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement for the main budget and each subcontract over $100,000 per year.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Does the budget proposed in the LOI constrain at all the final budget proposed in the full proposal?
A.      The budget provided in the LOI and LOI update are estimates only and do not constrain the budget included in the full proposal.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      As a Co-PI submitting a proposal for this initiative, I do not know if my budget needs to be authorized (by Office of Contracts and Grants/Dean's approval), or if the information provided in the budget form is the only requirement needed.
A.      For the purposes of the GRI proposal review, the budget template form is required (along with the budget justification as described in Section A.6 of the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions). Individual institutions may require inclusion of additional budget information.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      In the LOI, there was one item in which one was asked to input the amount of funds requested. Is this the total amount or the amount per year?   Our group understood that this was per year instead of the total amount. Is there a possibility to rectify the actual amount in the proposal?
A.      In the LOI, the information requested was the estimated total funding request. The budget provided in the LOI and LOI update are estimates only and do not constrain the budget included in the full proposal. Please follow the directions in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions for submitting the budget as part of your full proposal.
A.      In the LOI, the information requested was the estimated total funding request.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.     
A.      Thank you for raising these issues. The template will be adjusted and available for download at http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-i/submission-forms-and-templates/
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Do I need to get a quote for new equipment costing over $10,000? If yes, how many quotes?
A.      Follow your organization's normal purchase policy for quotes for equipment valued in excess of $10,000. Be sure to state in the proposal why the equipment is needed and is not available by other means than to purchase (i.e., is not available in your Consortia or organizations). If your proposal is selected for funding the Research Board may request some further clarification before approving the budget.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      On page 14 of the RFP it states that we need to include costs for an initial coordination meeting and annual two-day meetings "in anticipation of selection and authorization of the following year's funded activities." This suggests two annual meetings of this type, after years 1 and 2. Will there be a further meeting at the end of the three-year period of the proposal for which we need to cover costs?
A.      Yes. There will be a meeting each year and the PIs should budget funds for attending an annual meeting at the end of the three-year period in addition to the annual meetings during the project. Annual meetings are currently scheduled for January 2013 and each January following.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      On the budget template, how do we list salary info for more than 6 senior/key personnel?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Is faculty release time an allowable cost? If so, where should it be included in the budget template?
A.      Yes, faculty release time is an allowable cost. Within the budget template, please mark faculty release time under the calendar or academic months column depending on the schedule your institution follows and note with an asterisk that this is faculty release time. Please also note this in the budget justification.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      We submitted an LOI for X amount. We then realized we made a mistake in interpreting the budget information. We know that we need at least twice as much to conduct the research we proposed. We have been told that the difference between the LOI budget and the Proposal budget cannot be more than 5%. Please indicate if this is correct.
A.      In the LOI, the information requested was the estimated total funding request. The budget provided in the LOI and LOI update are estimates only and do not constrain the budget included in the full proposal. Please follow the directions in the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions for submitting the budget as part of your full proposal.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      If participating as a for-profit institution, which does not have a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, is there a maximum allowed rate (or alternatively an approved standard indirect rate) that can be used?
A.      If a for profit organization does not have an indirect cost rate agreement, then the organization must submit the following with their cost proposal:  Copy of 1) actual indirect rate to be validated by 2) financial statements  and 3) copy of FY12 projected rate and assumptions used if the FY12 rate differs from FY11 rate.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      In the discussion about the annual two day meetings, the FAQ indicates the first meeting is scheduled for 'January 2013 and each January following'. This would mean the first annual meeting would happen in the middle of year 2. Since the annual meeting is anticipation of the following year's activity - I wonder if the first meeting is actually January 2012?
A.      There will be an initial organizational meeting in October 2011, which will be limited to a representative from each of the Year 1 GRI-funded consortium and a representative from each of the newly funded Year 2 consortium. Subsequent annual meetings will be held once per year beginning January 2013.  The annual meeting will be a scientific meeting to allow those funded under the GRI and others to present the results of their research.  We anticipate that this meeting will develop into a major Gulf of Mexico science meeting and not just a report from the GRI- funded PIs.  Information about the annual meeting was provided to allow consortia to budget accordingly.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The budget template request information on the cognizant federal agency. It is assumed that this is referring to the agency with which an organization has negotiated an indirect cost rate. Our organization has attempted to negotiate an IDC through NSF. However, we were informed that our organization has not received federal funding meeting minimum NSF requirements to negotiate an IDC rate.
A.      If an organization does not have an indirect cost rate agreement, then the organization must submit the following with their cost proposal: Copy of 1) actual indirect rate to be validated by financial statements  and 2) copy of FY12 projected rate and assumptions used if the FY12 rate differs from FY11 rate. This does not affect the eligibility for the GRI RFP-I.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The instructions for proposal submission asks to "Include a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement as supporting documentation". If we have non-US institutions, or for-profit US companies as partners, what do they need to submit?
A.      If, for any reason, an organization does not have an indirect cost rate agreement, then the organization must submit the following with their cost proposal: Copy of 1) actual indirect rate to be validated by financial statements, and 2) copy of FY12 projected rate and assumptions used if the FY12 rate differs from FY11 rate.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Several of the budget FAQs refer to the "RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions." Where is the "RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions" located?
A.      Please find the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions here: http://www.gulfresearchinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/RFPI_Instructions.pdf.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The Instruction states that "Administrative support should be provided from the overhead, unless specific exceptions are requested and accepted through the review and contract process." Does this mean that we (even the Lead Institution) can not budget for a secretary to assist with the project management?
A.      If a proposing consortium determines that additional administrative support (beyond what is covered by overhead) is necessary, then the proposing consortium should note this in the budget and budget justification as a specific exception.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      In order to attract and retain high quality experts as members of our Science/Industry Advisory Board members, we would like to be able to reimburse these individuals for their travel expense to our yearly meeting. Is that an allowable expense? How about offering them honorarium? If so, what is the ceiling? Thanks.
A.      The need for an Advisory Board should be justified appropriately in the proposal. Travel expenses for an Advisory Board are allowable as long as these are reasonable expenses and consistent with what would be reimbursed for individuals traveling on U.S. federal (e.g. NSF) funded grants. Honoraria should be reasonable and consistent with Lead Institution Policies for such Advisory Boards. As noted in the RFP-I Section VI 9.0, the Research Board may elect to award a grant for any, all, or none of the proposed activities in any given proposal.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The instructions say the subcontractor budget justification is limited to two pages. Is the budget justification for the Lead Institution's Main Budget also limited to two pages?
A.      There is not a page limit specified for the budget justification of the Lead Institution.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Can "Research Staff" be from institutions outside the consortium?
A.      Research staff can be from consortium members or they may be affiliated individuals. The relationship should be described in the proposal in terms of how the consortium will ensure that the individual(s) will adhere to all the provisions in the grant if the consortium is chosen for funding.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.     
A.      There is no limit to the number of co-PIs per institution. There can be co-PIs from the same institution as the PI (Lead Investigator). For the purposes of the Consortium Governance, there is a need for a Steering Committee for the Consortium that is led by the Lead Investigator at the Lead Institution and that, as a minimum, has at least one co-PI representative of participating institutions other than the Lead Institution. See Governance and Administration of the Research Consortia in the RFP (bottom page 13 to top of page 15).
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      Do private sector subcontractors need to be named before the June 6th date as part of the consortium's Updated LOI Information?
A.      All identified collaborators and subcontractors should be included in the LOI update, due 9:00PM EDT, 6 June 2011.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      What is meant by Research Consortium governance?
A.      At a minimum, each Research Consortium should have a lead PI who is Director of the Research Consortium and a Steering Committee of co-PIs (one from each collaborating institution) to serve as a governance team for the Research Consortium. The PI and the Steering Committee should be world-class leaders in their fields of research who are also skilled in research leadership and management. Since many of the co-investigators may be located at other sites, the Steering Committee must be able to establish a governance structure for integrating across institutions and projects, managing personnel, resolving conflict, implementing safety requirements and meeting reporting requirements.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution/Steering Committee
  
Q.      What is the Lead Research Institution?
A.     
  Category:   Lead Research Institution/Steering Committee
  
Q.      Can proposals involving many of the same research institutions, but with different Lead Research Institutions, be submitted (i.e., mainly the same institutions but with one lead for one project and another lead for a second, differently focused project)?
A.      Yes. However, the PIs (Directors of the Consortia) in the case cited should not be the same.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution/Steering Committee
  
Q.      Could you please indicate if an industrially funded federal research laboratory based in the Gulf of Mexico that meets all the criteria outlined in the RFP, and which by definition is a non-profit organization lead a Consortium?
A.     
  Category:   Lead Research Institution/Steering Committee
  
Q.     
A.      The Steering Committee is an essential component of the Consortium Management Team and is made up of co-investigators and chaired by the Lead Investigator (PI). There is no intention to have the Steering Committee be an external advisory committee. The Management Team could include other qualified individuals in addition to the Lead PI and the Steering Committee depending on the size and complexity of the Consortium and the intended research. That is the intent of the the Instructions for Proposals Section II.A.4.g which calls for a clear description of the management team which must include the Lead Investigator (PI) and Steering Committee as a minimum . The RFP-I section III, "Structure of the Research Consortia" section on Governance and Administration of the Research Consortia (page 13 bottom to top page 15) should be consulted for further and definitive guidance.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution/Steering Committee
  
Q.     
A.      A list of recent collaborators is not part of the required sections of the full proposal, as described in Section II.A of the RFP-I Preparation and Submission Instructions. If information on recent collaborators is an important part of your proposal, please include this information as part of each biographical sketch without exceeding the two-page limit.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      How large will Research Consortium awards be?
A.      The estimated minimum annual funding for a Research Consortium will be $1 million and the estimated maximum annual funding will be $7.5 million. The level of funding for each Research Consortium is expected to be different, concomitant with the requirements of the research to be performed.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      What is the duration of a Research Consortium award?
A.     
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      How many Research Consortium grants will be awarded?
A.      The Research Board expects to award between four and eight Research Consortium grants.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      How much funding is available for GRI activities?
A.      The annual funding level for all GRI activities is expected to be $50 million per year. The total funds available for distribution to Research Consortia through RFP-I will be a minimum of $37.5 million per year. Four to eight Research Consortia will be selected, and funding for each is estimated to be between $1 million (minimum) and $7.5 million (maximum) per year. The total funds available for distribution through RFP-II will be a maximum of $7.5 million per year; and funding for each is estimated to be between $100,000 (minimum) and $1 million (maximum) per year.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      Who will handle grant administration?
A.      As described in the GRI Master Research Agreement (MRA), BP will transmit funds to a third party non-profit entity (the Grant Unit) for distribution to the Research Consortia, and the Grant Unit will enter into grant agreements with the Lead Research Institution of each Research Consortia.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      What is the timeline for the selection process once proposals have been submitted?
A.      The announcement of Research Consortia funded in response to RFP-I will be made on or before August 30, 2011.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      Will there be funding continuations?
A.     
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      The RFP says "This RFP, designated RFP I, is devoted to the selection of Research Consortia for GRI Years 2 4 (1 June 2011 31 May 2014)." This implies a June to May annual budget cycle, but the proposal review will not be done until the end of August. The start and end dates used in budgets affects our salary lines, and other items. What is the start of the Year 1 funding cycle?
A.      Submit as if there is a September 1, 2011 start date and the final start date for selected proposals will be negotiated at the time of award, but as soon thereafter September 1, 2011 as practicable.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      Audit - The statement made in this clause says "both the Parties and the Research Board shall have the right, at their own expense and upon reasonable notice, to examine at reasonable intervals and during the regular business hours all research documentation and any other books, records and data relating to this Agreement or any Approved Research Projects."
A.     
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      I have an international co-PI whose institution has to abide by the laws of the country they are in. Once the award has been granted, will the GRI representatives be able to accommodate international legal criteria? Otherwise there is no point in having international participation.
A.      Any Research Consortium, research institution, or co-investigator that receives funding, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, under the GRI is subject to and must comply with the terms and conditions of the GRI MRA. While funding from the GRI is open to the international community, all investigators are subject to the terms and conditions in the MRA. The GRI MRA is available at http://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/pdfs/Gulf_of_Mexico_Research_Initiative_Master.pdf
  Category:   Awards and Contracting (GRI AU)
  
Q.      What is the GRI Master Research Agreement?
A.      On March 14, 2011, BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (the Alliance is a non-profit entity formed by the Governors of the five Gulf Coastal States) entered into the GRI Master Research Agreement (MRA). The GRI MRA creates the structure for the GRI, the selection and distribution of grants from the GRI, as well as the funding, conduct, and oversight of research in furtherance of the purposes of the GRI. Any Research Consortium, research institution, or co-investigator that receives funding, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, under the GRI is subject to and must comply with the terms and conditions of the GRI MRA. The GRI MRA is available at http://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/pdfs/Gulf_of_Mexico_Research_Initiative_Master.pdf.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      How will research results be shared?
A.      The work carried out under the auspices of the GRI is for the purpose of advancing knowledge and is expected to be published in peer-reviewed journals with excellent reputations. By accepting funding under the GRI, each Research Consortium, research institution and co-investigator agrees to be bound by all terms and conditions of the GRI Master Research Agreement (MRA), including the Intellectual Property and Publications Policy of the GRI.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      As a government institution, state law limits the kind of indemnity my university can provide -- can you describe the indemnity required by Section 12 of the MRA?
A.      While the MRA requires broad indemnities for research conducted under the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, government entities must only provide an indemnity up to the maximum authorized by state law -- no indemnity is required over the permissible legal amount.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      Research Consortia may generally disclose information regarding their Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative grants -- indeed, this information will also be available to the public on the GRI website.  In addition, Research Consortia are required to publish the results of their GRI research.  Research Consortia must have prior permission to use the Gulf of Mexico Alliance or BP trademarks or logos, and must follow certain other restrictions, as set forth in their grant agreements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      This section governs how disagreements are handled between BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.  Grant agreements will address resolution of disputes involving Research Consortia or their members.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      The MRA states in Section 17 that it is governed by Delaware law -- but our institution cannot enter into contracts governed by the laws of another state.  How should we handle this?
A.      This section describes the state law that applies to the MRA only -- Research Consortia are subject to the governing law set forth in their GRI grant agreements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      It appears that FFRDCs will not, by policy, provide any indemnification for WFO (Work For Others). Section 12 of the MRA describes an extensive flow-through indemnity requirement. So while the RFP calls for FFRDC participation in RCs, the MRA includes a requirement that essentially excludes FFRDC participation. Is there a remedy for this conflict?
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      In the MRA, the second half of Section 2.9 appears to potentially disqualify any public university that is subject to open records requests under the Freedom of Information Act. What does this section really mean?
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      Referencing the Master Research Agreement (MRA), Sections 2.4 through 2.6, and a separate statement from the MRA that grant and sub-grant agreements shall incorporate the terms of the GRI MRA, please clarify what the payment terms are for incurred costs by the Lead Institution and its Consortium partners.
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      Capital equipment generally refers items that if purchased, may cost over $10,000, and, thereby, be described as capital expenditures. Capital expenditures not considered part of the GRI budget generally refer to large infrastructure items like ships, autonomous underwater vehicles or laboratories. Equipment over the price of $10,000 is considered capital equipment.  Any consortium wanting to use capital equipment must attempt to obtain this equipment from other members of the consortium, other consortia, or lease as necessary.  If this equipment cannot be obtained as explained above; then the equipment must appear as a capital expenditure in a line item budget with justification for the consortium and be evaluated by the Research Board.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      We recognize that related research may be funded by two or more funding sources. However, the same research project (e.g., a field survey for specific data and sample collection, or the same experiment testing a specific hypothesis, or the same numerical model run) should not be funded by both (i.e., double-funded) this GRI RFP-I and other sources of funding.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      If the funded consortium has a question about a change in direction that they believe might be viewed as a significant change in the direction of the research, they should bring it to the attention of the Research Board. In this situation, it is better to ask for permission rather than ask for forgiveness.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      The qualification statement is so noted and may be addressed within the terms and conditions of the Research Consortium agreement.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      The 6-year retention requirement is for financial records and books of account; the 3-yr minimum retention requirement following project expiration is for all documentation of the funded research project.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      Section 15 is the dispute resolution clause between BP and GOMA (the Parties); provisions for dispute resolution clauses between the Grants Unit and Lead Institution or Consortium and Consortium members should be addressed in their respective agreements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      Section 16 is the termination clause between BP and GOMA; provisions for Consortia or Consortia member to terminate should be addressed in their respective agreements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      At the time of assignment of any non-elected subject matter, the parties may consider entering into an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual license to the Research Institution only to use the non-elected subject matter for research and educational purposes, provided that BP retains an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual license, with the right to extend the license to its affiliated entities and each of its and their respective commercial or research collaborators, to make, have made, sell, offer to sell, import, reproduce, distribute, perform, display, prepare derivative works, and otherwise use and have used improvements made to the non-elected subject made by the Research Institution.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      If during the Exclusive Negotiation period the Research Institution believes that a Definitive License Agreement is subject to Internal Revenue Code Sections 103(b)(1), 141 or 145, then the Institution will notify BP and validate with certified financial statements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      In some instances, certain background intellectual property may be required to use or practice an Invention developed under the program.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.     
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.     
A.      Intellectual property and licensing rights, for example, remain in effect after expiration or termination of the Funding and any Grant Agreements.
  Category:   Master Research Agreement
  
Q.      What is the GRI Research Board?
A.      The GRI Research Board has 20 members, 10 appointed by BP and 2 recommended by the Governor of each of the five Gulf Coast States and appointed by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The Research Board operates as an independent entity. Information on the membership of the Research Board can be found at http://griresearchboard.org/about/board-membership.html.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      What is the difference between RFP-I and RFP-II?
A.      RFP-I is only requesting proposals submitted by Research Consortia (four (4) or more collaborating institutions). RFP-II will request proposals from individual or collaborative efforts (up to 3 partnering institutions) and will focus on projects involving less money and less internal management than a Research Consortium. RFP-II will be issued at a later date.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      How can I submit inquiries regarding this RFP?
A.      Inquiries can be submitted via the web at: http://griresearchboard.org/faq/
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      Could you tell me when the RFP-II will be announced?
A.      At the present, a date for the release of RFP-II has not been finalized. Please continue to visit griresearchboard.org for updates and announcements from the GRI Research Board.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      We have been told that there is a form to be filled out and a waiting list to request oil (MC252). We need to obtain oil to conduct exposure experiments.  We would appreciate any information you have on how to go about requesting BP oil.
A.      BP has a tiered approach in responding to requests for oil samples.

BP will determine if:
1. Analytical data from Mississippi Canyon 252 oil is sufficient for the needs of the researcher

2. A surrogate oil - another light Louisiana crude - would work (especially if the request is for a large volume of oil)

3. MC252 oil is absolutely necessary for the needs of the researcher

All requests from interested researchers should be directed to Mike R. Green (mike.green2@bp.com), Reference Oil Request Manager. The Reference Oil Request team will respond to researchers and work with the researchers to determine which option will meet their needs.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      What type of database software/technology will be utilized by the GRI Administrative Unit to create the full and coherent database accessible to all scientists, policy makers and public?
A.      No one database or technology will be suitable for holding all the various types of data that will be submitted.  A mix of technologies will be required to best accommodate each data type; industry standard and open source solutions will be used where best applicable.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      Does the GRI AU want raw unanalyzed or analyzed data submitted to the public database and what is the expected minimum time delay for data submission?
A.     
  Category:   GRI/Research Board
  
Q.      Would funding be considered federal for the purposes of gaining approval for access to medicare/medicaid records?
A.      Funding for GRI is not federal funding.
  Category:   GRI/Research Board