Q.      Does a Research Consortium proposal have to address all five research themes listed in the RFP?
A.      No, each Research Consortium proposal is expected to develop and enunciate a clear plan to address any one of these themes or a cross-disciplinary program of work involving a grouping of some of these topics. The GoMRI Research Board encourages potential applicants to consider focusing on their strengths, rather than attempting to cover all research themes included in the RFP. Potential consortia should focus on the quality of the proposed research, rather than quantity, and demonstrate clear knowledge of advances in the field to date.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      What research themes are to be addressed by the Research Consortium proposals?
A.     
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      Is my specific research topic applicable to the goals of the GoMRI Research Themes?
A.      Research Board policy is to not prejudge proposal ideas so as to not displace the role of the peer review process or give competitive advantage to any applicant.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      Where can our consortium obtain oil (like the Macondo crude spilled during the Deepwater Horizon blowout) and Corexit?
A.      You can learn more about how to request MC252 and surrogates here: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/forum/environmental-samples/information-for-requesting-oil-samples-for-research/.
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      Where can I find more information about GoMRI's Research Theme 5?
A.     
  Category:   Research Themes
  
Q.      For the full proposal, are letters of intent/collaboration required from subcontractors or partner institutions
A.      As stated in RFP-IV, "[i]nclusion of personnel, facilities, equipment,vessels, experimental and standards materials and other resources in the proposal is considered verification that all are available," therefore, letters of intent/collaboration are not required and should not be included in the proposal. GoMRI recognizes that as part of their internal procedures, institutions may require letters of support or collaboration of their collaborators.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      From whom do you want Current and Pending?
A.      Per page 15 of the RFP, please submit Current and Pending support information for the Consortium Director and co-PIs only.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      When is the full proposal submission deadline?
A.      The deadline to submit a full proposal is June 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm ET and must be submitted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-iv/rfp-iv-submission-forms-templates/rfp-iv-full-proposal-submission-form/.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Is there anyone to contact or any formal process to follow if a pre-proposal is withdrawn and a proposal is not submitted?
A.      Please send an email to info@gulfresearchinitiative.org to officially withdraw your pre-proposal. Be sure to include the pre-proposal submission number.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Should the proposed project be included on the Current and Pending form?
A.      Yes. This follows NSF practice.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      When listing the proposed project on a Current and Pending Support form, should the "total award amount" equal the total amount of the proposed project, or only the amount the investigator has budgetary authority over?
A.      Please indicate the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including indirect costs).
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Are budgets, biosketches, and Current and Pending Support forms required for "designated institutional representatives" at entities that are not considered to be a "partner" institution in the consortium?
A.      Please provide an annual budget for each of the one to three years of proposed research, as well as an overview, summary budget. A detailed budget should include information on sub-agreements, regardless of whether the sub-agreement is with a partner institution. This information should be entered under Line 5 ("Subawards/Contractual Costs") under Total Participant/Trainee Support Costs on the budget form. However, biographical sketches and Current and Pending Support information are only required for the Consortium Director and co-PIs. This should include titles, amounts, funding source, duration of the award, and amount of time allocated to the effort.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      When will the RFP-IV proposal submission Web site be available?
A.      The RFP-IV full proposal submission site will be available beginning May 15, 2014.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      For the full proposal, will prescribed conflict of interest disclosure forms be required as part of the application materials submitted to the GoMRI Administrative Unit, or is an institution's established procedures for compliance with Federal and State conflict of interest regulations sufficient for RFP-IV?
A.      Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms will not be required as part of the application/proposal materials. These disclosures will be required as part of the award negotiation for selected proposals. For reference, you can view the GoMRI Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form here: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/GoMRI_RFP-II-Conflict-of-Interest-Template_V2.pdf.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Does the Collaborators Roles template belong with Section 8c (Personnel) or in Section 4b (Narrative Project Description, Approach)?
A.      The Collaborators Roles template may either be submitted in Section 8c (Personnel) or in Section 4b (Narrative Project Description, Approach).
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Should the lead institution be included in the table of partnerships on the Collaborator Roles template?
A.      The lead institution may or may not be included in the Collaborator Roles table.
  Category:   Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Should the regional and national outreach efforts funded directly by GoMRI (such as Sea Grant, Smithsonian and or GoMRI documentary) be included in the outreach plans for RFP-IV proposals?
A.     
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Can we add a table of commonly used acronyms to the Table of Contents?
A.      Do not include any materials not specifically asked for in the proposal instructions, this includes a table of acronyms. Full proposals containing items other than those described in the proposal instructions, missing required sections, exceeding the page limitations, or that do not address the research theme(s) will be returned without review.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Under 2. Full Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Full Proposal, Data Management Requirements (4.D), the RFP states that we must describe "standards to be used for data and metadata format and content." How does GoMRI define metadata??
A.      GoMRI Data Management is described at the link: https://data.gulfresearchinitiative.org/data-management. The referenced GoMRI Data Management Plan (DMP) Template Section IV refers to "Data and Metadata Standards."
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Is there a required format for the references cited section of the proposal?
A.      Please follow the Science Reference Style, which includes title, for citations: http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/contribinfo/prep/res/refs.xhtml#general. Applicants must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. This section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the Project Description.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Regarding Data Certification Compliance; can an applicant provide a single certification for all consortia members regarding data compliance or does each individual have to provide a statement?
A.      Paragraph 10 on Page 15 of RFP-IV states that "Applicants who have received previous GoMRI funding...must provide a statement that clearly demonstrates that the applicant is in compliance with GoMRI's data policies at the time of submission of the full proposal." A blanket statement to cover all members of the new consortium who have previously received GoMRI funding is sufficient, provided the statement is factual. While such statements will be administratively reviewed, PIs are encouraged to include evidence that such a statement is factual (e.g., a short description of the data, link to a GRIIDC dataset, or evidence of ongoing collaboration with GRIIDC to submit data).
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Is the Science Reference Style required for publications listed in the 2-page CVs?
A.      No. As indicated in RFP-IV, under 2. Full Proposal, 8a. (under "Personnel"), there is not a standard format or template for the biographical sketches of key personnel. Please include information as you deem appropriate, within the 2-page limit.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Is the list of relevant publications by Consortium Director different from the required 2-page CV?
A.      Yes, the list of relevant publications by Consortium Director is different from the required 2-page CV.
  Category:   Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Should we submit a 2-page budget justification for each annual budget per institution or just one cumulative, summary budget justification of two pages per institution?
A.      For each partner institution, please submit an annual budget and a 2-page budget justification to describe their total or cumulative requested budget.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Should we use the annual budget template for the "overview, summary budget" described in the section on Required Sections of the Full Proposal part 6a Budget and Budget Justification? If so, how do we indicate that it is a summary budget when the title of the form is "Annual Budget Template'?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      We have more than six senior/key personnel at one institution. How do we add personnel to the annual budget template? Can we add rows to the table in the word file or should we attach an additional sheet and include the budget request from the additional sheet in the box titled, "Additional Senior/Key Persons" on the template?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Are a cumulative budget and budget justification required for the consortium as a whole?
A.      No. Please provide a summary budget and budget justification for the lead institution, which should indicate the subaward costs, as well as a budget justification for each partner institution.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Are participant costs exempt from F&A charges?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Is there a page limit for the lead institution's budget justification?
A.      There is not a page limit specified for the budget justification of the Lead Institution.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      When allocating funds in the annual budget, what should be considered "sampling technology"?
A.      Sampling technology would be any form of technology used to collect samples.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      What indirect cost rate will GoMRI 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.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Can administrative support be requested in the budget?
A.     
  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.      RFP-IV indicates that "a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement" should be included as supporting documentation. Where should this agreement appear in the submitted proposal?
A.      Please append a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to the budget template.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Are annual and summary budgets and justifications necessary for partner institutions?
A.      As stated under RFP-IV, 2. Full Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Full Proposal, 6b (under "Budget and Budget Justification"), please submit a separate annual budget and budget justification (to describe their total or cumulative requested budget) for each participating institution with a co-PI and for any subcontracts with a sub-award exceeding $100,000 per year.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Are costs for long-term data storage and/or computing time (cycles) considered acceptable to include in the budget?
A.      Computation time and data storage are acceptable charges and should be directly related to data analysis and management. As indicated in RFP-IV, allocated research funds must be clearly discernible.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      RFP-IV, VI. Application and Submission Information, does not mention budgetary information as a requirement for the preliminary proposal; however, the preliminary proposal cover page template form has a field for "Requested Funding." Is this meant to be a general estimation of the anticipated budget?
A.      Yes, please provide an approximation of funding for all years. Since this is an approximation, it is understood that the total requested funding might change from the preliminary proposal to the final full proposal.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Are computer workstations used for bioinformatics analysis and hard drives for data storage acceptable charges to include in the proposal?
A.      As indicated in RFP-IV, identify and fully justify items of equipment costing more than $10,000. Full justification is required. GoMRI funds may only be used for Capital Expenditures to the extent that the investigator was not able to obtain access to the required capital equipment through other collaborations or partnerships, and such funding has been specifically approved by the Research Board under an approved grant or annual continuation of funding under such grant.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      The required annual budget template asks to list "calendar months" for personnel. Should these months be adjusted based on the total percent of effort the person will be working or just be the total number of months out of the year in which the person will be doing some work on the grant?
A.      The effort (amount of time) that PI(s), faculty and other senior personnel will devote to the proposed consortia should be listed in the required annual budget template. The effort is based on the organization's regular academic-year, summer or calendar-year. For example, if the regular schedule is 10 months and 30% effort will be devoted to the project, a total of 3 months should be listed in the academic or calendar-year block (10 months x 30% = 3 months). Multiply the percentage of your effort associated with the project times the number of months of your appointment (i.e. 10% of a 9 month AY appointment equals .9 person months; 10% of a 12 month calendar appointment equals 1.2 months). Your employer may have internal policies and procedures that relate specifically to the type of appointment under which you are employed. You should, therefore, confirm with your Sponsored Projects Office that this simplified methodology is consistent with the policy at your organization.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      RFP-IV states that funds will be distributed to non-profit academic and research institutions primarily in the Gulf States. Does this mean the majority of funds (>50%) within a given consortium need to be distributed primarily to Gulf State institutions?
A.     
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      How much salary can a PI request each year?
A.      As set forth in RFP-IV under 2. Full Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Full Proposal, 8. Personnel, "Personnel from any of the consortium institutions should be reimbursed appropriately for their time commitment to the research program based on the salary structures at their home institutions."
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Is it correct that you would like only one annual budget from the host institution when there can be many co-PI's listed from the host institution?
A.      Only a single budget should be submitted for the host institution. In this example, budgets for the 10 co-PIs at the host institution would be combined into a single host institution budget.
  Category:   Budget
  
Q.      Our "complete list of partner institutions and associated project personnel" does not fit on the 1-page allotted in the template. Advise?
A.      The page limit for Section 8.c. of the Full Proposal is 1 page. There is not a required format, however, so you are welcome to use columns etc.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      Should we submit a 2-page biosketch for a Deputy PI who be responsible for management and administration only, i.e. this individual will not have his/her own research project?
A.      Biographical sketches (2-page limit per person) must be provided for the Consortium Director and co-PIs only. If this individual is listed as a co-PI, then a biographical sketch must be provided.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      Is an external advisor or advisory board required on a project?
A.      The need for an external advisor or advisory board should be justified appropriately in the proposal. Travel expenses for an external advisor or 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 external advisors or advisory boards.
  Category:   Personnel
  
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.      Is there a limit on the number of co-PIs per institution? Can there be co-PIs from the same institution as the PI? Is there a minimum number of co-PIs or institutions represented by these co-PIs (e.g., do all members of the consortium have to be represented by co-PIs or can they be represented by other key research personnel)?
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).
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      Does RFP-IV address degree requirements for co-PIs?
A.      No, RFP-IV does not address degree requirements. PIs have the discretion to determine whether an investigator should be a co-PI on the proposed research project.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      Does the list of co-PIs have to be the same in the preliminary proposal and the full proposal?
A.      No, co-PIs may be removed or added to the full proposal as deemed appropriate. The Qualifications evaluation criterion will be assessed according to the list of PI and co-PIs provided.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      If we have international collaborators or industrial partners involved in our project, who are not official co-PIs, should their CV's be included in the pre-proposal?
A.      As stated in RFP-IV under VI. Application and Submission Information, 1. Preliminary Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Preliminary Proposal, biographical sketches are required for the PI, co-PI(s), and any sub-award lead senior investigator. Inclusion of a biographical sketch for every individual included in the list of participants is not required, but if a biographical sketch is included, the individual MUST appear on the list of participants.
  Category:   Personnel
  
Q.      How is pre-proposal review factored into the full proposal review, i.e. will the GoMRI board sort and first fund those that had been encouraged, or will they simply review all proposals on their merits anew?
A.      Pre-proposal review will not be factored into proposal review as part of the peer review or RB programmatic review. Proposals will be checked to confirm that the required pre-proposal was submitted, but will be reviewed as stand-alone documents.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      How long has GoMRI been using the pre-proposal process and are preproposals that are not encouraged for submission of full proposals given equal weight and consideration as those that are encouraged?
A.      GoMRI was established in 2011 and RFP-IV is the second major consortia competition. This is the first time GoMRI has used the pre-proposal process. Please also see: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/faq-rfpIV/index.php?qa=260&qa_1=proposal-review-factored-proposal-encouraged-review-proposals
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      Can you describe the review process adopted by the Research Board for reviewing full proposals?
A.      Consortia will be chosen for funding through a competitive peer review of the proposals submitted in response to RFP-IV. To ensure scientific integrity, GoMRI uses National Science Board peer evaluation protocols to select funded research, in a manner similar to the National Science Foundation. A three-stage review process will be used: 1) GoMRI staff (with the concurrence of the Chief Science Officer and a subset of the Research Board) will determine compliance or non-compliance of each proposal submission; 2) topical expert panels of peer scientists will individually review assigned proposals in advance and then meet face-to-face to review full proposals; and 3) the Research Board will meet face-to-face to evaluate all proposals and select the portfolio of successful RFP-IV proposals. BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance have no role in the peer review process or selection of awards.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      Is it possible for proposers to see the evaluation form used by reviewers?
A.      The assumption in this question is incorrect. Standard statements which appeared in the pre-proposal feedback documents did not correspond to scores, but were presented to peer reviewers to provide focus for the review criteria in each section and prompt additional comments.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      Is there any overlap between the people who reviewed the preliminary proposals and people reviewing the full proposals?
A.      Yes, there will be some overlap. There will also be new reviewers.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      Will the reviewers of full proposals be given the pre-proposal review summaries?
A.      No. The reviewers of full proposals will not be given the pre-proposal review summaries.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      What disciplines/backgrounds do reviewers of the full proposals come from? Will there be a mix of disciplines represented in the team of reviewers for one proposal?
A.      Peer review panels will have a diverse mix of expert reviewers that are appropriate to the proposals being reviewed, and each proposal will receive feedback from multiple reviewers. For additional peer review information, please visit: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-iv/rfp-iv-peer-review/.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      What level of analytic detail should we provide in the research plan? How analytically sophisticated will the reviewers be?
A.      Analytical detail should be sufficient to explain a proposed research effort to a reviewer. Reviewers are accredited scientists with experience in the five research themes. Please use your best judgment when drafting your proposal.
  Category:   Peer Review
  
Q.      For consortia that received funding in the years 1-3 funding cycle, will an award for years 4-6 be treated as a new award or an amendment to the existing one?
A.      All awards under RFP-IV will be new awards.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
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. These are estimations of the total direct and indirect costs to be allocated to a consortium per year. 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
  
Q.      What is the duration of a Research Consortium award?
A.     
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      How many Research Consortium grants will be awarded?
A.      The Research Board expects to award between 7 and 12 Research Consortium grants.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      Who will handle grant administration?
A.      As described in the GOMRI 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
  
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-IV will be made on or before November 14, 2014.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      Does GoMRI adhere to federal law requirements for subject research protection and confidentiality? What human subject use requirements, including data requirements, will GoMRI implement?
A.      Yes, GoMRI follows the National Science Foundation's policy (and federal law) regarding human subject use (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/human.jsp). GRIIDC will not handle and archive human subject research data or data requiring Institutional Review Board (IRB) certification. All data requiring such certification will remain in the possession of and be managed by the IRB-certified researcher. However, these data will be recorded in the Data Source Registry (DSR). For more information about GRIIDC data policies, please see the GRIIDC Data Management Plan, posted under "Design and Management," on the GoMRI Data Management Web site (https://data.gulfresearchinitiative.org/).
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      Are old successful proposals (without budgets) considered confidential or are they available somewhere?
A.      All submitted preliminary proposals and full proposals are considered proprietary and not available publicly.
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      What is the policy on making data publicly available?
A.     
  Category:   Awards and Contracting
  
Q.      What information is publicly available on GoMRI-funded research (from RFP-I, RFP-II, and RFP-III)? How can RFP-IV PIs know that they can compliment (rather than duplicate) funded research?
A.      Information about GoMRI funded research can be found at http://research.gulfresearchinitiative.org/
  Category:   GoMRI/Research Board
  
Q.      What is the GoMRI Research Board?
A.      The GoMRI 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://gulfresearchinitiative.org/gri-research-board/board-roster/
  Category:   GoMRI/Research Board
  
Q.      When will RFP-V be announced?
A.      At the present, a date for the release of RFP-V has not been finalized; however, it is expected to be in the fall of 2014.
  Category:   GoMRI/Research Board
  
Q.      Will our preliminary proposal and its peer evaluation be made publicly available in advance of the full proposal submission deadline?
A.      Preliminary proposals and their peer evaluations will not be publicly shared in advance of full proposal submission. Anyone with access to your preliminary proposal in advance of full proposal submission will be adhering to strict non-disclosure agreements.
  Category:   GoMRI/Research Board
  
Q.      What defines 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. Each Research Consortium shall be led by a Lead Research Institution, which will enter into a grant agreement on behalf of the Research Consortium, as well as sub-grant agreements with the Consortium members. The Lead Research Institution shall have various responsibilities as outlined in the GoMRI Master Research Agreement (MRA) and as specified by the Research Board, which shall include managing the implementation of research proposals funded under GoMRI. The Research Consortium shall be led by a PI (Director) who is resident at the Lead Research Institution.
  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 GOMRI 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. Individuals at private or for-profit entities can contribute 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 GoMRI, any activities by government, private or for-profit entities will be subject to the terms of the GoMRI 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 fewer than 4 institutions?
A.      If a pre-proposal or proposal is submitted with fewer than 4 institutions then the pre-proposal or proposal will not be considered a Consortium and would therefore not be eligible for funding under RFP-IV. Such a pre-proposal or proposal will be returned without review.
  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.      GoMRI 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.      Where can we view the work of previously funded consortia in order to avoid overlap?
A.      You can review the work of currently funded consortia on the GoMRI Web site (http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/consortia/). There, you can link to each consortium's homepage to understand its areas of research.
  Category:   Consortium
  
Q.      Who is eligible to submit to RFP-IV? Can the lead PI, co-PIs, or investigators be from states other than the Gulf states?
A.     
  Category:   Eligibility
  
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-IV. 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.      No. It is expected that a separate RFP, RFP-V, will be issued in 2014. RFP-V will request proposals from individual or collaborative efforts involving a PI and a limited number of co-PIs.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can government agencies be part of a Research Consortium?
A.      Yes, a government agency can participate, if it is represented through a government lab or Federal Funded Research ad Development Center. As such, it can count as one of the partners/member institutions, although the lead partner must be a US academic or non-profit research institution. In the RFP, as indicated in Section IV. Eligibility Information. "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.      Would submitted full proposal be reviewed and considered for funding if changes are made to the research consortia members between the pre-proposal and full proposal?
A.      Investigators may be added or removed from the preliminary proposal to the full proposal as deemed appropriate.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      How many RFP-IV pre-proposals or proposals can one person participate in?
A.      A researcher may participate in a maximum of three consortia proposals in any capacity. If an individual appears on multiple proposals, this should be clearly noted in the List of Participants and in Current and Pending Support. Should an individual be named on four or more proposals, all proposals involving the individual will be disqualified. It is the responsibility of the submitters to confirm that each member of the entire team is within the eligibility guidelines. A person may be Lead PI of only one Consortium proposal.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      If I am a PI or co-PI for RFP-I, RFP-II or RFP-III, do these count against the total of three possible RFP-IV proposals? In other words, if I am already a GoMRI-funded investigator, can I still propose to participate in three RFP-IV projects?
A.      Previous GoMRI funding does not reduce the number of RFP-IV projects in which you may participate.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can an individual from a for-profit organization serve as a Co-PI?
A.     
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can a scientist serve as an unpaid external advisor to a project if they are already participating in three proposals to be submited for RFP-IV?
A.     
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      I have been approached by a researcher that is interested in partnering with Texas Sea Grant to assist with an engagement effort related to a proposal they are submitting.
A.      Thanks for the question. The only restriction is Sea Grant programs cannot "double dip". Individuals funded directly through the GoMRI/Sea Grant partnership cannot participate in the RFP-IV competition. Other members of the Gulf State Sea Grant programs can participate in the RFP-IV competition.
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can a private or for-profit entity serve as a team member on a Research Consortium?
A.      An investigator may have an existing relationship, or may find it advantageous to enter into a new relationship, with a private or for-profit entity. Individuals at private or for-profit entities can contribute in the form of products, services, and expertise that will be crucial to the delivery of the research objectives. Therefore a consultant cannot be a PI, Co-PI, or primary team member, but can be contracted with to provide "products, services and/or expertise."
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Would a proposed consortium, consisting of medical researchers and marine ecologists, focusing on the relationship between oil impacted seafoods and public health be appropriate for this RFP?
A.      As stated in RFP-IV, I. Introduction and Description, RFP-IV calls for integrated proposals with dynamic and engaged leadership under one or any combination of GoMRI's research themes, two of which include Theme 3 (involving the affect of petroleum on organisms) and Theme 5 (public health).
  Category:   Eligibility
  
Q.      Can the Lead Research Institute be a pre-existing, well-established Consortium of Universities?
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-IV and GoMRI Master Research Agreement.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution
  
Q.      What is the Lead Research Institution?
A.      Each Research Consortium shall be led by a Lead Research Institution, which will enter into a grant agreement on behalf of the Research Consortium, as well as sub-grant agreements with the Consortium members. The Lead Research Institution shall have various responsibilities as outlined in the GoMRI Master Research Agreement (MRA) and as specified by the Research Board, which shall include managing the implementation of research proposals funded under the GoMRI. The Research Consortium shall be led by a PI (Director who is resident at the Lead Research Institution.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution
  
Q.      Can the PI and/or lead institution change from the preliminary proposal to the full proposal?
A.      The PI and/or lead institution may change from the preliminary proposal to the full proposal as deemed appropriate. The evaluation criteria will be assessed according to the PI and lead institution provided.
  Category:   Lead Research Institution
  
Q.      What information needs to be included in the pre-proposal?
A.      Complete instructions for pre-proposal submission can be found on the RFP-IV webpage: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-iv/ The required components of the pre-proposal are listed in the Request for Proposals (available for download at the above link).
  Category:   Pre-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 as part of a pre-proposal or full proposal. Please refer to the RFP-IV Request for Proposals for details on required sections of the pre-proposal and proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Are letters of commitment required for any personnel (PI, Co-PIs, collaborators, affiliates, etc.) for a pre-proposal or full proposal?
A.      Letters of commitment are not allowed for any personnel. Please refer to the Request for Proposals for details on required sections of the full proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      I plan to include figures in color and it is important the reviewers see these figures in color. Should I provide an external link where these figures can be seen in color? I understand that reviewers might print in black and white, but why can't they view these color figures on their monitor, directly from the proposal pages (which, I presume, will be provided electronically?). Are you providing reviewers with black and white hard copies?
A.      Pre-proposals and proposals will be provided electronically to reviewers. Some reviewers may choose to print proposals in black and white for review. All relevant information to judge the proposal should be in the body of the proposal. Proposers should not expect reviewers to follow external links or to have access to color images/figures.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      What detail is most important in the .5 page biographical sketch for the preliminary proposal, since we are accustomed to using the NSF 2-page format?
A.      The 0.5 page biographical sketch should provide abbreviated information about the primary participants. The type, detail, and quality of abbreviated information presented is at the discretion of the applicant. More detailed biographical information will be collected in full proposal submissions. As stated in RFP-IV, VI. Application and Submission Information, 1. Preliminary Proposal, biographical sketches should be submitted for the PI, co-PI(s), and sub-award lead senior investigator. These biographical sketches should follow National Science Foundation guidelines although be limited to 0.5 page for each person. Inclusion of a biographical sketch for every individual included in the list of participants is not required, but if a biographical sketch is included, the individual MUST appear on the list of participants.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Why are there 4 boxes as part of "Proposal Authorization" on the cover page template for a preliminary proposal, assuming that only one signature would be required (the one for the lead institution)?
A.      The Preliminary Proposal and Full Proposal Cover Page Templates have 4 boxes under Proposal Authorization to allow enough space for the necessary information to identify the persons duly authorized to sign on behalf of the Lead Research Institution, such as signature, typed name and title. Additionally, institutions may have different policies regarding proposal signatures, so this template allows for additional information, if required by the institution.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Can the consortium title change from the preliminary proposal to the full proposal?
A.      Yes, the consortium title may change from the preliminary proposal to the full proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Does the preliminary proposal need separate headings for "Objectives," "Background," Hypotheses," and "Research Approach," or can these elements just be described under one section heading, "Research Project"?
A.      As long as objectives, background, hypotheses, and research approach are discussed under the description of the consortium's research project, you may format the preliminary proposal as you deem to be appropriate and clear.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      RFP-IV states, "Each Consortium Director may submit only one proposal in this function. Individuals can be involved in up to three proposals; in each proposal, a clear description should be included to explain how the proposed work is complementary, not duplicative, of other proposed efforts and how the participant will budget his or her time." Does this level of detailed information need to be included in the preliminary proposal?
A.      As set forth in RFP-IV under VI. Application and Submission Information, 1. Preliminary Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Preliminary Proposal (b. Participants), your preliminary proposal must contain a list of the PI, all co-PI(s), and sub-award lead senior investigators, as well as other senior personnel and include a description of that person's role in the project, including how the proposed work is complementary, not duplicative, of other proposed efforts and how the participant will budget his or her time. It is expected that this description will be an abbreviated form of a more detailed description provided in the full proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      What should the required "Consortium Summary" consist of?
A.      The required "Consortium Summary" in the preliminary proposal is meant to be an abbreviated version of the "Project Summary" required in the full proposal. As set forth in RFP-IV, "the summary should be written in the third person, be informative to persons working in the same or related fields, and be understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader. Avoid jargon. Provide a concise description of the project including research objectives and goals. Describe how the proposed project will address any one, or combination, of the themes put forth in Section I of RFP-IV. Describe the nature of the project and articulate the potential scientific and societal impact of the project if funded."
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Where in the preliminary proposal do we mention the title of the project? The title page asks only for the consortium name.
A.      The title of the project should be the consortium name.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Content (Required Information)
  
Q.      Is a pre-proposal required?
A.      Yes, a pre-proposal is required in order to submit a full proposal. If a Consortium submits a proposal but did not submit a pre-proposal by the submission deadline, the full proposal will returned without review.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      When is the pre-proposal deadline?
A.      The deadline to submit a pre-proposal is January 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm ET and must be submitted at http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-iv/rfp-iv-submission-forms-templates/rfp-iv-pre-proposal-submission-form/.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Does the pre-proposal need to be submitted through the institution's sponsored program office?
A.      Applicants should follow the policy of their institution regarding submission of the pre-proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      If, after submitting my pre-proposal or proposal, I realize that it is incomplete, can I withdraw the pre-proposal or proposal and submit a revised version?
A.      No. Following submission, a pre-proposal or proposal cannot be withdrawn and modified for resubmission in the same RFP.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Will the lead institution submit one proposal on behalf of all consortia, or does each institution submit a pre-proposal 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 pre-proposal submitted by January 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm ET.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Is there a standard format for the 2-page biographical sketches?
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:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      The RFP contains the statement "Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from contracting officers early in the proposal development process." What does this mean since "direct contact with GoMRI staff is prohibited"?
A.     
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      There is only a cover page template form for the preliminary proposal. Is there a form for the entire preliminary proposal?
A.      There is no template form for the entire preliminary proposal. The cover page template, which should be appended to your preliminary proposal as the first page, is the only form provided. Please follow the guidance set forth under RFP IV, Section IV. Application and Submission, 1. Preliminary Proposal (Sections A and B), when creating your preliminary proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      How do we handle the fact that our co-PI's cannot all fit on the formatted pre-proposal cover sheet?
A.      Please include all co-PIs as part of the preliminary proposal (per RFP-IV, VI. Application and Submission Information, 1. Preliminary Proposal, A. Required Sections of the Preliminary Proposal, Section 3b: Participants) and full proposal (A. Required Sections of the Full Proposal, Sections 8a: Biographical sketches and 8c: List of partner institutions and associated project personnel). If your list of co-PIs does not fit onto the 1-page cover sheet, you may use one of the cover sheet fields to indicate that a full list of co-PIs is available within your proposal.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      RFP-IV states that the full proposal must include proposal authorization in the form of a signature from the designated institutional representative. However, the instructions for the preliminary proposal simply say that a cover sheet "signature" is required. Does the preliminary proposal require a signature by the person authorized to sign on behalf of the lead research institution, or may the PI sign the preliminary proposal cover sheet?
A.      There is no requirement for preliminary proposals to be signed by person(s) authorized to sign on behalf of the lead institution. Applicants should follow host institution policy.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Are we able to save information entered before clicking the submit button, so that we can complete the preliminary proposal in steps?
A.      Screen shots of all pages of the web form are available here: http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/request-for-proposals/rfp-iv/rfp-iv-submission-forms-templates/rfp-iv-pre-proposal-submission-form/rfp-iv-pre-proposal-submission-form-screenshots/. The proposal upload and web submission must take place at one time. There is not the opportunity to save the form and complete it at a later time.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      Is there a required format for the references cited section of the preliminary proposal?
A.      Please follow the Science Reference Style, which includes title, for citations: http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/contribinfo/prep/res/refs.xhtml#general. Applicants must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. This section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the Project Description.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      The References Cited section should follow the Science reference style. Do the publications listed in the biographical sketches also need to follow this style?
A.      No. Given the abbreviated version of the biographical sketches provided in the preliminary proposal, you may choose another citation style.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)
  
Q.      If our participant list is only 1 page of the allotted 2 pages, can we use the second page for figures for the research, outreach, and/or management sections?
A.      No. Page limitations, as set forth in RFP-IV, are section-specific and non-transferable.
  Category:   Pre-Proposal Submission (Instructions, Forms)