Can national laboratories submit proposals?
National laboratories can only submit proposals as principal investigators in NEET & NSUF workscopes (Appendix B). They can collaborate with universities for proposals submitted to university-led program supporting, mission supporting, or program directed applications but cannot receive more than 20 percent of a project's overall funding.
Is it better if I develop a partnership with others as opposed to proposing as a single institution?
The composition of researchers, whether from a single institution or multiple institutions, should be tied to their relevance in accomplishing the scope of work and achieving the outcomes of your proposal. This should also be clearly described in the pre-application. The FOA also describes requirements for participation by different types of institutions.
Can I add a new collaborator to my team for the full application stage?
PIs can only add new collaborators to their full application with the consent of the Contracting Officer. If you need to change a collaborator please contact the Integration Office at NEUP@inl.gov.
There is not a specific location in the pre-application form that indicates whether or not there is going to be a co-PI, but this can be indicated in the full application submission. Is it possible to indicate co-PIs in the pre-application?
DOE-NE does not differentiate between co-PIs and collaborators. You can indicate that they are a co-PI in the narrative itself, but you should add the individual(s) to the funded collaborator section in the application form.
Do I need to list the funding amount for each collaborator? If I have several collaborators from the same institution, do I need to add funding for each individual, or for the institution?
To the best of their ability, PIs need to list funding amounts for each individual collaborator, regardless. of what institution that collaborator is affiliated with.
Is it okay to include unfunded collaborators in our proposal?
Yes, you can include unfunded collaborators in advisory roles or other capacities in which they will make an R&D contribution for your project.
Can postdoctoral fellows be co-investigators on NEUP proposals?
This is dependent on the institution's rules regarding who can participate. NEUP does not restrict postdocs from being a co-PI unless it is disallowed by the institution.
Can an international postdoctoral fellow at a university be a co-PO on NEUP proposals?
The CINR FOA does not prohibit postdocs that are working at U.S. institutions from participating. The designation as co-PI or participation is regulated at the institutional level. If this is allowable by the institution that is employing the individual, it shouldn't be an issue.
Is a national laboratory co-PI required for a NEUP project?
No, a national laboratory co-PI is not required, nor is any other type of co-PI required. A project can even be led and executed by one faculty member.
Is cost share required for University PIs?
No, university leads do not need to cost share.
Will the national laboratory co-PI be a sub-award (flow through) or directly funded by the NEUP, if approved for funding?
The national laboratory PI will not flow-through the university as a sub-award. They will receive funding through the NEUP program directly. The cost of the national laboratory collaborator should be included in the federal request and total for the project.
If we believe a proposal could be funded under different workscopes, should we submit the same proposal twice?
No. If you are unsure where your proposal should be listed, you should contact the appropriate Technical and/or Federal Points of Contact to discuss what workscope best fits your proposal. It is not recommended to submit a proposal more than once.
What should be included in the publication list?
The publications, at a minimum, should be for the Lead PI. We would like to see publications from the Co-PIs as well, but that is not a requirement. The publication list would be for CINR projects (NEUP, NEET, NSUF). The list does not need to include any ohter DOE-NE work.
It seems like several reviewer comments are generic, 'copy-and-pasted' responses that don't have anything to do with my application. Why do I get these responses instead of proposal-specific feedback?
Evaluation scores are based upon the criteria outlined in the "Application Review Information" section of the FOA. General explanations of the meaning of each review score are provided by the NEUP Integration Office, not the reviewer. These explanations are generic in nature to give a descriptive explanation of the given score in comparison to other scores. Reviewer comments, specific to the proposal, are provided in addition to the evaluation scoring explanation with the intention of helping the PI improve future applications. Applicants should see general scoring criteria explanations and proposal-specific comments in their pre-application scoring and comment summary.
My pre-application was scored as “Highly Relevant/High Program Priority" yet I was not invited to submit a full proposal. How can a proposal that is scored highly relevant be excluded from the full proposal process?
There are several reasons why a proposal can be scored “Highly Relevant/High Program Priority" and still be excluded from the full proposal process. A proposal can score well in the relevancy review and poorly in a technical review. If this is the case, proposals could be excluded on technical merit. Also, each workscope area defines its own competitive range; therefore, competitive scores will be different for each workscope area. For example, highly competitive workscope areas may only have enough funding to invite a select few applications, leaving several other competitive proposals not invited.
Can NEUP projects budget funds for independent contractors/consultants?
Consultants and contractors are allowable for NEUP projects.
R&D Full Applications
For Program Supporting research, if our institution decides to contribute cost share, would those funds be on top of the $800,000 from DOE or would those funds need to be included in the $800,000 total project cost? In other words, can we request $800,000 from DOE then contribute $100,000 in cost share making the total project costs $900,000?
Cost share funds for universities are not included in the total project cost. For Program Supporting research, applicants shall not propose costs of more than $800,000 total in federal funds. For Mission Supporting research, applicants shall not propose costs of more than $400,000 total in federal funds.
For the NEUP proposals that include national laboratories, are Field Work Proposals (FWPs) required to be submitted, and if so at what stage of the proposal process?
The FWP should be included in the "Budget for DOE/NNSA Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) Contractor" part of the online application form as a separate pdf document. Also, the B&R is not available so PIs should list the campaign the proposal falls under instead of the B&R. The FWP is due at the time of submission.
I would like my full proposal to be assigned a different workscope than my pre-application. Is that possible? No. It is not possible to shift workscopes after the pre application has been submitted. The PI or the submitter is responsible for placement into the correct workscope.
What should I label the file names for the subawards so that I can distinguish between them if I have multiple institutions collaborating?
Please use the format specified in the FOA with a slight modification to tell them apart. For example use "'Fiscal Year' CFA Subaward Budget xxxx Michigan.xls" This is the format to follow to show the different subtier budgets.
Does NEUP offer "no-cost extensions" on R&D projects that are incomplete and still have unspent money?
Yes, DOE allows for one no-cost extension for up to 12 months on each R&D project. DOE has established as policy that university principal investigators (PIs) who request and receive approved no-cost extensions to existing NE R&D projects will be ineligible to be PIs for new project awards while any no-cost extension remains in effect.
I am collaborating with a national laboratory. In the "Other Eligibility Requirements" section of the FOA it states that a FFRDC contractors (national laboratories) must obtain written authorization from its cognizant contracting officer. Do I need to obtain and include this written authorization in my application?
NYes. The written authorization requirement is an agreement between a FFRDC contractor and their cognizant contracting officer. National laboratory collaborators should be familiar with this requirement and who they need to contact at DOE to obtain this letter. University PI's are required to obtain a copy of the written authorization and include it in the full proposal application (the letter does not need to be attached to pre-applications). This is applicable for all national laboratory collaborators, even if they are not receiving funds.
Do references count within the page maximum of the technical narrative?
Yes, they do.
Are we allowed to subdivide this budget uniformly across years? e.g., could we request $500K in year one, $300K in year two, $200K in year three under NEET (or a similar breakdown for NEUP topics wherein the total is $800K)?
Yes, you can subdivide the budget in any way that will be beneficial to the project (i.e. some PIs allocate less funding in Year 1 while they recruit graduate students, etc.)
If a university proposes to collaborate with two national laboratories, can each national laboratory obtain 20% of the total funding (i.e., 40% of the total budget to the national labs), or do the labs have to share 20% of the total budget between them?
No, the FOA specifically states that the sum total of all funds that go to the all national laboratory and industrial partners may not exceed 20% of the total funding request. However, this restriction is not applicable to the NEET CTD workscopes in Appendix B.
What is the definition of "underrepresented groups" in the context of CINR proposals?
Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, those groups that have participation rates significantly below the national average in a given profession. This designation is a self-declaration by the applicants or sub-applicants.
Which university research reactors are eligible to submit reactor upgrade applications?
The 24 research reactors fueled by DOE-NE are eligible for reactor upgrade awards. A list is provided in the FOA.
How many GSI applications can I submit?
Each university can submit one GSI application each cycle.
What is the cost matching requirement for infrastructure applications?
Universities must make a 1:1 dollar match for requests above $250,000 for applications under the General Scientific Infrastructure Support area.
Do GSI applications need to be for one piece of equipment or can multiple pieces of equipment be requested in one application?
There is no restriction on requesting multiple pieces of equipment though applicants should avoid creating a laundry list of unrelated pieces of equipment.
What items need vendor quotes?
Any single item over $5,000 requires a basis of estimate, catalog price, or vendor quote. This should be provided by the vendor or be publicly published. All quotes or pricing must be attached to the application.
Can reactor upgrade funds be used to reconfigure the building or structure where the reactor is housed?
Building modifications that immediately support the installation and operation of the equipment requested are allowable.
Can items that complement the reactor (radiation detection equipment, measurement equipment, etc.) be proposed in the research reactor area?
Yes, equipment that significantly improves or expands the research, instruction, training capabilities, or operating capabilities related to NE program missions of the research reactor facility are allowable.
Integrated University Program (Scholarship & Fellowship)
I read the question concerning eligibility of students not in a nuclear engineering program, and I did not see anything concerning any other majors. My university does not offer nuclear engineering to undergraduate students, and only offers a minor, therefore I declared my major to be in mechanical engineering, hoping later to focus in the nuclear field. Also, I cannot declare this minor so early in my college career, so I was wondering if I was still eligible.
Students pursuing nuclear energy-related disciplines such as nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, health physics, nuclear materials science, radiochemistry, etc., are eligible to apply for an IUP scholarship or fellowship. Please keep in mind that because medical isotopes, fusion, nuclear forensics, or environmental management topics do not fit into the mission of the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy, students pursuing studies in these fields are not eligible to apply.
What would happen if, after all costs related to the student's fellowship were paid, there were funds remaining? Would the student be given the funds, or would they be returned?
If a Fellow will have unused Cost of Education funds at the end of each academic year, the student can use the money for additional IUP-approved travel, health insurance (for the fellow only), and/or housing (rent only) for during the fellowship tenure. Funds cannot be utilized for other expenses such as utility costs. The university administrator will need to provide a breakdown of the student's fellowship and how it's being spent so that we can keep track of what is still available. If, at the end of the three-year fellowship, a student still has remaining funds, then the award money will remain with the university and will be applied to future scholarship or fellowship awards. Unused funds do not go to the Fellow.
My school isn't on the list of universities and colleges approved to administer IUP scholarships and fellowships. Am I still eligible for an award?
Yes, conditionally. Your chosen university must be able to demonstrate a program or field of study related to nuclear energy and must apply and be approved prior to any transfer of funding. For your school to be added to the approved list, it will need to apply to the university Funding Opportunity Announcement on www.neup.gov. The process takes about six weeks from when the application is received, so it is important that your university submit this as soon as possible. It is preferable that the application on www.neup.gov be submitted from someone at the school that has the authority to agree to the terms of the FOA and who can administer the awards without charge.
I am graduating from my undergraduate program this year. I plan on doing a one-year internship in between my undergraduate and graduate studies. Can I apply for the IUP fellowship this year and defer the award for a year while I do my internship?
No, the IUP fellowship does not allow deferments for internships or job opportunities. In this case, it is recommended that the applicant apply for a fellowship in the next application cycle, when he/she will be attending school during the next fall semester.
Can the $1,000 research travel allowance given to IUP fellowship recipients be used for foreign travel?
No. Unfortunately, due to the complications of approving international travel, we cannot support students traveling internationally on our fellowships.
I'm applying for an IUP fellowship. Will my undergraduate or graduate GPA be used to determine if I meet the 3.5 GPA requirement?
If an applicant has not completed a full semester of graduate study at the time of submission, then the cumulative undergraduate GPA will be used to determine if the applicant has a 3.5 GPA. If the applicant has completed one or more semesters of graduate study (2 semesters maximum), then both the undergraduate and graduate cumulative GPA will be used. They will not be combined and/or averaged. For an applicant to be eligible, they must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. GPAs are not rounded for this requirement.
The RFA states applicants must have a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for an IUP Fellowship, and a 3.25 GPA for an IUP Scholarship. I currently have a 3.45 GPA. Are GPAs rounded, taking a 3.45 to a 3.5 GPA?
No, GPAs are not rounded in any way. Applicants must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher to apply for a fellowship and a 3.25 cumulative GPA or higher to apply for a scholarship.
When are reference letters due? How should they be submitted?
Reference letters need to be submitted by the application deadline in the system by the letter writer. Be sure to make direct contact with your reference writers as well, so they are aware that a request will be coming their way. They can either upload their letters through the link that is provided in the automatic email or, if they are having trouble with the system, they can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can upload it on their behalf. It is recommended that students reach out to their references as early as possible to ensure timely receipt.
I applied for an IUP fellowship award last year and am applying again this year. Do I need to resubmit transcripts, or do you still have them on file?
If you applied for a fellowship or scholarship last year, then the INR Integration Office should have any applicable transcripts and scores on file; however, just to be sure, please send an email to email@example.com letting us know that you applied last year and are planning to do so again so we can pull your records to create a new application file. An updated transcript is required for the application.
Are permanent residents eligible to apply for an IUP scholarship or fellowship?
Yes. Legal permanent residents holding a green card are eligible to apply; however, applicants holding a F1 student visa are not eligible to apply for an IUP scholarship or fellowship.
Is a college parking pass an eligible expense using the Cost of Education Funds portion of the IUP Fellowship?
Can I attend a different school than the school I name on my application?
No. You must attend the school you select on your application.