Procurement Notice

April  5, 2007

Selection Process under NASA Research Announcements


PURPOSE:  This PN revises the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to specify the content and format for NASA Research Announcements (NRAs) and the requirements for the selection statements for NRAs.    




ACTION REQUIRED BY CONTRACTING OFFICERS:  NASA contracting officers shall ensure NRAs are in the correct format and require selection statements for NRA award files. 






REPLACEMENT PAGES:  You may use the enclosed pages to replace 35:3 through 35:7.  Page 35:8 is removed.


TYPE OF RULE AND PUBLICATION DATE:   This change does not have a significant impact beyond the internal operating procedures of NASA and does not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors, and therefore does not require codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or publication for public comment.


HEADQUARTERS CONTACT:  Jamiel Commodore, Contract Management Division, (202) 358-0302, e-mail: jamiel.c.commodore@nasa.gov.




Thomas Luedtke

Assistant Administrator for Procurement





  PN List 

            (C) Other forms of announcements ap­proved by the Assistant Administrator for Procurement (Code HS).      

       (ii)  Other program announcements, notic­es, and letters not authorized by para­graph (a)(i) of this section shall not be used to solicit propos­als that may result in contracts.

       (iii) Draft or final versions of any form of BAA that directly or substantially supports a program subject to NASA Procedures and Guidelines (NPR) 7120.5 shall not be released unless --           

            (A) All applicable NPR 7120.5 required documentation (see 1804.7301(b)(2)(i)) is current and has been approved (e.g., Formulation Authorization Document, Program Commitment Agreement, Program Plan, or Project Plan); or

            (B) Authority to proceed without the required documentation has been granted by the Chair of the Governing Program Management Council or designee. 

   (c)  BAAs may not preclude the participation of any offeror capable of satisfying the Government's needs unless a justification for other than full and open competition is approved under FAR 6.304.


1835.016-70  Foreign participation under broad agency announcements (BAAs).

   (a)  Policy.     

      (1) NASA seeks the broadest participation in response to broad agency announcements, including foreign proposals or proposals including foreign participation.  NASA’s policy is to conduct research with foreign entities on a cooperative, no-exchange-of-funds basis (see NPD 1360.2, Initiation and Development of International Cooperation in Space and Aeronautics Programs).  NASA does not normally fund foreign research proposals or foreign research efforts that are part of U.S. research proposals.  Rather, cooperative research efforts are implemented via international agreements between NASA and the spon­soring foreign agency or funding/sponsoring institution under which the parties agree to each bear the cost of discharging their respective responsibilities.

       (2)  In accordance with the National Space Transportation Policy, use of a non-U.S. manufactured launch vehicle is permitted only on a no-exchange-of-funds basis.

       (3) NASA funding may not be used for subcontracted foreign research efforts.  The direct purchase of supplies and/or services, which do not constitute research, from non-U.S. sources by U.S. award recipients is permitted.

   (b)  Procedure.  When a foreign proposal or a U.S. proposal with foreign participation is received in response to a BAA, the NASA sponsoring office shall determine whether the proposal conforms to the no-exchange-of-funds policy in 1835.016-70(a).

       (1) If the proposal conforms to the policy in 1835.016-70(a), the NASA sponsoring office shall evaluate the proposal and make selection in accordance with 1835.016-71(d).  In conjunction with the notification of successful foreign proposers, the NASA sponsoring office shall notify the Headquarters Office of External Relations, Code I.  Code I will negotiate the agreement with the sponsoring foreign agency or funding institution for the proposed participation.

       (2) If the proposal does not conform to the policy in 1835.016-70(a), the NASA sponsoring office shall:

            (i)   Determine whether the proposal merits further consideration;

            (ii)  If further consideration is warranted, refer the proposal to Code I; and

            (iii) Complete the evaluation of the proposal.  However no notification of selection, whether tentative or final, shall be made without Code I approval.     

       (3) Notification to Code I required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2)(ii) of this section, shall address the items contained in 1872.504(c), and shall be coordinated through the Office of Procurement, Code HS.


1835.016-71  NASA Research Announcements.

   (a)  Scope.  An NRA is used to announce research interests in support of NASA’s programs, and, after peer or scientific review using factors in the NRA, select proposals for funding.  Unlike an RFP containing a statement of work or specification to which offerors are to respond, an NRA provides for the sub­mission of competitive project ideas, con­ceived by the offerors, in one or more program areas of interest.  An NRA shall not be used when the requirement is sufficiently defined to specify an end product or service.

   (b)  Issuance.      

       (1) Before issuance, each field-generat­ed NRA shall be approved by the installa­tion director or designee, with the concurrence of the procure­­ment officer, and each Headquarters-generated NRA shall be approved by the cognizant Program Associate Administrator or designee, with the concurrence of the Headquarters Offices of General Counsel (Code GK) and Procurement (Code HS).  In addition, the issuing office shall obtain input from the cognizant offices responsible for matters of safety and mission assurance, occupational health, environmental protection, information technology, export control, and security.  Input shall also be obtained from the appropriate systems safety organization for NRA's that may involve potentially hazardous operations such as those related to flight and/or mission critical ground systems. The NRA approval authority shall designate the selection official.

       (2) The selection official shall assure that the NRA is synopsized prior to issuance in accordance with FAR 5.201.  The synopsis shall be brief, and the technical section describing the area of interest should not exceed 50 words.

       (3)  If a Headquarters-generated NRA may result in awards by a NASA field installation, the issuing office shall notify the installation procurement officer and provide a copy of the NRA.

       (4) The selecting official is responsible for the preparation and distribution of the NRA.

       (5)  NRAs normally shall remain open for at least 90 days. 

   (c)  Content and format.  All NRAs shall conform to NPR 5810.1, “Standard Format for NASA Research Announcements (NRAs) and other Announcements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements”.

   (d)  Receipt of proposals, evaluation, and selection.      

       (1) Proposals shall be protected as pro­vided in FAR 15.608, FAR 15.609, and 1815.609-70.

(2) Late propos­als and modifications shall be treated in accordance with 1815.208.

       (3) The selection decision shall be made following peer or scientific review of a proposal.  Peer or scientific review shall involve evaluation by an in-house special­ist, a specialist outside NASA, or both.  Evaluation by specialists outside NASA shall be conducted subject to the conditions in 1815.207.  After receipt of a proposal and before selection, scientific or engineering personnel shall communicate with an offeror only for the purpose of clarifica­tion (as defined in FAR 15.306), or to understand the meaning of some aspect of the proposal that is not clear, or to obtain confirmation or substantiation of a proposed approach, solution, or cost esti­mate.

       (4) Competitive range determinations shall not be made, and final proposal revisions shall not be requested.

       (5) Part of a proposal may be selected unless the offeror requests other­wise.  In addition, changes to a selected proposal may be sought if  (i) the ideas or other aspects of the proposal on which selection is based are contained in the proposal as originally submitted, and are not intro­duced by the changes; and  (ii) the changes sought would not involve a material alter­ation to the requirements stated in the NRA.  Changes that would affect a proposal's selection shall not be sought.  When changes are desired, the selecting official may request revi­sions from the offeror or request the contracting officer to implement them during negotiations with the successful offeror(s). The changes shall not transfer information from one offeror's proposal to another offeror (see FAR 15.306(e).  When collaboration between offerors would improve proposed research programs, collaboration may be suggested to the offerors.

        (6) The basis for selection of a proposal shall be documented in a selection statement applying the evaluation factors in the NRA. The selection statement represents the conclusions of the selecting official and must be self-contained. It shall not incorporate by reference the evaluations of the reviewers. The selection statement shall contain the following:

               (i) A brief description of the solicitation, including a statement of program objectives, the evaluation and review processes that were followed, and a summary of the results of the evaluation and review of proposals;

               (ii)  A listing of all selected proposals including proposal number, proposing principal investigator, proposing institution, and title (indicate partial selections when known); 

               (iii)   A brief rationale for the selection based upon the expert evaluation of proposals by a peer panel in accordance with the evaluation criteria defined in the NRA, and incorporating programmatic factors; and

               (iv)  A brief description of the post-panel decision making process used to arrive at the selection.  In particular, the selection of proposals identified by the peer review as having a lower evaluation result than those not selected must be explained.

       (7) The selecting official shall notify each offeror whose proposal was not select­ed for award and explain generally why the proposal was not selected.  If requested, the selecting official shall arrange a debriefing under FAR 15.5, with the participation of a contracting officer.

(8) The selecting official shall for­ward to the contracting officer the following information:

            (i)   A copy of the NRA (This requirement may be waived in the case of a grant award at the discretion of the grant officer);

            (ii)  The results of the technical evalua­tion, including the total number of propos­als received, the selection statement, and the listing of proposal(s) selected for funding (These requirements may be waived in the case of a grant award at the discretion of the grant officer if the purchase request specifically references the NRA number and states that the proposal forwarded for funding was selected under the NRA.);

            (iii) A description of any chang­es de­sired in any offeror's statement of work, includ­ing the reasons for the changes and any effect on level of funding;

            (iv) If a contract will be used to fund the proposal, a description of deliver­ables, including technical reports, and delivery dates, consistent with the require­ments of the NRA;

            (v)  A procurement request;

            (vi) Comments on the offeror's cost pro­posal (either the selecting official's com­ments, which may be based on the reviewers' comments, or copies of the reviewers' comments with any different conclusions of the selecting official); these comments shall address the need for and reasonableness of travel, computer time, materials, equipment, subcontracted items, publication costs, labor hours, labor mix, and other costs; and

            (vii) A copy of the selected propos­al as originally submitted, any revi­sions, and any correspondence from the successful offeror.     

       (9) The selecting official may pro­vide to the contracting officer copies of the reviewers' evaluations.  Reviewers' names and institutions may be omitted.

       (10) The selecting official shall provide each offeror whose proposal was selected for negotiation a notification stating:          

            (i)   The proposal has been selected for negotiation;

            (ii)  The offeror's business office will be contacted by a contract­ing officer, who is the only official autho­rized to obligate the Government; and

            (iii) Any costs incurred by the offer­or in anticipation of an award are at the offer­or's risk.

   (e) Award. The contracting officer shall choose the appropriate award instrument.  If a contract is selected, the contracting officer shall --     

       (1) Advise the offeror that the Govern­ment contemplates entering into negotia­tions; the type of contract contemplated; and the estimated award date, anticipated effort, and delivery schedule;

       (2) Send the offeror a model contract, if necessary, including modifications con­templated in the offeror's statement of work, and request agreement or identifica­tion of any exceptions (the contract state­ment of work may summarize the proposed research, state that the research shall be conducted in accordance with certain tech­nical sections of the proposal (which shall be identified by incorporating them into the contract by reference), and identify any changes to the proposed research);

       (3) Request the offeror to complete and return certifications and representations and Standard Form 33, Solicitation, Offer, and Award, or other appropriate forms.  If FAR 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, is required for the resultant contract, request the offeror to provide a subcontracting plan;

       (4) Conduct negotiations in accordance with FAR Subparts 15.3 and 15.4, as appli­cable;

       (5) Award a contract; and

       (6) Comply with FAR Subparts 4.6 and 5.3 on contract reporting and synopses of contract awards.

   (f) Cancellation of an NRA.  When pro­gram changes, program funding, or any other reasons require can­cellation of an NRA, the offi­ce issuing the NRA shall notify potential offerors by using the mail­ing list for the NRA.


1835.016-72  Foreign participation in NRA proposals.

   Foreign proposals or U.S. proposals with foreign participation shall be treated in accordance with 1835.016-70.  Additional guidelines applicable to foreign proposers are contained in the provision at 1852.235-72, Instructions for Responding to NASA Research Announcements.


1835.070 NASA contract clauses and solic­itation provision.

   (a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.235-70, Center for AeroSpace Information, in all research and development contracts, and interagency agreements and cost-reim­bursement supply contracts involving re­search and development work.

   (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.235-71, Key Personnel and Facilities, in contracts when source selec­tion has been substantially predicated upon the possession by a given offeror of special capabilities, as represented by key personnel or facilities.

   (c) The contracting officer shall ensure that the provision at 1852.235-72, Instructions for Responding to NASA Research Announcements, is inserted in all NRAs.  The instructions may be supplemented, but only to the minimum extent necessary.

   (d) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1852.235-73, Final Scientific and Technical Reports, in all research and development contracts, and in interagency agreements and cost-reimbursement supply contracts involving research and development work.

       (1) The contracting officer, after consultation with and concurrence of the program or project

manager and the center Export Control Administrator, shall insert the clause with its Alternate I when the contract includes “fundamental research” as defined at 22 CFR 120.11(8) and no prior review of data, including the final report, produced during the performance of the contract is required for export control or national security purposes before the contractor may publish, release, or otherwise disseminate the data.

       (2) The contracting officer, after consultation with and concurrence by the program or project manager and where necessary the center Export Control Administrator, shall insert the clause with its Alternate II, when prior review of all data produced during the performance of the contract is required before the contractor may publish, release, or otherwise disseminate the data.  For example, when data produced during performance of the contract may be subject to export control, national security restrictions, or other restrictions designated by NASA; or, to the extent the contractor receives or is given access to data that includes restrictive markings, may include proprietary information of others.

         (3) Except when Alternate II applies in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the contracting officer shall insert the clause with its Alternate III in all SBIR and STTR contracts.

   (e) The contracting officer shall insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 1852.235-74, Additional Reports of Work -- Research and Development, in all research and development contracts, and in interagency agreements and cost-reim­bursement supply contracts involving research and development work, when periodic reports, such as monthly or quarterly reports, or reports on the completion of significant units or phases of work are required for monitoring contract performance.  The clause should be modified to reflect the reporting requirements of the contract and to indicate the timeframe for submission of the final report.


1835.071  NASA Research and Development (R&D) Contract Reporting.

   The E-Government Act of 2002 (Public Law No. 107-347) mandated the development and maintenance of a repository that integrates information on R&D funded by the federal government.  In support of that requirement, contracting officers shall insert in the description field on the text tab in the Contract Management Module (CMM) a 300-500 word summary of the statement of work for each contract award and new work award that is funded predominantly with R&D funds.