Cooperative Research and Training Programs - Resources of the National Park System

 

To develop adequate, coordinated cooperative research, offer training programs and/or develop information products and to create, through cooperative agreements, cooperative study units to conduct multidisciplinary research to provide a solid science basis for the management of the National Park System or the larger region of which parks are a part as necessary to form the basis of sound park management. To establish cooperative study units to conduct multi-disciplinary research and develop integrated information products on the resources of the National Park System, or the larger region of which parks are a part. The establishment of a comprehensive network of such college and university based cooperative study units as will provide full geographic and topical coverage for research on the resources contained in units of the National Park System and their larger regions. (16 USC 5933). To more effectively achieve the mission of the National Park Service; to enhance management and protection of national park resources by providing clear authority and direction for the conduct of scientific study in the National Park System and to use the information gathered for management purposes; to ensure appropriate documentation of resource conditions in the National Park System; to encourage others to use the National Park System for study to the benefit of park management as well as broader scientific value; to encourage the publication and dissemination of information derived from studies in the National Park System. The objectives of the units’ (cooperative ecosystem study units) are to: Provide resource managers with high-quality scientific research, technical assistance, and education; provide resource managers with solid natural resource information; deliver research and technical assistance that is timely, relevant to resource managers, and needed to develop and implement sound adaptive management approaches; ensure the independence and objectivity of research; create and maintain effective partnerships among federal agencies and universities to share resources and expertise; take full advantage of university resources while benefiting faculty and students; provide research, technical assistance, and educational functions within the context of cultural, social, biological, and physical sciences; enhance the ability of Federal natural and cultural resource managers to generate, acquire, synthesize, act upon, and articulate to the public sound research and scientific information; encourage professional development of federal scientists and enhance their ability to manage federal science resources efficiently.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
15.945
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: National Park Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants); Direct Payments for Specified Use (Cooperative Agreements); Dissemination of Technical Information; Training; Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: Over 100 awards were made to
universities and non-profits to conduct research relevant to the NPS system. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.
Authorization
TITLE 16 – CONSERVATION; CHAPTER 79 - NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
MANAGEMENT; SUBCHAPTER II – National Park System Resource Inventory and
Management; Sections 5932, Research Mandate; Sec. 5933, Cooperative Agreements, (a)
Cooperative Study Units; and Sec. 5935, Availability for Scientific Study; NPS Challenge
Cost Share 16 U.S.C. 1f; Research and Training 16 U.S.C. 1a-2j; Funding of Research
Agreements (43 U.S.C. § 1471f); Cooperative Agreements, 16 U.S.C. 1g, Title II of the
1998 NPS Omnibus Act (P.L. 105-391).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The CESU Network consists of colleges and universities, including but not limited to Land Grant schools, nongovernmental conservation organizations, state and local governments, and federally recognized American Indian tribal governments, in partnership with Federal natural resource and scientific agencies. State and local governments, federally recognized American Indian tribal governments, public/private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and individuals. Applicant entity must have expertise in the contemplated scientific research, technical assistance, information dissemination, and educational functions within the context of cultural, social, biological, and physical sciences as applicable to park management. Prospective CESU Network nonfederal and federal partners follow a procedure which is outlined at the program’s website.
Beneficiary Eligibility
University faculty; federal employees by accessing increased opportunities for interdisciplinary, multi-agency research projects related to federal resource management issues; any entity which may, will, or can benefit from the contemplated activity; students, researchers, experts, and instructors as members of the general public.
Credentials/Documentation
Applicant entity must have expertise in the contemplated scientific research, technical assistance, information dissemination, and educational functions within the context of cultural, social, biological, and physical sciences as applicable to park management. Prospective CESU Network nonfederal and Federal partners
follow a procedure which is outlined at the program’s website. If applying as a nonprofit organization, proof of nonprofit status will be required. Examples of
prior work in technical areas related to management and research on public lands (e.g., National Park) may be required.

2 CFR Part 200, in its entirety, applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Pre-application coordination will be specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, if applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, who wish to submit proposals for identified needs, will coordinate with the designated NPS CESU Research Coordinator. Opportunities will be announced in accordance with current policy and procedure of the NPS. Projects will be awarded as determined by the Secretary (generally through the project office or Superintendent) within the requirements of applicable existing bureau and agency regulation and policy. Cooperators will submit the required SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance and identify the entity and the project proposal in addition to a budget and SF-424B, Assurances for Federal Assistance.
Award Procedure
Projects are identified and awarded based on priorities of the agency and available funding. Network partners may respond to a Funding Opportunity Announcement or Request for Interest. Timely submissions will be reviewed in relationship to the evaluation criteria specified in the opportunity announcement. Awards will be made in the form of a cooperative agreement.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Determined based on project specific requirements.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Recipients may request renewal of existing projects or additional projects to meet program goals and objectives. NPS will grant renewals based on mission needs, priorities, regulations, and Administrative Requirements. Renewals are contingent upon available appropriations to the program and need for further assistance.
How are proposals selected?
Specific projects will have particular requirements. The criteria will be contained in the Funding Opportunity Announcements on Grants.gov. Criteria may include: ability to provide research, technical assistance and education; demonstrated involvement with and responsiveness to Federal agency and interagency requirements, particularly in the area of Federal land management, environmental and research agencies; demonstrated potential contribution to fostering multi-disciplinary/multi-agency research related to ecosystem management; demonstrated ability to contribute to fostering interdisciplinary research related to cultural resource management, including historic preservation and heritage education; potential contribution to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce. Host University Criteria: research Extensive/Intensive University which meet current Carnegie Classification (i.e., research focus, Ph.D. and M.S. students) are qualified to serve as host university; Involvement of faculty and graduate students in state-of-the-art research in disciplines relevant to ecosystem management, including biological, physical, social, and cultural sciences; ability to fully integrate Federal employee(s) into university activities (e.g., appropriate faculty appointments and equivalent support facilities, graduate committee memberships, opportunities for teaching advanced courses and seminars); ability to partner with at least one minority-serving institution; potential of the university to address significant ecosystem management issues and concerns of regional and national importance; ability to deliver research, technical assistance, and educational services to managers in multiple Federal land management, environmental and research agencies; access to critical resources (e.g., computing, GIS/remote sensing, library services, research laboratories, office space, etc.); focus on ecosystem-level issues and multi-disciplinary collaboration; potential of the university to provide complementary and needed research, technical assistance, and educational services to participating Federal agencies, and other characteristics relevant to regional and national science needs; inclusion as host or partner in the CESU no fewer than one of the following institutions: Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Predominantly Hispanic Serving Institution, Tribal College or University, or other post secondary minority institution; ability to attract minority students in graduate programs relevant to CESU; current programs to involve minority students in graduate programs relevant to the CESU; willingness to accept the network negotiated indirect cost rate by host, partner universities, and other partner institutions.
How may assistance be used?
Administrative Requirements for Department of the Interior Financial Assistance Awards at 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F must be followed. The Secretary of Interior must determine that appropriations for the purpose of cooperative management of projects are available and an agreement is in the best interests of the United States. Funds may not be used for acquisition of real property. Contact the Headquarters Office for more information. All awards require the application of the appropriate Cost Principles for Federal Financial Assistance, as specified for each type of organization. (2 CFR 220, 225, or 230). For further information, please contact the regional office.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Unless otherwise specified in the award, additionally, all organizations will be required to submit yearly narrative summary accomplishment reports to the National Park Service at the end of each project year. All projects and activities are monitored for progress and compliance within the agreed upon scope of work. Specific projects or activities for which funds are advanced shall be tracked and reported by submittal of a quarterly or annual submittal of Standard Form 425, the Financial Report. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Specific projects or activities for which funds are advanced shall be tracked and reported by submittal of Standard Form 270, Request for Advance or Reimbursement, and a quarterly or annual submittal of Standard Form 425, the Financial Report. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Records
Per 2 CFR Part 200.333 – 200.337.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Some projects may be conducted on a predetermined cost share basis.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is provided on a project basis and available appropriations. A project may last from 3 months to 5 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: For further information, please contact the regional office.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. http://www.cesu.org

Dr. Thomas E. Fish
National Coordinator
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network
1849 C Street NW, Room #2723
Washington, DC 20240
Email: Tom_Fish@nps.gov
Phone: (202) 208-5972.
Headquarters Office
(CESU) Network Dr. Thomas E. Fish
National Park Service.
Main Interior Building
1849 C Street NW, Room #2737, Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Email: Tom_Fish@nps.gov Phone: (202) 208-5972
Website Address
http://www.cesu.org
Financial Information
Account Identification
14-1042-0-1-303 - NR&P; 14-1036-0-1-303 - Operation of the National Park System.
Obligations
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 14 $43,941,122; FY 15 est $34,195,500; and FY 16 est $45,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $5,000.00 - $970,000.00
Average: $48,500.00.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR, Part 200, 43 CFR, OMB Circulars, standard forms, and program information
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Awards were made to universities and non-profits to conduct research relevant to the NPS system. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.

 



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