Pipeline Safety Research Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP)


The CAAP initiative is intended to spur innovation by enabling an academic research focus on high-risk and high pay-off solutions for the many pipeline safety challenges. It will potentially deliver solutions that can be hand-offs to PHMSAs core research program of demonstration and deployment. The goal would be to validate proof of concept of a thesis or theory all the way to commercial introduction into the market. Further, the pipeline industry and federal/state regulators are experiencing low numbers of applicants to entry level positions that are technically focused. As such, another goal of the CAAP program is to expose graduate and PhD research students to subject matter that is common to pipeline safety challenges and to illustrate how their engineering or technical disciplines are highly needed in the field. The ultimate benefit would be to cultivate new talent in all aspects of pipelines, similar to how programs at other Federal Agencies and non-profit organizations have encouraged talent to consider a career in a certain field.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 TBD Three (3) new research awards issued with allowable funds.
Fiscal Year 2017 To date, 154 students have been involved in pipeline research at US universities as a result of the CAAP program. Six have gone on to internships, and seven full time employment in pipeline technology fields as a direct result of their participation.
Fiscal Year 2018 Funded several research projects in the areas of Detecting, Mitigating and/or locating internal Pipeline Corrosion, Develop advanced knowledge base models from Root Cause Failure Analysis of past pipeline incidents, and Engineering improvements to Pipeline Computational Models to Reduce Variance.
Fiscal Year 2019 PHMSA awarded eight new CAAP research projects with $1,956,810 and $608,000 of university cost sharing.
Fiscal Year 2020 PHMSA awarded eight CAAP research projects within the following solicited topic areas of the NOFO: 1. Pipeline Safety Academic Collaboration with Industry 2. Alternating Current Corrosion Affecting Pipelines in Common Corridors 3. Performance Degradation of Plastic Pipe
Fiscal Year 2021 Fiscal Year 2022: PHMSA anticipates awarding six new CAAP research projects within the following solicited topic areas of the NOFO: 1. Excessive Cathodic Protection on Vintage Pipelines; 2. Development of Structural Liner Material; 3. Pipeline Infrastructure Modernization – Hydrogen Network; and 4. Determination of Potential Impact Radius for CO2 Pipelines
Fiscal Year 2022 Through the CAAP, PHMSA built research and innovation partnerships with 26 universities and research organizations since its inception in 2013. Over 370 students have been exposed to the pipeline safety field through the program. Among these more than 20 students have received internship or employment offered by engineering firms, research organizations, government agencies or pipeline operators. The CAAP ensures inclusivity through outreach communication of funding research opportunities to all higher education institutions, including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Asian-American, Native American, and Pacific Island-Serving Institutions. PHMSA strongly encourages universities to partner with MSIs in their grant proposals.
Fiscal Year 2023 In late March and early April 2023, PHMSA conducted two informational sessions with MSIs on the CAAP. Since 2013, 10 MSIs have submitted proposals in the CAAP.
Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, Public Law 107-355, 49 U.S.C. 60101
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants must be non-profit institutions of higher education located in the United States or a U.S. territory or possession.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Solutions from academic research agreements to non-profit institutions of higher education will benefit the American public who have a stake in safe, reliable and environmentally friendly pipeline transportation of hydrocarbons.
Applications must include a letter on the submitting institution's letterhead that certifies minimum requirements are understood and will be met. The letter must be signed by the Dean or equivalent level of that college, department or program and inserted Appendix A to the technical application. 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
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. To submit an application, applicants must be registered at www.grants.gov For new users, go to http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp, or go to the main page at http://www.grants.gov/ and click on "Register" In the top right corner. Please note that new user registrations for www.Grants.gov can take up to two weeks to complete. For additional questions on how to register, contact Grants.gov support. Application Content & Format - In preparing their technical proposal, applicants must utilize the technical application templates attached to the opportunity. The attachment will include instructions regarding required content and information. Applicants must only apply for funding that can reasonably be spent within the proposed period of performance. The Technical Application requirements are summarized below but elaborated upon in the provided template. Failure to follow these requirements may result in the removal of an application from consideration. 1) All information supporting the evaluation criteria must be contained within 20 pages which does not include the Cover Page, the Technical Application Information Page, or the Appendix; 2) The appendix may include additional information; however, this information will not be used by reviewers in evaluating the proposal (except to determine that each applicant has submitted a certification letter regarding minimum requirements); 3) The Certification Letter of Minimum Requirements must be the first page in the Appendix; 4) Times New Roman 12pt font 1.15 line and paragraph spacing for text body. Also see: 2 CRFR 200 at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr200_main_02.tpl
Award Procedure
PHMSA will conduct an initial administrative review of each application to determine if it is complete and meets the minimum eligibility requirements. A team composed of PHMSA program staff representatives and, potentially, industry experts will then conduct a technical review to evaluate and rate each application against the evaluation criteria and to evaluate the acceptability of the proposed budget. Cooperative agreements will be awarded to applicants having the highest merit until the available funding is exhausted. PHMSA intends to solicit applications under this program on a yearly basis during the second quarter of the calendar year, with applications due during the second quarter.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Applications are normally due within 60 days after the announcement is posted to www.Grants.gov.
Not applicable.
No-cost extensions of up to 90 days may be authorized by the Agreement Officer in order to complete final reports.
How are proposals selected?
PHMSA developed evaluation criteria to rate and select competing applications. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of award. PHMSA may, at its discretion, award a grant based on an application in its entirety, award only portions of a grant based on its application, or not award a grant at all. Applications will be evaluated against the following evaluation criteria: 1. The extent to which the applicant's proposal meets the research topic area needs; 2. The extent to which the applicant's proposed research topic solution can be readily implemented; 3. The extent to which the applicant's proposal identifies research partnership(s) and subject matter expert involvement, as well as how involved the identified partner(s) will be in the project; 4. The extent to which the applicant's proposal clearly establishes work scope, tasks, milestones, and estimated project costs that align with project goals and objectives, as well as whether any potential risks have been identified and mitigated; 5. The extent to which the applicant's proposed plan involves students and defines their specific tasks and commitment to the project; and 6. Whether the location of the project(s) is a Qualified Opportunity Zone designated pursuant to 26 U.S.C. ? 1400Z-1. In addition, PHMSA expects the proposed results of the projects to be factual, unbiased, verifiable, and repeatable to the extent practicable. Applicants should also be aware that a cooperative agreement will not convey any authority to recipients to secure information or cooperation from pipeline operators.
How may assistance be used?
Awards will be made in the form of cooperative agreements, which will play a role in finding the solutions to national, regional and local pipeline operational safety and environmental challenges. Some of these challenges involve having the best technology to efficiently and effectively meet or exceed Federal and State regulatory requirements. Other challenges are in keeping critical industry consensus standards fresh with the latest knowledge and know-how so that people, property and the environment are protected.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Also see: 2 CFR 200 at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr200_main_02.tpl
Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 20%.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The announcement will be posted to www.Grants.gov and eligible applications must be submitted within 60 days. Recipients will have between 24 and 36 months from the date of award (typical length of projects) to spend the money awarded. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Agreements will facilitate academic research funding that can reasonably be spent within the project period of performance (estimated at 24 and 36 months). Funding will be provided by Electronic Fund Transfer. Agreements will facilitate academic research funding that can reasonably be spent within the project period of performance (estimated at 24 and 36 months). Funding will be provided by Electronic Fund Transfer.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Nusnin Akter
Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Office of Pipeline Safety
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE,
Washington, DC 20590 US
Phone: (839) 273-0528
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$4,793,554.00; FY 23 est $4,000,000.00; FY 24 est $4,000,000.00; FY 21$1,859,424.00; FY 20$1,999,912.00; FY 19$1,956,810.00; FY 18$3,855,575.00; FY 17$47,351.00; FY 16$1,828,846.00; - Cooperative Agreements - This program is designed to be administered as an annual announcement with awards of up to $1,000,000 each and typically up to $4,000,000 for the overall annual program.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The current program level is $4,000,000. The number of projects awarded depends on the cost and technical strength of the proposals.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 TBD Three (3) new research awards issued with allowable funds.
Fiscal Year 2017 Project 1: Understanding Low Frequency ERW (LFERW) Pipeline Failure. Resulted in a successfully addressing an National Transportation Safety Board recommendation, as well as software for pipeline operators to better predict health of pipelines with LFERWs. Project 2: Fundamental Mechanochemistry-based Detection of Early Stage Corrosion Degradation of Pipeline Steels. This project seeks to create a systematic framework to monitor changes in parameters germane to corrosion prevention, while mitigating the corrosion impact on the pipeline infrastructure.
Fiscal Year 2018 Development of Low-Power Wireless Sensor Network of Conductivity Probes for Detection of Corrosive Fluids Inside Pressure Vessels and Piping Smart Fluids for Detecting Internal Corrosion Locations in Oil and Gas Pipelines
Fiscal Year 2019 Three example project awards made in FY 2019: 1. Distributed Fiber Optic Sensor Network for Real-time Monitoring of Pipeline Interactive Anomalies https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/matrix/PrjHome.rdm?prj=841 2. AI-enabled Interactive Threats Detection using a Multi-Camera Stereo Vision System https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/matrix/PrjHome.rdm?prj=837 3. Unmanned Aerial Systems for Pipeline Inspection, Monitoring, and Landscape Analysis https://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/matrix/PrjHome.rdm?prj=842
Fiscal Year 2020 In FY 2020, PHMSA awarded eight projects within these three research topic areas as solicited by the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) # 693JK320NF0001. 1. Pipeline Safety Academic Collaboration with Industry 2. Alternating Current Corrosion Affecting Pipelines in Common Corridors 3. Performance Degradation of Plastic Pipe
Fiscal Year 2023 In FY 2023, PHMSA will be awarding projects within these three research topic areas as solicited by the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (NOFO) (# 693JK323NF0003): 1) Novel Bio-Based Inhibitors for the Mitigation of Internal Corrosion in Pipelines; 2)Develop Innovative Solutions for Supplementing Current Cathodic Protection (CP) Methodologies to Assess the Effectiveness of the Pipeline CP System; and 3) Evaluation of Passive Thermal Radiation Mitigation Measures at Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities.


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