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 PHMSA’s 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 penetration 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 pipelining, 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
Agency: Department of Transportation
Office: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Fiscal Year 2014: For FY2014 –See http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/rd/universitypartners.htm /. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, Public Law 107-355, 49 U.S.C 60101 note.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicants must be non-profit institutions of higher education located in the United States or a U.S. territory or possession.
Solutions from academic research agreements to non-profit institutions of higher education will benefit the American public who has 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?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
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
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. Monitor Grants.gov.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Applications are normally due within 45 days after the announcement is posted to www.Grants.gov.
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 will use the following evaluation criteria to rate and select amongst competing applications. These criteria are intended to identify projects that target high-risk areas; offer well-defined plans; and produce results that are measurable and transferable to further investigations in the CAAP Program or PHMSA’s core research program. The two (2) technical evaluation criteria are as follows:
Criterion 1: Scientific Merit and Quality
1. To what extent does the proposed project suggest/explore creative and original concepts and/or scientific/engineering principles to describe the challenges? 2. To what extent does the proposed research describe how the output result advances a potential solution toward an identified pipeline challenge(s)? 3. To what extent does the proposed research describe how the quality of results will be peer reviewed? 4. To what extent does the proposed research involve partnering to validate/demonstrate scientific results and/or quantify engineering principles?
Criterion 2: Feasibility of Management Plan, Work Task, Budget and Schedule1. How well are the scope of work, tasks and milestones defined? 2. How well are the research goals or objectives defined? 3. Does the institution have access to appropriate facilities to conduct the proposed work? 4. How well is the project schedule defined and tied to the management plan? 5. How detailed is the plan to oversee students regularly by academic organization faculty/staff having the relevant knowledge and experience in the proposed area? 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. Section 32 (f) of The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, signed into law in January 2012 (P.L. 112–90—January 3, 2012) amends Section 12 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (49 U.S.C. 60101 note) by amending section(d) to add: (d)(3)( C) Funding From Non-Federal Sources.—The Secretary shall ensure at least 30 percent of the costs of program-wide research and development activities are carried out using non-Federal sources. The 2011 Act also amends Section 12 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (49 U.S.C. 60101 note), subsection (f), by striking ‘‘2003 through 2006.’’ and inserting ‘‘2012 through 2015.’’. The following are minimum requirements that all applicants must meet in order to be considered. Failure to meet these requirements at any time pre- or post-award will result in either removing an application from further consideration or grounds for termination of the agreement. The application must include a letter on the submitting institution’s letterhead that certifies these 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 as Appendix A to the technical application. 1) Eligible applicants are non-profit institutions of higher education located in the United States or a U.S. territory or possession. 2) The academic research agreement will be with the institution and not with individual students. 3) The research scope must be executed by undergraduate, graduate and/or PhD research students,. Institution faculty/staff should design the scope and oversee student execution of the scope. Applications that do not propose student involvement will be deemed non-responsive and will be removed from consideration. 4) Institution faculty, staff and students that are proposed to be involved with the research agreement must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or possess visas that will allow them to remain in the country long enough to complete the research project. 5) Federal funding is solely for allowable charges such as institution overhead and the procurement of expendables and any required labor necessary for executing the research scope. Furnishing of new or existing testing equipment will not be permitted with Federal funds. Also, Federal funding cannot be used toward construction of new facilities or refurbishing of existing facilities. Post-delivery financial audits may occur. 6) Applications must meet the required cost sharing threshold of 20%. Applications that fail to meet this requirement may be removed from consideration. Discretionary funds in the amount of $2,000,000 are available for this program in FY 2015. Applications will be evaluated and awards made to the entities whose applications demonstrate the highest merit.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Draft Final Report (template will be provided), Final Report and Internet Based Presentation (held remotely; template will be provided). SF-270, Request for Advance or Reimbursement, and SF-425, Federal Financial Report. Brief Quarterly Status Reporting via email (reporting categories will be conveyed) & Mid-Term Summary (phone discussion categories will be conveyed). SF-425, Federal Financial Report. No performance monitoring is required.
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. 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
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 30.%.
This program does not have MOE requirements. There is a mandatory 20% cost-sharing requirement under this program. Additional resource sharing above the mandatory 20% is strongly encouraged. PHMSA will fund no more than 80% (up to $300,000) of the total cost of each project. For instance, if the total project cost (including Federal and non-Federal funding) is $250,000, then the applicant must propose no less than $50,000 in non-Federal funding (20%) and PHMSA will fund no more than $200,000 (80%) .Section 32 (f) of The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 signed into law in January 2012 (P.L. 112–90—January 3, 2012) amends Section 12 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (49 .S.C. 60101 note) by amending subsection (d) to add: (d)(3)( C) Funding From No-Federal Sources.—The Secretary shall ensure at least 30 percent of the costs of program-wide research and development activities are carried out using non-Federal sources. The 2011 Act also amends Section 12 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (49 U.S.C. 60101 note), subsection (f), by striking ‘‘2003 through 2006.’’ And inserting ‘‘2012 through 2015.’’.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The announcement will be posted to www.Grants.gov and eligible applications must be submitted within 45 days. Recipients will have between 24 and 36 months from the date of award (typical length of projects) to spend the money awarded. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: 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
Saurabh Vasudeva & Jim Merritt Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Acquisition Services Division, PHA-30
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Email: Saurabh.firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (202) 366-4429/ (303) 693-3117
69-5172-0-2-407 - PHMSA will utilize prior year carry forward funding to obligate awards anticipated in FY15. The decision on which research accounting Budget Program Activity Code will be made at award..
(Salaries) FY 14 $699,702; FY 15 est $2,000,000; and FY 16 Estimate Not Available - This program is designed to be administered as an annual announcement with up to six awards of $300,000 each, or up to $2,000,000 for the overall annual program. If a large number of high-quality applications are received, and there is additional funding available, PHMSA may award more than five agreements.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The current program level of $2,000,000 (six individual awards at up to $300,000 each) is anticipated.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: See a listing of awards by FY at: http://primis.dot.gov/matrix/. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available