Federal Demonstration Project

Overview

Northwestern has participated in the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) since 1988. The FDP provides a forum for participating universities and federal agencies to explore ways to simplify the burden of grant administration on PIs and university and agency staff, and to test the feasibility of simplified procedures through demonstrations. One of the benefits has been the delegation of greater decision-making capabilities regarding the spending and stewardship of grant funds to university participants.

The federal agencies participating in the FDP are: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research Office (ARO), Army Medical Research and Material Command (AMRMC), Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of the Treasury. Most grants awarded by these agencies are subject to the FDP terms and conditions.

The FDP general terms and conditions (including technical reporting requirements) and those specific to all of the agencies listed above are available on the NSF Web site. All new awards and amendments to existing awards have started to reference these revisions as "FDP-III, 7/1/97." In general, the PIs may make decisions regarding rebudgeting, equipment purchases, use of consultants, and domestic versus foreign travel. The University, through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, may grant no-cost extensions, allow for pre-award costs up to 90 days, facilitate rebudgeting, approve renovations or alterations, and write subcontracts. Issues relating to the absence or change of a PI, a change in scope or objectives (which may be indicated by significant rebudgeting), or a determination of project relatedness for sharing expenses require prior approval of the funding agency.

One of the major FDP, Phase III changes is that all agencies (except ONR and AFOSR) require that they be notified of a no-cost extension at least 10 days prior to the end of the project period. Accordingly, OSR would like to receive the request 15 business days before the end of the project period in order to meet this deadline. For no-cost extensions, AFOSR and ONR require prior approval by the agency; ONR generally authorizes extensions for no longer than three months and requires receipt of the request at least 60 days prior to the end of the project period. ARO also requires prior approval of foreign travel, even if included in the approved budget.

The FDP terms do not generally apply to contracts, cooperative agreements, or training grants. An investigator may request a copy of his/her award from OSR, if necessary, to determine which terms are referenced.

OSR research administrators are available to answer any FDP questions that may not be answered at the NSF Web site; call (847) 491-3003 in Evanston or (312) 503-7955 in Chicago.

Reminder for Publication Citations and Progress Reports

Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) agencies require that an acknowledgment of awarding agency support and a disclaimer appear in the publication of any material, whether copyrighted or not, based on or developed under a project, as follows:

Acknowledgement: "This material is based upon work supported by the [name of awarding agency(ies)] under Award No. [award number(s) assigned by awarding agency(ies)]."

Disclaimer: "Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the [name of awarding agency(ies)]."

Any solicitation using federal grant funds to procure goods and services (including construction) costing $500,000 or more must announce the amount and percentage of total costs to be financed with federal funds.

FDP general terms and conditions also require the submission of annual and final progress reports. Most NIH annual reports are due two months prior to the end of the current budget period as part of the Application for Continuation of a Grant. Most NSF annual reports are due at least three months prior to the end of the current budget period. Final reports are due within 90 days following the expiration or termination of the project.

The progress reports should include information on (1) specific aims, (2) results, (3) plans for the coming year, and (4) publications arising from the project. The report should be written in language readily understandable to a scientist who may not be a specialist in the field of the project's research. The style used in Scientific American articles would be appropriate. It is suggested that the entire report, exclusive of the list of publications, not exceed 2 pages.

The federal agencies participating in the FDP are: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Army Research Office (ARO), Army Medical Research and Military Command (AMRMC), Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of the Treasury. Most grants awarded by these agencies are subject to the FDP terms and conditions. The FDP General Terms and Conditions and Agency-Specific Regulations are available on the Web.