Questions & Answers

Below is a list of general questions and answers, listed in order received. If you do not find the information you are looking for here, you may submit a question or comment by clicking below.

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Questions and Answers

  • Question: April 20, 2017

    Would the Naval Postgraduate School be eligible for participation? Since it is difficult for the Naval Postgraduate School to receive non-Federal money, this, in practice, will mean that ARL will have to MIPR portion of the funds for the Naval Postgraduate School and send the remaining funds to the lead organization.

    Answer:

    The Naval Postgraduate School is not eligible to be part of the consortium and receive funding, but they may be able to participate as Government collaborators during performance as appropriate.

  • Question: April 17, 2017

    Does the bibliography count in the 20 page limit of the white paper?

    Answer:

    Bibliography is to be included within the section cited and is limited by the page count for that section.

  • Question: April 12, 2017

    Hi, There is no mention in the call about a page allowance for bibliography. Four questions: (A) Is a list of references allowed? (B) Is a list of references expected? (C) Is there a page limit on the list of references? (D) Does the list of references count against the page allowance for the research program?

    Answer:

    (A) Yes, references are allowed within the section cited. A separate or appended list of references is not allowed. (B) References are expected where appropriate for statements and claims made within the body of the whitepaper. (C) References are to be included within the section cited and are limited by the page count for that section. (D) Yes, any list of references count against the page allowance for the section in which the list is included.

  • Question: April 10, 2017

    The question is whether an organization not proposing as LRO can be proposed as more than one LRAO in a Whitepaper/Proposal?

    Answer:

    Each Research Area will be led by a different Lead Research Area Organization (LRAO), one of which could also be the Lead Research Organization (LRO). Together the LRO and LRAOs make up the Consortium. The same entity cannot be the LRAO for more than one Research Area. Researchers from any Consortium Member may participate in the research undertaken within any of the three Research Area.

  • Question: March 30, 2017

    Should the Whitepaper show all the subawardees.

    Answer:

    Yes, the team, to the extent that it is formed, should be represented in the whitepaper. Per Whitepaper Evaluation Criteria Factor 2 (Experience and Qualifications of Scientific Staff): Evaluation of this factor will focus on and assess the qualifications, capabilities, availability, proposed level of effort, accomplishments and past experience of the Applicant's proposed research personnel (individually and as a whole) as an indication of their ability to achieve the proposed technical objectives.

  • Question: March 30, 2017

    Clarification: When a multi-institutional team bid, can they propose on a single research area, (say, RA2) or do they have to propose on the whole thing?

    Answer:

    No, to be responsive the applicant (which is a consortium of organizations) must propose against the entire program including all research areas.

  • Question: March 29, 2017

    Are the subawardies expected to be presented in the Whitepaper -- in particular in the budgetary Tables 2 and 3?

    Answer:

    Yes, the team, to the extent that it is formed, should be represented in the whitepaper. Per Whitepaper Evaluation Criteria Factor 2 (Experience and Qualifications of Scientific Staff): Evaluation of this factor will focus on and assess the qualifications, capabilities, availability, proposed level of effort, accomplishments and past experience of the Applicant's proposed research personnel (individually and as a whole) as an indication of their ability to achieve the proposed technical objectives. Subawardees should also be included in budget estimates for tables 2 and 3.

  • Question: March 29, 2017

    Can part of the project, be done in a foreign country - Europe, for example?

    Answer:

    Yes, per page 5 of the Program Announcement, there is no limitation on the place of performance for any organization participating under the CA.

  • Question: March 29, 2017

    The program announcement document "Table 1. Anticipated CRA Funding" outlines the commencement of the project in January 2018. What is to be anticipated in the period between September 2017 (post-award) and January 2028?

    Answer:

    Table 1 indicates a FY18 which starts on October 1st, 2017 for the federal government.

  • Question: March 28, 2017

    A. Is it correct that ARL will award as many as four contracts: one to the LRO, and one to each of three LRAOs? B. If not, is it the case that ARL will award only a single contract to one LRO, whose team must include all LRAOs? C. Can an LRAO be a non-academic institution, such as a not-for-profit research institute that is within a university but is not itself a degree-granting entity? Thank you.

    Answer:

    Part 1) B is the correct answer. ARL will award only a single cooperative agreement to a consortium that consists of the LRO and the LRAOs. See the Program Announcement for additional information. Part 2) See the Program Announcement for the definition of the LRO.

  • Question: March 15, 2017

    Cost sharing is not mentioned in the evaluation criteria. Please explicitly describe how voluntary committed cost sharing will be considered in the review process, as per Uniform Guidance §200.306. (Our institution will not allow voluntary committed cost share unless the PA clearly follows the Uniform Guidance.)

    Answer:

    Accordance with the Uniform Guidance at §200.306, voluntary committed cost sharing cannot be used a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals. Thus, the evaluation criteria in the DCIST PA do not include a factor for cost sharing nor does that criteria mention cost sharing. Per the PA, during the evaluation of proposals, any cost sharing will be evaluated as it relates to the evaluation factors listed in the PA, based on the degree to which the proposed cost sharing enhances the Proposal to result in added benefits to the DCIST CRA. To allow for evaluation of proposed cost sharing, a Proposal should express a firm commitment to provide such cost share and evidence a process for integrating the cost share into the collaborative research program.

  • Question: March 15, 2017

    Are second-tier subawards allowed, that is, can the LRAO subawards have their own subawardees? Or do all organizations have to be first-tier subawards directly from the LRO?

    Answer:

    In accordance with the PA, organizations proposed as subawardees are to be subawardees to the LRO, and not subawardees to any of the LRAOs.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Are foreign institutions allowed to apply?

    Answer:

    Yes.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is there a restriction on location?

    Answer:

    No.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will ARL help with aligning specific LROs or LRAOs?

    Answer:

    No, Consortia will be self-formed.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Cost sharing is not required but do you discourage cost sharing?

    Answer:

    Cost sharing is not discouraged but per the PA, cost sharing is not required. Per the PA, any cost sharing will be evaluated as it relates to the evaluation factors listed in the PA, based on the degree to which the proposed cost sharing enhances the Proposal to result in added benefits to the DCIST CRA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will those attending “in-person” or through DCS get added to a list of potential collaborators?

    Answer:

    Attendees for the Opportunities Day will be published on the webpage, but applicants were not required to participate at the Opportunities Day or to register on the web site in order to submit a whitepaper.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is there a list of Universities available for collaboration?

    Answer:

    No list will be provided.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    It seems depending on what is assumed to be on platforms the outcome can be quite different.

    Answer:

    Correct, a wide range of assumptions as to what is on the experimental platforms is possible, and the applicant should justify their proposed research program and address any constraints posed by these assumptions.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    What are the metrics for success? The topics of RAs are rather abstract.

    Answer:

    This is a 6.1 program so the traditional metrics for basic research will be used, including peer reviewed publications, recognitions and awards, leadership and impact within the field, etc., as well as success at building high quality collaborations with ARL and ARL stakeholders (e.g., joint publications, data sharing, joint experimentation).

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    How does the program address constraints imposed by the state-of-the-art platforms and sensors/communication systems on the algorithms and software in support of the three RAs?

    Answer:

    We expect the applicants to discuss how they will deal with the constraints in current state-of-art systems and how they will overcome those constraints over the course of the program.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    What percentage of the program is expected to be algorithm / software development as opposed to hardware integration and experimentation?

    Answer:

    That is up to the applicant to propose in the context of the overall balance of research within their whitepaper; there is no defined percentage.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Given that the budget is significantly higher year 2 onwards, do you envision us adding new PIs, or that we simply plan for more modest support in year 1?

    Answer:

    It is up to the applicant to decide/propose how they will handle the ramp up in funds after the first year.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is the “enhanced funding” envisioned primarily to bring in additional PIs and add new research tasks or to supplement current PIs and program?

    Answer:

    It is anticipated to do both.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is there encouragement for industry involvement?

    Answer:

    Participation should be based on the technical expertise and ability to perform 6.1 research, regardless of organization type. The only role industry cannot fill is the LRO.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is there a requirement for participation from an HBCU institution in this CRA?

    Answer:

    No.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Are sub-contractors welcome?

    Answer:

    Yes, in the context of this program, they are defined as sub-awardees. All sub-awardees will be subcontracted by the LRO, and all funds will flow through the LRO, as described in the PA

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will ARL make collaboration recommendations?

    Answer:

    No.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    What are technical area classifications?

    Answer:

    Definitions for 6.1 and 6.2 are provided in the PA. There will be no classified work as part of this program.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Are the whitepapers/proposal submission processes by team or are the whitepapers evaluated on their own merit without reference to the team?

    Answer:

    Only a single Whitepaper will be submitted per applicant and it will be evaluated as a consortium, refer to the PA for specific evaluation criteria.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Given the expansive definition of a team in DCIST, what is the role of human trust in autonomous swarms in the CRA?

    Answer:

    That is for the applicant to propose and define within the bounds laid out within the PA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Since the expectation is for LRAOs to have own in-house researchers in the RA that they lead, what do you consider a sufficient level of in-house research vis-à-vis expertise provided by sub-awardees? Any specific percentages?

    Answer:

    No specific percentages will be defined and ratio of in-house to sub-awardee is up to the applicant to propose. See the PA for description of roles.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    LRO PM is full time. To plan for a consortium presence, are there anticipated staff time levels for CAM, Chief Scientist?

    Answer:

    The LRO PM position is not necessarily full time, but it should be sufficient to carry out the duties as defined in the PA. The CAM and Chief Scientist positions are critical positions and will be treated as a primary responsibility for the government staff but no % time will be defined.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will the government suggest teams after white paper submission?

    Answer:

    No, core team members should be identified prior to whitepaper submission, it is the responsibility of the applicant to identify their consortium members. Government will not suggest teams after whitepaper submission.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is cross-teaming allowed?

    Answer:

    Yes, individuals and organizations can participate on more than one proposal. Also, individuals/organizations can support tasks on multiple RAs if experience justifies a research topic; however, this should be balanced against a diversity of ideas and approaches.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Can you help us form teams?

    Answer:

    No, individuals and organizations will need to form their own teams. We recommend that everyone register as an interested vendor as a way to connect to other interested parties.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Are companies that will help bridge to 6.2 or transition opportunities required?

    Answer:

    No, focus should be on 6.1 basic research. Companies to bridge to 6.2 or foster transition opportunities are not required.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Do we need to include ARL researchers in white paper development?

    Answer:

    No, whitepapers should focus on potential technical areas and topics for collaboration, and approaches to build collaboration over time with ARL. Specific ARL researchers should not be discussed.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Do all possible PI’s need to be identified prior to submission?

    Answer:

    No, although the whitepaper should provide the management structure and anticipated staffing together with sufficient information about the PIs and key members of the technical team. Showing that the requisite expertise will be available to support the research vision developed in the whitepaper is important, and this will be evaluated under the rating criteria.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Can the LRO also be the LRAO with different individual leads?

    Answer:

    Yes, the LRO and can also be an LRAO. If this is the case, the PM and the RAL can be different individuals from the same organization, given that the experience and expertise match the position requirements.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    When will answers be given to submitted questions after April 1, 2017?

    Answer:

    The deadline for whitepaper submission questions is April 1st. After April 1st, ARL will attempt to answer questions but there is no guarantee that answers will be provided prior to whitepaper submission.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is there an expected/suggested budget number per proposal?

    Answer:

    The budget is spelled out in the PA. Only one award to a consortium is expected to be funded, for the full amount listed in the PA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    What are the review criteria for whitepapers and full proposals? (objective metrics [point system for the 5 factors] or other metrics)?

    Answer:

    Review criteria are spelled out in the PA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    In proposal development should the offerors assume that the government will provide data or should the offeror identify external data sources that will be used?

    Answer:

    It should not be assumed that the government will be providing any data; applicants should identify data sources they intend to collect or use.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Where can we find an example Articles of Collaboration and are the terms/content editable? (i.e., what are Articles of Collaboration?)

    Answer:

    A definition for the Articles of Collaboration is in the PA, and an example of the AoC will be provided to applicants that are selected to move forward with full proposals.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will ARL organize meetings with operational transition organizations or should performers lead this?

    Answer:

    ARL will invite DoD stakeholders and potential transition partners to the annual technical reviews. The RMB and ARL will look to identify transition opportunities. While it is not expected that the Consortium will have a dedicated transition office or function, it is expected that the consortium would embrace and foster transition where it is possible and feasible. The Enhanced Program is one method such that technology could be transitioned to other organizations. Transitions will be tracked over the course of the program.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Will ARL provide use cases or challenge problems?

    Answer:

    Not beyond what is in the PA. As the Alliance collaborates in future, challenge problems may be jointly developed to focus or steer the basic research in new directions.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is intelligent & dynamic formation of teams of interest?

    Answer:

    Refer to the program announcement sections 1”ARL Vision” and 4 “CRA Research Strategy.” It is up to the applicants to propose and include topics that address fundamental research questions and that they can justify as fitting within the vision and research strategy of the PA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Have the personnel for the ARL technical management team been selected? If so, can we be told who they are at this time (e.g., preliminary view)?

    Answer:

    No these positions have not been finalized by ARL as of this time.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is the consortium based on teams formed before the competition or is it composed of selected proposals to form the ultimate team or consortium?

    Answer:

    The whitepaper should present the fully formed team of LRO, LRAOs, and key PIs.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Can individual PIs from an LRO be part of a different LRAO?

    Answer:

    Yes, individual PIs from an LRAO organization can participate under a different RA or LRAO if their research is appropriate for that RA. Given that, the LRAO and the RAL are expected to have a core expertise in their given RA.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Can industry lead a research area or can they only participate as a sub-awardee?

    Answer:

    Yes, industry can be a Research Area Lead or they can be a sub-awardee. They only cannot be the LRO.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Although the program is 6.1 are there targeted use cases for the program? Are there use cases that are out of scope?

    Answer:

    There are no targeted use cases or specific ones that are out of scope. There are technology focus areas that are out of scope; refer to PA. The CRA is for developing the underlying technologies that could enable many use cases; refer to the PA for the big picture.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    Is a capstone experiment planned for the program? If so, what is the vision for what it should showcase?

    Answer:

    Not at this time. That is something that will be developed jointly within the Alliance and will take shape over time as the research progresses based on the performers in the program and technology being developed.

  • Question: March 09, 2017

    What might be examples of transition of research (e.g., 6.2 funding, programs of record fund, patent/license?)

    Answer:

    This is a 6.1 basic research program with no 6.2 funding in the core program. As such, while transitions of technologies will be encouraged, there is no requirement to transition to programs of record. The Enhanced Program may be a vehicle to transition technology to 6.2 activities. Patents and Licensing are not required but encouraged where applicable.

  • Question: March 08, 2017

    Is the Interested Vendors list working? We registered on that page last week. Presumably others did too. No vendors at all are on the list this week. - Jared Freeman ###

    Answer:

    Yes.

  • Question: March 01, 2017

    I have faculty members who are green card holders who are interested in submitting white papers for this opportunity. Is there a restriction on US green card holders?

    Answer:

    Green card holders are allowed to participate.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: February 10, 2017