Frequently Asked Questions

Select a FOA to view questions and answers for the specific funding opportunity. Alternatively select "Non-FOA related items" to view system FAQ items.

Question 1: Currently the GEARED FOA shows a dollar value of $0. Does this mean the FOA is uncommitted or on hold?
Answer 1:

For specific information regarding the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) such as funding amount, please refer to the FOA posted on the DOE’s EERE eXchange site.


Question 1: I am looking for the Intellectual Property Management Plan templates referred to in Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) DE-FOA-0000856, pg. 57. This Link is dead:
Answer 1:

An example of the suggested template has been posted under the required documents for the GEARED FOA.  Please note that this form is labeled as an example and is not required.

Question 2: I am having difficulty accessing the full announcement for DE-FOA-0000856
Answer 2:

The FOA can be located by clicking the link below and then clicking  on “FULL TEXT: Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED)”.  The FOA file itself is in a MS Word format.


Question 3: Section IV.C. of the FOA notes that the Concept Paper is due on 4/12, and "EERE will encourage a subset of Applicants to submit Full Applications. Other Applicants will be discouraged from submitting a Full Application... in an effort to save the Applicant the time and expense of preparing an application that is unlikely to be selected for award negotiations." However, the suggested submission date for the Full Application is only five days later on 4/17, with Applicants well into preparing their 40-page proposals before the Concept Papers are due. If these dates are incorrectly stated, could you please provide the correct deadlines for these submissions? What is the expected lag time between the Concept Paper deadline and the "encouraged" or "discouraged" notifications?
Answer 3:

As noted in the FOA, the Concept Paper is due on April 12, 2013 and the Full Application is due on April 19, 2013. In addition to providing basic information about a proposed project, for this FOA the Concept Paper serves primarily as a letter of intent to submit a Full Application. EERE intends to provide brief feedback on Concept Papers by April 15, 2013. Applicants who have been discouraged from submitting a Full Application may still submit a Full Application.



Question 4: I have intention to submit a grant proposal to you for a solar driven alternator generator, any advice you can offer is appreciated in securing funds for this design and development.
Answer 4:

For information regarding the GEARED funding announcement please reference the posted FOA documents:



Question 5: The Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) Funding Opportunity Announcement Funding Opportunity Announcement ( FOA ) Number: DE-FOA-0000856.
Answer 5:

The GEARED FOA can be accessed here:

The link directly under FOA DOCUMENTS should load a word version of the posted FOA.



Question 6: I have the following questions: 1. Are FFRDC/GOGO’s eligible for the full $200,000 award on Topic B- National Network Administrator (NNA) as the prime applicant without partners? (page 8 of the FOA indicates FFRDCs/GOGOs are only eligible for up to 50% of award funding as prime. Does this apply to Topic B – NNA?) 2. On page 17, the FOA states that one task for the NNA is “Supporting the DTTCs in providing short courses and seminars based on the analysis and R&D conducted”. Please explain what DOE intends by the word “providing”. Is the intention for the NNA to develop course content or simply circulate courses developed by other DTTCs and SunRISE FOA awardees?
Answer 6:

For Topic B - NNA, FFRDC's and  GOGOs are eligible for up to 100 percent of award funding as a prime. The NNA may develop course content, however, the primary function of the NNA is to distribute and make available content provided by other sources, such as DTTCs and SUNRISE FOA awardees.


Question 7: The FOA states on page 12 the following: “GEARED will not support undergraduate or graduate fellowships.” Later, in page 15, within the project activities section, it states: “Training programs may include elements such as: student support, internships, and coops;” So it is unclear to me whether it is possible or not to budget support for PhD students (tuition + stipend), as it is customary in other DOE or NSF proposals.
Answer 7:

Student support is permissible for research and education, however, full fellowships (covering all expenses, tuition, stipends, health insurance, etc.) are discouraged. Budgeted stipends and/or tuitions levels should be comparable to the standard levels of support for equivalent or existing student support programs, internships or coops. 


Question 8: An “Evaluation Plan” is listed on Page 33 – as a requirement to the Project Narrative. Is there a page limit for this plan, given it is part of the Project Narrative?
Answer 8:

There is no page limit for the Evaluation Plan, but there is a page limit for the Project Narrative.


Question 9: Please clarify the page limit for the “Statement of Project Objectives”. References on pages 6 & 32 (indicate 5 page maximum), and the SOPO template indicates 7 pages maximum.
Answer 9:

As stated in the FOA, the SOPO page limit is five pages.


Question 10: If a university creates a new course or curriculum under FOA funding can they include the materials in a tuition supported program?
Answer 10:

If a university creates a new course or curriculum under FOA funding, they may include the materials in a tuition supported program.


Question 11: "The NNA will support the means by which investigators and practitioners can share information and ideas, coordinate ongoing or planned training, analysis, research and development activities, foster synthesis and new collaborations, develop community standards, and in other ways advance technology, training, and education through communication and sharing of ideas." Would you please provide clarification on the meaning of "community standards".
Answer 11:

Community standards are the standard practices for sharing information and methodologies between training consortia and the National Network Administrator.


Question 12: Beginning on page 34, the GEARED FOA provides a table with "detailed guidance on the content and form of each component below." The guidance provided seems more in line with Topic Area 1 Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTC) than Topic Area 2 National Network Administrator. Does DOE have any further content guidance for NNA applicants?
Answer 12:

No, DOE does not have further content guidance.


Question 13: Please advise if the budget periods must be separated by year, or can we have Budget Period 1 identified as a 24 month period)?
Answer 13:

Projects are slated for five years of operation and should be divided into five separate one year budget periods.


Question 14: The “performance category” required in concept papers and full applications refers to section I.E, which does not exist. Could you please clarify whether performance category means the topic area (i.e. 1 or 2, DTTC or NNA)? Could you also please verify that each topic area would require separate concept papers and full applications? The bottom of page 12 includes this statement: “GEARED will not support undergraduate or graduate fellowships”. Does this preclude tuition scholarships (our usual terminology) for graduate students assigned to R&D activities on this project? Does it preclude monthly stipends for graduate students or work-study arrangements for undergraduates who might be assigned to the project?
Answer 14:

Please refer to previously posted FAQ’s for this FOA as these questions have been addressed.



Question 15: Applicants are required to identify “Performance Category or Subcategory” in both the Concept Paper and the Full Application (0.5 page max). Description of this requirement on page 35 of the FOA states: “Each Full Application must identify the Performance Subcategory or Subcategories for the Applicant’s proposed technology.” Is there a list of Performance Categories/Subcategories or is it up to the applicants to provide their own wordings?
Answer 15:

Please refer to Amendment 001 of the FOA as this language has been modified.  Applicants should identify to which topic area they are applying in both the concept paper and full application.



Question 16: The FOA references Section I.E. to see details for the Performance Subcategory description. I do not see a section I.E. in the FOA. Where can I find details on what DOE wants in this section?
Answer 16:

Please see the FOA Amendment 001.


Question 17: The FOA indicates that the milestone/deliverables template should be a stand-alone file as well as included in the Project Narrative. Applicants must submit proposed performance milestones and deliverables. The completed milestones should be submitted as a standalone addition to the applicant’s Project Narrative. (page 35) The stand-alone document is not specified as one of the 15 files listed on pages 32, 33. Please clarify (1) If a stand -alone performance milestones and deliverables is required and (2) If there is a template for this document? QUESTION 2: The EERE Exchange web site has a PMP/Project Management Plan template. This is listed as a requirement within the Project Narrative section, but the FOA doesn’t indicate a template should be used. Please clarify (1) If the PMP/Project management template and instructions should be used within the project narrative, project management plan section (2) If the PMP file is a template for deliverables and milestones.
Answer 17:

Please see the FOA Amendment 001.  The PMP template may be used to complete the Milestones and Deliverables section of the Project Narrative.


Question 18: The list on page 32-33 includes a bullet for an evaluation plan. This is not described in the section detailing what goes into each section- page 36-37. What is expected to be included in the evaluation plan and is this part of the project narrative or a stand-alone file?
Answer 18:

The Evaluation Plan is part of the Project Narrative and may include either an established methodology or a plan for developing an evaluation methodology.


Question 19: Page 41 of the FOA states that “If a DOE FFRDC contractor is to perform a portion of the work, you must provide a DOE Field Work Proposal (FWP) in accordance with the requirements in DOE Order 412.1 Work Authorization System.” If a FFRDC is responding as the Lead Organization, should the total project amount (including all participants) be included in the Field Work Proposal, or just the FFRDC's portion?
Answer 19:

If a FFRDC is responding as the Lead Organization, the total project amount including all participants should be included in the DOE Field Work Proposal. 

Question 20: Is the Tech to Market plan required for National Network Administrator topic?
Answer 20:

The Tech to Market plan is not required for the National Network Administrator topic.


Question 21: Can you clarify what you mean by a data/meta-data strategy? (I don’t want to make assumptions)
Answer 21:

The data strategy should include a plan for sharing non-proprietary information that is developed or produced by participants within the network.


Question 22: One of our team members has been asked to participate in two concept papers that are being submitted to the GEARED program. Can individuals participate as a PI, Co-PI, etc… in more than one concept paper as long as each concept paper describes a unique project?
Answer 22: Yes, an individual may participate in multiple projects.  There is no restriction on the number of applications that an individual  may participate on. 
Question 23: The table on page 6 specifies that the concept paper must be no more than 2 pages in length. However, on page 31, the forth bullet point below "Concept Paper due date and time", specifies that the concept paper must not exceed 3 pages. Can you please clarify if the length of the concept paper is 2 pages or 3 pages?
Answer 23: As noted in the submission table on page 7 of the FOA and in section VI. C, the Abstract portion of the concept paper is limited to 2 pages.  The concept paper may not exceed 3 pages in total, which includes a two page abstract.  The additional page beyond the two page abstract, may consist of, any of the following items: a cover page, charts, maps, and photographs.  It is up to the applicant to decide the content of the three page concept paper, but please note that any abstract that exceeds the two page limit will have the additional pages redacted.
Question 24: I have a question on the budget forms required for each Subawardee. On page 50 of the FOA, #11 states that the PMC 123.1 is required for each subaward budget. Is this the only form required for each subaward? Do they not need to submit an SF-424A and SF-424?
Answer 24:

Subawardees are not required to submit an SF-424A or SF-424.  As per section VI.D.11 of the FOA, any subawardee that received more than $100,000 or performs 30% of the total work must submit a Budget Justification document (PMC 123.1).

Question 25: Our company intended to include our CEO's resume as part of the concept paper package, is this acceptable?
Answer 25: A resume may be submitted as part of the concept paper package, but please note the resume will be counted towards the 3 page limit as noted in the FOA.
Question 26: Could we get some clarification on the "performance subcategory" requested for the concept papers?
Answer 26: Where the FOA asks you to identify a Performance Subcategory, please identify a Topic Area or Topic Areas.
Question 27: The PMC123.1 budget justification available in the Required Documents section is for three-year projects. If we are proposing a 5-year project, are we to modify the PMC123.1, by adding columns for Year 4 and Year 5 throughout the workbook, in order to accommodate the 5-year costs?
Answer 27:

The PMC 123.1 Budget Justification, should be modified as needed by the applicant in order to accommodate their proposed budget.

Question 28: A FFRDC will be a subawardee for $350K over 5yrs. Is the FWP the only budget document required? SF424A and PMC123.1 are not required. Is this correct?
Answer 28: As noted in FOA Section IV.D.11 (page 40) any sub-recipient with costs exceeding $100,000, or 30% of the total work effort must have a budget justification (PMC 123.1) included as part of the application package. 
Question 29: Are the references (Bibliography) part of the 20 page “Strategy” limit?
Answer 29: Reference pages will not count against the 20 page limit in the Strategy.
Question 30: One task delineated in the concept paper is the development of various educational modules. We plan to develop initial set of educational models and then partner with utilities/transmission & distribution providers to pilot and implement those modules for their environment. Is it acceptable to use the strategy above and request commitment from those utilities only after the initial set of educational modules is developed?
Answer 30: As stated in the FOA, at least two (2) electric utilities (investor owned, public, municipal and/or electric cooperative) and/or transmission & distribution providers (here-in referred to as “utility entity”) must be included. This is a requirement to ensure that input from energy providers and implementers will be incorporated into training and education activities from the start, in order to ensure that relevant curriculum and programming is developed.
Question 31: Referencing Pages 36 and 37 of the FOA, in the Project Narrative table: it is not absolutely clear whether the agency is seeking a discussion of the electric grid versus curriculum and training developments when it references “technology” in the following sections. In addition, the section on feasibility appears to be referencing the scale up of a product that may be the outcome of research. It reads more like an equipment development scheme than an academic project. Can you please clarify?
Answer 31: We are seeking curriculum and training developments that incorporate innovative analysis, and R&D.
Question 32: Under a Topic 1 proposal, does the 20% cost share requirement have to be distributed equally among a five year project period or can it vary year by year as long as the cumulative 20% total is met overall?
Answer 32: Typically, cost share requirements are required to be met for each Budget Period.  In very rare extenuating circumstances and with the approval of the Contracting Officer DOE will allow Recipients to front load or back load their cost share.
Question 33: Since May 12th is Sunday can we assume that the deadline for replies to reviewer comments is 5/13/2013 5pm EST? Or is it 5/10, Friday 5pm EST?
Answer 33: Replies to reviewer comments will be due 2 business days after the comments are made available to applicants.
Question 34: Are captions allowed on page three of the reply to reviewer comments? If so, is there a length restriction, e.g. one line or one sentence?
Answer 34: Captions are acceptable. A few sentences or lines would be appropriate.
Question 35: My organization was selected to submit a full application to this solicitation. The solicitation suggested that selection notification was tentatively planned for June 2013. Can you provide an updated anticipated deadline for notification of selection?
Answer 35:

Applications are currently under review for selection.  Once selections have been made applicants will be notified in writing.