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: I see that Federal agencies are specifically excluded from this program. a. A number of DOE offices, especially the Office of Science, publish RFAs stating that Federal agencies are not eligible but allow Federal agencies to email proposals to for consideration as an interagency agreement (see Is that the case here? b. If Federal agencies are excluded from applying, can they receive funds as a collaborating sub-recipient?
Answer 1:

a)      No, DOE will not be accepting emailed proposals for consideration as an interagency agreement.

b)      Yes, Federal agencies may participate as a collaborating sub-recipient.


Question 2: FOA 812 is requiring 20% cost share. We are an FFRDC and will be a sub awardee to the lead. Is an FFRDC exempt from contributing cost share?
Answer 2: FFRDC’s are not exempt from contributing cost share.  The 20% cost share requirement applies to the project.  The specific percentage that the prime recipient and any sub-recipients will contribute is up to each applicant to determine.
Question 3: DE-FOA-0000812 lists January 13, 2013 as the concept paper due date. January 13, 2013 is Sunday. Will the concept paper be accepted on Monday, January 14?
Answer 3: No.  Concept papers are due by January 13, 2013, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Question 4: The text of the FOA (and the preceding RFI) specifically mentions six direct liquefaction pathways, including a solvent liquefaction pathway; however, the diagram in the FOA (quite helpful, BTW), showsonly 5, minus solvent liquefaction. Is there a reason for the omission on the diagram?
Answer 4:

The pathway block flow diagrams are only provided as a reference to illustrate some of the possible pathways that could benefit from improvements to carbon, hydrogen, or separations efficiency.  Provided that all other requirements of the FOA are met, improvements to solvent liquefaction would also be allowable.

Question 5: For the three technical barriers described in the FOA, catalyst development is not specifically mentioned among the possible research areas. Developing catalysts for hydrogen-transfer reactions, organic condensation reactions, and other reactions could contribute to greater efficiency for the overall process to produce biofuels. Would a proposal that focuses on catalyst development be considered responsive to this FOA?
Answer 5: Yes. The purpose of this FOA is to solicit proposals for research that will improve efficiency in several areas of the bio­-oil production process, particularly carbon, hydrogen, and separations efficiency. Applications that propose developing catalysts for these processes will be considered responsive.
Question 6: Could you please advise if non-US citizens can apply for DE-FOA-0000812. If this is not possible, will a US led consortium with an Australian partner be acceptable?
Answer 6:

As stated in Section III.A. of the FOA, “Foreign entities, whether for-profit or otherwise, are also Eligible Applicants.  Foreign entities are also eligible to participate as members of consortia as described above, and also as a subawardee.  All work by foreign entities must be performed by subsidiaries or affiliates incorporated in the United States (including U.S. territories).” 

Question 7: The FOA (page 19) lists the following documents for budgets: 4. SF 424 A Excel, Budget Information 5. PMC 123.1 Budget Justification File 6. PMC 123.1 Budget Justification File for each subawardee Please let us know whether SF 424 A Excel file for each subawardee is also required. And, if that’s the case, should the file name be “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Subawardee_SF424A”?
Answer 7: No, a SF 424 A form is not required for subawardees.
Question 8: The FOA states that “foreign entities are eligible applicants, participants or subawardees but then states that “All work by foreign entities must be performed by subsidiaries or affiliates incorporated in the United States (including U.S. territories).” Please clarify (a) can work be done outside the US so long as the subsidiary is incorporated in the US? (b) If a foreign entity does not have a US subsidiary, can they be part of the project team? (c) Can a foreign entity not having a US subsidiary contribute cost share to the overall project while not receiving US funds?
Answer 8:

Please refer to Modification 001 to DE-FOA-0000812 dated Dec. 26, 2012, which includes revisions to eligibility and requirements for performance of work in the US.


(a)    As provided in Section II.H. of the modified FOA, all work under this FOA must be performed in the US, unless the prime recipient obtains a waiver of that requirement pursuant to Section IV.C.12. of the modified FOA.  Only the prime recipient must have a U.S. subsidiary or affiliate; a foreign subrecipient is not required to have a U.S. subsidiary or affiliate.

(b)   Yes.

(c)    Yes, but any cost shared work by the foreign entity must be performed in the US unless a waiver of that requirement is obtained.

Question 9: We have successively filled in the information required under all the tabs, but there is no way to select a file to attach the PDF file of the main narrative of our application to the submission. We have successfully attached a PDF file on another application and in this application, we tried to different browsers, Chrome and Internet Explorer, incase it was a browser issue, but neither let us select a file to upload. Any suggestions on how to upload our application PDF would be gratefully appreciated.
Answer 9: The EERE Exchange website should now allow uploading of the Concept Paper file.  Please refer to Section IV.B.3. of the FOA for instructions if your file size exceeds 10MB. (Part 1 would be uploaded as the required concept paper.  Part 2, 3, etc. would be uploaded as optional files.)
Question 10: While we are working on our application on the assumption that we will have a timely positive response to our Concept Paper, I am concerned that the less-than 30 days turnaround time to the current application due date of Feb. 13 may be insufficient given the scope of work and multiple partners involved in our project. Is consideration being given to extending that?
Answer 10: No.  DOE is not considering an extension to the full application due date.
Question 11: The solicitation states on page 15 that the DOE anticipates making the awards as Cooperative Agreements. However, in other parts of the document it makes reference to both Grants and Cooperative Agreements and we would like clarity on the Intellectual Property Provisions. Could you please confirm that the DOE intends to make the awards as Cooperative Agreements? Also, does the DOE intend to award contracts containing the Authorization and Consent clause as part of the Intellectual Property Provisions?
Answer 11:

As stated in Section II.A. of the FOA, DOE does anticipate awarding Cooperative Agreements under this announcement.  The url link to DOE’s standard intellectual property provisions applicable to the various types of recipients is provided in Section VI.B.3 of the FOA.  The Authorization and Consent clause (FAR 52.227-1) is included in the CDSB-1003 (Domestic Small Business) and the CDLB-1003 (Large Business, State or Local Government, and Foreign Entity).

For awards made to universities, non-profits and other entities subject to OMB Circular A-110, the award will include the Research Terms and Conditions and the DOE Agency Specific Requirements located at  These terms do not include the Authorization and Consent clause.


Question 12: Would an approach whereby we propose to produce hydrogen via reforming of CH4 from renewable natural gas be responsive (and competitive) to this call?
Answer 12:

Based on the information provided in the question, DOE cannot determine the source of the “renewable natural gas” in order to definitively respond to the question.  If the approach is to conduct R&D in the area of fossil fuel reforming to produce hydrogen from natural gas, this would be considered non-responsive to this FOA.  Note, the purpose of the concept paper is for applicants to clearly describe their approach and for DOE to provide an “encourage” or “discourage” response to the applicants prior to preparing a full application.  All interested parties are encouraged to submit a concept paper for evaluation.

Question 13: Is there a limitation on how many proposals/awards a PI can submit?
Answer 13:

As stated in Section I.A of the FOA: “An applicant must specify one of the three technical barrier areas described above as the primary objective of their proposed research; however, applications describing a credible approach to making improvements in multiple barrier areas within a single application are preferred.  Furthermore, multiple applications can be submitted by one applicant if different barrier areas are identified as the primary objective. Applicants are also allowed to participate on applications submitted by other organizations. Applications must also include the rationale for determining the management structure of the project team, including the designation of the applicant or lead organization and the project management practices that will be used during the execution of the project.”

Question 14: Please clarify DOE’s intent with regards to foreign partners who may not have U.S. subsidiaries, such as universities, or foreign partners with U.S. subsidiaries but whose R&D subject experts reside outside the U.S. Both types of partners could result in stronger teams to benefit DOE and the purposes of the FOA. Section 1.H of Mod 1 states “EERE strongly encourages interdisciplinary…collaboration spanning …national boundaries” while section 3.12 of the Mod states that all work (interpreted as including cost share) must be performed in the U.S. (a) What is DOE’s intent on international collaborations with regards to this FOA? (b) While it is possible to request a waiver, is it to be assumed that projects of equal merit not requesting a waiver would be given preference? (c) If a waiver is not granted, would we have the opportunity to replace the foreign partner with a U.S. partner after selection?
Answer 14:

a) DOE encourages interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration spanning organizational and national boundaries; however, work done under this FOA must be performed in the US.

b) Applicants that meet the initial review criteria as stated in Section V.A.1 of the FOA, which includes the eligibility requirements, will be treated equally during the merit review phase.  Applications will be evaluated against the merit review criteria stated in Section V.A.2.  Preference will not be given to an applicant based on whether or not a waiver was received.

c) If a waiver is not granted, the Contracting Officer and/or Selection Official will determine whether or not an applicant will be given the opportunity to propose a replacement partner. 

Question 15: Would algae based pyrolysis oils be considered responsive?
Answer 15:

In addition to meeting the other requirements stated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the applicant must show that the proposed feedstock meets the definition of “High Impact” as stated in the FOA.  Pyrolysis of a High Impact Feedstock is an allowable pathway under this FOA.

Question 16: When submitting a full application, could we change the abstract we provided when we submit a concept paper? Could we also change total percent effort for team members?
Answer 16: Yes, the abstract and total percent effort for team members may be changed when submitting the full application.
Question 17: There has been some discussion within DOE to waive the cost share provision for not-for-profit organizations for early stage work, TRL 1-3. Will DOE waive the cost share provision for this FOA?
Answer 17:

No, DOE will not waive the cost share provision for this FOA.

Question 18: We recently submitted a Concept Paper and are now working on the full application package. In the Concept Paper we provided a budget estimate. However, we’ve since realized that we need to increase the budget slightly. Is this acceptable?
Answer 18: Yes, this is acceptable.
Question 19: On page 21-22 of the RFA, directions state that the project narrative must include an alphabetically numbered list of pieces from A. Project Objectives to G. Statement of Project Objectives (SOPO). But on page 31-32 of the RFA, in the application review criteria section, the narrative is broken down in a different way, showing (1) Impact of the Proposed Technology Relative to State-of-the-Art ; (2) Overall Scientific and Technical Merit and (3) Applicant Roles and Capabilities. How should the narrative (and table of contents) be structured? Should it follow the letter pattern on page 21-22 or the numbered pattern on pages 31-32?
Answer 19: The narrative should be structured following Section IV.C.3. of the FOA.
Question 20: Can you provide some statistics on how many concept papers were “encouraged” to submit a full proposal?
Answer 20:

Those statistics are not available for public release.

Question 21: A response from us is encouraged, but it appears we did not receive review comments as there are none under the “Review Comments” section of our Concept Paper submission page. Can you please advise whether we should have received review comments for our Concept Paper?
Answer 21: No comments were provided for “encouraged” applicants.
Question 22: Will DOE provide an extension to the full application due date?
Answer 22: DOE has extended the full application due date to February 20, 2013, 5:00 pm Eastern Time.  Please refer to Modification 002.
Question 23: The FOA states international partners are permitted. We have international partners (university) in this FOA, and I would like confirm that universities abroad (UK) can indeed receive funds from this award.
Answer 23: Please refer to Modification 001, for the added sub-section  II.H., “Performance of Work in the United States”.  Also refer to Q&A # 8 posted on the EERE Exchange website for this FOA.
Question 24: The EERE Exchange website link you sent is still showing 02/13/2012 as the closing date. Can you confirm it is now 02/20/2012? Also, I have an other question which I hope you can answer. Some of our project partners are international. Is it possible for them to receive funding from this project? It was not 100% clear from the language of the FOA.
Answer 24: The link now shows the closing date is 2/20/2013.  For information concerning international partners please refer to Q&A #8 and #23 on the EERE Exchange website for this FOA.
Question 25: I have been encouraged to submit a full proposal. May I add collaborators to the team that was listed only concept paper?
Answer 25: Yes, you may add collaborators to the team for the full application.
Question 26: Modification II.H. Performance of Work in the US states that “EERE requires all work under EERE funding agreements to be performed in the United States – i.e., prime recipients must expend 100% of the total project costs in the United States,” but these two statements are not the same thing. a) If we sub-contact to a US company and they end up performing part of their work in one of their non-US locations (say using equipment at a Canadian lab), do we need a waiver? b) Also, if we need to purchase specialty chemicals from a non-US manufacturer, do we need a waiver for that too since that would not be spending project money in the US?
Answer 26:

a) Yes, if you sub-contract to a US company and they end up performing part of their work in one of their non-US locations, a waiver would be required.

b) No, a waiver would not be needed for purchasing chemicals from a non-US manufacturer.

Question 27: On p.27 of the FOA Mod2, applicants are instructed NOT to submit the EF / PMC 111.1 form online but rather to complete it and retain it as a file. However, the table summarizing required elements on p.29 indicates this form IS to be included as a submitted part of the application. Pease confirm which is correct.
Answer 27: You are not to submit the Environmental Questionnaire online through the EERE Project Management Center website.  You are to save the questionnaire in a single file titled “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Env” and submit it online via the EERE Exchange website as part of your application package.
Question 28: As specified on p.25 (FOA Mod 2) an Appendix with Letters of Commitment is required for all parties contributing cost share and /or making integral contributions to the success of the project. Please advise correct file name for this Appendix.
Answer 28:

The appendices (bibliography/resume/letters of commitment) listed in Section IV.C.3.H. of the FOA are all part of the Project Narrative File which should be saved in a single file titled “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Project”.


Question 29: Do cost-share providers who will not be doing any work at their sites need to complete the environmental questionnaire?
Answer 29: No, they do not need to complete the questionnaire.
Question 30: I have submitted a concept paper for the DE-FOA-0000812 and was encouraged to submit a full proposal. I was wondering if it is allowed to change the title of the full proposal (the content and PIs are still the same) from that of the concept paper.
Answer 30: Yes, it is allowable to change the title of the full proposal as long as the Control Number remains the same.
Question 31: We respectfully request clarification as to the suggested inclusion of the required Statement of Program Objectives (SOPO) within the Project Narrative section of the application. In our experience, this has normally been handled as a standalone item. Given the guidelines for the SOPO with respect to non-proprietary information, we suggest that this necessitates its exclusion from the narrative, and submission as a separate Appendix within the application. In addition, the impact of removing the 3-page SOPO from the narrative portion will allow applicants to more completely describe their project.
Answer 31: Please refer to Modification 003 to the FOA, now posted on the EERE Exchange website.
Question 32: We are a FFRDC and a sub awardee to the lead. We are required to do FWP. As a FFRDC sub awardee are we required to do the PMC 123.1 “Budget Justification” forms?
Answer 32: Yes, a separate PMC 123.1 Budget Justification file is required for each subawardee that is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $100,000 or 50 percent of the total work effort (whichever is less).   Please refer to Section IV.C.6, Subaward Budget File(s), of the FOA for more details.
Question 33: Federally Funded Research and Development Center's (FFRDC’s) are required to do Field Work Proposal (FWP). Do you have the B&R#?
Answer 33: The B&R code is BM0101010.
Question 34: Noting that today’s posted version on the eere site is actually entitled Mod 3, what is the significance of the Mod 4 and Mod 5 listed on the site at, and the reference to Mod 6 on today’s email?
Answer 34:

On, the Synopsis Modification History shows five (5) modifications.  Two (2) were created when corrections were made to typos in the Synopsis language.  There have only been three (3) modifications to the FOA, and these are explained under the Description section on

Please see the current FOA document (FULL TEXT: Modification 003, Carbon, Hydrogen, and Separation Efficiencies in Bio-Oil Conversion Pathways (CHASE Bio-Oil Pathways), posted on the EERE Exchange website.  There is no Mod 6.
Question 35: The FOA states “You must complete the environmental questionnaire (EF-1 and PMC111.1). Do not submit the form online through the EERE Project Management Center website; it will not be reviewed as part of the application. Save the questionnaire in a single file titled “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Env.” When we go to the website to fill the information out, there is no way to print out a copy at the end of step 6, only a submit button. What should we do?
Answer 35:

On the EERE-Exchange posting for DE-FOA-0000812, there is a section labeled “Required Application Documents”.  In that section, click on the “View Required Application Documents” link.  The Environmental_Questionnaire.doc is available for download there.

Question 36: Please advise how to respond to SF424 #19 re Executive Order 12372 Process – a, b, or c? I can’t find any reference to it in the FOA instructions.
Answer 36: As stated in Section IV.F. of the FOA, “This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 – Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.  Therefore, “c” is the correct response to item #19.
Question 37: Our institution is the lead on this proposal and a Government-Owned Government-Operated (GOGO) facility will be a subawardee. Is this subawardee to provide the written authorization signed by the cognizant Contracting Officer and a Field Work Plan (FWP) as delineated in the FOA for FFRDC's?
Answer 37: Yes.
Question 38: I am writing to you to find out which applicants were awarded the funds under FOA 812. Unfortunately, I missed this FOA. Since my company is a technology leader in renewable oil separations, with a patented technology, this FOA was perfect for us. Were all the funds allocated?
Answer 38:

The subject FOA closed on February 20, 2013 and the applications are currently under review.  You may wish to subscribe to the Monthly News Blast on the Bioenergy Technologies Office website ( if you would like to be notified when selections are announced.

Question 39: Our group was wondering if CHASE applicant selections had been made. If we have not been notified, does that likely mean we were not selected?
Answer 39:

Selections have not been made yet for the CHASE FOA.  All applicants will be notified of their status after the review and selection process is finalized.

Question 40: Have the recipents for this funding been announced yet? Also can you tell me when we would expect to be hearing back on a proposal we submitted ?
Answer 40:

DOE anticipates announcing selectees for DE-FOA-0000812 in the next 2-4 weeks (approximately the first week of July).