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 am unsure how PREDICTS is defining a microconverter. Specifically, would development and initial implementation of industry standard tests for DC-DC power maximizers (that are applied at the module level) be eligible for award? Would be interesting considering the similar market segments that microinverters and DC-DC power maximizers compete in.
Answer 1:

DC-DC converters applied at the module level are within the scope of the award (see Sections I.B.1 “Areas of Programmatic Interest” and I.B.2 “Areas NOT of Programmatic Interest”). Please note also that the FOA objectives are to perform test development and implementation for both microinverters and microconverters.



Question 2: Can an Applicant submit more than one application to this FOA?
Answer 2:

As stated in Amendment 001 of the FOA, Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique project and each application has a different Principle Investigator (PI).  No individual may participate as a PI or co-PI on more than one application.  An individual may be included in an application as a participant even if they are listed as a PI on another application.  If an applicant submits more than one Concept Paper or Full Application with the same PI or co-PI, DOE will only consider the last timely submission for evaluation.  Any other submissions received listing the same PI or co-PI will be considered noncompliant and not eligible for further consideration.

Question 3: The solicitation reads there is a webinar today for the PREDICTS program but I cannot find a time or link posted. Can you please provide this info.
Answer 3:

The webinar will be held today, Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 3:00 PMEST.  Please reserve your Webinar seat at: .


Question 4: Can I have the eere web address for the webinar slides?
Answer 4:

The webinar slides and script may be found on the exchange website at by clicking “PREDICTS Webinar Slides and Script” under FOA Documents.

Question 5: Although the PV section in Topic 1 of this FOA is interested in modeling intrinsic failure mechanisms in PV cells/modules/arrays, would there be interest in a combination of advanced physics-based modeling techniques and its integration with remote monitoring systems for online degradation evaluation in deployed arrays?
Answer 5:

The scope of Topic 1 of this FOA is to determine, define, and map the series or sequences of discrete, indivisible steps that occur in the failure of a system or component of a solar field.  These findings should be used to develop a map of all the contributing factors that need to be taken into account when generating a predictive, physics-based lifetime and reliability model. Advanced measurement techniques are included in the scope of this FOA.  Please see the FOA for more information on the objectives of this funding announcement and how applications will be evaluated.


Question 6: What material systems are of particular interest for Topic 1 of this FOA? Are they materials used in current commercial modules such as crystalline silicon?
Answer 6:

Specific materials systems are not identified as a focus for this FOA.  The Technical Areas of Programmatic Interest in Section I.B.1 is not exhaustive and is only used demonstrate the breadth of possibilities.  Please see Section V.B.3 for the Merit Review Criteria for Applications.


Question 7: When will applicants be informed of the DOE interest in the Concept Paper?
Answer 7:

DOE expects to release comments on the concept paper by 4/9/13.  This date is tentative and may be changed without notice. 


Question 8: Would reliability and intrinsic failure mechanisms of organic solar cells be considered in this FOA?
Answer 8:

The PV section of Topic 1 of this FOA is soliciting applications to examine the individual components of modules (from individual materials to material systems such as p-n junctions, contacts, and packaging/enclosures). Areas of programmatic interest are outlined in Section I.B.1. These areas include, but are not limited to, cell materials and interfaces, packaging (barrier films, encapsulants, etc.), optics (for CPV), elemental diffusion and material impurities. The Technical Areas of Programmatic Interest in Section I.B.1 is not exhaustive and is only used demonstrate the breadth of possibilities. 


Question 9: I need a DOE contact person to address to for the DOE proposal package that we are preparing for this PREDICTS program. Could you please provide me with this contact person: name, e-mail , title and address?
Answer 9:

Please reference Section IV.D of the PREDICTS FOA regarding requirements for submitting Concept Papers.  Any Concept Paper that is NOT submitted via the EERE eXCHANGE system will be deemed non-compliant, will not be allowed to move forward in the application process.

Question 10: How critical is the participation of an industrial partner to a proposed project?
Answer 10:

Industrial partners are not required for this FOA. However, the industrial relevance of the proposed product to be studied is among the scoring criteria for both Concept Papers (Section V.B.3) and Full Applications (Section V.B.4).

Question 11: I have a question on reference list for the concept paper. The page limit for the technology description is three. Does that include reference list for the technology description? Or the reference can be put into appendix, which has no page limit.
Answer 11:

References for the technology description should be included within the three (3) page limit for the concept paper.

Question 12: Is this proposal on Si cell only or can be thin film (e.g. CuInGaSe2, CIGS)? Do you think the proposal focuses more on flexible or non-flex module?
Answer 12:

This proposal is for the examination of components for any photovoltaic technology.

Question 13: Can team members be changed from the submission of the concept paper to the full application, if needed? Also, when submitting the concept paper if there will be unpaid collaborators on the project, do these need to be listed as team members or should we only include the team members that we will be requesting funds for?
Answer 13:

Team members may be changed from submission of the concept paper to full application although DOE encourages you to finalize your teams as soon as possible.  Team members should be finalized prior to final application submission.  Please note that during Merit Review, the qualifications of team members will be considered.  Unpaid collaborators contributing their time as an “in-kind” contribution to the project should be listed in the concept paper and full application.

Question 14: On the EERA Exchange Application, the 4000 Max Character Abstract states “Please ensure that this abstract matches the Abstract in your application document” Does the abstract need to be included within the 3 page technical limit or as a separate document?
Answer 14:

As noted in section of the FOA, Applicants are required to submit a one-page summary/abstract of their project.  As noted in the table of required documents for a Full Application the document is limited to 1 page maximum.

Question 15: If two organizations are contributing equally to the project, is it possible to submit the application as containing two (2) co-PIs? Or, should the application be submitted as a lead and sub?
Answer 15:

An applicant, must have a single lead entity, but that applicant may have CO-PI’s.

Question 16: I am wondering if a separate abstract is necessary to be submitted along with the concept paper to be evaluated.
Answer 16:

A brief summarizing abstract should be included in the EERE Exchange system along with the concept paper to be evaluated.  However, only the submitted concept paper  will be reviewed according to the criteria in the FOA.



Question 17: When will the Concept Paper “encourage” or “discourage” notifications be announced? Where will it be announced?
Answer 17: Concept Paper responses will be provided through EERE Exchange.  It is anticipated that these responses will be provided by Monday, April 8th.
Question 18: The PREDICTS FOA encourages the applicants to provide sufficient citations and references to literature in the Technical Volume of the final proposal. Should the references be included in the 12 pages limit? What format should the references have (for example, do you need paper titles, authors – all or just the First Author et al. – or only the reference to journal, issue, pages and year)? Should references be reported at the end of the Technical Volume, or at the end of the “Strategy” section?
Answer 18: Yes, references are included in the stated page limits for each section of the Full Application and should be listed in the section of the Full Application to which they pertain.  Applicants should follow scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the application. A specific format is not required.
Question 19: We are planning to provide our test services to one of the groups that has submitted concept paper. If we offer our lab services to the participants are we obligated to follow federal/Govt and related regulatory affairs for this initiative such as 10CFR part 603, part 600 and such?
Answer 19:

All awardee’s are subject to the award specific terms and conditions, which contains a flow down provision.  Since any award recipient is obligated follow the regulations in 10 CFR 600, any sub-recipient to the awardee would also be obligated to follow 10 CFR 600.

Question 20: There is a requirement for a PMC123.1 Budget Justification for Subcontractors >$100k. Recent proposals we submitted through DOE also required the SF424-A for subcontractors >$100k. Just confirming the PMC123.1 is all that is needed as the subcontractors costing document.
Answer 20:

Per Section IV.E.2 of the FOA, the SF-424A is not required for subrecipients.  The PMC 123.1 must be submitted for subrecipients with costs of $100,000 or greater.

Question 21: The Project Management Plan is a required file under “Upload and Submit” in EERE Exchange, but it does not appear to be mentioned in the FOA. Should this required file be disabled in EERE Exchange?
Answer 21:

The requirement for a Project Management Plan (PMP) is described in section IV.E.2.iii of the FOA.  Full applications must upload and submit the PMP in EERE Exchange.

Question 22: A quick question on the budget of multi-Investigator projects: If funded, will DOE give these two organizations funding directly or will one party be the subcontractor of the other organization?
Answer 22:

If a project with multiple Principal Investigators (PIs) receives funding, the organization of the PI who submits the proposal will be the prime recipient and all other involved parties will be subrecipients to the prime organization.

Question 23: Our project consists of a large team. We have a few industry partners who are providing in-kind cost share in the form of labor and materials. They will not be receiving federal funds. I’m confused as to how this should be filled out on the PMC 123.1. Obviously, I would complete their cost share information on the cost share tab, but should their labor and materials be captured on the contractual tab as well (if they’re not receiving federal funds)? Also, if they are contributing more than 100k in cost share, do they need to fill out their own PMC 123.1?
Answer 23:

Yes, all subcontractor costs, including cost share provided, should be captured on the contractual tab of the PMC 123.1.  If a subcontractor is providing labor and materials as cost share for the project, these costs should appear twice – once on the contractual tab and once on the cost share tab.  If a subcontractor has total costs of $100K or greater (including cost share), that subcontractor must provide a separate PMC 123.1.

Question 24: 1. A Completed and Signed Other Sources of Funding Disclosure form is listed as a requirement on the EERE Exchange portal, but that form does not appear to be included under the Required Application Documents for this FOA. Would it be possible to have that form added to the Required Application Documents list, or would it be possible to receive a link directly to that form? Also, I noticed the following discrepancies between the FOA and EERE Exchange: 2. Qualifications, Experience, and Capabilities: Pages, 8, 41, and 43 of FOA reference a 2-page limit per Personal Qualifications Summary, but the Upload and Submit section of the EERE Exchange portal references a 3-page limit. 3. Waiver Request (Foreign Entities): Pages 40, 50, and in the FOA indicates that this form is not required and that it only needs to be provided if applicable, but the Upload and Submit section of the EERE Exchange portal has this form listed as required (it has a red asterisks next to it indicating that you cannot submit the proposal without uploading an attachment under that section).
Answer 24:
  1. The Completed and Signed Other Sources of Funding Disclosure is not a required application document for the PREDICTS FOA.  EERE Exchange has been modified to reflect this.
  2. The Upload and Submit section of EERE Exchange has been modified to reflect the 2-page limit referenced in the FOA.
  3. The Waiver Request section of EERE Exchange has been modified to “if applicable”, rather than “required”.
Question 25: Is in-kind cost share from a foreign entity allowed? If so, would we need to get a waiver for performance of work in the US if that in kind cost share work was performed outside of the US?
Answer 25:

To propose in-kind cost share from a foreign entity, applicants must submit an explicit waiver request in the Full Application, which includes the following information: the countries in which the work will be performed, a description of the work to be performed outside the U.S., and the rationale for performing the work overseas. In the waiver request, the Applicant  must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the EERE that a waiver would further the purposes of this FOA and is otherwise in the interests of EERE. For example, an Applicant may seek to demonstrate the United States economic interest will be better served through a greater percentage of work performed outside the United States (e.g., provide evidence that expertise to develop a technology exists only outside the United States, but that ultimate commercialization of the technology will result in substantial benefits to the United States such as improved electricity reliability, increased employment, increased exports of U.S.-manufactured products, etc.).  The Contracting Officer may require additional information before considering the waiver request. Save the Waiver Request(s) in a single PDF file titled “{{ControlNumber}}_{{LeadOrganization}}__Waiver.”  Please see Section II.G and Section IV.E.2.xiv of the FOA.

Question 26: On page 34 of the FOA, it states: FFRDC or GOGO Effort: The scope of work to be performed by the FFRDC or GOGO may not be more significant than the scope of work to be performed by the applicant. Is there a finite way that the significance of the scope of work can be measured, such as total project funding (DOE portion+ cost share)?
Answer 26:

Please use the total project funding (DOE portion + cost share) to determine each participant’s significance in the project.

Question 27: Section I.A.3 of the FOA discusses “Impact, Publication and Intellectual Property”. For Topic 1 applications, is it the expectation that sufficient detail will be published to recreate new models developed or will dissemination of research results of any new models developed be sufficient to meet DOE's desire? Further, if the models developed utilize company proprietary tools, is it acceptable that models developed under this award not be available to the public?
Answer 27: Please see the Merit Review Criteria stated in the FOA (Section IV.B.3) for information concerning how the reviewers will evaluate proposals. The willingness of the applicant to make the findings publically available is described in Criterion 4 of the Topic 1 merit criteria.   Additionally, making the findings publicly available is one of the objectives of the FOA, and the terms of the award will be consistent with this objective.
Question 28: Is the cover page included as part of the 0.5 page count for Technical Topic Area, or 12 page count for Strategy?
Answer 28:

Applicants are provided a 0.5 page cover sheet to the Full Application to identify the Topic Area to which they are applying.  Other relevant information such as the Project Title, Lead Organization Name, PI, Team Members, Key Participants and Exchange Control Number should also be included in this section. 

Question 29: On page 42 (Technical Volume), why is this statement provided as part of Topic 2 “see also the Dissemination Plan in Section IV.E.2.ix”?
Answer 29:

Topic 2 applications require a “Standards Implementation Plan” that is discussed in Section IV.E.2.ix of the FOA.  Section IV.E.2.ix of the FOA is titled “Dissemination Plan”.

Question 30: Instructions on PMC 123.1 state that that all subrecipients receiving over $100K complete all forms. If all forms (tabs) are required do the subcontractors submit this company or organization sensitive rate information (G&A, Fringe, OH) Sub Award Budget Justification (PMC 123.1)directly to DOE and only provide the information on Tab f to the prime?
Answer 30:  Yes, subrecipients may submit company or organization sensitive information directly to DOE, and only provide the information for Tab f to the prime.
Question 31: Question 20 states the PMC 123.1 must be submitted for subrecipients with costs of $100,000 or greater. Because the PMC 123.1 contains proprietary financial information (overhead, G&A) how can the subrecipients submit directly to DOE?
Answer 31:

Subrecipients who wish to submit sensitive company or organization information directly to DOE should email and indicate the application control number in the subject line.

Question 32: How should the file name for PMC 123.1 be differentiated for each subrecipient submittal? “{{ControlNumber}}_{{LeadOrganization}}_Budget_Justification”.
Answer 32:

Upload each subrecipient PMC 123.1 as “{{ControlNumber}}_{{LeadOrganization}}_Budget_Justification_SubName”.

Question 33: We are submitting a proposal to the DE-FOA-0000861 solicitation and had a question regarding the format of the "Budget Summary (2 pages max) in the technical section. Do you have a template or an example of how it should look? Would it be a list of the tasks and a lump sum of the total cost per task (which includes the DOE and Cost shared Direct and Indirect Cost)?
Answer 33:

A template for the "Budget Summary (2 pages max)" is not available.  For format, please follow the instructions in the FOA. Costs per task should include both DOE Share and Cost Share.

Guidance from the FOA is copied below:
Applicants are required to provide a two-page budget summary, broken down by work tasks.  The summaries must conform to the following guidelines:

  • The budget summary should be clearly associated with the work tasks outlined as part of the Statement of Project Objectives (Section IV.E.2.iii) and reflect quarterly progress on the proposed project. 
  • All major equipment purchases must be included in the budget summary.  For equipment acquired as part of the proposed project, state the proposed disposition of the equipment after the project’s completion.  Specifically, state if the useful life of the equipment will correlate with its authorized purpose under the proposed project.
  • If costs are less than would normally be expected due to large amounts of previous work done by one or more members of the research team, please describe and explain accordingly.
  • Applicants are required to estimate the potential materials costs of the proposed project to justify the  potential to approach, meet, or exceed the goals of this FOA. 
Question 34: If the non-federal agency charges overheads on its cost share, does DOE consider it a cost share? Example: The cost share by a non-federal agency is $6000. The overheads of the non-federal agency is 60%. So the non-federal agency takes back $3600 as overheads from its original amount of $6000 and, consequently, $2400 is available for doing the project work. Does the intent of cost share in the following DOE solicitation include this type of take back?
Answer 34:

Overhead may be included as part of cost share, however, overhead is generally charged on direct costs only.  Thus, the example above would be changed as follows:


Cost Share direct costs (personnel, fringe, travel, supplies, etc.) = $3,750
60% overhead on direct costs = $2,250

Total Cost Share = $6,000

Question 35: DOE has indicated that if an individual is identified as a PI or a co-PI on more than one proposal, only one will be considered (the last proposals submitted, per the response to Question 2 in the FAQ). If I am listed as a co-PI without my consent, would I be able to dispute this in order to be able to retain my name on the proposal that I chose to lead?
Answer 35:

In the event that an applicant is listed as a PI or co-PI on more than one application, DOE will review the last timely application received.   The PI or co-PI will be notified, and with CO approval, they may be provided the option to retract one of their applications if they would prefer for DOE to consider another timely application that was received.

Question 36: Is it reasonable that the required cost share be managed on a cumulative basis, rather than on a reporting period basis? For example, if, for the first reporting period, the cost share is 30%, then subsequent reporting periods might provide < 20% cost share as long as the cumulative cost share does not drop below 20% If 20% cost share is to be met during each reporting period, would DOE be willing to give at least a small margin of flexibility: For example, as long as the cost share is between 15% and 25% for each month, would this be considered to be compliant with the 20% cost share requirement? If a subcontract is involved with the project, is the DOE willing to give at least a small margin of flexibility on the 20% cost share requirement: For example, as long as the cost share is between 15% and 25% for each month, would this be considered to be compliant with the 20% cost share requirement?
Answer 36: As stated in Section III.B.6 of the FOA, if Recipients anticipate difficulty providing the requisite cost share every billing period, they may request authorization from EERE upon selection for award negotiations to (1) contribute the cost share percentage of total expenditures incurred every quarter (i.e., every three months), or (2) contribute the cost share percentage of total expenditures incurred every half-year (i.e., every six months).  Such requests must be sent by email to the Contracting Officer during award negotiations and include the following information: (1) a detailed justification for the request; (2) a proposed schedule of payments, including amounts and dates; (3) a written commitment to meet that schedule; and (4) such evidence as necessary to demonstrate that the Recipient has complied with its cost share obligations to date.  The Contracting Officer must approve all such requests before they may go into effect.
Question 37: In Topic area 1, it list two areas CSP and PV. Do we need to address both of these areas or we can choose one only?
Answer 37:

You may choose to address either CSP or PV under Topic 1.  It is not necessary to address both.

Question 38: I would like to request come clarification of our proposal’s current status. Are we, in fact, still being considered for funding (i.e. have we survived a first downselect of submitted proposals)? If so, if we do not submit a rebuttal, are we then excluded from further consideration? An on-site merit review visit is mentioned. Is this pursued for all applications received?
Answer 38: All compliant full application submissions are still being considered for funding.  Any rebuttal submitted will be incorporated in your application and contributes to the merit review evaluation and EERE’s selection decisions. The rebuttal is an opportunity for applicants to clarify elements of the application and better articulate certain issues that may have been identified by reviewers.  As stated in Section V.C.2 of the FOA, EERE may determine that pre-selection clarifications are necessary from certain Applicants, and these may take the form of in person-meetings or presentations at EERE.  If in-person meetings are deemed necessary, applicants will be contacted by EERE, however, EERE at its sole discretion may also decide to hold any pre-selection clarifications beyond the rebuttal due on June 3, 2013 at 5PM ET.

Please direct any further questions to the FOA mailbox,  

Question 39: When will we be notified if we are to participate in a “Pre-Selection Conference Call and Presentation”?
Answer 39: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Award notifications will likely be sent out by July 24, 2013.  As stated in the FOA, pre-selection clarification meetings will take place between June 14-26, 2013, and invitations for these meetings have been sent.