NIH RESEARCH CONTRACTS
Erin Flynn Pacifico
Division of Acquisition Policy & Evaluation
OAMP/NIH
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NIH Research
Contracts
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What are they?
How do you find out about them?
How are successful offerors selected?
Should you try to get a contract?
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Research Project Grants and
R&D Contracts at the NIH
FY 2012
NIH
Spending in
Billions of
Dollars
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NIH FY 2012 ACQUISITIONS
$4.67 B
Shows dollars in millions and percentages of total dollars.
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NIH FY 2011 ACQUISITIONS
$5.17 B
Shows dollars in millions and percentages of total dollars.
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NIH FY 2012- 2011 Decrease
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NIH FY 2011 ACQUISITIONS
$2.52 B, R&D CONTRACTS
Shows dollars in millions and percentages of total dollars.
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NIH FY 2012 ACQUISITIONS
$1.7 B
R&D CONTRACTS
Shows Dollars in Millions and percentages of total dollars.
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Contracts: What Are
They?
Contracts are mutually binding legal
relationships obligating the seller to
furnish supplies or services and the
buyer to pay for them.
Contracts are subject to protests,
claims, and terminations for default or
convenience.
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Contracts: What Are
They?
Not a grant or a cooperative agreement.
Used when the primary purpose is to
acquire goods or services for the direct
use or benefit of the Government.
Greater Government control/direction of
project.
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Contracts: What Are
They?
Usually result from the Government’s
acceptance of a solicited offer. Can be
competitive or sole source.
Government-initiated Statement of
Work.
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What Else?
Contracting Processes
1. Sealed bidding – involves competitive
bids, public opening of bids, and
award
2. Contracting by negotiation
• Most R&D projects will be
negotiated
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What Else?
 Types of Contracts
1. Fixed-price- agreement to deliver
supplies/services at the time specified for a
price that cannot be changed
2. Cost-reimbursement- used when
uncertainties exist such that cost of
performance cannot be estimated with
sufficient reasonableness to use a fixed-price
contract
• Most R&D projects are costreimbursement
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Similarities to Grants
Peer review of concepts and proposals
including use of Scientific Review
Officers
Team Approach to Contract
Management
– Contracting Officer/Contract
Specialist and Project Officer
(PO/COTR)
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Similarities to Grants
Required compliance with regulations
and policies, such as animal welfare,
human subjects protection, fiscal
management and administrative
compliance
Submission of invoices and technical
progress reports
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Differences between
Contracts and Grants
Federal Acquisition Regulation, Health
and Human Services Acquisition
Regulation, NIH acquisition policies
Subject to public policy initiatives and
social and economic programs
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Differences between
Contracts and Grants
Will likely involve negotiations and
opportunity to submit revised proposals
after negotiations are concluded
Proposals are evaluated against
technical evaluation criteria created for
that project
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Sample Technical
Evaluation Criteria
1. Technical Approach - 35 Points
Methods and procedures for executing
the requirements
2. Feasibility of Accomplishing the
Requirements- 30 Points
Includes recommended approach for
resolution of major difficulties and
problem areas
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Sample Technical
Evaluation Criteria
3. Qualifications and Availability of
Proposed Scientific and
Management Staff - 25 Points
Leadership and Management
Structure; Scientific and Technical
Staff; Subcontractors
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Sample Technical
Evaluation Criteria
4. Facilities and Resources - 10 Points
Documented availability and adequacy
of facilities, equipment, and resources
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R&D Examples
NINDS-RFI-NS-13-001 (RFI): Drug
Manufacturing and Formulation
Services for Neurotherapeutics
HHSN-271-2009-00020-C (sources
sought): Recovery After an Initial
Schizophrenia Episode
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R&D Examples
NIH-NICHD-CDBPM-2013-11 (presol):
Newborn Screening Translational
Research Network
HHS-NIH-NIDA(AG)-RFP-12-169
(solicitation): Baltimore Longitudinal
Study of Aging (BLSA) Home Visits
Program
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How Do I Find Out
About Contracts?
Proposed contract actions exceeding
$25,000 are published in the Federal
Business Opportunities
http://www.fbo.gov
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NIH RFPs http://oamp.od.nih.gov/
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How Do I Find Out
About Contracts?
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/
Electronic Guide to NIH Acquisition
http://acq-map.od.nih.gov/
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Should You Try to Get
an NIH Contract?
 Preparing a proposal requires individual and
institutional resources.
 You must realistically assess your chances of
winning a contract.
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Should You Try to Get
an NIH Contract?
Carefully read the Request for Proposal
that interests you. It contains all the
information needed to prepare a
proposal.
Will you be able to convince peer
reviewers that you understand the
problem and have a sound approach?
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Should You Try to Get
an NIH Contract?
 How would your personnel, especially key
personnel, rate in an evaluation?
 How would your facilities score?
 If you are not successful, request a debriefing
from the CO to find out why you were not
selected for award and to get information that
will help you compete in the future.
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Additional Information
 The NIH Contracts Page
http://ocm.od.nih.gov/contracts/contract.htm
contains a link to “A Guide to the NIH
Acquisition Process” and other information.
 A link to the FAR
https://www.acquisition.gov/far/
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Questions?
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604 - R and D Contracts - Johns Hopkins Medicine