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Interested in exploring opportunities at NIH for research and development contract funding? Learn the basics of how contracts differ from grants, how you can find solicitations and submit your proposal, how they are submitted and evaluated, and more.
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A contract is a legal agreement binding parties that has:
- Defined requirements
- Specific deliverables
- Defined schedule
A contract may be cost or price based
All contract solicitations are posted in FedBizOpps , the fed-wide portal that supports searching, monitoring, and retrieving contract opportunities for the Federal Government.
Or you can search for NIH specific opportunities in the NIH Request for Proposal Directory by the NIH institute or center of interest.
- Firm price for delivery of a product or service
- May result from sealed bids or negotiations
- Most often for supplies and standard services
- Contract contains a negotiated estimate
- May or may not have a fixed fee
- Uncertainties involved in contract performance do not permit costs to be estimated with sufficient accuracy to use any type of fixed-price contract
- Used when costs cannot be estimated with sufficient accuracy to use any type of fixed-price contract
- Most Research and Development (R&D) contracts are cost-reimbursement
- Contracts awards from proposals are usually made on the basis of best value.
Evaluation Factors for Award
- Technical Criteria
- Past Performance
- Small Disadvantaged Business Participation
- Best Value considers all factors based on the relative importance
Technical evaluation criteria are reviewed by independent Peer Review
Sample technical evaluation criteria
- Technical Approach
- Sample technical evaluation criteria
- Technical criteria are often weighted
- Reviewers determine technical acceptability
Read the solicitation carefully! It should contain all the information needed to prepare a proposal.
- Registration requirements
- Statement of Work (SOW) or Statement of Objectives (SOO)
Instructions to offerors
- Type of contract
- Set- Aside restrictions
- How and where to submit the proposal
- Evaluation factors for award
When Developing a Proposal
Convince reviewers of your technical abilities!
- Demonstrate your understanding of the requirement
- Demonstrate the soundness of your technical approach
- Show the strengths of your technical team
- Present facilities
- See Technical Proposal Instructions
- Ensure your proposal is cost competitive
Policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies are codified in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) .
These acquisition offices service the NIH Institutes and Centers.