Skip to Content Options:

Department of Energy (DOE)

What's New 

No current updates at this time.

Proposal Guidance

DOE supports research in a broad range of basic and applied sciences with an overarching mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. They are organized in the following programs: Advanced Scientific Computing, Basic Energy Services, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. More information related to each of these programs can be found here: https://science.energy.gov/programs/.

In addition to the Office of Science, DOE offers funding through other branches, including:

Submission System

DOE uses various systems based on the office involved and type of submission. Submission of grants is typically through KC to grants.gov, with FedConnect used for contracts.  In addition, EERE proposal submissions are typically through the EERE Exchange. It is therefore very important to read the solicitation to find submission requirements, both for the system to use and what is required in the proposal submission. If you have questions on registering in a DOE system, or if you need to register, please contact your OSP Proposal Team

Proposal Tips

DOE allows each division to determine submission deadlines. Some accept proposals throughout the year and recommend that a full application be submitted between June 1st and September 30th in order for a funding decision to be made by June of the following year. DOE usually funds projects for three years. However, some solicitations will request budgets for four or five years.

Most divisions at DOE suggest that you contact the respective program officer prior to proposal submission to discuss your areas of research, posted Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA’s) and the nature of the work currently funded by DOE. Contact information is usually provided in the division organization chart, staff directories and core research activities (CRA) descriptions. The program officer may encourage you to submit a pre-application (usually a 2-3 page summary with no budget) to confirm that your research fits a specific funding opportunity.

Budget Guidelines

The guidelines listed here are generally applicable to this sponsor. Please refer to the solicitation for any deviation to standard guidelines or specific requirements for a program.

Personnel

Salary
Salaries must be based on KC values unless a known increase/decrease is expected, for example, due to a change in title/rank; salaries are usually escalated in the out years by 2-3%. The DOE budget workbook will ask for salary in terms of an hourly rate, which may not be editable depending on the branch of DOE. If you are required to budget using hours, please include the following disclaimer in the "additional comments" field: "The hourly rates reflected above are being provided for comparison purposes only. MSU does not maintain documentation of hours worked for its faculty and staff, with the exception of undergraduate students, but rather maintains documentation to support time expended on federal projects based on percentages of effort worked.  This documentation is maintained in accordance with 2 CFR Part 200- Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, FAR 31.3."
Fringe
Fringe must be based on KC values
Research Associate (Post Doc) Salary
Salaries must be based on KC values if a current employee; the current minimum salary for a Post Doc can be found at this link; see above for the hourly rates disclaimer
Research Associate (Post Doc) Fringe
Fringe should be based on KC values; Post Docs are eligible for retirement in the 4th year of employment, or upon employment if they had participated in a retirement plan at a previous employer that made employer contributions. Please contact HR for more information.
Graduate Student Stipend
Stipend amounts should be based on standard/published college/department levels or HR levels; see above for the hourly rates disclaimer
Graduate Student Fringe
Appropriate health benefits should be applied based on the current Grad Fringe Chart; 7.65% for summer hourly work, or standard health benefits during AY
Undergraduate Labor
Usually based on hourly rates; see HR standard rates
Undergraduate Fringe
Fringe of 7.65% applied during the summer; fringe only applied during AY if student is not expected to be enrolled full time
Administrative Staff
Allowable per UG if justified and necessary for the project; salaries and fringes must be based on KC values; see above for hourly rates disclaimer

Equipment

Allowable items are ordinarily limited to research equipment not already available for the conduct of the work; quotes must be used as a basis of cost; equipment items over $50,000 require a vendor quote to be provided to DOE during award negotiations; if the quote is not an exact match or is not practical, provide an engineering statement for how the cost was determined

Participant Support Costs

Generally not applicable; may be allowable for participants or trainees (but not employees) in conferences or training projects, and should be excluded from being charged IDC

Travel

Domestic
Travel must be necessary for performance of the Statement of Project Objectives; includes U.S, Canada, Mexico, and U.S. possessions; justification should be itemized to include the purpose of travel, destination, anticipated or known dates of travel, duration, number of individuals, type of travel (mileage/air), lodging & food (per diem) for each trip;  examples of Purpose of Travel are: subrecipient site visits, DOE meetings, project management meetings, etc.; examples of Basis for Estimating Costs are: past trips, travel quotes, GSA rates, etc.; travel costs should remain consistent with travel costs incurred by an organization during normal business operations as a result of the organization's written travel policy
Foreign
Travel must be necessary for performance of the Statement of Project Objectives; justification should be itemized to include the purpose of travel, destination, anticipated or known dates of travel, duration, number of individuals, type of travel (mileage/air), lodging & food (per diem) for each trip;  examples of Purpose of Travel are: subrecipient site visits, DOE meetings, project management meetings, etc.; examples of Basis for Estimating Costs are: past trips, travel quotes, GSA rates, etc.; travel costs should remain consistent with travel costs incurred by an organization during normal business operations as a result of the organization's written travel policy

Other Direct Costs

Communications
Usually allowable; provide justification
Computer Services/ADP
The cost of computer services, including computer-based retrieval of scientific, technical and education information may be requested; provide the established computer service rates in the justification
Conferences
Refer to the solicitation for guidelines
Consultant Services
Provide the consultant name, service to be provided, hourly or daily rate, and estimated time devoted to the project; consulting expenses (travel, meals, lodging) may be included if itemized; for each Vendor, if the total project cost is $250,000 or more, a Vendor quote must be provided
Graduate Student Tuition & Fees
Must match the graduate student tuition chart unless the applying to a fellowship solicitation; tuition must be prorated based on project dates
Honoraria
Unallowable
Materials & Supplies
Provide a basis of cost (e.g. vendor quotes, catalog prices, prior invoices, etc.); briefly justify the need for the supplies as they apply to the Statement of Project Objectives
Meals/Refreshments
See allowable food and beverage costs
Publication/Dissemination
Generally allowable; provide justification
Service Charges/CORE Services
Must be based on Financial Analysis approved rates; quotes or other justification for how the service rate was determined may be requested by DOE; if not provided to OSP at the time of budget review, quotes/justification should be kept on file by the PI/research administrator for use during award negotiation
Subaward
Please read the FOA carefully for required subrecipient materials; budget and budget justification for the subrecipient describing all project costs and calculations may be required with the proposal when their total proposed budget exceeds either (1) $250,000 or (2) 25% of total award costs; subaward budget, justification, scope of work, and commitment form must be on file internally

Contingency
/Misc.

Unallowable

F&A

Use the applicable MSU NICRA rate based on the activity type, unless limited by the solicitation; DOE Office of Science proposals for conferences and scientific/technical meetings do NOT allow indirect costs

Cost Share

Only include if required by the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

Compliance

Export Control

All DOE grant and contract proposals require an Export Control & Open Research Review Worksheet (ECORRW) to be completed prior to execution of the award. For some contract solicitations, OSP may require the ECORRW to be completed prior to proposal submission. Information about Export Control policies can be found on the Export Control & Trade Sanctions website

Human Subjects

If the project includes human subject’s research, IRB approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Animal Subjects

If the project includes animal subjects, IACUC approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Award Guidance

As with any federal Agency, FAR based contracts may be awarded, as well as grants subject to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, at 2 CFR 200. There is always a possibility that E-verify requirements may apply, and the award should be reviewed for publication or participation restrictions. Federal agencies can also issue an ‘award without discussion’. Therefore, careful review and approval of solicitation terms may be necessary, prior to proposal submission. 

Subawards

DOE is not an FDP participating agency, and therefore subawards are drafted by OSP. Before proposal submission, gather the budget, justification, scope of work, and signed subrecipient commitment form, from each subrecipient. Once the award from DOE is signed, OSP will begin drafting the subaward. In addition to the documents from proposal submission, OSP needs copies of the subrecipient’s indirect cost agreement and financial audit. 

Prior Approvals

DOE follows Standard Terms and Conditions, 2 CFR 200:

Notify the sponsor in writing at least 10 calendar days before the end of the period of performance for an initial No Cost Extension (NCE) for up to 12 months. Prior approval is required for an additional NCE beyond the first. All NCE requests MUST be submitted in PAMS.

Agency prior approval is required for the following:

  • Pre-award costs
  • Administrative/clerical staff not budgeted
  • Subaward not budgeted
  • Change in the scope of work
  • Reduction in PI effort (25% or more)
  • No-cost extension (after first 12 months)
  • Re-budgeting participant support costs to other categories

Please see the Prior Approval Matrix for a full list of prior approvals: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/fedrtc/appendix_a.pdf

Reporting

Progress/Technical Report

  • A quarterly progress report is due 30 days after the end of the reporting period. See federal financial reporting checklist for proper filing instructions.
  • Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) are due 90 days prior to the anticipated continuation funding date.
  • Final is due 90 days after award end date.

Financial Reports

  • A quarterly Federal Financial Report (SF425) is due 30 days after the end of the reporting period. See federal financial reporting checklist for proper filing instructions.
  • Although not common, a SF425 may be due on an annual basis within 90 days following the end of the anniversary date (see specific award reporting terms).
  • The final SF425 is due within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Other Reports

  • The final SF-428 Property Report is due within 90 days after the expiration of the award.
  • Where DOE loans equipment to MSU, annual SF-428 property reports are required to be submitted by October 31st of each year.
  • The final DOE 2050.11 Patent Certification (be sure to use Microsoft word version that doesn’t cut off text) is due within 90 days after the expiration of the award.
    • Disclosure of new intellectual property to the Sponsor is due within 2 months; University has 2 years to elect in writing to Sponsor whether it will retain title.
  • Special Status Reports are required within 5 calendar days after an event  (any significant change in PI effort; significant environmental permit violation, fatality or injuries requiring hospitalization of 5 or more individuals, incident causing significant process or hazard control system failure, damage to Government-Owned equipment in excess of $50,000; any notice of violation of any Environmental, Safety and Health statute, event anticipated to cause a significant schedule slippage or cost increase, any other incident that has the potential for high visibility in the media).
  • Accepted Manuscripts of Journal Articles should be submitted using DOE’s Scientific and Technical Information System, E-Link: http://www.osti.gov/elink-2413.
  • Scientific/Technical Conference Paper/Presentation or Proceedings due 90 days after the end of the award.

Effort Reporting / Cost Share

Effort Reporting

MSU effort reporting overview and FAQ’s can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Effort/EffortReportingTools.aspx

Effort reporting instructions can also be located on the Sponsored Program Administration website: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/231/EffortReportingInstructionsEffortAdministrators

For additional questions and information, please contact the CGA Effort Reporting inbox at effortreporting@cga.msu.edu

Cost Share

Information on cost share can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/249/CostSharePolicy

In cases where salaried cost share has been committed, MSU uses the effort reporting system for tracking and documentation.  Non-salary cost share is documented through PI certified operating statements.

Record Retention

3 years from submission of the final expenditure report 

Sponsor Resources

Deadlines are found at https://www.energy.gov/science/office-science-funding/office-science-funding-opportunities.

Q&A information for proposal preparation is found at https://science.osti.gov/grants/FAQs.  

Information on the electronic submission process is available at the DOE Office of Science Grants and Contracts.

Forms and Templates

None at this time

Archives

None at this time

Category:     Subcategories: OSP, Policy, Proposal

Site Management