NASA Solicitation: Sponsored Research and Education Support Services (NASA Peer Review Services)


Synopsis - Jan 18, 2013

General Information

Solicitation Number: 2013-NRESS-RFI
Posted Date: Jan 18, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 18, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Feb 08, 2013
Current Response Date: Feb 08, 2013
Classification Code: R -- Professional, administrative, and mgmt support services
NAICS Code: 561110
Set-Aside Code: Competitive 8(a)

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771

Description

NASA HQ is hereby soliciting information about potential 8(a) sources for professional support services and information technology support on behalf of the NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS) program that supports the agency's peer review life cycle.

Research, technology development, and education program proposals submitted to NASA are customarily peer-reviewed before receiving funding through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or intergovernmental agreements funded by the aeronautics, human exploration, science, space technology, and education Mission Directorates. Proposal solicitation mechanisms include NASA Research Announcements (NRAs), Announcements of Opportunity (AOs), and Cooperative Agreement Notices (CANs).

The Agency's peer review life cycle, for purposes of NRESS requirements, consists of the following general processes: (1) development of solicitations and collection of proposals; (2) competitive peer review of proposals; and (3) disposition of proposals following proposal review and prior to award. All decisions about proposals selected for award are made by NASA selection officials and all awards are made by authorized NASA procurement and federal assistance personnel with appropriate warrants.

The NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES), a web-based information technology system, enables users authorized by NASA to announce research, technology development, and specialized education program opportunities to the public. NSPIRES also enables intramural and extramural researchers and other stakeholders to view announcements and submit electronic proposals. NSPIRES facilitates proposal review, analysis, and evaluation, as well as proposal disposition. Refer to http://nspires.nasaprs.com for an orientation to the NSPIRES system. NSPIRES also interfaces with the Federal e-government system, grants.gov.

Peer reviews evaluate a proposal's relevance, its merit, and costs. Specific peer review methods differ among NASA program offices, and even among disciplines within a given program office. Some offices use standing review committees, ad hoc committees, or a combination of these for individual announcements.

Peer reviewers include scientists, engineers, educators, or others from public and private academic institutions, industry, Government laboratories and agencies, and foreign countries. Criteria for selection of peer reviewers include the research that candidates have conducted, their publications, knowledge and experience, and their ability to conduct an impartial review. NASA and the contractor supporting the NRESS program maintain databases of discipline experts to facilitate the identification and selection of reviewers. Reviewers are sometimes chosen based on recommendations of former reviewers or other professional colleagues. Proposal reviews by external peers ensures fresh viewpoints, alternative perspectives, and understanding of the state of art.

Proposal reviews usually occur at panel meetings (either in person or via video or telecom) and are customarily preceded by reviewers' written evaluations (e.g., compiled and stored in the NSPIRES web interface). Panel and sub-panel teams are usually composed of seven to ten specialists in relevant disciplines or sub-disciplines. Rarely a large panel might include up to 40 individuals. All panel proceedings, including findings, opinions, working papers, and recommendations are confidential. A proposal's author never participates in its review or reviews directly competing proposals. All reviewers are screened to ensure that they have no conflict of interest in the proposals they review.

The NRESS contractor will provide professional services that support the Agency's peer review life cycle. Services provided will include supporting the development and announcement of solicitations; and collecting, organizing, compiling, and disseminating proposals to peer reviewers. The contractor will facilitate the selection and recruitment of reviewers. The contractor will manage the staging of review and panel events, lead the evaluation and selection of venues, fulfill panelists' travel, lodging, and per diem requirements, and reimburse panelists' expenses. The contractor will provide and support all electronic tools needed to conduct panel events and support mail-in reviews. The contractor will support all review and panel close-out activities, including supporting the development and dissemination of post-selection communications to proposers, their institutions, and to NASA stakeholders. The contractor will maintain records of events, secure proposal databases, and will support data analysis related to Agency peer review.

The NRESS contractor must be capable of operating, maintaining, and sustaining a highly dependable World Wide Web-based (WWW) system, (NSPIRES), that announces solicitations; collects electronic Notices of Intent (NOI) and proposals; facilitates online proposal review and evaluation; and processes proposals electronically prior to award. The contractor will provide comprehensive information technology program management and operations for the system and its interfaces (such as interfaces to grant.gov). Information technology services required will include those related to enhancing or replacing the system in response to functional user requirements or marketplace developments. The contractor will provide user access and account provisioning services; help desk services and related customer support; user training materials; and job aids. The contractor will develop and maintain comprehensive systems documentation, as well as information technology security, appropriate protective controls, and risk management. The contractor will provide for and assure continuous operations in the event of system outages.

The government anticipates requesting the NRESS Contractor to complete a study to upgrade or replace the current NSPIRES system.

Interested businesses, certified 8(a) small businesses and non-8(a) small businesses which meet the size standard provided below, are requested to provide their name, location, size of business, average annual revenue for the past 3 years and number of employees, ownership, and capability statement of 10 pages or less providing detailed information demonstrating their technical understanding and ability to perform all aspects of the effort described herein, to include their qualifications, capabilities, experience, and past performance history.

It is anticipated that a Cost type contract will be issued with a five year period of performance. The NAICS code for this action is 56110 and the size standard is $7 million.

The Government reserves the right to consider a small business or 8(a) set-aside based on responses hereto. All responses shall be submitted by the response date listed above to Danit Rainey via email. Please reference Request for Information Number '2013-NRESS-RFI' in any response.

The expected release time frame for any RFP is the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. This synopsis is for information and planning purposes only and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents deemed fully qualified will be considered in any resultant solicitation for the requirement.

No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.

All questions should be directed to Danit Rainey at the following email address: danit.rainey@nasa.gov.

Point of Contact

Name: Danit P Rainey
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: 301-286-6717
Fax: 301-286-0356
Email: Danit.Rainey@nasa.gov

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