Status Report

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Consolidated Peer Review Services

By SpaceRef Editor
January 14, 2004
Filed under ,

General Information

  • Document Type: Sources Sought Notice
  • Solicitation Number: NPRS-2005
  • Posted Date: Jan 14, 2004
  • Original Response Date: Feb 16, 2004
  • Original Archive Date: Jan 14, 2005
  • Current Archive Date:

Classification Code: R — Professional, administrative, and management support services

Contracting Office Address

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


NASA Headquarters is hereby soliciting information about potential 8(a) sources to support processing of research proposals submitted in response to Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) issued by the NASA Offices of Education (Code N), Space Science (Code S), Biological and Physical Research (Code U), Earth Science (Code Y), Space Flight (Code M), and Aerospace Technology (Code R). Interested, certified 8(a) small businesses and non-8(a) small businesses which meet the size standard provided below and qualify for the 8(a) program are requested to provide their name, location, size, and detailed information demonstrating their technical understanding of the work requirements identified below, as well as their qualifications, capabilities, experience, and past performance history for such work. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation. It is anticipated that an Indefinite Quantity Indefinite Delivery (IDIQ), Cost type contract will be issued for a five-year period of performance with a total contract value in excess of $50 million. The anticipated award date is November 2004. The NAICS code for this action is 561110 and the size standard is $6 million. A brief description of NASA?s BAA application requirements and process are as follows: the contractor shall manage, be responsible for, and provide database support to all organizational components of NASA Headquarters in support of soliciting research proposals and receiving, processing, and evaluating responses to the solicitations from the science community. A significant component of this process is peer review of research proposals by panels of specialists and experts. NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement 1835.016 and 1872.403 dictate that peer review will be the method used to evaluate and select research for funding. NASA funds intramural and extramural research primarily through solicited grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and arrangements with other Government agencies, industry and academia. Solicitation mechanisms used are primarily the NASA Research Announcement (NRA), the Announcement of Opportunity (AO), and the Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN). Proposals submitted in response to these solicitations are evaluated using peer review, which is defined as scientific evaluation by a specialist of proposals submitted in response to NRA?s, AO?s, and CAN?s. Peer review is also used to evaluate unsolicited proposals. Peer Reviewers evaluate relevance to NASA?s objectives; intrinsic scientific and/or technical merit, including the researcher?s capabilities and qualifications; and cost. External peer review is essential to ensure that NASA funds only the most relevant and highest quality research. Policies for peer review are documented through the instructions in the solicitations which are written by NASA scientists, managers, or executives. Specific peer review methods differ somewhat among NASA offices or disciplines. Some NASA program offices use peer review committees, some use ad hoc committees, and some use a combination for each individual announcement. Peer reviewers include qualified scientists, engineers, and/or other appropriate personnel from public and private academic institutions, industry, Government laboratories and agencies, and foreign countries. NASA and the support contractor maintain databases of discipline experts to help identify appropriate candidates. Reviews are conducted by mail and/or by panel meetings, depending on the logistics specific to the review. Mail reviews may be conducted to allow for the use of reviewers with very specialized expertise on technical and scientific issues. Often a panel review is used to reconcile differences among mail reviews, and also to advise NASA on the larger scientific and programmatic context of the proposed research. The peer review contractor must be capable of maintaining a highly dependable World Wide Web (WWW) site for electronic receipt of Notices of Intent to propose and then the final cover page and proposal summary of the actual proposals. The number of such electronic submissions ranges from a few dozens to several hundred, depending on the scope of the solicitation. The contractor is expected to produce logs sorted by a wide variety of data fields based on these electronic submissions and supply them to NASA within a few days of the submission deadline. The contractor shall assist NASA in screening each incoming proposal to determine compliance with eligibility criteria and consistency with general program solicitation requirements. The contractor shall be responsible for the receipt and secure storage of proposals received (as many as 500 at a time in order to accommodate the submissions to multiple solicitations) and shall also be responsible for accurately assembling packages of proposals to be sent to the designated mail and panel reviewers, in advance of the peer review activity itself. Some NASA offices require the contractor to determine the identity of these reviewers; in other cases, NASA personnel will identify them. Each panel typically consists of 7 to 10 members, and it is common to have as many as six panels meeting simultaneously to review all the proposals submitted in response to a single solicitation (as many as 150). Panels typically meet for three days, requiring the panel members to be resident for up to four nights. The solicitation of panel members may be done by phone or letter, which may be the responsibility of the support contractor. The contractor makes transportation and lodging arrangements for the panelists and ensures that panel members are appropriately and promptly reimbursed for their travel costs to attend panel meetings, based on travel reimbursement guidelines established by NASA. As necessary, the contractor arranges for securing conference space for the panel review at commercial or NASA facilities. The contractor is responsible for receiving and collating all mail reviews transmitted in advance of the meeting, and for real-time support of the panel meeting itself, including near real-time word processing support to document the reviews that are produced by the panel. After the panel has finished its deliberations, the contractor shall be responsible for cleaning up all paperwork and for returning the proposals to secure storage. The contractor will also support activities ancillary to soliciting research proposals, such as workshops and conferences convened to formulate long-range science research objectives, and education/outreach initiatives that provide opportunities for participating in NASA?s research programs to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges. In order to demonstrate the capability of responding to NASA?s requirement for processing research proposals and managing peer reviews, potential 8(a) small business offerors should provide detailed information to show evidence of possessing the following attributes and characteristics necessary for providing the required support: (1) the ability to work with a variety of groups, which includes the ability to manage teams of peer review personnel and multiple, simultaneous review panels; (2) availability of key personnel with project management experience for activities with multiple sub projects/tasks; (3) the ability to manage and coordinate the associated proposal receipt and storage, meeting logistics support, travel, scheduling, etc. that are diverse and frequently simultaneous; (4) experience in database management, modification, and maintenance, in a secure network environment; (5) an acceptable or approved accounting system for Government cost-reimbursable contracts; (6) availability of financial resources to provide the required support; and (7) satisfactory work performance as evidenced by providing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references for whom the potential offeror has provided peer review or similar type services during the past three years. Responses must be in writing and may be submitted electronically. All responses shall be submitted no later than February 16, 2004, at 3:00 p.m. local time to NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 210.H, Attn: Jamiel C. Commodore, Greenbelt MD 20771 or by email Questions about this synopsis may be sent by email. 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. The expected release time frame for any RFP is the second quarter of Fiscal 2004. This Sources Sought Notice/Request for Interest is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation. Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URL:

Original Point of Contact

Jamiel Charlton Commodore, Contracting Officer, Phone (301) 286-5451, Fax (301) 286-0357, Email

Email your questions to Jamiel Charlton Commodore at

SpaceRef staff editor.