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Cycle 11 GO Program - Information regarding Budget Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Selection, and Implementation RXTE


1.1. General Information

The current Announcement covers RXTE Guest Observer (GO) scientific proposals selected by the Stage 1 Peer Review for observation during Cycle 11. Cycle 11 observations begin on or around March 1, 2006 and last for 12 months.

In the Stage 1 Peer Review the scientific and technical merits of the proposed investigations were judged and time appropriately allocated. The Stage 2 budget review process will allocate support for the investigations of the qualified accepted proposals. The amount of support for a given investigation will depend on a number of considerations including, but not limited to, the complexity of the analysis, number of targets and the time allocated to the targets, the priority of the targets, the number of accepted proposals for which the PI (or Co-I of a foreign PI proposal) is requesting support under this announcement, and other sources of funding relevant to this request.

A cost proposal is required for each qualifying investigation for which financial support from NASA is requested. Investigations will be funded for a period of one year.

1.2. Eligibility

Participation in this budget process is limited to GOs whose primary affiliation is with a US institution, which includes both Principal Investigators (PIs), and Co-Investigators (Co-Is) on proposals where the PI is not affiliated with a US institution (Foreign PI proposals).

1.3. Who May Propose

Only one budget proposal will be allowed for each accepted scientific proposal meeting the above criteria. For scientific proposals where the primary affiliation of the PI is with a US institution, the PI (or Co-I designated by the PI) should submit the budget proposal. For scientific proposals where the primary affiliation of the PI is not with a US institution, the US Co-Is must select a Lead Co-I to be responsible for submitting the budget proposal. Communications concerning the budgets and budget proposals will only be with PIs (or designated Co-I) or Lead Co-Is.

1.4. Subgrants

In order to reduce institutional overheads, the use of subgrants to fund co-investigators at secondary institutions is allowed and encouraged in this budget process. The PI or Lead Co-I may direct funds to a Co-I at an institution other than his or her own by following the instructions included in this and associated documentation. The Co-I at the secondary institution will then receive the funds directly.

1.5. Useful WWW Sites/Pages


2.1. Proposal Content

All proposals must be typewritten in English.

You are not required to include the scientific justification from your RXTE Cycle 11 Stage 1 proposal. The Stage 2 reviewers will have access to materials from your original submission.

The budget proposal must include the standard Cover Page form, General Form, Budget Form, a one-page justification of the budget, and a funding status page listing current and pending support for the PI. The Cover Page, and General Form must be submitted electronically through RPS, as well as submitted in hard copy. (No other forms are submitted electronically, e.g., the budget form is not electronically submitted.) In addition, for any subgrants the hardcopy submission will require a signed General Form, budget justification, and budget form from the secondary institution and Co-I. The Cover Page and General Form are created by RPS.

(1) Cover Page: The Cover Page is generated through the RPS system, the use of which, including the electronic submission, is mandatory. The proposal number provided must be included on all pages. For proposals from Lead Co-Is of foreign PI proposals, the foreign PI must be listed. The title and abstract should be the same as for the original scientific proposal. It should be limited to 800 characters, including spaces between words, with no embedded commands, i.e., flat ASCII only. Abstracts that exceed this length will be truncated automatically at 800 characters when entered into the data base. Abstracts and target lists will be made available on publicly accessible data bases. The NASA HQ cover pages generated during your Stage 1 proposal submission may be used in addition. Aside from this: No other cover page should be used for the first page of the proposal. Any institutional cover pages may be included at the end of the proposal. Proposals which violate this rule will be subject to rejection.

(2) General Form: The General Form is generated through the RPS system, the use of which, including the electronic submission, is mandatory. Both institutional endorsement and PI (or Lead Co-I) signatures are required for the hard-copy submission. Additional General Forms with signatures are required for Co-Is from institutions other than that of the PI/Lead Co-I, and for which funding is being requested as a subgrant. The additional General Forms for Co-Is at separate institutions (from that of the PI) should 1) list the Co-I's name at the top in the PI space, 2) repeat all of the other information on the form not related to the institution (proposal number, title, and Co-I list), and 3) include the institutional endorsement information and signatures of the Co-I institution and signature of the Co-I. Only the General Form for the PI or Lead Co-I should be submitted electronically. As was the case for last year's solicitation, you are required to provide the 9-digit zip code and Congressional District of the institution. Note that the institutional- endorsement signature on the General Form also doubles as the institutional certification for 1) Lobbying, 2) Debarment/Suspension, and 3) Civil Rights. For reference, the text for these certifications can be found below.

3) Budget Form: Proposers must use the budget form available via the Web as LaTex, PDF, or PS. The LaTex file has been annotated to ease the process of data entry. In addition to the mandatory standard form, proposers may include a cost section prepared according to the guidelines of the institution submitting the proposal. For any Co-Investigator for which funding is being requested as a subgrant, and who is located at a different institution from the PI, a separate budget form using the standard form is also required.

The budget form(s) should contain:

  • The title of the corresponding scientific proposal, the proposal number, and the name of the PI or Lead Co-I.

  • Cost estimates for direct labor, including individual person-months and rates for the personnel involved.

  • Estimated costs for equipment, material, and computer services, including type of computer and number of hours of mainframe computer use. Itemize items over $500.

  • Travel costs - Itemize trips. In general, only one trip per team member to a professional society meeting will be supported.

  • Overhead costs and rates.

  • Other costs, with explanation.

  • Contributions from any cost-sharing plan.

  • Total cost of support being requested from NASA.

  • Subgrants to be awarded directly from NASA to Co-Investigators at institutions other than that of the PI. The total dollar amount of these subgrants must be reflected in the overall cost of the proposal, and should not include any overhead from the PI institution in the cost listed in the standard form. In general, subgrants should not be for less than $2,500.

4) Budget Justification and Summary: A budget justification, not to exceed one page in length, must be submitted providing the rationale for the various cost items and amounts requested. This justification should allow the budget review panel to assess the degree of the necessity of each budget item. The justification should include a detailed breakdown of the responsibility of the various investigators who are requesting funding. The budgets must explicitly list any funds requested for Co-Is, and justify their support. This includes both US PI and foreign PI proposals.

5) Current and Pending Support: A complete list of awarded and pending research funding support from NASA or other sources for the Principal Investigator, and all Co-Investigators requesting support. The information needed includes: Agency, Grant/Contract Number, Title, Amount, Starting and Ending Dates, and Level of Effort (percent). A Current and Pending Support form is available as an annotated LaTex file, a PDF file, and a PS file.

Compared to previous budget cycles, these forms have new categories for organizing budget information. These are explained further in the Changes to Budget Summary explanation page.

2.2. Page Restrictions and Quantity

Reviewers will consider only those pages in each proposal section that do not exceed the page limits specified below. Please assemble the budget proposal in the following order.

Budget Proposal Contents and Page Order

Cover Page
REQUIRED. Must be the standard form, generated by RPS. no other cover is necessary or allowed.
General Form
REQUIRED. Must be the standard form, generated by RPS. Institutional endorsement required.
Co-I General Form
As Needed
Required when Co-I funds are directed to a separate institution. Must be the standard form, generated by RPS. Institutional endorsement by Co-I institution required.
Budget Form
REQUIRED. Must be the standard form downloaded from the RXTE Cycle 11 Phase 2 budget pages.
Budget Justification
Co-I Budget Form
As Needed
Required when Co-I funds are directed to a separate institution. Must be the standard form downloaded from the RXTE Cycle 11 Phase 2 budget pages.
Co-I Budget Justification
As Needed
Required when Co-I funds are directed to a separate institution.
Current and Pending Funding
As Needed
REQUIRED. Standard form available
Vitae of PI or Lead Co-I
Institutional Pages
As Desired
Institution cover pages, budget pages, and any other pages which institutional authorities find necessary to add to the proposals. Any such pages must be included only at the end of the proposal.

To conserve paper, proposals should be printed double-sided. Ten (10) hard copies of the budget proposal are due at the following not later than 4:30pm EST on Tuesday 14 March 2006 to:

               RXTE Cycle 11 Stage 2
               NASA Research and Education Support Services
               500 E. Street, SW, Suite 200
               Washington D. C. 20024
               Tel:202-479-9030 x 230

        Email: xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov

The electronic submission of the Cover Page and General Form is also due on 14 March 2006 by 4:30 PM EST.

2.3. Type Restrictions

Because of the large number of proposals anticipated in response to this request for budgets, strict page limits will be enforced. Type should not be smaller than 10 point, and spacing between lines should not be less than 10 points. Margins should be of a reasonable width.

2.4. Technical Information Resource

Technical and budget questions concerning this process may be addressed to Dr. Patricia Boyd, RXTE GOF Manager, at:

   Dr. Patricia Boyd
   RXTE Guest Observer Facility
   Code 662
   NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
   Greenbelt, MD 20771
   Tel: 301 286 2550
   Fax: 301 286 0708
   E-mail: xtehelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov

Programmatic information can be obtained from Dr. Alan Smale

   Dr. Alan Smale
   Astrophysics Division
   Science Mission Directorate 
   National Aeronautics and Space Administration
   Washington, DC 20546-0001
   Tel: 202 358 2016
   Fax: 202 358 3096
   Email: asmale@hq.nasa.gov

2.5. Electronic Forms Submission

As noted above, all proposers must electronically submit their Cover Page and General Form (PI or Lead Co-I General Form only) (no other forms are electronically submitted). Proposers who do not have access to electronic communications must contact Dr. Boyd at the above address no later than two weeks before the submission deadline. Electronic submission facilitates efficient proposal processing and reduces the likelihood of the introduction of transcription errors into the proposal databases. For electronic forms submission, the RXTE GOF has made available Remote Proposal Software (RPS, at http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/RPS/).


3.1. Evaluation Criteria

As noted above, the amount of support for a given investigation will depend on a number of various considerations. These include:
  • The complexity of the analysis - this includes both the type of analysis and the RXTE instruments to be used in the analysis.
  • The number of targets and the time allocated to each target.
  • The ranking of the proposal as indicated by the priority of the targets.
  • The US or foreign status (as indicated by the primary institutional affiliation of the PI) of the proposal.
  • The number of accepted proposals for which the PI or Co-I is requesting support under this announcement.
  • Other sources of funding relevant to this request.
  • The available funding for this program.

3.2. Proposal Evaluation

RXTE budget proposals will evaluated by a Peer Review panel selected by NASA and supported by the NASA/GSFC RXTE GOF.


The current schedule for the review of the budget proposals is listed below. Note, however, that the dates of events are subject to change.

2006 March 14, 4:30 PM EST Budget Proposals Due
2006 April Notification of Results
2006 TBD Revised Budgets Due

Provision of funds to individual GOs will likely occur near the time which the associated observation is scheduled to be performed. Investigations associated with TOO targets and/or targets conditional upon coordinated observations will receive funding only if and after the observations have been performed (budgets for TOO proposals must be submitted at the same time as those for non-TOO proposals).


In accordance with U.S. Code, there are currently two certifications required from every institution, except from U.S. Federal institutions, submitting a proposal, namely,

* Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters;

* Lobbying for Contracts, Grants, Loans and Cooperative Agreements (required only for proposals seeking a cumulative total in excess of $100,000)

In addition, one assurance is currently required,

* Assurance of Compliance with NASA Regulations Pursuant to Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs.


In order to reduce paper work required by the submitting institutions, language is now included on the printout of the proposal Cover Page that confirms that these requirements are met by the proposing institution once that printed item is signed by the Authorizing Institutional Representative and submitted with the proposal. Therefore, these Certifications and Assurances are included in this Guidebook only for reference and information; they should not be submitted with the proposal.


Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and

Other Responsibility Matters

This certification is required by the regulations implementing Executive Order 12549, Debarment and Suspension, 14 CFR Part 1265, Participant?s responsibilities. The regulations were published as Part VII of the May 26, 1988 Federal Register (pages 19160-19211).

(1) The prospective primary participant certifies to the best of its knowledge and belief, that it and its principals:

  • Are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any Federal department or agency;
  • Have not within a three-year period preceding this proposal been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (Federal, State, or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of Federal or State antitrust statues or commission of embezzlement theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;
  • Are not presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in paragraph (1)(b) of this certification; and
  • Have not within three-year period preceding this application/proposal had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated for cause or default.

(2) Where the prospective primary participant is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, such prospective participant shall attach an explanation to this proposal.



Certification Regarding Lobbying

  • No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.
  • If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions.
  • The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly.

This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000, and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.





The ________________________________________________

(Institution, corporation, firm, or other organization on whose behalf this assurance is signed, hereinafter called "Applicant")

HEREBY AGREES THAT it will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-352), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20U.S.C. 1680 et seq.), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794), and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 16101 et seq.) and all requirements imposed by or pursuant to the Regulation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (14 CFR Part 1250)(hereinafter called "NASA") issued pursuant to these laws, to the end that in accordance with these laws and regulations, no person in the United States shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicapped condition, or age be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Applicant receives federal financial assistance from NASA; and HEREBY GIVES ASSURANCE THAT it will immediately take any measure necessary to effectuate this agreement.

If any real property or structure thereon is provided or improved with the aid of federal financial assistance extended to the Applicant by NASA, this assurance shall obligate the Applicant, or in the case of any transfer of which federal financial assistance is extended or for another purpose involving the provision of similar services or benefits. If any personal property is so provided, this assurance shall obligate the Applicant for the period during which it retains ownership or possession of the property. In all other cases, this assurance shall obligate the Applicant for the period during which the federal financial assistance is extended to it by NASA.

THIS ASSURANCE is given in consideration of and for the purpose of obtaining any and all federal grants, loans, contract, property, discounts or other federal financial assistance extended after the date hereof to the Applicant by NASA, including installation payments after such date on account of applications for federal financial assistance which were approved before such date. The Applicant recognizes and agrees that such federal financial assistance will be extended in reliance on the representations and agreements made in this assurance, and that the United States shall have the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance. This assurance is binding on the Applicant, its successors, transferees, and assignees, and the person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign on behalf of the Applicant.

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This page is maintained by the RXTE GOF and was last modified on Monday, 06-Feb-2006 16:04:34 EST.