Eligibility and Compliance
Can a principal investigator be a non-U.S. person or have a non-U.S. partner?
CASIS can only accept proposals and award projects to U.S. persons at U.S. entities. The proposing principal investigator (PI) may have non-U.S. persons on the team as subcontractors or participants, but the PI and co-PI must be U.S. persons. The offeror has sole responsibility to ensure compliance with the U.S. export laws, and it is recommended that proposing organizations consult with an export prior to submitting a proposal.
Are principal investigators of current ISS National Lab projects eligible to apply to an NLRA?
Yes, applying to a newly released NLRA is allowed and could represent an opportunity for offerors to leverage a project they are already working on.
Is SAM registration required to submit either a concept or full proposal?
Yes, for a proposal to be selected for award, offerors must be registered in Sam.gov. Registration is required to do business with the government. A block exists on the Step 1: Concept Summary form for the offeror to enter their Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) obtained from SAM.gov.
How do I identify which Implementation Partner might be able to assist me in producing a space-worthy design for a technology?
Implementation Partners typically provide their own hardware and facilities to support investigations, and there are numerous capabilities on ISS that support technology demonstrations. If there is a facility or capability that is missing to support the proposed research, Implementation Partners can provide their expertise in helping to take commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and modify it or assist in the development of new hardware to support the investigation. A good course of action is to submit the concept summary, which is two to three pages long, and CASIS could assist in identifying Implementation Partners. It would be the offeror’s decision on which Implementation Partner they would like to work with, but we do have a portal that we can provide access to for offerors invited to submit a full proposal. Offerors can also visit the ISS National Lab website for a list of Implementation Partners, and questions can always be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the safety requirements for experiments conducted on the ISS?
There are numerous safety requirements to operate an experiment on the ISS. Many of these were created to keep the crew and vehicle safe from any anomalies. For example, lithium-ion batteries can be flown, but they must go through a testing program to ensure they will be safe for use on the ISS. Every project goes through an independent safety review. Implementation Partners are available to help offerors through that process and assist with any other hazardous materials that may be involved in an experiment. The ISS National Lab Payload Operations team is always available to answer questions at email@example.com.
How long can an experiment operate on the ISS? When would our sample materials be returned from the ISS?
ISS experiments can range anywhere from hours to days to months to years. However, CASIS would require a strong rationale for the need for those longer-duration experiment runs. We will evaluate the proposed project to determine if we have the space available for the length of time required. Through the CASIS feasibility assessment process, we have had experiments in the past that have been on the ISS for six months or longer.
The timing of sample return is the offeror’s preference. Offerors can gather data while the samples are on the ISS and can also bring their experiment down for further analysis. Depending on the size of the experiment, it should be able to come down on the next available vehicle after testing.
Can an applicant submit more than one concept summary?
Yes, a PI can submit multiple concept summaries, provided the emphasis areas and research topics are different for each concept. If the concept summaries are interdependent, this should be noted.
How long is the time between submitting a Step 1: Concept Summary and receiving an invitation to submit a Step 2: Full Proposal?
Depending on the volume of concept summaries submitted, the time to invitation to submit a full proposal is typically two to four weeks from the time of the offeror’s concept summary submission. Offerors are encouraged to submit earlier to allow themselves more time for full proposal development.
How will intellectual property be managed for awarded projects?
Each awarded entity owns their intellectual property, whether the partner is NASA or any other government agency. CASIS does have a number of flow down terms and conditions from NASA regarding intellectual property, rights, and data that are required for our contracting. Applicants should review the CASIS flow down clauses provided as part of the zipped file for the NLRA.
Do I need a budget breakdown for the Step 1: Concept Summary?
Yes, the Step 1: Concept Summary form asks offerors to provide a budgetary estimate of the project costs and sources of funds to cover those costs. The budget may be amended if the offeror is invited to submit a Step 2: Full Proposal.