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General Information About This Solicitation

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) is seeking applications from non-profit institutions of higher education1 to operate one Regional University Transportation Center (UTC or Center) in each of two federal regions: 

  • Region 3, which includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia; and
  • Region 10, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  

The purpose of these Regional Centers is to advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many modes and disciplines comprising transportation through the mechanisms of research, education, and technology transfer; to provide a critical transportation knowledge base outside the US DOT; and to address vital workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders.  A Regional Center, including any consortium members, must be located within the federal region to be served.  Each Regional Center must serve as a focal point within its respective region to help coordinate UTC transportation research and education needs with regional needs and initiatives.

RITA plans to competitively select and fund Regional Centers in the two federal regions. Each Center will receive $2,592,500 from Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 funds and an approximately equal, additional amount from FY 2014 funds if available.  Each Center is required to obtain matching funds from non-federal sources in an amount at least equal to the US DOT grant amount.  These funds may be expended up to September 30, 2017.

The UTC Program’s Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number is 20.701.

This solicitation reflects comments RITA received in response to an October 1, 2012, Notice of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register.  Those comments were helpful in identifying in advance of the release of this solicitation any issues that were of concern to the university-research community, and we appreciate the efforts of those who submitted comments.  Comments that were consistent with the UTC Program’s authorizing legislation and Federal grant regulations have been incorporated in this solicitation.

What You Need To Send To Us

Application
If your university is eligible to receive an award under this solicitation (see Part II-A-1), your university’s authorized representative must submit the application through the federal “Grants.gov” electronic grant identification and application system.  You will want to ensure well in advance that your university is registered with Grants.gov, as registration is not instantaneous.  Eligible entities must have or must secure a DUNS number for the purposes of formal application.  The DUNS number is a unique nine-character number that identifies your organization. Each applicant’s DUNS number will be maintained as part of the applicant’s profile. This number can be obtained free through the D&B website (http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number.html).

You are responsible for the accuracy and validity of all the administrative, fiscal, and technical information in your application.

The application will consist of:

  1. Standard Forms SF-424 “Application for Federal Assistance” and SF-424B “Assurances – Non-Construction Programs;”
  2. A written prospectus no more than 35 pages long;
  3. Appendices to the prospectus containing supporting documentation and budget (specified in Part III-C below); and
  4. A copy of your institution’s most recent negotiated overhead and fringe benefit rates.

In addition to submitting your application through Grants.gov, you must also submit to the UTC Program office in RITA hard copies as follows:

  • One copy each of Standard Forms SF-424 and SF-424B;
  • Five copies of the prospectus with all its appendices; and
  • One copy of the negotiated overhead and fringe benefits rates.

These hard copies must contain identical information to what you submitted through Grants.gov.  However, original signatures on forms SF424 and SF424B are not required.

Hard copies must be received by RITA no later than 5:00 PM EDT on January 31, 2014, (note that this is one day later than the Grants.gov deadline).  RITA recommends that you use an overnight delivery or courier service that allows you to track and document delivery and receipt.

Please address your hard copy submission as follows, using all of the information shown:

                Amy Stearns
                US DOT/RITA/mail code RDT-30
                Work Station E33-472
                1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
                Washington, DC  20590-0001

                Contact phone regarding hard copy submissions only:  (202) 366-4957

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, or home addresses must not be included in the application.  Information submitted as part of the application may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Where To Submit Your Application

Submit your application via Grants.gov, located at Internet address http://www.grants.gov,
Opportunity No. UTCLIMITEDREGIONCOMP2014.

Deadline For Submitting Your Application

Your application must be submitted to Grants.gov no later than:

11:59 PM EDT, THURSDAY, January 30, 2014

Hard copies must be received by RITA as noted on the preceding page.

Your application will be considered complete as initially received by us; if you need to make changes after submission but before the due date, you will need to withdraw and resubmit your application in whole.  Any materials submitted after the due date will not be incorporated into the review process unless we specifically request such material to complete the review of your application.

Return Receipt Acknowledgment

The electronic Grants.gov system will provide you with an acknowledgement of your submission.

Questions About This Solicitation

If you have questions about this solicitation or need information about the UTC Program in general, you may contact the UTC program at UTCgrants@dot.gov until 4:00PM EDT on January 28, 2014.  Please note: Until a formal notice of award is issued, no communication by the government, either written or oral, shall be interpreted as a promise that an award will be made.  Questions posed by applicants will be posted with RITA’s answers on the UTC Program website at http://utc.dot.gov

1 The UTC Program’s authorizing legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), does not define “institution of higher education.”  RITA, therefore, considers the statute to direct grant funds to universities, meaning institutions that conduct research and teaching and award degrees at the Bachelor level and higher.  This is consistent with the way RITA has previously managed the UTC program.