10 CFR § 605.10 - Application evaluation and selection.
(a) Applications shall be evaluated for funding generally within 6 months but, in any event, no later than 12 months from the date of receipt by DOE. After DOE has held an application for 6 months, the applicant may, in response to DOE's request, be required to revalidate the terms of the original application.
(b) DOE staff shall perform an initial evaluation of all applications to ensure that the information required by this part is provided, that the proposed effort is technically sound and feasible, and that the effort is consistent with program funding priorities. For applications which pass the initial evaluation, DOE shall review and evaluate each application received based on the criteria set forth below and in accordance with the Merit Review System developed as required under DOE Financial Assistance Regulations, 2 CFR part 200 as amended by 2 CFR part 910.
(c) DOE shall select evaluators on the basis of their professional qualifications and expertise. Evaluators shall be required to comply with all applicable DOE rules or directives concerning the use of outside evaluators.
(d) DOE shall evaluate new and renewal applications based on the following criteria which are listed in descending order of importance:
(1) Scientific and/or technical merit or the educational benefits of the project;
(2) Appropriateness of the proposed method or approach;
(3) Competency of applicant's personnel and adequacy of proposed resources;
(4) Reasonableness and appropriateness of the proposed budget; and
(5) Other appropriate factors established and set forth by ER in a notice of availability or in a specific solicitation.
(e) Also, DOE shall consider, as part of the evaluation, other available advice or information as well as program policy factors such as ensuring an appropriate balance among the program areas listed in § 605.5(b) of this part.
(f) In addition to the evaluation criteria set forth in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, DOE shall consider the recipient's performance under the existing award during the evaluation of a renewal application.
(g) Selection of applications for award will be based upon the findings of the technical evaluations, the importance and relevance of the proposed application to SC's mission, and fund availability. Cost reasonableness and realism will also be considered to the extent appropriate.
(h) After the selection of an application, DOE may, if necessary, enter into negotiation with an applicant. Such negotiations are not a commitment that DOE will make an award.