15 CFR § 296.20 - The selection process.
(a) To begin a competition, the Program will solicit proposals through an announcement in the Federal Register, which will contain information regarding that competition, including the areas of critical national need that proposals must address. An Evaluation Panel(s) will be established to evaluate proposals and ensure that all proposals receive careful consideration.
(1) A preliminary review will be conducted to determine whether the proposal:
(i) Is in accordance with § 296.3;
(ii) Complies with either paragraph (a) or paragraph (c) of § 296.5;
(iv) Was submitted to a previous TIP competition and if so, has been substantially revised; and
(v) Is complete.
(2) Complete proposals that meet the preliminary review requirements described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (v) of this section will be considered further. Proposals that are incomplete or do not meet any one of these preliminary review requirements will normally be eliminated.
(c) The Evaluation Panel(s) will then conduct a multi-disciplinary peer review of the remaining proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed in § 296.21 and the award criteria listed in § 296.22. In some cases NIST may conduct oral reviews and/or site visits. The Evaluation Panel(s) will present funding recommendations to the Selecting Official in rank order for further consideration. The Evaluation Panel(s) will not recommend for further consideration any proposal determined not to meet all of the eligibility and award requirements of this part and the Federal Register notice announcing the availability of funds.
(d) In making final selections, the Selecting Official will select funding recipients based upon the Evaluation Panel's rank order of the proposals and the following selection factors: assuring an appropriate distribution of funds among technologies and their applications, availability of funds, and/or Program priorities. The selection of proposals by the Selecting Official is final.
(e) NIST reserves the right to negotiate the cost and scope of the proposed work with the proposers that have been selected to receive awards. This may include requesting that the proposer delete from the scope of work a particular task that is deemed by NIST to be inappropriate for support against the evaluation criteria. NIST also reserves the right to reject a proposal where information is uncovered that raises a reasonable doubt as to the responsibility of the proposer. The final approval of selected proposals and award of assistance will be made by the NIST Grants Officer as described in the Federal Register notice announcing the competition. The award decision of the NIST Grants Officer is final.