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The National Science Foundation
Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch
SBIR Phase II Reviews
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CAAR SBIR Phase II Administrative/Financial Reviews

When an SBIR Program Official has determined that it is likely that an SBIR Phase II proposal will be recommended for funding, the prospective awardee will be referred to this website and requested to provide documentation needed by NSF to conduct various administrative and financial reviews. These reviews are conducted to evaluate a prospective awardee's ability to effectively and efficiently manage a Federal award. If your organization has been directed to this site by an SBIR Program Official and requested to provide the documentation needed by NSF to conduct administrative and financial reviews, the documentation noted below should be sent within 10 calendar days of the date of request to:

National Science Foundation
Division of Contracts and Complex Agreements
Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 475
Arlington, VA 22230

NSF will notify the organization of its receipt of documentation submitted within one week of its receipt. It should be noted that NSF might utilize the services of a NSF contractor to perform a review of the documentation submitted. If contacted by NSF staff or contractor to provide clarification or additional documentation, responses should be provided as soon as possible to expedite the review process. Please direct questions on completing any of the required documentation to 703-292-8244.

Administrative/Financial Documentation Required:

  • Complete and submit the following contained in the Prospective New Awardee Guide:
    • "Awardee Organization and Management Summary" found at Appendix 1 of Guide;
    • "Organizational Establishment and Structure" documentation as detailed at Section B.2 of the Guide;
    • Complete the "Civil Rights Act Certification" found at Appendix 2 of the Guide; and
    • "Financial Management Systems Questionnaire" found at Appendix 4 of the Guide and attach a sample timesheet. (Sample Timesheet).
  • Provide financial statements for the last two most current ended accounting years including a copy of your latest audit report. If an audit is unavailable, provide a copy of your latest tax return. (CAAR Financial Capability Reviews)
  • Provide documentation as detailed below to support the proposed costs in the following categories. (CAAR Budget Reviews)
    • Senior Personnel: (1) Provide current payroll register for each employee and clearly indicate payroll period, i.e., bi-monthly, bi-weekly, etc. (2) For each named individual who is not presently employed by the organization, provide an employment agreement stating the rate of payment and also a statement setting forth the organization's considerations in determining the rate of pay offered. (Provide salary survey or other documentation to support proposed rate.) (3) For positions where specific individuals have not been named, provide an explanation of how the rates were determined and any related documentation.

      Other Personnel: For all "other personnel" proposed at an annualized salary in excess of $50,000, provide cost data as described for senior personnel above. If individual is administrative (i.e., accounting, secretarial, etc.), state reason they are proposed directly and not included in indirect costs.

      (see sample timesheet)

      Fringe Benefits: Provide the categories of costs (FICA, health benefits, etc.) included and the related amounts. Provide calculation of the actual fringe rate for previously completed fiscal year (total fringe costs / total labor costs). No fringe benefit costs should be budgeted if the option to budget indirect costs at 30% of total direct costs less equipment and subaward costs without documentation is chosen. (See Indirect Costs below.)

      Permanent Equipment: (Defined as nonexpendable, tangible personal property, having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit.) Provide cost data from three sources which can be in the form of written quotations and/or copies of pricing information contained in catalogs, trade journals, etc. In situations where equipment can only be provided by one specific source provide a sole source justification and a written quote from that source.

      Travel: Provide an itemization of travel which should include the destination, purpose of travel, number of days in travel status, and the estimated costs for items included in the amount (airfare, cab fare, car rental, per diem rates, hotel and other incidentals.) First class and business class fares are unallowable. Per diem in excess of Federal Travel Regulation limits is unallowable. No supporting detail is required for attendance at DMII Conferences budgeted at $2,000 (or less) per conference. (Federal Travel Regulation)

      Materials and Supplies: Provide an itemized listing of materials and supplies to include the item identification/description, vendor, quantity, price, and extended amount. Provide quotations or other appropriate documentation to support any single material and supply item with an extended amount in excess of $5,000.

      Publication Costs/Documentation/Dissemination: Provide an explanation of items included in this amount and the per item cost (e.g., the estimated number of pages and the per page cost.)

      Consultant Services: For each consultant, provide an agreement which includes the following information: (1) the services to be provided; (2) the period of performance and the consultant's availability; (3) the qualifications of the consultant to perform the work; and (4) the rate of pay, not to exceed the daily equivalent of the current maximum rate paid to an Executive Schedule Level IV Federal employee which is currently $524 per day. Consultants should be chosen using a competitive selection process; otherwise, sole source justifications should be maintained.

      Subawards: For each subaward provide (1) a statement detailing the relationship between the awardee and the subawardee; (2) a statement describing the manner in which the subawardee budget was solicited; e.g., sole source or competitive; (3) the type of award contemplated; e.g., fixed price or cost reimbursement; and (4) an analysis to support that the subaward budgeted amount is reasonable. Subawards should be chosen using a competitive selection process; otherwise, sole source justifications should be maintained.

      Indirect Costs: No documentation is required to support budgeted indirect costs, inclusive of fringe, of 30% or less of total direct costs less equipment and subaward costs. Indirect costs budgeted at greater than 30% must be substantiated by a current indirect rate agreement negotiated by a Federal agency based on the most recently completed fiscal year expenses. Provide a copy of the indirect rate agreement and corresponding proposal with IR&D adjustments highlighted, as necessary. In the absence of a current negotiated rate agreement, provide an indirect cost proposal for the two most recently completed fiscal years. If an organization has not had financial activity for these periods, indirect costs proposals should be based on what activities the organization expects during the proposed period. Pool expenses that are not based on historical costs should be justified and supported with appropriate documentation. (Sample indirect cost proposal)

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Last Modified On: 7/14/04