FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ARPA-E

What is ARPA-E?
ANSWER: The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic security, national security, and environmental well-being. ARPA-E empowers America’s energy researchers with funding, technical assistance, and market readiness.
What types of projects does ARPA-E fund?
ANSWER: ARPA-E focuses on energy challenges that could radically improve U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and environmental well being. We invest in short-term research projects that can have transformational impacts. ARPA-E does not fund basic or incremental research.
When was ARPA-E created?
ANSWER: The America COMPETES Act of 2007 authorized the establishment of ARPA-E within the U.S. Department of Energy. However, ARPA-E did not officially come into existence until early 2009, when it received $400 million in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Does ARPA-E have substantial involvement in its projects?
ANSWER: Yes. Congress directed ARPA-E to “establish and monitor project milestones, initiate research projects quickly, and just as quickly terminate or restructure projects if such milestones are not achieved.” Accordingly, ARPA-E has substantial involvement in the management and direction of every project. A Statement of Substantial Involvement is included in ARPA-E's Funding Opportunity Announcements.
How can I learn more about projects that ARPA-E has funded?

ANSWER: For information on the projects that ARPA-E is currently and previously funded, please visit our Projects Page

Can I submit an unsolicited proposal to ARPA-E?

ANSWER: ARPA-E does not accept unsolicited proposals. Instead, ARPA-E broadly solicits energy-related research proposals using periodic Open Funding Opportunity Announcements (Open FOAs). Open FOAs are generally issued every two to three years. In addition, ARPA-E accepts, on a rolling basis, proposals to the INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN ENERGY-RELATED APPLIED SCIENCE (IDEAS) Funding Opportunity Announcement for single-phase efforts of up to 12 months and up to $500,000. To receive announcements about ARPA-E’s new Open FOAs and other program-specific FOAs, please join our newsletter mailing list, available here. More information on the IDEAS FOA is available here. Please do not contact ARPA-E about unsolicited proposals.

How can I apply for a job, fellow position, or internship at ARPA-E?

ANSWER: Information on ARPA-E job opportunities and application instructions can be found on the Job Opportunities section of ARPA-E's website. 

What is the Energy Innovation Summit?

ANSWER: The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is an annual conference that brings together thought leaders from academia, business, and government to discuss cutting-edge energy issues and facilitate relationships to help move technologies into the marketplace. Summit topics range from high-level overviews to focused discussions centered on developing and deploying the next generation of energy technologies. In addition, the Technology Showcase is a major attraction of the Summit and includes several hundred carefully selected transformational technologies—many of which are demonstrated publicly for the first time during the Summit. Click here for more information on the Summit. 

What is ARPA-E’s annual budget?

ANSWER: For detailed information on ARPA-E’s budget, visit ARPA-E’s budget page.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ON FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

What is a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
ANSWER: A Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is a notice used by ARPA-E to announce a specific funding opportunity and to seek applications for financial assistance.
How can I make sure I hear about future Funding Opportunity Announcements as soon as they are announced?
ANSWER: The best way to stay up-to-date on the latest Funding Opportunities is by signing up for ARPA-E’s newsletter on http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-site-page/newsletter-updates-1. In addition to receiving monthly ARPA-E updates, you will receive emails whenever new FOAs are announced.
If I have questions about this funding announcement, who do I contact?
ANSWER: If a question is not answered in General Q&A section of ARPA-E’s website (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=faq/general-questions), applicants may submit questions regarding an ARPA-E FOA to ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov. Due to the volume of questions received, ARPA-E will only answer questions that have not yet been answered and posted at the above link. All emails must include the FOA name and number in the subject line. The cover page of each FOA states the deadline to submit questions to ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov. ARPA-E will not accept or respond to communications received by other means (e.g., fax, telephone, mail, hand delivery). Emails sent to other email addresses will be disregarded.
How will I receive a response to questions submitted to arpa-e-co@hq.doe.gov?

ANSWER: Responses are posted in the “Current Funding Opportunities FAQs” section of ARPA-E’s website. ARPA-E will post responses on a weekly basis to questions that are received. ARPA-E will cease to accept questions approximately 5 business days in advance of each submission deadline. Responses to questions received before the deadline will be posted approximately one business day in advance of the submission deadline. ARPA-E may re-phrase questions or consolidate similar questions for administrative purposes.

Will ARPA-E post a response to every question submitted to arpa-e-co@hq.doe.gov?

ANSWER: No. ARPA-E will only post responses to questions that have not already been addressed by the General Q&A section of ARPA-E’s website or the Q&A document for a specific FOA. Prior to submitting a question, applicants should carefully review ARPA-E’s General Q&As and the Q&A document for their specific FOA of interest. ARPA-E may consolidate similar questions for administrative purposes.

Can I speak or meet with the ARPA-E Program Director or other ARPA-E personnel FOAs other than the IDEAS FOA (Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science)?

ANSWER: No. Upon the issuance of a FOA, ARPA-E Program Directors and other ARPA-E personnel are prohibited from communicating (in writing or otherwise) with Applicants, or potential Applicants, regarding the FOA. This “quiet period” remains in effect until ARPA-E’s public announcement of its project selections. During the “quiet period,” applicants may submit questions regarding an ARPA-E FOA to ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov if a specific question is not answered in General Q&A section of ARPA-E’s website. All emails must include the FOA name and number in the subject line. Applicants may also submit questions regarding ARPA-E's online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE, to ExchangeHelp@hq.doe.gov with the FOA name and number in the subject line. ARPA-E will not accept or respond to communications received by other means (e.g., fax, telephone, mail, hand delivery). Emails sent to other email addresses will be disregarded.

I have developed a technology that may be a good fit for an ARPA-E FOA. Will ARPA-E review my idea and let me know if it is responsive to the FOA?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E will review compliant and responsive concept paper submissions and provide feedback either encouraging or discouraging submission of a Full Application.  See the “Application Process Overview” section of the FOA for Concept Paper review process.   Concept Paper submissions are compliant if they meet the “Compliant Criteria” of the FOA, and are responsive if they meet or exceed the “Technical Performance Targets” provided in the FOA and do not fall under the “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” section of the FOA. 
Can ARPA-E advise applicants as to which Category and/or Subcategory is appropriate for specific technology concepts?
ANSWER: No. Applicants must choose the appropriate Category and Subcategory for their submission based on technical descriptions the Categories and/or Subcategories provided in the FOA.  
How much financial assistance does ARPA-E provide to each project?
ANSWER: Award amounts vary by the scope of the project, the period of performance, and the nature of the work. Each FOA provides range of award amounts likely to result under that FOA. In the past, most award amounts vary between $500,000 and $10 million in financial assistance. ARPA-E will provide support at the highest funding level only for applications with significant technology risk, aggressive timetables, and careful management and mitigation of associated risks.
How long does ARPA-E support each project?
ANSWER: Typically, ARPA-E provides financial assistance for periods ranging from one to three years. Each FOA provides an estimate of the period performance that ARPA-E is likely to select for award negotiations under that FOA.
How is ARPA-E involved in the projects that it supports?
ANSWER: Congress directed ARPA-E to establish and monitor project milestones, initiate research projects quickly, and just as quickly terminate or restructure projects if such milestones are not achieved. Accordingly, ARPA-E has substantial involvement in the management and direction of every project.
What types of funding agreements are used by ARPA-E for its awards?
ANSWER: Each FOA’s “Award Overview” section provides the specific types of awards that may result from that FOA.
Does ARPA-E have an example of a typical Cooperative Agreement?
ANSWER: Yes. ARPA-E’s Model Cooperative Agreement is available at www.arpa-e.energy.gov/award-guidance.
What is a “Technology Investment Agreement” and will ARPA-E use this type of funding agreement for my award?
ANSWER: A Technology Investment Agreement (TIA) is a type of “other transaction” that ARPA-E was granted authorization to enter into under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Alternatively, ARPA-E may use DOE’s “other transactions” authority under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to enter into TIAs with Prime Recipients. See 10 C.F.R. § 603.105 for a description of a TIA. ARPA-E may negotiate a TIA when it determines that the use of a standard cooperative agreement, grant, or contract is not feasible or appropriate for a project. ARPA-E rarely exercises this authority and, consistent with regulation, typically requires 50% cost share. More information about TIAs is available at www.arpa-e.energy.gov/award-guidance.
Are applicants required to obtain a DUNS number or register with the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting a Concept Paper or Full Application?
ANSWER: No. The ARPA-E Funding Opportunity Exchange system does not require a DUNS number or SAM registration to submit a Concept Paper or Full Application. However, obtaining a DUNS Number and completing the SAM registration is required to receive an award under all ARPA-E FOAs.
Are applicants required to obtain an EIN or be formally incorporated?
ANSWER: The ARPA-E Funding Opportunity eXCHANGE system does not require an EIN to submit a Concept Paper or Full Application. However, a company must obtain an EIN in order to receive an award under all ARPA-E FOAs. For-profit entities must also be incorporated in order to receive funds from ARPA-E. All entities selected for award negotiations must comply with pre-award requirements (available at http://arpa-e.energy.gov/arpa-e-site-page/pre-award-guidance).
Does ARPA-E require all project work to be performed in the United States?
ANSWER: As a general rule, all work under ARPA-E awards must be conducted in the United States or in U.S. territories. ARPA-E will consider requests to perform work outside the United States on a case-by-case basis. Only in compelling circumstances, and only for discrete parts of a project that necessitate foreign work, would ARPA-E grant such a request. Such requests are rarely made or granted.
Is the Prime Recipient required to perform at least 50% of the total project effort?
ANSWER: No. Project Teams are free to determine the allocation of project work among team members.
In the event of a suspension or termination of a Prime Recipient’s award by the ARPA-E Con tracting Officer, will the Contracting Officer notify the subrecipients directly of applicable suspension/termination of subawards or does this notification responsibility flow from the Prime Recipient to Sub-Recipients?
ANSWER: ARPA-E will only notify the legal entity with which it has a funding agreement (i.e. the Prime Recipient) of material non-compliance with the award terms and conditions or of a suspension or termination of the award. The Prime Recipient should be sure to provide adequate and timely notification of suspension or termination to its subawardees/contractors.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

Are foreign entities eligible to apply to ARPA-E FOAs?
ANSWER: While foreign entities are typically eligible to apply for funding under ARPA-E FOAs, ARPA-E will only make an award of funding to a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary entity (i.e. incorporated in the United States or a U.S. territory). Rarely, a “foreign work waiver” may be provided by ARPA-E in order to allow performance of part of the work outside of the United States. ARPA-E’s provision of a foreign work waiver is a fact dependent, case-by-case determination that is made only in exceptional circumstances and only for discrete parts of an award that necessitate foreign work. Applicants that anticipate the need for a foreign work waiver to perform some work outside of the U.S. should review the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form. Also, because eligibility criteria may vary between FOAs, ARPA-E suggests that applicants check the complete list of “Eligible Applicants” provided in the FOA under which they wish to apply to confirm they are eligible.
Are individuals eligible to apply to ARPA-E FOAs?
ANSWER: Yes. Individuals are typically eligible to apply for funding. However, any ARPA-E award funding would need to be made to a business entity formed by the applicant, if selected for award negotiations. Because eligibility criteria may vary between FOAs, ARPA-E suggests that applicants check the complete list of “Eligible Applicants” provided in the FOA under which they wish to apply to confirm they are eligible.
Are state governments, local governments or tribal governments eligible to apply to ARPA-E FOAs?
ANSWER: Yes. State, local and Tribal government entities are typically eligible to apply for funding as a member of a project team, but not as a Standalone Applicant or as the lead organization for a project team. Because eligibility criteria may vary between FOAs, ARPA-E suggests that applicants check the complete list of “Eligible Applicants” provided in the FOA under which they wish to apply to confirm they are eligible.
What qualifies as a “small business” that would be eligible to apply to ARPA-E FOAs?
ANSWER: Small businesses are defined as domestically incorporated entities that meet the criteria established by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes” (NAICS) (http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-size-standards).
Are Federal civil servants that own an independent company eligible to apply to ARPA-E FOAs?
ANSWER: This is a fact dependent, case-by-case determination that should be discussed with the civil servant’s federal Ethics Counsel.
Are FFDRC’s eligible to participate in the project, even though they cannot be used for cost share purposes?
ANSWER: Yes. FFRDCs are eligible to apply for funding as the lead organization for a Project Team or as a member of a Project Team, but not a Standalone Applicant (i.e. FFRDCs may not perform 100% of the total work as measured by Total Project Cost). In addition, FFRDCs may contribute allowable, allocable, and reasonable cost share, but only if the contributions are paid directly from the contractor’s Management Fee or a non-Federal source. Because eligibility criteria may vary between FOAs, ARPA-E suggests that applicants check the complete list of “Eligible Applicants” provided in the FOA under which they wish to apply to confirm they are eligible.
If FFRDCs are eligible to participate in a project; is there a maximum limit on the FFRDCs participation in a project?
ANSWER: Yes, FFRDCs cannot apply as a Standalone Applicant.

COST SHARING

Does ARPA-E require cost sharing?
ANSWER: Typically, yes. Because the cost sharing requirements may vary by FOA, applicants should review the “Cost Sharing” section for the specific FOA to which they intend to submit a Concept Paper or Full Application.
What is ARPA-E’s minimum cost sharing requirement?
ANSWER: Cost share minimums vary depending on the requirements of the particular FOA, but are typically either 5%, 10% or 20% if the project is awarded under a Cooperative Agreement or grant. If a project award is made through a Technology Investment Agreements or an “other transaction” agreement (rather than a cooperative agreement or grant) the minimum cost share obligation is typically a minimum of 50% of the Total Project Cost. Applicants should refer to the “Cost Share” section of the FOA to which they want to apply for the applicable cost sharing requirements for that FOA.
What is Total Project Cost?
ANSWER: The sum of the Prime Recipient share and the Federal Government share of total allowable costs. The Federal Government share generally includes costs incurred by FFRDCs and GOGOs.
How is the cost sharing requirement calculated?
ANSWER: Cost Share is calculated as a percentage of the Total Project Cost, which is the sum of the Prime Recipient share and the Federal Government share of total allowable costs. The Federal Government share generally includes costs incurred by FFRDCs and GOGOs.
What types of contributions may be used to meet the cost sharing requirement for an ARPA-E project?
ANSWER: Project Teams may provide cost share in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Every cost share contribution (e.g., amount, type, and source of cost share), must be approved in advance by the Contracting Officer during award negotiations and incorporated into the project budget before the expenditures are incurred. In addition, all cost share contributions must be allowable under the applicable Federal cost principles to be counted towards meeting the cost share requirement. Cash contributions may be provided by the Prime Recipient and/or Subrecipients. Allowable in-kind contributions include, but are not limited to: (1) personnel costs; (2) indirect costs; (3) facilities and administrative costs; (4) rental value of buildings or equipment; and (5) the value of a service, other resource, or third-party in-kind contribution.  In addition, project teams may use funding or property received from state or local governments to meet the cost share requirement, so long as the funding or property was not provided to the state or local government by the Federal Government. Applicants may wish to refer to 2 C.F.R. Parts 200 and 910, and 10 C.F.R Part 603 for additional guidance on cost sharing, specifically 2 C.F.R. § 200.306, 2 C.F.R. § 910.130, and 10 C.F.R. §§ 603.215, 603.525-555.
What types of contributions cannot be used to meet the cost sharing requirement for an ARPA-E project?
ANSWER: Project Teams may not use the following sources to meet their cost share obligations: (1)  Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project’s period of performance; (2)  Proceeds from the prospective sale of an asset of an activity; (3)  Federal funding or property (e.g., funding provided under another Federal Grant, equipment or depreciation expenses associated with equipment that is owned in whole or in part by the Federal Government); (4)  Expenditures reimbursed under a separate Federal program; or (5)  Indirect or fringe benefit costs that correspond to in-kind cost share contributions. In addition, project teams may not use independent research and development (IR&D) funds to meet their cost share obligations under cooperative agreements. However, project teams may use IR&D funds to meet their cost share obligations under Technology Investment Agreements. Project Teams may not use the same cash or in-kind contributions to meet cost share requirements for more than one project or program. Applicants may wish to refer to 2 C.F.R. Parts 200 and 910, and 10 C.F.R Part 603 for additional guidance on cost sharing, specifically 2 C.F.R. § 200.306, 2 C.F.R. § 910.130, and 10 C.F.R. §§ 603.215, 603.525-555.
Will in-kind contributions count towards meeting our cost share requirements?
ANSWER: Yes, if the in-kind contribution is determined to be allowable, allocable and reasonable by the ARPA-E Contracting Officer. Since this is a fact determinative inquiry, these types of questions are answered based on a review of all relevant information by the Contracting Officer during award negotiations. For general guidance on acceptable cost share contributions and corresponding cost principles used by the ARPA-E Contracting Officer to make these determinations, see 2 C.F.R. Parts 200 and 910, and 10 C.F.R Part 603 for additional guidance on cost sharing, specifically 2 C.F.R. § 200.306, 2 C.F.R. § 910.130, and 10 C.F.R. §§ 603.215, 603.525-555.
Must applicants include a cost share commitment letter with a Concept Paper or Full Application?
ANSWER: No. Upon selection for award negotiations, the Prime Recipient is required to provide cost share commitment letters from Sub-recipients or third parties that are providing cost share, whether cash or in-kind. Each Sub-recipient or third party that is contributing cost share must provide a letter on appropriate letterhead that is signed by an authorized corporate representative. The letter must state, in unconditional and unequivocal terms, its commitment to provide cost share. The letter may not include any conditions for receipt of the cost share contributions. The letter must state the amount and form of cost share, the source and precise nature of the contribution, and the duration and timing of the commitment (e.g., two years beginning October 1, 2015).
Can Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and Government-Owned Government-Operated Laboratories (GOGOs) contribute cost share?
ANSWER: Because FFRDCs and GOGOs are funded by the Federal Government, costs incurred by FFRDCs and GOGOs generally may not used to meet the cost share requirement. FFRDCs may contribute cost share only if the contributions are paid directly from the contractor’s Management Fee or another non-Federal source.
Our project team includes several team members. Does each team member need to contribute cost share equally?
ANSWER: Although the cost share requirement applies to the Project Team as a whole, the funding agreement makes the Prime Recipient legally responsible for paying the entire cost share. Each Project Team is free to determine how much each team member will contribute towards the cost share requirement. The amount contributed by individual Project Team members may vary, so long as the cost share requirement for the project as a whole is met.
If a project team receives an award, but the subawardees will not begin work until a later date in the period of performance, do the subawardees have to contribute cost share for the portion of the project costs which they are not incurring?
ANSWER: ARPA-E generally uses Cooperative Agreements to provide financial support to the Prime Recipient, and does not enter into agreements with subawardees. The situation described would be governed by the agreement between the Prime and subawardee. Although the cost share requirement applies to the Project Team as a whole, the ARPA-E funding agreement requires the Prime Recipient to be responsible for the entire cost share, and for enforcing cost share obligations assumed by Project Team members in sub-awards or related agreements.
How are payments made to Prime Recipients?

ANSWER: The payment process is described in Clause 30 (Payment Procedures) of Award Attachment 1 (Special Terms and Conditions), which can be found at on the ARPA-E website. It discusses the timing of payments and the requirements for invoicing cost share and Federal share.

If the ARPA-E award is terminated prior to the end of the project, is the Prime Recipient required to pay the cost share for the entire award?
ANSWER: If the project is terminated or is otherwise not funded to completion, the Prime Recipient is not required to pay the entire “Cost Share” amount stated in the award; however, the Prime Recipient is required to pay its share (i.e., percentage) of the Total Project Cost incurred to date as of the termination or end date of the award.
Can ARPA-E tell me whether my project team qualifies for reduced cost share?
ANSWER: ARPA-E may not provide pre-submission assessments on a project team’s specific cost sharing requirement. Applicants should carefully review the cost sharing requirements for the specific FOA to which they intend to submit a Concept Paper or Full Application.
Can an individual applicant be treated the same as a small business applicant to obtain the 12 month “Cost Share Grace Period”?
ANSWER: Individuals are typically eligible to apply for funding under ARPA-E FOAs. However, any ARPA-E award funding would need to be made to a business entity formed by the Applicant, if selected for award negotiations. The Grace Periods are only available to small businesses.
My project team is not led by a small business, but includes small businesses. Does our team qualify for the 12 month “Cost Share Grace Period”?
ANSWER: The Cost Share Grace Period applies only to projects led by a small business and on which small businesses perform greater than 80% of the work.
Does ARPA-E apply a different cost sharing requirement to each organization based on the type of organization or to the project team as a whole?
ANSWER: ARPA-E applies one cost sharing percentage to the project team as a whole.
Can ARPA-E tell me whether my project team qualifies for the “Cost Share Grace Period”?
ANSWER: ARPA-E may not provide pre-submission assessments on a project team’s specific cost sharing requirement. Applicants should carefully review the cost sharing requirements for the specific FOA to which they intend to submit a Concept Paper or Full Application.
If a small business proposes a multi-year effort, but, for technical reasons identified within the first year, decides to terminate the effort in the first 12 months, will the 10% cost-share requirement for the multi-year effort be imposed or the 0% requirement for projects restricted to 12 months?
ANSWER: If a recipient qualifies for the cost share grace period, the 10% cost share requirement becomes effective only if the project is not terminated during the first year. If the project continues beyond that time, the recipient will owe 10% of the total project cost, including the costs incurred during the grace period. If the project does not continue beyond one year, the recipient will not be required to contribute cost share. Please review the above-referenced Reduced Cost Share section of the FOA closely for more information.
I am National Laboratory staff and I have a collaborator at a foreign university. Can the foreign collaborator contribute to the cost share? (the university does not have a US subsidiary campus).
ANSWER: Any work performed outside of the United States requires a foreign work waiver, which is rarely granted. Any proposed cost share that will be contributed by a non-U.S. collaborator performing project work would also be subject to this foreign work waiver requirement and also subject to a determination by the Contracting Officer that the proposed cost share contribution is allowable.
We have a question concerning the impact of a large business seeking patent rights under a class waiver if our team qualifies for reduced cost share of 10%. Does this mean the entire team project is subject to 20% cost share or only the large business’ portion of the project will be subject to 20% cost share?
ANSWER: Under this scenario, only the large business’ portion of the work is subject to the 20% minimum cost share requirement. NOTE: If the large business' portion of Total Project Costs is greater than 20%, then the project team's total cost share minimum is 20% since the team as a whole would no longer qualify for the 80/20 labor distribution for reduced cost share.
Is ARPA-E aware of any non-federal sources of cost share that may be available to ARPA-E applicants?
ANSWER: Two State organizations, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center ("AmplifyMass") have notified ARPA-E of potential cost-share funding programs for those ARPA-E applicants that qualify under the States' criteria. Applicants that are interested in potential cost share funding from State sources must contact the State sources directly. Any funding obtained from these types of state programs may only be used as cost share if: (1) the funds are provided to the ARPA-E awardee for the purpose of cost sharing on the ARPA-E award, and (2) the cost share funding agreement between the ARPA-E awardee and the state does not include terms that conflict with the ARPA-E award. Details about the CEC and AmplifyMass programs and application processes can be found at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/epic.html#PON-14-308 (or contact Mr. Erik Stokes at erik.stokes@energy.ca.gov) and http://www.masscec.com/programs/amplifymass (or contact Ms. Alison Ernst at AErnst@MassCEC.com). Eligibility for funding from these sources is determined exclusively by each State funding entity, without any input from ARPA-E. Please contact these organizations directly for more details and eligibility requirements. Note: In the ARPA-E selection process, such State cost-share would not receive preference over any other source of cost share, and in providing links to these two State sources of funding, ARPA-E does not endorse these or other sources of potential cost-share funding.

USING ARPA-E EXCHANGE

What is ARPA-E eXCHANGE?
ANSWER: ARPA-E eXCHANGE is ARPA-E’s online application portal. For more information, please visit ARPA-E eXCHANGE at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/.
How can I register with ARPA-E eXCHANGE?
ANSWER: Visit ARPA-E eXCHANGE registration page at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/Registration.aspx.
Where can I find instructions on using and uploading submissions to ARPA-E eXCHANGE?
ANSWER: The ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guide is available at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/Manuals.aspx.
If I have questions about ARPA-E exchange, who do I contact?
ANSWER: Applicants may submit questions regarding ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE, to ExchangeHelp@hq.doe.gov. All emails must include the name and number of the Funding Opportunity Announcement in the subject line.
How will I receive a response to questions submitted to ExchangeHelp@hq.doe.gov?
ANSWER: ARPA-E will promptly respond via email to inquiries that raise legitimate, technical issues with ARPA-E eXCHANGE. Questions regarding Funding Opportunity Announcements will be referred to ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov.

SUBMITTING A CONCEPT PAPER

What is a Concept Paper?
ANSWER: All Applicants are first required to submit a Concept Paper. ARPA-E reviews the Concept Paper and provides early feedback on whether the idea is likely to form the basis of a successful full application.
Where can I find the requirements for the content and form for a Concept Paper submission?
ANSWER: Please refer to the “Content and Form of Concept Papers” section of the specific FOA for which you are submitting the Concept Paper. Applicants may also want to refer to the “Compliant Criteria”, “Responsiveness Criteria”, and “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” sections of the specific FOA.
What is the submission deadline for Concept Papers?
ANSWER: Please refer to the cover page and Executive Summary of the relevant FOA for applicable submission deadlines.
May applicants submit more than one Concept Paper to a single FOA?
ANSWER: Yes, but each Concept Paper must be “scientifically distinct”. This term is used in the “Limitation on Number of Applications” section of each FOA. In this context, the term “scientifically distinct” is used to emphasize that, in the event an Applicant intends to submit multiple concept papers/application, the applicant should propose distinct technical approaches in each application. This prohibition on duplicative applications involves a fact-based determination by ARPA-E to ensure a focused review of each technical concept, and appropriate use of ARPA-E's limited time/resources.
Are applicants required to register for the Teaming List before submitting a Concept Paper?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E sets up the Teaming Partner Lists to facilitate formation of new project teams. There is no requirement for applicants or any team member to sign up/register for the Teaming Partner List prior to submitting a Concept Paper. Note: ARPA-E does not endorse or otherwise evaluate the qualifications of the entities that self-identify themselves for placement on the Teaming Partner List.
Does ARPA-E review and consider every Concept Paper received?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E only reviews compliant and responsive Concept Paper submissions. Please refer to the “Compliant Criteria”, “Responsiveness Criteria”, and “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” sections of the specific FOA for which you are submitting the Concept Paper.
How does ARPA-E determine if a Concept Paper is compliant?
ANSWER: ARPA-E performs a preliminary review of Concept Papers to determine whether: (1) the Applicant meets the eligibility requirements in the FOA; (2) the Concept Paper conforms to the content and form requirements in the FOA; and (3) the Concept Paper was timely submitted via ARPA-E eXCHANGE by the applicable deadline. The specific FOA may have additional or other compliance requirements for Concept Papers. Concept Papers that meet these requirements are deemed compliant.
How does ARPA-E determine if a Concept Paper is responsive?
ANSWER: ARPA-E performs a preliminary technical review of Concept Papers to determine whether the proposed project falls within the technical parameters described in the FOA. Any Concept Papers that focus on the “Areas Specifically Not of Interest” described in the FOA are rejected as nonresponsive and are not reviewed or considered.
What happens if I miss the Concept Paper submission deadline?
ANSWER: Your submission will be deemed noncompliant by the Contracting Officer and it will not be reviewed or considered.
How am I notified if my Concept Paper is rejected as noncompliant or nonresponsive?
ANSWER: For noncompliant and nonresponsive Concept Papers, the ARPA-E Contracting Officer sends a notification letter by email to the technical and administrative points of contact designated by the Applicant in ARPA-E eXCHANGE. The notification letter states the basis upon which the Concept Paper was rejected.
I have developed a technology that may be a good fit for an ARPA-E FOA. Will ARPA-E please review my idea and let me know if it is responsive?
ANSWER: ARPA-E will review compliant and responsive concept paper submissions and provide feedback either encouraging or discouraging submission of a Full Application. Concept Paper submissions are compliant if they meet the requirements of “Compliant Criteria” of the FOA, and are responsive if they meet the Program Objectives and other requirements set forth in the “Technical Performance Targets” of the FOA and do not fall under the list of “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” in the FOA. Applicants must review the technical requirements of the FOA and independently determine whether their proposed concept warrants a submission.
How does ARPA-E evaluate Concept Papers?
ANSWER: ARPA-E performs a preliminary review of Concept Papers and Full Applications to determine whether they are compliant and responsive. ARPA-E considers a mix of quantitative and qualitative criteria in determining whether to encourage the submission of a Full Application. Concept Papers will not be evaluated against each other since they are not submitted in accordance with a common work statement. Concept Papers are primarily evaluated by internal and external reviewers based on the Merit Review Criteria specific to a given FOA. As these criteria may vary by FOA, applicants should always refer to the FOA to which they are applying for the relevant evaluation criteria.
Who evaluates Concept Papers for ARPA-E?
ANSWER: ARPA-E typically reviews Concept Papers with the assistance of external and internal reviewers. ARPA-E selects reviewers based on their knowledge and understanding of the relevant field and application, their experience and skills, and their ability to provide constructive feedback on applications. ARPA-E requires all reviewers to complete a Conflict-of-Interest Certification and Nondisclosure Agreement through which they disclose their knowledge of any actual or apparent conflicts and agree to safeguard confidential information contained in Concept Papers, Full Applications, and Replies to Reviewer Comments. In addition, ARPA-E trains its reviewers in proper evaluation techniques and procedures. Applicants are not permitted to nominate reviewers for their applications. Applicants may contact the Contracting Officer by email (ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov) if they have knowledge of a potential conflict of interest or a reasonable belief that a potential conflict exists.
Can a person be PI on one proposal and a Co-PI on a second separate proposal?
ANSWER: Yes, an individual may be on more than one submission – either as a lead or member of a Project Team.
How am I notified when ARPA-E decides to encourage or discourage the submission of a Full Application?
ANSWER: Applicants are promptly notified of ARPA-E’s determination to encourage or discourage the submission of a Full Application. ARPA-E sends a notification letter by email to the technical and administrative points of contact designated by the Applicant in ARPA-E eXCHANGE. ARPA-E generally provides Applicants with feedback in the notification letter in order to guide the further development of the proposed technology.
How can I find ARPA-E’s Concept Paper template?

ANSWER: The Concept Paper template for each FOA can be downloaded on ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

After the Concept Paper deadline, what will be the submission deadline for the Full Application?
ANSWER: ARPA-E updates FOAs with information about Full Application submission requirements and timelines after the Concept Paper review process is complete.
Can I respond to ARPA-E’s feedback on our Concept Paper?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E generally provides Applicants with feedback on Concept Papers in order to guide the further development of the proposed technology.
I have questions regarding ARPA-E’s feedback on our Concept Paper. Can I speak with someone about this feedback?
ANSWER: No. Upon the issuance of a FOA, ARPA-E Program Directors and other ARPA-E personnel are prohibited from communicating (in writing or otherwise) with Applicants, or potential Applicants, regarding the FOA. This “quiet period” remains in effect until ARPA-E’s public announcement of its project selections.
Can we receive additional and more detailed feedback on our Concept Paper submission?
ANSWER: Due to limited resources, ARPA-E is unable to provide additional feedback on Concept Papers.
What is required for a complete Concept Paper submission?
ANSWER: Typically, ARPA-E requires the following sections in each Concept Paper: (1) Concept Summary, (2) Innovation and Impact, (3) Proposed Work, and (4) Team Organization and Capabilities. Because Concept Paper content requirements may vary between FOAs or include additional requirements, applicants should always refer to the “Content and Form of Concept Papers” section of the FOA under which they wish to apply, for all applicable requirements.
Are applicants required to use the Concept Paper template provided by ARPA-E?
ANSWER: ARPA-E strongly encourages applicants to utilize the Concept Paper template provided on ARPA-E eXCHANGE. Applicants that deviate from this format must ensure that their submission conforms to the content and form requirements for the Concept Paper contained in the FOA.
Does ARPA-E provide a template for the Cover Sheet for Concept Papers?
ANSWER: A cover sheet is not typically required for Concept Papers; therefore, ARPA-E does not provide a separate template for a cover sheet.
How do I mark confidential, proprietary, and privileged information in my Concept Paper?

ANSWER: In addition to the marking requirements specified in each FOA, each line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting. Applicants may place double brackets around such information or highlight such information as shown below:

Example 1 (Highlighting): The header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: “Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure.” In addition, every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting.

Example 2 (Double Brackets): The header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: [[“Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure.” In addition, every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting.]] Please refer to the “Marking of Confidential Information” section of the FOA for guidance on marking requirements. Any submissions containing confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as described in the FOA.

Is there a font size requirement for Concept Papers?
ANSWER: Yes. A font size of 12 points or larger is required. A smaller font size may be used for figures and tables, including figure and table captions. The text for figures and tables should be legible without the assistance of a magnifying glass. Applicants may consider a font size of 9 points or larger to be appropriate.
Can applicants submit excel attachments and/or MS Word files as part of the Concept Paper submission?
ANSWER: Concept Papers may only be submitted in Adobe PDF format, and must also comply with the other content and formatting requirements outlined in the FOA.
The Concept Paper template includes a boxed disclaimer. If the Concept Paper contains no confidential or proprietary information is the disclaimer still required?
ANSWER: No.
Are references allowed in the Concept Paper and are they counted towards the page limit?
ANSWER: Applicants may “provide specific examples of supporting data and/or appropriate citations to the scientific and technical literature. However, citations will count towards the maximum page length of 4 pages. If an applicant exceeds the maximum page length, ARPA-E will only review the authorized number of pages, starting with the first page and then each of the following 3 pages, and disregard any additional pages.
If a supporting organization wants to write a letter of support for our concept paper, will that count towards the four (4) page limit for the Concept Paper?
ANSWER: Yes. If applicants exceed the maximum page limitation of 4 pages, ARPA-E will only review the authorized number of pages, starting with the first page and then each of the following 3 pages, and disregard any additional pages.
Do we need to itemize the amount/percent that each project team member will contribute to the overall cost share for the project?
ANSWER: No. Applicants should refer to the “Content and Form of Concept Papers” section of the FOA for guidance on what information to include in a Concept Paper submission.
Is the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form required for Concept Papers?
ANSWER: No.
Does the technical point of contact or Principal Investigator for a project need to have a PhD?
ANSWER: A PhD is not required in order to be a Principal Investigator or member of a Project Team.

SUBMITTING A FULL APPLICATION

My Concept Paper was encouraged. What are my chances of being selected for award negotiations by ARPA-E?
ANSWER: ARPA-E does not provide pre-submission assessments of the likelihood of being selected for award negotiations.
I missed the Concept Paper deadline. Can I still submit a Full Application?
ANSWER: No. Only applicants who have successfully submitted a Concept Paper in eXCHANGE by the published deadline are eligible to submit a Full Application to a FOA.
Can I submit a Full Application if ARPA-E discouraged my concept?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants who are discouraged during the Concept Paper phase may still submit a Full Application. The purpose of the Concept Paper phase is to save Applicants the time and expense of preparing a Full Application for technologies that are unlikely to be selected for award negotiations.
ARPA-E discouraged me from submitting a Full Application. I intend to submit a Full Application anyway. Will my Full Application be treated differently than the Applicants that were encouraged to submit a Full Application?
ANSWER: No. All compliant and responsive Full Applications are evaluated through the same merit review process.
When does ARPA-E release the required contents for Full Applications?

ANSWER: After the Concept Paper review process is complete, ARPA-E will update the FOA with information about Full Application submission requirements and timelines, and release Full Application materials on ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

What is the submission deadline for Full Applications?
ANSWER: Applicants should refer to the cover page and Executive Summary of the FOA to which they are applying for applicable submission deadlines.
What happens if I miss the Full Application submission deadline?
ANSWER: Your submission will be deemed noncompliant by the Contracting Officer, and it will not reviewed or considered.
May Applicants submit more than one Full Application?
ANSWER: Applicants may submit one Full Application for each compliant and responsive Concept Paper that was either encouraged or discouraged by ARPA-E.
Can ARPA-E tell me how many applicants were encouraged to submit Full Applications for a specific FOA?
ANSWER: ARPA-E does not disclose the number of applicants that were encouraged to submit Full Applications for pending FOAs. Typically, only one-third to one-half of applicants are encouraged to submit Full Applications.
Can applicants modify the amount of federal funds requested in their Concept Paper when they submit a Full Application?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants may increase or decrease the amount of funding requested in their Concept Paper when they submit their Full Application.
Our team originally submitted a Concept Paper that listed [organization name 1] as the Prime Recipient. For our Full Application, can we change the lead organization to **** [organization name 2] instead?
ANSWER: Yes, the ARPA-E eXCHANGE system will allow applicants to expand or otherwise modify the Project Team for their Full Applications.
Can I include Co-PIs and/or subrecipients in my Full Application that were not included in my Concept Paper?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants may expand or otherwise modify the Project Team for their Full Applications.
One of our project team members from the Concept Paper stage does not want to participate in the Full Application. Can we still apply?
ANSWER: Yes.
We have determined that our concept may be more suitable for another technical category and/or subcategory provided in the FOA. Can our team change the technical category for our project in the Full Application?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants may update the Category/Subcategory choice in their Full Application submission.
Does ARPA-E review and consider every Full Application?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E only reviews compliant and responsive Full Application submissions. Please refer to the “Compliant Criteria”, “Responsiveness Criteria”, and “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” sections of the specific FOA to which you are applying.
How does ARPA-E determine if a Full Application is responsive?
ANSWER: ARPA-E performs a preliminary technical review of Full Applications to determine whether the proposed project falls within the technical parameters described in the FOA. Any Full Applications that focus on the “Areas Specifically Not of Interest” described in the FOA are rejected as nonresponsive and are not reviewed or considered.
Where are the content and form requirements for Full Applications?
ANSWER: Please refer to the “Content and Form of Full Applications” section of the specific FOA to which you are applying. Applicants may also want to refer to the “Compliant Criteria”, “Responsiveness Criteria”, and “Applications Specifically Not of Interest” sections of the FOA.
How does ARPA-E evaluate Full Applications?
ANSWER: ARPA-E performs a preliminary review of Full Applications to determine whether they are compliant and responsive. Compliant and responsive Full Applications are evaluated by subject matter experts against the technical merit review criteria described in the FOA. As the evaluation criteria may vary by FOA, applicants should always refer to the FOA to which they are applying for the relevant criteria. ARPA-E may also use Program Policy Factors as part of its evaluations and selection decisions, also described in the FOA, which are broad policy considerations determined by agency needs and priorities.
Will providing more cost share than required be considered by ARPA-E in a Full Application?
ANSWER: Typically, ARPA-E FOAs include at least one Program Policy Factor that enables ARPA-E to consider whether a “project leverages Federal funds to optimize advancement of programmatic goals by proposing cost share above the required minimum or otherwise accessing scarce or unique resources”. Since Program Policy Factors may vary by FOA, applicants should always refer to the FOA to which they are applying for the relevant evaluation criteria and Program Policy Factors.
How does ARPA-E notify applicants if their Full Application is rejected as noncompliant or nonresponsive?
ANSWER: For noncompliant and nonresponsive Full Applications, the ARPA-E Contracting Officer sends a notification letter by email to the technical and administrative points of contact designated by the Applicant in ARPA-E eXCHANGE. The notification letter states the basis upon which the Full Application was rejected.
How does ARPA-E notify applicants of ARPA-E’s decision to select or not select a Full Application for award negotiations?
ANSWER: Applicants are promptly notified of the Selection Official’s determination through a notification letter sent by email to the technical and administrative points of contact designated by the Applicant in ARPA-E eXCHANGE. The notification letter may inform the Applicant that its Full Application was selected for award negotiations or not selected. Alternatively, Applicants may be notified that a final selection determination will be made at a later date, subject to the availability of funds or other factors. A notification letter selecting a Full Application for award negotiations does not authorize the Applicant to commence performance of the project.
If ARPA-E postpones a final selection determination for my Full Application, can my team begin working on the project?
ANSWER: No. A notification letter postponing a final selection determination until a later date does not authorize the Applicant to commence performance of the project.
If ARPA-E selects my project for award negotiations, can my team begin working on the project?
ANSWER: No. A notification letter selecting a Full Application for award negotiations does not authorize the Applicant to commence performance of the project.
Does ARPA-E provide feedback on Full Applications?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants are provided reviewer comments in order to provide them with an opportunity to respond during a formal “Reply to Reviewer Comments” phase of the FOA.
Does ARPA-E offer debriefings to unsuccessful applicants?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E does not offer or provide debriefings to unsuccessful Applicants. However, ARPA-E provides Applicants with feedback on compliant and responsive Concept Papers and Full Applications. Comments on Concept Papers are contained in notification letters sent to Applicants encouraging or discouraging the submission of a Full Application. Reviewer comments on Full Applications are made available before the submission deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments.
One of my project team members is participating on a separate application to the same FOA. I don’t have access to that application, so I can’t determine if it is scientifically distinct. What should I do?
ANSWER: Applicants are not expected to seek or obtain access to applications submitted by third parties. This requirement that multiple applications be scientifically distinct is primarily directed at applications submitted by the same person. Applicants may submit more than one Full Application if they submitted more than one Concept Paper and if, to the best of their knowledge, each project proposed is scientifically distinct.
If an applicant submits one Concept Paper and ARPA-E encourages a Full Application, is it possible to break up the scope of work described in the Concept Paper into two separate Full Applications?
ANSWER: No.
Can two project teams that submitted Concept Papers combine both into a single Full Application? If this is permitted, are there any restrictions on this?
ANSWER: Generally, whether an applicant is able to alter their proposal from the Concept Paper to the Full Application stage depends on the technical requirements of a particular FOA. However, ARPA-E typically allows applicants to modify the proposed project described in their Concept Papers. Be aware, however, that the Concept Paper phase is intended to provide applicants with an indication whether they should dedicate resources to preparing a Full Application, and they may lose the benefit of the Concept Paper review if the scope or nature of the project changes significantly from Concept Paper to Full Application.
Will ARPA-E provide copies of the Full Application submitted by the Prime Recipient to other project team members (i.e. subrecipients)?
ANSWER: No. Entities listed as members of a Project Team must contact the Prime Recipient in order to obtain a copy of the Full Application.
Are applicants without federally approved indirect rates required to submit indirect rate proposals with their Full Applications?
ANSWER: No. Upon selection for award negotiations, applicants without Federally approved rate agreements are required to submit an Indirect Rate Proposal, available at www.arpa-e.energy.gov/project-guidance.
Are the Prime Recipient and subrecipients required to register with the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting a Full Application?

ANSWER: No, registration with SAM is not required to submit a Full Application. Upon selection for award negotiations, Prime Recipients and Sub-recipients are required to register with the SAM. ARPA-E cannot execute a funding agreement with a Prime Recipient until it is registered with SAM. Similarly, the Prime Recipient cannot execute a sub-award until the Sub-recipient is registered with SAM. Prime Recipients and Sub-recipients are required to keep their SAM data current throughout the duration of the project. Applicants who have already registered in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will have an active record in SAM, but must create a user account in SAM to carry over information from the CCR database.

Are the Prime Recipient and subrecipients required to register with the Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number before submitting a Full Application?
ANSWER: No, applicants are not required to obtain a DUNS Number to submit a Full Application. Upon selection for award negotiations, Prime Recipients and Sub-recipients are required to obtain a DUNS number at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. ARPA-E cannot execute a funding agreement with a Prime Recipient until it has a DUNS number. Similarly, the Prime Recipient cannot execute a sub-award until the Sub-recipient has a DUNS number.
Are the Prime Recipient and subrecipients required to register with the FedConnect before submitting a Full Application?
ANSWER: No, registration with FedConnect is not required to submit a Full Application. Upon selection for award negotiations, only the Prime Recipient is required to register with FedConnect in order to receive notification that their funding agreement has been executed by the ARPA-E Contracting Officer and to obtain a copy of the executed funding agreement. Please refer to https://www.fedconnect.net for registration instructions.
What types of reports are Prime Recipients required to submit after award?
ANSWER: Prime Recipients are required to submit periodic, detailed reports on technical, financial, and other aspects of the project. Please refer to Attachment 4 to ARPA-E’s Model Cooperative Agreement (http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-site-page/award-guidance#Cooperative Agreements) for guidance on ARPA-E’s reporting requirements.
Are project teams required to submit a Technology-to-Market Plan with the Full Application?
ANSWER: No, submission of a Technology-to-Market Plan is not required for a Full Application. Prime Recipients are required to submit a Technology-to-Market plan to the ARPA-E Program Director during award negotiations and submit updated versions of the plan every six months through the end of the project period.
Are project teams required to submit an Intellectual Property Management Plan with the Full Application?

ANSWER: No, submission of an Intellectual Property Management Plan is not required for a Full Application. However, ARPA-E requires every Project Team to negotiate and establish an Intellectual Property Management Plan for the management and disposition of intellectual property arising from the project. The Prime Recipient must submit a completed and signed Intellectual Property Management plan to ARPA-E within 6 weeks of the effective date of the ARPA-E funding agreement. ARPA-E has developed a template for Intellectual Property Management Plans to facilitate and expedite negotiations between Project Team members. ARPA-E does not mandate the use of this template. ARPA-E and DOE do not make any warranty (express or implied) or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the template. ARPA-E and DOE strongly encourage Project Teams to consult independent legal counsel before using the template.

An FFRDC will be the lead for our project team. How will ARPA-E fund the project team members if our project is selected for award negotiations?
ANSWER: When a FFRDC is the lead organization for a Project Team, ARPA-E executes a funding agreement directly with the FFRDC and a single, separate Cooperative Agreement with the rest of the Project Team.  For the Cooperative Agreement, one subrecipient will be designated as a “lead” subrecipient for the project.  The “lead” subrecipient will be reimbursed directly by ARPA-E, and any additional subrecipients on the project team would be reimbursed through the “lead” subrecipient. Notwithstanding the use of multiple agreements, the FFRDC is the lead organization for the entire project, including all work performed by the FFRDC and the rest of the Project Team.  
How do I mark confidential, proprietary, and privileged information in my Full Application?

ANSWER: In addition to the marking requirements specified in each FOA, each line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting. Applicants may place double brackets around such information or highlight such information as shown below:

Example 1 (Highlighting): The header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: “Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure.” In addition, every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting.

Example 2 (Double Brackets): The header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: [[“Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure.” In addition, every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting.]] Please refer to the “Marking of Confidential Information” section of the FOA for guidance on marking requirements. Any submissions containing confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as described in the FOA.

Clause 28 "Pre Award Costs" of Attachment 1 of the Model Cooperative Agreement allows the Prime Recipient to incur $100K or less in pre-award costs up to 90 days before the award date. Are subrecipients also allowed to incure such costs up to 90 days before the award date, or, does this provision apply to the total of the Prime Recipient's pre-awards costs and potential pre-award costs of all subrecipients?
ANSWER: Pre-Award Costs apply to the Project Team as a whole. Both the Prime Recipient and any subrecipients may incur pre-award costs. The Prime Recipient is responsible for seeking reimbursement on behalf of its subrecipient. The $100,000 approval threshold is cumulative and would apply to the total of pre-award costs incurred by the Prime and its subrecipients.
What amount will ARPA-E reimburse the Prime Recipient and subrecipients for patent costs – does the $30,000 threshold on patent expenditures apply to both or are these separate amounts which total to $60,000.
ANSWER: Although both the Prime Recipient and any subrecipients may incur patent costs, the $30,000 limitation on expenditures for filing and prosecution of United States Patent applications, including international applications (“PCT applications”) submitted to the USPTO applies to the entire Project Team. The Prime Recipient is responsible for seeking reimbursement on behalf of its subrecipient(s).
May one company be a member of multiple project teams?
ANSWER: Yes.

TECHNICAL VOLUME

We know that ARPA-E has provided a template for the Technical Volume on eXCHANGE. Can our team use our own Technical Volume format as long as we ensure that all ARPA-E requirement content is included?
ANSWER: ARPA-E strongly encourages applicants to utilize the Technical Volume template provided on ARPA-E eXCHANGE. Applicants that deviate from this format must ensure that their submission conforms to the content and form requirements for the Technical Volume contained in the FOA.
For the Technical Volume, the FOA provides the suggested page lengths for each section. Are these suggested lengths mandatory?
ANSWER: The Technical Volume template provides suggested page lengths to applicants for each section; however, applicants may independently decide how much space to allocate to each section of the Technical Volume. Note: If applicants exceed the maximum page limitation for the Technical Volume, ARPA-E will only review the authorized number of pages, starting with the first page and disregard any additional pages exceeding the limit. Please refer to the “Content and Form for Full Applications” section of the FOA for applicable page limitations.
May I submit a letters of support with my Full Application, and if this is possible, where in the Full Application should they be included?
ANSWER: Letters of support may be included in the Technical Volume or cited in the Technical Volume, but in both cases will count towards the maximum page limitation for the Technical Volume. If applicants exceed the maximum page limitation for the Technical Volume, ARPA-E will only review the authorized number of pages, starting with the first page and disregard any additional pages exceeding the limit. Please refer to the “Content and Form for Full Applications” section of the FOA for applicable page limitations.
Can applicants include an optional task within the Full Application and proposed budget? If this is permitted, how should we identify it in the technical volume and budget?
ANSWER: Optional tasks should be designated with a parenthetical at the beginning of the task as follows: “(Optional Task)”.
How should we include references in our Full Application? Do they count towards the overall page limitation for the Technical Volume?
ANSWER: Applicants may provide a list of references in a separate bibliography. Only bibliographic information may be contained in the references, and no additional text or commentary should be included. There is no page limit for the bibliographic references section of the Full Application.
Can applicants include full-text versions of articles in the references section of the Technical Volume?
ANSWER: Only bibliographic information may be contained in the references section of the Technical Volume. No additional text or commentary is allowed.
Can applicants use colors for diagrams and pictures submitted in the Technical Volume?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants may use colors for charts, diagrams, or pictures. All text must be in a black font color.

SF-424

Under what circumstances would an applicant identify more than one applicant in section 9 of the SF-424?
ANSWER: Applicants that have formed a project team should select the appropriate applicant type for each team member from the drop down menu provided in Question 9 of the SF-424. Applicants may download instructions on completing the SF-424 at the following website: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/form-instructions/sf-424-instructions.html.
What congressional districts should be entered in Item 16 of the SF-424: each team members’ congressional district where incorporated or congressional districts where the work will actually be performed?
ANSWER: Applicants should list the Prime Recipient’s congressional district and any districts that may be affected by the project (i.e. where work is performed). Applicants may download instructions on completing the SF-424 at the following website: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/form-instructions/sf-424-instructions.html.
How should applicants answer Question 19 on the SF-424 regarding Intergovernmental review?
ANSWER: ARPA-E FOAs are generally not subject to Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs). Please refer to the FOA to confirm whether it is subject to intergovernmental review.

BUDGET JUSTIFICATION WORKBOOK/SF-424A

Can ARPA-E provide an unlocked version of the SF-424A spreadsheet to insert additional calculations that automatically calculate fringe and indirect costs? Alternatively, can my team create its own workbook to satisfy this requirement?
ANSWER: The Budget Justification Workbook/SF-424A (“Workbook”) is a protected document so that ARPA-E can ensure consistency in budgetary calculations from applicants. Applicants are required to complete the Workbook available on ARPA-E eXCHANGE. Applicants should not create and submit alternate versions of the Workbook to satisfy this requirement. Due to the wide variation in methods used to calculate fringe and indirect amounts, ARPA-E has not included set formulas in the Fringe Benefits or Indirect Costs sheets. ARPA-E has provided an “Explanations/Comments/Calculations/Formula” field for The Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs sheets so that applicants can show how they calculated their rates. It is recommended that applicants reserve calculations for this field, and simply enter a total dollar amount into the “Total Fringe Requested” row at the top of the sheet. Should an applicant prefer to use formulas in the “Total Fringe Requested” row, Excel allows you to enter text in the formula box. For example, you could enter “ =’a. Personnel’!E180” in order to capture a number listed in Row 180, Column E of the Personnel tab.
The Budget Justification Workbook has a significant amount of preloaded data. What is an Applicant supposed to do with this data?
ANSWER: The sample data is provided as guidance only. Applicants may delete this data, but are not required to do so.
Should the work proposed in the Budget Justification include work only performed by the Prime Recipient or should it also include work performed by subrecipients and subcontractors?
ANSWER: The proposed budget (SF-424, SF-424A, Budget Justification Workbook) should cover the Total Project Cost, including work performed by the Prime Recipient, subrecipients, contractors, vendors, and any other entities.
Should the SF-424A show years or should it be further divided into quarters?
ANSWER: The SF-424A should be broken down into years.
Should the SF-424A template format be used for each tab in the Budget Justification Workbook?
ANSWER: Yes.
Should applicants include a separate tab for each year of the proposed project or should the entire period of performance be reported in one tab?
ANSWER: A separate tab is required for each year.
Should Applicants include reimbursable patent costs in the Budget Justification Workbook?
ANSWER: Yes, patent costs may be included in Tab H: “Other Direct Costs”.
Should the Prime Recipient and each subrecipient have its own indirect rate or should the project team determine what the effective average indirect rate would be and include this in the SF-424A?
ANSWER: If reimbursement is requested for fringe benefits and indirect costs by the Prime Recipient and subrecipients, each entity must propose this information separately in their budget in accordance with the instructions provided in the FOA. Please refer to the ARPA-E Guidance for the Budget Justification Workbook template (see tab b for fringe benefits and tab i for indirect costs) and see the detailed guidance on completing the Budget Justification Workbook (see Steps 3 and 10). The effective or average indirect rate does not need to be calculated.
Do we need to break down the salary for employees into an hourly rate?
ANSWER: Yes.
The Instructions and Summary sheet in the Budget Justification workbook states that “No individual may be paid more than $200,000 per year under an ARPA-E funding agreement.” Does the $200,000 figure include fringe benefits?
ANSWER: This requirement means that no agreement can charge more than $200,000 in direct costs per individual for employee salaries. This requirement does not apply to fringe benefits.
The Instructions and Summary sheet in the Budget Justification workbook states that “No individual may be paid more than $200,000 per year under an ARPA-E funding agreement.” Does this mean that the individuals working on the project must have a salary cap or does this mean that applicants cannot propose reimbursement for more than $200,000 per person?
ANSWER: This requirement means that no agreement can charge more than $200,000 in direct costs per individual for employee salaries. It does not limit how much an employer pays it employees.
The FOA requires the Project Team to submit a consolidated SF-424A with budget information from the Prime Recipient and subrecipients. Some of the members of the Project Team are competitors and do not wish to share detailed cost data with their competitors (e.g., indirect and/or fringe benefit rates). May members of our Project Team provide total cost data to the Prime Recipient, but submit detailed cost data in a separate SF-424A directly to ARPA-E?
ANSWER: In these circumstances, total cost data should be provided to the Prime Recipient, but detailed cost data may be provided in a separate SF-424A and Budget Justification Workbook sent directly to ARPA-E via email to ARPA-E-CO@hq.doe.gov by the Full Application submission deadline stated in the FOA. Any files sent by email should be clearly marked with the application control number, name of the submitting entity, and the title of the application.
May applicants propose reimbursement for patent costs?
ANSWER: Yes. ARPA-E will reimburse the Prime Recipient up to $30,000 for filing and prosecution of United States patent applications, including international applications (“PCT application”) submitted to the USPTO that are related to subject inventions disclosed to DOE in accordance with Attachment 2 of the recipient’s Cooperative Agreement. The Prime Recipient may request a waiver of the $30,000 reimbursement limit which is subject to review by the ARPA-E Program Director and approval by the Contracting Officer. Allowable costs associated with reporting subject inventions are not included in this $30,000 limitation. The Prime Recipient may use unrecovered and allowable patent costs to meet its cost sharing obligations under an ARPA-E award.
May applicants propose reimbursement for construction costs?
ANSWER: ARPA-E generally does not fund projects that involve major construction.
May applicants propose reimbursement for foreign travel?
ANSWER: ARPA-E generally does not fund projects that involve extensive foreign travel. Prime Recipients are required to obtain written authorization from the ARPA-E Contracting Officer before incurring any costs related to foreign travel. In seeking reimbursement for costs related to foreign travel, Prime Recipients will be required to provide a report to the ARPA-E Contracting Officer which explains: (i) where the Prime Recipient will travel, (ii) the purpose of the trip, (iii) what the Prime Recipient will do, and (iv) how the travel relates to the Award.
May applicants propose reimbursement for purchase of equipment?
ANSWER: Yes. Any new equipment acquired under an ARPA-E award must be made or manufactured in the United States, to the maximum extent practicable. This requirement does not apply to used or leased equipment. Any supplies acquired under an ARPA-E award must be made or manufactured in the United States, to the maximum extent practicable.
May applicants propose reimbursement for technology transfer and outreach activities?
ANSWER: Yes. By law, ARPA-E is required to spend at least 5% of its appropriated funds on Technology Transfer and Outreach (TT&O) activities. In order to meet this mandate, every Project Team must spend at least 5% of the Federal funding provided by ARPA-E on TT&O activities to promote and further the development and deployment of ARPA-E-funded technologies. All TT&O expenditures must be allowable under the applicable Federal cost principles.
May applicants propose reimbursement for lobbying expenditures?
ANSWER: No.
May applicants propose reimbursement for administrative costs to pay administrative staff for project support?
ANSWER: Personnel costs for administrative staff should normally be treated as indirect costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate if the administrative services are integral to the project, the individuals can be specifically identified with the project, the costs can be explicitly included in the budget, and the costs are not also charged as indirect costs.
Our team did not allocate 5% of the Federal funding for Technology Transfer and Outreach activities in the Concept Paper. Can we add this to the final budget in the Full Application?
ANSWER: Yes.
Under what conditions may a small business be able to charge a fee?
ANSWER: DOE Regulation 2 C.F.R. § 910.358(d) prohibits ARPA-E from paying a fee or profit on grants or cooperative agreements.

SUMMARY SLIDE

Are applicants required to follow the Summary Slide template provided by ARPA-E or can applicants format this slide in any way as long as it contains the required content?
ANSWER: ARPA-E strongly encourages applicants to utilize the Summary Slide template format provided on eXCHANGE. Applicants that deviate from this format must ensure that their submission conforms with the content and form requirements for Summary Slides contained in the FOA.

SUMMARY FOR PUBLIC RELEASE

Where can applicants find more information about the Summary for Public Release?
ANSWER: Information on the content and form of the Summary for Public Release can be found in the FOA. The template Summary for Public Release is available on eXCHANGE (https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/).

BUSINESS ASSURANCES & DISCLOSURES FORM

If an FFRDC is a lead or member of the project team does the Full Application need to include a letter of authorization?
ANSWER: Yes, a letter of authorization is required whether the FFRDC is the lead organization for the Project Team or a member of the Project Team. Applicants should refer to the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form which they are required to submit as part of a complete Full Application.
Do FFRDC Field Work Proposals need to include the contact information for the Program Area Director?
ANSWER: Applicants may enter “TBD” in this field. As provided in the instructions for Section 8 (Field Work Proposal) of the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form, applicants should refer to the DOE Work Proposal instructions included in DOE O 412.1A, “Work Authorization System” (available at https://www.directives.doe.gov/directives-documents/400-series/0412.1-BO...) for guidance on completing Field Work Proposals.
Do subrecipients also need to fill out the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form or is this filled out only by the Prime Recipient?
ANSWER: The Business Assurances & Disclosures Form requests information regarding the legal entity submitting the application as the Prime Recipient, the legal entities and/or individuals that are proposed to be Subrecipients, and the PI/Co-PIs in their individual capacity. The Prime Recipient may submit one Business Assurances & Disclosures Form covering all of the Project Team members if it has authorization and information to answer on their behalf. Alternatively, the Prime Recipient may request Subrecipients to complete and sign individual Business Assurances & Disclosures Forms that the Prime Recipient will append to its form.
May subrecipients submit the Business Assurance & Disclosure Form directly to ARPA-E instead of through the Prime Recipient?
ANSWER: No. Subrecipients may complete and sign individual Business Assurances & Disclosures Forms; however, these should be provided to the Prime Recipient and appended to its form.
Are applicants required to disclose other sources of funding in the Full Application?
ANSWER: Yes. Applicants must submit this information in the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form as part of a complete Full Application submission. The Business Assurances & Disclosures Form is available in the required documents section at https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov/.
Are applicants required to disclose potential conflicts of interest within the Project Team in the Full Application?
ANSWER: Yes. Project Teams are required to disclose any actual or apparent personal, organizational, financial, and other conflicts of interest within the project team in the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form as part of a complete Full Application and throughout the duration of the period of performance, if selected by ARPA-E for award negotiations.
For Questions 3(a) and 3(b) in the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form, if an employee from a much larger organization is applying, does the PI have to find out the answers to these questions for the entire organization or can the PI answer these questions for the project team only?
ANSWER: Questions 3(a) and 3(b) of the Business Assurances and Disclosures Form require disclosure of current and pending other sources of funding for the PI and Co-PI(s) on the Project Team.
What does “Point of Contact” mean in Question 3(b) the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form?
ANSWER: Applicants should use the “Point of Contact” fields contained in Question 3(b) of the Business Assurances & Disclosures Form to provide the contact information for any Federal or non-Federal entity that is currently providing funding to, or provided funding within the last 5 years, to the Applicant or any other member(s) of the project team in the same technology area as the proposed R&D project.

REPLIES TO REVIEWER COMMENTS

What is the “Reply to Reviewer Comments” phase of the FOA?
ANSWER: Once ARPA-E has completed its review of Full Applications, reviewer comments on compliant and responsive Full Applications are made available to Applicants via ARPA-E eXCHANGE. Applicants may submit an optional Reply to Reviewer Comments, which must be submitted by the deadline stated in the FOA.
Where can I find the content and form requirements for Replies to Reviewer Comments?
ANSWER: Applicants should refer to the “Content and Form of Replies to Reviewer Comments” section of the FOA to which they are applying for guidance.
How does ARPA-E determine if a Reply to Reviewer Comments is compliant?
ANSWER: Generally, ARPA-E will perform a preliminary review of the Reply to Reviewer Comments to determine whether: (1) the Reply to Reviewer Comments conforms to the “Content and Form of Replies to Reviewer Comments” requirements in the FOA, and (2) the Reply to Reviewer Comments was timely submitted via ARPA-E eXCHANGE by the applicable deadline.
What happens to my Full Application if my Reply to Reviewer Comments is rejected as noncompliant?
ANSWER: Compliant and responsive Full Applications are reviewed through the same merit review process as other Full Applications, even if a Reply to Reviewer Comments is rejected as noncompliant.
How does ARPA-E evaluate Replies to Reviewer Comments?
ANSWER: ARPA-E generally does not establish separate criteria to evaluate Replies to Reviewer Comments. Instead, Replies to Reviewer Comments are evaluated as an extension of the Full Application. As these criteria may vary by FOA, applicants should always refer to the FOA to which they are applying for the relevant evaluation criteria.
Does ARPA-E offer a Reply to Reviewer Comments phase for Concept Papers?
ANSWER: No. ARPA-E only offers a Reply to Reviewer Comments phase once ARPA-E has completed its review of Full Applications.