National Laboratory Grant Process
The process for proposing and contracting research work with the national laboratories does not follow the traditional grant writing process. However, the process can be navigated easily by meeting the necessary requirements. The National Laboratories Office (NLO) is here to help ensure a successful research relationship; therefore, we have outlined the process below.
Unlike the traditional proposal process, the laboratories do not widely issue calls for proposals. So, your first step is to determine if you have a research topic that aligns with the needs of a specific laboratory and identify a laboratory collaborator who is interested in working with you. Once you have these in place, you can proceed with the process.
Note: If a laboratory partnership has not been established, the NLO can provide resources and contact references to connect you with the appropriate parties. Visit the national laboratory/site mission descriptions for additional information.
Points of consideration when proposing a research project:
- How does this specific research align with the mission and needs of the selected lab?
- Are your team researchers U.S. citizens? If not, will the selected lab allow non-citizens to participate?
- Will this work be classified?
- Has a budget been identified with your lab counterpart?
- Does your selected lab have a master contract agreement with the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS)? If so, contracting terms have already been agreed to. Currently TAMUS has master contracts with Los Alamos National Laboratory, CNS (Pantex/Y12), Idaho National Laboratory, Savannah River National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory. If there is no master in place, individual contracts will be negotiated if project is selected for funding.
Grant Process Steps
- Work with your selected laboratory researcher to develop a scope of work and total budget amount. The final budget details will come later.
- Once both technical parties have agreed, the laboratory researcher will start the procurement process on their side. At this point, notify the NLO that this process has started. The NLO can help you work with SRS to create a detailed budget and route for all internal TAMUS approvals.
- If all laboratory processes are approved, an official RFP will be sent to TAMUS. If the scope and budget are complete, this should be a quick turnaround requiring very little PI involvement.
- Contract documents will be issued by the laboratory and forwarded to SRS for signature. The NLO will help track these activities to keep the process moving. The PI will be contacted for any compliance documents that need to be cleared and approve the final project details.
- If the award is under a TAMUS master contract, the full contract amount will be subcontracted to your individual member.
- Once all signatures have been obtained, funding accounts will be established.
If there are questions or concerns at any point, contact the National Laboratory Office for assistance.