Frequently Asked Questions

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Request for Proposal: Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to questions that were submitted regarding the SEMAA Request For Proposals.

Question: What are the project's start and ending dates?

Answer: Funded projects currently in operation will begin the fall session during the month of September and conclude the summer session during the month of August. The fiscal year operates within the scope of the government calendar, which is Oct. 1 until Sept. 30.

Projects funded under this RFP will work with the NSO (National SEMAA Office) to establish start dates for the first year of implementation.

Question: Is there a limitation on the amount of NASA funding that has been previously awarded to an institution?

Answer: A host institution may have numerous NASA contracts at one time. However, a host institution may only have one NASA SEMAA site at one time.

Question: Do you anticipate this RFP being released again in a year?

Answer: At this time, there is no indication of a new RFP in the near future.

Question: At the end of the grant period, does the equipment become the property of the institution, or is it returned? (This is important for the sustainability question.)

Answer: The furniture and equipment are property of NASA. Once the funding period ends, as long as the program is sustained, the institution will maintain possession of all furniture and equipment. If the institution does not sustain the program, NASA then will make a determination regarding the ownership of the equipment.

Question: Does the SEMAA director need to be predetermined, or can the person be hired and identified post-award?

Answer: Under the eligibility requirements in the RFP, on page 6, there are not any stipulations regarding identification of the SEMAA site director prior to the award.

Question: Does the director need to have K-12 teaching credential or experience? Or would a community college staff member with outreach and administrative experience be appropriate?

Answer: It is not a requirement that the site director have a K-12 teaching credential. The director is selected by the host institution, and the scope of the selection process is at the discretion of the host institution. Community college staff members with outreach and administrative experience are appropriate choices.

Question: There is already a SEMAA project at one of City University’s other colleges. As a college that is from the same university as a currently funded SEMMA project, would we be able to apply, be eligible and be competitive?

Answer: Host institutions may only be funded for one SEMAA site. Per the RFP (page 6), institutions that currently host a NASA SEMAA site may not apply during the current RFP period.

Question: In the current RFP, is NASA considering funding more than one project in a single state?

Answer: The eligibility requirements do not eliminate applicants who are from the same state. There is not a stipulation that there cannot be more than one SEMAA site in a state.

Question: We are interested in learning about your program and hopefully opening new opportunities for our students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas. Arkansas State University, located in the Mississippi Delta region of northeast Arkansas, is not an HBCU (Historically Black College and University), an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution), a TCU (Tribal College and University), or an OMU (Other Minority University), but we do serve a large population of K-12 African-American and Hispanic students. I am wondering if a partnership between ASU and Philander Smith College, a HBCU located in Little Rock (central Arkansas), would satisfy the current SEMAA RFP.

Answer: While ASU may not be an HBCU, an HSI an OMU, or a TCU, you may still meet the eligibility requirements outlined in Section IV of the RFP (found on page 5 of the RFP). The section specifically states that the college or university must be an accredited two- or four-year minority college or university with enrollment of a single underrepresented minority group OR THE COMBINATION OF UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY GROUPS THAT EXCEEDS 50% OF THE TOTAL STUDENT ENROLLMENT.

Question: Please share with us the format in which you would like the proposals presented.

Answer: Under proposal submission in the RFP, on page 8, you will find the proposal guidelines outlined.

Question: Please share information on the average size of awards for this project.

Answer: Under award size and duration on page 6 of the RFP, you will find the information requested. All award sizes for the current RFP are the same.

Question: What are the evaluation instructions for the project and provide details concerning how you would like the proposal submitted (i.e. electronic submission or regular mail submission).

Answer: Under Evaluation Criteria on page 8 of the RFP, you will find details regarding the evaluation process. On page 10, you will find details regarding the proposal review and selection process.

Question: Would College of the Marshall Islands be eligible to apply to become a SEMAA site? Kwajalein Atoll here in the RMI (Republic of the Marshall Islands) is the site of the Reagan Missile Defense Base and the population of our college is 99+% Marshallese?

Answer: Colleges and universities from United States territories are eligible to apply. Further, the eligibility requirements outlined in Section IV of the RFP (found on Page 5) specifically state that the college or university must be an accredited two- or four-year minority college or university with enrollment of a single underrepresented minority group OR the combination of underrepresented minority groups that exceeds 50% of the total student enrollment.

Question: How are the four consecutive one-week summer sessions to be broken down, by grade level? Why are four sessions required?

Answer: The SEMAA curriculum is designed by grade level and the instruction is delivered based on a grade-level format. The summer session is comprised of four one-week sessions. Each of the one-week sessions by design should engage a different group of students. The purpose of the one-week session is to engage students in 15-20 hours of SEMAA content designed to serve as a summer bridge between academic-year programs. Moreover, the four consecutive one-week sessions enable the site to engage a greater number of students in the summer. You will find this information under the Introduction, section I, of the RFP on Page 3.

Question: Are the Saturday required sessions based on the academic school year, August to May (complete five sessions for K-2 and eight sessions for 3-12), or on the fall and spring, August to December (complete five sessions for K-2 and eight sessions for 3-12) and then January to May (complete five sessions for K-2 and eight sessions for 3-12)?

Answer: Depending on the calendar of the host institution, the fall academic session of the NASA SEMAA project begins as early as August, the winter academic session as early as January; the spring academic session concludes as late as June. The aforementioned are considered the three academic sessions. It is expected that each academic session is identical to the format outlined on Page 3 of the RFP and that each academic quarter serves a different group of students.

Question: Is indirect cost allowable?

Answer: Indirect cost is not allowable.