This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Foundational Science Research Unit (FSRU) of the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) solicits new proposals for its fiscal year 2015 program of basic research in behavioral science. It is issued under the provisions of paragraph 6.102(d) (2) and 35.016 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which provides for the competitive selection of proposals. Proposals submitted in response to this BAA and selected for award are considered to be the result of full and open competition and in full compliance with the provisions of Public Law 98-369, the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, and subsequent amendments. The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences is the Army's lead agency for the conduct of research, development, and analyses for the improvement of Army readiness and performance via research advances and applications of the behavioral and social sciences that address personnel, organization, training, and leader development issues. The basic research program supports research projects that are designed to expand fundamental knowledge and discover general principles in the behavioral and social sciences. In addition to programmatic efforts to develop and evaluate psychological and behavioral theory, we strongly encourage researchers to propose novel, state-of-the-art, and multidisciplinary approaches that address difficult problems. A key consideration in the decision to support a research proposal is that its findings are likely to stimulate new, basic behavioral research, which in turn, will lead to improved performance of Army personnel and their units. Proposals may address both traditional behavioral issues as well as psychophysiological (to include neuroscience) and network science approaches to social phenomena, memory, cognition, and personality. The agency cannot support proposals through this BAA that are primarily applied research projects (e.g., human factors studies or training program evaluations) or purely focused on physiology, psychopathology or behavioral health. Collaboration is encouraged among educational institutions, non-profit/not-for-profit organizations, commercial organizations, and the other U.S. Military Services. A portion of available funding may be made available for meritorious proposals from minority serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities, and individuals who are early in their research careers and have never received ARI funding as a Principal Investigator. Funding of basic research proposals within ARI areas of interest will be determined by funding constraints and priorities set during each budget cycle. The decision to fund a new basic research proposal consists of two stages. During the first phase, at least two behavioral scientists within the ARI basic research program review each proposal for responsiveness and technical merit. Additionally, other ARI behavioral and social scientists are invited to provide reviews. In some cases, an external subject matter expert may be asked to review a proposal. ARI may solicit input on technical aspects of proposals from non-Government consultants/experts who are strictly bound by non-disclosure requirements. During the second phase, ARI research unit chiefs are asked to identify responsive proposals that may transition to their basic research programs. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least three behavioral research scientists. Funding priority will be given to those proposals that are rated as highly responsive, innovative, having strong technical merit, and identified as having transition potential. Proposals should describe their contribution to theory and how their results might lead to basic behavioral research that would be meaningful to the Army. Those contemplating submission of a proposal are encouraged to submit a white paper before submitting a full proposal (see page 24 of this BAA). This sequence allows earliest determination of the potential for funding and minimizes the labor and cost associated with submission of full proposals that have minimal probability of being selected for funding. Costs associated with white paper or full proposal submissions in response to this BAA are not considered allowable direct charges to any resulting award. These costs may be allowable expenses to normal bid and proposal indirect costs specified in FAR 31.205-18. Offerors submitting proposals are cautioned that only a Government Contracting or Grants Officer may obligate the Government to any legal instrument involving expenditure of Government funds. Decisions to award new basic research awards are subject to funds availability, and ARI may choose to not award any new basic research awards due to unavailability of funds or other factors. Due to Government budget uncertainties, (1) no specific dollars have been reserved for total awards under this BAA, and (2) no award floor or ceiling thresholds have been established for individual awards under this BAA. Proposals are sought from educational institutions, non-profit/not-for-profit organizations, and commercial organizations, domestic or foreign, for research and development (R&D) in those areas specified in Part II Section A of this BAA. The U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences encourages Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MI) (FAR Part 26.3) small businesses, and small disadvantaged businesses (FAR Part 19) to submit proposals for consideration. Foreign owned, controlled, or influenced organizations are advised that security restrictions may apply that could preclude their participation in these efforts. Government laboratories, Federal Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), and U.S. Service Academies are not eligible to participate as prime contractors or recipients. However, they may be able to participate as subcontractors or subrecipients (eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis). This BAA is also available at https://www.fbo.gov under solicitation number W911NF-15-R-0007.
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