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Award Announcement for FY2011

Issued by Anne Kinsinger on December 23, 2010.

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area and Regional Executives, we are very pleased to announce selections for FY2011 funding under the USGS/FWS Science Support Partnership (SSP) and Quick Response Program (QRP). These two partnerships are collaborative programs through which USGS scientists addresses priority research needs identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Historically SSP has been managed by USGS Reston and QRP has been managed by the three USGS Regional Offices. Given the current state of transition, this announcement is being made in FY 2011 for both programs until responsibilities under the new USGS structure can be finalized.

The SSP is supported by approximately $4 million of Ecosystems Mission Area funding each year, of which approximately $1.2 million was available for new activities in FY2011. Twenty-eight new activities were selected for funding. Along with 56 on-going activities, SSP will support a total of 84 research and technical assistance activities this year.

The QRP is supported annually by $350K of Ecosystems Mission Area funding, and is devoted to short term (no more than one year of funding) issues identified by the Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Offices. In FY2011, a total of 17 projects will be funded by QRP. Some of these are co-funded by both QRP and SSP.

Thank you to all who applied to both these programs, and congratulations to those selected for funding under these important links between science and management.

Continuing Resolution
Given the current continuing resolution through December 3, this announcement is informational only pending the passage of a FY2011 USGS appropriations bill. We have little reason to think that the eventual budget will have a negative impact on SSP or QRP funding levels, however Centers are reminded of the guidance for caution under the CR and advised to not incur costs against these new activities.

Centers may continue work for ongoing SSP activities and spend under the CR guidance, as long as expenditures do not exceed the planned FY2011 budget for the same SSP activity. All QRP activities are considered new starts under the CR.

Fiscal Year 2011 Selections
A list of activities to be funded by SSP and QRP in FY2011 is enclosed as an Excel file. Please note that there are four tabs displaying similar information in different ways:

Tab 1: FY2011 SSP New Selections Look here to see the selections from the most recent RFP. This list includes only the newly selected SSP activities selected to begin in FY2011. The list is sorted by USGS Center.

Tab 2: All SSP projects by USGS Centers This list includes all SSP activities (including new awards) planned for funding this year; it is organized by USGS Science Centers.

Tab 3: All SSP projects by FWS Regions This list includes all SSP activities (including new awards) planned for funding this year; it is organized by FWS Regions.

Tab 4: FY2011 QRP Selections This list includes all QRP activities for FY2011; it is organized by USGS Science Centers.

As you review these lists, please note that some activities take place at more than one USGS Research Center, and some are supported by more than one FWS Region. Some activities are co-funded by both SSP and QRP. Clarifying notes have been included on the Excel sheet where appropriate.

Next Steps Status of Funds
Activities funded under SSP and QRP are categorized as either Research or Technical Assistance. New Research activities require a peer reviewed study plan prior to the eventual release of funds. PIs will need to initiate the peer review process using your local (Science Center or Cooperative Research Unit) peer review policy. Upon completion of the peer review process, please submit a copy of the study plan (including appropriate supervisory approval) to Steve Hilburger (shilburger@usgs.gov). Electronic copies are preferred, although hardcopy and faxes are also acceptable. Regardless of the submission method, supervisory approvals must be included as evidence of the review. Comments from individual reviewers are not required. Once the plan is received, a change of allocation (COA) will be prepared to distribute the funds.

Please refer to the “Status” column of the announcement list to determine if your activity requires a study plan.

Funding for previously funded activities and new technical assistance activities is scheduled for distribution on the initial budget allocation (please refer to the Cyclical Support Table when the Initial Allocation is made). No further action or documentation is required for PIs to receive funds for these activities.

Next Steps BASIS+
As with all USGS science, PIs or other appropriate Center/Coop Unit staff are required to include a description of the work and related products in BASIS+. This year will see a transition from the existing SSP project in BASIS+ to a new project. There is no need to change anything for ongoing activities - these will continue to be maintained through the previous project 3210APN (which is renumbered BB00APN under the FBMS conversion) until they are completed.
A new BASIS+ project will be developed for all new SSP activities. This project will be created and shared after BASIS+ is again available after FBMS related updates. Subtask numbers under this new project will be assigned to each activity at the time that funds are distributed and provided on the COA form. The PI(s) and AO are initially set up as Subtask Leaders, others may be added as needed by Cost Centers or Reston.

It is not yet clear where QRP activities will be maintained in BASIS+. Further guidance will be provided when this decision is made.

FY2012 Requests for Proposals
For your planning calendars, it is anticipated that the next RFP for SSP and QRP will begin in February-March 2011. At that time FWS Regional Offices should begin issuing Requests for Proposals with proposals likely due near June 1. Now is a good time to connect with FWS staff and begin to think about new proposal topics.

Contact
More information about the Science Support Partnership or Quick Response Programs, please contact Steve Hilburger (shilburger@usgs.gov, 703-648-4036).

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