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Award Announcement for FY2013

Issued by Bill Lellis October 11, 2012.

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area and Regional Executives, we are very pleased to announce selections for FY2013 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).

The SSP is supported by approximately $4 million of Ecosystems Mission Area funding each year, of which approximately $1.9 million was available for new activities in FY2013.  Thirty-three activities were selected for funding. Along with 44 on-going activities, SSP will support a total of 77 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 FY2013, a total of 18 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 under these important links between science and management.

Contact
Kindly direct any questions about this announcement, or about the Science Support Partnership or Quick Response Programs, to Steve Hilburger (shilburger@usgs.gov, 703-648-4036).

Continuing Resolution
Given the current Continuing Resolution through March and increased amount of uncertainty surrounding this year’s budget, this announcement is informational only pending the passage of a FY2013 USGS appropriations bill.  Centers are reminded of the guidance for caution under the CR and advised to not incur costs against new activities. In the event that USGS receives a budget which reduces the SSP or QRP programs, priority will be given to continue funding of ongoing studies over initiation of new studies.
Centers may continue work for ongoing SSP activities as long as expenditures follow current CR guidance and do not exceed the planned FY2013 budget for the same SSP activity. All QRP activities are considered new starts under the CR.

If the timing of a study will be hampered by the lack of a budget, PIs are advised to work with their FWS counterparts and Steve Hilburger to determine the most practical solution.

Fiscal Year 2013 Selections
A list of activities to be funded by SSP and QRP in FY2013 is enclosed as an Excel file. Please note that there are three tabs, all three are sorted by USGS Centers:

Tab 1: SSP New Selections – includes only the newly selected SSP activities to begin in FY2013.
Tab 2: New QRP Selections – includes only the newly selected QRP activities for FY2013. 
Tab 3: Ongoing SSP: – includes only those activities continuing from previous years into FY2013.  


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 announcement list 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+.  SSP continues to transition between BASIS+ projects. Activities begun in FY2010 and prior will continue to be maintained in BB00APN until they are completed.

Activities begun in 2013 will be in BB00EH8. New subtasks will be assigned at the time that funds are distributed and provided on the COA form.

QRP activities will also be maintained in BASIS+ BB00EH8.  All FY2013 QRP activities will be assigned a subtask under task number 2013.

The PI(s) and AO are initially set up as Subtask Leaders; Centers are welcome to add other Subtask Leaders as appropriate. 

FY2013 Requests for Proposals
For your planning calendars, it is anticipated that the next RFP for SSP and QRP will begin in February-March 2013. 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. As of today, SSP expects to have approximately $2M available for new starts next year.

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