More about Consortium Members and Letter of Intent (10/11/2018)
Question: Do partner universities need to submit letters of intent?
Answer: No, the lead university that will eventually submit the full application should submit the letter of intent, and consortium-member universities do not also have to submit letters.
Consortium Members in Letter of Intent (10/9/2018)
Question: Do you want the letter of intent to state all the partner universities?
Answer: It is not required to include the names of all the consortium-member universities. Please see page 9 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity for what information is required. We will accept a letter that identifies the consortium members if you wish to provide that information.
Industry Partners (10/4/2018)
Question: Are industry partners allowed to be included as a subaward on a National Center project?
Answer: Yes, industry partners are allowed to be included if their services are necessary to the conduct or implementation of a grant-supported activity, however they will not be considered members of the consortium. As noted in Section C.1 on page 7 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity: “Universities may collaborate with state DOTs, the private sector, and non-profit organizations; however, organizations that are not defined as U.S. non-profit institutions of higher education will not be considered members of the consortium. Organizations that are not members of a consortium may still collaborate with a Center on a particular project or provide a service that assists in accomplishing that Center’s activities.”
Budget Period (10/3/2018)
Question: I see that the first-year budget should cover just 3/1/19-9/30/19. That implies the $2.5M should be for just seven months?
Answer: You should budget for how you will use the $2.5M in Federal funds plus an equal amount in matching funds during the initial period of the grant, from March 1, 2019 to September 30 2019. This timing aligns the grant with the anticipated progress-reporting periods and future awards that are based on an October 1 – September 30 time period. As noted on page 3 and elsewhere in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, selected grantees will have until September 30, 2022, to fully expend funds and provide the required match under these grants.
Cash or In-kind Matching Funds (10/2/2018)
Answer: No, there is no required allocation or limits to allocations between cash and in-kind sources of matching funds. See page 7 of the current General Provisions for Grants for University Transportation Centers (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/utc/261086/fast-act-generalprovisions-nov-2016-rev-june-2018-ver-13.pdf) for information about match on UTC grants.
SPR (State Planning and Research) Funds as Matching Funds (10/2/2018)
Question: Does it have to be a specific part of SPR, or can it be either Part 1 or Part 2?
Answer: The matching funds may include Federal funds provided to a recipient under 23 U.S.C. § 504(b) or 505, including Parts One and Two of the State Planning and Research Program. By definition, matching funds on a Federal grant must support activities done under that grant, so any SPR (or LTAP/TTAP) funds counted as match against a UTC grant would need to fund activities that support the conduct of the UTC grant as that is described in the applicant’s proposal.