The goals and objectives of the program are to provide competitively awarded grant funds for research science buildings through the construction of new buildings or expansion of existing buildings. “Research science building” means a building or facility whose purpose is for the conduct of scientific research, including laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities, and observatories. U.S. institutions of higher education and non-profit science research organizations are eligible to apply.
The NIST grants will fund new or expanded facilities for scientific research in fields related to measurement science, oceanography, atmospheric research or telecommunications, the research fields of the Commerce Department’s three science agencies: NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Candidate projects could include laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities or observatories.
“Our outstanding academic and non-profit research institutions have always been essential to the nation’s economic and competitive strength,” NIST Director Pat Gallagher said. “NIST’s Construction Grant Program represents an important, long-term investment to ensure that these organizations have the state-of-art facilities needed to conduct their research.”
Grant proposals will be evaluated based on three criteria: scientific and technical merit of the proposed use of the facility and the need for federal funding; quality of the design of the facility; and adequacy of the project management plan for construction of the facility. Applicant organizations, which must be institutions of higher education and nonprofit science research organizations, must fund at least 20 percent of the annual project costs to meet the cost-sharing requirement.
For more information, forms and important details of the application process, see:
- NIST Construction Grant Program  Web site
- NIST Federal Register “Notice of Availability of Funds,” docket number100201057-0059-01 
- NIST announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity 
- Grants.gov  web site (look for Funding Opportunity number 2010-NIST-CONSTRUCTION-01 or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 11.618)