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EERE uses Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to solicit applications in specific program areas and selects projects based on a merit review process that includes industry and technology experts.
What to Expect During the Application Process
The application process may include multiple phases: letter of intent, concept paper, full application phase, and "Replies to Reviewer Comments." At each phase, EERE performs an initial review of the applicant submissions to determine whether they meet the eligibility and compliance requirements of the FOA. EERE will not review or consider noncompliant and/or nonresponsive or otherwise ineligible submissions.
All submissions must conform to the form and content requirements listed in the FOA, including maximum page lengths, and must be submitted via EERE Exchange, unless specifically stated otherwise. EERE will not review or consider submissions submitted other than through EERE Exchange, after the applicable deadline, or that are incomplete. EERE will not extend deadlines for applicants who fail to submit required information and documents due to server/connection congestion. Application documents should not contain any proprietary or sensitive business information.
Letters of Intent
Letters of intent may be a required submission for FOAs. If applicable, it will be used by EERE to plan for the merit review process. The letters will not be used for down-selection purposes, and do not commit an applicant to submit an application. However, if a letter of intent is required, only applicants who submitted one are eligible to submit a full application.
Concept papers are brief descriptions of the proposed project. This submission allows applicants to submit their ideas with minimal time and expense. If an applicant fails to submit an eligible concept paper, the applicant will not be eligible to submit a full application.
After review, EERE will provide applicants with either an encouraged or discouraged notification, so the applicant can make an informed decision whether to expend additional resources to prepare a full application. A "discouraged" notification conveys EERE's lack of programmatic interest in the proposed project. However, an applicant who receives a "discouraged" notification may still submit a full application.
Applicants must submit a full application by the specified due date listed in the FOA to be considered for funding. Applicants must complete all application forms listed in the FOA, which include, but are not limited to: SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance, a Budget Justification, and the Technical Volume.
For more information on required application documents, visit EERE Exchange and refer to the specific application requirements listed in each FOA.
Replies to Reviewer Comments
Most (though not all) EERE FOAs include a "Reply to Reviewer Comments" stage. After experts in the FOA topic area(s) review the applications, EERE provides those reviewer comments to the applicants and offers the applicants a brief opportunity to respond.
This gives applicants a unique opportunity to correct misunderstandings and misinterpretations and to submit additional data that might influence the selection process in their favor. The replies are considered by the reviewers and the selection official.
Comments will be provided to applicants in EERE Exchange following the evaluation of eligible full applications. Applicants will then be able to respond to the comments through the "Reply to Reviewer Comments" process.
Visit the Evaluation and Selection page for more information about EERE's application review process.