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Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research


Federal Agency




Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, Section 3157, Public Law 101-189, 103 Stat. 1684, 42 U.S.C. 2051; Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, Title I, Section 107, Public Law 93-438; 88 Stat. 1240, 42 U.S.C. 5817; Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974, Public Law 93-577; Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act of 1977, as amended, Public Law 95-91, 42 U.S.C. 7101; Public Law 106-65; National Defense Authorization Act of 2000.






To conduct basic and applied research and development that enhances U.S. national security and reduces the global danger from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and special nuclear materials through needs-driven research and development. The emphasis is on developing the requisite technologies to detect and deter nuclear proliferation and to meet U.S. nuclear detonation detection goals. Research focuses on advanced detection systems and concepts to support current and future USG policies.


Types of Assistance

Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements).


Uses and Use Restrictions

Financial support, in whole or in part, may be provided for salaries, materials, supplies, equipment, travel, publication costs, services required for conducting nonproliferation research and development to reduce the global danger from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Construction or related costs are not allowed under these project grants. All work must comply with export control regulations.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Universities (public and private), institutions of higher education with postdoctoral programs, and nonprofit non-government organizations (public and private) whose activities benefit the general public through results which are available to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), other U.S. government agencies, and universities and institutions of higher learning may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The NNSA, other U.S. government agencies, universities and institutions of higher learning will benefit.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for institutions of higher learning. Non-government organizations will have nonprofit status certified by the IRS.


Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

The NNSA Service Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico issues Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) under which formal applications may be submitted by a scientist or principal investigator who will conduct or lead the research team. The BAAs will be posted to DOE's IIPS system which can be accessed at:

Award Procedure

Evaluations will be conducted by technical staff assigned to the Office of Nonproliferation Research and Development or at the DOE national laboratories. Final decisions for approval are made by the cognizant program director. DOE/NNSA Procurement is then instructed to negotiate and prepare the grant award documents. Program management responsibilities may be delegated as a whole or in part to the NNSA Service Center or NNSA Site Offices.



Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range is from 60 to 90 days.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

There is no mandatory cost-sharing requirement.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The grant period is for up to 3 years depending upon available appropriations. The schedule of payments is arranged at the time of award.


Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly Progress status reports and an end of project report are required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.




Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants and Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $12,210,324; FY 08 est $11,500,000; and FY 09 est $11,500,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The typical range is from $100,000 to $250,000 per year; however, some grants may be greater.


Program Accomplishments

The results and accomplishments from basic and applied research and development performed under these grants are reported in the open scientific literature. University research may be integrated with ongoing research and development programs at the DOE national laboratories which will facilitate access to and use of special facilities and equipment. The objective of these grants is to advance the state of knowledge on science and technology. The final product may lead to improved or new commercial products to ensure availability to the U.S. arms control and nonproliferation community. It is expected that less than 20 grants will be awarded per year.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature



Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Paul Morrison, Office of Nonproliferation Research and Development (NA-22), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, NNSA, Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: (202) 586-5751.

Web Site Address


Related Programs



Examples of Funded Projects

Grants have been awarded to conduct research on: (1) Hyperspectral data analysis techniques (2) improved materials and methods for gamma-ray and neutron detection (3) and (4) seismic research to improve detection, location, and discrimination of nuclear detonations.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection process will be determined on the following criteria: 1) Potential impact and relevance of proposed work; 2) technical merit; 3) qualifications of the proposed investigators; 2) quality of the proposed research plan, and 3) proposed schedule, budget and available resources.


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