SERDP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)








  • 1. Are there any opportunities to learn more about the SERDP solicitations other than what is available in the instructions?

    SERDP will host a webinar entitled  SERDP Funding Opportunities on November 13, 2018, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Participants may asks questions about the funding process, the current SERDP solicitations, and the proposal submission process. The presentation and audio will be posted afterwards on the webinar page.

  • 2. Is ESTCP issuing an FY 2020 solicitation this winter?

    Yes. ESTCP plans to release a solicitation in early January 2019 for proposals for FY 2020 funding. This solicitation will include topics related to Environmental and Installation Energy and Water Technologies.

  • 3. Is SERDP issuing a SEED solicitation for FY 2020?

    Yes. SERDP issued a FY 2020 SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) solicitation on October 25, 2018. The SEED solicitation is a means for researchers to test proof of concept with a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $200,000) in a project approximately one year in duration. Successful SEED projects may lead to more extensive follow-on efforts. Proposals are sought for FY 2019 funding in response to Statements of Need (SON) in the Munitions Response program area. Proposals submitted in response to the SEED solicitation are due March 5, 2019.

  • 4. Can a Limited Scope Proposal be submitted against a Core SON?

    Yes. Limited Scope proposals may be submitted in response to any Core SON. Proposers with innovative approaches to a SON that entail high technical risk and/or have minimal supporting data may submit a Limited Scope proposal for a limited amount of funding (up to $200,000) for projects approximately one year in duration, to develop the data necessary to provide for risk reduction and/or proof of concept. Proposers should submit these Limited Scope proposals in accordance with the Core solicitation instructions and deadlines. Such proposals may be eligible for follow-on funding if they result in a successful initial project.

  • 5. Can I contact the SERDP Office to discuss exactly what you are looking for in the Statements of Need?

    Due to the competitive nature of the solicitation process, we do not discuss the SONs with individuals. However, from time to time a SON needs clarification. If you find a SON to be confusing or unclear, send an e-mail asking for clarification to the contact person noted at the end of that SON. If we agree that the SON requires clarification, we will issue an amendment to the solicitation so that all may have equal access to the clarification.

  • 6. I have heard that SERDP projects are required to have a field work component. Is this true?

    No. There is no such requirement. While some projects would not be complete without some field work, many SERDP projects do not have a field component.

  • 7. How does SERDP deal with intellectual property rights?

    SERDP follows standard DoD procedures concerning intellectual property rights in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations. The creator will control commercial rights but the government reserves the right to use and develop the technology for its own purposes.

  • 8. Our proposal will include proprietary information. Will this information be protected when we submit our proposal?

    Yes. All proprietary information in proposals is protected. Everyone who handles proposals has signed a non-disclosure agreement or is bound to non-disclosure under the terms of their employment.

  • 9. I submitted a proposal last year that was not selected for funding. I would like to resubmit this year. How can I do this?

    If the proposal is responsive to a current SON, please feel free to submit a pre-proposal. Proposal submissions that do not address a current SON will not be considered.


  • 10. The solicitation instructions do not mention a cover page being required for submission as in previous years. Is this correct?

    Yes. The cover page that had been part of proposals in previous years is no longer required.  The information that had been included on the cover page is entered into SEMS prior to submission of the proposal. 

  • 11. In previous years, a signature was required for all pre-proposals. Is this no longer required?

    There is no requirement for a signature to bind the lead organization at the pre-proposal stage.  However, a signature of an individual with the authority to bind the lead organization is still required for all SEED proposals and SERDP Full proposals.  Refer to the proposal submittal instructions on and for more information on how to upload this signature.

  • 12. I am from a company or an academic institution and want to partner with a government lab to submit a proposal. How do I submit the proposal?

    There are two submission routes to SERDP for proposals that have a Federal partner and a private sector partner. If the private sector partner is designated as the lead on the project, then the pre-proposal is submitted through the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). If the Federal organization is the lead on the project, then the pre-proposal is submitted through the Federal Call for Proposals.

  • 13. Is it true that proposals submitted in response to SERDP solicitations are required to have a DoD partner?

    No. Proposals do not require a DoD partner.  

  • 14. Can foreign organizations submit proposals to SERDP?

    Yes. SERDP is currently funding efforts in both Canada and Europe.

  • 15. Is it possible to have an international partner on a SERDP project and can Federal dollars be allocated to an international institution?

    You may have international partners. Their costs must be indicated in U.S. Dollars. Contracts must be handled by the lead institution including the exchange of funds to the partner's currency. These subcontracts will not be handled through SERDP's contracting office.

  • 16. Can I submit more than one proposal?

    Yes. There is no limit to the number of pre-proposals that organizations can submit. You will need to submit each proposal individually to the appropriate SON.

  • 17. Can I submit a proposal by e-mail or facsimile?

    No. Proposals will not be accepted if received via e-mail or facsimile. You must submit your proposal in accordance with the instructions for the solicitation to which you are responding. Detailed instructions may be found on the SERDP and ESTCP website at

  • 18. Can I get an extension on the deadline for proposal submittal?

    No. The deadlines cannot be waived. 

  • 19. Can I submit a full proposal in response to the Core solicitation if I did not submit a pre-proposal?

    No. You must submit a pre-proposal and subsequently be asked to submit a full proposal.

  • 20. For the pre-proposal, does the 5-page limit include references?

    No. The 5-page limit does not include references.

  • 21. What font and size should be used in the proposals?

    The minimum acceptable font size is 11. We do not specify a font, but whatever you opt to use must be readable.

  • 22. Where do I get the DUNS CAGE number?

    This number is available from your organization's contracting office. If you do not have one, this section can be left blank.


  • 23. As a foreign proposer, should I cost the proposal in U.S. dollars or in my local currency?

    Proposals must reflect U.S. dollars.

  • 24. There is no specific annual funding or total funding limit identified in the Core solicitation. How do I determine financial needs?

    It is true that there are no funding limits specified for most Core SONs. Occasionally, SERDP will release SONs with prescribed cost and duration requirements. Specific cost and duration requirements, if applicable, are found in each SERDP SON. For the majority of SONs, cost and duration are not prescribed and you should determine how much money you will require to adequately fund the work you have proposed. SERDP funds projects ranging in size from under $200 thousand to about $1 million per year. Typical projects range from $200-$600 thousand per year for three to five years.

  • 25. If my proposal is selected for funding, when can I expect to receive funding?

    For planning purposes, Federal performers can expect to receive their funds in the January-February timeframe and contractors in the May timeframe.

  • 26. Will I receive all of the funds for the entire project at one time?

    Yes. All projects resulting from this solicitation will be one year efforts and as such, will receive all funds at project initiation.


  • 27. For RCSON-20-C2: In regards to the subject BAA, does each proposal need to address both stated research objectives - 1) interdisciplinary research, and 2) the case study?

    No a proposal does NOT need to address both stated research objectives. It is okay if a proposal addresses both, or either 1) interdisciplinary research, or 2) the case study.

  • 28. For RCSON-20-C2: For the case studies objective in the subject BAA what is critical to understand the overall response of marine mammals to multiple stressors, or to understand how the addition of a second or third stressor can change the response?

    We are seeking proposals that enable us to understand the interaction of the multiple stressors, not just the overall response of marine mammals to multiple stressors. We're looking for case studies that have solid baseline data and an understanding of the effects of a single stressor, then the opportunity or experimentally induced opportunity for exposure to a second and/or third stressor to explore and characterize the change in behavioral and physiological response due to the addition of a second/third stressor.  

  • 29. For RCSON-20-C2: Do the stressors in the case study objectives need to be acoustic stressors?

    While sound exposure is a stressor of great interest in understanding the effects on marine mammals, for the development of our understanding of multiple stressors they can be any biotic, abiotic, or anthropogenic stressor. Additive, Multiplicative/Exponential, or cancelling each other out.


Schedule of events, solicitation deadlines, and training opportunities.

View Calendar

Full Proposal Guidance

Information for those requested to submit full proposals.

View SERDP Guidance – FY 2020

View ESTCP Guidance – FY 2020