Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Joint and Cooperative Institutes

To increase the effectiveness of research and the quality of education in the environmental sciences by facilitating cooperation between government, university, and nonprofit research institutions.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Evaluation of the Atmospheric, Soil, and Plant Community Parameters that Influence Surface Water Balance and the Relation to Waste Disposal, Understanding Climate Change from the Medieval Warm Period to the Greenhouse Future, The Role of Orography on the North American Monsoon Onset and Interannual Variability, Ocean and Atmospheric Inverse Modeling for Global Carbon Flux Determinations, A Hydrologic Ensemble Seasonal Forecast System over the Eastern U.S., Long-term Trends and Special Variability in Arctic Haze at 4 Sites in Western Alaska, Assessment of Cyanobacterial Blooms and Microcystin Concentrations in the Great Lakes, Air-Sea Flux Estimation in High Wind Boundary Layers, Transport and Exchange of Florida Bay Interior Waters, Tornado Warning Lead Time and Tornado Casualities: A Research Proposal, Investigation of Synoptic and Mesoscale Meteorological Processes Associated with Hazardous Weather, Impact of Interactive Vegetation on Predictions of the North American Monsoon, Modeling Longline Effort Dynamics and Protected Species Interaction, Cooperative Studies of Central Coast Salmon, Tropical Atlantic Circulation Program.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Program Accomplishments

Projects were reviewed and funded through thirteen cooperative agreements. Funding of proposals for the current 13 OAR Joint and Cooperative Institutes is expected in fiscal year 2006.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Program authorizes funds to be used for research and development, education and training, advisory services and operational systems as they relate to specific NOAA programs.

Specific restrictions, other than those mandated for cooperative agreements, are evaluated on an individual program basis.

Most Joint and Cooperative Institutes (CIs) operate under a Memorandum of Understanding/Memorandum of Agreement and are geographically located near a NOAA Research laboratory or a NOAA facility.

In addition, 118 Stat.

71 (2004), authorizes the Secretary to designate (delegated to the Under Secretary of NOAA) joint and cooperative institutes and use the personnel, services, or facilities of such organizations for research, education, training, and outreach to further NOAA's mission under a cooperative agreement.

It essentially authorizes "personal services" contract authority and the authority to procure services, equipment, and facilities under a financial assistance agreement as opposed to executing a procurement contract.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

University or nonprofit research institution usually located near a NOAA Research Laboratory or other NOAA facility.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Organizations and individuals with interests in oceanographic research, atmospheric research, limnology, solar environment research, near-space research, and Arctic research.


Proposals with statements of work and estimated budgets. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-21 for agreements with educational institutions, A-87 for State and local governments, and A-122 for nonprofit institutions.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the agency and required by OMB Circular Nos.

A-21 and A-110 must be used for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372 and OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Proposals for new cooperative agreements are solicited with an announcement in the Federal Register. These announcements include specific information for proposal submission. All proposals are subject to the requirements of OMB Circular Nos. A-21 and A-110, as applicable.

Award Procedures

Accepted applications are subject to peer review by a review panel assembled by the Cooperative Institute Program Manager. All applicants are notified whether or not their proposal was funded.


Determined by award period (contact Cooperative Institute Program Manager).


15 U.S.C. 313; 15 U.S.C. 2904; 15 U.S.C. 1540; 15 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 753a; 33 U.S.C. 883d; 49 U.S.C. 44720(b); and 118 Stat. 71 (2004)(noted in 15 U.S.C. 1540).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 180 days from time of proposal submission.




By negotiation with OAR or other NOAA components when applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

None. Universities and other nonprofit institutions make contributions as partial indirect costs in accordance with the cooperative agreement.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Generally, five years with funding approved on individual and group proposal basis throughout the five years in accordance with the DOC approvals.

Post Assistance Requirements


Financial status reports are required quarterly.

Program status reports are required annually.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003); Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit 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.


Recipients are expected to maintain complete records for each cooperative agreement to insure funds are used for the purposes that the cooperative agreement was made. Record must be retained for three years; records shall be retained beyond the three-year period if audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 est not available; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Total annual funding at current Cooperative Institutes ranges from $74,000 to $20,000,000. Average funding is $8,700,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Allowable cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit and for- profit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for institutions of higher education; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Financial assistance management will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CRF Part 24 for State and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Dr. John Cortinas, Program Manager, NOAA/OAR R/LCLx2, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-9397 X 206.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposals are subject to peer-review evaluations, technical reviews, administrative reviews, and external reviews, if applicable, taking into primary consideration scientific merit and application to the mission goals of NOAA.

Social Entrepreneurship

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