Explore UAB

Through its acquisition activities, the U.S. Federal Government buys products and services to support, conduct and acquire both basic and applied behavioral and biomedical research. Service acquisitions range from building construction to complex clinical trials. Product acquisitions range from basic office, medical and information technology supplies and equipment to sophisticated state-of-the-art biomedical equipment and systems.

Federal Sponsors make these opportunities through Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) or Requests for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Applications (RFA) which may be found on FedBizOpps, or on the individual Federal Sponsor websites. It is important to return to the solicitation posting to ensure all updates are obtained as solicitations are continually updated to respond to submitted questions and amend crucial information regarding the submission requirements. You can register for e-mail notifications on selected solicitations to be made aware of these updates as they occur. Please note that these amendments to the solicitation must be acknowledged in your application when submitted.

Content format specifications should be thoroughly followed as they can include very specific rules towards margins, font sizes, page limits, organization and file format. These specifications also include detailed submission instructions. This information is generally located in the RFP, RFA and BAA appendix.

It is important to allow sufficient time for the OSP Officer review of the RFP, RFA or BAA instructions and for the preparation of the contract, as well as the actual proposal components.

Federal contracts are by nature more specific and less flexible than other funding mechanisms such as federal grants. They also require more preparation and supporting material and are subject to more strict oversight than federal grants. Additional information is available by clicking on the topics below.


Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System. This system is used by U.S. federal government agencies to govern and regulate the "acquisition process", the process through which the government purchases ("acquires") goods and services. There are three phases of an acquisition by a federal agency: 

  1. need recognition and acquisition planning, 
  2. contract formation, and 
  3. contract administration. 

FAR does not regulate the purchasing activities of private sector firms, unless and except to the extent parts of it are incorporated into government solicitations and contracts by reference.


Federal Government's Contracting Officer

Throughout the RFP, Proposal, Best and Final Offer, Award and Contract Period, it is important to remember that the Contracting Officer is the exclusive agent of the Government and is the only person empowered to execute or modify a contract on behalf of the Government. All actions, including but not limited to, RFPs, proposals, contracts, modifications, invoices, restricted costs approval, authorization, reports, inspections and governing actions will follow the FAR clauses and involve the Contracting Officer’s approval.