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    Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)

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    Policy Summary

    The UC-DOE Prime Contract authorizes the University of California (UC) to perform Strategic Partnership Projects (SPPs) (formerly known as Work for Others (WFO) for non-Department of Energy (DOE) entities) in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and DOE policy. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO) is responsible for submitting all proposals to, and accepting all awards from, non-DOE sponsors. All proposals and awards for sponsored research must be processed by Berkeley Lab SPO Contracts Officers (COs). Berkeley Lab COs have been delegated authority by the Berkeley Lab Director to submit proposals and negotiate and accept awards in accordance with the UC-DOE Prime Contract and UC policy.
    This policy describes the requirements and processes for all SPP funding, such as:

    • Nonfederal funding
    • Federal funding

    Who Should Read This Policy

    Any Berkeley Lab employee involved with submitting, reviewing, or approving proposals and accepting, performing, or administering awards from non-DOE sponsors.

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    Strategic Partnerships Office

    [email protected]


    Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)

    Publication date:


    Effective date:



    A. Purpose

    This policy establishes the requirements and responsibilities for the oversight, management, and administration of Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP) (formerly known as Work for Others (WFO) non-Department of Energy (DOE) funded work) activities at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). SPP sponsors are categorized as (1) nonfederally funded or (2) federally funded. Per DOE Order 481.1E, SPP projects have some/all of the following objectives:

    • Assist federal agencies and nonfederal entities in accomplishing goals that may be otherwise unattainable and to avoid duplication of effort at federal facilities.
    • Provide access to Berkeley Lab highly specialized or unique facilities, services, or technical expertise to non-DOE entities when private sector facilities are inadequate.
    • Increase research and development interactions between Berkeley Lab and industry to provide opportunities for transferring technology originating at Berkeley Lab facilities to industry for further development or commercialization.
    • Assist in maintaining core competencies and enhancing the science and technology base at Berkeley Lab.

    B. Persons Affected

    Any Berkeley Lab employee involved with submitting, reviewing, or approving proposals and accepting, performing, or administering awards from non-DOE sponsors.

    C. Exceptions


    D. Policy Statement

    D.1 General

    1. The UC-DOE Prime Contract authorizes the University of California (UC) to perform SPPs in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and DOE policy. Berkeley Lab may perform SPPs for non-DOE sponsors pursuant to DEAR 970.5217-1 Strategic Partnership Projects program (Non-DOE Funded Work) (April 23, 2015) (SC Deviation) and is responsible for submitting all proposals to, and accepting all awards from, non-DOE sponsors.
    2. The President of UC has delegated to the Berkeley Lab Director the authority to solicit, accept, and execute certain extramural grants and contracts that include SPPs. Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO) Contracts Officers (COs) have been delegated authority from the Laboratory Director to submit proposals and negotiate awards in accordance with the UC-DOE Prime Contract and UC policy. Accordingly, the SPO is the institutional organization responsible for submitting proposals and accepting awards from sponsors. Therefore, all proposals and awards for sponsored research must be processed through the SPO. The COs retain the authority to sign SPPs.

    D.2 SPP Requirements

    1. Requirements of DOE directives, applicable regulations, and the following requirements must be satisfied before work is performed. Berkeley Lab may respond to Broad Agency Announcements, financial assistance solicitations, Program Research and Development Announcements, and similar solicitations from other federal agencies or nonfederal entities when the following conditions have been met:
      1. Response to the solicitation does not result in head-to-head competition with other solicitation respondents as an offeror, team member, or subcontractor to an offeror.
      2. The cognizant field office has been notified of intent to respond.
      3. The solicitation is a general research announcement used for the acquisition of basic or applied research to further advance scientific knowledge or understanding rather than focused on a specific system or hardware solution.
      4. Evaluation and selection are performed through a merit or peer-review process using pre-established general selection criteria.
      5. The primary bases for selection include quality of the scientific / technical approach, importance to the agency, and funds availability.
    2. The following determinations and a written certification of their completion must be made prior to the acceptance of an SPP agreement. The proposed work:
      1. Is consistent with or complementary to missions of DOE/NNSA and the facility to which the work is to be assigned.
      2. Will not adversely affect DOE/NNSA programs assigned to the facility.
      3. Will not place the facility in direct competition with the domestic private sector.
      4. Will not create a detrimental future burden on DOE/NNSA resources.

    D.3 SPP Components

    1. The Principal Investigator (PI) and administrative support group are responsible for preparing proposals including all required Berkeley Lab and Sponsor forms. Proposals must be approved by the PI and Division Director or authorized designee.
      1. Each SPP proposal should have a scope, schedule, and estimated cost to complete the project. The scope of work, budget, and timing of the project should be addressed in the draft agreement. The DOE's objective is to accommodate nonfederal party needs and expedite review and approval processing, while protecting the interests of the government and promoting consistency among sites performing work for nonfederal sponsors.
      2. The division's description of Berkeley Lab's special expertise, unique capability, or unique facilities for the performance of work is a key element in the proposal, assuring the DOE that Berkeley Lab is not directly competing with the private sector. The phrase "the proposed work cannot be obtained through commercial means" should be included in the Electronic System for Research Administration (eSRA) uniqueness statement.
    2. Master Scope of Work (MSW) Approach (if applicable)
      1. Background and Authority: DOE guidance allows for an MSW for routine work with nonfederal participants. No classified work will be processed under an MSW. Upon approval of an MSW by the DOE Bay Area Site Office (BSO), Berkeley Lab may propose and enter into agreements with nonfederal participants for work that is specified under the initial approved MSW without obtaining further BSO approval. For any work with specific conditions that require approvals to move forward, these approvals must be obtained before the proposed work can enter or re-enter the MSW process. Examples of such conditions include:
        • Foreign participant engagements.
        • Agreements with nonstandard terms and conditions.
        • Collaborations involving animal or human subjects.
        • Transactions that raise conflict of interest concerns.
      2. Proposal Stage: Divisions should work with the SPO to develop MSWs specific to the work performed in their respective area and may choose to have multiple MSWs depending on the different types of work. The MSW must be at a sufficient level of detail with tasks specified to allow for review by BSO. SPO COs will review the MSW and after issuing their approval will submit it to BSO. Upon BSO's approval of the MSW, BSO will provide written certification for the approved use of the MSW.
      3. Approval: Once an MSW is approved, sponsors requesting services that fall within the scope of an approved MSW can be engaged and agreements entered into without DOE approval as long as an approved SPP/CRADA agreement is used and all other requirements (e.g., advance payment) are met. If a sponsor requests any changes to standard SPP/CRADA terms or other factors in (a) above apply that would require DOE approval, the action will be processed for approval as follows:
        • The CO will request applicable activity through eSRA for review and approval. The request will include an explanation of the circumstances, associated documents, and any required LBNL approvals (i.e., LBNL Lab Counsel) as required.
        • BSO approval will be documented in eSRA by using the standard approval activities.
        • The approved agreement can then be used for sponsors under the approved MSW.
    3. DOE oversight: Changes to the MSW will require an amended MSW for review and approval by BSO. Additionally, MSW and/or specific projects under the MSW are subject to periodic review by BSO upon request.

    D.4 Other Important Considerations

    1. Advance Funds. If the sponsor is providing funds, an advance must be obtained prior to starting the project (see the Advance Payment for Sponsored Research Projects with Nonfederal Sponsors Policy).
    2. Institutional Approvals: The SPO CO confirms conformance to applicable policies and ensures appropriate approvals as necessary:
      1. Use of human subjects approved by the Human and Animal Regulatory Committee (HARC) (see the "Human and Animal Subjects Research" policy area).
      2. Use of animal subjects approved by HARC and submitted to BSO for Office of Science approval (see the "Human and Animal Subjects Research" policy area).
      3. Foreign participant approval by export control and DOE HQ approval through BSO.
      4. Nonstandard terms approval by BSO (see DOE Order O.483.1E).
      5. Nonstandard financial terms approval by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (see the Berkeley Lab RPM policy Sponsored Research — Nonstandard Financial Terms and Conditions (NSFT) policy.
      6. National Environmental Policy Act / California Environmental Quality Act (NEPA/CEQA) Review.
      7. DOE approval from BSO in the following areas, including science, Federal Administrative Charge (FAC) Waiver, Intellectual Property (IP), proposal, and DOE eligibility letter.
      8. Homeland Security Review.
      9. Exception to Full Cost Recovery.
      10. Conflict of Interest (COI) approval by the Research Compliance Office.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Lab Director

    • Reviews and approves the acceptability of publication restrictions.
    • Delegates responsibility for accepting and signing SPPs to the SPO COs.

    Lab Division Directors

    • Have delegated authority for making Laboratory financial management decisions for operations, space, and equipment.
    • Review and approve proposals to ensure projects are appropriate for Berkeley Lab; that there is sufficient space, equipment, and support; and that projects comply with Berkeley Lab, DOE, and UC policies.

    Area/ Division Directors, Deputy Directors, and Business Managers

    • Have primary responsibility and accountability for management and assurance of area/division programs.

    Reimbursable Group (RG)

    • Provides contract accounting review for new award set-up.
    • Issues any required advance payment invoice(s).
    • Receives and processes advance payments.
    • Reviews and provides Nonstandard Financial Terms (NSFT) approvals from a billing perspective.

    SPO Contracts Officer (CO)

    • Reviews and responds to Broad Agency Announcements, financial assistance solicitations, Program Research and Development Announcements, and similar solicitations from federal agencies or nonfederal entities.
    • Authorized to submit proposals to non-DOE sponsors.
    • Completes eligibility reviews for compliance with DOE orders and directives and to ensure the Laboratory can accept any nonstandard terms and conditions.
    • Ensures all compliance items, including nonstandard terms and conditions, are approved prior to the execution of an SPP.
    • Obtains DOE approval of proposals.
    • Negotiates award terms as an Institutional Official for Berkeley Lab.
    • Finalizes award terms and signs agreement.
    • Enters award information into eSRA.

    DOE Bay Area Site Office (BSO)

    • Reviews and approves the MSW.
    • Reviews and approves proposals/awards, including science, IP, and, if applicable, the FAC Waiver, DOE eligibility letter, and nonstandard terms.

    EH&S Division

    • Reviews and approves proposals for safety and protection of human and/or animal subjects.

    Facilities Division

    • Provides National Environmental Policy Act / California Environmental Quality Act (NEPA/CEQA) review and approval.

    General Accounting (GA)

    • Receives advance payments on behalf of the Laboratory and posts payments in the FMS.

    Human and Animal Regulatory Committee (HARC)

    • Coordinates the review and certification of human and/or animal research subject protocols.

    Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

    • Conducts intellectual property review of nonstandard IP terms as requested by SPO CO.

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    • Responsible for the conduct of awards consistent with the award from the participant and the terms of the UC-DOE Prime Contract (DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231).
    • Has overall financial responsibility and accountability for managed programs/projects/functions and meeting all contractual terms and conditions.
    • Manages and controls project funds in a prudent manner and expends funds in accordance with the restrictions imposed by contract terms and Laboratory policies. Note that while PIs may delegate the day-to-day management of project finances to other professional staff, accountability for compliance with contractual and financial requirements cannot be delegated and remains with the PI.
    • Proposes and plans the financial aspects of assigned projects, working closely with Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) RAs.
    • Understands and appropriately applies Laboratory and funding participant financial policies, guidelines, and contract terms.
    • Executes the project, ensuring all costs (labor, procurements, travel, etc.) are appropriate, allowable, and allocable to the project/activity benefiting from the cost.
    • Has a responsibility to ensure, in consultation with the division's or area's OCFO resource management staff, that costs charged to PIs' projects are allowable.
    • Ensures the Closeout Checklist is submitted in eSRA so that the award can be closed per the DOE requirement.

    Research Compliance Office (RCO)

    • Office of record for Statements for Economic Interest forms. Coordinates reviews and potential conflicts of interests related to SPPs.

    Resource Analyst (RA)

    • Assists the PI with the proposal preparation and overall management of the award, including any additional reporting required from resulting NSFTs.
    • Reviews the request for proposal to gain an understanding of the proposal requirements, prepare administrative proposal forms, including the budget, and identify and notify the CO of any NSFTs and conditions.
    • Provides divisional financial support, knowledge, and expertise and has financial responsibility and accountability.
    • Working closely with the PI:
      • Prepares and/or coordinates the planning, development, and submission of the financial and related administrative aspects of a project proposal based upon the PI's technical work scope and resource requirements.
      • Develops an executable, fully burdened spend plan that ensures full cost recovery.
      • Reviews and updates the spend plan and cost projections in a timely manner to ensure successful project execution.
      • Analyzes and formulates the areas' and divisions' indirect budgets and rates.
      • Prepares source materials and analysis required for conducting periodic division program/financial reviews.
      • Offers advice on mitigating potential overcommitment and costing issues at funding control points during the year.
      • Understands, interprets, and applies knowledge of funding participant financial guidelines, policies, and contract terms as well as Laboratory policies.
      • Provides the division with periodic standard and ad hoc summary and detailed financial reports that are timely, accurate, and complete for the division's programs and projects.
      • Exercises delegated signature authority on financial and/or procurement actions.
      • Develops, monitors, and maintains division project and activity IDs and costing structures.
      • Identifies problematic issues concerning interpretation and implementation of DOE, UC, and laboratory financial management policies and procedures. Reviews with the Division Business Manager or the Deputy for Operations and OCFO Field Finance Manager.
      • Finalize costs in eSRA so the Request for Closeout Checklist activity can be completed.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms




    Broad Agency Announcement


    Berkeley Site Office (of the U.S. Department of Energy)


    Budget Office


    Contract Accounting


    California Environmental Quality Act


    Contracts Officer


    Conflict of Interest


    Certification Request Form


    U.S. Department of Defense


    Department of Defense Congressionally Mandated Research Program


    The Berkeley Lab electronic Sponsored Research Administration system for electronic submittal and tracking of proposals as well as non-financial award management


    Facilities and Administration Costs


    Federal Administrative Charge


    The Berkeley Lab Financial Management System


    Human and Animal Regulatory Committee Office


    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee


    Institutional Review Board


    Integrated Review Group




    Laboratory Directed Research and Development


    National Environmental Protection Act


    National Institutes of Health


    Nonstandard Financial Terms and Conditions

    Other Support

    "Includes all financial resources, whether federal, nonfederal, commercial or organizational, available in direct support of an individual's research endeavors, including, but not limited to, research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or organizational awards. Other support does not include training awards, prizes, or gifts." (Glossary of NIH Terms)

    Parent Announcement

    "NIH-wide funding opportunity announcement enabling applicants to submit an electronic investigator-initiated grant application for a specific activity code, e.g., Research Project Grant (Parent R01)." (Glossary of NIH Terms)


    Division Resource Analyst


    Research Compliance Office


    Strategic Partnerships Office


    Strategic Partnership Projects

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    • Approved SPP agreements disposition
      • Cut off at termination of agreement
      • Destroy 10 years after cutoff
    • Rejected/Withdrawn SPP agreements
      • Cutoff after termination or denial
      • Destroy 5 years after cutoff

    H. Implementing Documents

    Document Number




    Statement of Work



    SPP Desk Guide for eSRA


    I. Contact Information

    Strategic Partnerships Office

    [email protected]

    J. Revision History



    By Whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) Affected

    Change Type

    3/31/2023 3.2 T. Pray Periodic review: minor policy clarifications; R&R updates; link fixes.  All Minor



    T. Pray

    Clarifications to the DOE/BASO approval process

    D.2.3.c / D.3




    M. Fix

    Policy was re-written to remove process steps and focus on requirements and roles and responsibilities, also adds in the Master Statement of Work requirements.





    M. Fix

    Revamping to reflect current practice and incorporation of eSRA, updated practice based on DOE SPP Order DOE O 481.1E




    R. Inada

    Contact information and role changes from the Office of Sponsored Project & Industry Partnerships to IPO. Electronic proposal system change from the Research Administration, Proposal/Project Information Database to eSRA.



    R. Inada

    Review completed 3/25/13, no changes

    Pub & Next Review dates




    R. Inada

    Organized Source Requirements Documents, added Implementing Documents, fixed links





    R. Inada

    Re-format for wiki (policy)





    R. Inada

    Re-format for wiki (brief)





    Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP)

    Document number

    Revision number


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    Policy Area:

    Non-DOE Funded Research Mechanisms

    RPM Section (home)

    Non-DOE Funded Research

    RPM Section (cross-reference)


    Functional Division


    Prior reference information (optional)

    Source Requirements Documents

    Other References

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