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Research Practice Partnership FAQs

Questions as of Feb. 5, 2020

  1. What data will be provided to the Partnership?
  2. The expected role of the RPP in managing and convening the Advisory Committee is unclear. Should an applicant include those costs in an estimated budget or is the financial support for the maintenance and support of that committee done by a district partner, such as OSSE or the DME?
  3. Will there be funding made available for the selected entity?
  4. In 3.1.4 of the NOI, does this reference to “education topics relevant to state education systems and urban areas” include only pre-K through grade 12 public education, or could the eventual scope of work include higher education, postsecondary, and workforce/career prep expertise?
  5. This NOI describes collaboration with the advisory committee. Does that include the support, meeting management and preparation, and possible convening activities to facilitate the work of the Advisory Committee?
  6. Will applicants be given a rubric or point system that will be used to evaluate proposals?
  7. When proposals are submitted by the deadline, will applicants receive an acknowledgement that the proposal has been received?
  8. 1.1.3 Eligibility Eligible states “applicants for the partnership include a university, college, non-profit organization, or a consortium that combines university, college, non-profit organizations joined for the purposes of this partnership.” Does this restriction refer only to the lead of the partnership (prime contractor) or does it refer also to all members of a consortium? Are for-profit firms allowed to be part of consortium in a subcontractor role?
  9. Should the applicant provide a point-by-point response to the 20+ activities described in Section 3.1.3 or is a broader statement of capacity and experience appropriate?
  10. Who staffs the Advisory Committee?
  11. The proposal requires the inclusion of a five-year projected budget, but the notice of invitation also refers to a 10-year commitment with the district. Please provide further clarification between what is expected in the five- year cost proposal versus the financial expectations of the ten-year projected commitment.
  12. Will a project officer or project liaison be assigned by OSSE to this particular project to help coordinate efforts with the district and the advisory board members?
  13. What advisory board’s costs will be covered by OSSE? What project costs could potentially be covered by OSSE?
  14. It appears that as part of the invitation call, the proposals are to indicate what funding, if any, we would consider necessary from OSSE for the project. Is there a dollar cap for what can be proposed in this line item?
  15. Will a proposal review matrix be used? If so, will a copy of these review criteria be distributed to applicants prior to Feb. 10?
  16. Are bidders from outside the greater DC area eligible to submit proposals to this call?
  17. Will all data be scrubbed prior to the RPP receiving a copy?
  18. Do you anticipate student HIPPA data to be included in any data set provided to the RPP?
  19. How do you anticipate the data sets be transmitted to the RPP? (electronic transmission via a secure cloud-based platform, CDs, USB drives, etc.)
  20. Are non-governmental members of boards, such as the RPP Advisory Committee, typically offered an honorarium or stipend for participation, particularly parents and other non-institutional stakeholders? If so, is there a general rate for participation?
  21. If the single PDF is too large to send by email attachment, can we send a download link (e.g., using Box)? Or is another method of transmission preferred?
  22. Will the names of the six members of the selection committee be made public prior to the Feb. 10 due date?
  23. Two requirements of 1.1.6 are likely to lead to a very large PDF document ("Any supporting documentation must be included in the appendices" and "Proposals, including all appendices and any supporting documents, shall be aggregated in a single PDF document and submitted as such"). If it is not possible to create a single PDF file that can be transmitted over email, should we spit the file into multiple files or use an alternative method of transmission such as hand-delivering a USB drive to OSSE?

1. What data will be provided to the Partnership?

The Act outlines a process for the exchange of data for research projects using a memoranda of understanding. Data will be provided in accordance to existing law.

2. The expected role of the RPP in managing and convening the Advisory Committee is unclear. Should an applicant include those costs in an estimated budget or is the financial support for the maintenance and support of that committee done by a district partner, such as OSSE or the DME?

The applicant should include cost estimates of how it will engage with the advisory committee to meet statutory requirements: the development of a 5-year research agenda jointly with the Advisory Committee, informing the Advisory Committee when research has been initiated, obtaining feedback on research, and sharing final research findings to obtain feedback from the Advisory Committee.

3. Will there be funding made available for the selected entity?

Section 3.1.7 of the NOI asks the applicant to provide an estimate of funds needed from the District for initial start-up costs and annual operations of the Partnership, if any.  No financial commitment has been made by the District of Columbia and no funding will be awarded as part of the selection process for this NOI.

4. In 3.1.4 of the NOI, does this reference to “education topics relevant to state education systems and urban areas” include only pre-K through grade 12 public education, or could the eventual scope of work include higher education, postsecondary, and workforce/career prep expertise?

The scope of research would be dictated by the research agenda created between the partnership and the Advisory Committee. An applicant should primarily focus on research that is anchored in pre-K through grade 12 public education in state education systems and urban areas; however, expertise higher education, postsecondary, and workforce/career prep expertise could inform pre-K through grade 12 practices. The applicant should include research that shows its research expertise in the strongest possible light and aligns with the mission of the Partnership.

5. This NOI describes collaboration with the advisory committee. Does that include the support, meeting management and preparation, and possible convening activities to facilitate the work of the Advisory Committee?

The applicant should explain processes, and resources allocated to, as necessary, that meet the Partnership’s statutory obligations: the development of a 5-year research agenda jointly with the Advisory Committee, informing the Advisory Committee when research has been initiated, obtaining feedback on research, and sharing final research findings to obtain feedback from the Advisory Committee.

6. Will applicants be given a rubric or point system that will be used to evaluate proposals?

No, applicants will not be given a rubric or point system that will be used to evaluate proposals.

7. When proposals are submitted by the deadline, will applicants receive an acknowledgement that the proposal has been received?

Yes.

8. 1.1.3 Eligibility Eligible states “applicants for the partnership include a university, college, non-profit organization, or a consortium that combines university, college, non-profit organizations joined for the purposes of this partnership.” Does this restriction refer only to the lead of the partnership (prime contractor) or does it refer also to all members of a consortium?  Are for-profit firms allowed to be part of consortium in a subcontractor role?

There is no mention in the statute or in the notice related to the business status of contractors or subcontractors of an eligible entity or consortium.  

9. Should the applicant provide a point-by-point response to the 20+ activities described in Section 3.1.3 or is a broader statement of capacity and experience appropriate?

Applicants should answer this in the way they think it would provide the most robust, helpful and clear response.

10. Who staffs the Advisory Committee?

Currently, the Advisory Committee has not been assigned staff. Note, there is no requirement that the Advisory Committee is staffed by DC agency in DC Code § 38–785.04.

11. The proposal requires the inclusion of a five-year projected budget, but the notice of invitation also refers to a 10-year commitment with the district. Please provide further clarification between what is expected in the five- year cost proposal versus the financial expectations of the ten-year projected commitment.

Section 3.1.2 of the NOI asks for the applicant to describe and demonstrate the entity’s commitment to enter into a Partnership with the District of Columbia for no less than 10 years. In this section, we are looking for a general expression of commitment for the entity that is grounded in evidence that the organization can meet this commitment.

However, Section 3.1.7 asks for a proposed budget for the initial start-up costs and annual costs needed to operate the Partnership. Section 3.1.7 does not reference a time range for the projected budget. Rather, it states that the budget should include a proposed budget for initial start-up costs and annual costs to operate the Partnership. Operation of the partnership should be for the 10 year commitment.

12. Will a project officer or project liaison be assigned by OSSE to this particular project to help coordinate efforts with the district and the advisory board members?

Government staffing, if any, is not determined. No project officer or project liaison has been assigned by OSSE to fulfill this role at this time.

13. What advisory board’s costs will be covered by OSSE? What project costs could potentially be covered by OSSE?

Currently, there is no District funding committed to this project.  

14. It appears that as part of the invitation call, the proposals are to indicate what funding, if any, we would consider necessary from OSSE for the project. Is there a dollar cap for what can be proposed in this line item?

No.

15. Will a proposal review matrix be used? If so, will a copy of these review criteria be distributed to applicants prior to Feb. 10?

No proposal review matrix is available at this time and will not be available prior to Feb. 10.

16. Are bidders from outside the greater DC area eligible to submit proposals to this call?

Yes. There is no exclusion of an entity outside of DC in statute. See DC Code §§ 38-785.02 and 38-785.03.

17. Will all data be scrubbed prior to the RPP receiving a copy?

For the purposes of data requests required to complete research, OSSE will provide final source data to the entity, including standard output formats, data dictionaries, and documentation that notes caveats and context. However, the data may still require additional cleaning based on the intended use. Any additional manipulation of data for the purpose of the research project would be the responsibility of the entity.

18. Do you anticipate student HIPPA data to be included in any data set provided to the RPP?

No. If health data was used for a specific research project, the entity would need to work with the health agency providing the information to establish a data sharing agreement.

19. How do you anticipate the data sets be transmitted to the RPP? (electronic transmission via a secure cloud-based platform, CDs, USB drives, etc.)

We plan to transfer the data electronically.

20. Are non-governmental members of boards, such as the RPP Advisory Committee, typically offered an honorarium or stipend for participation, particularly parents and other non-institutional stakeholders? If so, is there a general rate for participation?

The statute does not provide an honorarium or stipend for participation for any members of the RPP Advisory Committee.

21. If the single PDF is too large to send by email attachment, can we send a download link (e.g., using Box)? Or is another method of transmission preferred?

Applicants should send documentation to [email protected] while adhering to the proposal requirements in 1.1.6 in the NOI. Should an applicant receive an error due to file size limitations, the applicant should make every effort to reduce its application file size to comport with the submission criteria.

22. Will the names of the six members of the selection committee be made public prior to the Feb. 10 due date?

We do not anticipate names being made public by the Feb. 10 due date.

23. Two requirements of 1.1.6 are likely to lead to a very large PDF document ("Any supporting documentation must be included in the appendices" and "Proposals, including all appendices and any supporting documents, shall be aggregated in a single PDF document and submitted as such"). If it is not possible to create a single PDF file that can be transmitted over email, should we spit the file into multiple files or use an alternative method of transmission such as hand-delivering a USB drive to OSSE?

Applicants must abide by the requirements in 1.1.6 of the Notice of Invitation. Applicants should make every effort to limit the file size of their application and submit their materials, which includes the application and all appendices in one single PDF. If, however, applicants are unable to do so due to technical limitations of applicants' email servers, applicants may submit their application in separate PDF files adhering to the following guidelines:

  • One single PDF file that contains only its application with the word "Application" appended to the end of the file name;
  • Each appendix submitted should be a separate, single PDF with the word Appendix X" appended to the end of the file name (X represents the appendix number); and
  • Each of the individual files submitted should be attached to separate emails.

For example: Assume an applicant will submit an application with two appendices. The applicant should seek to submit the application and appendices as one single PDF. If the applicant has technical limitations on its email service, then an applicant could submit its materials as follows:

Email #1 Subject = Org RPP Application (1/3)
Attachment = OrgNameRPP_Application.pdf
 
Email #2 Subject = Org RPP Application (2/3)
Attachment = OrgNameRPP_Appendix1.pdf
 
Email #3 Subject = Org RPP Application (3/3)
Attachment = OrgNameRPP_Appendix2.pdf

Please note: The naming conventions for both the email subject and filenames used above are for example purposes only. The only requirement, if an applicant must submit multiple files, is adhering to the naming conventions outlined in the bullets above."