How To Establish Projects through the RM-CESU

Guidelines for agency managers or researchers

  1. Verify that your project is appropriate for the RM-CESU agreement. View the CESU Project Criteria or the Executive Committee Member for your agency can give final approval (see agency contacts).
  2. Contact your agency's procurement or contracting officer for necessary paperwork, specifying that you will be using the RM-CESU agreement:

Joy Groom, Lead Grant Management Officer, BLM-Montana/Dakotas State Office, 406-896-5229 or

Eleni Sarris, Grants Management Specialist, BLM-Colorado State Office, 303-239-3908 or

Chris Shaver, Lead Grants Management Officer, BLM-Idaho State Office, 208-373-3915 or

Leona Parker, Grant Management Officer, BLM-Wyoming State Office, 307-314-5638 or

Faith D. Graves, 703-648-7356 or

  1. The institutional partner (university) submits a proposal along with an SF-424 and an SF-424A to the USGS cost center for funding. Typically proposals are developed through close consultation between a USGS scientist and a member of the university faculty. The USGS principal investigator submits a requisition request to the cost center.
  2. If approved, the cost center forwards the proposal with an official DI-1 to HQ Office of Acquisition and Grants. The proposal is then funded through a Research Cooperative Project Award from USGS to the university under authority of a Master CESU Agreement. Research Cooperative Project Awards should be processed through the administrative officer of the originating USGS cost center in accordance with delegated procurement authority.

Cindy Gordon, 970-498-1172 or

Lindsey Naft, 406-247-7684 or

CESU Procedures -- Jacqueline Davis-Slay, NRCS National CESU Coordinator at 202-690-2009 or

Cooperative Agreement procedures -- Ronald Harris, Grants and Agreement Specialist at

Sherry Whitaker, CESU Grants Officer Technical Representative U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, 601-634-2990,

Kathy Mitchell, 817-886-1709,

DoD CESU Fact Sheet

Mountain-Prairie Region: Tammy Mayne or Patrick McKenney;
Alaska Region: Rich Primmer, 907-786-3611;

For additional questions, contact your agency representative or the RM-CESU Coordinator

Administrative Steps for Initiating an IMR RM-CESU Task Agreements

New TAs and Money-added Mods

  1. Contact your CESU Research Coordinator (RC)
  • RC will determine if project is appropriate for the CESU, help identify suitable Partners/Principal Investigators (PIs) as needed, and advise if the following process for IMR pertains to your project
  1. Identify an Agreements Technical Representative (ATR) and confirm current certification
  2. Obtain current required forms from RC or Financial Assistance Document Portal
  3. Prepare draft documents
    • Draft TA/Mod Template and itemized Budget in coordination with PI
    • ATR completes, signs, and dates Justification form (Single-Source pages not required for most TAs)
  4. Submit package to RC for review
    • If time sensitive this step can occur after step 6
    • Address all edits/comments provided by RC
    • RC will email approval for submission with final documents attached
  5. Request SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B from Partner using approved TA/Mod and Budget
  6. Submit PR package
  • Can submit prior to DOI approval
  • PR form should include: Issuing Office ‘PIM-IMR’, Header starts with ‘CP/DS/or RM CESU’, Item Category ‘By Dollars’, and UPC ‘411C0000’
  • Submit package to IMR Requisitions (incl. PR, TA/Mod Template, Budget, Justification for TAs, RC approval email, and SF-424s)
  • Once DOI approval obtained FA processes the package and emails the ATR/Partner with executed TA/Mod only after which can the project start on the specified date

Simple Modifications

  1. Complete and submit Mod Template
  • Simple modifications include no cost extensions, changes to ATR/PI, etc.
  • RC does not need to review/approve simple Mods
  • ATR should email the Mod form directly to and cc your RC

Implementation and Closeout

  1. Contact your RC ASAP with any questions or issues
  2. Obtain final report/deliverables
  • Email reports/deliverables (unless contain sensitive information) to at the NPS Technical Information Center and cc your RC


Establish Projects through the RM-CESU - Guidelines for faculty/PI:

  1. Verify that your project is appropriate for the RM-CESU agreement. View the CESU Project Criteria or Executive Committee Member at your institution can give final approval (see University/Organization contacts)
  2. Complete necessary agency paperwork (see agency contacts above)
  3. Contact your institution's grants/research personnel for necessary internal paperwork, specifying that you will be using the RM-CESU agreement.
  4. For additional questions, contact your university representative or the RM-CESU Coordinator.

Identify Appropriate Faculty to Collaborate on a CESU Project:

If you do not know who you would like to work with as experts for your research, education, or technical assistance project, there are several routes for identifying appropriate partners:

  1. Contact the RM-CESU Executive Coordinator at the University of Montana:
  2. Search the Expertise Directory.
  3. Contact the RM-CESU representative at the institution you are interested in working with.
  4. If you are working on an NPS project, contact Brendan Moynahan, NPS Research Coordinator,, 406-243-4449

Partnership in the RM-CESU

Becoming a partner in the Rocky Mountains CESU requires several steps in a process that may take several months to over a year to complete: 

  1. Establish initial contact with the RM-CESU Executive Coordinator at the University of Montana: to begin dialog regarding enrollment as a new partner
  2. Submit a formal letter of interest and application to the RM-CESU Executive Coordinator,
  3. If a majority of the Executive Committee agrees that the nomination appears to have merit, an invitation will be extended to the the proposed new member to attend the fall Executive Committee meeting.  This meeting is required.  It provides an opportunity for the proposed new member to make a presentation to the committee addressing the components of the application and to answer questions about its interest in the CESU and what it can bring to the CESU to strengthen it.
  4. The Executive Committee then considers the proposal and determines whether or not to accept the potential partner as a partner. Acceptance is by super majority (2/3rds or greater).
  5. An amendment to the RM-CESU MOU is prepared and the Executive Committee members (one per partner) sign the amendment acknowledging their acceptance of the new partner.
  6. The signed amendment is forwarded to the National CESU Council for ratification.
  7. Upon ratification by the RM-CESU Council the new partner takes a seat on the Executive Committee and all partners receive a copy of the amendment.