The National Academies

ACRP 11-08(24-01) [RFP]

ACRP Insight Event--Modernization of FIS Facilities at International Airports

Posted Date: 8/24/2023

  Project Data
Funds: $130,000
Contract Time: 15 months
(includes 1 month for ACRP review and for contractor revision of the Transportation Insights summary)
Authorization to Begin Work: 2/15/2024 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Joseph D. Navarrete
   Phone: 202/334-1649
   Email: jnavarrete@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 10/25/2023
Fiscal Year: 2024


Airports with passengers and cargo arriving from international origins provide facilities for their inspection and processing. These inspections are the responsibility of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service and in most cases are conducted within Federal Inspection Service (FIS) facilities.

The combination of strong growth in international travel, evolving technology, heightened customer service expectations, and limited resources suggests a need to consider new approaches to designing FIS facilities and their integration with other terminal elements.


The objective of this project is to conduct an in-person ACRP Insight Event for airport-industry practitioners, relevant stakeholders, and subject matter experts (SMEs) to discuss the key factors related to ensuring that FIS facilities meet the needs of CBP while providing a high level of customer service and to identify future research needs.  (See Special Note A for a description of ACRP Insight Events.)


Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the project. ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the project objective.

Task 1. Conduct a literature review to identify relevant themes and topics and SMEs (within and outside the airport industry) as potential speakers, session panelists, or moderators. Submit the literature review, including relevant themes and topics, and an annotated bibliography. Submit a separate database of SMEs. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) members should be considered as potential speakers/presenters/moderators. The database should be sortable and include individuals’ contact information, area of expertise, potential role (e.g., session speaker, moderator) and demographic information (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, career stage).

Note: Depending on the content of the literature review, a second version may need to be developed for publication and public consumption.

Task 2. Prepare a schedule for the activities and milestones needed to conduct the Insight Event. The schedule should identify industry- or topic-related events (e.g., conferences, seminars) to be avoided when setting the date for the Insight Event.

Task 3. Facilitate a 1-day in-person Insight Event planning meeting with ACRP staff and the panel. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the findings of the literature review, confirm the desired audience/participants, confirm the themes and topics to be covered at the Insight Event, agree on a general agenda framework and format, and set a date for the event.

Task 4. Coordinate with ACRP staff to reserve a venue and needed technology (e.g., audiovisual equipment) for the in-person Insight Event.

Task 5. Prepare a topic-relevant outreach plan and promotional material, including a save-the-date announcement, aimed at reaching the intended audience/participants (e.g., major airport influencers, SMEs, and other thought leaders, specialized or niche perspective communities, and interested state and federal agencies). The strategy should describe clear methods, specific techniques, potential partner organizations, and resources to develop participant invite lists and tactics to encourage participation. Submit the plan for ACRP panel review and approval at least 6 months before the date of the Insight Event.

Note: The save-the-date announcement should be submitted within 2 weeks of the in-person panel meeting.

Task 6. Upon ACRP approval, implement the outreach plan.

Task 7. Prepare a registration website and track registrations to ensure the agreed-upon attendance limit is not exceeded and that participants provide a balance of perspectives (with a focus on airport practitioners).

Note: Proposers should include in their proposal the event registration software they intend to use to track registration, including rationale. Because Insight Events have targeted audiences, the software must allow the host to control the timing of when registration is open and who receives an invitation.

Task 8. Facilitate a web-based planning meeting with the panel approximately 2 months before the Insight Event. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a status report; confirm speakers, moderators, and session topics; and identify areas where panel assistance may be needed.

Task 9. Prepare a post-event survey using a common online survey tool and a set of questions provided by ACRP. The survey will be used to gauge participant satisfaction and plan for future Insight Events. The survey should be ready for use immediately after the Insight Event concludes.   

Task 10. Develop a guide for speakers and moderators and confirm each speaker understands and will follow the guidelines.

Task 11. Conduct the Insight Event. Working with the NASEM events team and ACRP staff, ensure room(s) are set up appropriately, staff the sign-in/registration table, and ensure meal- and refreshment-related needs are met. Ensure speakers and moderators are prepared before their session begins. Handle logistics for displaying visual aids, Q&A, session transitions, breakout sessions, and related activities (such as an evening networking event, if applicable). Facilitate a wrap-up session summarizing the discussion and identifying future research needs.

Task 12. At the conclusion of the Insight Event, open the post-event survey for attendees and encourage their participation.

Task 13. Participate in a post-event web meeting with the panel and ACRP staff to collect input and perspectives on how the Insight Event fared and to identify which research ideas should be developed into ACRP problem statements.

Task 14. Provide a post-event technical report documenting event preparation, execution, and follow-up; the findings from the post-event survey; and resulting problem statements.

Task 15. Prepare a summary of the proceedings and discussions at the Insight Event to be published in the Transportation Insights series.  The summary will be based on the notes collected by the rapporteur.

Note: The Transportation Insights publication is a factual summary of what occurred at the Insight Event. It also includes a compilation of the presentations. A draft version will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts, which may include members of the planning panel, and needed changes must be incorporated into the final version. ACRP will provide instructions for preparing the summary. It may not be released to the public until review has been completed to the satisfaction of ACRP.


A.  ACRP provides practical solutions to challenges faced by airport-industry practitioners. Not all challenges lend themselves to applied research or published solutions, whether due to their dynamic or unsettled nature or because the state of knowledge or practice is immature and still evolving. Nonetheless, the airport industry would benefit from a deeper understanding of these issues even if solutions are not currently known or practical. ACRP uses a convening format called Insight Events to address these rapidly evolving issues. Insight Events bring together airport-industry leaders and subject matter experts (SMEs) to encourage discussion, promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators, and identify research needs.

ACRP models its Insight Events after the convening events held by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Convening events are intended to create a communal environment that fosters dialog across sectors, institutions, and industries. Due to the format and nature of convening events, ACRP cannot publish findings or recommendations from an Insight Event; rather, a summary is published in the Transportation Insights series. Other products may also be produced, including webinar-style video recordings, web content, podcasts, infographics, meeting notes, and literature reviews. ACRP establishes a panel for each Insight Event to identify the vision and themes to be addressed, select a contractor to lead the logistical aspects of the event (described in the tasks above) and to serve as a resource to the contractor.

B.  Unless instructed to refer to the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs, please follow these instructions to propose.

C.  Each proposal shall include the following sections:

1. Proposer’s understanding of the topic and suggestion of themes or subjects that would be relevant and engaging for an Insight Event. 

2. Qualifications, experience, and resume of key individuals, including the individual who will serve as rapporteur for the Insight Event. The rapporteur will ensure discussions at the event are clearly recorded and documented so they can be of practical value to the industry. 

3.  Task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member using the Excel template in Figure 4 of the brochure, Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs.

Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using the Excel templates in Figures 5 and 6 of the brochure. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services.  ACRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the face-to-face planning meeting and for the Insight Event. Proposers should assume the meeting and Insight Event will be held in Washington, DC. All resource allocation and budget information should be suitable for printing on 8 ½" X 11" paper. If a spreadsheet page cannot fit on a single 8 ½" X 11" page, it should be split over multiple pages. 

Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards [selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the parent organization of TRB] must comply with 2 CFR Part 200: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs, and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000. 

D.  An important criterion in the evaluation of each proposal is the proposer’s demonstrated understanding and expertise on the topic and their approach to inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and their outreach plan for promoting the Insight Event and selecting speakers and panelists.

A recommendation by the project panel is not a guarantee of a contract. The National Academy of Sciences, the contracting authority for NASEM, will conduct an internal due diligence review and risk assessment of the panel’s recommended proposal before contract negotiations continue.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity, as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, should be incorporated in Section C.2 of the proposal.

E.  Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½" X 11" paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 40 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.

F.  The proposer recommended by the project panel will be required to submit an Investigator Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form as a prerequisite for contract negotiations. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs have been modified to include a revised policy and instructions for disclosing Investigator Conflict of Interest. For more information, refer to Chapter IV of the Instructions. A detailed definition and examples can be found in the TRB CRP Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy.

G.  Copyrights: All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academy of Sciences. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academy of Sciences. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material, please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Intellectual Property, Including Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

H.  If the team proposes a Principal Investigator who is not an employee of the Prime Contractor, or if the Prime Contractor is proposed to conduct less than 50% of the total effort (by time or budget), then section two of the proposal should include: (1) a justification of why this approach is appropriate, and (2) a description of how the Prime Contractor will ensure adequate communication and coordination with their subcontractors throughout the project.


Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/dBM7lPhG58cOLbwT28il 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 10/25/2023.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

3. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

4. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5593