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Policies and Guidance


In 2021, the NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-107A was issued to support 15 U.S.C. 1540, 118 Stat. 71, the authority given to NOAA to form a CI. In addition, this statute gives NOAA special authority and allows NOAA to enter into cooperative agreements, and under this special authority allows NOAA to use the personnel services or facilities for Research, training, education, and outreach to carry out the mission. This order sets forth the basic principles of NOAA Cooperative Institute management and authorizes a NOAA Cooperative Institute Handbook to detail the procedures for implementing the agency-wide policy. In addition, NOAA’s Grants Management Division and Federal Assistance Law Division play critical supporting roles.

NAO 216-107A assigns management responsibilities to the following organizational units within NOAA:

  • Cooperative Institute Administration Office (CIAO) – The CIAO, from the enterprise level, oversees the Cooperative Institute portfolio and administers program policy and procedures.
  • Line Office – The Line Office to which the Cooperative Institute is assigned during the establishment process has the primary responsibility from an award and project level for the Cooperative Institute award, monitoring of Cooperative Institute performance, processing funding to the Cooperative Institute throughout the award period, and managing the review renewal process.
  • Science Council – The Science Council reviews recommendations from NOAA Line Offices for establishing Cooperative Institutes, designates the Line Office responsible for the Cooperative Institute, approves review guidelines for Cooperative Institute renewals, and oversees the Cooperative Institute policy and program implementation.