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Preproposal Conference

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This SOP has internal roles only.

Standard Operating Procedure Table of Contents


To explain requirements and answer questions for complex contracts before potential offerors develop proposals.


Potential offerors, end users, contracting and program staff, and others involved in an acquisition may participate in a preproposal conference, conducted in accordance with FAR 15.201.

Statements made at the conference are informational only. In this way, the offerors' understanding of government requirements can be improved. This will allow them to judge how they can satisfy the government requirements and increase their efficiency in proposal preparation.

Changes resulting from the conference are official only if issued through an amendment to the solicitation.

Contracting Officer's Representatives

  • Work with contract specialists and contracting officer to determine whether an acquisition needs a preproposal conference.
  • If the contracting officer decides to hold a preproposal conference, work with the contract specialist to create a preproposal conference agenda.
  • Work with the contracting officer to prepare answers for questions from offerors.
  • At a conference, present the solicitation background and objectives, serve as a resource on scientific aspects, and respond to technical questions.

Contracting Officers

  • With input from the contracting officer's representative, decide whether to hold a preproposal conference.
  • Determine the time, date, location, purpose, and scope of conferences.
  • Work with the project officer to prepare answers for questions from offerors.

Contract Specialists

  • If the contracting officer decides to hold a preproposal conference, ensure section L of the solicitation (or an amendment) includes the provision prescribed in the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIH Document Generation System (DGS) titled “Pre-Proposal Conference.”
    • The provision gives potential offerors adequate notice of the time, date, location, purpose, and scope of the conference, and invites them to submit questions in advance.
    • It also provides a cut-off date for questions before the conference date.
  • If the contracting officer and contracting officer's representative have questions and answers ready for the conference, prepare a handout that includes them. Be sure to remove any information that could be associated with an offeror.
  • Use the Preproposal Conference Checklist to organize and manage the conference.
  • Work with contracting officer's representatives to determine an agenda. Consider including the scientific review officer to discuss the NIH peer review and evaluation process.
  • Organize the conference.
  • Preside at meetings, respond to administrative and business questions, and describe award process.
  • Ensure that an official transcript is prepared for electronic posting with the solicitation amendment. Hire a transcriber to prepare it.
  • After the meeting, work with contracting officer's representatives to prepare a solicitation amendment that includes questions and answers, materials distributed, and the official transcript of proceedings. The amendment is typically posted about a week after the meeting.

Scientific Review Officers

  • Attend conferences to discuss the NIH peer review process.


See the Office of Acquisitions staff listing for a contract specialist.

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FAR Part 15.2, Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information

Contracting Officer's Representatives (COR) SOP

Last Updated November 13, 2014

Last Reviewed September 02, 2014