Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Guidance for Submitting Unsolicited Proposals

Thank you for your interest in unsolicited proposals. Unsolicited proposals are a valuable means by which unique or novel ideas, concepts, methods, or approaches, which originated or have been developed outside the government, can be made available to the USDA for use in accomplishing its mission.

The unsolicited proposal is offered in the hope that government will evaluate it favorably and eventually, after conducting the required internal review and approvals, enter into a contract with the submitter for research on or development of the methods, approaches, or ideas it contains, or to provide the specific services, or the delivery of the items proposed.

Material submitted as an unsolicited proposal may not merely be an advance proposal for a specific USDA requirement that would normally be procured by competitive methods.

An unsolicited proposal must be prepared independent of government supervision or advice. The unsolicited proposal should present the proposed work with enough information and in sufficient detail to allow a determination that government support could enhance, benefit, and/or be of value to the USDA mission. The unsolicited proposal must be in sufficient detail to facilitate a comprehensive technical and cost evaluation which the government is required to perform as a portion of its consideration of the merit of the unsolicited proposal.

You are encouraged to submit for evaluation unique ideas or concepts, or innovative methods or approaches originated, conceived, or developed on your own and which have application to the work of the USDA. Unsolicited proposals which do not, in fact, contain unique ideas or concepts or innovative methods or approaches owned by the submitter will be returned to the submitter without evaluation. The review or evaluation of an unsolicited proposal submitted to the USDA does not imply a promise to pay, recognize innovation, originality, or ownership, or an agreement to restrict the use of the information contained therein except as provided by an appropriate legend on such proposal.

Unsolicited proposals should contain the content specified in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 15.605, Contents of Unsolicited Proposals.

Companies have the choice of submitting the unsolicited proposal with or without restrictions on the use of any data it contains. Any unsolicited proposal or portion submitted without a restrictive legend will be considered free of all restrictions and may be used at the discretion of the government, subject to the restrictions of 18 USC 1905. Your unsolicited proposal may include data that you do not want disclosed for any purpose other than evaluation of the unsolicited proposal. If you want to impose such a restriction on the proposal, the title page must be marked with the following legend. (Proposals marked with any other legend cannot be considered):

Use and Disclosure of Data

This proposal includes data that shall not be disclosed outside the government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than to evaluate this proposal. However, if a contract is awarded to this company as a result of or in connection with the submission of these data, the government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting contract. This restriction does not limit the government’s right to use information contained in these data if they are obtained from another source without restriction. The data subject to this restriction is contained on in sheets (insert numbers or other identification of sheets).

Each sheet of your unsolicited proposal containing data that you want to restrict must be marked with the following legend:

Use or disclosure of the data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this proposal.

The submitter should send the unsolicited proposal to the Director, Contracts Management Division (CMD) at: A preliminary response from the government may be expected in approximately one week of the proposal submission.

Page updated: February 21, 2024