Grant: NPS Announces 2017 Preservation Technology and Training Grant Funding Opportunity


 WASHINGTON –The National Park Service (NPS) today opened the application period for 2017  Preservation Technology and Training  Grants (PTT Grants) to create better tools, better materials, and better approaches to conserving buildings, landscapes, sites, and collections. The PTT Grants are administered by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), the National Park Service’s innovation center for the preservation community. NCPTT has set aside $300,000 for the grant program, pending the availability of funding.

Kirk Cordell, Deputy Associate Director for Science, Technology & Training, said “NCPTT’s grants program supports innovative projects that develop new tools and technologies to improve the preservation of the nation’s historic resources.”

The competitive grants program will provide funding to federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations. PTT Grants will support the following activities:

  • Innovative research that develops new technologies or adapts existing technologies to preserve cultural resources (typically $25,000 to $40,000)
  • Specialized workshops or symposia that identify and address national preservation needs (typically $15,000 to $25,000)
  • How-to videos, mobile applications, podcasts, best practices publications, or webinars that disseminate practical preservation methods or provide better tools for preservation practice (typically $5,000 to $15,000) 

The maximum grant award is $40,000. The actual grant award amount is dependent on the scope of the proposed activity.

NCPTT does not fund “bricks and mortar” grants.

 NCPTT funds projects within several overlapping disciplinary areas.  These include:

  • Archeology
  • Architecture
  • Collections Management
  • Engineering
  • Historic Landscapes
  • Materials Conservation

In order to focus research efforts, NCPTT requests innovative proposals that advance the application of science and technology to historic preservation in the following areas:

  • Climate Change Impacts
  • Disaster Planning and Response
  • Modeling and Managing Big Data
  • Innovative Techniques for Documentation
  • Protective Coatings and Treatments

Other research topics may be considered for funding.

Who may apply?

  • U.S. universities and colleges,
  • U.S. non-profit organizations: museums, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activity, and
  • government agencies in the U.S.: National Park Service and other federal, state, territorial and local government agencies, as well as Hawaiian Natives, Native American and Alaska Native tribes and their Tribal Historic Preservation Offices.

Other organizations can participate only as contractors to eligible U.S. partners. Grants funds support only portions of projects that are undertaken or managed directly by U.S. partners and expended in the U.S. and its territories.

How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted using Search in for Funding Opportunity #P16AS00579, under Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 15.923 or 2017 Preservation Technology and Training Grants.

When is the deadline for applications?

Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT Thursday, November 3, 2016.  If the project is funded, applicants should expect to be able to begin work no sooner than July 2017.

For questions about the  please contact NCPTT at 318-356-7444.

39th Annual Meeting – Architecture Session, June 3, “Comparative Study of Commercially Available Rust Converters” by Jason Church, Anna Muto and Mary F. Striegel, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Jason Church from NCPTT presented a useful paper on commercially available rust converters.  He explained that rust converters are a chemical treatment that converts iron oxide into a more stable product, though this product varies depending on the chemical composition of the rust converter.  Church and his colleagues started with the 1995 Canadian Conservation Institute study of rust converters, but found most of the products to have been discontinued or available in new formulations. This led the team to perform their own experiment.

Church et al., selected four commercial products of varying chemical composition: Ospho (phosphoric acid base), Rust-oleum Rust Reformer (tannic acid base), Corroseal (gallic acid base) and RCx427 (oxalic acid base).  The four commercial products were selected on the grounds that these products were readily available, were top sellers, and could be purchased in sufficiently small quantities so as to be accessible to homeowners or for small conservation projects.  Church and his colleagues also tested the CCI-recommended custom formulation of tannic and phosphoric acid, which several objects conservators they polled still claim to use.  NCPTT staff tested the five rust converters on new A36 carbon steel that was naturally weathered.  They subjected each of the test samples to artificial weathering and measured the samples for color changes and active corrosion every 250 hours for 1000 hours total.  They found that the Rust-oleum product had the least color change and most stable surface of the five products tested, though the efficacy of each product tested was quite varied.  Church mentioned that their testing is not complete.  They continue to push the Rust-oleum product to metal failure through extended artificial weathering, and will also test the new aerosol version of that product.  They also plan to perform outdoor accelerated weathering tests on the five products.

The presentation was interesting and informative, as is characteristic of studies done by NCPTT.  I like that their experiments are developed for conservators, but the results are accessible to anyone.  The information presented in this talk will surely broaden the body of knowledge for architecture and objects conservators and will be useful for homeowners and maintenance workers.  Following the talk, moderator Patty Miller recommended that they eventually expand their testing scope to include conservation-grade products and less readily available materials.  I concur, and I would encourage Church and his colleagues to publish their findings.