The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a Principal Investigator through a cooperative agreement with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. (ASALH) to conduct in-depth research that would expand on what is currently known about the non-white male participants before, during, and after the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781, according to requirements specified in this Request For Proposals (RFP). The contract is administered by ASALH and the work prepared for and completed in coordination with the Cowpens National Battlefield. 

Interested parties should submit a proposal in response to this RFP to ASALH no later than 5:00 pm EDT on October 24, 2018. Electronic copies may be directed to ASALH at with the subject line “Cowpens Research Proposal”. 

Project Background 

Cowpens National Battlefield is looking for in-depth research that would expand on what is currently known about the non-white male participants before, during, and after the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781. The park has only meager information about the role African-Americans, Native Americans, and women and children played in the Battle of Cowpens. Once completed, this research would be used to expand the interpretive programming and exhibits regarding these groups of people as it relates to their role in the battle but also within the scope of the American Revolution. 

Required Principal Investigator Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree (or higher) in history or similar historical investigative studies;
  • Knowledge, skills, and ability in the following:oOrganize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance
  • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, andphotographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals
  • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstructionof historic places and materials
  • Conduct historical research, and publish or present findings and theories
  • Organize information for publication and for other means of dissemination
  • Collect detailed information on individuals for use in biographies
  • Ability to think logically and methodically, and with objectivity


Scope of Work 

The project tasks are: 

    • Provide a biography for each of these figures that includes a comprehensive bibliography of research as well as meets the following: o Minimum 2 typewritten pages each 
    • At least 3-10 primary (digitized citations) per person 
    • Covers their lives from birth to death with special emphasis on January 1781 
    • Each accompanied by a color image of the period (with reproduction rights to the image for museum exhibits and park publications) representative of that individual (for example: an African American cattle drover in 1781 in the Carolinas). 
    • Full annotated bibliography for each biography 
    • All primary source material used will be digitized (via scan, if allowed by archival institution) and footnoted into a narrative with the primary accounts attached in an index. 
    • Provide original copies of all research notes prepared during project 
    • Option A (if funding remains) o Provide additional biographies (as outlined above) if additional information exists 
    • Provide list of names and citations for future research projects 
    • Option B (if funding remains) o Create educational materials based on developed materials (as outlined above) that meet South Carolina and North Carolina state curriculum standards 
    • South Carolina – 3rd and 8th grade 
    • North Carolina – 4th and 8th grade 

Proposal Submissions 

For evaluation purposes, proposals should provide sufficient information as to assist ASALH and the NPS in determining the most qualified Principal Investigator for the project. Those interested in bidding should submit a written proposal that includes the following elements: 

  • Name of the individual(s) that would be working on the project and their proposed area(s) of responsibility. 
  • A curriculum vitae. 
  • Description of specific, relevant education, experience, and qualifications of the Principal Investigator candidate demonstrating knowledge of the American Revolution (emphasis on Southern Campaign preferred but not required), and/or Civilian Lifeways during the American Revolution. 
  • Information on projects of a similar nature and of significant work completed by the Principal Investigator candidate in the past five (5) years. Include specific dates and types of services provided, and highlight success in meeting work schedule, project budgets, and product deadlines. 
  • A list of references (at least three, but not more than five) that may be contacted. 
  • A short narrative that responds to the scope of work as described in this RFP, which demonstrates the Principal Investigator candidate’s proposed approach to the project and capability to accomplish the desired goals. 
  • A proposed project schedule. 

All proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm EST on October 24, 2018. They should be prepared simply and economically, providing a straight forward, concise description of the Principal Investigator candidate’s qualifications and capabilities to satisfy the requirements of this RFP. Proposals may be submitted via email in electronic format (MS Word or PDF format) to ASALH at with the subject line “Cowpens Research Proposal”. ASALH will confirm receipt of submissions. However, if there are any issues (e.g., with the attachments working correctly), the Principal Investigator candidate is responsible for resolving these issues with an alternative submission method acceptable to ASALH and NPS. 


Selection Criteria 

Submittals will be evaluated and ranked based on the following factors, presented in no particular order: 

  • Qualifications of Principal Investigator candidate. 
  • Responsiveness of the proposal to the project’s purpose and scope of work. 
  • Experience in conducting historical research, specifically for detailed information for historical biographies, and organizing findings for publication or other means of dissemination. 
  • Knowledge of use and means of primary resources, searching through digital and hard copy archives, and basic historical interpretation. 
  • Demonstrated capability of meeting projected deadlines and successfully completing contracts of this type. 
  • Past performance and references. 
  • Proposed project schedule. 

Available Funding 

The funding available for this project is $39,000. 

Terms and Conditions 

  1. A. ASALH reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, and to waive minor irregularities in any proposal. 
  2. B. ASALH reserves the right to request clarification of information submitted, and to request additional information from any Principal Investigator candidate. 
  3. C. ASALH and NPS shall not be responsible for any costs incurred by Principal Investigator candidates in preparing, submitting or presenting its response to this RFP. 
  4. D. All completed nominations and executive summaries must fully comply with Section 508 accessibility standards (https://www.section for electronic documents. 
  5. E. Any and all rights to work produced through this project will be vested in the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, including any copyrights. 
  6. F. The selected Principal Investigator must also comply with all applicable provisions of OMB Circular A-110 A-110 REVISED 11/19/93 As Further Amended 9/30/99. ( 


Respondents are invited to submit written questions requesting clarifications or explanations of the information contained in this RFP. Please direct all proposal or contract-related questions to ASALH at with the subject line “Cowpens RFP Question”.