How do I get started on this requirement.
This is a great question and I will do my very best to answer it; so let's get started. You are correct, the DFARS does not give you step by step guidance. However the DFARS does provide policy on contracting with colleges and universities. Supart 219.000 (2) Establishes goals for awards to small disadvantaged business (SDB) concerns, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and minority institutions (MIs). DFAR Subpart 219.704 addresses meeting goals in this area through subcontracting plans. Also refer to DFARS 226.370 for policy on contracting with HBCU/MIs.
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I would also check with your agency for their goals and policies to meet the DoD 2011 small business award goals. In addition to this information, when a requirement is initially identified, the first step is Market Research. FAR Part 10.001 provides the policy and FAR Part 10.002 provides the procedures of obtaining market research. It sounds like you have done some form of Market Research because you have identified four colleges in the local area.
Once you have done the market research then you can begin to plan how the contract will be awarded i.e. how will you compete it FAR Part 6 , what type of contract FAR Part 16 etc. Also look at FAR Part 7. It discusses acquisition planning and more specifically, FAR 7.105 Contents of written acquisition plan, provides questions that when answered should guide you through the steps necessary to make contract award.