Q1: When was the FOA released?
A1: The CDC-RFA-PS13-1308 release was on February 1, 2013, on the www.grants.gov Web site.
Q2: How long do applicants have to respond to the FOA?
A2: Applications are due April 26, 2013, 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST.
Q3: What is the purpose of the 1308 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
A3: The primary purpose of this funding is to build the capacity of districts and schools to effectively contribute to the reduction of HIV infection and other STD among adolescents; the reduction of disparities in HIV infection and other STD experienced by specific adolescent sub-populations; and the conducting of school-based surveillance through Youth Risk Behavior Survey and School Health Profiles implementation. Program activities are expected to reinforce efforts to reduce teen pregnancy rates, due to the shared risk factors for, and intervention activities to address, HIV infection, other STD, and teen pregnancy (page 14).
Q4: What strategies are contained within the FOA?
A4: Information on the specific strategies contained within the FOA can be found in Section iii Program Strategy (pages 9-16) of the FOA.
Q5: How much funding will be available?
A5: The amount of available funds depends on appropriations from Congress. The first year of funding under the new FOA depends on the 2013 Federal fiscal year (FY) budget currently being considered in Washington. It is anticipated that approximately $13,000,000 will be available in year 1 and approximately $17,000,000 for years 2-5. The individual awards for this announcement range from $7,000 to $225,000 for year 1 (subject to the availability of funds). For a more detailed response of anticipated amount per awardee, please see Section B. Award Information (page 28).
Q6: Who will be eligible to apply?
A6: Eligible applicants vary by each strategy. State, territorial, and local education and health agencies in addition to National Non-Governmental Organizations are eligible to apply for funding. Please find specific information on eligibility criteria in Section C. Eligibility Information (pages 29-35).
Q7: Who are my contacts for the new FOA?
A7: Please submit any questions in writing to the DASH FOA mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org; applicant questions will be answered promptly. Additionally, contact information related to specific topics can be found in Part II, Section G of the FOA.
Q8: Will technical assistance be available regarding the FOA and the process to submit an application?
A8: Technical assistance conference calls took place on February 14, 2013, in which DASH reviewed the FOA in detail for participants. Potential applicants may continue to ask questions of PGO and DASH by submitting questions to the email@example.com email mailbox. DASH also anticipates that questions and responses will be posted regularly at a specific public location on the DASH FOA Web site. The site URL is: www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foa/1308foa. Technical assistance regarding electronic submissions will be provided by www.grants.gov staff as needed.
Q9: I missed the FOA conference calls on February 14. Is there a way for me to access the recordings for these calls?
A9: Yes. The recordings for all four calls (NGO, LEA, SEA, and TEA) are available on the DASH FOA Web site: www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foa/1308foa. Click the link to the “Key Dates” page for information on dial-in numbers, conference ID, and passcode to access the recorded conference calls.
Q10: How should we prepare to apply for the FOA?
A10: Potential applicants should consider registering with www.grants.gov to ensure capability for submitting an application electronically and to be sure that the System Award Management (SAM) account is active. The process for registering usually takes at least three to five business days, DASH recommends that potential applicants consider registering well before the FOA deadline. Additionally, potential applicants should consider submitting a letter of intent (LOI) to the DASH program by the deadline of March 15, 2013, 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST to the DASH FOA mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q11: Is it mandatory to submit an application electronically in response to the FOA?
A11: Yes. Responses must be submitted through www.grants.gov. Few exceptions are allowable, and exceptions typically apply only to potential applicants without regular Internet access. Potential applicants are encouraged to allow time to register with www.grants.gov prior to submitting an application. Applications should be submitted at least one day before the deadline to ensure a successful transmission. Potential applicants should speak with either a representative for www.grants.gov or PGO representatives if more information is needed.
Q12: Is there a template available for preparing the Letter of Intent (LOI) (deadline March 15 ,2013, 11:59 EST)?
A12: No. DASH asks that all those intending to apply submit brief statements with the following information by the deadline (also found on the DASH FOA Web site: www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foa/1308FOA):
- Agency/Organization name
- Contact information (name, email, address)
- Identify intended strategy(ies) for which the applicant will apply
Q13: How many LOI are needed when applying for multiple strategies?
A13: One. Applicants should list all strategies for which they plan to apply in one LOI.
Q14: I am not sure what you mean by several terms used in PS13-1308 and when discussing the FOA. Is a resource available for defining terms?
A14: Glossaries are available within the FOA (see Section H. Glossary, pages 56-67), as well as on the CDC/PGO Web site. Please access www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/references.shtm for more information. In addition, a list of commonly used acronyms is provided on pages i-ii.
Q15: What is the process if the health department wants to apply?
A15: Departments of Health (DOH) can apply ONLY for Strategy 1, and only if the Department of Education (DOE) chooses not to apply. The DOE must identify the DOH as the bona fide agent. The DOH will need to submit an LOI describing said bona fide relationship.
Q16: If more funding becomes available, what will be the process for awarding funds?
A16: The first approach will be to adhere to the 60%, 30%, 10% award structure. DASH will then assess the approved, but not funded, list to inform the decision-making process. After 1 year, potential grantees will need to re-compete for funds.
Q17: Is it permissible to have interagency agreements?
Q18: Can surveillance funds be used to conduct a middle school YRBS?
Q19: Can surveillance funds be used for salary?
Q20: Are sites required to work only in the state in which they are funded?
A20: Yes. Awarded STL are required to work only within their funded state/territory or local jurisdiction.
Q21: Can Strategy 2 funds be used for Strategy 1 activities?
A21: Yes. Strategy 2 funds can support Strategy 1 activities and staffing, however, Strategy 1 funds cannot be used for Strategy 2 activities/staffing or travel.
Q22: Can states contract funds to other entities or pass through funds?
A22: Please refer to PGO as outlined on page 55 of the FOA for any questions related to pass-through of funds.
Q23: If we are submitting two applications, can our budget and organizational charts reflect the same main day-to-day staff person for both applications?
A23: Yes. However, if awarded, the program will need to revise the budget and organizational chart to reflect 1 FTE per Strategy or Approach funded. This requirement does not apply for Strategy 1.
Q24: In the scoring criteria, it states, “Successful applicants will provide a minimum of 1.0 FTE for this position.” Does this mean that one staff person at 100% is required or that multiple staff people can be combined with a minimum total of 1.0 FTE?
Q24: DASH would prefer one 100% FTE on the project. Awardees may negotiate one person be 80-90% and another person to make up the 10-20% for a full 100% FTE.
Q25: For staffing, would CDC be open to a staffing model that puts someone at 50-50 between SEA and LEA work?
A25: The FOA only supports this staffing model for Strategy 1.
Q26: Is there support for staffing beyond 100%?
A26: It is permissible for applicants to propose more than 1 FTE that will work on the outlined activities that extend beyond the minimum 100% requirement.
Q27: The 1308 FOA repeatedly uses the word “approximately” in reference to the funding allocated to awardees. Is there a true funding amount that DASH can provide to applicants to plan accordingly?
A27: See Section B. Award Information (page 28). The ceiling is provided in order to allow DASH opportunities to increase funding should the budget permit. Approximately is used to estimate the number of awards based on the total budget anticipated for the FOA for year 1 and years 2-5.
Q28: What is the funding level for the YRBS for the first year?
A28: The funding level for Strategy 1 surveillance activities (YRBS and Profiles) is $60,000. It is estimated that $45,000 will support YRBS and $15,000 will support Profiles.
Q29: Can funding be spent to purchase food?
A29: No. Federal funds cannot be used to purchase food for meetings or conferences as part of this cooperative agreement.
Q30: Can substantial funds be allocated to support implementation of annual conferences?
A30: No. Funds cannot be used to support annual conferences. DASH will negotiate funding allocations towards state and district-wide conferences that align with the expectations of the FOA and the activities planned with selected priority districts and schools.
Q31: If we are applying for two applications with the same approach but different agency types, will they be reviewed separately?
A31: Yes. Each NGO Approach and target audience (SEA/TEA and LEA) application will be reviewed by separate panels.
Q32: Is it just one application in grants.gov?
A32: Yes. Applicants applying for more than one Strategy (STL) or Approach (NGO) will upload the set of required documents for each application (i.e., abstracts, workplans) at the same time. DASH recommends labeling each required PDF to reduce confusion and discrepancies. See pages 44-46 for more detailed information.
Q33: What will happen to my application once it is submitted?
A33: See pages 46-52. PGO and DASH will work together to complete the eligibility determination, consideration, and funding process using a standard HHS protocol. After determining eligible applications with PGO, DASH will convene impartial panels of HHS employees external to DASH to review the applications. Each application will be scored by a primary, secondary, and tertiary reviewer. These reviewers will meet with others in the external panel process. After presentation by the reviewers, the reviewers will determine a score. DASH will make funding determinations based on the external panel scores and availability of funds. PGO and DASH will work together to notify applicants once decisions are final.
Q34: Should the budget narrative be submitted separately?
A34: Yes. The budget narrative should be submitted as a separate document.
Q35: How will I know the criteria for scoring applications?
A35: See Section E. Application Review Information (pages 46-51) for the scoring criteria objective reviewers will use to score applications. DASH recommends that potential applicants take great care to respond fully to the required recipient activities using the format suggested in the FOA.
Q36: How long will it take CDC to notify applicants about PS13-1308 awards?
A36: Awards are processed through PGO after funding decisions are complete. Time frames vary due to a variety of factors. DASH will work in partnership with PGO to expedite awards once decisions are final. DASH hopes to have award notifications released by July 1, 2013.
Q37: Will CDC notify unsuccessful applicants?
A37: Yes. DASH and PGO anticipate notifying applicants that are approved but unfunded and applicants that will not receive funding during the same period when funded applicants are notified. Letters are sent to applicants by PGO. Approved but unfunded applications remain valid for one year and may be funded if additional resources become available. However, few programs are funded through this process.
Q38: What can DASH staff/contractors and Procurement and Grants Office (PGO) representatives continue to discuss with funded partners?
A38: Project officers and other DASH staff and contractors and PGO representatives will continue to provide program support for currently funded partners for any activities contained in their currently funded programs: 801 for SEA/SHD/TEA/LEA programs, 1101 for national non-governmental organizations. Project officers will conduct limited site visits during the time that the FOA is open. DASH and PGO communications must be contained to current activities.
Q39: If my existing DASH-funded program is not re-funded, what are my options?
A39: The majority of currently funded programs will continue to operate under a cost-extension through July 31, 2013. Those that are no longer funded after August 1, 2013, may request an additional no-cost extension of up to 7 additional months for a total of 12 months to close-out using existing funding. DASH will work assertively with any currently funded partners that are not funded to explore and capitalize on options to keep existing programs operational. As always, programs are highly encouraged to seek additional funding sources outside of CDC and DASH to ensure sustainability. DASH staff will be pleased to provide assistance as appropriate.
Q40: The required application components chart on page 44 and 45 indicate that many documents are to be submitted separately as attachments through Grants.gov. May applicants combine the Table of Contents, Program Abstract Summary, Project Narrative, and the Workplan into one document?
A40: Yes. Applicants may combine those parts into one document or submit them separately – as long as they are clearly marked and are only combined for one strategy. Be sure to adhere to the page limits for each application section as listed on pages 44-45.
Q41: Are organizations that are non-profit recognized under section 501(c) (3) of the IRC, but whose services are focused solely in one area of the country eligible to apply for this funding?
A41: No. An organization is not eligible to apply for funding if it is not a national organization as noted. Please see Section C. Eligibility Information, page 30, for NGO eligibility requirements. An organization that serves only one area of the country is not eligible to apply.
Q42: The Chart on pages 44-45 of the FOA lists the budget narrative as INCLUDED in the 18 pages of the Project Narrative. But page 45 of the FOA lists the budget narrative separately and says there’s no page limit. Which one should applicants follow?
A42: Applicants should follow page 45 of the FOA, which lists the budget narrative separately, no page limit.
Q43: For naming files, both the FOA and the Workplan template say to name the file “WP-St[#][Site]” But the example in the FOA says that means WP St1 or WP St2 ... while the workplan template example shows it as WP SURV1 or WP SB2. Which is correct?
A43: The applicant can either label the file by the Strategy number (1, 2, 3, or 4) or by the name of the Strategy (SURV, SB, NGO, or YMSM) for which the applicant is applying. If the applicant is submitting 2 applications, there should be a distinction between the two applications to be able to distinguish them from one another.
Q44: I saw a Certification form that requires a signature, and an Assurance form for Non-construction that provides info but there is not a space for signature. Do applicants need to attach both, or just the Certification page?
A44: The following website has been updated: http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/foamain.shtm. Partners should print out Assurances (Non-Construction) and sign it. They should also print out Certifications and sign it. Both are then uploaded via grants.gov as part of the larger application.
There is no signature section for “Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs” (also called Standard Form 424A) or the “HHS Checklist Form PHS-5161.”
In regards to a certification form that requires a signature: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) requires an electronic signature, which can be added through the following steps:
- Open grant application packet
- Under Mandatory Documents, highlight (left click once) on “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)”
- Click on Move Form to Complete, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)” should now be under Mandatory Documents for Submission
- Click on Open Form, the form will open
- Complete and save the form
Grants.gov will autocomplete the signature section when the application is submitted based on information submitted in SF-424.
Q45: There are 18 pages for the work plan and two paragraphs for the project abstract summary. Is the project abstract summary part of the 18 pages?
A45: No, the project abstract summary is not part of the work plan. It is uploaded as a separate document on grants.gov. See uploading instructions on page 45.
Q46: Whether an applicant utilizes the sample work plan template or not, are they required to submit a timeline in addition to a work plan, as a separate component?
A46: No, the timeline is part of the 18 pages of the work plan and is worth 5 points under the scoring section.
Q47: Should applicants complete a detailed budget for Years 2-5 for the application?
A47: No, applicants are not required to prepare a high level budget for years 2-5.
Q48: Is the budget narrative optional for the applications?
A48: No. A budget narrative is required as part of an applicant’s submission. See Section D. 12 Budget Narrative on page 41 for year 1.
Q49: If we include a bibliography or reference list, do those pages count for the total 18 of the project narrative?
A49: Yes, the pages will count toward the total 18 pages. There are no appendices allowed.
Q50: Where do I find the page that we submit the SAM #? It is not on the SF 424, where I thought it should be.
A50: The “Federal Entity Identifier” is the same as the SAM# on the SF-424.
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