Notice of Funding Opportunity – CDC-RFA-EH21-2101

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects: Implementing and Evaluating Adaptation Strategies that Protect and Promote Human Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funds CDC-RFA-EH21-2101, Building Resilience Against Climate Effects: Implementing and Evaluating Adaptation Strategies that Protect and Promote Human Healthexternal icon. The purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to build and enhance the resilience of U.S. cities and states to the health impacts of climate change. Resilience, the ability to prepare for, absorb, recover from, and adapt to the health impacts of climate change, will be enhanced through three overarching strategies implemented by funded recipients.

These strategies include 1) collaboration with stakeholders to create a Climate Impact Compendium that includes data on local climate projections, health effects, social determinants of health, and current adaptive capacity; 2) implementation and evaluation of adaptation actions that address the threats identified in the Compendium; and 3) use and dissemination of evaluation results to improve adaptation actions and enhance understanding of effective climate resilience adaptations in public health and related fields.

Funded recipients will select and implement adaptation actions that enhance health equity by focusing on populations most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change and addressing social determinants of health in the context of climate change. Key outcomes will be increased knowledge of adaptation actions that reduce adverse health effects of climate change and an enhanced evidence base for effective climate and health adaptation actions. This NOFO will contribute to positive long-term outcomes to reduce the negative health outcomes of climate change in vulnerable populations.

Inquiries and Responses Related to the NOFO 

  1. Please confirm that the informational conference call occurring 21 days after publication of the NOFO is: Monday, May 10, 2021, 2PM Eastern Time.
    The Date and time for the information conference call is Monday, May 10, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Time.
  2. Can our application include a multi-site approach? Should we include a letter of commitment?
    Yes. Please include letters of commitment and the total population for all sites.
  3. Can Optional Components be separate from the Core?
    The Optional Components are based in the Core Component. Optional Component A is directly linked to the Core Component. Review the criteria for each component.  Somethings can be an expansion of the Core, like Optional Component A.  Optional Components B and C are not as much of an expansion, this gives you additional opportunity. Please review the descriptions of each component.
  4. If we want to do an Optional Component but not start until Year 2, do we need to submit the application this year? Must an Optional Components be for all five years?
    No, you do not need to propose five-year projects under the Optional Components. The application is based on one-year proposal and budget. And you must apply this year for your application/proposal to be reviewed and scored this year.
  5. Regarding the work plan for Year 1, are activities supposed to occur sequentially? Do we need to complete the compendium first?
    Please refer to the NOFO to assess if sequential implementation is required.  You and your partners will have to identify best way to address the criteria.
  6. Do Optional Components need to be started in Year 1 and run through all 5 years?
    No, you must specify your plans when you apply.
  7. Please clarify the project period?
    Project period is for five years; budget period is for one year.
  8. Should the narrative be for one year?
    Yes, the narrative is for one year.
  9. Will there be flexibility to change the budget based on what we learn?
    Yes. Each year grant recipients will submit a new budget which may be adjusted. Work plans may also be adjusted. You must apply this year to be eligible for future funding. Applications are reviewed and scored this year.
  10. Is the narrative limited to five pages for each Optional Component?
    Yes, the narrative is limited to five pages for each of the Optional Components. The work plans for the Optional Components are attachments and do not count against the page limit.
  11. Are the adaptions just limited to heat/cold, air quality, and extreme events?
    This NOFO focuses on addressing health effects from those these three climate hazard areas. Applicants must focus on those three areas and then can explore others after they have addressed those three. There is some flexibility for grant recipients to partner with other entities later in the project period.
  12. Are we required to focus on heat and cold?
    You may work on one or the other, you do not have to do both. Focus on the climate hazard and not the examples.
  13. Can we apply for each optional component?
    You must apply for the Core and you may apply for up to three of the Optional Components.
  14. Is the Optional Component a one-time award?
    The intention is to continue funding if the funding is available. You do not have to apply for the maximum amount. And if you have completed your work, you do not need to apply for continued funds for subsequent years.
  15. If you apply for one option can you add another option in future years?
    You must apply this year for the Core and any Optional Components.
  16. Can you start work on an Optional Component in Year 2?
    If you receive funding for an Optional Component in Year 1, you must start the work in the first year.
  17. Since we will have to submit a more detailed work plan during the first 6 months is the initial submission general?
    Please see the NOFO for the review criteria in the evaluation section.
  18. If we partner with a county how do we determine the population?
    You must document your population using census data (e.g., county population). You may need to consult with your colleagues on how to estimate and then document your patient population based upon the Additional Eligibility Criteria listed in the NOFO.
  19. We are considering doing some of the administrative work and using contractors to do other work. We know that for-profit organizations are not eligible applicants and the NOFO states we cannot pass through funds. But may they be contractors?
    Yes, you may contract with for-profit organizations to help implement your work. But you cannot pass-through all the funds under this NOFO to a contractor.
  20. Under the performance measure plan, can we include the table of performance measure in the narrative?
    Yes, the final performance measures will be provided after the awards are made. Specifics for the performance measures will be decided at later point. Please review the criteria for this area in the NOFO.
  1. Regarding the compendium findings, how much money, time/effort is CDC expecting?
    There isn’t any additional guidance. Please refer to the NOFO.
  2. Please explain why optional funding is larger than core component funding?
    This year we have a finite amount of funding available. CDC is hoping that additional funding will be available in future years. The fund level in the optional components provides CDC with a way to reach more communities.
  3. Is this funding all or nothing?
    CDC will fund applications for components based on score and rank. It will not be “all or nothing.”
  4. Due to uncertainty of funding would jurisdictions know where they are on the scoring list?
    CDC will provide scores to applicants, but not their ranking. CDC will let applicants know when additional funds become available.
  5. In the NOFO, what is the distinction between formal instruction and communication?
    I cannot answer that at this time. Please e-mail your question to Dan Burrows and our response will be posted on our website.
  6. Please confirm that the informational conference call occurring 21 days after publication of the NOFO is: Monday, May 10, 2021, 2PM Eastern Time.
    The Date and time for the information conference call is Monday, May 10, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Time.
  7. The relevant work experience section, organizational capacity section and the section on additional information on eligibility of the NOFO describe the need to have prior BRACE program experience. Is prior BRACE program participation a pre-requisite to apply for funding under this NOFO?
    This funding opportunity is not limited to grantee recipients who have been funded by our program in the past.
  8. It looks like this is a call for new cities/states that have not previously been funded through the BRACE program, is that correct?
    This funding opportunity is not limited to grantee recipients who have been funded by our program in the past.
  9. If a state (state health department) were to apply (pop ~750K), they could ask for $300K / year and then $1 million in addition for a single year if they added on one of the optional components?
    The applicant may request up the funding limit for the Core Component listed by population in the table on page 19 of the NOFO. Applicants may also apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the Optional Components. The funding levels are for each budget year.
  10. The grant is for 1 year with the potential for non-competitive renewal for 4 more years, correct?
    Yes.
  11. If an Indigenous peoples’ health consortium were to apply as the lead applicant, how would they calculate their population? Would it be the Indigenous peoples’ population in state if that’s their target population?
    The applicant would need to define their population and size – based on US Census data, 2018 estimates or other appropriate document if the Census data is not available (page 19).
  12. If the state health department and the Health Consortium applied collaboratively, do they need to identify a single lead organization and PI, or could it be a multiple PI application?
    There would need to be a lead organization and PI.
  13. The Additional Information on Eligibility,  C. lists six areas of the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework.  There are only five areas of BRACE, correct?
    You are correct, there are only five areas of BRACE.
  14. Are local health departments able to apply for the BRACE funding without the involvement of the State Health Department?  If so, is it acceptable to only focus on said county or is the expectation that the county lead work with partners across the state?
    Local health departments are listed in the Eligibility Category section of C. Eligibility Information, 1. Eligible Applicants in the NOFO.  Please also see 2. Additional Information on Eligibility section.  You and your colleague might consider reviewing the other related requirements of this NOFO. Applicants will define their jurisdiction or geographic area that the program serves.  Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to collaborate with other CDC-funded programs and those not funded by CDC as outlined in the 1. Collaborations section of the NOFO.  Other areas of the NOFO address partnerships, stakeholders, and related areas.  You and your colleagues might consider reviewing the NOFO and determining how to address these areas.
  15. My colleague and I believe we are reading it that we already have to have BRACE begun, is this correct or is this a report/objective later in the grant (“Applicants do have to have documented implementation of the BRACE framework to be eligible. “)
    The following section of the NOFO lists the requirement for the applicant to document that the steps of the BRACE framework have already been implemented. Additional Information on Eligibility Applicants are required to submit all of the following items to meet responsiveness requirements of this NOFO: Signed letter from the principal investigator documenting implementation of the six areas of the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework: Activities to anticipate climate impacts and assess vulnerabilities; Projected disease burden from climate change; Assessment of public health interventions; Existing climate and health adaptation plan; and Evaluation of climate and health activities. Name the file Responsiveness-BRACE and upload it in Grants.gov.
  16. Is the performance period for the optional components also 5 years?
    Yes
  17. Is the maximum of $1,000,000 for the 5 years? Or for the first year?
    The maximum funding for each Optional Component is $1,000,000 per year – based upon the availability of funding.
  18. Regarding the Optional Components aspect of the NOFO, can an applicant request to perform a component after Year 1 (e.g apply for it after Year 1), or must it be included in the application regardless of when the optional component would be conducted?
    The due date for all applications for the Core Component and the Optional Components is 06/18/2021.  The NOFO lists the following:
    1. Submission Dates and Times

    If the application is not submitted by the deadline published in the NOFO, it will not be processed.

  19. Is $1,000,000 the total amount of funding that an applicant may request for the Core and Optional Components?
    Applicants may apply for up to the limit established in the table listed under iv. Funding Strategy for the Core Component.  This amount is per year based upon availability of funds. In addition, applicants may also apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the three Optional Component.  If an applicant applies for all three Optional Components, they could request up to a total of $3,000,000 ($1,000,000 per Optional Component) per year for all three components.  If the applicant applies for two of the Optional Components, then they could request up to a total of $2,000,000 per year for the two Optional Components.  These amounts are also based upon the availability of funds.
  20. As a state-level applicant, if our state population is greater than 10 million people, is the funding availability for the Core Component $500,000 per year?
    The applicant may request up to the funding limit for the Core Component, listed by population in the table under the iv. Funding Strategy section of the NOFO.  For populations greater than 10 million, the funding ceiling is $500,000.
  1. For each optional component, is it $1 million per year or $1 million over the 5 year period?
    Applicants may also apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the Optional Components.  The funding levels are for each budget year.
  2. If we apply for any of the optional components, do we submit one total budget and budget justification or separate budgets and separate budget justifications?
    The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  If any of the application forms require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form.
  3. Is the award ceiling $400,000 or $500,000 for a state with more than 10 million people?  The guidance is confusing, as it mentions both ceilings.
    The correct funding levels for the Core Component are listed in the table under iv. Funding Strategy. An error was made in the Award Ceiling amount at the time of publication and we are working to have that corrected.
  4. I received a Grants.gov notification this morning about an update. On the version history, it noted an update on May 3rd to extend the application due date, but it still reads June 18th. Am I missing something?
    The notice is not correct, the application due date has not changed.
  5. In the section on Additional Information on Eligibility (page 31)  — Evaluation plan updated within the last 3 years:  I am trying to figure out exactly what this means.  Does the plan have to have been submitted to CDC?  We have been doing an entire revision of our State framework for Climate Change, and I have not submitted a revised evaluation plan to CDC within the past 3 years (nor has it been requested).  Can you clarify this for us?
    An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application.  The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.
  6. Is there a template for the Letter of Intent?  Where should I send the letter.
    There is no template for the Letter of Intent.  Please include the information requested in Letter of Intent section of the NOFO – the NOFO number EH 21-2101, the organization’s name, the primary contact for the correspondence, and the component or components that the organization is considering addressing. E-mail letter of intent to Dan Burrows at zpc3@cdc.gov or dburrows@cdc.gov .
  7. Are all of the additional components funded over 5 years? For the additional components, is the funding max $200,000/year for 5 years or $1,000,000 in a lump sum to be used over the duration but not a certain amount each year?
    Applicants may apply for up to the limit established in the table listed under iv. Funding Strategy for the Core Component.  This amount is per year based upon availability of funds. In addition, applicants may also apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the three Optional Component.  If an applicant applies for all three Optional Components, they could request up to a total of $3,000,000 ($1,000,000 per Optional Component) per year for all three components.  If the applicant applies for two of the Optional Components, then they could request up to a total of $2,000,000 per year for the two Optional Components.  These amounts are also based upon the availability of funds.
  8. Received an update from Grants.gov (see below) on NOFO #CDC-RFA-EH21-2101, yet it’s not clear what has changed.  The Grant.gov webpage has a new ‘Synopsis 2’ that indicates the modification is ‘To extend the application due date’, yet the due date is still listed as June 18, 2021.  I did notice that the award ceiling has changed from $400k to $500k.  I also downloaded the updated RFA and there was no obvious change in the due date.
    It appears that mistakes were made when the amendment was posted.  The application due date has not changed.  The synopsis should have include the information on what has changed but at the least it should have indicated that the changes are in italics.  Neither of these happened when it was moved to publishing. Here is a brief summary of the changes.  Award Information – Award Ceiling for the Core Component is $500,000 Date for Informational Conference call is May 10, 2021 Link for questions and responses has been updated iii Strategies and Activities Optional Component – examples move from Phase II Review Phase II Review The narrative has been streamlined but the criteria and scoring have not changed.
  9. In the section on Additional Information on Eligibility (page 31)  — Evaluation plan updated within the last 3 years:  I am trying to figure out exactly what this means.  Does the plan have to have been submitted to CDC?  We have been doing an entire revision of our State framework for Climate Change, and I have not submitted a revised evaluation plan to CDC within the past 3 years (nor has it been requested).
    An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application. The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.
  10. I didn’t see a phone number listed on the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects: Implementing and Evaluating Adaptation Strategies that Protect and Promote Human Health RFA. Could you please call me to discuss the alignment of the program with our climate adaptation priorities?
    Any questions you have about the announcement content may be sent to by e-mail.  Our team will review your questions and we will respond back by e-mail.  De-identified questions and responses are posted on our program’s website for all potential applicants to review. Unfortunately, we cannot have discussions with potential applicants about their program and applying under this announcement because it can be considered giving unfair advantage to an applicant.  Unfair advantage can disqualify an application from being reviewed. Please feel free to e-mail me your questions and our program will respond.
  11. Can a community with a climate adaptation plan apply for a project to implement a top priority solution? For example, riverine erosion threatens 20 homes—an immediate threat to health and the sustainability of the community. Can the community apply for $300,000 to develop a safe site and relocate homes to that site?
    This type of notice of funding opportunity is for non-construction activities.
  12. Why does the program provide less funding to communities with smaller populations?
    The funding strategy is population-based with a floor of $300,000.  Higher levels of funding is available for larger populations.
  13. Does the program prioritize the communities most vulnerable to climate change? If yes, how?
    The applicants are expected to select and implement adaptation actions that enhance health equity by focusing on populations most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change and addressing social determinants of health in the context of climate change.  The NOFO identifies vulnerable groups including those with low income, some communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions (National Climate Assessment).
  14. The extensive requirements and cumbersome application for this program are barriers for small communities. Has CDC considered creating a set-aside for small communities and a simplified application process that is more accessible to small communities?
    Our program is funding smaller communities through another cooperative agreement.  Please see our website for additional information.   https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/whats-new.htm One program is with  the National Indian Health Board https://www.nihb.org/public_health/climate_resources.phpexternal icon
  15. Does BRACE by name need to have been implemented?
    The applicant should document implementation of the five areas of BRACE, not BRACE by name.  See  the NOFO – 2. Additional Information on Eligibility, c. Signed letter from the principal investigator documenting implementation of the five areas of  the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework: Activities to anticipate climate impacts and assess vulnerabilities; Projected disease burden from climate change; Assessment of public health interventions; Existing climate and health adaptation plan; and Evaluation of climate and health activities. Name the file Responsiveness-BRACE and upload it in Grants.gov.
  16. I have a general question for you regarding that Grant. I don’t have any specific things. I’m not looking for any inside track, I just have a broader question that I think will help us to figure out whether or not we should apply. So, if you could give me a call back, I’d greatly appreciate it.
    Any questions you have about the announcement content may be sent to me by e-mail.  Our team will review your questions and we will respond back by e-mail.  De-identified questions and responses are posted on our program’s website for all potential applicants to review. Unfortunately,  we cannot have discussions with potential applicants about their program and applying under this announcement because it can be considered giving unfair advantage to an applicant.  Unfair advantage can disqualify an application from being reviewed. Please feel free to e-mail me your questions and our program will respond.
  17. My group and I are considering submitting a proposal for the RFP titled “Building Resilience Against Climate Effects: Implementing and Evaluating Adaptation Strategies that Protect and Promote Human Health” (CDC-RFA-EH21-2101). While we have contacts with a few BRACE communities, we were wondering if there was a complete list of all BRACE communities that we can access.
    Our program does not maintain a complete list of communities that have implemented BRACE. We do have information on currently funded programs who have implemented BRACE on our website https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/climate_ready.htm
  18. If we choose to include the optional CVs, Position Description, or Organization Chart, where should we upload them in the application?
    Please upload these documents under the Other Attachment Forms section in grants.gov.
  19. Is there a format requirement for the CVs?
    There is no format requirement.
  20. Will any of these documents count against a page limit?
    Required attachments do not count toward the page limit.
  1. We are planning on applying to more than one component. Should we combine the distinct budget narrative documents into one file and upload as a single file?
    The applicant should submit separate budget narratives for each component.  You may combine them into one document to upload in grants.gov.
  2. We are including subaward partnerships. Should we include a separate budget narrative for their work? Or will describing their budget costs within the appropriate component budget narrative be acceptable?
    A separate budget narrative is not required for Consultants and Contracts.  Applicants must submit an itemized budget narrative that includes Consults Costs and Contract Costs (see 12. Budget Narrative in the NOFO).
  3. Where should we upload the following documents? Under Other Attachment Forms?
    Yes, please upload the documents in this section of grants.gov.
    • Responsiveness-EvalPlan
    • Responsiveness-Director
    • Responsiveness-Partnerships
    • Responsiveness-BRACE
    • Responsiveness-Population
    • Report on Programmatic, Budgetary, and Commitment Overlap
  4. We are acting as the Bona Fide agent for the state. Where should we upload the letter confirming this arrangement?
    Please upload these documents under the Other Attachment Forms section in grants.
  5. Are letters of support allowed in the application? If so, where should we upload? (Not letters of commitment from our partner organizations)
    Letters of support are not required. See section H. Other Information Following is a list of acceptable attachments applicants can upload as PDF files as part of their application at www.grants.gov. Applicants may not attach documents other than those listed; if other documents are attached, applications will not be reviewed.
  6. For optional component A, the review criteria lists the same as the core component for those strategies and activities—including creating and updating the Climate Impact Compendium. For this, does that mean we have to repeat that same text from the core component in the optional component? Is this because of different reviewers for the core versus the optional components?
    Applications will be received as one submission for review.  Each of the components will be reviewed against the Review Criteria and scoring established for each component. Each section of Optional Component A includes points for scoring.  Strategy C: Compile Evidence and Best Practices to Develop Adaptation Plans has a value of 60 points for Activities 1-4.  You and your colleagues will need to determine your strategy for addressing Activity 1. Create and Update Climate Impact Compendium Finding under this 60 point section.
  7. What is Report on Programmatic, Budgetary and Commitment Overlap ?
    For your question regarding programmatic, budgetary and commitment overlap, there is a detailed explanation in Section D. Application & Submission Information/Sub-Section 5. Pre-Award Assessments/Duplication of Efforts (see screenshot below).
    NOFO Duplication of Efforts
  8. Who will have increased knowledge? Will stakeholders, the field, and/or the CDPH have increased knowledge?
    Key outcomes will be increased knowledge of adaptation actions that reduce adverse health effects of climate change and an enhanced evidence base for effective climate and health adaptation actions.   Please see ii. Outcomes section  for the Core Component – The logic model reflects outcomes that are expected to result from the recipients’ activities.  Short-term outcome A. Increased stakeholder (SH) knowledge of climate hazards, health effects, vulnerabilities, and available adaptation action options for reducing negative health outcomes of climate change.
  9. Can we purchase equipment related to an intervention such as air filters?
    No, you may not purchase equipment like air filters under this NOFO.
  10. Can you define “normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships”?
    For the question regarding normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships, basically, the funds are not to be used for lobbying. There are two links provided in the NOFO for additional clarification (see screenshot below).
    NOFO Additional Clarification
  11. Regarding evaluation, Activities 4 (Identify Evaluation Approach for Adaptation Actions) and 5 (Write and Implement Adaptation Action and Evaluation Plan) on pages 12-13 suggest that develop an adaptation approach and writing detailed evaluation plans for each proposed adaptation action are activities we would be funded to do if awarded. But the scoring criteria for Activity 4 on page 46, bullets 2-4 and possibly also 5, seems to suggest that we need to provide some of those same specific evaluation plan details as part of our NOFO response. Can you clarify whether we are expected to provide specific evaluation plan details (logic model in bullet 2, description of evaluation design in bullet 3, etc.) related to each proposed adaptation action as part of our NOFO response? Or are you simply looking for us to describe the approach we will take to flesh out those details as a grant activity?
    To clarify the sections of the NOFO, applicants should describe specific aspects of the planned evaluations according to the specified review criteria. It is understood that plans will be further elaborated, refined, and finalized after the award when the adaptation action is finalized. At that time, updated evaluation plans can be shared with CDC.
  12. Are there any existing examples of a Climate Impact Compendium?
    There are links and resources listed in the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) that may be of assistance in your inquiry.  During a competitive application process, I cannot provide you information outside of this announcement because it can be considered giving unfair advantage to an applicant.  Unfair advantage can disqualify an application from being reviewed. If you have any specific questions about the content of the notice of funding opportunity, please feel free to e-mail me your questions.
  13. We submitted a LOI indicating we’d be applying for the Core and Optional B component.  If we evolve in our thinking and decide to also apply for Optional A is that ok?  I assume it would be since the LOI was optional and you mentioned you were just using those to gauge interest.
    Since the LOI is optional you are welcome to apply for Optional Components as you and your colleagues decide.
  14. Our applicant organization is X, so we have reached-out to get a signed letter from the current organization’s director to meet the “Responsiveness-Director” requirement.  I just wanted to confirm that is ok and that you aren’t looking for a letter from the health department commissioner.
    If X is the applicant organization, then a signed letter from the organization’s director is appropriate.  If the PI is a health department employee, then you may include a letter from the health commissioner if you and your colleagues think that is appropriate.
  15. Regarding the prohibition on equipment purchases – would providing partial rebates for cooling appliances be allowable, as opposed to outright purchases?
    We cannot allow funds under this cooperative agreement to be used to purchase or provide rebates for this type of equipment.  This is not a reflection on the quality of your program proposal, these types of purchases, reimbursements, rebates, voucher, etc. are not allowed
  16. Regarding the limitations on which climate hazards we can propose adaptations for – your answer on the call yesterday was clear, in that I heard that the intent of the NOFO is to have applicants focus only on adaptations to heat/cold, poor air quality, and extreme weather events. You also mentioned that within the specified categories there is flexibility, and I’m wondering whether you can define that flexibility a bit more?
    In response to the climate hazards, you are correct.  The focus and the funding under the notice of funding opportunity is on the health effects from three Specific Climate-Related Threats to Health listed in the announcement (Heat and Cold Exposure, Impaired Air Quality, and Extreme Events).  Again, no reflection on your current program activities.  This NOFO does not prohibit the applicant from partnering with internal and external partners on climate and health-related activities.  As with all cooperative agreements, one an applicant is funded, CDC and the grantee recipient engage in discussion about programmatic activities that are being implemented and planned for the future.
  17. In Activity 2 of the Core (Identify Specific Climate-Related Threats to Health to be Addressed) – are we restricted to just proposing adaptation actions around the listed climate hazard categories? Or, can we propose adaptation actions for other climate hazards (i.e., vectorborne diseases), as long as we also propose at least two other population-facing adaptation actions addressing the listed climate hazards?
    The NOFO indicates that Applicants must identify at least one or more specific climate hazards that will be addressed.  Then it states that the Applicant’s adaptation actions must address one or more of the following categories:  Health effects from heat and cold exposure, Health effects from impaired air quality, Health effects from extreme events (see also question and response below).
  18. As a follow up, do the same rules apply to Optional Component A as well? That is – if vector-borne adaptation activities are not allowed in the Core, would they be acceptable in Component A, or not allowed in either place, if the intent is to focus on heat/cold, air quality, and extreme weather?
    Yes, it would be the same (see also question and response below).
  19. On page 42 of the NOFO, we note the statement, “Funds under this NOFO may not be used for disease prevention and control activities that are already funded by CDC in the jurisdiction (e.g., vector-borne disease prevention and control).” Can you give us any more context on what this means – especially since the standard language about ‘double-dipping’ (Duplication of Efforts on p. 34-35) is already included, and since we understand that collaboration and leveraging of multiple funding/support streams is generally encouraged, as described in the Collaborations section on p. 17? And, considered more broadly, should we be concerned about proposing any activities that leverage or add on to other projects funded under i.e. our Environmental Public Health Tracking award?
    This may help to explain the funding restriction.  If your organization is funded to conduct surveillance for another CDC program, funds under this NOFO may not be used for surveillance for that subject area.  If your organization receives funds for prevention and control activities from another CDC program, then funds under this NOFO cannot be used for those activities for that subject area.  If another funded program is providing you with a service for activities under this NOFO, then funds can be used to conduct activities under this NOFO.
  20. We are assisting a City on the application of grants to mitigate flooding in their community. We were reviewing this opportunity on grants.com. Is it possible to obtain the application and submit by email or mail?
    If you are requesting access to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, I am attaching the link here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=329199external iconI am referring your question on submitting an application to our Office of Grants Services.
  1. Would someone be able to provide more clarification on the difference between the Evaluation Plan that needs to be in the project narrative and the Responsiveness-Eval Plan document? I’m unsure if they are one and the same or are two different plans.
    An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application as listed in the Additional Information on Eligibility section.  This plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  The plan should reflect the organization’s existing evaluation capacity and may be a document internal to your organization.  This is distinct from the evaluation plans for each planned adaptation action, See Section E Review and Selection Process i. Approach (page 45).
  2. For the optional component project narratives, is there a standard outline that we should follow? I assumed that we should follow the same structure as the Core, as described under “10. Project Narrative” on pages 36-37. In other words, the optional component narratives would be structured with background, approach, application evaluation and performance measurement plan, and organizational capacity. If CDC doesn’t want the optional component narratives to follow the same outline, is there preferred structure?
    There is not a specific outline for the Optional Components.  You do not need to follow the Core Component outline (e.g., approach, evaluation and performance measurement plan, and organizational capacity) for the Optional Components. The Phase II Review section for the Optional Components include the criteria that will be used for review and scoring of each of the components.
  3. Is it possible to have a cooperative agreement that goes to two institutions (one academic, the other the State)?
    States governments, public and state-controlled institutions of higher education, and private institutions of higher education are all eligible applicants under this NOFO.  Should the state’s application and the academic institution’s application both be scored in the funding range, then they both could be funded for cooperative agreements.  This would be the same even if the institution is located in the state.
  4. Can you do a single application from two such institutions.
    Yes, a joint application may be submitted but there would need to be a lead organization and PI.  And only one notice of award would be made to the lead organization.
  5. Is the announcement directed for agencies that have a passed record with the CDC, or is open for any agency independent of their past relationship with the Center of Disease Prevention and Control.
    Please see the Eligible Applicants section of the announcement for the list of eligible applicants.  Prior funding by our program is not a requirement to apply for this opportunity. In addition, applicants must submit the six documents to meet responsiveness criteria listed in the Additional Information on Eligibility section.
  6. Who should the Responsiveness letters be addressed to?
    You may address the letters to Dan Burrows, if you would like.
  7. Can you please further explain item 2.D (pg. 32). I am unclear as to which evaluation plan this is referring to.
    Under Additional Information on Eligibility, 2.D – This document is one of your evaluation plans that has been updated in the past 3 years.  This plan is required to be submitted with the application.  The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.
  8. Is there a cap on the percentage of funding that can be used for staffing in either the core or optional components?
    A cap was not listed for staffing for any of the components in this announcement.
  9. Will the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects funding opportunity (CDC-RFA-EH21-2101) occur on a regular basis? If so, will this be an annual opportunity?
    Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) EH 21-2101 is for this year.  At this time, our program does not know if or when additional opportunities will become available.
  10. I’m curious whether this specific call is interested in occupational health mitigations for workers, or is concerned more broadly with health mitigations for the broader population. We have been addressing heat stress issues among American construction laborers and agricultural workers, and are currently seeking funding to continue building our intervention programs within the United States.
    The NOFO has a Core Component and three Optional Components (Component A – Expanded Implementation and Evaluation, Component B – Climate Mitigation, and Component C – Data Modernization).  The Core Component is the foundation this NOFO.   The applicant must apply for the Core Component and may apply for one, two, three, or none of the Optional Components.  If an applicant does not apply for the Core Component, applications for Optional Components will not be forwarded for further review. I would suggest that you and your colleagues review the NOFO to determine if you think that your work and plans would address the requirements of the announcement.  During a competitive application process, I cannot provide you information outside of this announcement because it can be considered giving unfair advantage to an applicant.  Unfair advantage can disqualify an application from being reviewed. If you have any specific questions about the content of the notice of funding opportunity, please feel free to e-mail Dan Burrows.
  11. Do you expect that EH 21-2101 awardees will also receive annual SAS licenses?
    Our program will no longer be providing the SAS licenses under direct assistance but we can support the costs through Federal assistance which is the funding we provide to grant recipients under a cooperative agreement.  If an applicant requires software like SAS, they can include the costs in their budget proposal.
  12. We are working on the new grant for the optional component C, and I am reaching out regarding the use of the grant for incentives. Are we able to use optional component C funds, if funded, for incentives for participants at local health departments?
    Funding for incentives for participation in a program is not supported by this funding announcement.  But providing funding to local health departments under a contract to complete work under the program or project would not be considered an incentive and could be allowed.
  13. Is the Optional Component budget, awarded one time regardless of the project length/start or are funds awarded annually?
    Based upon funding available, funds are awarded each year.  If the project is complete in less than five years, then the grant recipient would not submit a request for additional funding for the next year in the Annual Performance Report and Continuation Application.
  14. Would awardees, need to resubmit a revised budget every year? This is based on our understanding that the Optional Component starts in Year 1 but can be completed by Year 5 or earlier.
    Grant recipients submit Annual Performance Reports and Continuation Applications each year.  A proposal and revised budget are submitted with each Continuation Application.
  15. The RFA states on page 41 “Generally, recipients may not use funds to purchase furniture or equipment. Any such proposed spending must be clearly identified in the budget.”  Would equipment to be used by a partner community as part of the plan to build resilience be allowable?  Examples I’ve heard mentioned include the purchase of a bus to be used as a mobile cooling center as part of larger heat mitigation programming in a community, or the purchase of a battery back-up generator to provide power for a community cooling center.
    From a programmatic perspective, our program cannot allow purchases of items like buses or battery back-up generators under this announcement.  I cannot give you any alternatives or suggestions because I am not allowed to give any unfair advantage to any potential applicants.
  16. Will there be any travel to CDC required in the first year? I didn’t see any reference to a kickoff meeting but am assuming that there is one.
    If it is not listed in the NOFO then you do not have to set aside funds for an in-person meeting in Year 1.
  17. I see that the only budget required is for year one. We are strategizing that personnel and activities will be funded differently over the course of the entire 5 years. Does that need to be described, and if so, should I put that description within the year one budget, or in the narrative, or both?
    A line item budget and budget narrative that is required is for Year 1.  You do not need to include your plans for the subsequent years in the Year 1 budget.  If forms in the application require information for subsequent years or cumulative amounts, then please include that information.  Grant recipients submit Annual Performance Reports and Continuation Applications each year.  A proposal and revised budget are submitted with each Continuation Application.   In general, the Year 1 award is the level funding amount for subsequent years.  If additional funding because available, our program can consider providing funding up to the ceilings listed in the announcement.
  18. Can more detail be provided on how ‘Communications’ (Category 2) is distinct from ‘Education & Instruction’ (Category 3) (e.g. what constitutes “formal instruction,” as compared to outreach)?
    My colleagues report that health communication is typically described as the study and use of communication strategies, including audience research, to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health.  Generally, health communication aims to impact large audiences and requires considerable resources and organizational partnerships.
    Health education is more interpersonal, such as classroom instruction or a provider-patient interaction, but there can be overlap, such as a health hotline, and communication and education ideally work in concert.
  19. (p.31) Under ‘Additional Information on Eligibility,’ part D, “An Evaluation Plan that has been updated within the last 3 years” is requested. Are we understanding this correctly as an example evaluation plan for a previous project completed by the organization, and not the evaluation plan for this RFA?
    An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application as listed in the Additional Information on Eligibility section.  This plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  The plan should reflect the organization’s existing evaluation capacity and may be a document internal to your organization.  This is distinct from the evaluation plans for each planned adaptation action, See Section E Review and Selection Process i. Approach (page 45).
  20. (p. 8) Is Intermediate Outcome A required to be measured during the performance period? The text on p. 8 states, “Although not required to be achieved during the performance period, applicants should understand how the short term outcomes will contribute to the Intermediate and Long-Term Outcomes reflected in the logic model,” indicating that Intermediate Outcome A is not required. However, it is bolded in Logic Model on p.5, suggesting it is a period of performance outcome.
    Addressing Intermediate outcomes A. Reduced adverse health outcomes due to climate change in the populations among community members targeted by the adaptation actions and Intermediate outcome B. Increased knowledge of adaptation actions that reduce adverse health effects of climate change in the logic model are preferred.
  21. There can only be one PI on the application. Is that correct? Could there be two PIs from the same organization (for example, two PIs from two different programs within the same local health department)?
    Yes, you are correct.  You will need to designate a primary PI.
  22. On p. 13 of the NOFO, in the Strategies and Activities section, detailed information is given about the format of the Adaptation Action and Evaluation Plans. Are we meant to include this detailed information (team roster, adaptation type(s), etc.) in the application narrative itself, or does this section just provide guidance for the Action and Evaluation Plan that will be created during the project period, and for the application, applicants will only need to describe how we will prepare and submit the AAE Plan in the narrative?
    This section provides guidance on the elements of the Action and Evaluation plan that will be created during the project period.  Applicants should respond to all of the requirements listed on pages 45-46, under Review and Selection Process, Approach.
  23. The NOFO relies on a Conlon & Austin reference in describing the adaptation action typology, but when I follow the link in the NOFO, I only find an abstract for a conference presentation. I see that Conlon & Austin also have a book chapter on this topic, but it’s paywalled. Will you be able to provide a more complete version of this reference for applicants – either slides from the presentation or the related book chapter?
    At this time, we do not have a way to share more details on this reference.  You could reach out to the authors directly and see if they could make additional material (e.g., slides) available to you.
  24. Should applicants plan to submit letters of support only from implementing partners involved in Core adaptation activities? Or should we submit letters of support from implementing partners involved in Component adaptation activities as well? And additionally – can we submit letters of support from key partners on other activities aside from the adaptation implementation activity?
    Under Additional Information on Eligibility- Applicants are required to submit signed letters of commitment from partners who will be directly implementing adaptation actions (Strategy C: Compile Evidence and Best Practices to Develop Adaptation Plans). The letters should include information on the activities that the partners will be contributing to achieve the goals of this NOFO. Combine the letters into one file, name the file Responsiveness-Partnerships and upload it in Grants.gov. Letters of support are not required.  See also section H. Other Information.  Following is a list of acceptable attachments applicants can upload as PDF files as part of their application at www.grants.gov. Applicants may not attach documents other than those listed; if other documents are attached, applications will not be reviewed.
  25. In the description of Component A on pp 14-15 of the NOFO, I don’t see any reference to Strategy D/Activity 1: Implement and Evaluate the Adaptation Action and Evaluation. Are we not meant to propose work on this activity for Component A? That is, is the intent of Component A to simply Compile Evidence and Best Practices to Develop Adaptation Plans, and then to Identify, Use, and Disseminate Lessons Learned on Effective Adaptation Action?
    See page 50 (Review and Selection Process, Approach) for required elements and scoring of Optional Component A.  On page 14, under Component A, the NOFO reads” This optional component allows the applicant to expand upon a subsection of the strategies and activities identified in the Core Component – II. Planning and Implementation section of this NOFO. The activities proposed under this section must be in addition to what the applicant has proposed their submission under the in the Core Section For this Optional Component, the applicant must address at least one specific climate hazard (see Core Component – II. Planning and Implementation, Strategy C, Activity 2) Applicants will describe how they will implement at least one adaptation action. Applicants may choose to expand adaptation(s) proposed in the Core Component or may propose new adaptation(s).”
  26. I am working on the budget narrative for the Climate and Health NOFO and am comparing it to past budgets that our program has sent. Will it be required to put in a grantee meeting travel to Atlanta in the budget?
    There is no requirement in the NOFO, so you do not have to set aside funds for an in-person meeting in year 1.
  27. Are original signatures required or will electronic signature suffice on the letters of commitment and other required documents such as the letters from the applicant organization’s director, principal investigator, etc.?
    Electronic signatures will be sufficient for the required letters.
  28. I am following up on a question from one of our partners. I was hoping you could help. We are applying for Component A and partnering with a university partner for staffing. They were looking at hiring graduate research assistants to help on the optional component. One aspect of these student workers is that it requires tuition remission as part of their compensation. Is this an allowed expense or unallowed expense? I appreciate your insight.
    Response (Office of Grants Service):  At this time, I am not able to answer questions on the specifics of what should be included in the application and budget, as that may give unfair advantage over another applicant. You will have to read the NOFO and interpret it to the best of your ability. You should include what you believe to be relevant and necessary to meet the objectives of the program as outlined. The application will be judged on the merits of the proposed program and if awarded, there will be a thorough budget review and adjustments will be made at that time.
  29. Can these funds be utilized as a pass-through arrangement? Meaning that funds would be granted to our organization, if successful, and we would host a call for projects from the 197 towns, cities, and counties in or region for proposed initiatives that fit within the scope of our grant application.
    I am referring your question about pass-through to our Office of Grant Services.  I know that you can establish contracts for services that you need to have completed as part of your project.  There may be some restrictions on the percentage of funds and work being completed outside of the funded grant recipient.Response (Office of Grants Services):  You are able to establish contracts to complete portions of the proposed project. Other than that, I am not able to answer questions on the specifics of what should be included in the application and budget, as that may give unfair advantage over another applicant. You will have to read the NOFO and interpret it to the best of your ability. You should include what you believe to be relevant and necessary to meet the objectives of the program as outlined. The application will be judged on the merits of the proposed program and if awarded, there will be a thorough budget review and adjustments will be made at that time.
  30. Are the questions and responses from the Information Conference Call available online?
    The questions and response can be found on the following website: https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/whats-new.htm
  31. How important is it that applicants were part of the Climate Ready States and Cities Initiatives? Do you think we can reasonably justify our familiarity with the BRACE Framework through the leadership’s combined experience? We look forward to your response to these questions and wonder if you might have time to discuss our intent to apply in a brief phone call.
    Prior funding with our program is not a requirement for applying for this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).  As part of the required documentation under the Additional Information on Eligibility section, the applicant should document implementation of the five areas of BRACE.
    1. Additional Information on Eligibility, c. Signed letter from the principal investigator documenting implementation of the five areas of the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework: Activities to anticipate climate impacts and assess vulnerabilities; Projected disease burden from climate change; Assessment of public health interventions; Existing climate and health adaptation plan; and Evaluation of climate and health activities. Name the file Responsiveness-BRACE and upload it in Grants.gov.

    When our agency has published a NOFO, we are not able to have discussions or provide advice to potential applicants.  This is because we are not allowed to give any unfair advantage to any of the potential applicants or their partners in any phase of the application process.  You and your colleagues might consider reviewing the NOFO requirements and decide your next steps.  You are welcome to e-mail any specific questions that you have about the NOFO content.

  32. Can the optional component and core component information be contained in one Budget Narrative document?
    The applicant should submit separate budget narratives for each component.  You may combine them into one document to upload in grants.gov.  Where the application package or the notice of funding opportunity require summary budget information, please follow those instructions.
  33. I have a few questions on some of the administrative requirements.  For the Risk Questionnaire:  When it indicates that we should enclose written HR policies and procedures and accounting policies and procedures, is there a list of exactly what needs to be included in those? Two of the drop-down boxes are not working on the form. Can you advise if we are also supposed to enclose internal controls and anti-corruption ethics codes?
    Response (Office of Grants Services):  I am not aware of a list of what should be included in the HR and Accounting policies; 2) the dropdowns you are referring to are all yes or no answers.
  34. In previous federal grants our organization has used the de minimis indirect rate of 10%. We do not have a negotiated indirect rate. Do we need to submit an Indirect Rate Letter or is it acceptable to just note use of de minimis in the 424 budget form?
    Response (Office of Grants Services):  For the indirect cost rate, include a letter stating that you are using the de minimus rate.
  35. Having filled out 424 Budget forms for a variety of programs, I have found that different agencies are interested in different levels of detail, which informs exactly which fields are completed in the form. Can you provide insight as to which fields are required for this budget proposal.
    Response (Office of Grants Services):  Please complete all fields in the SF424 to the best of your ability.
  36. What I understand is that the budget maximum for the Core Component is per year and in total costs, inclusive of IDC and that the budget parameter for the Optional Component is overall (not per year) and in total costs, inclusive of IDC.
    Funding is available for the Core Component, based upon population at the $300,000, $4000,000 up to the $500,000 level.  This level of funding is for each budget year for up to five years of funding.  Applicants may apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the Optional Components.  This total is for each budget year.  Awards for the Core and Optional Components are contingent upon available program funding and guidelines for allowable funding.  Should our program’s funding increase, we would have the ability to funding additional applicants for Core or Optional Components.
  37. The NOFO clearly states that the Logic Model for Component B is supposed to be in an attachment. For Component A, it doesn’t state that. Should I assume that it means that the Component A Logic Model should be included in the five pages?
    Yes, please include a high level logic model in the narrative (5 pages).
  38. Can we use our own work plan table for our proposal rather than the one in the NOFO?
    Applicants are not required to use the sample work plan that is listed in the notice of funding opportunity.  Please refer to section d. Work Plan for the content, including the elements of the work plan.
  39. Is this NOFO for local and state health departments?  Is appropriate for an NGO to apply under this opportunity?
    Eligibility under this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is not restricted to state and local health departments.  Please see the section C. Eligibility Information, 1. Eligible Applicants and 2. Additional Information on Eligibility.
  40. The NOFO states that an LOI is preferred but not required. If we move forward, should we submit an LOI as soon as possible?
    A Letter of Intent (LOI) is requested but not required. The purpose of an LOI is to allow our program to estimate the number of applications and to plan for the review of submitted applications.  I would be helpful if you send an LOI but it is not required.
  41. While we were glad to find out that our organization was eligible, we noticed that all the prior grant recipients designated in the July 2020 Climate and Health Program report were governmental organizations. In getting our team together we will include a local or State governmental organization as well as three universities in two cities, but we plan on being the primary recipient. Would this affect our score? We feel that the time is ripe for a community organization to be a large consortium leader in the Climate and Health program since communities are those areas that are most immediately affected by climate change. our community is characterized historically by continuing waves of immigrants. This specific community background has informed the essential emphasis of our proposal and its proposed consortium organization.
    Scoring of an application is based upon a review panels evaluation of complete, eligible applications in accordance with the criteria listed in Phase II Review section of the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).
  42. Because of the nature of the communities we plan to work with, is it possible to have partners from the Pacific Island and Caribbean Island nations that are significant countries for circular migration and tourism? We are aware that the Climate and Health Program has funded projects with governmental organizations in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. We have had preliminary talks with a large public health agency and they support our initiative in its current state.
    This NOFO is intended for activities in areas of the United States such as states, localities, the District of Columbia, American Indian or Alaska Native tribal areas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
  43. Once we finalize our consortium after receiving answers to these questions, we would very much welcome a conference call with you and our partners to discuss key points in our proposal.
    I am sorry but we will not be able to participate in a conference call with you and your partners.  When our agency has published a NOFO, we are not able to have discussions or provide advice to potential applicants.  This is because we are not allowed to give any unfair advantage to any of the potential applicants or their partners in any phase of the application process.  You and your colleagues might consider reviewing the NOFO requirements and decide your next steps.  You are welcome to e-mail me any specific questions that you have about the NOFO content.
  44. For Optional Component A, are we required to expand Strategy C, Activity 1 (Activity 1. Create and Update Climate Impact Compendium Findings)? This activity is included in the revised NOFO scoring criteria but was not included in the original NOFO scoring criteria, and is not mentioned in the Optional Component narrative on p.14.
    Please include the information requested in the b. Phase II Review section for Strategy C: Compile Evidence and Best Practices to Develop Adaptation Plans Activity 1. Create and Update Climate Impact Compendium Findings.
  45. For Optional Component A, can you clarify if we need to propose at least 1 or at least 2 adaptation actions? The Optional Component narrative on p.14 says “Applicants will describe how they will implement at least one adaptation action,” but the scoring criteria on p.50 says “The extent to which the applicant proposes to implement at least two population-facing adaptation actions likely to improve health outcomes and advance health equity by addressing health disparities. Applicants should propose at least one adaptation action in Category 1 and at least one from Categories 2-4.” In the earlier version of the NOFO, the scoring criteria said “Applicants will implement at least one population-facing adaptation actions.”
    Please propose at least one adaption action.
  46. For Optional Component B, can you clarify what performance measures are required to be reported? The Optional Component narrative on p.16 says “Applicants are required to report performance measures 1-5 regarding activities and outcomes annually.” But performance measures 1-5 in Table 1 on pp.21-23 specifically refer to adaptation actions, whereas Component B is focused on mitigation actions.
    The performance measures listed in the table starting on page 21 should be considered categories of measures.  The specific metrics will be established within the first year of the funded period (page 21).  If Optional Component B is funded, CDC will work with grantees to create specific metrics that are relevant for mitigation activities. CDC expects to collect metrics that parallel the categories of measures reflected in Performance Measure table rows 1-5 for Optional Component B since the ordering and structure of those activities will be similar to the Core Component.
  47. If applicants for the Optional Component(s) may apply for up to $1,000,000 per year for each of the Optional Components, that means that each Option could include a budget of up to $5,000,000 budget for a 5-year project?
    Contingent upon available of funds to our program, there is the potential for a total of $5,000,000 over a five-year period per Optional Component.  Funding is requested and awarded on a year-to-year basis.
  48. Negotiated F&A Rate Document:  Page 39 of the NOFO instructs to upload if requesting a negotiated rate (see below), however it is not listed as one of the acceptable attachments on Pages 62-63.   Are we required/allowed to include this attachment?
    Please include any attachments that are listed within the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), even if they do not appear on the in the list of acceptable attachment in H. Other Information section.
  49. Optional Component Workplans are required to be uploaded to the Other Attachments form, however I was hoping to receive clarification on where to include the Project Narratives for the Optional Components. Should those be combined in the same file as a Core Component Project Narrative?  If not, where should they be uploaded? As an optional attachment on the Project Narrative Attachment form?
    Please include the narratives for the Core and any Optional Component(s) in the Project Narrative attachment.  Please clearly label or identify the Core Component and each Optional Component within the document (e.g., using a heading).
  50. On the information call you instructed to only include the Year 1 budget in the budget narrative, but the 5-year budget where appropriate on the application forms (SF424 cover & sections of the SF424A Budget Form)   Can you confirm this is the appropriate way to include the budget in the application?
    The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  These may be combined into one document to be uploaded with the application in grants.gov.  If any of the application forms or NOFO require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form. Budget Narrative – Applicants must submit an itemized budget narrative. When developing the budget narrative, applicants must consider whether the proposed budget is reasonable and consistent with the purpose, outcomes, and program strategy outlined in the project narrative. The budget must include:  Salaries and wages, Fringe benefits, Consultant costs, Equipment, Supplies, Travel, Other categories, Contractual costs.  With a subtotal for Total Direct cost and one for Total Indirect costs.
  51. Can you clarify what outcomes we are expected to achieve in the project period? The logic model on pp.5-7 matches the list of short-term outcomes A-F and intermediate outcomes A-B on pp.7-8, but then additional outcomes are introduced that are not included in the logic model.
    The logic model reflects outcomes that are expected to result from the recipients’ activities. The period of time it will take for an adaptation to achieve short-, intermediate, and long-term outcomes will vary, based on the nature of the adaptation.  CDC expects that the proposed adaptation actions achieve the bolded intermediate outcomes during the grant period, as reflected in the logic model.  We apologize, the lettering is inconsistent for some outcomes listed in the narrative on page 8.  Please refer to the logic model on page 5-7, which is correct. Performance Measure table on page 21-24, the performance measure listed in row 2 reflects a synthesis of activities central to the NOFO objectives. The performance measure listed in row 7 is intended to collect information from grantees about progress towards reaching the objective.
  1. Is there a particular template or spreadsheet that we need to use for the budget?  All we see in the NOFO is the budget narrative but nothing about a template to put the actual budget on.
    Under the Budget Narrative section of the announcement, the applicant is requested to submit an itemized budget narrative that includes the categories (e.g., salaries and wages, fringe benefits).  This itemized or line item budget is included with in the narrative explanation or justification for the budget items.  There is no template or spreadsheet.  But please ensure that you provide details for your budget request, not just a subtotal for each budget category.  You subtotals for each budget category will be place in another form in the application package.
  2. I am writing to you regarding a question I had with the CDC-RFA-EH21-2101. If we wish to submit CVs or biosketches with our application, what format should these documents utilize? Is NIH biosketch format acceptable? Please let me know when you can.
    The NIH biosketch is acceptable.  We do not have a required format.
  3. For the budget justification(s), you had instructed to only detail the year-1 costs. Can you confirm?  We are planning to submit only the year-one costs in the justification, but including the 5-year total based on year one in the appropriate fields on the application forms.
    You are correct.  Only include the itemized budget narrative for year 1 and if the application package requests funding information for more than year 1, then include it as requested.
  4. Can you please clarify if the logic models required for each Adaptation Action and Evaluation Plan are strictly a duplication of the model elements on pages  5-7 or should applicants provide additional metrics?
    Our program expects that applicants will submit with their applications a logic model for each planned adaptation action (see Activity 4, page 46). The inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes will be specific to each adaptation action.  In this instance, the logic model should show how activities conceptually lead to intended effects. It can, but is not required to, reflect actual metrics that will be measure over time.
  5. Should we include the project narrative and budget narrative for each optional component into the same document as for the core component, or should we save them as separate files and submit as separate attachments.
    You are welcome to combine the Core and Optional Components narrative into one document.  Please use headers or some other way of distinguishing one component from another.  You might consider starting each component on a new page. The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  These may be combined into one document to be uploaded with the application in grants.gov.  If any of the application forms require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form.
  6. Budget ceiling – What is the award ceiling for a jurisdiction of under 2 million applying for the Core Component, Component A, and Component C?
    The funding for the Core Component for an applicant with a population of less than 2 million is listed as $300,000 in the Funding Strategy section of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).  This section also lists that applicants may apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the Optional Components.  This is per year based upon available funding.
  7. Existing Evaluation Plan – Since we are not currently a BRACE site, we had a question about Item D (evaluation plan) on the list on page 32. Is this different from the initial evaluation plan description that is requested to be included in the body of the application for core and optional components?
    Yes, the two evaluation plans are different.  An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application.  The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.  The evaluation plans that is to be included in the narrative are different.  See those sections of the NOFO for additional requirements.
  8. Does the budget ceiling amount listed ($500K) include indirect costs or the limit is for direct costs only?
    Response (Office of Grant Services):  The budget ceiling includes both direct and indirect costs.
  9. In the scoring criteria for the Core Component, Strategy C, Activity 4 on page 46 of the NOFO, there is a section of bullet points that begin with the words ‘Applicants will…’ My question: I assume we are meant to include information responsive to each of these bullets in the application itself, and not just propose to incorporate our responses in the evaluation plan to be submitted in Year 1. Is this correct? And if so – might we be able to submit the high-level logic models for each Adaptation Action as a separate appendix, rather than including them in the 20 pages we are limited to for the narrative?
    I have consulted with my colleagues on this subject.  Our program expects that applicants will submit with their applications a logic model for each planned adaptation action (see Activity 4, page 46). The inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes will be specific to each adaptation action.  In this instance, the logic model should show how activities conceptually lead to intended effects. It can, but is not required to, reflect actual metrics that will be measure over time.  For the Core Component, please include a high-level logic model in the narrative for that section.
  10. We have a question about the workplan template – on the top of the template there is a box for “outcome measure,” do you want us to identify only one outcome measure from the model in the RFA or can we identify multiple outcomes for year 1?
    The Work Plan sections lists elements for inclusion in the work plan but the format is optional. The Applicants can include multiple outcome measures for each year.   “For each major strategy, program, project, initiative, or intervention describe major work plan activities for the first year. Elements in a work plan include strategies, objectives, and their associated performance measures (with data sources, targets, and timeframes), as well as major activities and the person responsible for each activity. Identify strategies and activities uniquely (e.g., 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b). Each objective, etc. and activity must contain a performance or outcome measure that assesses the effectiveness of the project. List start and end dates (month/year) for proposed activities that will be implemented in a logical, phased order.”
  11. We do not have an existing BRACE evaluation plan. So we need to submit a description of what we would submit in the narrative and separately a draft evaluation plan (since we do not have an existing one)?
    Under the Additional Information on Eligibility section of the NOFO, the applicant is requested to submit an evaluation plan that has been updated in the past 3 years under.  It does not have to be a BRACE evaluation plan.  Please see the requirements under the appropriate components for the documentation that you need for the evaluation plan (e.g., II.  Planning and Implementation, Activities 4 and 5).
  12. Since our project is a joint effort between two county entities, can the project have more than one principal investigator (PI)?
    You will need to have a have a lead organization and PI.  And only one notice of award would be made to the lead organization.
  13. If strategies and activities in Optional Component A are captured in other core logic models, do we need a separate logic model for Component A? Can we note that optional elements in the Core Logic models?
    If you and your colleagues believe that you have captured the strategies and activities for Optional Component A in the Logic Model for the Core Component, you do not need to include a duplicate logic model. You and your colleagues might consider referring back to the Core Logic Model and citing its location in your application.
  14. Seeking further clarification on the required Evaluation Plan that has been updated within the last three years (p. 32, Item D). Does this need to be a specific BRACE evaluation plan?
    It does not have to be a BRACE evaluation plan.
  15. We do not have a BRACE specific eval plan, but we do have an eval plan based on the Social Ecological model. Would that suffice? This is a follow-up question to the response you provided earlier.  Can you please further explain item 2.D (pg. 32).
    I am unclear as to which evaluation plan this is referring to. Under Additional Information on Eligibility, 2.D – This document is one of your evaluation plans that has been updated in the past 3 years.  This plan is required to be submitted with the application.  The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.
  16. For Optional Components A and B, is the required logic model included in the narrative page limit?
    For Component A, a high-level logic model would be included in the narrative (5 pages).  The Logic Model for Component B may be an attachment.
  17. Are the budgets for the Optional Components included in the overall Budget Narrative attachment along with the budget narrative for the Core Component?
    The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  These may be combined into one document to be uploaded with the application in grants.gov.   If any of the application forms require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form.
  18. Is a Performance Measure Table required for each of the optional components? If yes, is this included in the narrative page limit?
    I might have missed it in the notice of funding opportunity but I do not see a requirement for applicants to submit Performance Measures tables.  Please let me know if there is a section or page where this requirement appears.  My colleagues have verified that applicants are not required to submit Performance Measures tables.
  19. Are the Work Plans for the components scored?
    If the Work Plans are not included in the Review and Selection Process, Phase II Review section, then they are not scored.
  20. For Optional Component B, are there specific requirements for the timeline (e.g. should it be a figure)?
    There is no specific format required for the timeline.
  21. Does the logic model for Component A count toward the 5-page maximum narrative?
    The logic model for the Core Component should be included in the page limit for the Core.  For Component A, a high-level logic model would be included in the narrative (5 pages).
  22. It is unclear from the NOFO if the following optional attachments are acceptable as part of the application. If they are, how should the attachment(s) be labeled?
    The Logic Model for Component B may be an attachment, you may name it Component B Logic Model.
  23. Signed letter from the applicant organization’s director that states their commitment for this program throughout the organization or agency. Name the file Responsiveness-Director and upload it in Grants.gov.   Could you please define “applicant organization”? At our University, this could be either the University as a whole entity, the particular School or College which houses the PI, or the Department within the School/College. This will let me know who should prepare and sign the letter.
    This letter should be signed by the director who will have authority over the PI and this cooperative agreement.
  24. A signed letter from the applicant that documents the jurisdiction’s population (based on US Census data – 2018 estimates or other appropriate document if the Census data is not available). Name the file Responsiveness-Population and upload it in Grants.gov.  Does the CDC define “applicant” as the Principal Investigator or the applicant organization in this requirement? And if it is the latter, the same question as above applies.
    In this situation the letter can be from the Principal Investigator.
  25. For the proposals, can we hyperlink citations or do we need to properly cite them as references?
    Hyperlinks may not transfer well within the grants.gov system.
  26. As I prepare to submit a BRACE application (CDC-RFA-EH21-2101), I was unsure if active hyperlinks would be permissible to support the reviewer should they seek further context?
    Hyperlinks may not transfer well within the grants.gov system.  In addition, the reviewers will only be looking at the required content of the applications.
  27. In looking at the grant, I was wondering if there is a recorded video, so I can assess uses and commonly asked questions.
    There is no recorded video for commonly asked questions.  The notice of funding opportunity lists the link to a summary to questions and responses: https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/whats-new.htm
  28. Are there previous recipients of this grant?
    Additional information about our program is also available on our branch’s website:https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/default.htm
  29. Do you anticipate this grant opportunity opening for applications next year as well?
    The EH-21-2101 funding opportunity is only open for applications this year.
  30. The NOFO states that one of the eligibility requirements is to include an Evaluation Plan that has been updated within the last 3 years, to be uploaded as “Responsiveness-Eval” and the NOFO also includes “Adaptation Action and Evaluation Plans” as part of the narrative requirements for the Core and Optional Component A. Could you please clarify if these two Evaluation Plan requirements are separate or the same?
    The evaluation plans are different.  An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application.  The plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  This plan may be a document internal to your organization.  The evaluation plans that is to be included in the narrative are different.  See those sections of the NOFO for additional requirements.
  31. How should we include literature references/citations (in body of application, as a table, as an attachment, and/or provided upon request)?
    You may include references and citations in the body of the narrative.
  32. Section H. Other Information – CV/resumes. Is there a specific format CDC is looking for?
    There is no required format.
  33. Does the logic model have to be repeated in Optional Component A – Expanded Implementation and Evaluation?
    If you and your colleagues believe that you have captured the strategies and activities for Optional Component A in the Logic Model for the Core Component, you do not need to include a duplicate logic model. You and your colleagues might consider referring back to the Core Logic Model and citing its location in your application.
  34. Can we include links within the application to related programs. activities and resources?
    Hyperlinks may not transfer well within the grants.gov system.  In addition, the reviewers will only be looking at the required content of the applications.
  35. Are we required to include our data management plan as part of the application or can we develop this plan and submit for review/approval during planning stages?
    The Recipient Evaluation and Performance Measurement Plan, including Data Management Plan (DMP) is due 6 months into award (see Reporting section of the NOFO).
  36. Should the budget and budget narrative be for the first budget period (12 months) or extended to reflect Total Period of Performance (5 years)?The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  These may be combined into one document to be uploaded with the application in grants.gov .  If any of the application forms require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form.
  37. It is unclear from the NOFO if the following optional attachments are acceptable as part of the application. If they are, how should the attachment(s) be labeled?(from pg. 62).  Optional attachments, as determined by CDC programs – Resumes / CVs, Position descriptions, Organization Charts.
    Unless the announcement indicates another place for attachments, you may include the request attachment under “Other Attachment Forms”.
  38. I was not able to find templates or further guidelines for document preparation on the CDC website or in Grants.gov. Am I correct in understanding that there are no templates for any of the documents requested in this NOFO, or any other guidelines beyond what is presented in the NOFO?
    When a specific template is requested, it will be noted within the notice of funding opportunity.  Other guidance and forms may be found in the Grant Opportunity Package.
  39. For the Optional Components A-C, I believe you clarified that a separate budget narrative is needed for each component – and those can be combined into one attachment (or presumably uploaded separately?).
    The applicant must submit a separate narrative budget and budget justification for each component.  These may be combined into one document to be uploaded with the application in grants.gov . If any of the application forms require a summary of the total budget, then please enter the appropriate amounts based upon the specific form.
  40. I don’t see anything in the NOFO about the format/structure of the 5-page narratives for each optional component.
    There is not a specific format for the Optional Components.  You are welcome to use the scoring criteria that is listed in the Review and Selection Process, Phase II Review section as your outline.
  41. Should these be an additionally separate attachment – one document for each optional component narrative? Or, should they be combined into one additional separate attachment, or even appended to the end of the Core Program Narrative? For this last one in particular, I’m concerned that if we include optional component narratives with the core narrative document, they’ll be ignored since they’ll come after page 20; but if we upload them as separate attachments when they’re not on the list of acceptable attachments, we’ll be considered non-responsive and disqualified. You are welcome to include the Core and Optional Components, as distinct sections of one Project Narrative document or you may upload them as separately labeled Project Narrative documents.
  42. We had a question about the additional eligibility requirements listed on page 31 of the RFA. For D. Responsiveness-EvalPlan, what specifically is the ask for an evaluation plan? Are you looking for a past evaluation plan that we have used for another project?
    An evaluation plan updated in the past 3 years is required to be submitted with this application as listed in the Additional Information on Eligibility section.  This plan did not have to be submitted to CDC prior to submitting it with this application.  The plan should reflect the organization’s existing evaluation capacity and may be a document internal to your organization.  You and your colleague may decide if an evaluation plan that you have used for another project would meet this criteria.
  43. Should the Project Abstract Summary reflect only the Core Component or should it also reflect the Optional Components for which we are applying?
    The abstract must include the Core Component and it would be helpful if you also include information on the Optional Components too.
  44. Do we submit one application to include both the CORE and Optional A Components?
    Yes, the applicants submit one application for the Core and Optional Components.  You are welcome to include the Core and Optional Components, as distinct sections of one Project Narrative document or you may upload them as separately labeled Project Narrative documents.
  45. Is the application to include only 1 year for $400K or 5 yrs for $2M ?
    Applications should include a budget for one year, not five years.
  46. Can you please clarify if a Data Management Plan (DMP) is a requirement in the application. There is some confusion on whether it needs to be submitted with the application or within the first six months after an agency is awarded funding.
    The Recipient Evaluation and Performance Measurement Plan and the Data Management Plan (DMP) are due 6 months into award (see Reporting section of the NOFO).
  47. There is a discussion that the budget is for $500k, and that the budget should only be listed for the first year of a five-year project.  Does that mean $500k max for the first year, and additional funds after, or a lump sum in year 1 for the entire life of the project?  We are planning a 5-year project targeting must of the southwestern United States.
    Core Component – Funding is available for the Core Component, based upon population at the $300,000, $4000,000 up to the $500,000 level.  This level of funding is for each budget year for up to five years of funding.  Please do not request funding for more than the limit that is listed for your population.  If an applicant applies for funding for the Core Component that is above the funding level for their population, the application will not be reviewed. Optional Component – Applicants may apply for up to $1,000,000 for each of the Optional Components.   This total is for each budget year.Applications for the Core Component and for each of the Optional Components will be reviewed and scored. Only applications selected for Core Component funding will be eligible for Optional Component funding. Awards for the Core and Optional Components are contingent upon available program funding and guidelines for allowable funding.  Should our program’s funding increase, we would have the ability to funding additional applicants for Core or Optional Components.
  48. If the $500k amount is only for the first year, what is the total project funding limit?
    For the Core Component, it will be the yearly funding total (e.g., $300,000, $400,000, or $500,000) times five years, based upon available funding.
  49. When would the budgets for years 2-5 be sent?
    Should an applicant be funded for Year 1, then each year the applicant submits an Annual Performance Report and a Non-Competing Continuation Application that includes the proposal and the requested budget for the next year.  Awards are made for the September 1 – August 31 budget year.
  50. Should only the core activities be budgeted for the first year?  Are component activities supposed to occur later if the first year is successful?
    You must apply this year for the Core Component and any of the Optional Components for your application/proposal to be reviewed and scored.  Funding of the Core and Optional Components are contingent upon our budget.  Should we receive additional funding in the future, we could consider funding additional applicants or components.
  51. The application asks if it is new, continuation, or revision. Since we are current grantees, do we mark continuation? Or since it is competitive, do we mark new?
    This is a new, competitive announcement so please mark new.
  52. Our group has decided not to apply this year and will instead be developing our proposal for the next funding cycle.  Do you anticipate this call being renewed next year?
    We do not have our budget for next year so we do not know if a new funding announcement will be available.  I would suggest that you and your colleagues continue to check grants.gov for future funding opportunities related to this and other subjects in your area of interest.
Page last reviewed: June 8, 2021