Understanding the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

How to Apply

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Follow the detailed instructions in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and in the application guide carefully. In general, CDC’s NOFOs follow a basic structure outlined below. This structure may change depending on the project and announcement.

General Structure of CDC’s NOFO

Part 1: Overview includes information such as:

Part 2: Full Text includes information such as:

  • Description of funding opportunity (e.g., proposed activities, purpose, resources)
  • Award information
  • Description of eligible applicant types
  • Application and submission information
  • Application review information
  • Award administration information
  • Agency contact information
  • Other information
  • Glossary

Types of CDC Funding Opportunities

CDC funds research and non-research grants and cooperative agreements.

The major difference between research and non-research lies in the purpose of the activity. The purpose of research is to increase scientific knowledge. The purpose of non-research in public health is to prevent or control disease or injury and improve health, or to improve a public health program or service.

A research grant or cooperative agreement provides funding to support investigatory projects to be performed by specific organizations in their areas of expertise. Research means a “systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” (45 CFR 46.102(d)).

A non-research grant or cooperative agreement provides funding to support the agency’s programmatic needs, such as HIV prevention projects and programs for children’s immunization and vaccines. The purpose of the non-research activity is to identify and control a health problem or improve a public health program or service. Intended benefits of the project are primarily or exclusively for the participants (or clients) or the participants’ community; data collected are needed to assess or improve the program or service, the health of the participants or the participants’ community; knowledge that is generated does not extend beyond the scope of the activity; and project activities are not experimental.

For more information, visit CDC’s policy on distinguishing research and non-research grants.

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