Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ page is developed based on the questions received via the mailbox from potential applicants and stakeholders related to the notice of funding opportunity. Please view the question and answers (Q&As) under each respective heading/section for responses to submitted questions.
If you have any questions regarding Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) PS22-2203 not addressed here, please send an email to CBOFOA@cdc.gov.
Q: Can we submit an application and also be listed as a subcontractor on another application?
A: It is allowable to submit an application and be listed as a subcontractor on another application.
Q: Should the applications be written to include current COVID-19 restrictions? How will that impact the large-scale event?
A: Please submit the applications as if COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. CDC will modify programs to adhere with COVID-19 guidelines if the pandemic is still ongoing. Additional guidance will be provided regarding the impact of COVID-19 on large-scale events once awards are made and further assessments can be made.
Q: Can you provide clarification on participating in large-scale events during COVID-19?
A: CDC will provide further guidance to recipients once awards are dispersed.
Q: Can we use funds to allocate for COVID testing?
A: Please visit the CDC website regarding COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/grants/public-health-emergencies/covid-19/index.html
Q: Does the 20-page limit pertain to narrative only or does it include attachments as well?
A: The 20-page limit pertains to the narrative only.
Q: Is the workplan part of the 20-page limit?
A: Yes, the workplan is part of the 20 pages.
Q: Must we use 12-point font for footnotes and tables, or can we use 10-point font for footnotes and tables?
A: According to the NOFO, the project narrative is written in 12-point font, 1-inch margins, number all pages. A font less than 12-point may be used for footnotes and tables.
Q: Can a previous CDC Notice of Award (NOA) be submitted as evidence of previous of work with a priority population?
A: A progress report from a previous CDC award may be used as evidence of previous work with the priority population.
Q: Does the table of contents or abstract count towards the 20-page limit?
A: The table of content or project abstract does not count towards the 20-page limit for the narrative.
Q: For the MOU/MOA required for referrals for prevention and essential support services, could both of those be internal, e.g., an MOU for our internal housing program and an MOU for our mental health counseling program?
A: Yes, that is acceptable. Those referrals may be internal or external.
Q: If we already have MOUs, can we just use them?
A: As long as your MOUs fall within NOFO requirements, they should be acceptable. The MOUs must outline all required NOFO activities.
Q: If we have a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provider and an HIV care provider in-house, do we need to have MOUs with them?
A: Yes, it is acceptable to have service agreements with internal PrEP or HIV care providers. These service agreements can be internal or external to your organization. You should secure a service agreement from the internal clinic or have one on hand for submission with the proposal.
Q: Can the medical provider also be the PrEP provider? If so, do we still need to submit two services agreements or would one service agreement detailing the two services be sufficient?
A: Yes, the HIV medical provider can also be the PrEP provider. It is still required that you provide separate service agreements even if you will use the same provider.
Q: Can we use a service agreement that was signed within the last year for submission?
A: Existing service agreements may be submitted with the application. Service agreements should be reviewed and updated annually.
Q: Is there guidance or templates for service agreements and MOUs/MOAs?
A: The CDC PS22-2203 website page has links for required attachments. There is not a template for MOAs/MOUs and service agreements; however, the NOFO indicates what information should be included in specific service agreements (e.g., HIV and PrEP providers) and the content to include for MOAs/MOUs.
Q: Is the average award amount per year of $350,000 more likely to be around that amount or can applicants apply for more than this amount?
A: There is no ceiling for the funding amount an organization may request. The anticipated average award is $350,000. If funded, your budget and program deliverables and allocations may need to be revised and are subject to approval by CDC based on the award amount. Please ensure that you develop a budget that adequately support the proposed PS22-2203 program.
Q: When will we know if we are awarded?
A: The anticipated award date is April 1, 2022.
Q: Are lab costs, copays, and deductibles fundable by this grant?
A: Some lab costs are allowable, it may include the processing of HIV test and integrated screening tests. PS22-2203 funds may not be used to cover copays and deductibles for clients.
Q: May grant funds be used to lease a “safe space” for prevention services?
A: Recipient organizations must designate a dedicated physical space that is a culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate safe space located either within the organization or off-site within close-proximity. The safe space may function as a primary point of recruitment and location for project activities for the priority population. Recipients must address at least two social determinants of health that serve as barriers or impede priority populations from receiving quality HIV prevention and care services. Funds may be used for leasing a space, if deemed appropriate and based on program needs.
Q: Can grant funds be used to purchase a mobile unit for testing or to perform updates to a currently owned mobile testing unit?
A: The purchase of a mobile van/unit or leasing a mobile van/unit may be an allowable cost and must be listed in the application and initial budget. Approval, once funded, may be dependent on several factors and associated documentation will be required. In accordance with the cost principles, motor vehicles are known as general purpose equipment and are an unallowable direct charge, except where approved in advance by the awarding agency.
Q: May funds be used to lease a safe space facility for Prevention services?
A: Yes, it must be outlined within the program narrative application and budget.
Q: Can we use funds for rapid HIV testing kits?
A: Yes, funds may be used to conduct rapid testing.
Q: Can funds be used to pay for PrEP and nPEP doctor’s visits and or exam related to that?
A: No, funds cannot be used to pay for PrEP and nPEP doctor’s visits or associated exams.
Q: Should the budget narrative be only for one year? Or should we include a brief summary for the subsequent four years?
A: The budget narrative should only address one year. It should align with the SF-424A.
Q: Would you like us to submit a detailed budget spreadsheet in addition to the budget narrative and the SF424A?
A: No, the budget narrative should include all the cost details and supporting information. Please refer to the CDC Budget Preparation Guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/grants/documents/budget-preparation-guidance.pdfpdf icon
Q: Are we required to submit forms SF-424 and SF-424A, which appear in the package of forms in https://www.grants.govexternal icon ? The NOFO on p. 68 states that they are for an international NOFO. This is a domestic NOFO.
A: It is a requirement to submit SF-424 and SF-424A for this NOFO. SF-424 is the application for federal assistance and must be filled for all NOFOs. SF-424A is the budget information for non-construction programs and is mandatory.
Q: The NOFO states that a document called “Indirect Cost Rate” should be included in your application. If you are using a de minimis, is there something that we are required to attach to the application, or should we just indicate that within the budget narrative?
A: Applicants may use the de minimus rate of 10%. It has to be stated in a memo from the organization. Your fiscal/business officer should submit a document that you would like to use the de minimis rate.
Q:What is the difference between direct and indirect costs?
A: Direct costs are directly associated with carrying out the program. Indirect costs are charged across the board. If you do not plan to negotiate an indirect cost rate agreement, you must submit a letter saying you choose to use the 10% de minimis for the entire project.
Q: Can we use grant funds to distribute masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to clients?
A: Funds should be used for HIV prevention services only. If you have purchased masks for conducting HIV testing, and a client presents for testing without a mask, you may provide them with a mask for services.
Q: Is there a budget template?
A: Please refer to the CDC Budget Preparation Guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/grants/documents/budget-preparation-guidance.pdfpdf icon.
Q: Please clarify 75% and 25% details. Is it for us to break down in our budget core activities versus foundational activities? Is there a document that lists this?
A: There should be one budget that follows the funding categories outlined, e.g., personnel, fringe, supplies, and equipment. There is language that 75% of resources should go towards core components. We ask that you do not have two budgets, but to explain the 75/25% split in the detailed budget narrative. Items need to be clearly outlined, such as HIV testing and social marketing resources. Provide details and itemize so that the reviewer can understand the budget.
Q: Is the purchase of rapid HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) tests allowed, and are laboratory fees for STD tests allowed?
A: Yes, these are allowable costs. However, HCV and STD laboratory costs are only allowable up to 5% of the total budget, which is noted under Integrated Screenings.
Q: Will CDC allow 100% salary coverage for HIV testers?
A: If that staff is dedicated staff for the PS22-2203 program, 100% of their salary may be covered with funding from this award. This must be noted in the organizational chart and budget narrative.
Q: Who is eligible to apply for PS22-2203 funds?
A: The PS22-2203 cooperative agreement program is for community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement high-impact human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention programs within their community. Applicant organizations should demonstrate that the organization (e.g., community-based organization, community health centers, hospitals with non-government and/or college/university affiliation) is rooted in the community specific to the funding category. Applicants should have a history of providing services and intend to implement HIV prevention services in the service areas indicated in the NOFO (see pgs. 29 , 41-42). The applicant must consult with the state Health Department and have Attachment C: Health Department Letter of Support completed by the respective health department representative. Please refer to the Eligibility Information section in the NOFO (pgs. 41-42).
Q: Are universities eligible?
A: Institutions of higher education are not eligible for funding.
Q: Are health departments eligible to apply?
A: Health departments are not eligible to apply.
Q: Our agency is non-profit under the auspices of a university. Are we eligible to apply?
A: The applicant organization must not have a government affiliation and not be under the administrative and management authority of a college or university.
Evidence of Service
Q: What sort of documentation do we need to show that we have served the proposed priority population for over 24 months?
A: Examples of documentation of services could include progress reports, funding reports or awards, agency reports such as newsletters, profiles, agency summary reports on activities and services and persons reached, etc. Additional examples are included in the NOFO.
Q: Is there a template for the evidence of service requirement?
A: There is not a template for evidence of service. Examples of evidence of service include letters from a non-CDC funder or a progress report from a funder showing that you served the priority population for them.
Letter of Intent
Q: My organization did not submit a Letter of Intent. Can we still apply for PS22-2203?
A: The Letter of Intent is not required. The Letter Intent is optional and not binding. The purpose of an LOI is to allow CDC program staff to estimate the number of and plan for the review of submitted applications. As long as your organization meets the listed eligibility requirements, you may still submit an application. If you do submit a LOI, you do not need to wait for approval to submit the application.
Q: My organization would like to change our priority population and service delivery area from what we submitted on our Letter of Intent, is that possible?
A: The Letter of Intent is a non-binding document. The priority population or service delivery area(s) may differ from what you submitted in your Letter of Intent.
Q: If the deadline for Letter of Intent was missed, is the organization eligible?
A: The Letter of Intent (LOI) is optional and not binding. The purpose of an LOI is to allow CDC program staff to estimate the number of and plan for the review of submitted applications. Your organization may submit an application in the absence of submitting the LOI.
Q: Can we serve more than one priority population?
A: Under this NOFO, you are being asked to select only one priority population for the specific category of funding that you apply. Priority populations for Category A are Young Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men (YMSM of color) and the priority populations for Category B are Young Transgender Persons of Color (YTG persons of color). You may serve other clients, but 75% of the total number of clients you serve must be from the selected priority population. Applicants may only apply for ONE category (Category A or Category B).
Q: Can you provide clarification on the evaluation and performance measurement plan (EPMP)? Does a draft need to be submitted with the proposal?
A: The EPMP is not required with the application. CDC will work with recipients in the first six months to develop an EPMP; however, you must include performance targets in the work plan submitted with the application.
Q: How can I find out if my organization needs to submit Attachment D: Letter of Intent from a Physician for State Regulations and HIV Testing Activities? Can any licensed medical professional, including a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner where they are working within the scope of their state licensure, can oversee the applicant’s HIV testing program?
A: The requirement to complete Attachment D is dependent on your state laws and guidelines. Your state/local health department can provide guidance on this requirement. In addition, your state health department representative can provide guidance on the required service provider (Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner) allowable based on the state guidelines and regulations.
Q: For a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) considering applying, how do you define “majority” when it comes to testing conducted in an outreach setting?
A: The majority of the HIV testing must be conducted in an outreach setting (75% or greater); up to 25% of HIV testing efforts can be conducted as routine, opt-out HIV testing.
Q: If the applicant is a clinical/medical provider, do we instead write a letter stating that we provide HIV specialty medical care?
A: Since you have an internal medical care provider, you may utilize that provider. You will generate an internal MOU/MOA documenting the agreement.
Q: How is service area defined and what are the service area requirements?
A: Applicants may provide services in at least one, up to a maximum of three (3), services areas throughout the applicant’s jurisdiction. The service areas, within the jurisdiction, must be in proximity of the applicant organization’s address and the applicant must have a history of providing service in the area. A service area may be a small as a city or as large as a multi-county neighboring region. The service area should be within a reasonable area that would allow clients access to services offered by your organization. For example, if your organization is located in Pittsburgh, you may service areas in the metro Pittsburgh area however, it would not be feasible to provide services in Philadelphia because of the geographic distance between the cities.
Q: Must you fund a navigator under this NOFO, or could you refer to an existing program, if you have a navigation program funded by another project? If the agency has a HIV Navigator employed with other funding, is it necessary to use PS22-2203 funds to do so?
A: Funded organizations must employ at least one trained HIV Navigator (a minimum of 0.5 FTE) within the agency to help facilitate the coordination of the organization’s linkage to HIV Medical Care plan activities. The navigator may work to service clients across the PS22-2203 program and the existing program in your organization.
Q: Are incentives allowable?
A: Incentives are allowable. The incentive must be appropriate for the priority population and are subject to approval by CDC based on the award amount. Please ensure that any incentive used adequately support the proposed PS22-2203 program.
Q: Can the priority population be MSM, of any race or does it have to be MSM of a specific race/ethnicity?
A: For Category A, the priority population must be young MSM (YMSM) of color (i.e., racial/ethnic minority YMSM) and, at a minimum, 75% of clients served must be YMSM of color.
Q: We have an in-house data specialist. Do we need to put in funding for hiring an outside evaluator?
A: It is not necessary to hire an outside evaluator. CDC can assist with in-house evaluation. You need to have someone for data entry at least half-time. If you feel you need specific evaluation that is not related to program specifically, you can hire an outside evaluator.
Q: Does the data management plan need to be included with this application? If it does, is it part of the narrative?
A: The data management plan can be included in the narrative. For those applicants awarded funding, CDC will work with recipients in the first six months to develop an evaluation performance and measurement plan (EPMP), including a data management plan. However, you must include performance targets in the work plan submitted with the application and information regarding how you will collect performance measures, possible data sources, feasibility of collecting, and plans to update the data management plan if selected as a recipient.
Q: If we do not have key personnel positions filled yet (e.g., program manager), should we include a job description as a Resume CV attachment or just leave that position out of that section?
A: Please provide a job description in the budget narrative and mark it as To Be Determined (TBD).
Q: Is it possible to submit more than one MOU for a medical provider, PrEP provider, and prevention and essential support services?
A: At least one service agreement is needed with the application for an HIV medical provider and at least one service agreement is needed for a PrEP services provider. Two MOAs/MOUs should be provided for prevention and essential support services. Once awarded, your PO will assist you with MOUs/MOAs for the essential support services needed by your priority population.
Q: Can we fund staff to do integrated screenings?
A; If your agency has the capacity or is already implementing integrated screening, you may use up to 5% of your requested funds to support these activities. If your agency does not offer integrated screenings and you do not have the capacity, you must establish a service agreement with a clinical care provider to offer those services.
Q: Can we use PS22-2203 funds to hire a social worker to deliver mental health counseling services?
A: Clinical services are not an allowable cost under this NOFO, so funds cannot be used for social work or mental health or substance use counselors.
Q: Can you speak to the requirement for a safe space? What is meant by safe space?
A: Applicants are required to identify a physical space for priority populations. It can serve as a primary point for recruitment and offering risk reduction skills and tools, as well as provide an opportunity to empower priority populations. CBOs will be required to address at least two social determinants of health that impact HIV prevention outcomes that resonate with the priority population. There is an assessment that you could conduct with your priority population. In terms of what it should look like, it should be a culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate environment. If you did an assessment and found out that housing was a big issue with them, this would be an example of something your organization could address to make HIV prevention less of a barrier for your priority population.
Q: Can the safe space be an office, or are you looking for a common area?
A: The safe space can be within your office or in a nearby location. It must be easily accessible to your priority population.
Q: Is there a required format for the work plan? Should the logic model be used for a format?
A: The work plan should be included with the narrative. There is not a specific format. The logic model does not need to be used as a format for the work plan, but you can use it to guide activities to be addressed in the work plan.
Q: Is CDC suggesting or requiring a grid or table format for the work plan?
A: There is no specific format for the work plan; however, the work plan must be included in the 20-page limit of the project narrative. Project narratives must be written using 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and all pages numbered. Applicants who wish to use a template may find a sample work plan template on the PS22-2203 website https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/funding/announcements/ps22-2203/attachments.html.
Q: For the work plan, should the “outcomes” response be just the verbs (increase, decrease) or also the targets (objectives)?
A: The work plan should incorporate your SMART objectives for the specific project outcomes. It is not enough to only include increase/decrease for the outcomes. The work plan should encompass the strategies and activities you plan to conduct, as well as the associated outcomes from those proposed strategies and activities. The logic model is a guide that can assist you with the development of your work plan inclusive of SMART objectives.
Q: If we choose category A over category B, can we still provide services to community members who fall under category B?
A: Yes, but if you choose category A, ensure HIV testing activities include at least 75% of category A priority population members. At least 75% of HIV tests must be from your proposed priority population.
Q: Are partners counted in the 75% of tests done with the priority population and not in the 25% of non-priority tests? If yes, how do we document that they are a partner of a member of the priority population?
A: Partners of the priority population would count in either the 75% or 25% populations depending upon their own risk and association. If they are a member of the priority population, their test would be counted in the 75% population (e.g., if your priority population is AAMSM and the partner tested is AAMSM, then the partner would be counted in the priority populations. If the partner is a white MSM, then they would be part of the 25% population).
Q: Is there a target number of patients you expect us to see?
A: Performance targets should be determined by your area, but there are requirements for number of new HIV diagnoses. For Category A, the number of new HIV diagnoses is eight, and for Category B, the number is six. You can work with your local and state health department to help you develop your targets for other required NOFO activities. Historical program data is one data source you can use.
Risk Reduction Behavioral Interventions
Q: Can you give us advice on how to budget for interventions?
A: On the CDC Effective Interventions website (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/effective-interventions/index.html) there are links to all of the public health strategies and interventions. Some sections will have information about budgets and cost analysis, as well as incentives that may be allocated. Costs need to be reasonable and related to what you say you are going to do.
Q: Can we propose to implement the other CDC-approved evidence-based interventions or can we only use those listed in the NOFO?
A: The only allowed risk reduction behavioral interventions for implementation under PS22-2203 are the interventions listed in the PS22-2203 NOFO.
Q: Are Behavioral Health interventions required or optional?
A: All HIV High Impact Behavioral Interventions are optional.
Q: Are CDC intervention trainings free?
A: Yes, the intervention trainings are free.
Q: Does Safe in the City have to be implemented in a waiting room?
A: No, it can be offered in other parts of the agency. The free videos can be accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/effective-interventions/prevent/safe-in-the-city/index.html?Sort=Title%3A%3Aasc&Intervention%20Name=Safe%20in%20the%20City.
Q: Are we allowed to use interventions that we found effective with our priority population but are not listed in the NOFO? There are several interventions on the CDC website, so do we have to offer only the ones listed in PS22-2203?
A: Although there is a comprehensive list of effective behavioral interventions listed on the CDC website, the interventions listed in the NOFO under Risk Reduction Behavioral Interventions are the only behavioral interventions that can be supported with PS22-2203 funds. You are not required to offer a behavioral intervention under this program; if you do offer a behavioral intervention, please choose one that fits your priority population.
Q: Do we also need to submit the other CDC assurances (e.g. non-construction programs)?
A: Yes, CDC Assurances and Certifications are required with your submission.
Q: For the Assurance of Compliance form and the panel members that we need to designate, can they be members of the board or staff members from different departments? Should we ask the health department for a representative as well, as it appears that there is a place on the form for one?
A: Members may be board members, program staff members, community members, community advisory board members, etc. You want to ensure that the members represent your community or priority population. Additionally, one health department representative (city, local, county, or state) should be included.
Q: Is there a template for the duplication of efforts report?
A: There is no template for the duplication of effort report. Please submit a written statement of whether this application will result in programmatic, budgetary, or commitment overlap with another application or award (e.g., grant, cooperative agreement, or contract) submitted to another funding source in the same fiscal year. Applicants need to submit this as part of their application, even if they do not have duplication of effort.
Q: Can we attach more information at the end of the Linkage to Care form?
A: Yes, you may include any current Linkage to Care protocol or policy in lieu of the form, or you may develop your own form. Include any tables, diagrams, etc., that will not fit on the form, but the information must be included in the document you are submitting.
Q: Our agency does not participate in lobbying activities. Do we still need to submit the form?
A: The lobbying activities form is still required. Please complete it with all related information and include N/A for the applicable to do not apply to your agency.
Q: Can an organization submit two separate applications, one for young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and one for young transgender (YTG) persons, or can they only apply for one category?
A: Only one application will be accepted, and you must choose only one category.