FAQs

This page addresses questions regarding the CDC-RFA-DP21-2111 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Accelerator Plans.

5/26/21

Q: Is the award date and start date the same thing?
A: Yes, the award and start date are the same date.

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6/29/21

Q: Since we have limited space, are applicants required to include all data outlined on page 6 of the NOFO even if we are not going to focus on one of the SDOH priority areas? For example, if we will not focus on the tobacco-free policy priority area, do we need to speak to the prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke?
A: No.

Q: Does each applicant need the Risk Assessment Questionnaire?
A: Yes, “CDC requires all applicants to complete the Risk Questionnaire, OMB Control Number 0920- 1132 annually. This questionnaire [PDF-198KB], along with supporting documentation, must be submitted with your application by the closing date of the NOFO Announcement. If your organization has completed CDC’s Risk Questionnaire within the past 12 months of the closing date of this NOFO, then you must submit a copy of that questionnaire, or submit a letter signed by the authorized organization representative to include the original submission date, organization’s EIN and DUNS.”

Q: On page 19, section C. Organizational Capacity of Recipients to Implement the Approach, the NOFO states: “Applicant should provide a staffing plan, including an organizational chart, CVs/resumes, position descriptions and project management structure that will be sufficient to meet the goals of the proposed project. Applicants must name the files “Organizational_Chart,” “Resumes,” “Position_Descriptions,” and “Project_Management_Structure” and upload them to www.grants.gov.”

Then on page 47 section H. Other Information, the NOFO states: “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.”

This list does not include a document labeled “Project Management Structure” although this is requested on page 19 of the NOFO. Can you confirm if we are able to upload the Project Management Structure attachment while still being compliant with the NOFO and are able to have our application reviewed?
A. Yes, you can upload the Project Management Structure as an attachment while still being compliant with the NOFO and able to have your application reviewed.

Q: Do the references count towards the page count of the Project Narrative section (6 page limit)? Can they be added as an additional document instead?
A: Yes, if you include references in the Project Narrative section, they will count toward the page limit.  Yes, alternatively, references can be added as an attachment.

Q: The DP21-2111 NOFO indicates that any attachments not noted in the NOFO are not allowed and if any are included that the application will not be reviewed. But the NOFO also states that a staffing plan has to be submitted, and we also have a map for the catchment area. Is there for any clarification for additional attachments?
A: Section H addresses the attachments that will be reviewed. Any other attachments will not be reviewed.

Q: For fiscal tracking section on NOFO pg. 33, applicants are encouraged to show a record of fiscal responsibility, however, this document is not listed as an approved upload on pg. 49. Will the CDC accept this upload?
A: Yes.

Q: We are confused about the Budget Information document in the Mandatory Forms because it doesn’t correlate with the instructions to fill out the Budget Doc and/or the Budget Narrative. Could you please clarify that the document in the Mandatory Forms is the correct one we should be using?

What we remain confused about are the requirements for the Budget and Budget Narrative as the language in the NOFO, doesn’t match the language on the SF-424 Budget Information for non-construction programs doc in the mandatory forms.
A:  Each applicant is required to prepare 2 separate Budget Submission Requirements:

  1. The SF-424 Budget Information for non-construction is a mandatory form that must be completed (located on grants.govexternal icon) and will reflect the overall requested funding totals for each budgetary cost category.
  2. (Pg. 30) 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
    • Total Direct costs
    • Total Indirect costs

Indirect costs could include the cost of collecting, managing, sharing and preserving data.

(Pg. 31) Applicants must name this file “Budget Narrative” and upload it as a PDF file at www.grants.govexternal icon. If requesting indirect costs in the budget, a copy of the indirect cost-rate agreement is required. If the indirect costs are requested, include a copy of the current negotiated federal indirect cost rate agreement or a cost allocation plan approval letter for those Recipients under such a plan. Applicants must name this file “Indirect Cost Rate” and upload it at www.grants.govexternal icon

Pg. 41 Budget Narrative – Must use the format outlined in “Content and Form of Application Submission, Budget Narrative” section.

6/1/21

Q: What documentation is required for designation and proof of designation as a bona fide agent of a county government?
A:  If applying as a bona fide agent of a state or local government, a letter from the state or local government as documentation of the status is required.  This is generally a letter stating that the agent is given the authority to operate in the stead of the government entity, in this case a county government, for a specified purpose.

Q: We currently offer a CDC nationally recognized Diabetes Prevention Program. Would this count as the collaboration needed for CDC-funded chronic disease programs? If so, who would the letter of support need to come from? Our health department who offers it or the National Diabetes Prevention Program?
A:  The letter of support would come from the entity funded by CDC. If your health department is the funded entity, then the letter of support would come from your health department.

Q: As for the CDC-funded program outside of chronic disease, we received an immunization grant from National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in partnership with the CDC this spring. Would a letter of support from this effort suffice?
A:  Yes. A letter of support from this effort would suffice if this program is part of your Accelerator Plan’s Leadership Team and therefore part of the planning effort.

5/26/21

Q: How many counties can collaborate on the grant? In other words, could small states apply for a statewide SDOH planning grant?
A: Applicants are required to identify a community and corresponding population disproportionately affected by disparities related to chronic disease. For the purposes of the notice of funding opportunity, a community within the state could be defined as a city, county, parish, or jurisdiction/sub jurisdiction and a catchment area is as a county, metropolitan statistical area(s) or a group of contiguous counties. There is not a limit on the number of counties.

Q: Can we team up with an organization to apply for the grant?
A: Eligible applicants for the grant are:

  • state governments (or bona fide agents)
  • county, city, or township governments (or bona fide agents)
  • Territorial governments (or bona fide agents)
  • Native American tribal governments or Native American tribal organizations

Other organizations can participate as part of the leadership team or strategic partner.

Q: Is a letter of support from everyone in the leadership team required? If an existing council is being leveraged, will a letter from the chair representing the council suffice?
A: If an existing council will serve in the capacity of the leadership team for the purposes of this grant, a letter from the chair of the council will suffice.

Q: The notice of funding opportunity asks for a letter of support to be co-signed by the program director of the CDC-funded program(s) that the applicant will be working with. Is this the same as the project director (PI/PD) of the chronic disease projects funded by the CDC (e.g., 1815, SRCP, others) in the jurisdiction?
A: The project director (PI/PD) of a chronic disease project funded by the CDC (e.g., 1815, SRCP, others) in the jurisdiction would qualify as a signatory on a letter of support by a program director of a CDC-funded program.

Q: Does the validation process have to be finished by July 6? Or just the submission?
A: The application submission must be completed by 11:59 pm EST on July 6, 2021.

Q: Acknowledging an evaluation plan is not required but it is included in the selection criteria. Can it be included as an attachment?
A: An evaluation plan for the notice of funding opportunity itself is not required. Please address the following in the 6-page project narrative and work plan:

  • Strategies and activities are implemented as planned
  • Strategy and activity progress are occurring
  • Performance measures are collected

An evaluation plan or activities is required in the resulting SDOH Accelerator Plan itself.

Q: Should the work plan also be included as an attachment?
A: No, the work plan is not required as a separate attachment, however, the work plan must be included in your project narrative.

Q: If we would plan to hire someone for this, we would have a job description, but do we need a curriculum vitae/resume?
A: If you plan to hire staff, no curriculum vitae or resume is required, however, a list of qualifications and the role and responsibility of that individual is needed.

Q: Is the collaboration with an actual program within CDC or a state program (either chronic disease or non-chronic disease) that is funded by CDC?
A: Recipients are required to collaborate with CDC-funded chronic disease prevention programs to ensure that activities align with ongoing chronic disease prevention efforts and their SDOH Accelerator Plan is not duplicative.

Q: Two letters of intent from CDC-funded programs (chronic disease and non-chronic disease) are required for each application?
A: Letters of intent are not required. However, applicants are required to submit at least one letter of support that describes how they will collaborate with the CDC-funded chronic disease prevention program(s).

Q: Is the Special Diabetes Program for Indians considered a chronic disease prevention program?
A: Yes, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) Diabetes Prevention demonstration project is considered a chronic disease prevention program.

Q: Can you clarify: Is the SDOH Accelerator Plan included in the 6-page narrative, or is the Accelerator Plan what we are developing over the year of the grant cycle and our narrative describes how we will develop the Accelerator Plan?
A: The SDOH Accelerator Plan is not included in the 6-page narrative. The SDOH Accelerator Plan is the deliverable to be developed over the grant cycle.

Q: Does a state have to have a state needs assessment completed?
A: Applicants are required to identify a community and corresponding population disproportionately affected by disparities related to chronic disease. Results from a community health needs assessment (CHA) and/or state health needs assessment (SHA) should be used to describe and support the selection of your population. If a CHA or SHA is not available, providing justification for use of other data is acceptable to describe and support the selection of your population.

Q: Is there a required format for the community/state health needs assessment or a timeframe in which it had to be developed? If it was developed 5 years ago, is that acceptable?
A: There is no specific timeframe required for the community or state health needs assessment data; however, the data’s relevance or timeliness to the current status of the population chosen should be provided.

5/13/21

Q: What is the project narrative page limit for the Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans (FON CDC-RFA-DP21-2111)? Page 28 says the limit is 20 pages, but page 48 says the limit is six pages.
A: The project narrative page limit is six (6) pages, single spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and number all pages. The project narrative must include all the following headings: background, approach, organizational capacity of applicants to implement the approach, and work plan. Content beyond the specified page limit will not be reviewed.

Q: What is included in the project narrative?
A: The project narrative must include all the following sections: 1) Background, 2) Approach, 3) Applicant organizational capacity of applicants to implement the approach, and 4) Work plan.

Q: Are there any restrictions on more than one organization in a state applying and receiving these funds?
A: There are no restrictions on the number of organizations in a state submitting applications for funding, however, no more than three recipients per Health and Human Services regionexternal icon will be awarded funds.

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6/29/21

Q: Are stipends, or gift cards, or food/beverage incentives for community members of the leadership committee an allowable expense?
A: No, these are not allowable. However, community members can be compensated for their time and effort, such as through an independent contract or as a paid consultant.

Q: If awarded, we would use 100% of our funds for salary support of a project coordinator, assistant project coordinator, and two team leads that are currently working in our community.

The formatting on the examples doesn’t match our budget plan. Would it be acceptable to eliminate the columns for “Time” and “Months” since we would be issuing lump-sum payments to leadership team members?
A. No, the columns for Time and Months may not be eliminated. Indicate the number of hours/days/weeks per month and then the relevant number of months the staff will be working.

5/26/21

Q: Does the budget narrative have a page limit?
A: No, the budget narrative is not included in the page limit requirement.

Q: Can the budget include costs for implementing the accelerated plan or just the costs to develop the plan. For instance, if we are trying to get nutrition incentives to people, can those be covered?
A: The budget should include activities related to the development of the SDOH Accelerator Plan only. Implementation activities are out of the scope of this grant.

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6/29/21

Q: The NOFO says that the “Applicants must be physically located and operate in the state, tribe, locality, or territory for which work is proposed.” If an organization is applying as the bona fide agent for the city in which the project will take place, and the organization works in that city but does not have an office in that city, are they still eligible to apply as the bona fide agent?
A: No. Page 23 of the NOFO states: “Applicants proposing to work in a state, tribe, locality, or territory other than where the applicant is physically located and operates will be considered non-responsive and will not receive further review.”

5/26/21

Q: Please define “bona fide agent”.
A: A bona fide agent is an agency/organization identified as eligible to submit an application in lieu of a state, tribal, territorial, or local government application. If applying as a bona fide agent, documentation of a legal, binding agreement from the state, tribal, territorial, or local government is required.

Q: Are non-profit hospitals eligible?
A: Non-profit hospitals are not eligible to apply. Please note: Under the eligibility section on page 23, “non-government organizations” is a sub-heading. The semi-colon was not pulled from the grant solutions template. Non-government organizations are not eligible to apply.

Q: Are managed care organizations eligible?
A: Managed care organizations are not eligible to apply.

Q: Can a maternity home that seeks to address health disparities for expectant mothers by incorporating an array of interventions apply?
A: A maternity home would have to qualify as a bona fide agent of state, local, or territorial government. A bona fide agent is an agency/organization identified as eligible to submit an application in lieu of a state application. If applying as a bona fide agent, documentation of a legal, binding agreement from the state, tribal, territorial, or local government is required.

Q: To clarify, local health departments are the only type of local government entity eligible to apply?
A: County, city, or township governments or their bona fide agents are eligible to apply.

Q: Page 23 of notice of funding opportunity states that non-government organizations are eligible. I’m assuming this means for when they are bona fide agents.
A: On page 23, “non-government organizations” is a sub-heading. Non-government organizations are not eligible to apply with the sole exception as listed on page 23, namely, American Indian or Alaska native tribally designated organizations.

Q: Is a 501C4 quasi-governmental entity created by our county eligible?
A: The 501C4 quasi-governmental would have to qualify as a bona fide agent of state, local, or territorial government. A bona fide agent is an agency/organization identified as eligible to submit an application in lieu of a state, local or territorial government application. If applying as a bona fide agent, documentation of a legal, binding agreement from the state, tribal, territorial, or local is required.

Q: Can our City Planning Department apply on behalf of our County Health Dept. (with a written agreement and partnership)?
A: A bona fide agent is an agency/organization identified as eligible to submit an application in lieu of a state, local or territorial government application. If applying as a bona fide agent, documentation of a legal, binding agreement from the state, tribal, territorial, or local government is required.

Q: Am I correct in understanding that 501c3 nonprofits are NOT eligible to apply for this grant as the lead applicant?
A: Correct, non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

Q: The frequently asked questions page states: “The only non-government organizations that are eligible to apply are American Indian or Alaska native tribally designated organizations. All other organizations should consider partnering with a governmental organization which is applying.” Does this mean that a non-profit and governmental organization can apply together with the non-profit doing submission or the governmental organization being the “lead applicant”?
A: The government organization must be the lead applicant.

Q: To clarify on the CDC-funded program question: if we as a local health department receive pass-through funds from CDC from our state health department, are we the CDC-funded program or do we need to submit a letter of collaboration from our state health department?
A: You would submit a letter of collaboration from the recipient designated as the CDC-funded program.

Q: Are federally qualified health centers eligible?
A: Federally qualified health centers are not eligible to apply. All other organizations should consider partnering with a governmental organization which is applying.

Q: Is a county transportation commission eligible to apply?
A: The county transportation commission would have to qualify as a bona fide agent of state, local, or territorial government. A bona fide agent is an agency/organization identified as eligible to submit an application in lieu of a state application. If applying as a bona fide agent, documentation of a legal, binding agreement from the state, tribal, territorial, or local government is required.

Q: If we are currently a recipient of another CDC grant that the notice of funding opportunity lists out as this grant “builds off these other grants” is that an issue?
A: No.

Q: Could another department of a state other than a State Health Department apply?
A: Yes, another department of a state other than a State Health Department can apply.

5/13/21

Q: Can you please clarify what types of non-government organizations are eligible to apply for this funding?
A: The only non-government organizations that are eligible to apply are American Indian or Alaska native tribally designated organizations (see notice of funding opportunityexternal icon page 22). All other organizations should consider partnering with a governmental organization which is applying.

Q: Does eligibility include applications from any country? It becomes very clear in some notices when it is mentioned “foreign institution not allowed”.
A: Eligibility is limited to the eligible entities located in the United States as described on pages 22-23 of the notice of funding opportunityexternal icon.

Q: Are state universities eligible to apply as a state government?
A: Universities are eligible to apply if they are a bona fide agent for the government. Bona fide agent status documentation must be provided with application.

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5/26/21

Q: Can you please provide clarification if an evaluation and performance measurement plan and data management plan are required?
A: Neither an evaluation and performance measurement plan for the notice of funding opportunity or data management plan is required.  However, an evaluation plan is a required component in the SDOH Accelerator Plan to be developed during the grant cycle.

Q: Is the evaluation plan about the planning of the Accelerator Plan, or the implementation of the Accelerator Plan?
A: The SDOH accelerator evaluation plan should focus on implementation of the plan. An evaluation plan is a required component in the SDOH Accelerator Plan.

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5/26/21

Q: If an evaluation and performance measurement is not required, why does the selection criteria include 15 points for it?
A: An evaluation plan itself is not required; however, recipients will still be required to track the performance measures outlined in the notice of funding opportunity. The project narrative and work plan should address:

  • Strategies and activities are implemented as planned
  • Strategy and activity progress are occurring</li
  • Performance measures are collected

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6/29/21

Q: Could we have two different Leadership teams for the two strategies?
A: No. For the purposes of this NOFO, the Leadership Team is advising on the development of one SDOH Accelerator Plan.

5/26/21

Q: Does the built environment also include homes?
A: For the required strategies for the notice of funding opportunity, a healthy built environment facilitates access to transportation and physical resources that enhance quality of life, minimizes exposures to environmental contaminants, and supports physical activity, safe and accessible recreation, and other protective factors that improve chronic disease outcomes. Strategies related to housing could be proposed as an optional SDOH focus area for consideration.

Q: Can the Accelerator Plan be a cloud-based platform? Or can a cloud-based platform be used as part of the Accelerator Plan?
A: A cloud-based platform could be used to support a data strategy proposed in the SDOH Accelerator Plan.

Q: Is a focus on individuals experiencing homelessness (and therefore a focus on housing) eligible?
A: For the required strategies for the notice of funding opportunity, a healthy built environment facilitates access to transportation and physical resources that enhance quality of life, minimizes exposures to environmental contaminants, and supports physical activity, safe and accessible recreation, and other protective factors that improve chronic disease outcomes. Strategies related to homelessness/housing could be proposed as an optional SDOH focus area for consideration.

Q: Do we list strategies and activities or just approaches? Isn’t the leadership team coming up with the strategies and activities?
A: The applicant is required to select a minimum of two SDOH priority areas that reduce health disparities and inequities and improve health outcomes related to chronic disease. The leadership team will identify specific strategies and activities as part of development of the actual SDOH Accelerator Plan.

Q: With this grant, we would develop an Accelerator Plan. Is there a plan for CDC to then fund those plans? And/or should our plan include how we will implement the plan using other funds?
A: Not funds are available currently for CDC to support implementation of the SDOH Accelerator Plans. Recipients are required to develop a sustainability strategy as a component of the SDOH Accelerator Plan. The sustainability strategy must describe strategies to expand, diversify, and sustain implementation efforts, including funding.

Q: Do we have to identify a community for action, or could the plan be statewide?
A: Applicants are required to identify a community and corresponding population disproportionately affected by disparities related to chronic disease. For the purposes of the notice of funding opportunity, a community within the state could be defined as a city, county, parish, or jurisdiction/sub jurisdiction and a catchment area is as a county, metropolitan statistical area(s) or a group of contiguous counties. There is not a limit on the number of counties.

5/13/21

Q: Are the strategy and activity examples provided the only ones that can be used?
A: No.

Q: Are recipients required to collaborate with CDC-funded chronic disease prevention programs?
A: Recipients are required to collaborate with CDC-funded chronic disease prevention programs to ensure that activities align with ongoing chronic disease prevention efforts and their social determinants of health accelerator plan is not duplicative.

Q: Please define CDC funded program.
A: CDC-funded chronic disease and health promotion programs (see page 15 of the notice of funding opportunityexternal icon) include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer prevention and control
  • Diabetes
  • Good health and wellness in Indian country
  • Heart disease and stroke prevention
  • Nutrition, physical activity, and obesity
  • Oral health
  • Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
  • Reproductive health
  • School health
  • National tobacco control program
  • Networking2Save

If it is relevant to the required SDOH priority area or optional Healthy People 2030 SDOH domainexternal icon, recipients are asked to collaborate with CDC-funded programs outside of chronic disease that focus on population health approaches to reduce health disparities and address the SDOH, such as injury prevention, mental health promotion, and sexually transmitted disease prevention.

Q: Can you define “collaboration and engagement” as it is written in the outcomes?
A: Collaboration is intended to imply equal input and effort by partners in the described process and anticipated outcomes of the accelerator plan. Engagement is intended to imply diverse and inclusive representation and input by the various partners in the described process and anticipated outcomes of the accelerator plan.

Q: Could you provide an example of a shared goal and activities that would be included in social determinant of health accelerator plans?
A: An example of a shared goal for food and nutrition security would be implementation of nutrition guidelines for food banks or pantries as well as environmental supports for routes to destinations that support transportation to the food bank or pantry.

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5/26/21

Q: Can you share a link that defines the Health and Human Services regions?
A: See: https://www.hhs.gov/about/agencies/iea/regional-offices/index.htmlexternal icon

Q: What is the definition of a public health official? Can it be any staff person at the local health department?
A: A public health official is an individual taking responsibility for the submission of the application and/or representing the government agency.

5/13/21

Q: In some sections you note that CDC requires a data management plan, then later you indicate that a data management plan is not required. Can you clarify if CDC requires or does not require a data management plan?
A: This notice of funding opportunityexternal icon does not involve the generation or collection of public health data, therefore a data management plan is not required.

Q: In some sections you note that CDC requires an evaluation and performance management plan, then later you indicate that an evaluation and performance management plan is not required. Can you clarify if CDC requires or does not require an evaluation and performance management plan?
A: Applicants are not required to submit an evaluation and performance measurement plan with their application for this notice of funding opportunityexternal icon.

Q: What’s the difference between an annual performance report (not required) and a final performance report (required)?
A: This grant is 12 months in duration, therefore, no annual performance reports are required over the course of the grant. Only one final performance report is required.

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Return to the Notice of Funding Opportunity: Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans.