Funding opportunity: Improving Clinical and Public Health Outcomes through National Partnerships to Prevent and Control Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Threats

On July 1, 2020, CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases announced a non-research funding opportunity, entitled: Improving Clinical and Public Health Outcomes through National Partnerships to Prevent and Control Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Threats.

Key dates:

Informational webinar: 7/7/2020
Optional letter of intent due: 7/14/2020
Applications due: 7/31/2020

Informational webinar video – July 7, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions for Potential Applicants

  1. Who is eligible for this funding opportunity?

    Answer: This funding opportunity has maximum competition. There are no eligibility requirements for this funding opportunity.The strongest applicant will:

    • provide critical services, training, and/or organizational support to improve clinical and public health outcomes through the prevention and control of emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases;
    • must clearly identify their target occupational group;
    • demonstrate the capacity to reach a regional or national network of their target population;
    • conduct activities that align with at least two of the program strategies; and
    • demonstrate an ability to impact and engage populations who may have occupational, ethnic or geographic factors that increase their risk of contracting infectious diseases.
  2. Will applicants who submit a project plan with more than 2 strategies be scored higher than those who submit only 2 strategies?

    Answer: Possibly. Each applicant must propose activities that track to at least 2 program strategies. Applicants who include activities that track to more than 2 program strategies may have a stronger overall approach, which could result in stronger application evaluation scores.  However, applicants will not automatically receive more evaluation points for proposing activities that track to more program strategies.

  3. What does it mean to be approved but unfunded (ABU)?

    Answer: All applicants who receive a notice of award will be approved to receive funding under this cooperative agreement and will be included on a list of approved but unfunded (ABU) cooperative agreement recipients.There is a limited amount of funding available at the time of this award, so a small number of recipients may receive funding by September 30, 2020. Notices for future funding opportunities will be announced to all ABU recipients, as public health need and funding becomes available.

  4. Will some cooperative agreement recipients be funded in this first round of awards?

    Answer: Yes, there is a limited amount of funding available in this initial round of awards that may be dispersed to select recipients.

  5. After the first round of funding, when will additional funding opportunities become available?

    Answer:  Pre-approved organizations may be funded once CDC has determined an appropriate public health threat exists and funding is available. It is anticipated that annual opportunities will be communicated by CDC to all approved but unfunded recipients in the late spring of each year. Supplemental announcements may also be made before that time.

  6. What is the ceiling on this cooperative agreement?

    Answer: There is no funding ceiling on this cooperative agreement.

  7. What is the smallest award possible on this cooperative agreement?

    Answer: It is possible that some cooperative agreement recipients may not receive funding through this cooperative agreement. Additional funding opportunities will be made available to appropriate ABU recipients once CDC has determined that a public health threat exists and funding is available to prevent and control an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease threat.

  8. How will CDC decide which ABU recipients match to specific project proposals?

    Answer: CDC project officers will match CDC project proposals to ABU recipients based on the stated target population, program strategies, and organizational capacity of the ABU recipients.

  9. Can ABU recipients be funded out of rank order?

    Answer: Yes. The decision on who will be funded will be based on the public health need, not based on rank order.

  10. Can an ABU recipient propose activities related to other program strategies that they did not include in their initial project plan?

    Answer: No. In their initial application, applicants should propose activities that track to each of the program strategies that they anticipate they might utilize in response to an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease threat.

  11. If the capacities of an ABU recipient changes during the course of the 5-year cooperative agreement, may ABU recipients be removed from the ABU list?

    Answer: Yes, however this action would be taken upon the request of the individual ABU recipient and in collaboration with CDC’s Office of Grant Services.

  12. Can multiple organizations be funded for the same CDC project?

    Answer: Yes, if a CDC program has the public health need and funding to support multiple recipients, multiple organizations may be selected to work on a specific project to implement different program strategies and/or reach different target populations.

Questions and Answers from the CK20-2003 Informational Webinar, July 7, 2020

  1. Are 501c6 trade associations eligible?

    Answer: Yes. This funding opportunity has maximum competition. There are no eligibility requirements for this funding opportunity.

  2. Is there a preference for non-profit versus small businesses?

    Answer: There are no preferences for types of applicant organizations. This NOFO has maximum competition with no eligibility criteria and the type of organization is not included in the evaluation criteria.

  3. Is a community health center an appropriate applicant to apply?

    Answer: Yes, community health centers are eligible to apply. See the FAQ that describes the characteristics of the strongest applicants.

  4. Are faith-based organizations encouraged to apply?

    Answer: This funding opportunity has maximum competition. There are no eligibility requirements for this funding opportunity.

  5. Are state health departments eligible for this since they don’t have a regional or national reach?

    Answer: This funding opportunity has maximum competition, so there are no eligibility criteria. However, applicants will be evaluated on their ability to reach a regional or national network of their proposed target population.

  6. If I represent an organization that has a base in the USA and has an office in Puerto Rico. Should we present two applications or only one and state that we have capabilities to respond in the territory?

    Answer: One application is sufficient.  Each applicant should describe the target population in the application.

  7. We are a smaller organization. Are you accepting projects from consortiums?

    Answer: Yes. This funding opportunity has maximum competition. There are no eligibility restrictions for this cooperative agreement.

  8. Can we apply in partnership with one or two other organizations?

    Answer: Yes. There are no eligibility criteria for this NOFO, so consortia are also eligible to apply.

  9. How many entities do you plan to fund?

    Answer: In the NOFO we estimated that we will make 24 awards, but the final number is dependent upon the number and quality of applications.

  10. Are we limited only to the US?  We are exploring working with non-US Caribbean islands.  Is that viable?

    Answer: The goal of this funding opportunity is the prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease in the US. However, it is possible that some activities could be funded to support activities in non-US Caribbean islands if the applicant makes the case that these activities could increase the health security of the US.

  11. Does the organization need to have the capacity to impact on a statewide or national level or can they focus in a specific region?

    Answer: Applicants should demonstrate their ability to reach a regional or national network of their target occupational population.

  12. How many awards are anticipated by Sep 30, 2020?

    Answer:  Unfortunately, this is not known at this time, as it is dependent upon the applications that are received and the availability of funds within CDC.

  13. What is the time period of the opportunity?

    Answer: Upon selection, recipients are eligible for awards each year for the 5 years of the cooperative agreement, pending public health need and availability of appropriations. Individual projects can vary in length, scope, and funding.

  14. What is meant by frontline staff?

    Answer: We use “frontline staff” to indicate occupations that by nature of the job work in the interest of preventing and controlling emerging or re-emerging infectious disease threats.

  15. Governmental public health professionals are not noted as a target population. Was this an intentional exclusion?

    Answer:  The professions listed in the cooperative agreement are examples; the list is not exhaustive. Government public health professionals could be an appropriate target population to the extent that the applicant successfully demonstrates that these professionals are frontline staff that directly prevent and control emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

  16. Is a letter of intent mandatory?

    Answer: No, it is not. Applicants who do not submit a letter of intent will not be penalized in any way.

  17. Are there guidelines on what should be in the letter of intent?

    Answer: Information is included in the NOFO about where to send the letter of intent, however there are no required elements to the letter of intent.

  18. I see the LOI is optional. Can you tell us more about the benefit of submitting an LOI?

    Answer: CDC encourages, but does not require, a letter of intent to be submitted by July 14th so that the CDC funding opportunity development team may appropriately plan for the objective review. Recipients will not be penalized in any way if they choose not to send in a letter of intent.

  19. Who is encouraged to submit the optional LOI?

    Answer: All organizations who intend to submit an application are encouraged, but not required, to submit a Letter of Intent (see previous FAQ).

  20. Will we receive feedback on our LOI if we choose to submit one? Otherwise what is the benefit of submitting one. Thanks!

    Answer: Submitting a letter of intent communicates your interest to CDC, which allows CDC to adequately prepare for the objective review of submitted applications. Unfortunately, feedback on your proposal cannot be provided before submission.

  21. The target population appears to be health professional-centric. What about patient populations or provider types such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health, ESRD centers, assisted living, etc.?

    Answer: Yes, organizations who reach those working in any of those listed facilities are encouraged to apply for this funding opportunity.

  22. How much money is available?

    Answer: “Limited funds” was used. Can you quantify grant size?The amount of funding available this fiscal year is not yet known. Most applicants will likely not receive funding in the first year and be placed on an approved but unfunded list. However, the approximate average award for this funding opportunity is $1,000,000.

  23. Are we expected to have subcontracts in place in the proposal to demonstrate ability for the two projects?

    Answer: No, we do not expect subcontracts to be in place at the time of application. Applicants may wish to include an intent to award a subcontract.

  24. Do we [ORG] need to collaborate with clinical medical team to have our own prevention programs or do we need to work on the CDC prevention program?

    Answer: Recipients of this cooperative agreement are expected to work with the CDC project officers as well as the subject matter experts who have technical expertise about the public health threat. All recipients will utilize guidance, tools, best practices, or materials to execute the program strategies.

  25. Will we need NIH bio-sketches for key personnel in the proposal?

    Answer: Resumes/bio-sketches are not required, but if you have strong staff in mind or already on staff, sharing these could really strengthen your organizational capacity section.

  26. Do you need to have letters of supports from collaborating organizations that might extend your reach included in the submission?

    Answer: Letters of support are not required, but may strengthen your application’s approach and organizational capacity.

  27. Where should the applications be uploaded?

    Answer: Applications may be submitted through

  28. Are the slides from the informational webinar presentation available for download?

    Answer: The slides were distributed after the webinar to all participants. The webinar will be posted on CDC’s NCEZID Partnerships website.

  29. Will we be expected to carry out the proposed projects or are they just to demonstrate capacity for selection purpose?

    Answer: Submission of an application indicates willingness to conduct the activities. However, the applicant is not obligated to conduct the activities until an award is made.

  30. If we don’t know what specifically we can do for a particular issue, how can we align our budgets? Should we provide multiple examples based upon fictitious scenarios’?

    Answer: You may use a past (e.g., Zika), current (e.g., COVID-19), or future (e.g., disease X) for your project proposal. Only one $1,000,000 project plan should be submitted in your application.

  31. Are there salary caps for any key personnel or consultants?

    Answer: Yes, the federal Executive Level II salary cap is $197,300.

  32. $1 million per year is mentioned, yet you indicate that there is “limited funding” is immediately available?

    Answer: The $1,000,000 is a planning budget and does not necessarily indicate the actual amount that will be awarded to any one recipient.

  33. What kind of budget information is needed? I heard something about creating a budget for a planned activity along with a justification, so do we prepare a budget for a max of $1M?

    Answer: Yes, you should propose the cost for project activities for the first 12-month period with a target budget of up to $1,000,000.

  34. Is the $1,000,000 planning budget inclusive of total or only direct costs?

    Answer: The $1,000,000 planning budget should include all project costs.

  35. When you say $1,000,000 is for planning, does that mean that you don’t put in implementation costs?

    Answer: No. Your budget is a “planning budget” because it is based on a planning scenario. Your budget should include all costs associated with your project plan for the first 12-month budget period.

  36. Any restrictions on indirect percentages besides approved HHS /CDC organization rates?

    Answer: Yes, any non-Federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely.

  37. If we do not have an IDC rate, can we use 10% de-minimis rate for indirect?

    Answer: If a non-Federal entity has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, they may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). This rate may be used indefinitely.

  38. Does the federal Executive Level II salary cap apply for this project and the submitted budget?

    Answer: Yes, the federal Executive Level II salary cap is $197,300.

  39. I heard earlier no specific salary cap (would check to ensure they are reasonable) but then later heard that NIH executive level salary caps would be used?

    Answer: The Federal award amount is negotiated using the cost principles (or other pricing information) as a guide. The HHS awarding agency or pass-through entity may use fixed amount awards if the project scope is specific and if adequate cost, historical, or unit pricing data is available to establish a fixed amount award based on a reasonable estimate of actual cost.

  40. Can the purchase of PPE and other safety precautionary items allowable in the budget?

    Answer: Possibly. Supplies should be proposed that are necessary to accomplish the activities that track to one or more of the program strategies.

  41. May an applicant submit more than one project if they have different scopes?

    Answer: No. Each organization is asked to submit one application with one project plan up to $1,000,000. However, each applicant may propose multiple target populations and program strategies.

  42. Do the projects being proposed need to be brand new or can they expand or build on existing programs?

    Answer: Proposed projects can build upon existing programs, although the proposed activities cannot duplicate existing grants or cooperative agreements.

  43. Can you select more than one infectious disease? I thought the focus was on COVID-19.

    Answer: Applicants may propose projects for any infectious disease, including but not limited to COVID-19.

  44. Should we assume that CDC will have a centralized data system for data reporting from which provider-level data would be shared?

    Answer: Data surveillance and data availability at CDC varies widely across CDC programs. Generally, each CDC Center has available information online about program-specific surveillance capacity.

  45. If we work with more than one target population of migrant workers (i.e., seafood workers, farmworkers, etc.), would you recommend that we submit for one specific target population or a general target population?

    Answer: We would recommend that you reference the breadth of workers that you intend to reach through your program activities, but your initial proposal does not need to address every target population.

  46. Is the focus only health care or are other “essential” occupations of interest? For example, food service and food/ag?

    Answer: The goal of this NOFO is to reach occupations at the front-line of the prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This could include health care professionals, but also those who work in food service and agricultural industries as long as they are working to prevent and control disease.

  47. Can you propose the same approach for the 2 infectious diseases you select?

    Answer: Yes, your proposed activities may address one or multiple infectious diseases.

  48. I’m confused about the time frame. Should our proposal be for 5 years but with a budget for only the first year or should it be just a single year proposal?

    Answer: You should propose a single 12-month project with a target budget of up to $1,000,000 in the first 12-month budget period. Subsequent budget requests may be submitted at the time future projects are invited and submitted.

  49. For future public health threats, how long will a listed organization ideally have to mobilize its services to respond?

    Answer: This information will be included in future guidance from CDC as future public health threats emerge and the NOFO is implemented.

  50. Are you interested in reaching vulnerable populations like meat packers, as opposed to health care workers?

    Answer: Yes.

  51. For regionally focused organizations, can we target a high-density area within a state or must the application include plans to target across states and reach nationally?

    Answer: An applicant may propose a geographic region within a state, however the evaluation criteria includes the applicant’s ability to demonstrate a regional or national reach. Therefore, proposing a smaller reach may negatively impact an applicant’s score.

  52. What is the rationale for the following: “applicants may not be recipients of existing CDC cooperative agreements in a similar focus area or capacity”?

    Answer: Applicants may not receive an award to perform work for which they have already been funded to perform.

  53. What is the rationale for the following: “for any set of activities funded under this NOFO, recipients should collaborate closely with the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion’s project officers and sponsor CDC programs as well as other organizations funded by CDC to address the public health threat, as appropriate”?

    Answer: The Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion is the program managing this funding opportunity. Therefore, all recipients must collaborate with the Division’s project officers to execute funded projects. In addition, some recipients will work with sponsor programs from other Divisions that have the content area expertise for the proposed activities. Recipients should plan to collaborate closely with both the sponsoring program and project officers from the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion.

  54. Given the sample budget being submitted, is there a process for revising the budget depending on what is requested by the CDC at a later date/for future emerging ID?

    Answer: Yes, when an organization is selected for funding the project may be funded as submitted, or the funding program may request revisions to the project plan and/or budget. The Office of Grant Services will perform budget negotiations with all recipients before awards are made.

  55. For small business applicants, are fully loaded rates allowed, or must rates all be at-cost to be eligible?

    Answer: The Federal award amount is negotiated using the cost principles (or other pricing information) as a guide. The HHS awarding agency or pass-through entity may use fixed amount awards if the project scope is specific and if adequate cost, historical, or unit pricing data is available to establish a fixed amount award based on a reasonable estimate of actual cost.

  56. Would getting an award for this cooperative agreement prevent you from getting other CDC cooperative agreements?

    Answer: Organizations may receive multiple CDC cooperative agreements as long as the work is not duplicative.

  57. Can you select more than one infectious disease?  I thought the focus was on COVID-19.

    Answer: Yes, you may propose activities to prevent or control any emerging or re-emerging infectious disease, such as COVID-19, or a fictitious future disease.

  58. Can we address more than two strategies in our proposal?

    Answer: Yes. Each applicant must propose activities that track to no fewer than 2 program strategies and as many as all 5 program strategies.

  59. Can you pick one infectious disease for one project and a second infectious disease for a second project.

    Answer: Yes. You may propose activities that benefit different infectious diseases in your project plan.

  60. Regarding the first 24 awardees, is timing of the application submission just as important as the content? (i.e., prior to July 31)

    Answer: There is no specific number of recipients to be awarded in the first project period, however we estimate that there will be 24 recipients who will be preselected and preapproved to receive awards during the course of the 5-year cooperative agreement. These recipients will be the only organizations approved to receive funds during the cooperative agreement period. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM on July 31, 2020 to be considered.

  61. If you use COVID and influenza would you be rated lower?

    Answer: No. The evaluation criteria do not weigh one infectious disease more than another.

  62. Are points weighted based on population size?

    Answer: No. Application scoring will not be weighted.

  63. RFP says to propose at least 2 of the 5 program activities. After being Approved but Unfunded for the cooperative agreement, would they then only be able to work on projects that focus on those 2 program strategies or would they have the opportunity to work on the other 3 program strategies as well?

    Answer: Recipients will only be funded to perform activities that track to the proposed program strategies included in their initial project plan.

  64. Is the budget and justification included in the 20-page limit?

    Answer: No. Only the Project Narrative is included in the 20-page limit and must include all of the following headings (including subheadings): Background, Approach, Applicant Evaluation and Performance Measurement Plan, Organizational Capacity of Applicants to Implement the Approach, and Work Plan with a maximum of 20 pages, single spaced, 12 point font, 1-inch margins, number all pages.

  65. For organizations that miss the July 30 deadline, will the NOFO be open again next year for new applicants?

    Answer: No. Once the Approved but Unfunded recipients are selected, no additional recipients will be added for the 5-year period of the cooperative agreement.

  66. If my unit or units within my parent organization is developing the application but my parent organization is actually submitting the application, which entity will actual receive the award, the unit or the parent organization?

    Answer: If awarded, the actual applicant organization will be listed as the recipient and listed on the approved but unfunded list.

  67. Is there a problem with two proposals coming from the same institution?

    Answer: Only one DUNS number can be funded. Funding will not be issued to different units, entities, or schools under the same DUNS number.

  68. Due to COVID19 and limited travel under the current circumstances, should we propose travel costs in the budget?

    Answer: You may include travel costs in you project plan budget. Budget modifications can be made post-award, working with the project officer.

  69. Our indirect cost rate agreement is not listed as an acceptable attachment, so where should we include that in the application to support our rate in our budget?

    Answer: Indirect cost rate agreement can be included in the budget narrative.

  70. Do we have to develop a logic model or should we select outcomes from the logic model?

    Answer: You do not need to submit your own logic model. Please list the short, intermediate, and long-term outcomes from the NOFO logic model that you will address through your activities.

  71. If my organizational chart and program chart are the same, may I leave them as one chart or should I split them up? If I leave them as one, should I label them as instructed and upload the same chart twice?

    Answer: Yes, please upload the single chart twice with the names requested in the NOFO.

  72. There was a request for an “Administrative Requirement Capability Letter” on letterhead.Does this go in “Other” attachments on the Workspace in

    Answer: Follow guidelines as required in NOFO and

  73. I’m confused about the Application Filing Name. Should this be the organization’s name “American XXX Association” or should it be the Title of the grant application such as “Prevention of Infectious Diseases Spread in XXX Setting”?

    Answer: Application filing name can be the name of the organization.

  74. I’m confused about the Lobbying Form. If you do not lobby, how can you fill in the “name for a lobbyist”? It is required when filling out the form and the form is Mandatory in the application package. Do we just not fill out?

    Answer: If you do not lobby, complete the form with NA as your answer.

  75. We use several contractors. Is there a certain dollar threshold of cost where a contractor becomes a subcontractor? And if so, how do I submit an intent to award a subcontract.? Or can that be done later?

    Answer: Please follow guidelines as required in the NOFO, pg 12.

  76. Is the Budget Narrative unlimited in terms of pages?

    Answer: Yes.

  77. Can you delineate the information you want in the Approach section vs. the Work Plan section? They seem the ask for the same information.

    Answer: Refer to NOFO for guidance on what to include in each section.

  78. Will I need to add anything for the budget even though there is no funding amount? I am working on my budget narrative and with no promised funding, I wanted some clarification.

    Answer: The NOFO specifies a planning budget of $1,000,000. Please follow NOFO requirements stated under the Budget Narrative.

  79. Are there instructions available for completing the SF-LLL?

    Answer: Forms can be found on under SF-424

  80. For the “itemized budget narrative,“ does the applicant need to list the specific salary associated with each position for which funding is sought or can all salaries be lumped into one budget line with details provided on the FTE commitment for each position?

    Answer: The budget narrative guidance does not list a preference

  81. Regarding “Certification Regarding Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (PFCRA)”, we cannot find this form so we can sign it and place it in the proposal. Where can I find that form? If you have a copy accessible could you share it with us?

    Answer: Forms can be found on under SF-424.

  82. For strategy #2 could you please clarify if the scope is to have capacity to do science/work that would inform CDC’s national guidance. Or is it to inform the target population?

    Answer: Program strategy #2: – Inform and support CDC in the development of guidance, tools, and best practices, including collecting and communicating individual expert opinions that can inform updates to existing guidance that consider the needs of specific patient populations, clinical specialties, and industry sectors.

  83. Is there a recording of the informational webinar?

    Answer: Yes. The recording can be found here:

  84. In other CDC-affiliated projects, direct patient care services (e.g., immunization administration, lab testing) cannot be paid for using contracted funds. For this NOFO, can we include allocation of funds for direct patient care services?

    Answer: Funds from this non-research NOFO cannot be used for direct patient care services.

  85. To what extent does this NOFO focus on long-term capacity-building for response versus response to specific emergency responses?

    Answer: This NOFO does not include program strategies for long-term capacity -building for responses. This cooperative agreement will fund activities that pertain to a variety of public health threats, including but not limited to emergency responses.

  86. Where can I upload the required “Organizational Chart,” “PH Program Organizational Chart,” and “Administrative Requirement Capability Letter”?

    Answer: These documents may be uploaded under the miscellaneous tab in