Funding opportunity: Strengthening Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) prevention and control in Arizona tribal lands

On March 8, 2021, CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases announced a non-research funding opportunity, entitled: Strengthening Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) prevention and control in Arizona tribal lands.

Key dates:

Informational webinar: 3/24/2021
Applications due: 5/31/2021
To apply for this grant visit icon

Informational webinar video – March 8, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions for Potential Applicants

  1. Who is eligible for this funding opportunity?
    Answer: This funding opportunity has single source competition open to Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized). Only the six tribal communities in Arizona with reported cases of RMSF during 2015-2020 will be eligible to apply for this cooperative agreement; this includes the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT), San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT), Gila River Indian Community (GRIC), Navajo Nation (NN), Hopi Tribe and Tohono O’odham Nation (TON).
  2. Will applicants who submit a project plan with more than 1 program activity be scored higher than those who submit only 1 program activity?
    Answer: Possibly. Each applicant must propose activities that track to at least 1 program strategy. Applicants who include activities that track to more than 1 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. It is important that applicants propose activities which are realistic given the tribal resources and capacity and activities which can be completed within the period of performance.
  3. Why are only certain tribal communities in Arizona eligible for this award?
    Answer: This cooperative agreement supports the development of RMSF prevention programs based off evidence-based practices specifically targeting brown-dog tick associated RMSF. To our knowledge, brown dog tick associated RMSF has only been reported in certain tribal communities in the Southwest and parts of northern Mexico. This cooperative agreement is aimed to support the six communities with recent and ongoing reports of human RMSF to support the development of effective prevention programs to support RMSF prevention using integrated pest management practices.
  4. Do we have to apply for funds in year 1 in order to be eligible for funds in year 2 or 3?
    Answer: Yes, in order to be eligible for funds in years 2 or 3 you must submit an application for year 1. Funding amounts in each year may vary depending on need of the tribe and availability of funds, but this NOFO will only be open for competition in year 1.
  5. What is the ceiling on this cooperative agreement?
    Answer: $350,000 per budget period
  6. What is the smallest award possible on this cooperative agreement?
    Answer: $10,000 per budget period
  7. Can multiple organizations be funded for the same CDC project?
    Answer: Yes, this funding opportunity is open to six tribal communities.
  8. Are state health departments eligible for this since they don’t have a regional or national reach?
    Answer: No. Only federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply for these funds.
  9. Can we apply in partnership with one or two other organizations?
    Answer: Only the specified federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply for these funds, however they may collaborate with partner organizations to accomplish their activities. The strongest applications will include letters of support from collaborating organizations.
  10. How many entities do you plan to fund?
    Answer: In the NOFO we estimated that we will make no more than 6 awards. The final number is dependent upon the number and quality of applications.
  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 the target population. Awardees may target sub-populations with activities and interventions.
  12. What is the time period of the opportunity?
    Answer: Upon selection, recipients are eligible for awards each year for the 3 years of the cooperative agreement. Individual projects can vary in length, scope, and funding.
  13. Is a letter of intent (LOI) mandatory?
    Answer: No, it is not. Applicants who do not submit a letter of intent will not be penalized in any way.
  14. Who is encouraged to submit the optional LOI?
    Answer: All organizations who intend to submit an application are encouraged, but not required, to submit an LOI (see previous FAQ).
  15. How much money is available?
    Answer: The expected total award for this fiscal year is $350,000. The size of the award may vary from year to year depending on funding availability. The approximate average award for this funding opportunity is $58,000, however, different tribes are eligible for different funding tiers based on their burden of disease (see Funding Strategy section for more details).
  16. Are we expected to have subcontracts in place in the proposal to demonstrate ability for the activities?
    Answer: No, we do not expect subcontracts to be in place at the time of application, however the applicant should demonstrate the capability to carry program goals or hiring plan for new personnel or subcontracts.
  17. 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.
  18. What is the difference between a process measure and an outcome measure?
    Answer: Process measures reflect metrics used to track accomplishments within each budget period. Outcome measures reflect metrics to track accomplishments during the entire period of performance.
  19. Are we required to use the process and outcome measures listed in the NOFO?
    Answer: No. Applicants may develop their own process and outcome measures based on the scope of work they intend to accomplish.
  20. What is a data management plan (DMP)?
    Answer: The DMP should provide a description of the management and reporting of data produced for this NOFO including: what data will be collected or generated for this NOFO; any standards used for data collection; who will have access to these data and how data will be protected; how data will be collected, what the data represent, any data limitations for use of the data; and how the tribe plans to preserve (archive) data for the long-term. Applicants should submit a draft DMP in their application, and a final, more detailed DMP within 6 months of the award. There may be slight adjustments to your DMP each year depending on the scope of data collection activities planned for that budget period. For more information about CDC’s policy on the DMP, see
  21. Where should the applications be uploaded?
    Answer: Applications may be submitted through
  22. 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 within 7 days of the informational meeting.
  23. 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.
  24. What kind of budget information is needed?
    Answer: You should propose the cost for project activities for the first 12-month period with a target budget of up to $350,000 (please consider the tiered funding for your tribal community found in the Funding Strategy section). The budget should have sufficient detail to allow for partial awards.
  25. Should the budget inclusive of total or only direct costs?
    Answer: The proposed budget should include all project costs. If indirect costs are anticipated, please submit an indirect cost agreement.
  26. 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.
  27. 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 $350,000. However, each applicant may propose multiple target populations and program strategies.
  28. 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. To avoid redundancy applicants must disclose any other federal funds from the current fiscal year that have been received or applied specifically for RMSF prevention. NOFO activities should be distinctly different from those funded by other federal or private funding opportunities.
  29. I’m confused about the time frame. Should our proposal be for 3 years but with a budget for only the first year or should it be just a single year proposal?
    Answer: Your initial application should include a narrative selecting at least one strategic area and proposing a timeline of activities and objectives for the full 3 years of the project. You should then detail the activities of the first 12-monthswith a target budget of up to $350,000 in the first 12-month budget period. During each year awardees will be expected to provide a report of annual activities and proposal for the next 12 month period.
  30. 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 grant-funded work is not duplicative.
  31. Are points weighted based on population size?
    Answer: No. Application scoring will not be weighted.
  32. 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.
  33. For organizations that miss the May 31, 2021 deadline, will the NOFO be open again next year for new applicants?
    Answer: No. Once the  recipients are selected, no additional recipients will be added for the 3-year period of the cooperative agreement.
  34. Is there a problem with two proposals coming from the same tribal government?
    Answer: Yes, only one DUNS number can be funded. Funding will not be issued to different units, entities, or schools under the same DUNS number.
  35. Due to COVID-19 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 that are reasonable for this budget period. Budget modifications can be made post-award, working with the project officer.
  36. 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. Note, long-term outcomes do not need to be completed within the period of performance.
  37. Are sub-contracts allowable?
    Answer: Sub-contracts are allowable, if needed, in order to carry out the proposed work plan. Established contracts/MOUs/MOAs are the purview of the tribe to manage. Subsequent MOUs/MOAs developed following the award which directly relate to the activities in the recipient work plan should be shared with the project officer.
  38. Is the Budget Narrative unlimited in terms of pages?
    Answer: Yes.
  39. Is there a recording of the informational webinar?
    Answer: Yes. The webinar will be recorded and posted within 7 days of the informational meeting.
  40. 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.
  41. 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: This NOFO is intended to build long-term capacity for RMSF prevention practices. A successful application will also demonstrate how the funded activities will be sustained following the period of performance, but long-term outcomes are not expected to be completed during the period of performance.
  42. Are there resources or references to support grant writing?
    Answer:Yes, there are numerous resources available to help with grant writing. Below are some examples.Grant Writing Basics – Community Blog ( icon) Grant Learning Center
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  43. If you select to do communication in year 1, but would like to change to implementing the evidence-based strategy in year 2, would that be acceptable?
    Answer: Yes, you could choose to change your strategic areas in year 2 or year 3 than what you originally proposed in year 1. However, we would encourage you to add topics rather than replacing topics so you would build on practices over multiple years to allow for continuity. If a change or replacement is needed, this should be discussed further with the project officer.
  44. Would the grant run from September 1 – Aug 30?
    Answer: The budget period and period of performance depends on when the award is made. If the award is issued on September 1, 2021 the budget period 1 would be from September 1, 2021 to August 30, 2022. The period of performance runs for three years from the award date. If the award is made on September 1, 2021 then the period of performance will run from September 1, 2021 through August 30, 2024.
  45. Do we submit the budget for just the first year?
    Answer: Yes, please submit a detailed budget and budget narrative for year 1 activities only. Please provide an overview in your work plan about the entire project period (3 years), but a detailed listing of activities in year 1. The budget should have sufficient detail to allow for partial awards.
  46. What are the timelines for this award?
    • March 8th, 2021: NOFO posted
    • March 24th, 2021: Informational webinar
    • May 31st, 2021: Applications due at 11:59 pm (EST)
    • September 1st, 2021: Anticipated award date