Funding Opportunity: Strengthening Training, Evaluation, and Partnerships in the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases
On September 20, 2022, CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases announced a funding opportunity entitled: Strengthening Training, Evaluation, and Partnerships in the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases.
Informational webinar: January 10, 2023, 1:00 pm Mountain Time
Letters of Intent due (recommended but not required): December 22, 2022
Applications due: February 3, 2023
To apply for this cooperative agreement visit grants.gov:
Overview of notice of funding opportunity
- This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) supports the priorities of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases and supports the Division’s goal of improving regional capacity to address the growing health threat of vector-borne diseases. The primary strategies of the NOFO include: building the vector-borne disease prevention and control workforce and its capacity through training; conducting evaluation and operationalizing vector-borne disease prevention control programs, tools, and technologies; and facilitating partnerships between academic institutions and federal, local, state, territorial, Tribal public health agencies and/or other interested parties.
- STRATEGY 1: TRAIN – Increase opportunities for students and professionals to receive training in vector-borne disease (VBD) prevention and control
- Required activities:
- Conduct training and educational needs assessments for VBD prevention and control professionals and students to develop and maintain readiness across the existing VBD workforce
- Define training and education goals for VBD prevention and control programs
- Train undergraduates, graduate students, or post-doctoral fellows, such as those involved in the fields of human or veterinary medicine, entomology, vector control, public health, and environmental health, to strengthen the workforce of prepared VBD prevention and control professionals
- Train and educate VBD prevention and control professionals, such as those involved in the fields of human or veterinary medicine, entomology, vector control, public health, and environmental health
- Develop and implement an evaluation and performance monitoring/improvement plan to evaluate impact of training programs and ensure training goals are accomplished
- Optional activities:
- Conduct training at the community college level, including establishing partnerships with community colleges and offering online, hybrid, or in-person associate degree programs for vector control
- Support fellowships focused on medical entomology and the prevention and control of VBDs
- Include vector-borne disease prevention and control curriculum in non-medical entomology degree programs, such as those in human or veterinary medicine, nursing, law, public health, or environmental health
- STRATEGY 2: EVALUATE – Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of VBD prevention and control tools, strategies, and programs
- Required activities:
- Evaluate the operational use of approved VBD prevention and control tools, strategies, and programs
- Optional activities:
- Implement and evaluate vector or VBD surveillance tools and programs
- Evaluate meaningful outcomes (reduction in vector abundance, biting rates, infection rates in vectors) of commercially available products when these products are applied by the intended end users (e.g., state and local health departments, pest control organizations, homeowners)
- Evaluate health communication activities and products implemented at state, local, territorial, and Tribal levels
- Evaluate public health program implementations
- Determine cost-effectiveness of VBD prevention and control tools, strategies, and programs, including for vaccines or vector control
- Evaluate community acceptance of VBD prevention and control tools, strategies, and programs, including for vaccines or vector control
- STRATEGY 3: PARTNER – Build partnerships among relevant stakeholders to accomplish the activities proposed in Strategies 1 and 2
- Required activities:
- Establish collaborative partnerships in VBD prevention and control, involving relevant partners needed to develop and implement training and evaluation activities (e.g., vector control organizations; universities; healthcare organizations; state, tribal, territorial, city, and county health departments; local vector control organizations; professional organizations; private industry or relevant federal agencies such as CDC, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Park Service (NPS), and/or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Optional activities:
- Embed graduate, undergraduate, associate degree students, or fellows in vector control organizations or state, Tribal, territorial, city, or county health departments
- Eligible institutions in U.S. non-continental United States (CONUS) locations (e.g., Caribbean and Pacific Island U.S. territories) as well as Tribal nations are encouraged to be included in applicant partnership activities, as relevant to the applicant’s goals
- Required activities:
- Required activities:
- Required activities:
To apply visit Grants.gov
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a list of approved vector-borne disease prevention, control tool strategies and programs?
Answer: CDC does not maintain a specific list.
- Is the risk assessment questionnaire that is included as a pre-award assessment required for the application stage?
Answer: Yes, it is requirement to be submitted with your application. There is no need to submit one only if one was submitted to CDC as part of another application in the last 12-months.
- Please clarify the 1-year vs 5-year budget requirement in the NOFO.
Answer: Applicants should provide a detailed, 1-year budget up to $1.75M and a high-level budget for the remaining 5 years. There is technically no limit on the ceiling we can award. Budgets limits should include both direct and indirect costs.
- Is the budget itemized list included with the 20-page limit?
- Where should sub-agreement budgets (partnership) be included in the budget? Would this be under H in section B?
Answer: This would be included in contractual line item. So yes, Section B on the SF424.
- Can we still submit a detailed budget for years 2-5?
- Is it correct that budgets for the 1st year needs to be broken out into more than one function or activity?
Answer: Budgets should be responsive to all three program strategies of the NOFO.
- Would a 5-year budget totaling $8,750,000 ($1,750,000/year) would be compliant with the NOFO recommendation?
- How is “operational use” defined?
Answer: Operational use can be described as something that’s already been approved in terms of product or an already accepted policy or process. For example, a vector control product that’s already registered with the EPA, something that’s commercially available or already in operational use.
- In the evaluation section of the strategies, how do you define “approved”?
Answer: Something that already has regulatory approval. We wouldn’t be interested in something that has not been demonstrated to be effective or has gone through the regulatory pathway.
- Does the application require a particular font to be used? Size identified at 12 pts.
Answer: The NOFO does not require a specific font.
- Is a multi-PI plan required or allowed if there are co-PIs?
Answer: Not required, but allowed. In Grant Solutions, there would need to be a primary PI listed that would be the main point of contact, but there’s no limit on how many co-PIs can be listed.
- This NOFO seemingly excludes high school students/children and focuses on college level. Is this an indication that training for future vector professionals is priority over education to prevent vector borne disease?
Answer: Educating younger individuals on vector-borne diseases is a priority for a division, but unfortunately not a priority for this NOFO. The focus of this NOFO is to target community college or university students and already practicing vector-borne disease professionals.
- Are there specific requirements (i.e., templates) for how we format the performance measurement plan and work plan components of the proposal?
Answer: No. Simple is best, but feel free to be creative as well.
- Is it acceptable for faculty and/or agencies to participate on multiple applications so long as activities are distinct?
Answer: Yes, as long as there is not overlap of activities and the overall effort of faculty and staff does not exceed 100%.
- If funds can be used for vector control products, can they also be used to establish a molecular testing laboratory (equipment) at a remote/underserved Tribal community or health department?
Answer: We would suspect that this proposed activity likely does not align with the with the main strategies of this NOFO. Any purchase of equipment or supplies needs to clearly tie back to an evaluation goal.
- Is there a specific definition of what is being designated as a vector-borne disease? Would monitoring disease spread by mice, bats, etc. fall under this award?
Answer: The Division of Vector-Borne Diseases website has a listing of all of CDC’s priority vector-borne diseases that we cover in our Division (https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/index.html). Please note that we consider vector-borne diseases to be those pathogens that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and lice. Our Division does not prioritize parasitic diseases including malaria or caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.
- Who are the key contacts we are supposed to fill in on the key contact form?
Answer: Key contacts are typically the Principal Investigator and the Authorized Organizational Representative.
- Do we need to include period of performance outcomes in our proposal or do we select some that apply to our project?
Answer: We would like to see specific performance measure in the first year and in general for the remaining years.
- Just to clarify, references are included in the 20-page limit?
- Are biosketches required for senior personnel?
- Can the co-PIs be from different institutions, and how would the budget be addressed?
Answer: In our experience with previous awards, co-PIs are often from other institutions, so the co-PI support would be included on the budget under sub-contracts.
- You mentioned if we cite literature that is part of the 20-page limit for project narrative is that correct?
- Can projects include training and evaluation for “potential” vectors in addition to known vectors?
Answer: Yes. Please note that we consider vector-borne diseases to be those pathogens that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and lice.
- Regarding p.26 of the NOFO, are we needing to include documentation regarding Item 13: Funds Tracking, Item 14: Pilot Program for Enhancement of Whistleblower Protections, and Item 15: Copyright Interests Provisions, or are these post-award components/processes?
Answer: These items are included in the NOFO as informational to make applicants aware that these are requirements that will need to be followed if an award is received.
- Are biosketches needed? And are letters of support allowed/requested?
Answer: We would like to see biosketches for key staff. Letters of support are allowed by not required.
- There is no info on the biosketches in the NOFO. Should these be uploaded as additional documents and not part of the 20-page limit for the narrative? What about the references?
Answer: Biosketches can be uploaded separately and are not part of the page limit. On the other hand, references should be included in the narrative and are part of the page limit.
- Can you elaborate on whether a DMP is required (or allowed) if the data that will be collected is evaluation data, not public health data as defined?
Answer: Applicants need to consider if data they propose to collect would be considered “public health data” as defined by CDC. “Public health data” means digitally recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as a basis for public health findings, conclusions, and implementation. Public health data includes those from research and non-research activities. The DMP should provide a description of the data that will be produced using these NOFO funds; access to data; data standards ensuring released data have documentation describing methods of collection, what the data represent, and data limitations; and archival and long-term data preservation plans. For more information about CDC’s policy on the DMP, see https://www.cdc.gov/grants/additional-requirements/ar-25.html.
- Is there a sample Data Management Plans we can use as an example or reference?
Answer: A DMP for each collection and/or generation of public health data funded by this award should include the following information:
- A description of the data to be collected or generated in the proposed project;
- Standards to be used for the collected or generated data;
- Mechanisms for or limitations to providing access to and sharing of the data (include a description of provisions for the protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights). This section should address access to identifiable and de-identified data or justification for not making the data accessible (see below for additional information about access);
- Statement of the use of data standards that ensure all released data have appropriate documentation that describes the method of collection, what the data represent, and potential limitations for use; and
- Plans for archiving and long-term preservation of the data or explaining why long-term preservation and access are not justified. This section should address archiving and preservation of identifiable and de-identified data (see below for additional information regarding archiving).
- Can we use funds to provide incentives as part of our strategies?
Answer: Possibly, with strong justification and CDC approval.
- Could you clarify furniture and equipment use?
Answer: Proposing the purchase of furniture is acceptable as long as the furniture would be used.
- Could you clarify the bio-sketches? Is it only for the principal investigator?
Answer: Please submit bio-sketches for all key staff.
- Can we use funds for materials and supplies related to training such as reagents and consumables for pathogen testing or sampling?
- Do we need to include all period of performance outcomes in our application, the bolded ones in the logic model?
Answer: CDC would like to see performance measures for the first year and in general for the remaining years.
- if a program was approved but unfunded from the last COE round, can relevant projects/trainings/DMPs be recycled to this NOFO?
Answer: Yes, you could recycle these activities into an application for this award.
- Is there a place for actual Letters of Support in the application?
Answer: Letters of support can be uploaded as optional attachments.
- What documentation are you requiring for IRB/IACUC/biohazard considerations in the proposals? This doesn’t seem to be directly addressed in the NOFO?
Answer: These are not addressed this NOFO because this is non-research NOFO. IRB, IACUC and biohazard considerations are typically associated with research NOFOs and are addressed in research NOFO templates and applications.
- This may be semantics, but is there a clarification for “training?” Is this training to be able to go in the field, conduct surveillance, pathogen testing, control, etc. OR can training be in VBD prevention (e.g., awareness, personal protection)?
Answer: Depending on the activities proposed, either of the definitions in the question could be acceptable trainings.
- What format/template should be used for the bio-sketches (NSF, NIH, SciENCV). And the SF 424 application package will give an error if we do not include current & pending support documents. Are these required/allowed?
Answer: We would like to see bio-sketches of key personnel. There is no required format or template.
- Are you looking for initiatives that are local, regional, statewide?
Answer: All initiative covering these geographical examples could be acceptable with adequate justification.