Overview of Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement (NOFO): PS19-1905

Information Call: Economic Modeling for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB – CDC-RFA-PS19-1905, March 13, 2019

Key Aspects of PS19-1905


When making decisions to commit limited resources to disease prevention and control efforts, health officials and policy makers often lack the required information, such as

  1. health and economic outcomes of particular interventions/strategies or
  2. how interventions compare with each other in terms of their health and economic outcomes

Modeling epidemics and economics of disease, such as from disease transmission, cost-effectiveness, and economic models, are critical to inform decision-making regarding prioritizing and implementing interventions targeting HIV, VH, STDs, and TB.

This NOFO seeks to help state and local public health practitioners assess changes in disease burden, cost of illness, cost-effectiveness of various strategies, optimal resource allocation across strategies, and population-level impacts for HIV, VH, STDs, and TB. The primary objectives are to

  • Increase availability of scientifically valid mathematical models
  • Increase access to web tools that are 508 compliant
  • Increased dissemination of manuscripts documenting models and tools applicable to NCHHSTP.

Relevant Work

Through a prior NOFO (NCHHSTP Epidemiologic and Economic Modeling Agreement [NEEMA]; CDC-RFA-PS14-1415), CDC and NEEMA recipients conducted a wide range of prevention-effectiveness studies using (i) mathematical models of disease and (ii) systematic reviews to inform models. Table 1, under the Strategies and Activities section, lists examples of relevant epidemiologic and health economic studies.

Approach, Strategies, and Activities

Figure 1 presents the logic model that summarizes Strategies and Activities, Short-, Medium, and Long-Term Outcomes for this NOFO.

Activity 1: Planning Models
  • Defining modeling questions and generating hypotheses with CDC, based on CDC priorities and local health departments (LHD) needs
  • Conducting literature searches
Activity 2: Constructing and Improving Models
  • Constructing new models with CDC: Models may include any of the types described in Table 1 (Cost analysis; Burden of illness; Cost-effectiveness; Cost-benefit; Population-level program impact, and Resource allocation). The other 3 rows in Table 1 – forecasting disease burden, population size estimates, and systematic reviews can be used to inform the main 6 model types
  • Improving models: Provide technical assistance and collaborating with CDC to improve existing CDC models
Activity 3: Disseminating Models, Model Documentation, Results, and Tools
  • Developing publicly accessible tools: Create 508 compliant web tools based on newly developed or existing models to facilitate use by state and local health departments
  • Publishing scientific articles that document models, results, and applications: The timeline for each model will be determined in a meeting between a recipient and CDC staff when a modeling project is at the developmental stage; interim reports and modeling results will be delivered according to timelines determined with each recipient

Target Populations

Most of the modeling activities will focus on populations that are disproportionately impacted by HIV, VH, STIs, and TB. As a result, the models will simulate, determine, and compare health and/or economic outcomes for at-risk and vulnerable populations including people living with HIV, adolescents, people who inject drugs, non-U.S.-born persons, and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Evaluation/Performance Management

For Activity 1: Planning Models
  1. Outcome: Improved understanding of modeling gaps by CDC subject matter experts
    1. Performance Indicator: Number of new research ideas/questions generated through literature searches
For Activity 2: Constructing and Improving Models
  1. Outcome: Increased availability of scientifically valid mathematical models
    1. Performance Indicator 1 (proposed): Number of new/improved models
    2. Performance Indicator 2 (proposed): Well-documented code will be posted on public facing websites or transferred to CDC
For Activity 3: Disseminating Models, Model Documentation, Results, and Tools
  1. Outcome 1: Increased access to web tools that are 508 compliant and ready for use by state and local HDs
    1. Performance Indicator 1 (proposed): Number of web tools available
  2. Outcome 2: Increased dissemination of manuscripts that document models and tools applicable to NCHHSTP
    1. Performance Indicator 2 (proposed): Number of manuscripts

Organizational Capacity of Recipients to Implement the Approach

Applicants should have:

  • Demonstrated capability in all 4 areas (HIV, VH, STDs, and TB), as demonstrated by the number of economic and/or disease transmission modeling publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Epidemiologic, clinical, modeling, economic expertise sufficient to define modeling questions, generate hypotheses, conduct literature searches, determine needed data inputs, and construct models in all 4 areas

In addition, applicants should have the capacity to

  • Model epidemiologic and economic data for various geographic areas (regions/states)
  • Work with CDC and state/local HD’s officials to identify modeling topics, strategies, and products that are of most use to them
  • Make models/tools capable of being readily updated with new data
  • Collaborate with other recipients
  • Communicate modeling activities clearly and succinctly to CDC and state/local program staff
  • Attend and give presentations at the bi-annual meetings

To demonstrate the ability to define modeling questions and generate hypotheses, applicants should include as part of their applications a brief 1-paragraph description of each of 12 hypothetical examples to include the following characteristics:

  • 2 examples should be proposed for each of the 6 types of economic analyses listed in Table 1 (Cost analysis; Burden of illness; Cost-effectiveness; Cost-benefit; Population-level program impact, and Resource allocation)
  • When combined should cover all 4 areas (HIV, VH, STDs, and TB)
  • Demonstrate capacity to define modeling questions and generate hypotheses
    • Are the examples reasonable/feasible?
    • Do they include: problem statement, modeling approach, data sources, programmatic implications?

Applicants are also required to provide a detailed description of a model that involves one of the four areas. This model description should be at least 1 page and single-spaced (this example must be viable).

CDC’s Cooperative Agreements

In a Cooperative Agreement, CDC and the recipients share responsibility for successfully implementing the award and meeting identified project outcomes.

  • Recipients are required to collaborate with CDC’s NCHHSTP OD and divisions.
  • The project protocols will be developed with substantial CDC involvement to assure project outcomes are consistent with the overall goals of this NOFO.
  • CDC will provide support to the recipients, as outlined in the Strategies and Activities section. This will take the form of CDC staff support, data, and existing mathematical models.
  • Because this is a cooperative agreement, the resulting products (manuscripts/tools) are expected to be authored by both recipient and CDC staff who participated in the project, unless otherwise agreed to by both parties. Hence, the majority of products will require CDC scientific review and approval before submitting to a journal or publishing.

Eligible Applicants

Eligibility Category: Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity)

This NOFO is restricted to domestic settings. As mentioned under Funding Opportunity Description, this NOFO will support achievement of the overarching goals of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, VH, STD, and TP Prevention (NCHHSTP) and the models should inform prevention and control efforts of public health practitioners at the national and state levels. Since this is a domestic award, no foreign institution can be used as a collaborative partner or contractor.

Review and Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed in 3 phases.

Phase 1 Review (page 28, under “a”)

All applications will be initially reviewed for eligibility and completeness by CDC Office of Grants Services. Complete applications will be reviewed for responsiveness by the Grants Management Officials and Program Officials. Non-responsive applications will not advance to Phase II review. Applicants will be notified that their applications did not meet eligibility and/or published submission requirements.

Phase 2 Review (pages 28-30, under “b”)

A review panel will evaluate applicant’s Approach (30 points maximum), Evaluation and Performance Measure Plan (30 points max), and Organizational Capacity to Implement the Approach (40 points max). Details on the specific criteria for each section are included on p. 29. Although not scored, the budget is assessed as to whether it is reasonable and aligns with the proposed work plan.

Phase 3 Review (page 30, under “c”)

Applications will be funded in order by score and rank determined by the review panel.

Announcement and Anticipated Award Dates

Successful applicants will anticipate notice of funding by August 16, 2019 with a start date of October 1, 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Page last reviewed: March 21, 2019