Cooperative Agreements

Cooperative agreements provide NIOSH with the ability to arrange collaborative surveillance and research opportunities with state health departments, universities, labor unions, and non-profit organizations. NIOSH provides funding for a broad array of cooperative agreements to develop knowledge that can be used in preventing occupational diseases and injury.

Unlike grants which are conducted independently of the sponsoring agency, cooperative agreements bring together the expertise of federal and non-federal researchers to accomplish public health efforts that would not otherwise occur. In order for a cooperative agreement to be awarded, there must be a clear need for programmatic staff involvement during performance of a proposed project. An evaluation is made to determine that the cooperative agreement is of sufficient priority to warrant the commitment of staff resources required for a collaborative effort during the term of the cooperative agreement award.

Current Cooperative Agreement Opportunities

(For previous funding opportunities, see Past Funding.)

 

funding opportunities
Announcement
Number
Title Contact Expiration Date Additional
RFA-OH-20-002external icon Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research Cooperative Agreement (U01) Bridgette Garrett, Ph.D.

(770) 488-5715

1-30-22 Please see the following noticeexternal icon regarding the budget period and period of performance for announcement RFA-OH-20-002 changing from 24 months to 36 months. This change will take effect for the next application receipt date of January 21, 2021.

Reissue of PAR-16-098external icon

RFA-OH-20-003external icon Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Training Project Grants (T03) Bridgette Garrett, Ph.D.

(770) 488-5715

1-30-22 Please see the following noticeexternal icon regarding the budget period and period of performance for announcement RFA-OH-20-003 changing from 24 months to 36 months. This change will take effect for the next application receipt date of January 21, 2021.
RFA-OH-19-002external icon Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Collaboration, Education and Translation (U24)

 

We are no longer accepting applications for this announcement.

Linda West, MSPH

(404) 498-5767

7-1-2022
RFA-OH-19-001 external icon National Center for Construction Safety and Health Research and Translation (U54)

 

We are no longer accepting applications for this announcement.

W. Allen Robison, Ph.D.

(404) 498-2509

 12-15-23
PAR-20-280external icon Cooperative Research Agreements Related to the World Trade Center Health Program (U01) James Yiin, Ph.D.
(513) 841-4271
12-13-24 Reissue of PAR-16-098external icon
RFA-OH-21-003external icon Extension of the World Trade Center Health Registry (U50) James Yiin, Ph.D.
(513) 841-4271
12-14-20 Reissue of RFA-OH-16-001external icon
PAR-20-297external icon NIOSH Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® (U19)

 

Please click here for frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to this funding announcement.

Maria Lioce, MD.
(404) 498-2575
12-1-25 Reissue of
PAR-15-361external icon
PAR-15-353external icon Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health (U54) Steve Dearwent, Ph.D.
(404) 498-6382
12-1-17 NIOSH is in the process of developing the next funding announcement for Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health. The announcement will be published in FY2021 and solicit applications for FY2022 funding consideration.
PAR-20-312external icon State Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Program (U60) Linda West, MSPH
(404) 498-5767
9-15-22 Reissue of PAR-14-275external icon

Cooperative Agreement Opportunity PAR-20-297: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

The following frequently asked questions and answers (Q&A) pertain to the recently published funding announcementexternal icon for the Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®.  This Q&A is categorized by the topic areas, shown below. You can also find additional information about this funding opportunity in the table above.

This funding announcement is the first time CDC/NIOSH has incorporated use of the National Institutes of Health Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) for preparing and submitting complex, multi-component research applications electronically. We encourage you to check the following resources for preparing and submitting multi-project announcements:

Budget

Question: What is the budget for a large project?
Answer: The funding that can be requested for large research projects has been changed from more than $250 thousand direct costs/year to up to $325 thousand direct costs/year. For additional details, see Updated Information on the Research Projects Component for PAR-20-297 NIOSH Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® (U19)external icon. 

Question: Regarding the Research Pilot Project Program, can the applicant’s institution provide additional resources to extend the reach of the program beyond the $50 thousand limit in the funding announcement? If so, should the applicant include letters of support showing institutional commitment to the center’s pilot studies program.
Answer: Yes, it is okay to receive these types of other resources. Applicant institutions should verify the type(s) of additional resources that would be provided. For example, the applicant cannot use money from other federal grants.

Question: Is there any guidance on how to present projects that will be funded in later years of the grant cycle (i.e., a small project that starts in year 4)?
Answer: Applicants may propose projects with varied timelines. The purpose, specific aims, timeline, and the rationale for the timeline should be clearly explained in the description of the project.

Question: Do the direct costs of each research project include the indirect costs of subcontracts?
Answers: Yes, the indirect costs of subcontracts should be included in the direct costs of each research project. The Direct Costs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs (Indirect Costs) of consortium should be included in Section F5 Other Direct Costs/ Subawards/Consortium/Contractual Costs of the R&R Budget Form. The National Institutes of Health policy provides for exclusion of consortium/contractual F&A costs when determining if an applicant is in compliance with a direct cost limitation. CDC/NIOSH policy does not allow this.

For additional information, please see the instructions in Section IV. Application and Submission Information of the funding announcement, along with the R&R Budget Form in Section F5 Other Direct Costs.

Research Projects

Question: Is the Research Pilot Project Program considered a “research project”?
Answer: No, it is a program and must be considered as a component. The funding announcement states, “The Research Pilot Project Program is an optional component and must fit within the overall funding limits of the Research Projects component.” Information about the description of the Research Pilot Project Program is available in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description of the funding announcement under the subtitle, “Structure of TWH Centers: Components, Essential Cores, Programs, and Projects”. 

Question:  Would a center be permitted to run a Research Pilot Project Program only from years 2-5 if it cannot start the program until year 2 due to various factors?
Answer: Yes. Information about the description of the Research Pilot Project Program is available in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description of the funding announcement under the subtitle “Structure of TWH Centers: Components, Essential Cores, Programs, and Projects”. 

Question: Please clarify the requirements regarding the number and types of research projects (i.e., large/small), as summarized in funding announcement in Table 1. Summary of TWH Center Components.  In particular, are small projects allowed?
Answer: Yes, at least one small project is required. NIOSH expects the Total Worker Health (TWH) Centers of Excellence to have a variety of projects, large and small. Additionally, on Table 1, under the Research Projects component in the “Small Projects” row, the table specifies an “X” under the required column.

Question: Since centers must have a small project, are applicants required to have one of each type of small research project, or one of either type?
Answer: Yes, a small project is required, and applicants may choose either: 1) a small research project type 1,
2) a small research project type 2, or 3) both project types. The number of small projects and types is at the investigator’s discretion. The requirement is to at least have one small project regardless of whether it is type 1 or 2.

Additionally, see these sections of the funding announcement for more information pertaining to this topic:

  • Section I. Funding Opportunity Description: Approach/under the Research Projects component
  • Section IV. Application and Submission Information: Research Projects

“Small projects with a maximum budget of $50K per year in direct costs and limited scope that use widely accepted approaches and methods within well-established fields,”

and/or

“Small projects with a maximum of a two-year budget total of $275K in direct costs for exploratory and novel research that has the potential to lead to advances in health research”

Question: Can a small project focus on a systematic review or be like a conference grant focused on dissemination?
Answer: Research activities may vary widely. Applicants are not required to propose a project within a specific research category. It is at the investigator’s discretion what the focus of the project will be. The funding announcement provides guidance on the description of the small projects. For each project proposed, it is essential that applicants clearly explain the purpose, specific aims, and how the project fits into the overall strategy and approach of the center.

Question: Can large research projects involve two different occupational cohorts in our TWH proposal?
Answer: Yes. It is essential that applicants clearly explain the purpose, specific aims, and how the project fits into the overall strategy and approach of the center.

Question: Are there any restrictions to involving more than one occupational cohort?
Answer: No

Past Performance/Accomplishments for Renewal Applicants and Preliminary Work for New Applicants

Question: If a currently funded center plans to renew a project for the next grant cycle, in what section of the application should the center include information on the past performance? Should past performance be a separate section from what is proposed for the renewal, incorporated into the proposal for the renewal or either way and vary across the sections of the application?
Answer: If a current center plans to include the project for the next grant cycle, it will submit past performance information in both the Research Strategy of the Overall and in the Research Strategy of the Research Project Components. Please follow the instructions specified in this part of the funding announcement: Section IV. Application and Submission Information, in both components (overall and research projects) under the subtitle PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Project) / Research Strategy. Renewal applications can provide past performance/accomplishments in the last project period that address the major scientific achievements.

If the center DOES NOT plan to include the project in its grant renewal application, it will submit past performance information in the Research Strategy of the Overall Component and should follow the instructions specified in the funding announcement: Section IV. Application and Submission Information, in the Overall Component under the subtitle PHS 398 Research Plan (Overall) / Research Strategy. Renewal applications can provide past performance/accomplishments in the last project period that address the major scientific achievements.

It is at the investigator’s discretion to describe the past performance (clearly identified as such) as a separate section or integrated into the content of the Research Strategy. 

Question: Are new projects allowed a section in the grant application for preliminary work?
Answer:
You can include this information in the Research Strategy section, respecting the page limit for new projects. It is at the investigator’s discretion what the number of pages for preliminary studies, or work will be within the page limits. Please follow the instructions for new projects in the funding announcement under these sections:
Section IV. Application and Submission Information/Page Limitations,
Section IV. Application and Submission Information/PHS 398 Research Plan
Section IV. Application and Submission Information/ Instructions for the Submission of Multi-Component Applications

Page Limitation

Question: Is there a page limit in the application for past performance information?
Answer:
Please follow the instructions specified in the funding announcement under Section IV. Application and Submission Information, Page Limitations. The funding announcement states that past performance/accomplishments should be described in the Research Strategy for each component (Overall, Eval-Plan Core, Outreach Core, Pilot Program, research Project). Renewal applications submitted by current centers can provide past performance/accomplishments in the last project period that address the major scientific achievements. The funding announcement provides additional pages in the Research Strategy (for each component) for renewal applications. The investigator can use his or her discretion to decide what number of pages for past accomplishment will be within the page limitation indicated in the table. The researcher cannot submit more pages than the specified limit in the table for the Research Strategy.

Question:
Could you clarify the page limits for the science sections of the application? Specifically, do page limits include specific aims? Is there a one-page limit for the specific aims?
Answer: Yes, the funding announcement specifies a one-page limit for the specific aims. Please follow the instructions specified in the funding announcement in Section IV. Application and Submission Information, Page Limitations.

Question: Is the one-page Specific Aims section in addition to or a part of the page limits given in the funding announcement? For example, for a large grant being renewed, do the 18 pages allocated include the Specific Aims, or are the aims in addition to the 18-page limit?
Answer: The one-page Specific Aims section is in addition to the Research Strategy page-limit. An applicant that will renew a large project can submit up to 18 pages for the Research Strategy and 1 additional page for the specific aims. Please see Section IV. Application and Submission Information of the funding announcement under Page Limitations.

In addition, the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (Multi – Project Instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies)pdf iconexternal icon clearly indicates when you apply that Specific Aims and Research Strategy are two separate attachments. In this document, read Page M-94, section M.400 – PHS 398 Research Plan Form which states: “The PHS 398 Research Plan form is used only for research, multi-project, and SBIR/STTR applications. This form includes fields to upload several attachments, including the Specific Aims and Research Strategy.”

Question: The funding announcement states there is a limit of 18 pages for projects being renewed although elsewhere it says 12 pages for the research strategy of a large project. If there is an 18-page total for a renewal project, can the investigator use his or her discretion to distribute the pages between the past performance and the current research plan, or must 12 pages be devoted to the new research plan and 6 pages to the past performance?
Answer: Please follow the instructions specified in the funding announcement under Section IV. Application and Submission Information, Page Limitations. The table in this section indicates the page limit for each component (Overall, Eval-Plan Core, Outreach Core, Pilot Program, research Project). For renewal applicants, two sections of the funding announcement indicate the page limit for the research strategy of a renewal large project is up to 18 pages and is up to 12 pages for a new large project. The distribution of the pages between past performance and the current research plan for renewal projects is at the investigator’s discretion, so long as the investigator stays within the page limit of a small or a large project.

Question: Are there differences in the page limits for new projects compared to projects that are continuations of current research projects? 
Answer: Yes. Please follow the instructions specified in the funding announcement under Section IV. Application and Submission Information, Page Limitations. For new projects, the page limits are 6 pages for small projects and 12 pages for large projects. For continuations or renewals, the page limits are 12 pages for small projects and 18 pages for large projects.

Application Deadlines and Timelines

Question:  Are all applicants required to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by November 2, 2020, and then a full proposal by February 3, 2021?
Answer:
Yes, these dates are the correct submission deadlines for all applicants.

Question: Can you please confirm that February 3, 2021 is the only due date for a new application to be considered for funding by NIOSH?
Answer:
Yes, currently February 3, 2021 is the only submission date for new applicants.

Question: After the Feb 3, 2021 due date, will NIOSH accept new applications for future application dates (10/2021, 10/2022, 10/2023)?
Answer: Currently, we will not allow new or renewal applications after the February 3, 2021 deadline.  After this date, only Revision and Resubmission applications from the funded centers will be accepted for research projects that competed and were funded in FY2021. For additional information, see Section II. Award Information under the subtitle “Application Types Allowed” of the funding announcement.

Question: Under the current funding announcement, are resubmissions allowed for new applications submitted on the February 3, 2021 deadline, even if they received a favorable score?
Answer: Currently, no resubmissions will be allowed for new centers after the February 3, 2021 deadline.
Centers (new or renewal) that competed and were funded in FY2021 can resubmit their research projects that were not funded.

Other Questions

Question: If my institution already has a grant or a cooperative agreement with NIOSH (e.g., NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center, etc.), can I apply for this announcement?
Answer: Yes. If you have a question about a specific NIOSH-funded grant or cooperative agreement, please contact Dr. Maria Lioce. 

Question: According to the funding announcement, all centers are supposed to have an Associate Director. Can a center have an Associate Director for Research and an Associate Director for Outreach?
Answer: Yes, this is allowed. Clearly describe and explain this in your application.

Question: Do the Centers of Excellence grant application permit a Multi-Principal Investigator (PI) plan?
Answer: Yes. Multi-PI are permitted. You must list one name as the contact PI. The funding announcement specifies “Each applicant institution will name a Director (PD/PI) who will be the key figure in the administration, management and coordination of the grant. The Director will be responsible for the organization and operation of the Center.” Please follow the instructions in Section IV. Application and Submission Information for Overall of the funding announcement under the subtitle “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Overall)”.

Question: Is it okay for someone to serve on the advisory board of more than one Center of Excellence?
Answer: When an individual is being considered for service on multiple Center external advisory committees, that person should officially inform each of those Center Directors about this. This ensures transparency for all Centers involved. The person should also declare any and all conflicts of interest (COI) to each Center Director. If in doubt, the issue(s) should be discussed with the Center Directors. NIOSH does not make determinations about COIs that are the responsibility of grantees (grantee institutions or Center Directors).

Additionally, any persons serving, or under consideration for serving, on Center advisory boards must declare if they are contacted by NIOSH to be a peer reviewer for TWH Center applications for funding.

Question: What format should applicants use to prepare a Core unit proposal? 
Answer: Please follow the funding announcement instructions in Section IV. Application and Submission Information for each Core. For example, the Outreach Core under PHS 398 Research Plan (Outreach Core) in the funding announcement specifies: Outreach Strategy, Specific Aims, Resource Sharing Plan among others.

Question: Regarding NIOSH’s perspective on TWH, is it health promotion and intervention or more combination of Occupational and Environmental Health?
Answer: The funding announcement specifies the definition of TWH in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description as: “TWH is defined as policies, programs and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being.”. Learn more via the TWH webpage. Applicants must address the research objectives of the most critical issues from the TWH-related goals that are found in the NIOSH Strategic Plan: FY’s 2019-2023  (specifically in the NIOSH Priority Goals for Extramural Research); the TWH Priority Areas and Emerging Issues; and the specific strategic, intermediate, and activity/output goals of National TWH Agenda (2016-2026)pdf icon.

In Section I of the funding announcement, you can find more information about TWH in these areas: TWH Research and Translation Topic Areas, TWH High Priority Topic Areas and Structure of TWH Centers: Components, Essential Cores, Programs, and Projects.

Page last reviewed: January 3, 2018