NSSP FOA FAQs - Administrative

Administrative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As stated in the FOA, Part II, Section D, Number 17, Funding Restrictions, awardees may use funds only for reasonable program purposes, including personnel, travel, supplies and services. Generally, awardees may not use funds to purchase furniture or equipment. Any such proposed spending must be clearly identified in the budget.

The applicant would need to provide a narrative justification and budget describing the expenditure, as well as how it relates to accomplishment of specific program objectives.

No. these purchases are not allowed.


Awardees must report quarterly on certain designated performance measures.   Other measures require reporting on a semi-annual or annual basis (e.g., participation in the annual grantee meeting). Through development of the evaluation plan, CDC will work with awardees to clearly define when to report results for relevant performance measures.

For the NSSP cooperative agreement, “research” is developing a hypothesis, collecting original data, and analyzing that data. Evaluating existing data or programs is not considered research.

Yes, individually list the items in the supplies section of your budget. Show the unit cost of the items, total amount, provide justification for them and relate them to a specific program objective.

Public relations costs are allowable only for costs specifically required by the award or for costs of communicating with the public and the press about specific activities or accomplishments under the cooperative agreement.

Other Grants

Yes, CDC-RFA-OE15-1502 aligns with PHEP Capability 13, “Public health surveillance and epidemiological investigation is the ability to create, maintain, support, and strengthen routine surveillance and detection systems and epidemiological investigation processes, as well as to expand these systems and processes in response to incidents of public health significance.”


The PHEP cooperative agreement and the NSSP cooperative agreement are separate funding instruments. Any changes you are proposing to your existing PHEP cooperative agreement should be discussed with your PHEP program coordinator.


Review of Applicant Types

NSSP cooperative agreement eligibility is not limited to new applicants or to current BioSense2.0 awardees. Any organization may apply that meets the eligibility requirements in Section C-2 of CDC-RFA-OE15-1502.

No. CDC has no preconceptions about funding amounts for jurisdictions of either group.




It means that under the eligibility criteria described in CDC-RFA-OE15-1502 your state would be eligible to apply as a single state health department representing a population less than 1 million people as estimated by the U.S. Census (2013 estimate).

Applying for an NSSP cooperative agreement is not limited to current BioSense 2.0 awardees. This FOA applies to all jurisdictions that meet the eligibility requirements in Section C-2 of CDC-RFA-E15-1502.


No, it doesn’t. The eligibility criteria allow a single state health department representing a population less than 1 million people as estimated by the U.S. Census (2013 estimate) and /or the District of Columbia Department of Health to apply. In addition, a collaborating group of jurisdictions representing an area with a total combined population equal of at least one million people as estimated by the 2013 U.S. Census may also apply. In this case, one of those jurisdictions should serve as the lead applicant.

Yes, it might be used to improve the quality, timeliness, utility, and sharing of data, as well as increasing collaboration among state and local jurisdictions through a National syndromic Surveillance Community of Practice.

Applicants without a current DUA are required to submit a letter signed by their health officer committing to signing the DUA within the first six months of funding. You can contact Scott Gordon (SGordon@astho.org) for a copy of the DUA.

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We’re recruiting CDC full time employees as volunteers for our objective review panel. Their experience includes knowledge of CDC surveillance programs, as well as objective review experience.

The distribution of cooperative agreement funds will depend on the number of successful applications we receive. Awards are made based on the objective review and ranking of each application on their own merit, and how well they meet the established review criteria.

Yes, you can.

We investigated this and found that date the 5/15/15 deadline stated in grants.gov is not correct. We have resolved the problem. The correct due date for remains applications is 4/20/2015, 11:59 PM, U.S. Eastern Time.

The logic model diagram has been inserted into the FOA through the grants announcement module for uploading to www.grants.gov, and can be found in Part II Section 2(a) of the amended announcement.

There is no specific LOI format. If an LOI is submitted, its information will be used to help estimate the application-review work load and to plan our review process. If a LOI is submitted, we recommend at a minimum the letter should contain:

  • Number and title of this FOA, which is CDC-RFA-OE15-1502;
  • Descriptive title of the proposed project, which is The National Syndromic Surveillance Program: Enhancing Syndromic Surveillance Capacity and Practice; and  
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the principal investigator or project director.

A jurisdictional working group is composed of different stakeholders who can help improve syndromic surveillance practices at the jurisdictional level.  Ideally, if one doesn’t currently exist, the working group should be established within 6 months of the awardee receiving funding.

Yes, the work plan should be shared with the project officers during quarterly updates.

Page last reviewed: October 19, 2017