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STD/HIV DISTC FOA - Frequently Asked Questions

This web page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being updated.

Questions and answers about the STD/HIV DISTC FOA are available on this page. If you have questions about the STD/HIV DISTC FOA, please send them to Frequently-asked questions will be added to this page.

View all Questions and Answers as a PDF (Updated December 30, 2013)

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1. The listing of eligible institutions does not make any reference to foreign institutions. Is there any problem with collaborating with an institution from abroad?

Yes. The purpose of this FOA is to identify training centers that will provide training to Disease Intervention Specialists and Partner Service providers within domestic health programs. Page 17 of the FOA describes the organizational capacity expected. An important component of this is the applicant’s experience related to STD/HIV intervention work in or with local or state health departments in the United States. Foreign institutions are unlikely to meet this criterion.

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2. The FOA references the ability to deliver a national program. The currently funded Partner Service training centers are regional. Can you clarify that this FOA requires that newly-funded DISTCs will be national in scope?

Yes, under this FOA, the awardees will be expected to develop and implement a national training program. This is a change from the regionally-based structure of the currently funded STD/HIV Prevention Training Centers -Partner Services (PTC Part III) grantees.

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3. Does each proposal have to be national in scope? If so, how will the funded grantees activities be harmonized?

Yes, each applicant should submit a proposal for a national program.. Each applicant is expected to describe how they plan to collaborate with the other grantee(s) in order to provide a national program. A detailed collaboration plan will be developed in consultation with CDC once the grantees have been determined.

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4. Regarding the DIS Mentoring Program: Are there specific programs or models you recommend and/or would like to see expanded?

Applicants are expected to put forth a model based on the applicants’ expertise and experience in the area of DIS/Partner Service skills and activities. CDC cannot provide any further detail at this time.

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5. Page 11 of the FOA mentions increased access to decision tools, along with other resources for DIS and PS staff performing PH disease intervention services. Is there a specific definition, or specific context in which this term is being used that differs from existing general resources and materials used to enhance or improve DIS-related activities? If so, can you define and/or provide references for further context?

The intent is for grantees not only to provide quality resources for training but also to develop tools and resources that will positively impact the performance of DIS and Partner Services staff on a daily basis.

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6. Can you elaborate on the term “Public Health detailing” as listed in Outcomes?

“Detailing” encompasses objective, tailored, face-to-face education in regards to Public Health, what Public Health does, the role of the DIS in Public Health and the responsibility of private sector providers related to Public Health.

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7. Can you clarify indirect cost restrictions? The FOA asks for the indirect cost-rate agreement, but then there is a statement that indirect costs are restricted to 8% of the total direct costs. Does this 8% apply to all work done under this grant, or only specific tasks? Why ask for the provisional rate, and then state the 8% limitation?

Indirect costs under training grants to organizations other than State, local or Indian tribal governments will be budgeted and reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement, and are not subject to upward or downward adjustment. Direct cost amounts for equipment (capital expenditures), tuition and fees, and subgrants and subcontracts in excess of $25,000 are excluded from the actual direct cost base for purposes of this calculation. Indirect costs under grants to local government agencies (other than those designated as “major” pursuant to OMB Circular A-87) shall be budgeted and reimbursed on the basis of the rates computed and proposed by the local government in its grant application unless the awarding office requests DCA involvement.

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8. Do the budget guidelines allow for development of new databases/disease tracking tools to aid DIS in their work?

Yes, this is an allowable cost. When developing the budget narrative, applicants must consider whether the proposed budget is reasonable and consistent with the purpose, outcomes, and program strategy outlined in the project narrative.

For guidance on completing a detailed budget, see Budget Preparation Guidelines at:

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9. In regards to resumes, is there any preferred format, such as NIH biosketches? Also, I take it there is no page limit for resumes?

There is no preferred format or page limit for resumes. Applicants should focus resumes on the experiences and activities that relate closely to this FOA.

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10. Is there a page limit on attachments?

No, but please note the list of acceptable attachments on page 40.

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11. In reviewing the RFA -PS14-1408, we had a question regarding a sentence on page 25. On said page, it notes: “applicants must provide an overall jurisdiction or community-specific evaluation and performance measurement plan”. Can you further explain by what is meant by jurisdiction or community-specific plan? Our understanding is that this is a proposed national program.

Because the DISTC is a national program, the jurisdiction for the evaluation and performance measurement plan is the entire U.S.

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12. In reviewing the RFA -PS14-1408, we had a question regarding the US territories (i.e. Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands). Does the DISTC FOA include Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?

Yes, the DISTC will service STD/HIV programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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13. In reviewing the RFA -PS14-1408, we had a question regarding the use of the phrase “faculty.” There was no definition provided in the glossary section. Is faculty synonymous with trainer or it is meant to convey a different meaning?

“Faculty” refers to trainers or subject matter experts developing and/or delivering DISTC courses.

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14. The website you listed has the webinar, but not the FOA, or at least I did not see it there. I looked at the following: 
Is that where you will post a response?

Applicant resources for the STD/HIV DISTC FOA can be found at: .
Information on how to access the FOA and responses to questions about the FOA are located here. The questions and responses are updated weekly.

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15. Can you tell me how many separate trainings the existing PTCs typically conduct per year? I am trying to get a sense of demand. For example, should one anticipate requests for approximately 10 off-site trainings per year? If CDC could give me an estimate of the current number of such trainings done per year across the existing 3 PTCs, that would be a big help. Thanks.

The three Partner Services PTC grantees (PTC Part IIIs) facilitate a total of approximately 50 courses per year. Keep in mind that the scope of the DISTC FOA is not the same as the PTC Part III FOA, so the number of courses currently conducted by the Part III grantees is of limited value in estimating the number of trainings the DISTC grantees will conduct.

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16. The RFA lists DIS and “other PS staff” as being the target audience for training. Can we interpret this to include program managers and surveillance staff insofar as their work relates to partner services?

No. The target audience for this FOA is the front line public health workforce, that is, disease intervention specialists (DIS) and other partner services providers working in or with health department STD and HIV programs to provide disease intervention services.

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17. Is there a limit on hourly and/or daily fee rates consultants may be paid for their services for CDC-funded awards?

All individuals funded directly or indirectly by CDC grants or other extramural mechanism are subject to the salary limitations of the Notice of Award. Currently the annual salary cap is $179,700, effective December 23, 2011.

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18. The grant application requires 12 pt. font for the narrative. Is this the same requirement for tables and charts?

The font size for tables, charts and graphs is not specified in the FOA therefore fonts smaller or larger than 12 points are permissible. (Updated December 30, 2013)

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