MIECHV Innovation Awards Combined NOFO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Funding and Eligibility

How much total funding is available for FY 2022 MIECHV Innovation Award grants?

In FY 2022, approximately $22 million is available for approximately 11 eligible entities to develop, implement, and evaluate innovations that leverage new technology and data strategies to improve the delivery of voluntary early childhood home visiting services to eligible families.

Who is eligible to apply for the FY 2022 MIECHV Innovation Award grants?

Track One: Eligible recipients include all states and six territories and jurisdictions serving the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Nonprofit organizations receiving MIECHV Program - Formula funding in FY 2021 are also eligible to apply if the state for which they were funded to provide MIECHV services in FY 2021 does not apply.

Track Two: Eligible recipients include only MIECHV recipients as of the time of the American Rescue Plan’s enactment (March 11, 2021).

How much can eligible entities request?

Single applicants may apply for up to $2 million.

Applicants proposing a collaboration amongst two or more eligible entities may apply for up to $4 million. For applicants proposing to collaborate, the entity authorizing the application is the lead entity responsible for the programmatic and fiscal oversight of the award. Additionally, applicants must ensure that the necessary relationships, legal agreements, and infrastructure are already in place at the time of application across recipients to facilitate effective partnerships, if submitting a proposal reflecting a collaboration.

Award ceilings are for the entire project/budget period (March 1, 2022 – September 30, 2024).

When will awards be issued?

HRSA expects to issue Notices of Award prior to the project period start date of March 1, 2022.

What is the period of performance?

The period of performance extends from March 1, 2022 to September 30, 2024.

Application Submission

Where can I obtain a copy of the FY 2022 MIECHV Innovation NOFO (HRSA-22-089 and HRSA-22-102)?

Applicants can log into Grants.gov to download a PDF of the NOFO from the Workspace.

How do I submit my application?

HRSA requires applicants to submit their application electronically through Grants.gov using the SF-424 Workspace application package associated with this NOFO. Please follow these instructions to submit your application.

When are applications due?

The application deadline is November 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. HRSA suggests submitting applications to Grants.gov at least 3 days before the deadline to allow for any unforeseen circumstances. Applications must be complete, within the specified page limit, and validated by Grants.gov under the correct funding opportunity number (HRSA-21-089 and/or HRSA-22-102) prior to the deadline to be considered under this notice.

What is the activity code for this grant award?

The activity code for HRSA-22-089, or Track One, is UH4.

The activity code for HRSA-22-102, or Track Two, is U4G.

What is in a complete FY 2022 MIECHV Innovation Award NOFO submission?

A complete submission includes 7 parts:

  1. The first is completion of standard OMB form SF-424A Budget Information - Non-construction Programs. This form does not count toward the 50-page limit;
  2. Project Abstract. This form does not count toward the 50-page limit;
  3. Project Narrative;
  4. Budget;
  5. Budget Narrative;
  6. Attachments, of which 5 are required for all applications, and others must be submitted as applicable.

Which attachments are required? Which count towards the 50-page limit?

The table below shows the required attachments and which count toward the 50-page limit. All other attachments are required as applicable. Please read the NOFO carefully to assess which additional attachments are required in your submission.

Attachment Required for all applicants Counts toward 50-page limit
1. Work Plan Timeline Yes Yes
2. Logic Model Yes Yes
3. Organizational Chart Yes Yes
4. Maintenance of Effort Chart Yes Yes
5. Model Developer Letter(s) Yes Yes
6. Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility, and Voluntary Exclusion–Explanation of Inability to Certify If Applicable Yes
7. Verification of the necessary relationships, legal agreements, and infrastructure are already in place across eligible entities to facilitate effective partnerships If Applicable Yes

General Questions

What is the difference between Track One and Track Two?

The MIECHV Innovation Award NOFO is a combined NOFO that solicits applications for two separate funding announcements, HRSA-22-089 (Track 1), and HRSA-22-102 (Track 2). They are two distinct funding opportunities that are being announced together because the purpose and objectives of the two opportunities are largely aligned. A critical difference between the two opportunities is that Track Two, which leverages ARP funding, is intended to address the impact of COVID-19. 

Track One, MIECHV Innovation Award – General Data/Technology Innovations, aims to leverage data- and technology-driven innovations in the key priority areas to improve MIECHV service delivery consistent with the service delivery model(s) being implemented by the awardee.

Track Two, ARP Act MIECHV Innovation Award – COVID-19-Related Data/Technology Innovations, aims to leverage data- and technology-driven innovations in the key priority areas to improve MIECHV service delivery. This included virtual service delivery, in order to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, consistent with the service delivery model(s) being implemented by the awardee.

Additionally, if applying for Track Two, the ARP Act specifies that MIECHV recipients, as of the time of enactment (March 11, 2021), will be eligible to receive ARP funds, in addition to other eligibility requirements specified in the statute. ARP funds provide authority for MIECHV recipients to advance service delivery and specified additional allowable uses of ARP funds.

How can these funds be used?

Funds should be used to develop, implement, and evaluate innovations that introduce new or scale up existing technology and/or data sharing, data exchange, and interoperability strategies that are expected to improve the effectiveness of MIECHV-funded voluntary early childhood home visiting services. An innovation could be a process, product, strategy, or practice that improves (or is expected to improve, based on evidence of promise or strong theory) the outcomes reached with current or status quo service delivery implementation and that can ultimately reach widespread effective usage.

HRSA has identified four program priority areas in which to implement technology and data-driven innovation and improvement. Innovations may also address additional priorities not identified below as long as they also address at least one of the program priority areas and focus on leveraging new technology or data strategies. The four identified program priority areas include:

  1. Integration of administrative data measuring social and structural determinants of health into home visiting program data to better assess contextual disparities and measure progress toward addressing root causes of health inequities;
  2. Creating or enhancing early childhood integrated data systems through data interoperability or other data sharing strategies;
  3. Developing data and technology-driven recruitment and retention strategies, such as centralized intake, to identify and reach families who are historically unserved by home visiting or at higher need; and
  4. Advancing professional and workforce development by identifying, introducing, and evaluating the use of new technologies.

Projects should also contribute to advances in knowledge about the innovations that improve and/or expand home visiting services through:

  1. Evaluation (in coordination with other successful recipients with support of an innovation technical assistance (TA) center);
  2. Identification of further research needs; and
  3. Dissemination of knowledge to all MIECHV award recipients to scale up successful efforts as appropriate.

Additionally, if applying for Track Two, the ARP Act provides authority for MIECHV recipients to advance service delivery and specified additional allowable uses of ARP funds. Applicants must ensure that proposed innovations that enhance service delivery align with the allowable uses of ARP funds, which include: 

  1. Service delivery. To serve families with eligible service delivery model(s) to provide in-person or virtual home visits.
  2. Hazard pay or other staff costs. Use funds for hazard pay or other additional staff costs associated with providing home visits or administration for programs.
  3. Home visitor training. Develop, conduct, and evaluate training of home visitors who are employed by the recipient or subrecipient in virtual service delivery, emergency preparedness, IPV screenings, and safety and planning for families to improve outcomes in the MIECHV benchmark areas.
  4. Technology. Acquire the necessary technological means, for families enrolled in the program, to conduct and support virtual home visiting.
  5. Emergency supplies. Provide emergency supplies to eligible families.
  6. Diaper bank coordination. Provide enrolled families with emergency supplies from diaper banks, through reimbursement to, or purchase from, diaper banks when feasible.
  7. Prepaid grocery cards. Provide prepaid grocery cards to eligible families participating in the MIECHV program for the purpose of meeting the emergency needs.

Section I.1 of the NOFO further describes examples of innovation projects that could be funded under either Track One or Two. Additionally, Section IV.6 of the NOFO specifies various funding restrictions that apply to either or both Track One and Two that applicants should consider in developing an application.

How will applications be assessed?

HRSA has procedures for assessing the technical merit of applications to provide for an objective review and to assist applicants in understanding the standards against which applications will be reviewed. Critical indicators for each review criterion are described in detail in the NOFO to assist applicants in presenting pertinent information related to that criterion and to provide the reviewer with a standard for evaluation. These criteria are the basis upon which the reviewers will evaluate and score the merit of the application. Review criteria are used to review and rank applications. The MIECHV innovation awards have six review criteria.

Can innovation products developed under these awards be sold to other states or stakeholders for their use or replication?

Materials developed with federal funds are made available by the government for recipients' use free of charge; therefore, costs incurred by grantees to gain access to such free materials are not allowable grant costs. Under 45 CFR § 75.322(b), “[t]he federal government reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use … work [funded under a federal award] for Federal purposes and to authorize others to do so.” In addition, under 45 CFR § 75.322(d), the federal government has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use data produced under a federal award and has the right to authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for federal purposes.

Are recipients required to coordinate their innovations with other recipients?

No. Innovations projects are not required to be coordinated across recipients. However, recipients are expected to collaborate with other recipients through an innovation technical assistance center (innovation TA center). Additionally, recipients are required to conduct an evaluation, and evaluations will be collaborative, to the extent practicable, with the evaluations of other recipients and facilitated by the innovation TA center. 

Will the reviewer scores and comments be made available to the submitting entity after the notice of award is made?

The letter indicating if applications were successful or not along with a summary statement with the overall score and reviewer feedback will be sent to all applicants. Information about the review process can be found on the HRSA Website.

Can I apply for both funding opportunities, or Tracks?

Yes, entities that are eligible for both funding opportunities announced through the MIECHV Innovation Award combined NOFO may apply for both. However, HRSA strongly encourages eligible entities to apply for only one award, either Track One (HRSA-22-089) or Track Two (HRSA-22-102). No two applications should intentionally propose identical projects. If for any reason (including submitting to the wrong funding opportunity number or making corrections/updates) an application is submitted more than once prior to the application due date, HRSA will only accept the last validated electronic submission, under the correct funding opportunity number, prior to the Grants.gov application due date as the final and only acceptable application. If applying to both announcements listed in this NOFO, two separate applications are required. HRSA will not consider single duplicate applications that request funding from both announcement numbers. Additionally, eligible entities considering applying for both are encouraged to consider their capacity to successfully implement two separate innovation award projects simultaneously that meet the requirements and expectations of the program.

What are the expectations for evaluating innovation projects?

An objective of the MIECHV Innovation Awards is to contribute to advances in knowledge about innovations that improve and/or expand home visiting services. Evaluation is a critical piece of this objective. Recipients will conduct rigorous evaluations of their innovations, which will be collaborative across recipient projects with the support of the innovation TA center, in order to maximize the comparability and applicability of evaluation results.

HRSA anticipates that innovations may result in changes to a number of metrics collected for MIECHV reporting (MIECHV metrics), including demographic measures or improvement in benchmark performance measures aligned with statutory benchmarks. Applications must identify at least two MIECHV metrics that the innovations are intended to improve. These metrics might include MIECHV performance indicators, systems outcome measures, participant demographics, service utilization, or clinical indicators. While applications are expected to identify at least two MIECHV metrics, HRSA acknowledges that recipients will refine or expand on these metrics in their evaluation plans, which will be further developed with support from an innovation TA center after award.

What technical assistance (TA) will be available to support recipients in developing, implementing, and evaluating their innovations?

A MIECHV innovation technical assistance (TA) center will be available to support recipients in implementing and evaluating their innovation projects. Evaluation plans will be further developed with support from an innovation TA center after award. The innovation TA center will support recipients to conduct rigorous evaluations of their innovations, which aim to be collaborative across recipient projects in order to maximize the comparability and applicability of evaluation results. 

What technical assistance (TA) will be available to support recipients in developing, implementing, and evaluating their innovations?

A MIECHV innovation technical assistance (TA) center will be available to support recipients in implementing and evaluating their innovation projects. Evaluation plans which will be further developed with support from an innovation TA center after award. The innovation TA center will support recipients to conduct rigorous evaluations of their innovations, which aim to be collaborative across recipient projects in order to maximize the comparability and applicability of evaluation results.

Can grant funds be used to hire state staff to oversee the project?

Yes, grant funds may be used for personnel costs related to the oversight of the grant. Note that administrative expenses are capped at 10%, per MIECHV statute. The total percent of effort for each personnel on the project must not exceed a sum of 100% FTE across all Federally-funded projects.

Is there a 25% limit on recipient level infrastructure expenditures for these innovation grants?

No, the 25% limitation on recipient-level infrastructure does not apply to these innovation awards. However, note that the 10% cap on administrative expenses is a statutory requirement and does apply to these awards.

While it is noted that applicants can target various priority areas, can they propose to address more than one of the objectives listed in the NOFO?

Yes, it is expected that successful applicants will address all three objectives outlined in the NOFO. As noted on page 2 of the NOFO, the objectives for both Track 1 and Track 2 are to:

  1. Develop and implement innovations that introduce new or scale up technology and/or data sharing, data exchange, and interoperability strategies that are expected to improve the effectiveness of MIECHV-funded voluntary early childhood home visiting services.
  2. Develop and implement innovations that are designed to address one or more of the MIECHV home visiting program priority areas. 
  3. Contribute to advances in knowledge about innovations that improve and/or expand home visiting services through:
    1. Evaluation (in coordination with other successful recipients with support of an innovation technical assistance (TA) center);
    2. Identification of further research needs, and;
    3. Dissemination of knowledge to all MIECHV award recipients to scale up successful efforts as appropriate.

What are the reporting requirements of this award?

Information about the reporting requirements can be found on pages 44 and 45 of the NOFO. Reporting requirements include Discretionary Grant Information System (DGIS) reporting, annual progress reports, integrity and performance reporting, and a final report.

If applying for a collaboration between eligible entities, is an MOU required?

If you are proposing a collaboration with another eligible entity(ies), provide as Attachment 7 documentation verifying that the necessary relationships, legal agreements (including data rights), and infrastructure are already in place across eligible entities to facilitate effective partnerships. Several document types (e.g. MOU/LOA) can suffice for this requirement if they establish that relationships are in existence at the time of the application submission. HRSA does not prescribe the exact documentation necessary to facilitate effective partnerships across eligible entities.

If an innovation creates training materials that may be used by other states in the future, are we only allowed to ask for funding proportionate to the number of home visitors in our state?

Yes, innovation costs should be allocated for the respective MIECHV home visiting program(s) within the applicant’s state, or within the collaborative states if it is a collaborative application. Applicants should describe the needs of families and the needs in communities with concentrations of risk served by the innovation. Additionally, please note that materials developed with federal funds will be made available by the government for other recipients' use free of charge. Therefore, costs incurred by grantees to gain access to such free materials are not allowable grant costs.

Who needs to be reflected in staffing plans in the NOFO application?

HRSA suggests that applicants identify key staff as, at a minimum, a project director and project coordinator.  Additional staff may be listed as key staff based on the applicant’s proposed project.

As described on page 28 of the NOFO, your budget narrative should include personnel costs. Specifically, list each staff member to be supported by (1) MIECHV funds.  Include the percent of effort each staff member spends on this award and expected roles and area of responsibility, and (2) in-kind contributions. Personnel includes, at a minimum, the project director, primarily responsible for the oversight and/or the project coordinator, primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the proposed program; staff responsible for quality improvement activities (including, but not limited to, providing continuous quality improvement support to LIAs); programmatic and fiscal staff responsible for monitoring program activities and use of funds; and staff responsible for data collection, quality, and reporting.

Additionally, your application should identify evaluation staff and describe their relevant, training, skills, and knowledge, including materials published and previous evaluation work. Staff should demonstrate experience in: collaborative evaluation; community-based and participatory evaluation approaches; multi-site and/or cross-site evaluation; qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis, and; process, implementation, and impact evaluations.

You must also provide an organizational chart as Attachment 3, which should consist of a one-page figure that depicts the organizational structure of the project.

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2021