Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-24-035 (Competing Continuation, New)
NOFO technical assistance
- Where can I find a recording of the NOFO Technical Assistance call?
View the webinar recording.
- How do I resolve technical errors while preparing or submitting my application in Grants.gov?
For assistance with submitting the application in Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, excluding federal holidays at:
Eligibility & multiple applications
- Who is eligible to apply to the HRSA-24-035 funding opportunity?
Per the Eligibility section of the NOFO (pages 8-9):
"You can apply if your organization is in the United States and is:
- Public or private
- Tribal (governments, organizations, as those terms are defined at 25 U.S.C § 450b)
- Native American tribal governments (federally recognized) are eligible.
- Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments) are eligible.”
- Is it possible for an organization to apply for one of the State/Territory Program grants (under HRSA-24-036) and apply for one of the National TA Center Cooperative Agreements (under HRSA-24-035)?
Yes, an applicant may apply for HRSA-24-036 EHDI State/Territory Program funding opportunity and HRSA-24-035 National TA Centers.
- Can one applicant apply to more than one center?
No. Applicants may only apply to one National TA Center. Please see page 9 of the NOFO:
“You may only apply for funding as one of three EHDI National TA Centers: Implementation and Change Center (ICC), Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3), or Provider Education Center (PEC). You must state which Center you are applying for clearly in your application. HRSA will not consider funding applicants that apply for funding as more than one National Center.”
- The NOFO mentions that organizations can apply as a consortium. Does this mean multiple organizations can submit a joint application for more than one center?
No. Per page 11 of the NOFO, organizations could come together as a consortium to submit a joint application for one National TA Center. This means two or more organizations could come together to apply for one of the three centers: the Implementation and Change Center (ICC), the Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center (FL3), or the Provider Education Center (PEC).
- Can three organizations apply for all three centers in one joint application?
No. Per page 11 of the NOFO, organizations could come together as a consortium to submit a join application for one National TA Center.
- How do we know if our agency/organization is both eligible and has the experience needed to carry out the work of this NOFO?
Applicants are encouraged to carefully review all sections of the NOFO to determine their agency’s/organization’s eligibility and capacity to fulfill the Program Requirements and Expectations of the award. Please see the following sections for information specific to applicant eligibility and capacity:
- The Eligibility Information on pages 8-9 of the NOFO.
- The Program Requirements and Expectations (pages 11-15).
- The Organizational Information section of the NOFO (pages 17-18) which details the application instructions related to organizational capacity and experience.
If you feel that you meet the eligibility requirements and can address program requirements and expectations, then you are encouraged to apply.
Note for applicants: Please see the HRSA SF-424 Application Guide (PDF - 680 KB) for specific instructions on application formatting (for example, font size, margins, etc.).
- What is the application page limit?
The HRSA-24-035 application page limit is 60 pages.
- Which attachments count toward the application page limit?
Unless otherwise noted within the NOFO, most attachments count toward the application page limit. Please see the Application Page Limit details on page 10 of the NOFO:
“These items don’t count toward the page limit:
- Standard OMB-approved forms you find in the NOFO’s workspace application package
- Abstract (standard form (SF) "Project_Abstract Summary”)
- Indirect Cost Rate Agreement
- Proof of non-profit status (if it applies)"
Please see the individual attachment descriptions (NOFO pages 23-24) for details regarding attachment requirements and page limits.
- What needs to be completed prior to application submission?
An applicant’s SAM.gov and Grants.gov registrations and passwords must be current in order to submit an application to HRSA. Registrations in all systems may take up to one month to complete, so do not wait to activate or update accounts in these two systems.
Please note that a Unique Entity ID (UEI) is required to apply for this funding. You must register in the SAM.gov to receive your UEI. You cannot use a DUNS number to apply. For more details, visit the following webpage: General Service Administration’s UEI Update
- Do applicants need to include a separate evaluation plan (with performance measures), communication plan, etc. for the shared Network Level Activities (NOFO page 11)?
The NOFO does not require applicants to submit a separate evaluation plan or communication plan for the Network Level Activities. Per pages 18-19 of the NOFO, applicants are asked to:
“Describe your approach to collaborate with other EHDI National TA Centers (HRSA-24-035) recipients to:
- Establish a network of TA centers to strengthen the EHDI system of services
- Convene at least one learning community of state/territory EHDI programs per year
- Facilitate National TA Center information sharing and learning opportunities
- Collect, analyze, and disseminate information and findings from state/territory EHDI programs”
This includes all Network Level Activities listed within the Program Requirements and Expectations (pages 11-12) of the NOFO. Please review the Evaluation requirements (NOFO pages 20-21) for a description of what is required within the Evaluation plan.
- Do we need to use a specific template for the biographical sketch attachment?
No, the NOFO does not require a specific template for the biographical sketch attachment. Per page 23 of the NOFO, the biographical sketch should not exceed two pages in length per person. You can find additional information about recommended narrative and attachment formatting within the HRSA SF-424 Application Guide (PDF - 680 KB) (pages 35-40).
- Page 21 of the NOFO includes the instruction to, “Use a timeline that includes each activity and identifies who is responsible for each.” Can you clarify if the timeline referenced refers to the Work Plan attachment, or if a separate timeline also required within the proposal narrative?
The instruction to “Use a timeline that includes each activity and identifies who is responsible for each” is specific to the Work Plan attachment.
- When is the final deadline for applications? Is there a recommended timeline for submitting the application?
The final application deadline is Monday, November 6th at 11:59 p.m. ET. It is recommended to not wait until the last minute to submit an application in case there are issues.
Page 26 of the NOFO states: “We suggest you submit your application to Grants.gov at least 3 calendar days before the deadline to allow for any unexpected events.”
Please see HRSA’s page Understand our Policy on Late Submissions for additional information regarding application deadlines.
Note for applicants: For specific definitions, we encourage applicants to refer to the NOFO glossary and footnotes.
- Can you please elaborate on "providers"?
Please see the “provider” definition used within the Appendix: Glossary of Key Terms and Phrases. This can be found on page 38 of the NOFO:
“A health professional and/or service provider refers to pediatricians, otolaryngologists, nurses, audiologists, speech language pathologists, early interventionists, and any other professionals involved in the EHDI system of care.”
- Can you please elaborate on "early intervention (EI)"? Does this only include Part C programs?
“Early intervention” encompasses a variety of organizations, programs, and providers. This can include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disability Part C Program/Early Intervention (EI). It can also include other early intervention organizations, programs, and providers.
- Who are the “other EHDI system stakeholders” referenced within the NOFO?
The term “other EHDI system stakeholders” encompasses any individuals, groups, or professionals engaged in the EHDI system. This could include family-based organizations, health care and allied service professionals, EI providers, Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) adults, family leaders, and others.
- How does the NOFO define “implementation science?” Is this the same thing as “continuous quality improvement (CQI)?”
Please see the “implementation science” definition used within the Appendix: Glossary of Key Terms and Phrases. This can be found on page 37 of the NOFO:
“The scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practice into routine practice and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services.”
- Can you elaborate on what the NOFO means by "systems mapping?"
The term “systems mapping” is commonly used in public health programs and systems. The NOFO uses this term in the context of systems mapping for public health systems, specifically the EHDI system of services.
- Are the terms “Deaf Mentor” and “Deaf/DHH Mentorship” specific to a certain program/curriculum or language (e.g., ASL, spoken language, etc.)?
The terms “Deaf Mentor” and “Deaf/DHH Mentorship” are not specific to any program/curriculum or language. These are broad terms that encompass a variety of DHH involvement, such as Deaf mentors, coaches, leaders, or other roles related to family support and engagement.
- Please define the specific cohort of children for who we are meant to “identify, collect, and report baseline data on language acquisition outcomes.”
The population of 3-year-old DHH children includes all DHH children identified from all states/territories. The NOFO does not specify parameters recipients should use for this objective. These should be set based on the data collected and analyzed from state/territory EHDI programs.
States have the flexibility to define the cohort of children for this requirement. This can be based on the needs of their state/locality/community and the needs of the DHH children in their state. For example, cohorts could include DHH children in geographic areas based on school districts, states, local health districts, counties, regional health districts, etc. Because HRSA recognizes this is a new objective, a planning year (Year 1) has been built into the NOFO to assist recipients in finalizing data elements.
- Which of the National TA Centers is primarily responsible for ensuring that the data from at least 25 state/territory EHDI programs (referenced in the EHDI Network Objectives) is available, or are they each equally responsible?
Per page 2 of the NOFO, the EHDI National Network is expected to collaborate to collect, report, and achieve the program objectives.
- Can you clarify what the NOFO means by the phrase “engaged with” within the Individual National Center Objectives?
The NOFO uses the phrases “engaged with” and “receiving TA/T through” within the Individual National Center Objectives. The NOFO does not define “engaged with” or specific levels of TA/T for the centers as it is the applicant’s responsibility to describe how they will address this objective. See page 19 of the NOFO that requires applicants to, “Describe a comprehensive plan for the development and delivery of TA/T for state/territory EHDI programs and secondary audiences, as appropriate. Include a detailed outline of TA/T opportunities across the period of performance (Attachment 7), including defined levels of TA/T, for example, short-and long-term, peer-to-peer, group, and individualized TA/T.”
Please note: Page 12 of the NOFO states, “Each National Center should provide TA/T to all 59 state/territory EHDI programs, either individually or via Network activities, by the end of the period of performance.”
Program requirements & activities
- Can the required National Network meetings be virtual (initial network kick-off meeting and annual strategic planning meetings)?
The NOFO does not require the meetings to be held in person.
- Who will convene the “Network kick-off meeting” referred to on page 12 of the NOFO?
HRSA staff will convene the Network kick-off meeting with the HRSA-24-035 recipients.
- How will HRSA ensure that each center cooperates as “equal partners?” Will HRSA dictate which center will serve as the lead for the EHDI National Network?
We expect the recipients to plan for active collaboration with the other centers funded through HRSA-24-035. Please see the details within the Program Requirements and Expectations (pages 11-15) of the NOFO to learn more about the coordination and collaboration expected among the HRSA-24-035 recipients.
- Page 11 states that “the three National TA Centers will collaborate to strengthen the EHDI system to ensure that DHH children reach language acquisition up to age 3.” Please clarify what is meant by the phrase “reach language acquisition up to age 3.”
Please refer to the NOFO purpose on page 1:
“The purpose of this program, which funds three national centers to conduct National Network and National Center activities, is to advance EHDI systems of services nationwide so that deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) newborns, infants, and young children up to age 3 receive appropriate supports and timely services to improve language acquisition outcomes.”
We encourage applicants to carefully review the HRSA-24-036 NOFO to learn more about what is expected of state/territory EHDI programs.
- Does the EHDI Network share one advisory group, or is each individual center required to convene their own, separate advisory group?
Each National TA Center will convene its own advisory group. Per page 12 of the NOFO, each National TA Center will be required to implement the activities listed under “All National Center Level Activities,” which includes convening an advisory group.
- Are centers required to include EHDI Coordinators on their advisory committees?
We encourage applicants to include relevant stakeholders within their advisory committees. Per page 19 of the NOFO, you should:
“Describe how you will convene an advisory group, and how the advisory group will guide the work outlined in the application. Provide a proposed list of advisory group members comprised of professionals in the field and those with lived experience as described in the Program Requirements and Expectations.”
- Does the independent evaluator for the Implementation and Change Center (ICC) have to be outside the applicant’s organization, or can they be outside the applicant’s department within the same organization?
The NOFO does not specify that the independent evaluator be outside the applicant’s organization. Per page 22 of the NOFO, you should:
“Describe your plan to conduct an independent evaluation of TA/T provided, using one or more qualified, independent evaluators.”
- Why is the Provider Education Center (PEC) not required to co-host the annual grantee meeting with the other centers? Can they not participate in this activity?
The Provider Education Center (PEC) is required to budget for staff attendance at the annual grantee meeting. The NOFO does not require the PEC to co-host the annual grantee meeting, but the NOFO also does not restrict the PEC from coordinating with the ICC and FL3 on this activity.
Each center is required to complete activities specific to the focus of their center. These activities are described under “Individual National TA Center Activities” on pages 14-15 of the NOFO.
- Please provide clarification on the Language Acquisition data that state/territory EHDI programs (HRSA-24-036) will be collecting and reporting to the National TA Centers. What specific variables or measures will be used?
The State/Territory EHDI Program NOFO (HRSA-24-036) provides considerable flexibility in the ways EHDI programs can set objectives and create workplans that are specific to the needs of their state/territory. The NOFO does not specify the variables or measures to be used. EHDI programs will work with partners to identify the most appropriate measures for their state/territory.
We encourage applicants to carefully review the HRSA-24-036 NOFO to learn more about what is expected of the state/territory EHDI programs.
- Can you explain how the responsibilities of each National TA Center differ, as well as how they overlap?
Per page 1 of the NOFO:
- The “Implementation and Change Center (ICC) will support state/territory EHDI programs using implementation science and change management methods to improve the EHDI system of services.”
- The “Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center (FL3) will increase state capacity for family-to-family support, develop family leadership skills, and engage DHH adults as mentors to families across state/territory EHDI programs and other EHDI system stakeholders.”
- The “Provider Education Center (PEC) will improve confidence and training for health care and allied service professionals who screen, diagnose, and provide services to infants, children, and families interacting with the EHDI system.”
Per page 2 of the NOFO:
“While each national TA center has a distinct focus, all three recipients are expected to work together within the EHDI National Network to provide leadership to states and national, state, and local stakeholders through technical assistance and training (TA/T), policy analysis and assessment, partnership building, communication, dissemination, and evaluation.”
We encourage applicants to carefully review the Program Requirements and Expectations (pages 11-15) of the NOFO to learn more about what is expected of each center.
- Should we be using the NIH salary cap (now $212,100) when budgeting for faculty/personnel?
As of Jan. 2023, the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2023 raised the Salary Rate Limitation for Executive Level II to $212,100. This limits the direct salary that can be charged to a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. View the new U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Salary tables for 2023.
- The budget period is for five years, but the SF424A only allows applicants to enter four years of budgetary information. How can we supply the budget information for the fifth year in our application?
You will submit the SF-424A Section B for the 5th year as a separate attachment (Attachment 8). Please see the HRSA Application Guide (PDF - 680 KB) and page 22 of the NOFO for additional instructions.
- How much can each center apply for each year?
Please see Summary of Funding on page 8 of the NOFO for funding details. Award is subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Applicants may only apply for funding as one National TA Center. The ceiling amount for each award includes both indirect and direct costs. You may apply for a ceiling amount of up to:
- $750,000 per year for the EHDI ICC
- $450,000 per year for the FL3
- $300,000 per year for the PEC
- Is the Provider Education Center (PEC) required to budget for travel to the annual grantee meeting, hosted by the Implementation and Change Center (ICC) and the Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center (FL3)?
Yes. Each recipient is required to budget for staff attendance of the annual grantee meeting, hosted by the ICC and the FL3. Please see page 23 of the NOFO for additional details regarding the Budget Narrative.
- Can an individual serve in a staffing role for more than one application submitted to HRSA or more than one HRSA-funded program?
An individual can serve in one staffing role per application submitted to HRSA. Please see the HRSA Application Guide (PDF - 680 KB) for detailed information on budget preparation, personnel justification, and related cost principles.
- Is there an expectation that each of the centers provide funding to EHDI programs to participate in training and technical assistance (TA/T) activities?
The NOFO does not require centers to fund EHDI programs to participate in TA/T activities. Please note that state/territory EHDI programs and other EHDI stakeholders should not be charged for any TA/T received through the EHDI National Network.
- The NOFO requires each center to allocate 10% of the total project costs annually to support network structure and collaborative work. Are there restrictions on how these funds can be used?
Per pages 22-23, the NOFO does not specify how the 10% of Total Project Costs should be allocated toward "Network Activities.”
- We plan to dedicate funding toward interpreters for Network meetings and events. Will budgeting for interpreters during Network meetings and events fall on one National Center?
Per page 22 of the NOFO, each National Center is required to allocate funding to Access Accommodations and Network Activities, so the cost of interpreters should not rest solely on one National Center. See page 22 of the NOFO for additional details regarding the budgetary requirements for recipients.
Per page 11 of the NOFO, recipients are also expected to collaborate to establish Network structure. This includes, but is not limited to the following activity:
“Design and implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the other recipients under this NOFO within 3 months of the Notice of Award, which may include, but is not limited to, describing methods of communication and consensus building, specific roles for each National Center, decisions for data sharing, and mechanisms to ensure network accountability.”
- The NOFO requires each National Center to budget for staff travel to the Annual Grantee meeting for State/Territory EHDI Coordinators and Family Leaders. The ICC and FL3 are also required to collaborate to co-host and co-facilitate this meeting. How should applicants for each National Center budget for planning, hosting and facilitating this meeting at the proposal stage?
Applicants should consider the following:
- Page 20 of the NOFO requires ICC applicants to, “Describe your plans to design and facilitate an annual grantee meeting for EHDI Coordinators and Family Leaders that represents the needs of your primary audience.”
- Page 20 of the NOFO requires FL3 applicants to, “Describe your plans to design and facilitate an annual grantee meeting for Family Leaders that represents the needs of your primary audience.”
- The HRSA-24-036 NOFO requires all recipients to participate in the annual grantee meeting for state/territory EHDI Coordinators and Family Leaders.
Applicants should also consider Review Criterion 6 on page 29 of the NOFO: “The reasonableness of the proposed budget for each year of the period of performance in relation to the objectives and the anticipated results.
The extent to which:
- Key personnel have adequate time devoted to the project to achieve project objectives.
- The budget allocates costs for (1) access accommodations; (2) 10 percent of Total Project Costs annually to support Network infrastructure and collaborative work; (3) compensation is provided to family members and people with lived experience for participation in project activities (for example, advisory committee, training, etc.); and (4) travel to support staff for the annual grantee meeting for EHDI Coordinators and Family Leaders.”
- When will the successful applicant be announced? How far ahead of the April 1, 2024 project start date?
The project start date is April 1, 2024, and, if funding becomes available for this program, HRSA’s goal is to issue the award at least 15 days in advance of the project start date.
- Is the Provider Education Center (PEC) a new TA Center?
As noted on page i, footnote 1 of the NOFO, the Provider Education Center (PEC) is a new TA Center:
“1 For the FY 2024 program cycle, the National Technical Resource Center will be re-named the Implementation and Change Center, and a Provider Education Center will also be funded.”
- The term “medical home” does not appear anywhere in HRSA-24-035. Should we assume that the concept of “medical home” is no longer being emphasized by the HRSA EHDI program?
The NOFO requires alignment with the Blueprint for Change (page 13), which references medical home. Refer to page 4 of the NOFO or visit MCHB’s website to learn more about the Blueprint for Change.
- Will the submitted HRSA-24-035 applications be reviewed by an independent contractor or by HRSA staff? How will HRSA ensure that the reviewers have the appropriate experience required to review the applications?
Page 29 of the NOFO describes the Review and Selection Process. The applications will be reviewed by an independent, objective review committee. Reviewers are professionals with expertise and experience consistent with the HRSA mission and competitive program needs to address the availability and delivery of quality health care to all Americans. We do not expect to have federal reviewers on the panel.
HRSA follows the following review process: HRSA ensures that the objective review process is independent, efficient, effective, economical, and complies with the applicable statutes, regulations, and policies. Applications are reviewed by subject matter experts knowledgeable in health and public health disciplines for which support is requested. Review findings are advisory to HRSA programs responsible for making award decisions.
- Can you expand on what you mean by maintaining a “508-compliant” website?
The HRSA-24-035 notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) requires recipients to maintain a high-quality, accessible, public-facing website. HRSA released a clarification notice regarding this requirement, which can be found within the “Related Documents” tab of the HRSA-24-035 posting on Grants.gov.
The NOFO uses the term “508 compliant” to describe website accessibility standards (NOFO pg. 10, 20). However, federal award recipients are required to adhere to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Part 84, to ensure accessible communications for people with disabilities.
For the purposes of the HRSA-24-035 NOFO, HRSA would like to clarify that recipients should adhere to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, rather than section 508.
- Can you speak to what recipients should plan for regarding the frequency of required reporting and engagement with the HRSA Project Officer?
As stated on page 6 of the NOFO, “A cooperative agreement is like a grant in that we award money, but we are substantially involved with program activities.” Please see the subsequent description of expectations for HRSA staff and award recipients on pages 6-8 for insight into the level of engagement recipients can expect from the HRSA Project Officer.
As for the frequency of reporting, please see the description of required reports on NOFO pages 32-34.
- Can the EHDI National Network funding support services or programs outside the 0-3 age range? Specifically, could a National Center primarily support sensory screening programs for children K-12?
The EHDI National Network is expected to provide coordinated technical assistance and support to state/territory EHDI programs and other EHDI system stakeholders. We encourage potential applicants to consider the following:
- Per page 1 of the NOFO, “The goal of the EHDI National Network is to improve outcomes for DHH children by establishing a network of three national technical assistance (TA) centers to provide coordinated support to state/territory EHDI programs (HRSA-24-036) and other EHDI system stakeholders at national, state, and local levels.”
- Per page 11 of the NOFO, “Each national center also will provide TA/T, policy analysis and assessment, partnership building, communication, dissemination, evaluation, and leadership to state/territory EHDI programs (HRSA-24-036) and other EHDI system stakeholders at national, state, and local levels.”
- Please carefully review all Program Requirements and Expectations on NOFO pages 11-15. All proposed activities must meet program requirements and expectations. Reviewers will also score points according to the review criteria and the extent to which an application can meet program requirements and expectations.
We also encourage potential applicants to review the State/Territory EHDI Program NOFO (HRSA-24-036) to learn more about what will be required of State/Territory EHDI Programs.