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FAQ: Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals

Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-21-089

Application Submission
Applicant Eligibility
Accreditation
Use of Funds – Infrastructure
Use of Funds – Stipends/Tuition Support
Internships and Field Placements
Funding Preference and Priority

Application Submission

  1. How can I obtain a copy of the full notice of funding opportunity (NOFO)?

    HRSA-21-089 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Professionals Program

    • Select the “Package” tab.
    • Choose “Preview.”
    • When the window pops up, choose “Download Instructions.” You will then have access to the NOFO as a PDF.
  2. I’m having trouble printing the NOFO. Can you help me?

    To access the NOFO:

    • Select the “Package” tab.
    • Choose “Preview.”
    • When the window pops up, choose “Download Instructions.” You’ll then have access to the NOFO as a PDF.

    For additional help, please contact GRANTS.GOV Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726, or support@grants.gov.

  3. Do all attachments count toward the page limit?

    Yes, all non-OMB required attachments count toward the page limit. We encourage you to print your entire application, including the attachments, to ensure you don’t exceed the 75-page limit.

    If an application exceeds the page limit, we may consider it non-responsive, and it will not go forward for panel review.

  4. Where do I find instructions about font size and other format requirements?

    You can find formatting instructions in HRSA’s SF-424 R&R Application Guide (PDF - 717 KB) (PDF - 688 KB).

  5. Are Letters of Support required for this grant application?

    You should submit Letters of Support, as applicable, in Attachment 10. See page 22 of the NOFO for more details.

  6. If an attachment is not applicable, should we skip that number in the attachment section or renumber the attachments?

    Please do not renumber the attachments. Submit attachments with the same numbers as specified in the NOFO.

  7. The SF424 R&R Application Packet has a section on human subjects. Is this required for this grant?

    HRSA-21-089 is a training grant. There are no human subject requirements for this funding.

  8. What should the logic model include?

    Per the NOFO (page 14), a logic model is a one-page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements.

    A logic model must contain the activities and processes and must summarize the connections between the goals of the project, assumptions, inputs, target population, activities, outputs, and outcomes.

    Get additional information on developing logic models (PDF - 663 KB) (PDF - 647 KB).

  9. Can an application have more than one Program Director/Program Investigator?

    HRSA only recognizes one Program Director/Program Investigator, who will be accountable to HRSA. However, you can identify multiple key personnel in your proposal.

Applicant Eligibility

  1. Our university consists of 10 separate campuses. Each campus is a degree-granting institution (2-year or 4-year degrees) with its own unique DUNS number, but they share the same EIN number. Are we limited to one application for the entire system or one application per DUNS number for each separate campus?

    We don’t allow multiple applications from an organization. We define an organization as having a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number or Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).

    Where multiple programs within your organization are interested in applying under this funding announcement, you may collaborate across programs to submit a single application.

  2. Are undergraduate programs, including social work, eligible to apply for this grant or is this grant focused on graduate-level students?

    Undergraduate programs are not eligible for this funding opportunity. Please continue to monitor grants.gov for opportunities relevant to undergraduate programs.

  3. Can current BHWET grantees apply for funding under the FY 2021 BHWET program?

    Yes. Per the NOFO, current FY 2017 BHWET grant recipients are eligible to apply.

    Existing BHWET grantees applying for the FY 2021 BHWET Professionals NOFO should apply as competing continuations. There are no progress report addendums required for these applications.

  4. “All current grant recipients funded under the FY 2017 BHWET Program NOFO are eligible to apply.” Does this mean that an entity MUST be a current grant recipient in 2017 to be eligible for this opportunity?

    No, this NOFO is open to all eligible entities. Please see the eligibility requirements for professional programs.

  5. Can a university combine two disciplines within one application (e.g., master’s program in counseling psychology and a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners program)? Or, would they need to be submitted as two separate applications?

    You can apply as single entities that include multidisciplinary training OR you can apply as a collaborative program.

    All applicants must demonstrate interprofessional collaboration in their proposals.

    For example, a particular program within an institution may apply as a sole grantee and demonstrate in its application the ways in which trainings are interdisciplinary (e.g., School of Social Work applies for funding asking for financial support for MSW students and proposes training opportunities with the Psychology Department).

    Alternatively, two or more programs may partner on all aspects of the application (e.g., School of Social Work and Psychology Department apply together asking for financial support for both MSW students and psychology interns, and propose trainings for both groups on selected topics).

    Remember, institutions with the same Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number or Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) can submit only a single application.

  6. Are doctoral-level occupational therapy programs eligible?

    No. The BHWET program funds master’s programs in occupational therapy only.

  7. Can pharmacy residents participate in this grant program?

    No. Pharmacy programs are not eligible for this funding opportunity.

  8. Our graduate nursing program has a post-master's certificate entry into our psych mental health NP program. Would these students be eligible?

    No, certificate programs are not eligible for this NOFO.

  9. Page 5 of the NOFO under Eligible Applicants does not mention speech and language programs. May students in speech and language receive trainee support?

    No. We don’t identify Speech and Language programs in the NOFO, and they are not eligible.

Accreditation

  1. Do individual programs have to have specialized accreditation to apply?

    Per the NOFO, applicants must be actively accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education.

  2. Are MSW programs that have received initial accreditation with a progress report eligible to apply?

    Yes. Applicants should include a statement identifying that the program is accredited on contingency.

    You should also include current accreditation documents and must submit updated documents as they become available.

  3. We are in the process of applying for American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation, but we will not have our official APA accreditation letter until after the NOFO deadline. Can we still apply?

    You must be accredited at the time you submit your application and must provide your institution’s APA accreditation letter as Attachment 6.

    However, if you’re in the process of applying for APA accreditation, and are APA-accredited on contingency, you may apply. You must include a statement in the application indicating the program is accredited on contingency.

  4. I see that DSW programs are eligible for the BHWET Professionals Program. However, DSW programs are not accredited currently as this process is still in the pilot phase. What documentation should I show in order to be able to apply?

    You must include a statement in the application indicating the program is accredited on contingency.

Use of Funds - Infrastructure

  1. Is health insurance for trainees an allowable expense?

    Yes. Health insurance is allowable as a trainee-related expense under the Professional Track.

    However, the trainee health insurance costs should be budgeted out of the 40% cap on administrative and management costs. 

  2. What allowable costs can be charged to the grant? What percentage of funding can be allocated to administrative and management costs of the program?

    Applicants are required to provide a budget, with narrative, where at least 60% of the total requested budget per year must be dedicated to stipends only for trainees in final experiential training (internship or field placement).

    All other costs, including indirect, must be budgeted out of the remaining 40%.

    Please note: 60% requested participant support costs must be budgeted out of administration and program management.

    No more than 40% administrative and management costs of the program may be dedicated to recipient activities (e.g., project staff time, travel, sub-awards, other participant support costs, indirect costs).

  3. We are a state university. Would we use our negotiated cost agreement rate or the 8%?

    Institutions of Higher Education, whether private or public, are restricted to the 8% training grant indirect cost rate.

  4. Is the training grant for behavioral health targeted to existing programs or can funds be used to help establish a new track?

    The BHWET Program places special emphasis on establishing or expanding internships or field placement programs in behavioral health that include interdisciplinary training for (1) students/interns, (2) faculty, and (3) field supervisors to provide quality behavioral health services to communities in need.

    New experiential learning tracks can be established within existing programs.

  5. Could funds be used to develop a new program, which would include internships? Or must the program already be in place and funds used to expand it?

    No. Per the NOFO, you must be accredited at the time of your application submission and provide a copy of your institution’s accreditation letter as Attachment 6.

    However, if programs are in the process of applying for APA accreditation, and are APA-accredited on contingency, they may apply.

    A statement identifying the program is accredited on contingency must be included in the application. Otherwise, funds cannot be used to develop a completely new program.

Use of Funds - Stipends/Tuition Support

  1. Does 60% for professionals include just stipends or does it include salaries and fringe benefits as well?

    Per the NOFO, professional applicants must provide a budget with no less than 60% of a recipient’s overall requested budget per year dedicated to, and distributed as, stipends to trainees in internships/field placements.

    The 60% allotted for stipends is for stipends only.

    The stipend is to support living expenses and not student travel, materials, and supplies. If a grantee wishes to fund student/intern support costs in addition to the stipend, these need to be included in the 40% of funding available for administrative and management of the program.

    Allowable participant/trainee supports costs include health insurance, travel, and training-related expenses such as attendance at professional conferences. Fringe benefits for trainees are not allowable.

  2. What is the supported level of stipend for trainees?

    The required minimum stipend amounts are:

    • $10,000 per master’s-level student
    • $25,000 per doctoral-level student in a psychology or school psychology practicum for 10 or more hours per week per academic semester for two semesters, or per doctoral-level social work student
    • $28,352 per doctoral-level psychology intern or psychiatric nursing intern
    • $47,844 per post-doctoral psychology fellow, psychiatry resident, or behavioral pediatric resident
  3. Can stipend money we receive through this NOFO be used to support existing slots that are currently funded under the FY17 BHWET awards?

    Yes, if existing training slots are supported via federal funding that will end in FY 2021 (e.g., FY17 BHWET funds), it is acceptable to fund these training slots, as well as new training slots, with the stipend portion of this NOFO.

  4. Can stipend money we receive through this NOFO be used to support existing slots funded from non-federal sources?

    No, this would be considered supplanting of federal funds.

    Federal funds awarded are intended to supplement normal activities, not supplant activities already funded by non-federal resources.

    Any existing training slots currently funded from non-federal sources must continue to be funded via the existing sources, per Maintenance of Effort requirements. (See section III. 3. of the NOFO.)

  5. What is meant by “per geographic reimbursement requirement set by the application association”?

    Per the NOFO, stipend support for doctoral-level psychiatry, psychology, and school psychology students is $28,352 per year. This is a fixed amount.

    The APPIC requires that APA-accredited internships provide a stipend per psychology intern consistent with regional standards, equal among all trainees, and stated clearly in advance (e.g., through promotional materials, the APPIC Directory).

    Any regional standard above the stipend must be covered by the grant recipient using non-federal funding, must be specified in the budget narrative justification, and will be a part of the approved budget.

  6. If graduate physician trainees (residents in pediatrics or psychiatry) were to receive stipends through this grant, the stipend would be well below the standard rate of compensation for that level of education. Is it correct that the remainder of their stipend could not be funded through federal Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding?

    The doctoral-level pediatric and psychiatry residents will receive $47,844 per year in stipend support. This is a fixed amount.

    Where applicable, the difference between the post-doctoral pediatric or psychiatry residency fixed amount of $47,844 and any regional standard above the stipend must be covered by the grant recipient using non-federal funding and must include a written statement in the budget narrative justification.

    Other federal funds cannot be used to fund the remainder of the stipend amount.

  7. Can we adjust the timeline so that we are recruiting in the 2021-2022 year with the internship occurring in 2022-2023?

    No, the timeline of the project cannot be changed. The application budget must include 60% in stipends budgeted per year of the project.

    However, trainees can be appointed anytime during a budget period for an entire six or 12-month period. In doing so, the entire six or 12-month stipend is obligated/committed to the current year.

    Thus, an internship that begins in January of 2022 during the year 1 budget period may extend beyond the budget period end date.

    Since the entire stipend is obligated/committed at the time of the appointment, the stipend amount committed but not yet expended at the end of the budget period should be reported as an unliquidated obligation on the annual Federal Financial Report.

  8. Are stipends for the students taxed?

    HRSA can’t provide tax advice. There is a paragraph about this in the Grants Policy Statement (P. II-109). We encourage all applicants and grantees to become familiar with the HHS Grants Policy Statement (PDF - 1 MB) (PDF - 1.3 MB).

  9. Are the stipends included in the modified direct total cost calculation for the 8% (F&A)?

    Yes. The 8% training rate allows stipends in the base calculation. Direct cost amounts for equipment, tuition and fees, and sub-awards and subcontracts in excess of $25,000 are excluded from the direct cost base for purposes of this calculation.

  10. Does it matter how stipends are paid to students —as financial aid toward tuition or as salary?

    Recipients must follow their institutional policies and procedures to process the stipend payment.

    The NOFO-stated stipend levels are fixed and are provided to trainees to defray the cost of living during their field placements.

    The provision of stipends does not establish an employer-employee relationship between grantees and interns, and, therefore, stipends are not paid as a fee for service.

    In addition, a statement must be included in the student commitment letter that speaks to the trainee’s understanding that receipt of the stipend may impact the student’s financial aid.

  11. May a student who receives a stipend also receive a scholarship for tuition or health insurance from other sources?

    Yes, students may receive funds from other non-federal sources, provided this supplementation does not require any additional obligation from the trainee.

    An organization can determine the amount of stipend supplementation, if any, it will provide according to its own formally established policies governing stipend support.

    These policies must be consistently applied to all individuals in a similar status regardless of the source of funds.

Internships and Field Placements

  1. We would be able to accommodate additional interns with this funding. Would we need to request funding for multiple students or do we need to apply for multiple grants per student?

    Applicants may apply to support multiple interns in one application. Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $480,000 per year.

    No less than 60% of a grantee’s overall budget per year must be used for stipends to students in field placement or internships.

  2. We are anticipating partnering with multiple training sites. Should we list all of these sites within Table 1 Attachment 4, or select only a few sites to highlight?

    You must list all the partnering sites in Table 1 submitted with Attachment 4.

  3. How many partnering sites located in high-need and high-demand areas are required in order to receive 5 points?

    As stated on page 27 of the NOFO, applicants that partner with at least one training site located in a high-need and high-demand area will receive 5 points if:

    • the experiential training site(s) is/are located in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) or is/are located in Facility Mental Health HPSAs with a score of 16 or above as found in the HPSA Find tool OR
    • the experiential training site(s) is/are located within a geographical area considered rural as defined by HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) as found in the Am I Rural tool.

    The applicant must list all the partnering sites in Table 1 submitted with Attachment 4.

  4. What needs to be included in the student letter of commitment?

    All applicants, regardless of discipline, must include as Attachment 8 a sample student letter of commitment.

    Refer to page 22 of the NOFO for the student commitment letter requirements.

  5. The budget period start date is after the beginning of our academic year start. Can we include students in our cohort who begin training in May 2021?

    This award is under expanded authority (see Part IV of the HHS GPS).

    A recipient may, at its own risk and without OPDIV prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to (and including) 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs

    • are necessary to conduct the project or program; and
    • would be allowable under the grant, if awarded.

    However, even if authorized as an expanded authority, if a specific expenditure would otherwise require prior approval, the cost or activity must meet the same tests of allowability as if incurred after award.

  6. What does the student support disbursement plan need to include?

    Per the NOFO, you must include a disbursement plan for the provision of stipend support for professional students/interns for the required field placement/internship.

    The content of the disbursement plan is determined by the applicant.

  7. Can grant funds be used to train current interns with new skills or do we need to recruit new interns?

    Participants may not concurrently receive scholarships or stipends from HRSA and another similar federal award. The only exceptions are federal educational loans and education remuneration from the VA (GI Bill).

    Additionally, participants (completers) who have already received a stipend from BWHET (HRSA-17-070) are not eligible to receive a stipend under HRSA-21-089.

    Stipends may be supplemented by an organization with non-federal funds provided the supplementation does not require any additional obligation from the participant.

    However, this practice must be in accordance with institutional policy and be consistently applied. Under no circumstances may HRSA funds be used to supplement stipends to another HRSA award.

  8. Is there a required number of clinical hours for the students to complete in a behavioral health setting?

    The NOFO doesn’t require a specific number of clinical hours. What is required is the length of the field placement, which should be a minimum of six months and no more than 12 consecutive months.

    Eligible students must be enrolled in their last year of experiential field placement prior to graduation, not the first-year practicum.

  9. What type of integration with primary care are you looking for in these internship placements?

    The levels of integration may vary among internship sites.

    Your application must include an explanation of how you are exposing your students to integrated behavioral health in primary care settings.

    We encourage you to use SAMHSA’s models of integrated care to describe the levels of integration at your internship sites.

Funding Preference and Priority

  1. Is there a funding preference for this NOFO?

    This funding opportunity includes a funding preference for any qualified applicant above the 20th percentile of proposals that have been recommended for approval by peer review groups that:

    1) Has a high rate of placing graduates in practice settings focused on serving residents of medically underserved communities; or

    2) During the 2-year period preceding the fiscal year for which such an award is sought, has achieved a significant increase in the rate of placing graduates in such settings.

    In order to qualify for the funding preference, you must provide supporting information and data in Attachment 12.

    Please clearly indicate in the Project Abstract the funding preference for which you are applying. Refer to Section V.2 of this funding opportunity for detailed information on qualifying for a funding preference.

  2. My organization graduated or completed fewer than three classes. Can we still qualify for a funding preference?

    New programs that meet at least four of the criteria described in the Funding Preference section of the NOFO shall qualify for a funding preference.

  3. How do I meet the funding priority?

    In order to qualify under this priority, as a part of Attachment 12, you must submit any supporting information and data as evidence that you have trained psychology, psychiatry, and social work professionals to work in integrated care settings.

  4. When determining funding priority, what is meant by "graduates"? Can we provide employment data from previous HRSA BHWET graduates only, or do we need to provide employment data on all graduates from our school as a whole, including those who never received a BHWET grant?

    Employment data for all of your graduates should be submitted to determine funding priority.

  5. If an institution does not qualify under a funding priority or preference, does that leave us at a significant disadvantage for submitting a competitive application?

    Per the NOFO, applications that do not receive a funding preference will be given full and equitable consideration during the review process.

Date Last Reviewed: