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FAQ: Regional Public Health Training Center (PHTC) Program

Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-22-055

Application Submission

Applicant Eligibility

Accreditation

Use of Funds

Student Eligibility and Stipends

Community-Based Training (CBT) Partnerships

Disparities Impact Statement

Funding Preference and Priority

Technical Assistance

Standardized Work Plan

Other Questions

Application Submission

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

Access the Regional Public Health Training Center Program (PHTC) NOFO

Select the Related Documents tab to download the NOFO.

How can I obtain access to the technical assistance webinar recording?

Access the recording

When does the PHTC Program HRSA-22-055 funding opportunity close?

This funding opportunity closes on Monday, January 24, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET.

Do all attachments count towards the page limit?

No. Per the NOFO on page 12, standard OMB-approved forms that are included in the workspace application package do NOT count in the page limitation.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to take appropriate measures to ensure their application does not exceed the specified 70 page limit.

Note: If an application goes over the page limit, it will be considered non-responsive and it will not go forward for panel review.

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. Attachments should be submitted with the same numbers as specified in the NOFO. 

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

No. HRSA only recognizes one Program Director/Program Investigator (PI), who will be accountable to HRSA. 

Note: They should be a senior level health or public health professional with strong expertise in adult education and training; experience and demonstrated leadership skills to direct and guide the conceptual framework and direction of the Regional PHTC Program; and provide visibility for the program among health and public health colleagues and organizations. The PI must have no less than 5 percent level of effort dedicated to the Regional PHTC Program.

Are letters of support required for this grant application? 

No. Letters of support are not required for this grant application, they are considered to be as applicable to the proposed project and should be submitted as Attachment 9. 

Provide a description of support and commitment for each organization or department involved in your proposed project. See page 25 of the NOFO for more details. 

What should the logic model include? 

A logic model is a one (1) page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements to achieve the relevant outcomes. Refer to pages 16-17 of the NOFO. 

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. 

Access additional information on developing logic models (PDF - 107 KB)

Are multiple applications allowed? 

Multiple applications from an organization are not allowable.

Applicant Eligibility

Are federally recognized tribes eligible applicants? 

Yes. Federally recognized tribes are eligible applicants. Refer to page 9 of the NFO for eligibility information. 

Can students receive a Preventive Medicine Resident and PHTC stipend or just one or the other?  

No. Stipend supplementation may only be provided by non-federal sources of funds. 

A traineeship/fellowship or other training program (i.e., residency) under a HRSA funded training award may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the training/fellowship award.  The concurrent benefit refers to participant support per participant. Applicants may hold concurrent federal awards.  

Can individual students apply for this grant? 

No. This program is not intended for individual applicants, only eligible entities.  

We are not a school of public health. Can we collaborate with an eligible school of public health or other entity to be eligible?

Yes. However, the eligible entity must be the primary organization listed in the application. 

Accreditation

What are the accreditation requirements for applicants of this NOFO?

Applicants include a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited school of public health, or another public or nonprofit private entity accredited for the provision of graduate or specialized training in public health.  

You must include proof of accreditation in order to be eligible. In order to receive consideration for the funding preference, applicants must include proof of CEPH accreditation via Attachment 7. HRSA program staff will determine whether your application meets the funding preference.

Use of Funds

Is the purchase of hardware and software for students, faculty, and participants an allowable cost? 

Yes. This can be part of the administrative costs. 

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

Indirect costs for all applicants other than state, local, or Indian tribal governments are capped at the fixed rate of eight (8) percent. For this policy, state universities or hospitals are not considered governmental agencies.

Student Eligibility and Stipends

What students does the PHTC program support?

The PHTC program supports students at the following levels: undergraduate juniors or seniors, master’s and doctoral students enrolled in an accredited health professions degree program.

Only U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, or foreign nationals holding a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States are eligible. 

Applicants are encouraged to expand field placements for:

  • Preventive medicine resident at state or local health departments
  • Community college students in the U.S. Pacific Islands 
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) as applicable

Should the field placements be open to any student in the region who meet the criteria for participation?

Yes. The field placements must be open to all students who fit the eligibility criteria.

Is there a funding limit on student stipends?

The NOFO does specify a limit on stipends. At least 10% of the award recipient’s overall requested budget (direct and indirect costs) must be used for stipend support, according to the following guidelines:

  • $3,500 per student; and
  • the minimum number of students involved in field placements must be no less than 15 students per region (stipend support funds used to support students beyond the minimum number of 15 for field placements, may be used to support a combination of both field placement and faculty-collaborative project students).

Note: No full-time student is allowed to receive a stipend for participation in a student field placement or faculty-student collaborative project for more than 1 year, or 12 consecutive months.  Part-time students are allowed to participate in student field placements or faculty-student collaborative projects and receive a stipend prorated at one-half of the fixed amount for no more than 2 years or 24 consecutive months.

Our understanding is that Preventive Medicine Residents get funding from HRSA already. Are we being asked to provide funded FP stipends for PMRs ("double dipping")

No. Stipend supplementation may only be provided by non-federal sources of funds. See question 11 for additional information. 

Does family medicine qualify as preventive medicine?

No. The student would have to be a Preventive Medicine Resident from an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accredited program.  

My region does not include the Pacific Island and some of our states do not have TCU, is this guidance meant to apply to all regions and states?

If applicable to your region and states, applicants are strongly encouraged to include community college students in the U.S. Pacific Islands and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU).

Community-Based Training (CBT) Partnerships

Are CBT partner organizations required to be contracts or sub-awards?

Yes. A CBT partner organization providing services would constitute a sub-award and follow all grant requirements, as outlined in 45 CFR Part 75 under this NOFO.

Can a CBT partner organization also be a technical assistance entity?

Yes. You must indicate in your application package the differences in the two sources of funding for this organization and why. 

Is there a funding ceiling for a CBT Partner? 

No. There are no finding limits for CBT partner organizations.

Disparities Impact Statement

The links in the NOFO as example Disparities Impact Statements are only focused on racial and ethnic minorities. Are we limited to addressing only racial/ethnic minorities?

No. Do not limit your statement on the examples. Focus on your regions identified needs for populations at highest risk for health disparities and low health literacy and infrastructure to receive necessary services in rural, underserved and/or marginalized communities.

Funding Preference and Priority

Is there a funding preference for this NOFO? 

Yes. The PHTC Program provides funding preference for applicants who are a CEPH-accredited School of Public Health. Refer to page 34 of the NOFO on how to qualify for funding preference. 

How do I meet the funding priority? 

Applicants must submit as Attachment 8 a well-documented progress report in order to qualify under this priority.  Refer to page 34 of the NOFO for more information. 

Technical Assistance

Who is the technical assistance intended for?

Technical assistance is intended for the central office and the CBT partners, if necessary.

Do the technical assistance funds have to be used for one single organization?

No. Recipients must establish and implement a formal arrangement with an organization or multiple organizations able to train and provide technical assistance (marketing, communication assistance, technical writing, instructional design consultation, web design, learning management system design and management).
The applicants should include details of the technical assistance support in the proposed budget line-item and budget justification document.

What is the funding range for technical assistance? 

There is no funding range

We have all the components for technical assistance in-house.  Given this, do we need to find and fund outside TA providers? 

If your TA is in-house, note that in your application where appropriate.

Standardized Work Plan

Can we add additional goals?

No. Additional goals cannot be added. All objectives and sub-objectives should follow the goals stated in the NOFO.

For organizational priorities, can we list additional “other” options of our choosing, or only the two specified in the NOFO on page 15

You have the ability to add additional priorities under the “other” option. These priorities need to link back to the goals.

Do we actually need to indicate outcomes here as we do in the logic model (e.g. increased ability among the workforce to do X), or is this really meant to focus on outputs as deliverables (e.g. number of reports, number of students placed)? Or is it that we need to do both here

The purpose of the standardized work plan is an “action guide” and should reflect “how to” steps when implementing your program. The logic model would show both your short and long term outcomes.

Other Questions

If we are a current awardee, the period of performance for this NOFO begins July 1, 2022. This is during our current funding cycle. What happens to July 1-August 31, 2022 in our current year? 

You will be finishing the current program and beginning the next cycle concurrently if selected for the next funding cycle.

The NOFO requires that training curricula use multiple modalities. Do they all have to be distance-based?

No. Training curricula will provide skill-based, interactive instruction and quality education using multiple modalities (e.g., synchronous, asynchronous, distance-based, bi-directional video, in-person, micro learning etc.). 

Note: During the times of COVID-19, please follow CDC guidelines for in-person training.

Is it correct that the only required key personnel are Principal Investigator (minimum 5% level of effort) and Project Coordinator (100% level of effort)?

Yes. This is the only stated required key personnel with a specified effort level. You will certainly need additional personnel such as an evaluator and instructional designer, which are also mentioned.

You must indicate in your application package the key and other personnel that you anticipate needing to complete the work, and their levels of effort.

Note: Each staffing plan must include a Principal Investigator (their level of effort should be no less than 5%) and a Project Coordinator (their level of effort should be no less than 100 percent). The plan should list other key personnel as appropriate (e.g., Evaluator, Instructional Designer, etc.). The application should include the percent effort on the Regional PHTC Program grant and all other sources of salary support for key staff Principal Investigator, Project Coordinator, Evaluator, Instructional Designer (i.e., Jane Doe, Project Coordinator: 50 percent Regional PHTC Program grant, 20 percent Title 2 grant, 15 percent University of X, 15 percent NIH grant support).

Should consultants have a bio-sketch included in the application?

You must include a bio-sketch for all key personnel (Attachment 2). 

Note: Please only include the bio-sketches for the key personnel that you hire directly to work in the center. If they are a consultant, a letter of commitment (Attachment 3) will suffice, but it may be helpful that in the letter of commitment you describe the background of the consultant briefly to provide context as to why they are qualified for the position. 

Is it acceptable that we submit a signed and dated letter of agreement/intent from each partnering entity and, subsequent to our receipt of a NOA, enter into a service agreement with these entities?

Yes. This is acceptable but the letter of agreement/intent (Attachment 3) must include the scope of work and level of compensation, and a (NOA) must still be obtained prior to the start of work.

Both the core competencies and the strategic skills have been updated and the NOFO references the old language. Which core competencies and strategic skills should we be using?

The new core competencies and strategic skills were approved at the time of this NOFO being posted.  

Please refer to page 1 footnote 2 and 3 with the core competencies and strategic skills to be used in this program. 

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