Announcement of the Availability of Funds and Request for Applications for a Cooperative Agreement(s) to Establish a National Poverty Research Center

10/01/2007

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

This Announcement is CLOSED as of July 16, 2007

Announcement of the Availability of Funds and Request for Applications for a Cooperative Agreement(s) to Establish a National Poverty Research Center

 


SUMMARY:  The U.S. continues to experience social changes relating to the economy, demographics, and the social and behavioral functioning of individuals and families and the well-being of children. The manner by which government and others react to or precipitates these changes also is in a state of evolution. A key way that these issues are examined by HHS is by studying the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality as well as policy and program responses to ameliorate poverty and inequality and there impacts on Americans. In order to further these efforts and inform the public, HHS is soliciting applications from university-based institutions for a cooperative agreement. The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) expects to fund the National Poverty Research Center for a period of three (3) years. The first year of funding for a National Poverty Research Center will be approximately $750,000 (combined direct and indirect funding). Subject to the availability of future funds we expect to fund a second year at $650,000 and a third and final year at $500,000 for total federal funding of $1.9 million over the three year period for the center with increasing matching requirements from non-federal sources over the term of the agreement. No federal funding is anticipated beyond the third year.

ASPE plans to fund one National Poverty Research Center. The National Poverty Research Center cooperative agreement is for qualified institutions to provide a focused agenda expanding our understanding of the causes, consequences and effects of inequality and poverty. It is anticipated that investigators supported under the National Poverty Research Center will benefit from the opportunity to conduct independent research; that the grantee institution will benefit from participation in the diverse extramural programs of HHS; and that students will benefit from exposure to and participation in research and be encouraged to pursue graduate studies and careers in the social and behavioral sciences with a focus on poverty.

CLOSING DATE:  The closing date for submitting applications under this announcement is JULY 16, 2007. Please email Dr. Donald T. Oellerich at Don.Oellerich@hhs.gov by JULY 1, 2007 to inform the government of your intent to submit an application. Include the name of your organization. Providing notice of intent to submit is not a requirement for submitting an application. However, a notice of intent to submit will help the federal government in the planning for the review process.

ADDRESSES:  Electronic applications must be submitted through www.grants.gov. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will be servicing these cooperative agreements for ASPE. Mailed applications should be submitted to

Dr. Don Oellerich
Deputy to the Chief Economist and Senior Advisor
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 405F
Washington, DC 20201.

Administrative questions will be accepted and responded to up to ten working days prior to the closing date of receipt of applications. You will receive email confirmation to notify you that your application was received within 14 days of the closing date. If you do not receive confirmation within 14 days of the closing date, please contact Dr. Oellerich at the address provided above or e-mail Don.Oellerich@hhs.gov.

The posted notice through www.grants.gov is the only official program announcement. Any corrections to this announcement will be published on the ASPE website at http://aspe.hhs.gov/funding.htm and the www.grants.gov website. The applicant bears sole responsibility to assure that the copy downloaded and/or printed from any other source is up-to-date, accurate and complete.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Administrative questions should be directed to

Roberta Dunlap Wolcott
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6700B Rockledge Drive, Room 2244, MSC 7614
Bethesda, MD 20892-7614
Phone: (301) 451-2685, fax: (301) 493-0597
WolcottR@niaid.nih.gov.

Requests for forms and questions (administrative and technical) will be accepted and responded to up to 15 days prior to closing date of receipt of Applications. Technical questions should be directed to Don Oellerich, DHHS, Office of Human Services Policy, Telephone: (202) 690-8410. Questions also may be faxed to (202) 690- 6562. Written technical questions should be addressed to Dr. Oellerich at the Department of Health and Human Services, ASPE/HSP, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 405F, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Washington, DC 20201. (Application submissions may not be faxed.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  This program announcement consists of four parts:

  • Part I: Background  Legislative authority, Eligible Applicants, Project History and Purpose, Available Funds, Matching Requirements, and Project and Budget Period;
  • Part II: Awardee Responsibilities for the Poverty Research Center, ASPE Responsibilities, Joint Responsibilities, Arbitration Procedures, Rights to Data;
  • Part III: The Review Process  Intergovernmental Review, Initial Screening, Competitive Review and Evaluation Criteria;
  • Part IV: The Application  General Information, Application Development, Application Submission, Disposition of Applications, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number, and Components of a Complete Application.

Part I.  Background

A.  Legislative Authority

This cooperative agreement is authorized by Section 1110 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1310) and awards will be made from funds appropriated under Public Law No. 110-05.

B.  Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants for National Poverty Research Center are restricted to colleges, universities and other post-secondary degree granting entities. (For-profit entities are advised that no cooperative agreement funds may be paid as profit to any recipient of a grant or subgrant. Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs of the grantee.)

D-U-N-S Requirement

All applicants must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number. On June 27, 2003, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published in the Federal Register a new Federal policy applicable to all Federal grant applicants. The policy requires Federal grant applicants to provide a D-U-N-S number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The D-U-N-S number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government-wide electronic portal, www.grants.gov. A D-U-N-S number is required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement, and block grant programs, submitted on or after October 1, 2003.

Please ensure that your organization has a D-U-N-S number. You may acquire a D-U-N-S number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free D-U-N-S number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or you may request a number on-line at http://www.dnb.com.

C.  Project History and Purpose

HHS has had a long history of supporting research and evaluation of important and emerging social policy issues associated with the nature, causes, correlates, and effects of income dynamics, poverty, inequality, individual and family functioning and child well-being. This award replaces the current cooperative agreement with the University of Michigan which established ASPE's National Poverty Center in 2002. The national poverty research center conducts a broad program of basic and applied research and mentoring of emerging scholars to describe and analyze national, regional and state environments (e.g., economics, demographics) and policies affecting the low income people, particularly those families with children who are poor or at risk of being poor. ASPE also supports three area poverty centers which focus on issues of regional or state interest. They are housed at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Washington.

Central to the mission of the poverty research center program is capacity building  supporting faculty research and faculty training; enhancing campus-wide awareness of issues related to poverty; and supporting and mentoring students in poverty and low-income policy related careers. Work of the current poverty centers includes:  1) expanding the knowledge of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality as well as responses to ameliorate poverty and its impacts on Americans, 2) providing a core of multi-disciplinary researchers, as well as a network of scholars who focus their research on poverty and the poor, 3) developing and training future social science researchers whose work focuses on poverty and the poor, 4) continuation of the work on the improvement of methods and data to permit a fuller understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality and the social policies and programs meant to alleviate it, and 5) maintaining a network for the dissemination of findings to the policy and research communities through newsletters, working papers, special reports and briefings. Information on the current centers is available on their respective websites: Michigan  http://www.npc.umich.edu/, Wisconsin  www.ssc.wisc.edu/irp/, Washington  http://wcpc.washington.edu/, and Kentucky  http://www.ukcpr.org/. We expect the center funded under this announcement to provide leadership through innovative basic and applied research, policy evaluation, and mentoring to increase the number and diversity of poverty scholars and heighten awareness of poverty-related issues for all students by bringing relevant content into the classroom. The winning applicant will be expected to carry out a program that continues a strong scholarly tradition and concern for poverty. There are no specific projects that must be continued from the current Centers under this award.

D.  Available Funds

The Assistant Secretary has available a total of $750,000 for the first year of award for the national poverty research center. ASPE anticipates providing one award. Nothing in this announcement restricts the ability of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to make no awards, multiple awards or to make lesser or greater award(s).

E.  Matching Requirements

The awardee must provide at least 25 percent of the total approved cost of the project from non-federal sources (e.g., host institution, foundations, state government) for the first year. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the federal share (direct and indirect) and the non-federal share (direct and indirect). The non-federal share may be met by cash or in-kind contributions, although applicants are encouraged to meet their matching requirements through cash contributions. For example, an awardee with a project with a total budget (both direct and indirect costs) of $1,000,000 may request up to $750,000 in federal funds. Matching requirements for the second and third year of the award increase to 35 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Matching requirements cannot be met with funds from other federally-funded programs. If a proposed project activity has approved funding support from other funding sources, the amount, duration, purpose, and source of the funds should be indicated in materials submitted under this announcement. If completion of the proposed project activity is contingent upon approval of funding from other sources, the relationship between the funds being sought elsewhere and from ASPE should be discussed in the budget information submitted as a part of the budget narrative. In both cases, the contribution that ASPE funds will make to the Center and the corresponding match should be clearly presented.

F.  Project and Budget Period

ASPE expects to fund the National Poverty Research Center for a period of three (3) years. The first year of federal funding for the Poverty Research Center will be $750,000 (combined direct and indirect funding). Subject to the availability of future funds we expect to fund a second year at $650,000 and a third and final year at $500,000 for total federal funding of $1.9 million over the three year period. Although no federal funding is anticipated beyond the third year the awardee will be encouraged to continue the work of the National Poverty Research Center with non-federal support generated from the host institution, other institutions, foundations, state government or other private sources.

Applications are to include separate budget estimates for each of the three years. Legislative support for continued funding of the Centers during the 3 year grant period cannot be guaranteed and future year funding is subject to future appropriations and approval of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. ASPE expects, however, that the Center will be supported during future fiscal years of the award period at an annual level of effort consistent with the announced level. The award pursuant to this announcement will be made on or about September 15, 2007.

Part II.  Responsibilities of the Awardee and the Federal Government in the Establishment and Operation of a National Poverty Research Center

A.  Awardee Responsibilities for the National Poverty Research Center

The purpose of the National Poverty Research Center is to support inter-disciplinary research leading to an understanding and reduction of poverty, income inequality and its correlates. Central to the mission of the National Poverty Research Center is capacity building  supporting faculty research and faculty training; enhancing campus-wide awareness of issues related to poverty; and supporting and mentoring students in poverty and low- income policy related careers. The National Poverty Research Center is expected to create an environment conducive to inter-disciplinary collaborations among social and behavioral scientists and affected communities with the goal of improving our knowledge of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality as well as responses to ameliorate poverty and its impacts on the well-being of individuals, families and children. The successful applicant shall develop and conduct a program which appropriately balances core infrastructure, research, mentoring emerging scholars, and dissemination activities directed to understanding the economic security and well-being of individuals, families and children.

The awardee will have the primary and lead responsibility to define objectives and approaches, and to plan research, conduct studies, analyze data, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of its work. The awardee will be permitted to undertake responsibilities as required by other sponsors as long as they do not interfere or contradict the purposes of the agreement with ASPE. Occasionally, Center staff will be expected to comment on research plans, provide critical commentary on research products, perform statistical policy analyses, and participate in other quick-response activities to support ASPE's research, evaluation, and policy analysis functions. (Without compromising academic freedom, Center staff will be expected to comply with special requests when the Administration requires confidentiality.) HHS will not interfere with nor infringe upon the academic freedom associated with the university setting.

To assure the quality of its research, dissemination, and mentoring program, and to assure a careful examination of the output of the Center within the academic community, the Center must establish and maintain a formal tie with a university, including links with all appropriate departments within that university. The Center must have a major presence at a single site (university or city); however, innovative arrangements among universities and with individual scholars at other universities also may be proposed.

ASPE has identified six priority areas the applicant may address:

  1. Economic self-sufficiency and well-being of vulnerable families, children and individuals;
  2. Family formation and healthy marriages;
  3. Nonmarital child-bearing and teen pregnancy;
  4. Healthy transition of youth to productive adulthood;
  5. Safety, stability, and healthy development of our nation's children and
  6. The role of religiosity and non-governmental organizations (including faith based organizations) in maintaining and improving the well-being of families and children.

Applications do not have to address all these ASPE priority areas; they may identify and address other important aspects of poverty and inequality instead of or in addition to any or all of the six priority areas mentioned above.

The awardee will perform the following specific tasks:

1.  Research Program

The National Poverty Research Center will be expected to plan, initiate and maintain a research program of high caliber. It may include small-scale, new or ongoing social, behavioral, policy- related research projects, including pilot research projects and feasibility studies; development, testing, and refinement of research techniques; secondary analysis of available data sets; or similar research projects.

It must meet the tests of social science rigor and objectivity. The program will strive for respect from the academic and policy communities (over a broad range of the political spectrum) for its scientific quality, fairness, and policy relevance. This program should include an appropriately balanced agenda of basic and applied, quantitative and qualitative field work, and primary and secondary analyses. The research program should include supporting the work of members of the Center staff and other affiliated researchers. In addition, it should provide intellectual leadership in the national research community by establishing links with a broad range of other scholars, through visiting and postdoctoral appointments, research assistantships, and an extramural program of nonresident grants. While graduates of the poverty center institutions can be found in many colleges and universities around the country and many maintain an affiliation with their Center, effort needs to be made to recruit and support outside poverty researchers from institutions that do not have the capacity to maintain a program of poverty research. It is important that applicants demonstrate clear plans to reach out to researchers at universities that traditionally have not had the capacity to foster a program of poverty research and the training of poverty researchers. In addition, the awardee must commit to working cooperatively with the ASPE-funded Area Poverty Research Centers.

The research program should include multi-disciplinary and multi-method approaches to increasing the understanding of the issues beyond what is possible from analysis within the framework of a single discipline or method. At a minimum, the proposed staff should possess competency in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, economics, sociology, public policy/administration, and other related social and behavioral disciplines. It also is appropriate, for example, to engage in activities to make advances in research techniques, where they are needed for or related to primary objectives of the Center. Planning and execution of the research program shall always consider the policy implications of research findings in a non-partisan manner. The Center should link research to public and private efforts to improve the lives of low-income individuals and families. The research and its dissemination shall be of value to all levels of policy making-federal, state, and local government-as well as the general research community. A national advisory committee (discussed below) shall periodically review the research agenda to assure its policy relevance, utility, and scope.

2.  Mentoring Young Scholars

The National Poverty Research Center is expected to develop and expand a diverse corps of emerging scholars/researchers who focus career goals on policy, research and programs focused on poverty and low-income populations. The Center will be expected to financially support the work of graduate research assistants, PhD candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and other research scholars, and to make efforts to reach out to those emerging scholars affiliated with institutions that traditionally have not had the capacity to mentor students as poverty researchers. The National Poverty Research Center will be expected to develop an awareness and interest in students of the opportunities in poverty research through such activities as research internships, seminars and related experiences. Applicants should demonstrate how students will benefit from exposure to and participation in the ongoing research of the Poverty Research Center faculty and staff and be encouraged to pursue graduate studies and careers in the social and behavioral sciences with a focus on poverty-related studies.

3.  Dissemination

Making knowledge and information available to interested parties is to be another integral feature of the Poverty Research Center's responsibilities. The Center will be expected to develop and maintain a dissemination system. Applicants are encouraged to propose use of innovative methods of disseminating data and information. Applications should show sensitivity to the different dissemination strategies which may be appropriate for different audiences  such as policy makers, practitioners, and academics.

B.  ASPE Responsibilities

ASPE will be involved with the Center in jointly establishing broad research priorities and planning strategies to accomplish the objectives of this announcement. ASPE, or its representatives, will provide the following types of support to the Centers: (1) consultation and technical assistance in planning, operating, and evaluating the Center's program of research, mentoring and dissemination activities, (2) information about HHS programs, policies, and research priorities, (3) assistance in collaborating with appropriate federal, state and local governmental officials in the performance of Center activities, (4) assistance in identifying HHS information and technical assistance resources pertinent to the Center's success, (5) assistance in the transfer of information to appropriate federal, state, and local entities, (6) review of Center activities and feedback to ensure that objectives and award conditions are being met, and (7) coordination of activities amongst the National and Area Centers to ensure, to the extent possible, the optimal use of resources and expertise. ASPE retains the right to withhold annual renewals to the awardee, if technical performance requirements are not met.

C.  Joint Responsibilities

The awardee, jointly with ASPE, will appoint an outside advisory committee, funded under this agreement. The committee will be selected to provide assistance to the National Poverty Research Center, formulating the research agenda and advice on carrying it out. Efforts will be made in selecting this committee to assure a broad range of academic disciplines and political viewpoints. The committee will be composed of approximately six to eight nationally and/or regionally recognized scholars and practitioners. (For a list of the current Advisory Committee members for the current National Poverty Center and the three Area Poverty Research Centers see their respective websites: Michigan  http://www.npc.umich.edu/, Wisconsin  www.ssc.wisc.edu/irp/, Washington  http://wcpc.washington.edu/, and Kentucky  http://www.ukcpr.org/.) This committee will meet once a year rotating between Washington, DC, and the Poverty Research Center's location.

D.  Arbitration Procedures

Both ASPE and the National Poverty Research Center are expected to work in a collegial fashion to minimize misunderstandings and disagreements. They should explore every alternative to prevent impasses, including consultation with the advisory committee established under section C, but if agreement between the awardee and ASPE staff cannot be reached on significant programmatic or scientific-technical issues that might arise after the award, an arbitration panel shall be formed. The panel will consist of one person appointed by the awardee, one person appointed by ASPE, and a third person appointed by these two members. The decision of the arbitration panel, by majority vote will be binding. These special arbitration procedures in no way affect the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action in accordance with HHS regulations at 45 CFR part 16.

E.  Rights to Data

The awardee will retain custody of and have primary rights to any data developed under this award, subject to government rights to access consistent with current HHS regulations. The awardee should make reasonable efforts, however, to provide other researchers appropriate and speedy access to research data from this project and establish public use files of research data developed under this award.

Part III.  The Review Process

A.  Intergovernmental Review

State Single Point of Contact (Executive Order 12372). The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that this program is not subject to Executive Order No. 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, because it is a program that is national in scope and the only impact on state and local governments would be through subgrants. Applicants are not required to seek intergovernmental review of their applications within the constraints of Executive Order 12372.

B.  Initial Screening

Each application submitted under this program announcement will undergo a pre-review to determine that (1) the application was received by the closing date and submitted in accordance with the instructions in this announcement, (2) the applicant is eligible for funding (see Part I, Section B), (3) the application meets the matching requirements (see Part I, Section E) and (4) is within the page limit (see Part IV, Section A). Note that applications that do not meet all four of the pre-review items (1 - 4) will not be reviewed further and will be ineligible for funding.

C.  Competitive Review and Evaluation Criteria

Applications for the National Poverty Research Center that pass the initial screening will be evaluated and rated by an independent, expert review panel. The panel will use the evaluation criteria listed below to score each application. The evaluation criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project and to determine the likelihood of its success. The evaluation criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Points are awarded only to applications that are responsive to the evaluation criteria within the context of this program announcement. These review results will be the primary element used by ASPE in making funding decisions. HHS reserves the option to discuss applications with other federal or state staff, specialists, experts, and the general public. Comments from these sources, along with those of the reviewers, will be kept from inappropriate disclosure and may be considered in making an award decision. Selection of the successful applicant will be based on the technical and financial criteria laid out in this announcement. Reviewers will determine the strengths and weaknesses of each application in terms of the evaluation criteria listed below, provide comments and assign numerical scores  out of a possible 100 points. A summary of all applicant scores and strengths/weaknesses and recommendations will be prepared and submitted to the ASPE for decisions. The point value following each criterion heading indicates the maximum numerical relative weight that each section will be given in the review process. An unacceptable rating on any individual criterion may render the application unacceptable. Consequently, applicants should take care to ensure that all criteria are fully addressed in the applications. Applications will be reviewed using the following evaluation criteria. Please be sure to refer to Part IV, section B, application development.

Evaluation Criteria

(1)  Approach and Research Plan (30 points)

The applicant demonstrates an understanding of the significant trends and past related research (see section on application development) especially as it relates to the priority areas identified by the applicant. The applicant demonstrates a grasp of the significance of these past trends and research. The research agenda is consistent with the trends and research analysis and builds on what is known to address important unknowns. The research planning approach demonstrates a commitment to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding poverty and related priority areas.

The applicant proposes a research agenda that is scientifically sound and policy relevant. The applicant demonstrates that the research activities are likely to make significant contributions to understanding poverty, inequality, families, child outcomes, and what governments can do and cannot do to make the lives of adults, children and families more secure, healthier, and open to opportunity. The applicant's approach demonstrates that it extends beyond and builds upon the past 40 years of poverty research. The discussion and proposed research activities address the major themes of this announcement and/or those identified by the applicant. The applicant includes concise plans for research activities in the first year as well as a three-year agenda. The applicant demonstrates plans to conduct policy-relevant activities and interact with various levels of government to research, analyze and evaluate significant government initiatives and policies in a nonpartisan manner.

(2)  Training and Mentoring Emerging Scholars (20 points)

The applicant demonstrates clear efforts to develop and expand a diverse corps of emerging scholars and researchers. The applicant demonstrates efforts to mentor and support students, research assistants, Ph.D. candidates, postdoctoral students, and other research scholars. The applicant demonstrates plans to integrate the training of research scholars and expose them to policy research activities at ASPE. The applicant demonstrates methods to ensure diversity. The mentoring plan demonstrates an adequate level at which investigators have direct contact with and/or engage with students. The applicant demonstrates efforts to expose and engage students in poverty-related research and encourage the pursuit of advanced studies and/or careers in public policy and programs which address the causes, correlates and consequences of poverty and inequality and the needs of the poverty population. The applicant demonstrates efforts to reach emerging scholars at institutions that have not had the capacity to mentor students as poverty researchers.

(3) Dissemination (10 points)

The applicant's approach to dissemination and modes of communicating with a broad audience of academics, policymakers, and practitioners  including, for example, convening conferences and/or workshops, newsletters, electronic media and communication  demonstrates an understanding of the target groups' needs and a high likelihood of success.

(4)  Quality of proposed staffing and proposed organization arrangements (25 points)

The applicant's proposed director/principal investigator and staff demonstrate appropriate levels of research experience, demonstrated research skills, administrative skills, public administration experience, and relevant technical expertise. Raters may consider references on prior research projects. The applicant demonstrates an adequate level of Director and staff time commitments to the Center. Whether the applicant can maintain a single location for research, teaching, and scholarship is an important consideration. If the applicant proposes a multi-site center the applicant demonstrates that the arrangements can adequately meet the objectives of this solicitation. The applicant demonstrates an ability to work in collaboration with other scholars in search of similar goals, especially the Area Poverty Research Centers. The applicant demonstrates the nature and extent of the organizational support for research, mentoring scholars, and dissemination in topical areas related to the Center's central priorities. The applicant demonstrates plans to reach out to researchers within the college/university to ensure a multi-disciplinary effort; efforts to develop or expand the Center's presence on campus and in the broader community will be assessed. Applicant demonstrates plans to reach out to researchers at universities that traditionally have not had the capacity to foster a program of poverty research and the training of poverty researchers. In addition, the awardee must commit to working cooperatively with the ASPE-sponsored Area Poverty Research Centers. The applicant includes a plan for internal advisory or management teams drawn from a variety of disciplines from within the institution that demonstrates a multi-disciplinary interest and commitment. The applicant demonstrates a commitment of the university (and proposed institutional unit that will contain the Center) to support all three major Center activities:  (1) scholarly, policy-relevant research including plans for an extramural research program; (2) the mentoring and development of emerging scholars interested in poverty, inequality, families, children, and public policy; and (3) dissemination of research and other information to a broad and disparate set of academic, research, and policy communities. The applicant demonstrates the capacity to work with a range of government agencies.

(5)  Adequacy and Appropriateness of Overall Budget and the Allocation of Resources Across Administrative, Research and Other Areas (15 points)

The applicant demonstrates:  (a) the budget assures an efficient and effective allocation of funds to achieve the objectives of this solicitation; (b) the applicant has additional funding from other sources, including the host institution, and (c) the applicant has a clear plan for sustainability for the center beyond the three years of federal support.

The application includes a narrative description and justification for proposed budget line items and demonstrates that the project's costs are adequate, reasonable and necessary for the activities or personnel to be supported. The budget and narrative demonstrate a clear relationship to the approach. The budget demonstrates an efficient and effective allocation of funds to achieve the objectives of the Center and this solicitation. The budget demonstrates an appropriate allocation of funds to support the capacity building functions of the Center  research, mentoring and dissemination as well as core administrative functions necessary to carry out the Center's mission. When additional funding is contemplated, beyond the required match, applicants should note whether the funding is being donated by the institution, is in-hand from another funding source, or will be applied for from another funding source. The applicant demonstrates how the applicant will meet the matching requirement (see section I, Part E). The budget should include travel for advisory board members.

Part IV.  The Application

A.  General Information

This part contains information on the preparation of an application for submission under this announcement and the forms necessary for submission. Potential applicants should read this part carefully in conjunction with the information provided in Part II. In general, ASPE seeks organizations which can demonstrate the ability to provide quality research, training of emerging scholars, and working with federal, state and local governments. Applicants for funding should reflect, in the program narrative section of the application, how they will be able to fulfill the responsibilities and requirements described in the announcement. Applications should specify in detail how administrative arrangements will be made to minimize start-up and transition delays. Applications which do not address all three major tasks discussed in Awardee Responsibilities in Part II (research program, mentoring emerging scholars, dissemination) will not be considered for award. It is expected that the applicant will have additional funding and arrangements with other organizations and institutions, including the host institution(s). The applicant should make all current and anticipated related funding arrangements explicit in the application.

In order to be considered for an award under this program announcement, an application must be submitted on the forms supplied and in the manner prescribed by ASPE. Application materials including forms and instructions are available for download through www.grants.gov. For a listing of required forms see Part IV Section F. Copies of materials may also be requested from

Roberta Dunlap Wolcott
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6700B Rockledge Drive, Room 2244, MSC 7614
Bethesda, MD 20892-7614
Phone: (301) 451-2685, fax: (301) 493-0597
WolcottR@niaid.nih.gov

Application packages submitted by mail or hand delivered must include an original and two copies of the complete application. All pages of the narrative must be sequentially numbered and unbound.

Applications must be submitted/received in the following format:

  1. 12 point font size
  2. Double line spacing (except for appendices)
  3. 1 inch top, bottom, left, and right margins
  4. Page limit of 100 pages (excluding appendices)

Applications that are not received in the format described above and/or exceeding the page limit, will not be reviewed. Applicants are requested to be concise. Applicants are encouraged not to attach or include bound reports or other documents.

B.  Application Development

The National Poverty Research Center will provide a leadership role in furthering our understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality and poverty and the policy and program interventions to ameliorate inequality and poverty and its impacts on individuals, families and children. The national center will provide the organizational infrastructure to provide leadership in shaping a national agenda for poverty-related research and provide the necessary supports for basic and applied research, reaching out and supporting the broader research community, mentoring emerging scholars, dissemination of findings and securing additional financial support. The applicant should provide a three-year strategic plan for accomplishing this agenda. The plan should build upon and move forward from the accumulated knowledge of the past 40 years of poverty-related research as well as past and anticipated future social, demographic, economic and policy trends. The plan should set out a concrete plan for addressing ASPE's priorities and/or areas of exploration that the applicant may propose. Sustainability of the Center beyond ASPE's three-year financial commitment should be addressed.

The application shall address the following:

(1)  Analysis of Key Trends and Past Research

The application shall present a brief analysis of the key trends (e.g., social, demographic, economic) and past research related to the Center's proposed priority area(s) which provides a basis for the proposed Center's plan to implement a course of study, activities and capacity building. The analysis should examine the nature, causes, and correlates of one or more of the trends as they relate to the Center's priority area(s). The analysis should demonstrate the applicant's grasp of the policy and research significance of recent and future social trends as well as the past research.

(2)  Research Agenda and Activities

A prospectus for a three-year research agenda, outlining the major research themes to be investigated over the next three years should be included. In particular, the prospectus will describe the activities planned for each of the research priority issues outlined in Part II, Awardee Responsibilities and/or priority research topics proposed by the applicant. The prospectus should discuss the kind of research activities that are needed to anticipate future policy debates on important social issues-inequality, poverty, and family and child well-being, in particular  and the role of the proposed Research Center in carrying out those activities. The prospectus should clearly build upon the foundation of the past 40 years of poverty research and anticipated trends and policy developments. It may, of course, also discuss research areas and issues that were not mentioned in that analysis if the author or authors of the application feel there have been gaps in past research, or that new factors have begun to affect or soon will begin to affect national social policy. The prospectus should include descriptions of individual research activities that will be expected in the Center's first year of operation. It also should be specific about long-term research themes and projects. The lines of research described in the prospectus should be concrete enough that project descriptions in subsequent research plan amendments can be viewed as articulating a research theme discussed in the prospectus. An application that simply contains an ad hoc categorization of an unstructured set of research projects or activities  as opposed to a set of projects which strike a coherent theme  will be judged unfavorably. Note: Once a successful applicant has been selected and the Advisory Committee appointed, they and ASPE will review the research agenda and determine future research priorities. The Center will submit to ASPE a revised research plan that summarizes the deliberations and priorities. The research plan will be periodically reviewed and revised as necessary. The application should discuss a proposed research planning process, including involvement of the national advisory committee and other advisors.

The application must also include a detailed dissemination plan that describes the process of disseminating analyses, findings, seminars and related works and activities to interested parties through various media including newsletters, working papers, special reports, briefings and creative use of web based technologies.

(3)  Staff and Organizational Plan

The application must include a staffing and organizational proposal for the Poverty Research Center, including an analysis of the types of background needed among staff members, the Poverty Research Center's organizational structure, and linkages with the host university and other organizations. It is in this third section that the application should specify how it will assure a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to research, and where appropriate, the necessary links to university/college departments or units, other organizations and scholars engaged in research, and government policy making The applicant shall identify the Director(s) (or principal investigator(s)) and key senior research staff. Full resumes of proposed staff members shall be included as a separate appendix to the application. The time commitment to the Poverty Research Center and other existing commitments for each proposed staff member shall be clearly indicated in chart form. The kinds of administrative and tenure arrangements, if any, the Poverty Research Center proposes to make should also be discussed in this section. In addition, the author(s) of the application and the role which he or she (they) will play in the proposed Poverty Research Center must be specified.

If the application envisions an arrangement among two or more colleges, universities or institutions, this section will describe the specifics about the relationships, including leadership, management, and administration. It should pay particular attention to discussing how a focal point for research, teaching, and scholarship will be maintained given the arrangement proposed. The application must describe what steps will be taken to develop or expand the Poverty Research Center's presence on campus and in the broader community. The application also should discuss the role, selection procedure, and expected contribution of the external advisory committee.

(4)  Training and Mentoring Emerging Scholars

The proposal should present a training and mentoring plan for emerging scholars, describing how students will benefit from exposure to and participation in the ongoing research of the Poverty Research Center faculty and staff and how students will be encouraged to pursue graduate studies in the social and behavioral sciences with a focus on poverty related studies. This section shall discuss any financial arrangements for supporting undergraduate and graduate students, research assistants, post-docs, affiliates, resident scholars, etc. The discussion should include the expected number and types of emerging scholars to be supported, the level of support anticipated, and methods to ensure diversity.

(5)  Budget Narrative

The application's budget summary narrative must link the core management functions, research, mentoring, and dissemination program to the Poverty Research Center funding level. This section should discuss how the three-year budget supports proposed research, training, and dissemination activities and should link the first-year funding to a three-year plan. The discussion should include the appropriateness of the level and distribution of funds to the successful completion of the research, training, and dissemination plans. Also, the limited amount of funds available for this award indicate the desirability of using these funds as partial, core support for the proposed Center and applicants are required to secure a substantial and growing match and are further encouraged to seek additional support from other sources. The availability, potential availability or prospects for other funds (from the host university, other universities, foundations, states, other federal agencies, etc.) and the uses to which they would be put, should be documented in this section. Applications which show funding, or well thought out plans to secure funding, from other sources that supplement funds from this grant will be given higher marks than if they have no additional financial support beyond the required match. Plans for sustainability of the Center beyond ASPE's three-year financial commitment should be addressed.

C.  Application Submission

You may submit your application to us in either hard copy (paper) or electronic format. To submit an application electronically, please use the http://www.grants.gov website.

1. HARD COPY SUBMISSIONS

a.  Mailed applications postmarked after the closing date will be classified as late.

b.  Deadline.  The closing (deadline) date for submission of applications is JULY 16, 2007. Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting the announced deadline if they are either received on or before the deadline date or sent on or before the deadline date and received by ASPE in time for the independent review. Hard copy applications should be sent to:

Dr. Don Oellerich
Deputy to the Chief Economist and Senior Advisor
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 405F
Washington, DC 20201

Additional contact information is as follows: phone: (202) 690-8410, Fax: (202) 690-6562, email: Don.Oellerich@hhs.gov.

Applicants must ensure that a legibly dated, machine produced postmark of a commercial mail service is affixed to the envelope/package containing the application. To be acceptable as proof of timely mailing, a postmark from a commercial mail service must include the logo/emblem of the commercial mail service company and must reflect the date the package was received by the commercial mail service company from the applicant. Private metered postmarks shall not be acceptable as proof of timely mailing. (Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.)

Applications hand-carried by applicants, applicant couriers, or by other representatives of the applicant shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline date, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the office of Dr. Don Oellerich, Deputy to the Chief Economist and Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 405F, Washington, DC 20201. (Applicants are cautioned that courier/express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.)

Applications transmitted by fax will not be accepted regardless of date or time of submission or receipt.

2.  Electronic Submission

a.  Electronic submission is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. You may access the electronic application for this program at http://www.Grants.gov. There you can search for the downloadable application package by utilizing the Grants.gov FIND function.

We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov. We encourage applicants that submit electronically to submit well before the closing date and time so that if difficulties are encountered an applicant can still submit a hard copy via express mail or other means.

b.  Electronic applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time of the closing date - electronic applications received after this time will be classified as late.

c.  Deadline. The closing (deadline) date for submission of applications is JULY 16, 2007.

If you use Grants.gov, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it off-line, and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov site. ASPE will not accept grant applications via facsimile or email.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you submit an electronic application, you must complete the organization registration process as well as obtain and register "electronic signature credentials" for the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Since this process may take more than five business days, it is important to start this process early, well in advance of the application deadline. Be sure to complete all Grants.gov registration processes listed on the Organization Registration Checklist, which can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/registration_checklist.html.

Please note the following if you plan to submit your application electronically via Grants.gov:

  • To use Grants.gov, you, as the applicant, must have a D-U-N-S number and register in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). You should allow a minimum of five days to complete the CCR registration. REMINDER: CCR registration expires each year and thus must be updated annually. You cannot upload an application to Grants.gov without having a current CCR registration AND electronic signature credentials for the AOR.
  • The electronic application is submitted by the AOR. To submit electronically, the AOR must obtain and register electronic signature credentials approved by the organization's E-Business Point of Contact who maintains the organization's CCR registration.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information requested in the SF-424 R&R package listed below and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your application must comply with the 100 page limitation requirements described in this program announcement.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. NIAID and ASPE will retrieve your application from Grants.gov.
  • ASPE may request that you provide original signatures on forms at a later date.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in hard copy.
  • If you encounter difficulties in using Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at: 1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov to report the problem and obtain assistance.
  • Checklists and registration brochures are maintained at http://www.grants.gov/GetStarted to assist you in the registration process.

d. When submitting electronically via Grants.gov, applicants must comply with all due dates AND times referenced in Section C.2 b and c under Electronic Submission.

Applications transmitted by e-mail will not be accepted regardless of date or time of submission or receipt.

3.  Late applications. Applications that do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications. ASPE will notify each late applicant that its application will not be considered in the current competition.

4.  Extension of deadlines. ASPE may extend an application deadline when circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or when there are widespread disruptions of the mail service, or in other rare cases. Determinations to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with Dr. Don Oellerich, ASPE, Department of Health and Human Services.

D.  Disposition of Applications

  1. Approval, disapproval, or deferral. On the basis of the review of the application, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation will either a) approve the application as a whole or in part; b) disapprove the application; or c) defer action on the application for such reasons as lack of funds or a need for further review.
  2. Notification of disposition. The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation will notify the applicants of the disposition of their applications. If approved, a signed notification of the award will be sent to the business office named in the application.
  3. The Assistant Secretary's Discretion. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as to obligate the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to make any awards whatsoever. Awards and the distribution of awards among the priority areas are contingent on the needs of the Department at any point in time and the quality of the applications that are received.

E.  The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number is 93.239.

F.  Components of a Complete Application

A complete application consists of the following items in this order:

  1. Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424 Research and Related Project (R&R));
  2. Table of Contents;
  3. R&R Project Site Location(s), required only for multi-site applicants;
  4. R&R Senior/ Key Personnel;
  5. Budget Information - Non-construction Programs (Standard Form 424R&R);
  6. R&R Fed-NonFed Budget;
  7. Budget Justification for Section B Budget Categories;
  8. R&R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) (Total Fed + nonFed), if necessary;
  9. PHS 398 Cover Letter File;
  10. PHS 398 Application for Federal Assistance Checklist;
  11. Project Narrative Statement, organized in five sections, addressing the following topics (See Part IV, Section B):
    1. Analysis of Key Trends and Past Research
    2. Research Agenda and Activities
    3. Staff and Organizational Plan
    4. Training and Mentoring Emerging Scholars
    5. Budget Narrative
  12. Any appendices or attachments;
  13. Proof of Non-profit Status, if appropriate;
  14. Copy of the applicant's Approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, if necessary;
  15. Assurances - Non-construction Programs (Standard Form 424-B R&R);
  16. Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace;
  17. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, or other Responsibility Matters;
  18. Certification and, if necessary, Disclosure Regarding Lobbying;

Jerry Regier
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

_____________________________________

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