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Frequently Asked Questions


FY2012 Funds for Cooperative Agreements for Family Planning Research

CFDA No. 93.974
Last Updated: 05/23/2012

Award Information

Q: What would be the projected start and end date for a project funded under this funding opportunity?
You should expect a 9/1 start date and 8/31 end date for each year or budget period of the project.


Q: Is OPA looking for projects to replicate an existing evidence-based approach or to develop one?
Either approach is acceptable.

Q: Does the program require that the clinic setting involved in this research be a Title X setting? 
No, the research is not restricted to Title X settings.

Q: Would the use of an interactive electronic tool to perform some of the counseling with clients be considered in compliance with the Title X guidance on face-to-face clinic encounters?

Q: Is it acceptable that the first year of the grant be dedicated to developing the counseling strategy to be implemented?
Yes. While we encourage applicants to implement as quickly as possible, given the 3-year funding period, we are also interested in having a high quality product emerge from the study. Therefore, we understand that some applicants may wish to dedicate the first 6-12 months of the funding period to developing the counseling intervention, training manuals, and fidelity tools that will be implemented in the evaluation study.

Q: Is there a website you can recommend that has the types of evidence informed models you are referring to?
While there is no specific website or other publicly available document with this information, unfortunately, we do expect applicants to propose a counseling model that is informed by the literature/previous research about what works.

Q:Is it acceptable that we will not begin enrollment until the sixth month of funding, or is it expected that we begin enrolling immediately once funding is received?
Dedicating the first six months of the project period for project planning and tool development is fine.

Costs and Allowable Expenses

Q: Are contraceptive supplies allowable expenses for this program?
While such supplies would not be prohibited from being charged to this award, as the focus of this FOA is research and not supply delivery, we would expect any contraceptive supplies to only consist of a minor portion of the budget with the vast majority of funds being dedicated to research activities (staff salaries, research supplies, subcontracts to academic partners, etc.).

Q: Should we include travel to the annual OPA meetings in the budget?
Yes. We are currently planning one meeting in September 2012 in the DC area for the new and continuing OPA research grantees. In fiscal year 2013, there will likely be another OPA-sponsored meeting that you may be invited to participate in.

Q: Does the $250,000 award ceiling each year include both direct and indirect costs? 
Yes, $250,000 is the max amount you can request to cover all of your costs for each year of the award period.

Q: Is it possible to request more than $250,000 given my institution’s high indirect rate?
Given our budget constraints, we do not anticipate being able to fund any grantee at more than $250,000 per year, which is why we listed the anticipated award range in the FOA as between $150,000-250,000. We encourage you to work with your institutions to discount the indirect rate and/or seek supplemental funding from another source.


Q: For the “description of staff roles, staff qualifications and organizational capacity”, should these descriptions be included for all personnel, including consultants? Also, is this expected to be the same information as is included in the budget justification or is more extensive information desired?
The description of staff roles should encompass all staff paid fully or partially from the grant monies and it should go hand in hand with the budget narrative. As long as roles are described in one place, the other document can just refer the reader there, no need to state the same information twice.

Q: We are considering including in the description of our key personnel both a PI and a Co-PI. Is that okay with OPA or do they prefer just a PI and co-investigators?
It’s easier for our award processing to only identify one person as the PI and then have co-investigators, but we are not opposed to co-PIs in practice.

Application Format

Q: Are there specific formatting instructions for documents other than the Project Narrative? Or should abstract, work plan, CVs, budget narrative, appendices, etc. follow formatting instructions applicable to Project Narrative (RE font size, double spacing, 1” margins, etc.)?
We do not have a specific template, but yes, the Project Narrative should follow those same formatting instructions.

Q: Is the NIH biosketch format acceptable for CVs? 
A biosketch is preferred.

Q: Page 12 of FOA states that “position descriptions” should be included in the application. Does the “Description of Staff Roles, Staff Qualifications, and Organizational Capacity” section of Project Narrative cover that requirement?

Q: The FOA states that the Work Plan is not counted in the 30-page Project Narrative, Pg. 31 of FOA states that “Project Narrative with Work Plan” is a required application element. Are the Project Narrative and Work Plans to be submitted as 2 separate attachments, or submitted as 1 attachment? If they are to be uploaded as 2 separate documents, does the Project Work Plan get uploaded in the “mandatory other attachments” field Pg. 14 on application form, or elsewhere?
We apologize for the contradictory language that has caused confusion on this element in particular. The work plan should be briefly discussed in the Project Narrative but if you want to attach a timeline or GANNT chart, that can be uploaded as an attachment.

Q: Is guidance available regarding suggestions for writing each section of the Project Narrative? I understand the Narrative must include each section identified on Pg. 16-17 of FOA, however, the FOA provides no information regarding what should be addressed in each section (besides the information provided in “review criteria.”)
The guidance on pages 16-17 is the only guidance we are issuing regarding the structure of the narrative.

Q: I understand the entire application must be page numbered. Must the entire 100-page application be page numbered consecutively, or can each section be page numbered independently of others (each section beginning with Pg Number “1”)?
If you number each section independently, please also add a label that states “Page X of N” where N is the total number of pages for all sections combined (for example: page 30 of 100).

Q: Do appendices get uploaded in “mandatory other attachments,” Pg. 14 on application form or elsewhere?
That should be the correct section to upload appendices.

Q: I do not see anything in the FOA guidance (CFDA 93.974) about a human subjects section. Can you confirm whether this information is required to be included?
A very brief mention in the project narrative of how you will deal with human subjects approval and your IRB process is fine. We have a just in time policy where you will be asked to describe more about your human subjects management after award.

Budget Narrative:
Does this count as part of the 100 pages, or is it considered a form?

The budget and budget narrative do not count as part of the 100 page limit. These pages do not need to be double-spaced, have one inch margins or be numbered sequentially.

Questions regarding the page limits in regard to the cover page, table of contents, and references:
Cover page
A cover page is not a required element of the application, beyond that which is included in the required forms. All required forms are not counted as part of the 30 page limit.

Table of contents
The table of contents, which is not listed as one of the components of the 30 page limit in the announcement, will not be counted towards the 30 page limit, but is included in the 100-page application limit.

Should the table of contents refer to the content in the Research Design only, or for the Appendices as well? 
It should refer to all pages of the packet.

It is acceptable to use smaller fonts, tighter spacing, and smaller margins for the references, which are included in the 30 page limit.