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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FY2020 Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 2) - Phase II Rigorous Evaluation of Promising Interventions (AH-TP2-20-001)

*Note that FAQs will be updated to include additional questions on a weekly basis.

General Questions

Are small businesses able to apply?

Eligible applicants for this funding include any public or private entity, including faith-based, community-based, and Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations. (FOA, p. 20)

What is the expected start date?

July 15, 2020

Can the same organization submit separate applications to all three fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs)?

Yes. An organization can submit an application to more than one FOA.  Each FOA is different and organizations should check the eligibility and expectations of each individual FOA to determine whether or not to apply. HHS/OASH/OGM will deem each application submitted by an entity eligible according to the eligibility information included in the specific FOA.   

Can an individual submit a grant application?

Grants are awarded to organizations rather than individuals.  An application may be submitted by an individual authorized to act/sign for an organization and to assume the obligations imposed by the legislation and any additional conditions of the grant. However, the award will not go directly to an individual but to the organization which the individual represents. 

How can I get help registering for Grants.gov?

Refer to http://www.grants.gov or contact the Grants.gov Contact Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding Federal holidays) at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov.

Does the funding announcement require a letter of intent?

No. The funding announcement does not require a Letter of Intent.

Will special consideration be given to organizations that have previously received TPP funding?

No. Eligible applicants for this funding include any public or private entity, including faith-based, community-based, and Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations. (FOA, p. 20)

Is funding for the TPP Tier 2 Phase 2 FOA limited to only those organizations that received Tier 2 Phase 1 funding previously?

No. This FOA is open to any applicant who meets the eligibility criteria stated on page 20 of the FOA, not just those organizations previously funded through Phase 1.

Can an organization submit more than one application to the same FOA?

If an applicant submits more than one application with the same content (for example, you submit your application and then make an update and submit the updated application at a later time), we will only review the last application received by the deadline. If an individual organization submits more than one application for different projects (for example, different content, different programs, different communities), all submitted applications will be reviewed if the project described is unique.

When are applications due for Opportunity Number: AH-TP2-20-001?

The FOA was amended on March 24, 2020, to push the due date back by two weeks because of COVID-19. Applications are now due on Friday, May 1, 2020.

I saw that the FOA was amended on March 24, 2020. What changes were made to it?

Three changes were made. First, the due date was pushed back from Friday, April 17 to Friday, May 1, 2020. Second, the first page of the FOA includes the date amendments were made. Third, revisions were made on pages 12, 17, 26, 29, 30, 42, and 52 to relax requirements around submitting signed MOU at the time of the application.

Can you direct us to where we can access the recordings of the OPA FOA webinars and the related concept webinars (youth engagement, human-centered design, systems thinking)?

All of the listed webinars – including recordings, slides, and transcriptions – are posted to the FOA page of the OPA website (https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/funding-opportunities/index.html).

Programming Questions

Will you please expand on what an efficacy study involves?

Efficacy studies evaluate interventions under ideal conditions, often with the close involvement of the intervention developer, whereas effectiveness studies evaluate an intervention during routine or natural conditions [8]. (FOA, p.14)

Efficacy Studies – Allows for testing of an intervention under “ideal” circumstances. For example, these conditions may include more implementation support or more highly trained personnel than would be expected under routine practice, or in contexts that include a more homogenous sample of participants than is typical. Additionally, efficacy studies often including a higher level of support or developer involvement (if applicable) than would be the case under normal circumstances. Efficacy studies may choose to limit the investigation to a single population of interest. (FOA, p. 72)

If there is a religious or spiritual component to the project, would that be a disqualification?

No, disqualification criteria for applications can be found on pg. 21 of the FOA.

Is there a requirement on how far along applicants must be on instruments or IRB approval to receive funding?

Applicants are expected to have IRB approval or a waiver by the start of the project period and be ready to begin their evaluation immediately upon receipt of funding. (FOA, p. 12) Applicants are expected to ensure feasibility of implementation within their application but also throughout the project period. (FOA, p.11)

If you are the curriculum developer, do you need to include an agreement to use the curriculum?

No

For those that have never received federal funding is there assistance available such as mentors or “tutors” that would be able to walk us through the rigorous process?

The awarding agency does not provide assistance more than the instructions and links in the FOA, the Technical Assistance Webinar, the FAQs, and the email contacts. Applicants are encouraged to review the entire FOA along with the information on Grants.gov https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html. (FOA, p. 49)

How might one demonstrate project merit for this FOA?

The information applicants are asked to include in their application to describe project merit is included on pages 24-25 of the FOA and the criteria that the reviewers will use to assess merit, contribution, and evidence is on page 50 of the FOA.

What types of evidence qualifies for positive preliminary evidence?

Interventions supported by this funding are expected to have compelling, positive preliminary evidence from their formative evaluation, including effects on target outcomes (FOA, p.10). The information applicants are asked to include in their application to describe positive preliminary evidence is included on pages 24-25 of the FOA and the criteria that the reviewers will use to assess merit, contribution, and evidence is on page 50 of the FOA.  

When do I need to begin my evaluation?

Awardees may use up to the first three months to complete project planning and finalize agreements. All applicants are expected to justify that their intervention is ready for a rigorous evaluation, and their rigorous evaluation would be ready to start within the first three months of the project period. (FOA, p. 9)

What does OPA mean when it says that projects are expected to “meaningfully contribute”?

It is up to the applicant to describe how their project will meaningfully contribute to improving optimal health, preventing teen pregnancy, and reducing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The information applicants are asked to include in their application to describe the contribution of the project is included on pages 24-25 of the FOA and the criteria that the reviewers will use to assess merit, contribution, and evidence is on page 50 of the FOA.  

What is optimal health?

Optimal health is a dynamic balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be facilitated through a combination of learning experiences that enhance awareness, increase motivation, and build skills and, most important, through the creation of opportunities that open access to environments that make positive health practices the easiest choice. (FOA, p. 73)

What types of interventions can we implement using an optimal health approach?

The optimal health model can be applied to a broad range of programs proven effective at preventing teen pregnancy and associated risk behaviors, including positive youth development, sex education, abstinence education, and programs designed for diverse populations and settings. (FOA, p.7)

Do I have to have a control group in my evaluation?

OPA expects that all studies will have a counterfactual, and there will be baseline equivalency between the intervention group and the counterfactual. Additionally, it is expected for the treatment and counterfactual groups to be different enough to allow for a meaningful test. (FOA, p. 14)

Is only an RCT considered a rigorous evaluation?

For this FOA, rigorous evaluations can include either a randomized control trial (RCT) or a quasi-experimental design (QED) with counterfactual condition, and should be the most robust possible design that is feasible for the intervention. (FOA, p. 13)

What is considered a reasonable sample size?

Applicants are expected to propose a sample size for their project that can detect impacts and account for attrition or other potential loss of data. Evaluation designs are expected to be sufficiently powered to detect impacts on the primary research questions (80 percent change of being statistically significant at the p<.05 level). (FOA, pp. 12, 14)

Can the evaluator on this grant work for my organization?

Evaluation staff are expected to not have a perceived or actual conflict of interest and to remain independent from the intervention. (FOA, pp. 15, 54)

Do we have to Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to applying for funding?

Applicants are expected to have IRB approval or a waiver by the start of the project period and be ready to begin their evaluation immediately upon receipt of funding. (FOA, p. 12)

How will OPA assess and define fidelity? Or will the grantee have the options to create its own definition based on the type of intervention?

Tier 2 Phase 2 applicants are expected to demonstrate that they can conduct a high-quality implementation: “It is expected that during the project, the awardee will conduct high-quality implementation of the intervention, including but not limited to: maintaining fidelity, quality assurance, high dosage, intervention saturation, appropriate materials, staff coordination and management, qualified facilitators, participant engagement and satisfaction, and stakeholder support.” (FOA, pp. 12-13)

Is the applicant/grantee allow to adapt the performance measures to meet the unique needs of digital interventions?

Yes. And, all {Tier 2 Phase 2} recipients are expected to collect a common set of performance measures to assess project implementation and use measures for monitoring and improving. See Appendix C for a draft set of performance measures (subject to change) (p. 16). Final performance measures will be provided to recipients during the first six months of funding.” (FOA, pp. 65-66)

What level of details should the applicant include as it relates to implementation when the propose intervention is a self-led, technology-based intervention?

Intervention implementation is integration throughout the FOA. Regardless of the type of intervention, it is up to the applicant to determine the level of details.

How OPA expects applicants proposing the implementation of self-led interventions to define stakeholders?

Stakeholders are integrated throughout the FOA. Regardless of the intervention type, it is up to the applicant to define stakeholders.

Will OPA consider it acceptable to propose the implementation of a translated intervention which was previously implemented in a different language?

Applicants are to propose and justify the intervention selected. The FOA states: Interventions supported by this funding are expected to be innovative and already have compelling, positive preliminary evidence from their formative evaluation, including effects on target outcomes. The intervention should also have widespread support from participants and stakeholders and be a good fit for the target population and setting. In order to make a meaningful contribution, interventions evaluated under this funding are expected to have the potential to scale and be replicated by others. Applicants should demonstrate the potential for scale of the intervention upon project completion. (FOA, p. 10).

Budget Questions

How much funding can I request for my evaluator?

The FOA does not provide any limits for how much funding can be requested for the evaluator. Guidance for preparing the budget narrative can be found on pages 30-40 of the FOA.

Do applicants need to submit a budget narrative for all three years of the grant in the application, or just for the first year of the grant?

The FOA states that applicants should provide a budget justification, which includes explanatory text and line-item detail, for the first year of the proposed project. For subsequent budget years, applicants should provide a summary narrative and line item budget. For categories or items that differ significantly from the first budget year, provide a detailed justification explaining these changes. Note, do not include costs beyond the first budget year in the object class budget in box 6 of the SF- 424A or box 18 of the SF-424; the amounts entered in these sections should only reflect the first budget year. As a reminder, the Budget Narrative does not count toward your total application page limit. (FOA, pp. 30-31)

In the FOA regarding the budget, it indicates that the budget narrative should “Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.” Do we have to show reasonableness for all costs or is reasonableness for higher priced items, computers, equipment, capital costs, etc.? Can you provide an example? To what extent to we have to show necessity for costs in the budget narrative? How should be indicate the necessity of items requested in the budget? Can you provide an example?

Your budget narrative should discuss the necessity, reasonableness and allocation, for all cost included with the submitted budget and not just for higher priced items. While preparing the budget narrative portion of your application for submission, please continue to review the budget narrative guidance of the FOA pages 30-40. To further assist, please review the guidance provided starting on page 32 of the FOA under Object Class Description and Required Justification. When completing each cost category of the budget narrative such as Personnel, Fringe, Supplies, Equipment … etc., follow the descriptions under each category for assistance with writing the needed justification to support the each cost.

Can you please confirm that the budget narrative will not count towards the total page limit for the application?

The Project Narrative, and total application including appendices, must adhere to the page limit indicated in Application Disqualification Criteria listed in Section C (Project Narrative must not exceed 50 pages and the total application including narrative and appendices must not exceed 100 pages total). The page limit does not include the Budget Narrative (including budget tables), required forms, assurances, and certifications as described in the Application Disqualification Criteria. (FOA, pp. 21-22)

Can we use subcontractor from other countries (outside the USA)? and Can we use foreign consultants?

If the applicant proposes to use either a subcontractor from other countries (outside the USA) or a foreign consultants, they must be able to meet the following as referenced in the FOA:

As specified on page 53 of the FOA, “Should you successfully compete and receive an
award, all first-tier sub-award recipients must have a DUNS number at the time you, the recipient, make a sub-award.”

Also, as specified on page 74 of the FOA, all sub-recipients must be able to meet the requirements associated with the FFATA and FSRS Reporting - The Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requires data entry at the FFATA Subaward Reporting System (http://www.FSRS.gov) for all sub-awards and sub-contracts issued for $25,000 or more as well as addressing executive compensation for both recipient and sub-award organizations.

*These entities are to be registered to have a DUNS # or for FFATA reporting to occur.

Content created by Office of Population Affairs
Content last reviewed on April 7, 2020