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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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Building Capacity for Science Communication
Partnership Awards

Questions & Answers

Below are responses to questions we have received about the Partnership Awards RFA. We are no longer accepting additional questions. We will post all remaining responses on the same webpage by June 24th.

Q: Are non-US residents eligible to apply for a grant?
A: Non-U.S. residents may apply for this award. Please be aware that there may be additional tax implications for non-U.S. residents who are in the U.S. on an eligible visa.

Q: Is this funding opportunity available on a regular basis (e.g., annually?)
A: There are no current plans for this to be available on an annual basis.

Q: I realize the brief report is due 12/1/20. Does this mean we should not propose collaboration activities beyond this date, or is it possible to do so as long as the primary activities will have been completed by that time? I'm wondering if a multi-year study is possible, and if it is, is there a specific milestone you're expecting all projects to meet by the final report date (e.g., all funds spent)?
A: 
We invite multi-year projects, but expect that the applicants will propose a scope of work that will significantly advance the partnership/project during the project period. The brief report due on 12/1/20 will detail the progress made during the grant period and how the allocated funds were used to support the work carried out.

Q: Can individual investigators or organizations be affiliated with two separate submitted proposals if the content and partnership groups are substantively different?
A: We encourage the formation of new, diverse partnerships and would be pleased to review two separate proposals if the content and partnership groups are substantively different. However, the available funds for this grant program are limited and we expect that many proposals will be received in response to this call. In addition, we expect partnerships to make significant progress during the relatively short grant period. Therefore, awarding support to two proposals with overlapping personnel is unlikely.

Q: Is email an acceptable format for letters of agreement from partners?
A: Emails are acceptable as long as the role of the partners are clearly defined and the partners agree to the terms of their submitted proposal.

Q: Is there a standard format of CVs your organization would prefer (e.g., NSF, NIH or)?
A: There is no standard format for CVs required.

Q: What is the maximum percentage of indirect costs that are allowed? Are there more specific guidelines for budget spending categories? For example, some RFA will state that the budget can't be used for faculty salary supplements.
A: Applicant organizations should use the indirect cost rates specified in their institutional negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). In the absence of a NICRA, non-Federal applicant organizations may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). We do not have any budget category restrictions.

Q: Are applied researchers working outside of academic settings eligible as researchers to apply for partnership awards?
A: Applied researchers are eligible to apply for the partnership awards.

Q: Does the proposal have to be formatted a certain way (letterhead) or is an email sufficient?
A:
Emails are acceptable as long as the role of the partners are clearly defined and the partners agree to the terms of their submitted proposal.

Q: Can someone call us to discuss the award?
A:
We are only able to answer questions that you pose in writing, so that, for fairness, we can make any guidance we are able to provide to you available to other applicants (in de-identified form) on our website. Please email us your question, and we will do our best to provide guidance that will help you determine which competition is appropriate for your submission.

Q: Does NAS have budget requirements? For example, when applying for other federal grants, there are caps for salary, rules for spending, etc. that are normally required. Does NAS have similar restrictions?
A:
We do not have any budget category restrictions.

Q: What can be included in addition to the 3000 word proposal? –i.e., budget and budget justification, appendix with published articles, etc.
A:
You may submit supplemental materials with your proposal for the partnership award. However, the merits of each proposal will be judged based on the content provided within the specified page limits. Supplemental materials submitted to provide illustrations may be consulted at the discretion of the reviewers, however, they may not be used as a means to expand the content of the proposal.

Q: Budget: are there requirements or preferences for matching funds from our respective organizations?
A:
There are no requirements or preferences for matching funds from the organizations of the partners submitting the proposal.

Q: For the Catalyst awards, are there any requirements regarding what the final outcome of such a phase of project or partnership development should be? I presume a 'preliminary project plan' must be produced by the end of the grant period? Are grantees then expected to apply for the Partnership Support awards?
A:
Yes, a preliminary project plan must be produced at the end of the grant period. The intent of the Catalyst Awards is to facilitate future work by the partners involved, including preparing them to submit applications to funding agencies that would support that work. However, there is no expectation that grantees would subsequently apply for the Partnership Support awards, should they be offered in future years.


Q: Can we apply either for the Catalyst Award or for the Partnership Award - -or is it okay to apply for both awards at the same time?
A: Sets of partners proposing work together should apply for either the catalyst award or the partnership award. We would be pleased to review two separate proposals if the content and partnership groups are substantively different. However, the available funds for this grant program are limited and we expect that many proposals will be received in response to this call. In addition, we expect partnerships to make significant progress during the relatively short grant period. Therefore, awarding support to two proposals with overlapping personnel is unlikely.

Q: When applying for other federal grants, there are caps for salary, rules for spending, etc. that are normally required. Does NAS have similar restrictions?
A: Applicant organizations should use the indirect cost rates specified in their institutional negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). In the absence of a NICRA, non-Federal applicant organizations may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). We do not have any budget category restrictions.

Q: Is there any specific language that needs to be included in letters of cooperation from partner organizations?
A: In the letters, the role of the partners should be clearly defined and the partners must agree to the terms of their submitted proposal. Letters from supervisors that meet these terms would be sufficient.

Q: Are there requirements or preferences for matching funds from our respective organizations?
A: There are no requirements for matching funds.

Q: For the Catalyst awards, are there any requirements regarding what the final outcome of such a phase of project or partnership development should be? Are grantees then expected to apply for the Partnership Support awards?
A: Yes, a preliminary project plan must be produced at the end of the grant period. The intent of the Catalyst Awards is to facilitate future work by the partners involved, including preparing them to submit applications to funding agencies that would support that work. However, there is no expectation that grantees would subsequently apply for the Partnership Support awards, should they be offered in future years.

Q: Does the $50,000/$12,000 award amount include indirect costs or are the indirect costs added on top of these limits?
A: The award amounts would include indirect costs.

Q: Is there a prescribed budget template to use?
A: There is not a prescribed budget template.

Q: Is there written guidance you can point me to that describe the NAS award rules relating to issues like overhead, required legal status of awardee e.g. university, nonprofit etc, and any budget format?
A: We do not have a prescribed budget format. Regarding overhead, applicant organizations should use the indirect cost rates specified in their institutional negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). In the absence of a NICRA, non-Federal applicant organizations may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). We do not have any budget category restrictions. We have no restrictions on the type of organizations through which we award grants. We only make grants to organizations, and not to individuals.

Q: Does the Catalyst award follow the same timeline (18 months) that the Partnership Support award?
A: Yes, the catalytic awards follow the same timeline as the Partnership Awards.

Q: Is the detailed budget within the word limit or as an addendum?
A:
The budget is in addition to the word limit of the proposal.

Q: Are you able to provide a level effort expected for the investigator team on the partnership award ($12 total with indirect costs)?
A:
We are not able to provide any guidance about level of effort.

Q: Is there a preferred CV format? For instance, would a summary CV be acceptable, or are you more interested in a complete history?
A:
We do not have a preferred format for CVs, and you may send either a summary CV or a full CV.

Q: My organization will be submitting a Catalyst award application, and one of our potential collaborators has informed us that they are separately doing the same. Is there any opinion for or against doing this within the review criteria?
A:
We encourage the formation of new, diverse partnerships and would be pleased to review two separate proposals if the content and partnership groups are substantively different.

Q: Can applicants apply for the Catalyst Award or for the Partnership Award - -or is it okay to apply for both awards at the same time?
A:
It would not be disqualifying to be the submitting applicant on multiple applications with different partners.

Q: Are either/any of the partners eligible to serve as PI on the grant?
A:
We leave the choice of who serves as PI to the applicants. Both collaborators are eligible to serve as PI. The proposal should address the partners’ roles in the project, as well as their relevant experience and expertise for this effort.







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