The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Development, Security, and Cooperation
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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL


How many awards will be made to U.S. partners through this program?
PEER/Liberia expects to fund one successful application. This application may consist of a single university/medical school OR a consortia of universities with one serving as the lead institution.

Can I (as the U.S. applicant) reach out to AMD and LCPS to discuss my application?
No. Please contact PEER@nas.edu if you have any questions.

When will funding decisions be communicated to U.S. applicants?
Funding decisions will be announced in October 2017.

What is the award period?
October 2017 to April 30, 2021.

I am familiar with the structure of the main PEER program. How does the structure of the PEER/Liberia program differ?
The PEER/Liberia program will provide funding to partner U.S. institution(s), which is different from the main PEER program in which funds are only granted to the developing country institutions. PEER/Liberia also has an emphasis on medical education and capacity building. This differs from the main PEER program which is traditionally focused on addressing specific research topics.

There are a number of thematic priorities listed in the RFA. Are any higher priority than others?
All three thematic priorities (family medicine, infectious disease, and ophthalmology) are equally important and all three must be addressed.

Does the program favor U.S. universities who already have connections with Liberian institutions or medical centers?
Competitive applicants to the PEER/Liberia program will likely demonstrate experience working in low resource settings on medical education and capacity strengthening activities.

Are the objectives set by the host-country institutions in Liberia? Are these examples to help us shape our proposal, or does USAID hope all proposals will address these objectives?
PEER/Liberia objectives were developed in collaboration with host-country counterparts. All objectives outlined in the RFA should be addressed in the applicant’s proposal. Applicants should describe how they will work collaboratively with AMD and LCPS to achieve the goals, objectives and outcomes identified for the PEER/Liberia Program. Each application should describe anticipated outputs of proposed partnership activities and explain how these outputs would contribute to the achievement of the partnership’s objectives and expected outcomes as outlined in the RFA. Applicants are encouraged to draw from their expertise and knowledge to propose additional outputs and associated activities through which the partnership objectives and outcomes may be achieved.

Would it be appropriate to involve the Liberian diaspora community in the United States?
Applicants are free to propose any partnerships they feel are relevant to the objectives specified in the RFA.


ELIGIBILITY


Can a single institution apply to PEER/Liberia?
Yes. Single institution applications are allowed under the PEER/Liberia Program. A single institution application will only require one budget since all funds would be sent to that institution.

Can proposals include more than one U.S institution?
Yes, consortia models including multiple U.S. institutions are allowed. However, applications must be submitted by ONE regionally accredited, degree-granting, U.S. higher education institution that will serve as the lead.

Will you accept multiple applications to this program from a single institution or do we need to prepare for an internal competition?
We cannot accept competing applications from the same institution. Because of the cross-cutting theme of this initiative, we encourage collaboration among multiple departments as necessary.

I am at a large university; I am not sure how to figure out if other departments/faculty will be submitting a proposal.
We encourage you to contact the office of sponsored programs or sponsored research concerning the process at your institution. If your institution does not have a process for the review of applications for external funding, we suggest that you contact your dean, provost or vice president for guidance.

Are American universities and medical schools that are physically located outside the U.S. still eligible to apply?
No, applicant institutions must be physically located within the United States and/or its territories.


BUDGET


Can you please clarify the budget structure of the award?
A total of $2 million in award funding is available for U.S. university/medical school applicants. In addition, the Liberian institutions, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine (AMD) and the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS), will be awarded a total $2 million. The successful U.S. grantee(s) will work closely with AMD and LCPS to leverage these funds for maximum impact.

Which costs are NOT allowable under the program?
The following budget requests are not allowed:
  • Costs for the construction of new buildings or the repair, renovation, or refurbishment of existing buildings
  • Contingency costs
  • Customs duties, as normally awards supported with USAID funds are exempt from duties in countries receiving U.S. assistance. If the items to be bought will not be exempt from such duties, funds to pay these charges must come from other non-PEER/Liberia sources.
Can funds be used to address infrastructure and technical needs at the universities?
Funding for infrastructure is not allowed, but funding for equipment could be considered depending on the application. Applicants should familiarize themselves with federal regulations and the USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) regarding equipment approval, procurement and disposal mechanisms. The National Academies advises that applicants consider whether such allocation of funding is critical to achieving the program objectives as human capacity building is a major component.

Is financial support for this partnership only for universities, or are NGOs also included?
Funding at the prime level is for eligible U.S. higher education institutions only. NGOs are not eligible to apply for this award as the prime recipient. Limited funding for NGOs may be authorized as sub-subawardees, providing the role of the NGO is in line with stated PEER/Liberia objectives.


IN-COUNTRY CONSIDERATIONS


Should all work be done in Liberia or could participants be brought to the United States for a summer institute?
While some travel or training in the U.S. may be necessary, applicants are strongly encouraged to develop activities that take place in Liberia that will lead to the development of sustainable training programs.

What is the academic calendar in Liberia?
AMD operates on a two-semester academic system. The academic year runs from mid-September to late June. The academic year at LCPS for incoming residents starts in July.

Do you envision opportunities to work with already established programs at AMD, LCPS, or associated teaching hospitals?
Yes. The purpose of the RFA is to establish a partnership between U.S. institutions with the AMD and LCPS for capacity building. Applicants are encouraged to propose and to leverage other existing in-country programs, such as The Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL).

Are AMD and LCPS open to online education partnerships, or are they specifically interested in having teachers on the ground in Liberia during the partnership?
Yes, there is interest from both AMD and LCPS for distance learning applications, however connectivity in Liberia is limited. The development of this infrastructure is possible in coming years. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the use of e-Learning platforms to further teaching objectives, instruction, and collaboration between AMD, LCPS and the U.S. The practicality of proposed distance learning applications will be clarified at the work-planning stage.

Is there an established placement/admissions test for entering AMD and LCPS?
Students seeking to enroll at AMD must first complete an entrance examination. LCPS also has an examination that must first be completed and passed before students can be admitted to their chosen residency program.



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