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Frequently Asked Questions

Additional questions will be added as received in the program mailbox, peer@nas.edu.


GENERAL


Where can I find a complete copy of the Request for Application for this program?
Please click this link to download a PDF version of the RFA.

How many awards will be made through this program?
PEER expects to fund two proposals resulting from this Request for Applications--one for a project involving work with Malawi and one with Mozambique.

Can PEER put me into contact with potential partners in Malawi and Mozambique?
No. Interested applicants in the United States and Africa must create their own partnerships and work together on their joint proposals.

When will funding decisions be communicated to applicants?
Funding decisions will be announced in February 2019.

What is the award period?
March 2019 to September 2021.

I am familiar with the structure of the main PEER program. How does the structure of the PEER/Cervical Cancer program differ?
The PEER/Cervical Cancer program will also provide funding to both U.S. partner institutions and those based in Malawi and Mozambique. In the main PEER program, funds are only granted to the developing country-based institutions. PEER/Cervical Cancer also has an emphasis on service delivery as well as implementation research. This differs from the main PEER program, which is traditionally focused only on research and capacity building.

Does the program favor U.S. universities that already have connections with partner institutions in Malawi or Mozambique?
To be eligible to apply, a U.S. institution must have a current history of working in Mozambique and/or Malawi, or demonstrate a substantial understanding of implementing CCS&PT and voluntary family planning programming in the region and demonstrate a partnership capable of rapid implementation in the partner country.

I am based at a foreign NGO, and I understand that in order to receive funding from PEER we must comply with the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, which requires that in order to receive funding foreign NGOs must agree that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Where could I find more information about that policy and compliance issues?
Further information is available on the USAID website. You can also take a free 1.5-hour online training course through the Global Health eLearning Center.

Are references included in the 25-page limit for the Program Description portion of the proposal?
Yes.


ELIGIBILITY


Can a single institution apply to PEER/Cervical Cancer?
No. Proposals must be submitted by a partnership involving a U.S. institution, an institution in Malawi or Mozambique, and an implementing partner institution (subawardee) with experience with service delivery that have demonstrated capacity to support integrated family planning and CCS&PT in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa, preferably in diverse regions of Malawi or Mozambique.

Can proposals include more than one U.S institution?
Yes, consortia models including multiple U.S. institutions are allowed. However, applications must identify the one that will serve as lead U.S. partner institution.

My U.S. institution does not receive any research funding from HHS/NIH. Am I still eligible to apply?
No. U.S organizations that do not receive HHS/NIH funding for research can be part of the application as sub-partners of the primary partner applicants, but they cannot serve as primary partner applicants themselves.

I am based at a U.S. NGO, not a university. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, but U.S. NGOs applying as a prime partner are encouraged to include U.S. academic institutions as partners that can assist in building capacity and stronger technical collaborations with partner country academic institutions.

My institution is not based in the United States, Malawi, or Mozambique. Am I eligible to apply?
No. This request for applications is seeking two prime partners for each award, one U.S.-based and one Malawi- or Mozambique-based. For non-U.S. partners who wish to apply for this award, your organization must be based in, or have an existing affiliated office in either Malawi or Mozambique. For non-U.S. partners who do not currently operate in Malawi or Mozambique, we encourage you to reach out to organizations that meet this requirement to form joint applications where the in-country partner would be considered eligible to be a prime recipient of these funds.

I am based at a U.S. institution with relevant partners in both Malawi and Mozambique. Can I submit a single proposal for a project to be carried out in both countries?
You would be welcome to submit two separate proposals, one for Malawi and one for Mozambique. Each must be a complete joint application with a local partner, as required under program’s eligibility guidelines. We could not accept one comprehensive proposal for a project involving work in both countries.


BUDGET


Can you please clarify the budget structure of the award?
It is anticipated that one project will be funded in Malawi and one in Mozambique, with $5.1 million in award funding available for each. For each project, at least 70% of the total budget of the two prime partners combined should be allocated to strengthening implementation of CCS&PT integrated within voluntary family planning, and the introduction of new technologies for CCS&PT. Up to 30% of the budget can include costs specific to conducting, analyzing, and disseminating the embedded implementation research, including engaging stakeholders throughout the research-to-use process and ensuring findings are incorporated into policies and programs in real-time.

With regard to the 10% cost share requirement for the U.S. institution's budget, much of our U.S. institution budget will be comprised of purchasing equipment and supplies (HPV-DNA testing Machines, ablation equipment, etc) that will be used for service delivery in country. Should we consider such equipment and supply costs as part of the US institution budget even if they are purchased for health facilities in country? 
Portions of the budget for commodities and equipment procured by the US-institution for service delivery activities in country does not have a cost-share requirement. Although not required, one method to increase overall cost share may include reductions in procurement costs due to discounts negotiated or donations from private sector partners.

Which costs are NOT allowable under the program?
In addition to the standard unallowable costs for U.S. Government funds, we would like to highlight that 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?
Where possible, projects should leverage existing durable equipment and infrastructure. However, proposals for the purchase of equipment required for research, training, and service delivery are allowed. Costs for new technologies related to HPV testing and the ablation of precancerous cervical lesions, including machines and ablation devices can be a substantial part of the budget (up to 25%) if this is needed for implementation (costs of associated reagents should be included in the materials and supplies line of the Other Direct Costs section of the budget). Cost of instruments for histopathologic sampling; sample media; sample transport; and costs of training and lab upfitting for cytology and/or histopathology testing may also be included, but should not exceed more than 5% of the budget, though partners could include additional pathology-related costs as part of cost share.

On which side of the budget--U.S. or African--should I include the expected costs of purchasing and shipping equipment, reagents, and supplies?
If it would be most cost effective for the U.S. primary partner institution to buy the items, perhaps with bulk discounts negotiated or already in place with its suppliers, then include those costs on the U.S. side of the budget. Items that could be easily and more efficiently purchased in Malawi or Mozambique, such as standard office supplies, basic reagents, or computers, should be included on the African side of the budget.

Can the National Academies arrange for the purchase of the equipment and supplies needed on the project?
No. The partner institutions involved are expected to work out all the details for purchase and delivery of the items and handle the procurement using the funds to be provided to them under this program.


IN-COUNTRY CONSIDERATIONS


Should all work be done in Malawi and Mozambique or could participants be brought to the United States for training?
While some travel or training in the United States may be necessary, applicants are strongly encouraged to develop activities that primarily take place in Malawi or Mozambique, particularly in view of the fact that at least 70% of the total budget of the two prime partners combined should be allocated to service delivery designed to strengthen implementation of CCS&PT integrated within voluntary family planning and the introduction of new technologies for CCS&PT.
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