Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. We received a request a few weeks ago from an organization that was unable to submit their proposal by the proposal deadline to the Climate Program Office.
A. The standard that our office advises to apply in this case is whether there was agency mishandling of the application. That is a fairly high bar to overcome and not usually met if the applicant has failed to take the administrative steps necessary to submit through Grant.gov. GMD has a contact person responsible for dealing with Grants.gov. We suggest that you talk with them about this question. We’ll be happy to talk about this further with you, if you wish.
Is the letter of intent (LOI) mandatory? Can I submit a full proposal/application, even if I never submitted a LOI.
A. The LOI process is not a mandatory process. Therefore, you are still eligible to submit a full application. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us.
Q. Two questions: what is the limit (5%? 10%?) below which the PI does not have to submit an official request for reprogramming via Grants Online? And if part of the project will be carried out abroad, including foreign travel, does this situation require an official approval?
A. Any reprogram or re- budget, which is budget revision requires pre-approval when the cumulative transfers among direct cost categories exceed 10% of the total Federal and non-Federal funds authorized by the Grants Officer and the Federal share is greater than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (currently $150,000). Also, yes, the Foreign travel requires approval under the Fly America Act; Each non-Federal entity shall comply with the provisions of the Fly America Act.
Q. Where should unused funds be sent after a project is over?
A. Please send any unused funds (include the grant number in the memo on the check to:
NOAA Finance Office
20020 Century Blvd,
Germantown, MD 20874
Q. What would it mean for CPC, for example, to request an NCE on a project? Would that mean that CPC would have to send the funds back at the end of the relevant FY, we'd have to carry them over, and then we'd send them back at the beginning of the next FY?
A. A no cost extension (NCE) for a lab or center means that the PI would request in writing that he or she would like to extend the project for an additional time period to complete a project. The extension is generally for one year. No funds are turned to the original office. The justification should be submitted to the FPO by email and added to the jacket. The FPO would approve or deny the request. There is no NOAA internal procedure in place for a NCE, therefore, this is internal procedure that we have put in place is to cover CPO FPO's. There is a DOC/NOAA internal process for NCE's in grants online.
Q. As the Federal Investigator Lead PI we will submit our proposal via email to the program manager. Do our (non-federal) Co-PIs submit their identical proposal (w/their budget) to the program manager too, or do they submit their proposal via grants.gov?
A. Your non-federal Co-PIs will need to submit their proposal via grants.gov, which will include filling out all the required federal forms (which feds don't need to complete).
Q. If our lead PI proposal is accepted, how do our (non-federal) Co-PIs receive funding? Will the funds received by the federal agency via an interagency transfer include the funds for the Co-PI, or will NOAA fund them directly via a grant?
A. Your non-federal Co-PIs will receive funding directly to their institution's grant office. The funding for Feds will not include the non-Fed funding. The money for the Fed will be sent via interagency transfer as where the non-fed will receive their funding separately.
Q. For our Co-PI (federal) submission, do we submit our identical proposal (of the Lead PI) to the program manager or do we submit it through grants.gov?
A. For the Fed Co-PI, the proposal should be emailed directly to the program manager. Only non-feds submit via grants.gov.
Q. Are we able to request an exemption to the page limit, if we have multiple principal investigators? The CV pages, and current and pending support alone will take us over the limit.
A. No, you do have to observe the page limits to comply with the FFO. The rules in the FFO are legally reviewed and approved, so we have to follow them. Our recommendation for the CVs and C+P is that those materials should be (a) shortened, and (b) provided only for individuals receiving funding or who have core roles in the project. For C+P, only relevant (as opposed to all) projects should be listed. These two recommendations should help you dramatically shorten those sections. You may also be able to shorten other sections, such as the budget justification/narrative.
Q. I have three co Principle Investigators and I am wondering if that fulfills the requirement of 'For full applications with three or more Principal Investigators, the page limit is 40 pages.’ Or should I still keep my proposal to 35 pages.
A. Stick with the 35 page limit since they are Co-PIs and not PIs.
Q. Do the Results from Prior Research just cover awards from NOAA as opposed to all awards from Federal and other sources?
A. Yes. Just the results from NOAA funded awards should be included.
Q. For the Project Narrative do we upload the Project Narrative under ‘Project Narrative’ and all other non-budget docs (title page, abstract, results from prior, vitae, CPS, Figures, references, sharing plan, & diversity statement) as individual pdfs under ‘additional documents’? Or do we combine them all into one pdf called “project narrative” and upload the one pdf under ‘project narrative’?
A.Please include all the non-budget items into the “Project Narrative” as one PDF document. The “Budget Narrative” should include the budget table and the narrative.
Q. Is it acceptable to embed the figures within the narrative, instead of including them at the end?
A. Yes, it’s acceptable to embed the figures within the narrative, even if it makes the total page count a bit longer. It can be your preference if you want them at the end or within the proposal.
Q. A PI would like to offer gift cards valued between $50-$100 to incentivize local citizens to participate in data collection. Is this allowable?
A.Purchasing gift cards to use as incentives for participants is allowable, as long as it passes the reasonability test. (The UG doesn't prohibit this as an unallowable cost and doesn't require agency prior approval.) In this case it sounds like the incentives are going to increase the participation rate in their social research project, so the incentives would be contributing to the success of the project.