AdSci FY2023 NOFO
Frequently Asked Questions and Reminders

Please note that there have been some recent changes made to the NOFO (most updated version is dated 12/12/2022 on grants.gov). Make sure you have the most recent version downloaded and reviewed before submitting an application.

General Questions

What is the competition ID number for the AdSci competition?

NOAA-OAR-CPO-2023-2007539

Webinars

Competition Information Session - View Video | PDF Presentation
Submitting a Full Proposal

Letter of Intent Information Session - View Video | PDF Presentation
Submitting a Letter of Intent

How are full proposals submitted?

Full proposals must be submitted via grants.gov or received by mail by the due date (January 31, 2023 by 5:00 pm Eastern Time). Please see the NOFO for the mailing address if needed. Emailed applications will not be accepted.

In addition to the NOFO, where can I find additional information about this competition?

Please see the FY2023 Adaptation Sciences Information Sheet.

Will you hold information sessions?

Yes. We have held two information sessions; one focused on the Letter of Intent (LOI) phase and one focused on submitting full proposals. You may view the recordings and slides from these sessions below. FAQs will be updated throughout the process.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

Competition Information Session | View the recording
Submitting a Full Proposal

Will I be able to propose specific ideas and get feedback during these information sessions?

No. These information sessions will focus on the overall NOFO focus and process. However, you can ask questions about these issues. The Letter of Intent process is intended to provide feedback to potential applicants on project concepts (see below).

What should I do from an administrative perspective in preparation for submitting a proposal?

Potential applicants should read and address the requirements outlined in Section IV C of the NOFO (Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management/SAM). These steps can take time, so please make sure you are registered and your accounts are up-to-date in advance of the submission deadline.

Letters of Intent (LOI)

How do I submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)?

Letters of intent are encouraged but not required. LOIs should be submitted via email to the Competition Program Manager, Lisa Farrow Vaughan at lisa.vaughan@noaa.govby October 31, 2022 by 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Is there any way we can submit a LOI if we miss the deadline?

Once the LOI deadline has passed, LOIs cannot be submitted.

Can we submit a proposal despite not having submitted an LOI?

While LOIs are strongly encouraged, they are not a requirement, so you can still submit a proposal without going through the LOI stage.

Should the approximate project cost included in the LOI include a detailed breakdown, or just a total cost?

For the LOI, an approximate total project cost is sufficient. For the full proposal, all relevant budget breakdowns and documents (please see the NOFO for full details)

We understand that the LOI should be no more than two pages in length. Will a cover page and preliminary budget information sheet be counted as the two pages limitation?

The LOI should not have a cover/title page. The instructions for and information that needs to be included in the LOI is listed in the NOFO in section IV, B, 1.: Letters of Intent.

When can I expect to hear back from NOAA about my LOI?

A response to the LOI from the Competition Manager (e-mail or letter) will be sent to the lead investigator within four weeks after the LOI’s due date either encouraging or discouraging a full application based on its relevance to the targeted competition. It is then entirely up to the investigator whether to submit a full application.

Do we need the unique identifier # and other info to submit the LOI?

No. Those elements are required for full proposals only. The LOI is a two page document sent via email with the components listed in the NOFO.

What does "competition name" mean in the LOI?

The competition name is the FY2023 Adaptation Sciences Island Resilience Competition (this language is included in the NOFO because some NOFOs include multiple competitions, however, there is only one competition in the FY2023 AdSci NOFO).

Geography

Will you fund more than one project per island and/or region?

We cannot reliably anticipate what kind of proposals we will receive and what kind of recommendations we will receive during the review process, so the number of proposals funded in any given geographical area will depend on the panel recommendations. The NOFO explains selection factors (including geography) in greater detail.

The NOFO identifies the Caribbean as a region, but then lists islands. Is this opportunity limited to those specific islands or are others in that region also candidates?

This particular competition is limited to islands identified in the NOFO.

Can proposals focus on islands within only either Region A or Region B, or must they include islands in both?

Projects can focus on any of the islands listed; they can focus on one island, or any combinations (e.g., applicants can include islands from both categories in their proposal but may wish to take into consideration the impact on project costs for items like travel).

As far as geographic focus- if we are to include Belize in our proposal (not an island, but included in the region A list), would that fit into the parameters of the competition?

Yes. While Belize is listed, think about it from potentially a coastal perspective, or how coastal/inland links together. The focus of competition should be on island centric issues and priorities.

Can there be a component of research focused on global/international scale, and other component(s) honing research in on Region A/B countries as in-depth case studies of wider adaptation issue e.g. mainstreaming nature-based solutions?

Yes. We encourage applicants to make sure methodology is detailed and clear.

Is there a preference for projects that work in more than one of the listed countries?

No, this competition focused on collaboration more generally, but there is no preference for multi-country projects.

Do proposals have to include an international partner/case study? Or can they only focus on one domestic context (e.g. Hawaii)?

Proposals/projects can focus on one island within U.S. jurisdiction, but we do want to encourage regional distribution of projects. When putting together proposals, consider island context and how your project will contribute and have implications for this island focus.

Investigators

Are applicants allowed to change/add investigators and/or institutions to the proposed project after submitting an LOI?

Yes, after the LOI stage, you may still add or take out investigators or institutions, given the short turnaround time between the publication of the NOFO and the LOI due date.

Can a person be a PI on more than one proposal?

Yes, but it is important to articulate how one will be positioned to handle the work associated with that commitment and what the role is of the investigator that warrants being on more than one proposal.

Can a non-profit organization serve as a lead institution or sub-awardee?

Yes.

Can non-US based PIs serve as the lead and/or Co-PIs on these projects?

Yes.

Will you accept non-academics as PIs on proposals?

Yes.

Is the competition open to PIs from for-profit enterprises? Can a for-profit enterprise lead the project?

Yes, for-profit entities can apply. However, the Department of Commerce Grants Manual states that commercial organizations are not permitted to make a profit on awards unless there is a specific statute that allows it. If the program manager believes there is a statute that allows for profit-making in this specific case, they should consult FALD (legal). The exact language stated in the manual (which can be found in Chapter 9.D.6, page 50) is:

Profit or Fee. Fee or profit or other increment above cost may not be paid on Department of Commerce financial assistance awards unless there is statutory authorization to do so. Requests for fee or profit by recipients of any type should be referred to FALD for review. Conference fees to cover allowable costs, such as meals (excluding entertainment and alcohol) or room space and materials, are considered program income and not fees. Program income is allowable. Recipients should refer to the guidance for program income in item 7 below.

In the case of the AdSci FY2023 competition, there is no applicable statute that allows for profit-making.

Is a U.S. federal agency, center or laboratory eligible to participate in these research projects?

Federal agencies or institutions are not eligible to receive Federal assistance under this notice, but may be identified as partners in the proposals (with their own resources).

Does a proposing institution have to be located in the region of the project?

No, but proposals should demonstrate existing partnerships (or those that can be effectively developed and implemented in a two year period) and a method for engaging and involving local, national or regional institiutions that will facilitate the work and ensure longer term impact beyond the two year project.

Can two universities from two different eligible regions submit a joint proposal, without involving any US Based universities?

Yes. Entities that have not received funding from NOAA in the past should pay careful attention to the processes outlined in the NOFO (e.g., SAM and EIN registration).

Can universities and academic groups submit proposals?

Yes.

Budget / Funding

Are there any cost-sharing requirements?

Matching funds and cost-sharing are not required. However, leveraging and in kind sharing of resources should be reported within the proposal.

Matching funds are not required. But it will be allowed. Is that correct?

You are allowed to have matching funds provided. However, matching funds are not required.

How many projects will be funded?

The number of projects will be based on submissions and available funding.

Can applicants include a small /honorarium based on the days of participation to be paid to stakeholders who will participate in the team's workshops? Would these be considered as participant costs in the proposal?

Yes. Applicants can include a small stipend (Participant Support Cost) for participants in connections to a conference/Workshop/training). BUT ONLY If the participants are considered essential in completing the objective of the project. Make sure in the budget justification that they detail why the participants are there and how valuable their input is during the workshop. Participant support costs can be stipends, travel allowance, registration fee, and subsistence allowance.

If submitting a proposal with a sub-award, do we need to submit separate forms for the sub-award recipient?

No, but all subcontracts will require their own budget narrative and table. This should look similar to the prime recipient's, with a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred by each subcontract. Including these at the end of the primary budget narrative and table is acceptable.

Will this NOFO be part of an ongoing program, in which subsequent phases will be funded in subsequent grant calls?

No. Projects should be completed in two years; currently, there is not a plan for additional funding associated with this competition.

Can you explain the Indirect Cost system?

Indirect costs represent the expenses of doing business that are not readily attributed to a particular grant. For the purposes of your budget, they can be classified as either “facilities'' or “administration” costs. For more details on what is included in the two categories, as well as information about the negotiated indirect cost agreement, please review the Code of Federal Regulations page on indirect costs.

Is there a cap on overheads applicants would incur?

Non-federal entities that do not have a current negotiated (including provisional) rate may use the de minimis indirect cost rate of 10%. If the entity has an negotiated rate that is expired, and the entity has not re-negotiated, they can elect to use the 10% rate as well. If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.

How many awards will be made?

The final number of awards made will depend on the number and quality of proposals submitted. However, we anticipate that there will be 11-13 proposals funded.

Is the funding max 150K per year, or 300K total? For example, can we have 100K in year one and 200K in year two?

The funding requests do not have to be equal, but each individual year cannot exceed $150,000.00. For example, the proposals can request $100,000.00 in Year One, and $150,000.00 in Year Two, for a total of $250,000.00.

Can the budget allow payment to hire a company for conducting surveys? Or can we budget survey incentives for participants ?

Yes, survey incentives count as “participant support costs” which are allowable with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency.

Is there a limit to the proportion of funding that an awarded project can allocate to foreign subrecipients or contractors?

There is no maximum limit for sub-awards (including to foreign institutions) as long as the costs are allowable, allocable and reasonable.

Miscellaneous

Can we provide research and tools that relate to weather (i.e. short term events) as well as to climate (i.e. longer term conditions)?

Our office is interested in supporting work that connects weather to climate but applications will want to be sure to make the climate connection very clear for the review process.

"Developing an understanding of key drivers and conditions that shape and enable adaptation across multiple temporal and spatial scales" is a tough statement to make sense of. Can you elaborate?

This statement reflects the fact that effective adaptation requires more than just information about climate impacts; an understanding of non-climate (e.g., socio-economic and cultural) factors and the interaction among them is important.

Do you discourage physical science based research, or can that be a part of the proposal?

Adaptation Sciences is an interdisciplinary program, and physical science can be a component of the project if it helps advance the goals of the project. However, it is worth noting that given the objectives and topics described in previous Adaptation Sciences NOFOs, those proposals that are purely physical science historically have not ranked high In our process, as they can lack other important components (e.g., social sciences, stakeholder engagement and participation). As a reminder, the topics identified as priority in the NOFO are those that pursue one or more of the following objectives:

  • Identify evolving risks and vulnerabilities that arise as a result of the intersection of socioeconomic and climate stressors in these islands, and assess the adaptive related capacity within and across key sectors, including the food-energy-water nexus;
  • Evaluate, test and/or scale up approaches to mitigating risk and advancing effective adaptation, including methods related to compound events and cascading impacts, nature based solutions, climate information and early warning systems, and/or low-carbon adaptation and resilience solutions;
  • Advance understanding of key barriers and enabling conditions (e.g., governance, attitudes, political norms, education, culture) that influence adaptation and resilience in islands of the Caribbean and Pacific through the use of participatory social science methods. Proposals should focus on

Can proposals for this competition be combined with proposals for other NOAA programs?

No - this funding competition only applies to the Adaptation Sciences Program; there are no plans to share these proposals with another program. Applicants are required to submit information about their current and pending support. For each Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator(s), applications submitting a final proposal must submit a list of all current and pending Federal support that includes project title, supporting agency with grant number, investigator months per year, dollar value, and duration. Requested values should be listed for pending support. Applicants cannot receive funding for the same work from two different agencies.

What type of "international" partnerships are you looking for typically?

We anticipate that some partnerships will be based on existing institutional relationships and networks but this funding competition can also foster the development of new partnerships and collaboration, including those that span multiple islands as well as within island communities.

Are joint applications more competitive?

We have not specifically put prioritization on joint applications in the NOFO, so it is not one of the criteria the review panel will use to evaluate proposals.

Are the competition materials available in Spanish or any other languages? Can applicants submit proposals in languages other than English?

At this point in time, NOAA does not offer funding competition information in other languages because the basis of the competition, the NOFO, is a legally reviewed document. We do have a member of our team who can answer general questions in Spanish, so please reach out to the competition manager at lisa.vaughan@noaa.gov and we can put you in touch with this colleague. LOIs and full proposals must be submitted in English.

Can you provide some examples of the types of projects that have been funded by Adaptation Sciences in the past?

The Adaptation Sciences Program website includes links to descriptions of the types of projects that were funded in FY21. The awards announcement is not out for FY22 but will be available on our website shortly. Also on our website, you can look at earlier projects funded under SARP, COCA, and IRAP (international).

Can one institution send multiple applications that have different teams, island focus and goals?

Yes.

Can you speak a little about how competitive applications to this program have been in the past?

While the proportion of proposals funded varies by year and program, this is a competitive and selective program. In the past, the number of proposals funded out of the final pool of applications has ranged from 24-50%.

Can you speak to what is allowed in this competition as far as stakeholder involvement in the research process?

We are open to innovative ways to engage with stakeholders as part of research, for example workshops, surveys, and engagement of stakeholders as part of the research team.

Is this competition limited to the use of existing NOAA resources, data, or collaborations?

No, we are open to partnerships that will advance the project. It is always encouraged to leverage existing relationships and work, but it is not a requirement.

Does the proposal page limit include Letters of Support?

No.

What is the start date for the projects?

Sept 1, 2023.

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