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Home » Funding Opportunities » AdSci FY2024 NOFO FAQ

Applicant Resources at a Glance

AdSci FY2024 NOFO FAQ

Additional Climate Program Office Notice of Funding Opportunity FAQs.

Updated February 20, 2024

General Questions

What is the AdSci FY24 funding opportunity number?

NOAA-OAR-CPO-2024-2008252

What are the competition ID numbers for the FY 24 AdSci funding opportunity?

Competition 1: Evidence-building, Evaluation, and Learning Approaches to Support Adaptation to a Changing Climate (Competition ID: 3208827)

Competition 2: Developing a Social Science Research Agenda in Support of Adaptation and Resilience (Competition ID: 3208828)

*Please make sure to submit proposals to the appropriate competition in grants.gov, and include the full title and ID number on the title page of your proposal.

How are full proposals submitted? (please see below for information about Letters of Intent)

Full proposals must be submitted via grants.gov or received by mail by the due date (March 20th, 2024 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time). Please see the NOFO for the mailing address if needed. Emailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.

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

Please see the FY204 Adaptation Sciences Information Sheet.

Will you hold information sessions?

Yes. We will hold one session prior to the deadline for Letters of Intent (LOI) submission (December 6th, 2023 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time, Register Here) and a second one prior to the deadline for full proposals (February 8th, 2024 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time, Register Here). The recording and slides from this session can be found on the CPO AdSci FY24 NOFO announcement website.  FAQs will be updated throughout the process so please check back periodically.

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, and will not provide feedback on specific ideas. 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 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. Note: There is a summary overview of the process in the slides shared from the Information Session.

Full Proposal Session Questions

Is there a summary document for the LOI review feedback?

Yes, please review the points in this document.

We feel like we may be wasting our time on this proposal and would like to get a better feel for whether a small tribal entity has a viable proposal.  Is this scale advisable for this competition? 

This type of community is certainly eligible under this competition. For both competitions, there is not a specific preference for scale- however, we encourage you to provide rationale for the focus on any particular community or place, consider the broader implications of the work to similar communities, for example, and reflect that in your project narrative and methodology.

Is a Co-PI who is from an NGO outside my institution considered a sub-awardee if the project gets funded? 

Yes, or they can submit a separate proposal.

For the documents needed from a sub-awardee or co-applicant, please reference the page 18 of the NOFO.

For projects involving multiple institutions, it seems that each institution must submit a separate proposal for the same project. Can you review the procedures for doing this, including elements needed for NOAA to link these separate proposals?

If there are multiple institutions on a proposal, there are two ways of submitting. One approach is for the primary institution to submit a proposal, with sub-awards included for the other institutions and the second other is for multiple institutions to submit applications to Grants.gov.  There is specific guidance in the NOFO about what must be included from each applicant (e.g., the proposals should have the same titles, project narrative). Please see page 18 of the NOFO for specific guidance.

For CVs, current and pending research, and letters of support, do you have templates? And would one used for another agency suffice – for example, SciENcv biosketch?  

We do not have a template for NOAA right now (feel free to use a template from another agency if it is uploadable and works with the page limits in the NOFO).

What is the number of Letters of Intent (LOIs) submitted? How many LOIs were encouraged for submission?

We do not share information about the number of LOIs received but we can note that this is a highly competitive research competition.

What are the requirements for the data-sharing plan in terms of content? Is there a template? 

A typical plan should include descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project; the tentative date by which data will be shared; the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content; methods for providing data access; approximate total volume of data to be collected; and prior experience in making such data accessible. Full requirements for the data-sharing plan can be found on pages 29-30 of the NOFO.

Is there a template for the letter of support? And to whom should it be addressed?

No, we don’t have a template for the LoS. The letter can be addressed to Lisa Vaughan, Program Manager, Adaptation Sciences.

Do you have advice for applicants in institutions/agencies/states that have limited/outlawed DEIJ work?

We understand that applicants may be facing state policies that limit or prohibit the conduct of DEIJ work. The DEIJ statement is not a Minimum Requirement for the award (meaning a proposal submitted without one is not automatically declined), but it is part of the review consideration, as written in the NOFO.  

Our advice to applicants is to do the best you can do in these circumstances.  For example, you could write elements of DEIJ work into your project narrative without calling them out as such. You will still want to include a statement if you can, but we recognize that there may be limitations on what can be written in certain states.

Some of the papers in the info sheet are behind paywalls (i.e. not open access). How disadvantaged are applicants without access to scientific literature?

We recognize that there are a number of publications that are behind paywalls; perhaps you could try to access them through library systems, but we recognize that not all papers can be accessed in this way. The review panel will want to see a solid knowledge and intellectual foundation for the proposed project, so I would do the best I could. Sometimes you can reach out directly to an author to request a PDF.  Another option would be to partner with an institution that provides access to published academic 

Regarding preference for projects that evaluate adaptation and resilience rather than risk and vulnerability, unless the latter are shown to lead to the former – how would you suggest the argument be made? How might reviewers evaluate such an argument?

We suggest that in this case the project ties these pieces together and demonstrates it within an evaluation framework.

Are the slides/recording of information sessions posted on the website for the funding opp.?

Yes, slides and faq’s will be here: https://cpo.noaa.gov/adaptation-sciences-program-fy2024/

Does the need for an interagency agreement apply for state agencies or only federal agencies?

If the state agency has applied for and received grants in the past from a Federal agency, then we anticipate that normal channels would be used and there would be no need to develop an additional agreement. Transfering funds among Federal agencies requires an interagency agreement (IAA).

Do most universities have a UEI?

A UEI is necessary to apply for federal grants, so most research universities should have one. Please check with your sponsored programs office. Also note that UEIs need to be renewed annually or they’ll expire. Applicants need an active UEI to apply for a federal grant. 

Just to clarify- if PIs and Co-PIs are from different institutions, the PI institution should be the main applicant/awardee and the co-PI institutions should be sub awardees? There is no option for each institution to individually apply as an awardee but the application would be considered as a collaborative proposal/application? Just want to make sure.

There is an option for co-PIs from different institutions to submit separate applications for the same proposal which would result in individual awards for each submitting organization. For multiple applications (co-applicants) associated with the same project, the abstract must be identical in all applications. All partners, including the Lead Principal Investigator and any co-PIs, should include (in their individual application) a separate budget for their portion of the project. Please refer to the NOFO for detailed guidance.

Can proposals include, as a first task, a planning period of three to six months to prepare for place-based collaborations with specific communities?

This can be proposed. We anticipate that the review panel will want to see that there is a strong rationale and justification for this planning process and that there is demonstrable evidence that outcomes will be met within the two year period as a result of the proposed methodology. 

Is participant support allowed? Are POs allowed for sending small amounts of money without setting up a subaward?

Please see the NOFO for a list of allowable expenses (see participant support expenses section).

My co-PIs and I submitted an LOI before the deadline and have not received feedback yet. Has all the individual LOI feedback already been issued?

All LOIs submitted through the Google Form by the December 26th deadline have been reviewed and responses provided over a two day period beginning January 22. There have been several applicants who have reached out about not receiving a response where it turned out that the response was sent to the Lead PI.  After checking with proposed PIs or Co-PIs, please reach out to us at noaa.adaptation.sciences@noaa.gov. Thank you! 

Letters of Intent (LOI)

Is a Letter of Intent (LOI) required?

No. LOIs are strongly encouraged but not required to submit a full application. 

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

LOIs should be submitted via Google Form (https://forms.gle/bE4E8DjwG5oXYaUW6) on December 26th, 2023 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. If an applicant is unable to utilize this form for technical reasons, LOIs should be received via email by the Competition Manager, Lisa Vaughan (Lisa.Vaughan@noaa.gov) with a copy to noaa.adaptation.sciences@noaa.gov by the same deadline.

Please note that the Google form will ask you to input data as well as upload a copy of your two page LOI.

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

Once the LOI deadline has passed, LOIs will not be considered.

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 are required (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 components of the LOI include the following (please see the NOFO in section IV. B for full information):

Full Competition Name (see below)

Tentative Project Title 

Name(s) and institution(s) of lead primary investigator, other primary investigators, and key collaborators 

Email contact for the Lead Principal Investigator

Statement of the challenge to be addressed by the work 

Brief Summary of work to be completed and methodology to be used 

Potential (unfunded) collaborator/partners and beneficiaries of the work

Approximate cost of the project

Time Frame (1 - 2 years)

Relevance to the targeted Competition 

 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 proposed 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 Number (UEI)  and other info to submit the LOI?

No. Those elements are required for full proposals only; however, we do encourage everyone who plans to submit a full proposal to begin the process of setting up the administrative aspects early as some steps can take a while. The LOI is a two page document submitted via a Google Form or sent via email (only if an applicant cannot access the Google Form) with the components listed in the NOFO.

What does “competition name” mean in the LOI?

Please note there are two AdSci competitions in FY24. Please make sure you specify the appropriate competition name you are applying for when submitting an LOI and a full application:

Competition 1: Evidence-building, Evaluation, and Learning Approaches to Support Adaptation to a Changing Climate

Competition 2: Developing a Social Science Research Agenda in Support of Adaptation and Resilience

Is it possible to submit an LOI with collaborators from other institutions?

Yes, applicants may collaborate on an LOI with individuals from other institutions. All PIs, Co-PIs and non-funded partners and their institutions should be identified in the LOI. 

Is there a limit to how many LOI’s one individual is able to submit in response to this opportunity?

No, there is not a limit to how many LOI’s one individual can submit to this NOFO. However, if one individual plans to submit (or be part of) more than one LOI (and ultimately proposal), it is important for the individual to articulate how they are positioned to handle the various project efforts they will be committed to, including what the role of the investigator would be in order to warrant being on more than one proposal. 

Geography

Are there geographical limitations on where this research can focus? 

We expect that much of the work supported by Competition 1 will focus on adaptation in U.S. states and territories; however, proposals will also be considered with a focus on one or more of the broadly defined regions that border the U.S: a) the Caribbean; b) the Pacific Islands; c) Mexico and Central America; d) the Arctic. Regional and/or comparative studies focusing on multiple areas from this list also will be considered. Work focused outside of these specific areas is not requested under this NOFO.

Are there any spatial scale requirements (i.e. local, state, national, international etc.) for LOIs or proposals under this competition?

There are no scale requirements for this competition, but we recommend addressing how your LOI or proposal may have scalability or transferability as far as approaches and knowledge generated.

Investigators

Can applicants 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 but please note that feedback is provided based on the initial content in the LOI.

Can a person be a PI or Co-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. It is important that it be clear to a review panel that an individual listed on more than one proposal would have the time to support multiple efforts, should they both be selected for funding.

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

Yes.

Can a non-U.S. based organization apply for this competition?

Yes. Please see full NOFO and information sheet for eligibility and administrative requirements for all applicants. 

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

Yes, for-profit entities may 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; in the case of AdSci, there is no allowable statute that allows for profit-making. Therefore, no profit-making will be allowed under the FY24 AdSci awards.

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 the NOFO , but may be identified as unfunded partners in the proposals (with their own resources).  

Federal lead investigators who wish to apply to this Announcement of Opportunity must prepare a proposal according to the NOFO guidelines and submit the proposal to the program manager directly, instead of to Grants.gov. Federal co-investigators must submit a proposal identical to the proposal lead’s but with personalized budget information.

Letters of Intent for Federal investigators should be received by the Competition Manager via the Google Form specified in the competition information sheet by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 26, 2023. Full applications for all Competitions must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 20, 2024.

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

No, but proposals should demonstrate existing and meaningful 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. In the past, proposals from institutions operating outside of the geographical region where the work is being proposed have been scrutinized by reviewers as lacking the institutional relationships essential to the successful conduct of the kind of research supported by NOAA/CPO/CSI and its component programs, AdSci and CAP/RISA. Applicants who do plan to submit a proposal from outside of the area where the work will be focused are encouraged to address their track record of engagement and research in the area in question and plans for sustainability of any outcomes.

Will collaborating research partners need to submit their own proposals during the full application stage?

Proposals for projects with investigators from multiple institutions can either be submitted with subawards, or the institutions can submit separate applications. Please review section IV. B, (2) of the NOFO for complete guidance about what to include in the application, depending on the approach chosen by the applicant.

Can you elaborate on the difference between “funded’ and “non-funded” partners?

Funded partners are those individuals/institutions receiving support through the FY24 AdSci competition. Non-funded partners are those who have committed to participating in the work conducted on the project, but are not requesting/receiving funds from NOAA to do so. An example of a non-funded partner might be a Federal or state agency, private sector organization, or regional entity that is already funded to undertake this type of work, or is able to leverage other funding.

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. 

How many projects will be funded? 

The number of projects will be based on submissions and available funding. Please see the following information in the NOFO:  

Competition 1: Evidence-building, Evaluation, and Learning Approaches to Support Adaptation to a Changing Climate:

Depending on the availability of funds, it is anticipated that 5-7 projects will be supported.

Competition 2: Developing a Social Science Research Agenda in Support of Adaptation and Resilience

Depending on the availability of funds, it is anticipated that 1 project will be supported.

Can applicants include a small /honorarium based on the days of participation to be paid to stakeholders who will participate in the project’s workshops and other engagement activities? 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. Applications should make sure that the  narrative and budget justification provides details related to 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.

Does NOAA have salary caps on grants funding as do some other Federal agencies?

There is no salary cap. The salary will be reviewed by the NOAA grants management division to determine if it is reasonable and allowable.

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

Yes. All  subcontracts will require their own separate budget table and narrative and Federal forms (SF424, SF424A). These should be provided to the lead PI to include in the application, and 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.

For competition 1, 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 Competition 1. 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.

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. The recently released Fifth National Climate Assessment chapters on Adaptation, Social Systems and Justice, and Economics offer some useful insight on these topics.

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

This funding competition only applies to the Adaptation Sciences 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.

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 and FY22. The awards announcement is not out for FY23 but will be available on our website shortly. Also on our AdSci website, you can look at earlier projects funded under SARP, COCA, and IRAP. 

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%.

How is climate adaptation being defined under this funding opportunity?

For this competition, we recommend referencing the most recent National Climate Assessment (NCA5) definition of adaptation, which states that adaptation includes “actions taken to reduce risks from today’s changed climate conditions and to prepare for further impacts in the future…includes diverse activities designed to reduce climate-related risks and increase capacity to prepare for climate impacts.” 

Both competitions under this opportunity focus on research to advance adaptation approaches and outcomes. Can you speak to how implementation and/or capacity building activities might be able to be considered as part of proposals?

While implementation is an important part of advancing approaches for adaptation and resilience, the focus of the FY24 NOFO is on the knowledge generated as a result of adaptation, to inform more effective and equitable adaptation processes.

If you would like to include implementation and/or capacity building activities as part of your LOI or proposal, you will need to demonstrate how the entirety of the proposed project will pursue and satisfy the research objectives of competition. 

Both competitions under this NOFO focus on contributing to longer-term adaptation and resilience benefits. Given the 2-year timeline of the competition, what would ‘success’ look like for funded projects? 

This will likely depend on the specific project. But more broadly, the objective of the competition is to advance the evidence base and methods/frameworks to enable more effective, equitable and context-relevant adaptation approaches. As a result of  Competition 1 we hope to see knowledge, indicators/metrics, frameworks and partnerships that have real-work applications for communities, practitioners/implementers, decision-makers, donors, etc. As a result of Competition 2 we hope to see the development of an agenda that could be used by communities as well as potential public and private institutions interested in funding adaptation and resilience actions.

Can you speak to what research approaches and/or methodologies you are hoping for in a successful LOI or proposal?

The most appropriate and effective research approaches and/or methodologies will likely be specific to the context in which the project is situated. However, applicants should consider how the approach they plan to use will contribute to transferable/scalable adaptation knowledge, and how it might serve practitioners, community members, decision makers, etc.
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