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Applicant Resources
at a Glance


Updated October 13, 2023

On July 28th, NIHHIS hosted an informational webinar for the FY2024 Notice of Funding Opportunity. You can view the recording of the webinar here.

Are weblinks allowed for citations, or should references all be listed at the end?

References should be properly cited in full at the end of your narrative. You may include weblinks in addition to the citations if you like. I will not be instructing the reviewers to click links for more information, however, so the application will have to stand alone without supporting online content for details.

Q: Should we list grant numbers and publication citations in the Results from Prior Research section? If citations are in addition to those referenced in the narrative, should they be included separately in the 2 page max or should all references appear in the references section of the narrative?

The Results from Prior Research section may include grant numbers if you like; publications referenced in the Results section may be cited in that section or in the Project Narrative with the other citations.

Q: Should Current & Pending should only include US Federal support? And, Should this proposal be included in the C&P?

Yes the Current and Pending Support is focused on US federal support, though you may include other support if you wish. You don't have to include this proposal in Current and Pending Support, though sometimes people do.

Q: The NOFO specifies that the 1 million, .75 million, .75 million budget is a floor and not a ceiling. We were hoping for some clarification about how this operates at the low of end range and if there’s any flexibility. In particular, is it expected that any responsive application will provide a budget detailing all baseline services at an absolute maximum of 2.5 million dollars.

The important figure is the $2.5M per center over 3 years - within those bounds the annual amounts are flexible. The floor was meant to indicate the amount we anticipated being able to make available every year to obligate on each award, but your budget can allocate the funds differently across the years. If your application is selected to move forward we can further discuss the budget as needed. It is correct that the max of $2.5M over three years is for baseline services.

Q: Second, the notice specifies 12-point font. Does this cover all text in the application, included text in figures, captures, and tables? 

Yes, for consistency and readability/accessibility, please use a minimum of 12-point font throughout.

Q: The notice states that for applications with three or more PIs, the page limit is increased by an additional 5 pages. Does this go to the total page budget, or are those pages intended to be used exclusively to lengthen the project narrative?

The additional pages may go to the project narrative or to the other components of the application that are to be kept “up to balance of page budget”: vitae, current and pending support, budget table, budget narrative.

Q: In our proposals, are we expected to have scientific questions and objectives that we will address, or should the narrative focus more on the activities the center would undertake – the methodology, metrics, and evaluation of the community-based activities?

  • Proposals should meet the requirements of both the information sheet and the NOFO. The methodology, metrics, and evaluation of the community-based activities should be motivated by scientific questions and objectives - so all should be addressed in the proposal. This is because of the dual goals of the centers (in the information sheet):
    • Improve equitable community heat resilience through community & applied science projects.
    • Improve the state of the science and practice by learning from, scaling up, and openly sharing approaches, policies, protocols, and lessons to benefit all communities.

Q: Is it expected that heat observation projects commence in the first summer?

Yes. It is our intention to make these awards swiftly so the centers can be notified of the results of the panels in December or January and begin spinning up to conduct projects in the summer of ‘24.

Q: Would it be reasonable to propose that the 3rd cohort of cities are supported by center up through project design but does not deploy heat observation due to the fact that year three will end before the summer or is it expected that all 30+ communities (10+ selected each year) complete heat observations by the end of year 3?

According to our projected timeline, the awards could start in January 2024, allowing for summer projects in ‘24, ‘25, ‘26 and completing the award by January ‘27. It is also possible that not all community projects will take place during the summer, depending on the services you plan to offer.

Once we have identified and notified the anticipated awardees for each center, we can discuss extending the award period to ensure there is ample time to complete the projects with communities. After the award is made, it is also possible to issue a no cost extension to the award if needed.

Q: Who will be developing the application and how will the community selection process work? We are curious to know how much input we will have in the application development and applicant selection process, as that will inform our approach.

We expect that the centers will take the lead in the application development and selection process, but that they will work with NOAA and NIHHIS in that process. For example, our prior citizen science Urban Heat Island mapping opportunity was advertised by NOAA with the application hosted on

Response Letter to LOI Submissions

Q: Do the fee-based services need to be included within the proposal or are they considered as separate to the proposal?

Fee-based services offered separately from the proposed center’s baseline services (those provided to at least 10 communities per year at no additional cost) need not be included in the proposal, but they can be included as information in the proposal if doing so provides a clearer picture of the full scope of services offered and/or if potential additional federal funding could be applied to enabling communities to partake in those services.

Q: There is a $2.5 million floor, potentially rising to $9 million in grant funding. What, if any, distinction does NOAA draw between the additional fee-based services and the services that may be enabled by an increase in the amount of grant financing up to 9 million? We understand that increased grant fundings relates to scaling up the core offerings, as defined in the proposal, and has no bearing on the fee-based services. Is this correct?

Beyond the $2.5M, applicants may indicate that they would provide more of the baseline services (e.g., reach more communities) and/or provide an expanded set of other services (e.g., covering otherwise fee-based services).

Q: We understand that the inclusion of fee-based services would enable the grantee to use the center to both service the center’s core beneficiaries (CBOs, local governments, etc.) with core services, while also conducting outreach to other potential clients for the additional fee-based services. Is this correct?

Yes - our focus is primarily on the core services of the center, but we wanted to make it clear that the centers would not be constrained to only offering services funded by the award. If the centers wanted to provide follow-on or complementary services, it needs to be clear in the proposal what is being covered by the NOAA funds (at no added cost to community applicants to the centers).

Q: The instructions for “Results from prior research” indicate that the section should not exceed two pages, but the list of sections above on page 10 limit it to 1 page.  Can NOAA confirm which is correct?

Thank you for pointing this out. To be compatible with both statements, we will update the NOFO to indicate that results from prior research should be <= 2 pages

Q: Vitae, Current and pending support, budget table, and budget narrative are all listed as “up to balance of page budget”. Are all three of these sections to be included in the 25 page maximum for the overall application, or can these be included in an appendix outside of the 25 page limitation?

These items are included in the page limit. The goal of the page limit is to limit how many pages the review panels have to read for each proposal, and to ensure that all applicants have the same amount of space to detail their ideas.

Q: The budget is for center setup and baseline services, and offerors are supposed to support at least 10 communities. If communities can pick and choose from a menu of options, how can offerors make assumptions about how much community choices will amount to, in order to determine what is a baseline service or not?

This will need to be addressed in the proposal. If center service offerings vary a great deal in cost, applicants may want to specify how they will “load balance” in the application process.

Q: Would it be possible for NOAA to extend the deadline given the large impact that the answers to the questions related to core and fee-based services will have on the structure of the Center and the proposal?

At this time we are not considering extending the deadline because the opportunity has been open on since July 11th. Since we anticipate some of the services of the centers may be seasonal (taking place during heat season), we want the centers to be able to open for applications in the spring to enable projects in summer 2024.

Q: NOAA conducted heat mapping via a public private partnership with a specific partner in the past – how does that affect this opportunity?

This opportunity is an independent initiative that will supersede our prior heat mapping approach. We value and respect the work conducted in our previous partnerships, and we are excited about the new possibilities this NOFO brings. Applicants should consider and build on the lessons learned from the previous heat mapping approaches taken by NIHHIS and its partners, but they are not required to work with the same partners or communities that the NIHHIS heat mapping has in the past.

Q: They want the Centers to be connected. Are they wanting the Centers to connect in the application process? Would it be better for Centers to connect before submitting the application?

During the application process, in the absence of knowledge of who the ultimate awardee of the other center will be, we ask that applicants consider the information in the information sheet on the general expectations of the other center when they are considering potential opportunities to link the centers. We will make an effort to link the putative centers once the applicants are notified of the outcome of the competition.

Q: What is meant by demonstrating success in employing community science models and methods to produce useful products from community-based observations?

Demonstrated success would be providing examples of prior work conducting community science engagement to produce useful outcomes for communities.

Q: What kind of partnerships are they hoping to see (federal partners, private, academic, multi-institutional) from the teams that apply for a Center?

We provide this information in the information sheet.

Q: Are the centers expected to host data or pass it along to a federal data repository?

Successful awardees must adhere to the policy guidance in the NOAA Plan for Increasing Public Access to Research Results (S. 7.1), which includes submission of research results to the NOAA Institutional Repository and data sharing via the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Q: Is the plan for the funding to go through a Cooperative Institute?

The award will be made as a separate, new Cooperative Agreement (which is the same funding mechanism used to fund Cooperative Institutes). Cooperative Institutes are eligible to apply for this competition and/or be partners.

Q: We could provide some real-time products from satellite measurements. What is the latency for allowing such products to be helpful? Would it fit the call to provide heat-health indices in parallel with land surface temperature?

This would be best addressed in a community science engagement process. The products should be relevant to the needs of communities applying for assistance.

Q: Would modeling that is necessary for associating rooftop temperatures measured by satellites to ambient temperature relevant to this call?

The information sheet leaves the door open for observations of many types, and models that are used to associate measurements taken through different methods are germane.

Q: NOAA conducted heat mapping via a public private partnership with a specific partner in the past – how does that affect this opportunity?

This opportunity is an independent initiative that will supersede our prior heat mapping approach. We value and respect the work conducted in our previous partnerships, and we are excited about the new possibilities this NOFO brings. Applicants should consider and build on the lessons learned from the previous heat mapping approaches taken by NIHHIS and its partners, but they are not required to work with the same partners or communities that the NIHHIS heat mapping has in the past.

Q: What is the anticipated (or an acceptable) scope for a community project?

This is open to the applicants. Consider the following:
  • Balancing the available funds against the minimum number of communities to work with per year (10) for each center.The number of distinct services you are planning to offer for community projects and the labor/financial cost of them.The importance of having a measurable impact on heat resilience for the community.

Q: Could a workshop be considered a community project?

If a community workshop achieves the goals and requirements for either center, it could be considered a service/project. Keep in mind the importance of having outcomes and deliverables.

Q: Do each of the 10+ community projects initiated in a given year need to be completed within that same year?

No, but at least 10 new projects should start each calendar year.

Q: What is the definition of “community” in this opportunity?

The definition of “community” is intentionally open-ended. For example, there is no community size requirement; the community could be urban or rural. It could focus on a Tribal Nation, metropolitan area, city, county, or township, for example.

Q: Are the centers intended to focus on any specific communities or regions?

  • In terms of spatial area, the centers should be open to providing services nationwide and can also consider providing services internationally (but at least 80% of services must be domestic - see the information sheet for more information).The centers will be expected to achieve the Justice40 goal of at least 40% of the benefit of the services accruing to disadvantaged communities - as defined by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).

Q: Must Center 1 and Center 2 have an identical region of service? Overlapping?

The centers do not have to have an identical region of service, but both must offer their services at least nationwide. For example, if one center offers international services this does not require the other center to do so.

Q: For either Center 1 or Center 2, is there a preference for focusing on communities that have participated in previous NOAA/NIHHIS projects or campaigns?

This opportunity does not have a preference for focusing on communities that have participated in previous NOAA/NIHHIS projects or campaigns.This opportunity does not have a preference for focusing on communities that have participated in previous NOAA/NIHHIS projects or campaigns.

Q: What is the definition of “community-serving organization”?

The definition of “community-serving organization” is intentionally open-ended. For example non-governmental, governmental, and private sector organizations may all be considered community-serving if they provide services to achieve outcomes for communities and their members.

Q: How does NOAA expect the community selection to occur between the two centers (e.g., if center 1 selects 10 and produces high quality heat data, does center 2 need to use those same 10 or is a separate proposed selection process acceptable?

A separate selection process is acceptable between the two centers. In an effort to streamline and simplify the process, the NIHHIS team expects to work with the awardees for both centers to make the opportunities available via

Q: For Center 2, how much of the money, if any, is expected to be “granted” to the communities? Does this call allow for participant support?

This opportunity does not specify a level of direct funding support expected for community scientists in either center, but applications to create these centers may include provision stipends, mileage reimbursement, or other such community science support costs that support community member engagement.

Q: For Center 1, the NOFO indicates that funds may be utilized to support the purchase of capital equipment, including sensors, for use by communities, either temporarily at no-cost, or more extended use at a subsidized rate. (eg: sensors, instrumentation). Does NOAA have any rules/guidance on the maximum total or percentage of funds that can be utilized to support these types of expenses?

There is no maximum. The panel review and NOAA’s Grants Management Division will decide if a cost in your budget is too high for the activity.

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