Environmental Literacy Program Priority 1 FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about Priority 1 of the 2022-2023 Environmental Literacy Program grants competition.

All deadlines for the Fiscal Year 2022 Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) Grants Funding Opportunity (NOAA-SEC-OED-2022-2006995) have passed. This page is now archived until our next funding competition opens. It is anticipated that recommendations for funding under this announcement will be made by September 30, 2022. Projects funded under this announcement will start no earlier than October 1, 2022.

Note: there are differences between Priority 1 and 2 and so there is a separate FAQ page for priority 2.

If you have any other questions, please email oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Templates, models, and checklists

Q: Where can I find the templates mentioned in the Notice of Federal Funding?

A: You can find them on our Templates & Models page. 

Q: Are there any models for the budget-related elements of the application?

A: Yes; models for the budget table, budget narrative, and SF-424A form are available on our Templates & Models page.

Q: Are there any checklists to help me ensure I submit a complete application?

A: Yes, a checklist for completing a full application is available on our Templates & Models page. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

Q: Is the "Current and Pending Support" form required with submission?

A: No, the current and pending support (C&P) document is NOT required for the submission of a full application.

Q: Is it possible to get a copy of a funded full application from a previous year?

A: NOAA's Office of Education is not authorized to distribute the applications outside of our internal grants process. If you are interested in seeing a particular application, we recommend you contact the Principal Investigator directly for assistance.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov

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Required project components and areas of emphasis

Q: What types of project activities are allowed?

A: NOAA will consider funding a wide range of project types, but all projects must support the goal of this funding opportunity, which is for communities to have sufficient collective environmental literacy to take actions that build resilience to extreme weather and climate change in ways that contribute to community health, social cohesion, and socio-economic equity. These communities are composed of children, youth, and adults who participate in formal and informal education experiences that develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence to: 1) reason about the ways that human and natural systems interact globally and locally, including the acknowledgement of disproportionately distributed vulnerabilities; 2) participate in civic processes; and 3) incorporate scientific information, cultural knowledge, and diverse community values in decision making. Projects should leverage and incorporate relevant resilience plans and collaborate with individuals and institutions that are involved in efforts to develop or implement those plans. And, projects should engage participants in active and social learning activities. 

Q: How can I learn more about state and local resilience plans?

A: A list of resilience-related information can be found on our Resilience Assets page. On the page, the Georgetown Climate Center provides the status of state efforts. However, Georgetown Climate Center's website is not meant to serve as a comprehensive list of all resilience plans. Applicants should contact state and/or local policymakers, resource managers, academics, and others who are involved in efforts to develop or implement those plans. Contacting the state hazard mitigation officers may be of use--we have linked to the FEMA State Hazard Mitigation officers. NOTE: resilience plans may include climate action plans, climate adaptation plans, hazard mitigation plans, sustainability plans, climate resilience plans, among others.

Q: Do projects need to focus on a single community and a single threat or vulnerability to that community?

A: No. Projects may focus on a single type of environmental hazard or a range of hazards that may impact a community or communities. Therefore, a project may focus on any of the following:

  • A single community and a single type of environmental hazard or stress associated with that community’s location;
  • A single community and a range of environmental hazards or stresses associated with that community’s location;
  • Multiple communities and a single environmental hazard or stress associated with the locations of those communities; or
  • Multiple communities and a range of environmental hazards or stresses associated with the locations of those communities.

Note: all communities that are the focus of a project proposed to this priority need to be in one or more of the eligible states.

Q: Is it required that my project reach groups from underserved communities?

A: No. However, there is a particular interest in projects that specifically engage underserved members of the community, defined here as people who have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life (e.g. minority; low income; homeless; persons with disabilities; and rural, tribal, and indigenous communities). These underserved community members face greater exposure to extreme weather and climate change impacts, and they have fewer resources to prepare for and adapt to the associated risks. Projects should employ approaches and partnerships that are appropriate for the targeted underserved population(s). The extent to which the project will involve groups from underserved will be evaluated by the merit reviewers.

Q: Is food for community meetings and events an allowable expense?  

A: Food is an allowable cost, but it will require additional justification. At this stage, please include the total costs of these types of expenses in your proposal. If your application is recommended for funding, the details related to these types of expenses will be discussed during award negotiations. In addition, other services you might provide during these events, such as childcare, fall under the same category as an allowable expense with additional justification. 

Q: What is the goal of this funding opportunity?

A: The goal of this funding opportunity is for communities to have sufficient collective environmental literacy to take actions that build resilience to extreme weather and climate change in ways that contribute to community health, social cohesion, and socio-economic equity.

Q: Why did you include the particular states and/or regions listed in Priority 1 of the funding opportunity?

A: Due to very high demand that occurred during the last competitions of similar focus, we have restricted the geographic focus for Priority 1 for this competition. This geographic restriction will limit the number of applications that can be submitted and thereby increase the success rate. The Central and Eastern regions of the country were selected for the FY2022 competition, due to the fact that the rest of the country was covered in the FY2020 competition. The boundaries of these regions are based on the National Weather Service regional map. This map was used as a starting point for defining regions because projects within each region face similar hazards. When grouped together, these two regions comprise approximately half the population of the United States.

Q: Why aren't any U.S. territories listed in Priority 1 of the funding opportunity?

A: All U.S. territories were included in the Southern and Western regions, which were eligible in the FY2020 competition. These territories included: Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. 

Q: At what scale should projects be implemented?

A: Projects will likely be implemented on the local level (e.g., county, city, or township), but projects may be implemented in more than one locality. Projects should clearly identify and describe the geographic location(s), the environmental hazard(s) that will be the focus of the project, the target audiences (especially underserved communities), and how groups living in those location(s) may be disproportionately impacted by extreme weather and climate change. The entirety of a project must serve only audiences located in one or more of the listed states below (see Eligibility Requirements).

Q: Must my project focus on or include impacts that occur in coastal communities?

A: No, this funding opportunity does not have a focus on coastal communities. Projects can choose to focus on coastal communities, but it is NOT a requirement.

Q: On p. 11 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity, what is meant by “resilience-related careers”?

A: For the purpose of this funding opportunity, we are referring to jobs that contribute to, preserve, or restore the environment. They may be in traditional sectors such as manufacturing, construction, and public policy, or in newer sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. These may be jobs that improve energy efficiency, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, and support adaptation and resilience to the effects of climate change (International Labor Organization offsite link).

Q: What level on involvement may the person leading the project evaluation have in the project?

A: In section I.A.4, "Project Evaluation" (page 13), the Notice of Funding Opportunity states that "project evaluation should be handled by external professional evaluators or by internal staff who have significant experience with each type of evaluation and are not otherwise substantively involved with the project". The evaluator may provide information and consultation that helps the rest of the project team design the project interventions. The key issue is to ensure that the person leading the evaluation is only doing the project evaluation and will not be the person designing or implementing the interventions. The person leading the evaluation may be named as a Co-PI on the project as long as their involvement is in accordance with that key issue.

Q: What other funding opportunities may fit my proposed project?

A: NOAA offers other funding opportunities for resilience projects. NOAA’s Coastal Resilience Grants Program funded 46 projects in 2020, and the grantees may be partners for projects proposed to this funding opportunity. The NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom and aim to increase understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ecosystems. The B-WET program serves seven geographic areas of the country: California, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, New England, and the Pacific Northwest. Several competitions will be open this year.

In addition, the Pisces Foundation offsite link has recently issued a request designed to build movement infrastructure for environmental and outdoor learning. This opportunity is due October 22, 2021. AmeriCorps published a funding opportunity that prioritizes, among other things, projects that address environmental stewardship and climate change, as well as projects that promote civic engagement and social cohesion. Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all potential relevant funding opportunities.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Grants.gov and submission information

Q: How do I get registered for Grants.gov?

A: Get registered right away! Getting started with Grants.gov is easy, but it can take up to 3 weeks to complete the registration process. Go to www.Grants.gov and click on "Get Started". We recommend going to the Grants.gov "Get Registered" site that explains the steps involved in the registration process.

Please note: Grants.gov requires applicants to register with the system prior to submitting any application. This registration process can take several weeks and involves multiple steps. In order to allow sufficient time for this process, applicants should register as soon as they decide they intend to apply, even if they are not yet ready to submit their pre-applications. Grants.gov will not accept submissions if the applicant has not been authorized or if credentials are incorrect. Authorizations and credential corrections can take several days to establish. Please plan accordingly to avoid problems with the submission process. For further information please visit the SAM web portal or Grants.Gov’s “Organization Registration” page.

Q: I am registered with NSF's FastLane. Do I also need to register with Grants.gov?

A: Yes, you need to register separately with Grants.gov. Registration with NSF's FastLane does NOT constitute registration with Grants.gov.

Q: How do I fill out a full application in Grants.gov?

A: Grants.gov application process information can be found on this page.

Q: How do I access the application package in Grants.gov?

A: The application package is now available in Grants.gov. You can search for it using the funding opportunity number: NOAA-SEC-OED-2022-2006995.

Q: Is my version of Adobe Reader compatible with Grants.gov?

A: To determine if your version of Adobe Reader is compatible with Grants.gov, use their application test package.

Q: I am having technical problems submitting my application through Grants.gov. What do I do?

A: Go to the Grants.gov resources FAQ for additional support. For documentation purposes, if you are experiencing difficulties with your Grants.gov submission, we recommend that you contact the Grants.gov help desk and record and save your ticket number.

Q: When are the Priority 1 full applications due?

A: For Priority 1, pre-applications were required, and only those authorized to submit a full application may apply. The deadline for Priority 1 full applications is 11:59 pm EDT March 17, 2022. After this deadline passes, there is no way to submit a full application via Grants.gov and NOAA’s Office of Education will only accept full applications submitted via Grants.gov. (Please note: Office of Education staff will only be available to answer questions Monday through Friday until 5:00 PM Eastern Time.)

Q: Are original ("wet") signatures required on any part of the application?

A: When submitting through Grants.gov, the final electronic submission by the authorizing official is equal to an original ("wet") signature.

Q: May I submit a full application by mail, email, or fax?

A: No. NOAA’s Office of Education will only accept applications submitted through Grants.gov.

Q: What if Grants.gov or my institution's Internet connection is unavailable at the submission deadline?

A: Please avoid this problem by submitting early. If you choose not to submit until the last minute, you do so at your own risk.

Q: Can I request an extension of time to submit a full application?

A: No.

Q: I submitted my full application to Grants.gov, but later discovered a mistake or missing element in my full application. What should I do?

A: As long as the problem was discovered before the posted full application deadline, you may re-submit the corrected application to Grants.gov. Please notify the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov that you have submitted an updated version of the full application. Once the full application deadline has passed, submitted applications may not be corrected or updated.

Q: Can I submit a full application if I did not submit a pre-application?

A: No. Only applicants who receive authorization from NOAA’s Office of Education are eligible to submit a full application. Full applications from applicants who were not authorized to submit them will not be reviewed or considered for funding.

Q: What details am I allowed to change from the authorized pre-application to the full application?

A: Applicants still need to comply with the same eligibility requirements as the pre-application (i.e. the geographical location of where work will occur, and the submitting institution must be the same). Additionally, the proposed project should remain substantially the same as what was submitted in the pre-application, such as the main activities and target audiences. It is at your discretion to change any other details of your full application besides the three listed above. However, it is okay if you need or want to evolve your project title, and it is common for partners to change. You are also allowed to change the areas where your project will have impact, as long as it is still only occurring within eligible states. Finally, if need be, it is ok for the Principal Investigator (PI) to change. 

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Eligibility requirements

Q: What types of applicants are allowed to apply to this funding opportunity?

A: Eligible applicants for Priority 1 in this funding opportunity are limited to institutions of higher education; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, other nonprofits, including community-based organizations and informal education institutions such as museums, zoos, and aquariums; state and local government agencies; and Indian tribal governments in the United States. Federal agencies, for-profit organizations, foreign institutions, and individuals are not eligible to apply; however, federal agencies, for-profit organizations, foreign institutions, and individuals may participate with an eligible applicant as a project partner.

Additionally, applications must support projects taking place in the Central and Eastern Regions of the U.S. These regions include the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The entirety of a project must only serve audiences located in one or more of the listed states.

Q: Who may serve as a PI or a co-PI?

A: Principal Investigators (PIs) are required to be employees of the organization submitting an application. Principal Investigators (or Project Directors) should have a vested interest in the outcome of the project, and are typically subject matter experts in the field being studied/addressed, and must have financial and programmatic control of the project on behalf of the applying organization. Because consultants or contractors of an organization do not typically have this level of authority, they cannot serve as PIs. Also, federal employees cannot serve as PIs or co-PIs for this solicitation. For co-PIs, there are no restrictions for this funding solicitation. However, many applicant organizations have restrictions about who can serve as co-PIs. PIs should check with the sponsored projects office or equivalent to inquire about possible restrictions.

Q: May a federal employee serve as a PI or co-PI?

A: Federal employees may not serve as PIs or co-PIs on any application; however, they may be included as key personnel or project partners.

Q: May NOAA personnel (both federal employees and contractors) serve as co-PIs?

A: No, NOAA personnel (both federal employees and contractors) cannot serve as co-PIs, but can be listed as project partners.

Q: Are individuals unaffiliated with an institution allowed to apply?

A: No, individuals are not eligible to apply; only institutions may submit applications.

Q: May foreign (non-US) or for-profit institutions apply?

A: No, foreign institutions or for-profit institutions are not allowed to apply to this funding opportunity. However, they may serve as project partners.

Q: May graduate students serve as PIs for this funding opportunity?

A: No; however, they may serve as co-PIs or key personnel.

Q: How many applications can an investigator or institution submit to this funding opportunity?

A: It is strongly encouraged that an individual serve as a PI on only one application submitted to this funding opportunity. Institutions may submit more than one application and individuals may serve as co-PIs or key personnel on more than one application.

A given project idea may only submit to one priority or the other. In the event a project is submitted to both priorities, the Office of Education staff will contact the applying institution(s) to ask them which application should be withdrawn.

Q: Would the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NEER) or Sea Grant be considered eligible applicants? 

A: NERRs and Sea Grant Programs are eligible applicants, and can also serve as a NOAA partner.

Q: Can federal agencies apply for funds?

A: Federal agencies cannot apply for funds nor may federal employees receive funding through these awards, even if project partners.

Q: Can a project have an impact in a foreign country?

A: No, projects must be implemented only within the U.S. and also within the region in which the applicant is located. However, foreign organizations or U.S. organizations located outside of the U.S. are able to serve as project partners.

Q: Can I change the institution submitting the full application from the pre-application?

A minimum requirement for P1 full application is " applicant was authorized to submit a full application based on review of pre-application".  So, therefore, the institution submitting the full app must be the same as the institution that submitted the pre-app. The principal investigator and the project title should also stay the same. Additionally, the proposed project should remain substantially the same as what was submitted in the pre-application. It is at your discretion to change any other details of your full application besides the three listed above.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Full application preparation

Q: Are there any templates for full applications?

A:Yes, there are suggested templates for the full application: title page, project description, and current and pending support. Additionally, there are models for the budget narrative and budget table, as well as a model showing how to correctly fill out the SF-424A Form. Although optional, we recommend that you use these templates to ensure that the information is provided in a manner that facilitates processing of your application. These templates are posted on our Templates & Models page.

Q: The required full application elements listed in the Notice of Federal Funding (NOFO) are not consistent with what is listed in the mandatory and optional documents sections in the "Grant Application Package" of Grants.gov. Which list do I follow?

A: A complete full application will include all of the elements and forms listed in the NOFO regardless of what is shown in Grants.gov. You can upload forms and documents into Grants.gov even if they are not listed as mandatory or optional documents of an application. See the Application Checklist of Required Elements on our Templates & Models page for more details about how and where to upload the required documents.

Q: Where in Grants.gov should I upload the required full application elements?

A: Please see the "Application Checklist of Required Elements" found on our Templates & Models page. This document provides information about how to bundle and upload the required application elements. 

Q: Will you enforce the page limits on full applications?

A: Yes. There are page limits only for the project description (15 pages), resumes (3 pages each), DEIJ statement (2 pages), and logic model (5 pages). The page limit on the project description is inclusive of figures and other visual materials.

Q: Does the list of references cited in the application count against the 15-page limit on the project description?

A: No. References, milestone chart, budget information, resumes, current and pending support, and letters of commitment are separate components of the application and are not included in the 15-page project description limit.

Q: What elements are required for the full application package?

A: A checklist of all required elements for the full application is available on our Templates & Models page.

Q: Can I submit letters of commitment as part of my full application? If so, how?

A: Yes, letters of commitment should be included as part of the application submitted through Grants.gov. They will not count against the 15-page project description limit. For instructions on how to submit the letters, please see the Full Application Checklist of Required Elements on our Templates & Models page.

Q: Can additional letters of commitment be submitted after the application deadline?

A: No. All letters must be included as part of the original application submitted through Grants.gov before the application deadline.

Q: May I submit appendices to the project description with additional information on the proposed project activities?

A: No, you may not submit any appendices beyond the required full application elements listed in the Notice of Federal Funding. Any non-requested elements submitted as part of an application package will be removed from the application prior to merit review.

Q: If I include citations in my DEIJ statement, can I include them in the reference section of the project narrative?

A: You may place your citations in the DEIJ statement in the references cited section of the project narrative. It would be helpful to have a sub-heading that states those references are for the DEIJ statement. 

Q: What is our requested federal share on the SF-424 and SF-424a?

A: The federal share is the amount that you are requesting from NOAA.

Q: What do I put down under items #16a and #16b on the SF-424 for the Congressional district if there is more than one district for the applicant and/or project or if my state only has one district? 

A: If the applicant has several offices in different districts, use the district with the largest population. If the project will take place in multiple districts, all districts involved may be used. The SF-424 requires that you enter numbers only. To find your Representative's district go to http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/olm112.aspx. If your state only has one representative (e.g. Alaska) or a delegate instead of a representative (e.g., District of Columbia), enter a zero.

Q: On the SF-424, I do not know what is meant by "Applicant Identifier", "Federal Entity Identifier", "Federal Award Identifier", and "State Identifier" (items 3, 4, 5a, 5b, 6, and 7). Where do I find this information? 

A: These items on the SF-424 do not apply to applications in this call for applications, so please leave them blank. (Note: The boxes in the SF-424 on grants.gov are not highlighted in yellow, which is an indication that providing this information is optional.)

Q: On the CD-511 form, the field for "Award Number" is required. What should I put in this field?

A: Please write "N/A" in the Award Number field.

Q: If my project involves collecting data of any sort, am I required to have a data management plan?

A: If your project collects environmental data, please see the Notice of Federal Funding section VI.B.8 for instructions on creating a data sharing plan. However, if the data your project is collecting are meant for educational use and not meant for research purposes, they are not considered 'environmental data' in this context. Therefore, the data do not need to be made publicly available, so you do not need a data sharing plan. Please consult sections IV.B.2.B.k and VI.B.8 of the Notice of Federal Funding for further instructions.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Budget information

Q: What is the total amount of funding for which I may apply?

A: The total federal amount requested from NOAA for each project must be no less than $250,000 and no more than $500,000 for all years of the project, including direct and indirect costs. Any project requesting total federal support from NOAA of less than $250,000 or more than $500,000 for all years combined will not be reviewed or considered for funding.

Q: Should I include matching funds in my total funding request?

A: Matching funds are not required nor will the proposed project be evaluated on that basis. If matching funds are included voluntarily, the applicant will be required to provide that match as part of the terms of their award.

Q: May faculty request academic year salary in addition to or instead of summer salary?

A: NOAA does not limit the amount of salary requested by faculty as long as it does not exceed 100% of an individual's time in a given year, including time accounted for on other grants (as shown in the application section on current and pending support).

Q: May equipment be included in the budget?

A: Yes. Equipment that is necessary to carry out the proposed project may be requested and should be justified in the budget table and narrative.

Q: Are sub-awards allowed?

A: Yes. The project description and budget justification should clearly state why there is a need for a sub-award, what the sub-awardee will do, the organization(s) or individual(s) to which the sub-awards will be made or describe the process that will be used to select the sub-awardee (if not named in the project). Additionally, if any funds are planned for a sub-awardee, you must describe and provide the funding amounts in the same level of detail as is provided in the overall budget, i.e., you should provide the same category break-down as for the overall budget for the sub-awardee budget, for all the categories that apply. The cumulative cost of the sub-awards should appear under the category of "contractual" in the SF-424A.

Q: Should I provide documentation for my institution's negotiated indirect cost agreement?

A: Yes, if you include indirect costs (other than the de minimis 10% rate, see below for more information) then you must provide documentation of the negotiated indirect cost agreement. Please upload this document to Grants.gov with the other budget information you will provide.

Q: What if my institution does not have a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement?

A: Under 2 C.F.R. Part 200.414 Indirect (F&A) Costs, any applicant that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs which may be used indefinitely. Costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both pursuant to 2 C.F.R. Part 200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs. If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a cooperator chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.

In accordance with 2 C.F.R. Part 200.414(f), if an applicant has not previously established an indirect cost rate with a Federal agency, s/he may choose to negotiate a rate with the Department of Commerce. The negotiation and approval of a rate is subject to the procedures required by NOAA and the Department of Commerce Standard Terms and Conditions Section B.06. The NOAA contact for indirect or facilities and administrative costs is:


Lamar Revis, Grants Officer
NOAA Grants Management Division
1325 East West Highway, 9th Floor
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
lamar.revis@noaa.gov


If your organization does not have an indirect cost rate agreement with a cognizant federal agency you may list those indirect costs as direct costs in the budget narrative and SF-424A and leave the IDC rate at 0%.

Q: Can the amount for evaluation exceed the recommended 10-20% of the total project budget?

A: Yes; as long as the cost of evaluation is justified in the project description and budget narrative, there is no cap for the costs of evaluation.

Q: What categories should be included in the budget table and narrative?

A: Categories should match those in the SF-424A.

Q: Is there a cap on the amount I can allot for any particular budget category?

A: As long as the costs are justified in the project description and budget narrative, there is no cap on any budget category.

Q: Can funding be allocated to our federal partners on the proposed project?

A: No. You are not allowed to request funding for any federal partner. Federal employees should do all work associated with the proposed project in kind.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Project partners and NOAA assets

Q: What types of project partners would make a full application more competitive? 

A: Partnerships with both NOAA and non-NOAA entities are encouraged on all proposed projects. Projects are strongly encouraged to develop meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs), particularly those that serve underserved communities. CBO partners should contribute to the conceptualization of the project, as well as its implementation and may be part of project leadership or advisory teams. Also, partnerships with individuals and institutions that are involved in efforts to develop or implement resilience plans are encouraged. Additionally, if the institution applying does not possess experience working with the issue of community resilience, a partner will be needed to provide that expertise. The capabilities and appropriateness of the proposed partnerships will be evaluated by reviewers. The application should clearly articulate the role of each partner and how the partnership will contribute to the success of the project activities. All project partnerships should be supported by letters of commitment.

Q: What NOAA entities are available for partnership?

A: NOAA entities include, but are not limited to, programs, offices, and organizations such as the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Coastal Zone Management Program, National Marine Sanctuary Program, National Sea Grant College Program, National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, NOAA Cooperative Institutes, NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments teams, and Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System. Websites and contact information for many of these entities can be found on our Resilience Assets page and the NOAA in Your Backyard page. 

Q: Where can I find more information on NOAA assets that might be used in my project?

A: A list of resilience-related NOAA assets can be found on our Resilience Assets page.

Q: Who should NOAA letters of commitment come from?

A: In the case of the NOAA partner being a contractor to NOAA, the letter of commitment should come from a federal manager.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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Cooperative agreements

Q: Do I need to indicate whether my full application is for a cooperative agreement or a grant?

A: No, all selected projects will be funded through cooperative agreements. 

Q: What is the difference between a cooperative agreement and a grant?

A: The legal definition of a Cooperative Agreement: the legal instrument reflecting a relationship between NOAA and a recipient whenever: (1) the principal purpose of the relationship is to transfer money, property, services, or anything of value to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statute and, (2) substantial involvement (e.g., collaboration, participation, or intervention by NOAA in the management of the project) is anticipated between NOAA and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity. Cooperative agreements are subject to the same OMB, Treasury, and other federal laws and policies as grants. A grant is the funding instrument used when only condition (1) exists.

Q: My question is not on this list and is not answered in the Notice of Federal Funding. What should I do?

A: Contact the Environmental Literacy Program grants team at oed.grants@noaa.gov.

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