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Prescott Grant Program FAQs

Application Instructions and Proposal Requirements

Q: How many grants can I apply for? How many can I receive?

A: There is no limit on the number of grants that you can apply for as the same eligible participant or researcher during the annual cycle. Multiple proposals submitted must clearly identify different projects and must be successful in the competitive review process.

Eligible stranding network participants can receive no more than two awards per fiscal year as an organization. The two awards must be for projects that are clearly separate in their objectives, goals, and budget requests.

If you are applying as an eligible researcher, but not independently authorized under authorized under Sections 112(c) or 109(h) of the MMPA, or the National Contingency Plan for Response to Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events, you can only receive one award for the fiscal year.

Q: On Standard Form 424, Number 2: What type of application is it? Is it still a "new" application if I am continuing activities from a previous Prescott grant?

A: All Prescott awards are considered "new" even if the work is a continuation of previously funded work. Each application is reviewed through the entire competitive process each year, and so the applications are "new."

Q: On Standard Form 424: Must start and end dates be exactly one calendar year (12 months)? Must start and end dates be on certain days of the month?

A: The project period for awards may be up to three (3) years to complete the proposed work. However, each award can only be $100,000 in federal funds. A start date no earlier than August 1, 2015 should be selected. The start date must be on the first day of the month and the end date must be the last day of the month. No other days of the month can be used for the project start or end dates.

Q: Can I submit a similar proposal to last year's awarded proposal as long as it doesn't overlap with the award period of the existing award?

A: Yes. However, you will still check "new" on Block 2 of the SF-424. Your proposal will be reviewed and competed with all other proposals received in the current cycle; therefore we cannot guarantee funding.

Deadlines

Q: How early can I submit my Prescott Grant Proposal? If I submit my proposal early, can it be reviewed to ensure that I have provided all the information required?

A: You can submit your Prescott Grant Proposal at any time after the Federal Funding Opportunity has published on Grants.gov. We strongly recommend early submission of proposals in the event that we have the resources to pre-screen (pre-screening is not guaranteed). Any revised proposals must be re-submitted by the original submission deadline. Our ability to pre-screen is dependent upon the submission deadline and the availability of resources.

Eligibility

Q: Am I eligible to apply for Prescott Grant funding?

A: All eligible applicants must currently be an active, authorized participant or researcher in the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Eligible applicants must be: 1) Stranding Agreement holders or their designee organizations; 2) holders of researcher authorization letters issued by a NMFS Regional Administrator and/or an MMPA and/or ESA scientific research or enhancement permit (when applicable); or 3) an eligible Federal, state, or local government personnel or tribal personnel (pursuant to MMPA Section 109(h) (16 U.S.C. 1379(h)); or 4) diagnostic laboratories performing services for the stranding network.  An applicant cannot be a current full- or part-time employee of DOC or DOI.

Q: If I am a researcher that has been participating in the stranding network over the past 3 years through collaboration with Stranding Agreement holders, what must I do to show that I am eligible for Prescott funds?

A: Researcher participants must be holding a current, active authorizing letter for the proposed award period from the appropriate NMFS Regional Administrator or the Assistant Administrator to salvage stranded marine mammal specimens and parts for the purpose of utilization in scientific research (50 CFR 216.22) and provide a letter of eligibility from the Regional Stranding Coordinator. Researcher participants that would not require an authorizing letter from the NMFS Regional Administrator (i.e., they will be working with data only and not possessing samples or specimens) must still provide a letter of eligibility from the Regional Stranding Coordinator. Researcher participants must also have designated Co-Investigator(s) that are active NMFS authorized stranding network participants in good standing, and provide documentation to this effect.

Project Budget and Supporting Documentation

Q: What are indirect costs?

A: Indirect costs are overhead costs for basic operational functions of a facility, organization, or business (e.g., lights, rent, water, insurance). If the applicant currently has a negotiated indirect cost rate with a Federal government agency, an amount for indirect costs can be included in the budget. Indirect costs can be included in both the Federal and non-Federal cost shares as long as the method of calculation is clear and certain rules are followed. For the Prescott Grant Program, the Federal share of the indirect costs cannot exceed 25% of the total proposed direct costs. If the approved indirect cost rate is greater than 25% of the total proposed direct cost, the amount above the 25% level can be used as non-federal matching costs. If indirect costs are included, the package must include a copy of the negotiated indirect cost rate agreement with the Federal government.

Q: Exactly what is the highest amount of Federal funds that can be awarded for any one grant? How much must the applicant include in matching funds?

A: The highest amount of Federal funds that can be awarded for any one grant is $100,000. The applicant must match up to 25% of the TOTAL project costs - NOT JUST the Federal costs. If the Federal portion (75% of the total costs of the project) is $100,000, the applicant's matching costs must be at least $33,334 (25% of $133,334). Match amounts must be in whole dollars - if the 25% results in cents, please round up (for example, a calculated 25% match of $24,414.29 should be rounded up to $24,415). Applicants are encouraged to use the cost share calculator found on this website to determine matching funds.

Q: Can you provide further guidance on what costs are allowed as part of the non-Federal match?

A: By definition, all contributions are cash because they represent direct costs to the applicant. "In kind" contributions are non-cash contributions from third parties (i.e., anyone other than the applicant). Non-Federal contributions towards match, including cash and third party in-kind, are acceptable when such contributions for matches meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Are verifiable from the applicant's records (i.e. a log of volunteer hours, copies of donation receipts, etc.)
  2. Are not included as non-Federal matching contributions for any other Federally-assisted project or program (including other Prescott awards).
  3. Are necessary and reasonable for accomplishing project objectives.
  4. Are allowable under the Federal grants administrative requirements and Federal cost principles. For further explanation of the Federal grants requirements and cost principles, please refer to the Grants Management Circulars website.
  5. Are not paid by the Federal government under another award, except where authorized.

Volunteer services furnished by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor may be counted as non-Federal match if the service is an integral and necessary part of an approved project. Rates for volunteer services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipient's organization (documentation of consistent salaries is helpful and may be necessary).

Q: What types of "construction costs" can be included in a proposal for a Prescott Grant?

A: For the Prescott Grant Program, allowable costs for construction include build-outs, alterations, upgrades and renovations to facilities. If construction costs are included, the proposal must allow the program office to determine whether the proposed costs are allowable, reasonable, and necessary. This includes any contractual arrangements that will be used to fulfill all or part of the construction work.

Research Permits

Q: How do I apply for a research permit?

A: If you need a research permit, please apply through NMFS Protected Resources Permit Program.

Sample Documentation

Screening, Review, and Selection Procedures

Q: How will the funds be equitably distributed among the NMFS Regions?

A: Funds will be equitably distributed among NMFS Regions based on recommendations of the merit review process. A merit review panel, consisting of Federal representatives from each NMFS stranding region, MMHSRP staff, and the Marine Mammal Commission (if possible), will evaluate technical review comments and scores, application materials, stranding statistics by region (i.e., geographic need for proposed projects), and the number of applications received by region. Equitable distribution will be determined by review of proposals by NMFS region using the best available data on episodic, anomalous or unusual stranding events; average annual strandings and mortalities; and sizes of marine mammal populations within each region.  


Hawaiian monk seal "KP2" undergoing rehabilitation
Credit: NOAA (Permit No. 932-1905/MA-009526)

Updated: July 3, 2014