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Notice

Public Awareness of Embryo Donation and/or Adoption Public Awareness Campaign

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Population Affairs, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

ACTION:

Notice.

Announcement Type: This is the initial announcement of a competitive funding opportunity for cooperative agreement projects.

Funding Opportunity Number: OPA-2007-EA.

CFDA Number: 93.007.

DATES:

To receive consideration, applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on June 5, 2007. The application due date requirement in this announcement supercedes the instructions in the OPHS-1 form. A Letter of Intent (LOI) is requested on or by May 7, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

To receive consideration, applications must be received in the Office of Grants Management, Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) c/o WilDon Solutions, Office of Grants Management Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Third Floor, Suite 310, Arlington, VA 22209: Attention: Office of Population Affairs. LOIs should be sent to the same address.

Executive Summary: The Office of Population Affairs (OPA), within the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) announces the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 funds to support a total of four to five new cooperative agreement projects, with the goal of increasing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption. OPA anticipates approximately $1,000,000 in funding will be available for four to five new cooperative agreements each in the range of $250,000 to $350,000 per year. Projects will be funded in annual increments (budget periods) and for a project period of two years. Funding for all budget periods beyond the first year of the cooperative agreement is contingent upon the availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the project, and adequate stewardship of Federal funds. Applicants must demonstrate experience with embryo donation and/or adoption programs that conform with professionally recognized standards governing embryo donation and/or adoption and other applicable Federal or State requirements. For the purposes of this announcement, embryo donation and/or adoption is defined as the donation of frozen embryo(s) from one party to a recipient who wishes to bear and raise a child or children.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The OPA announces the availability of funds for FY 2007 and requests applications for cooperative agreement projects that will contribute to increasing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption.

The OPA is under the direction of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA), who serves as the senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) on reproductive health science issues. The OPA established by PL 91-572 serves as the focal point on matters pertaining to population research and family planning, and is responsible for developing and making readily available information (including educational materials) on family planning and population growth to all persons desiring such information.

The increasing success of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has resulted in a situation in which an infertile couple typically creates several embryos through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF treatments, couples may produce many embryos in an attempt to conceive with several being cryopreserved (frozen) for future use. If a couple conceives without using all of the stored embryos, they may choose to release the remaining unused embryos for donation and adoption allowing other infertile couples the experience of pregnancy and birth. Embryo donation and/or adoption is a relatively new process in which individuals who have extra frozen embryos agree to release the embryos for transfer to the uterus of another woman, either known or anonymous to the donor(s) for the purpose of the recipient(s) attempting to bear a child and be that child's parent.

Legislative History

On February 15, 2007, the President signed into law H.J. Res. 20, which provides fiscal year (FY) 2007 appropriations through September 30, 2007, for continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government. Public Law 110-5, the “Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007”, which includes appropriations for DHHS. The bill does not include a statement addressing embryo adoption and/or donation public awareness campaign activities; however, the Revised Continuing Appropriations Bill for 2007 provides “ * * * such amounts as may be necessary, at the level specified in subsection (c) and under the authority and conditions provided in the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2006, for projects or activities (includes the costs of direct loans and loan guarantees) that are not otherwise provided for and for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were made available in the following appropriations Acts: * * * (5) The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Appropriations Act, 2006.” Public Law 109-149, The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, authorized the Secretary to a conduct public awareness campaign to educate Americans about the existence of frozen embryos available for donation and/or adoption. The Conference Report (H.R. Conf. Rep. 109-337) accompanying the FY 2006 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies did not include a statement addressing embryo donation and/or adoption awareness activities; however, the budget table accompanying the conference report allocated $2 million.

Review of Grant Materials

Grantees shall submit all materials proposed for use in the funded project (including, but not limited to, Web sites, videos, training materials, brochures, fact sheets, press releases, agendas, curricula, reports, journal articles, promotional pieces, advertisements, Public Service Announcements (PSA's), articles, mailings) to the OPA Project Officer for review and approval prior to use in the funded program. The review shall ensure that materials are consistent with the requirements of this announcement and other applicable grant requirements.

Grant Attribution

The OPA is interested in making available to the public the results and accomplishments of activities that it funds. Therefore, grantees will be required to place an acknowledgment of OPA grant support and a disclaimer, as appropriate, on any publication written or published with such support and, if feasible, on any publication reporting the results of or describing a grant-supported activity.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement.

Anticipated Total Funding: $1,000,000. Start Printed Page 17162

Anticipated Number of Awards: A total of 4-5. OPA anticipates funding four to five new projects.

Expected Amounts of Individual Awards: $250,000-$350,000.

Floor of Award Range: None.

Ceiling of Award Range: $350,000 for the first 12 month budget period. OPA will not accept and review applications with budgets greater than the ceiling of the award range.

Project Periods for Awards: 24 months. The projects will be awarded for a project period of 24 months. The initial grant award will be for a 12-month budget period. The award of continuation funding beyond each 12-month budget period will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress on the part of the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the government.

Applications are encouraged from organizations which are currently operating programs that have the capability of expanding and enhancing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption, and that have the capability to conduct a rigorous evaluation of the funded project.

A cooperative agreement is a grant award instrument establishing an “assistance” relationship between OPA and a recipient, in which substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient is anticipated during the performance of the activity. The recipient will have lead responsibilities in all aspects of the project, including any modifications to the project, conduct of the project, and preparation of any publications. The OPA project officer will collaborate with the recipients, as appropriate, and provide consultation, assistance, and support in planning, implementing, and evaluating all aspects of the proposed project plan. OPA will have substantial programmatic involvement during conduct of the project, through technical assistance, advice and coordination. Substantial involvement as a partner would include, for example, assisting in planning an agenda, selecting speakers, organizing a symposium, determining the content of training curricula and related educational materials, determining the topics or data to be reviewed as part of an assessment, and determining the acceptability of articles or reports. OPA will provide assistance in the preparation and review of any reports that may be disseminated as part of a funded project.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must demonstrate previous experience with embryo donation and/or adoption and be knowledgeable in all elements of the process of embryo donation and/or adoption. Only agencies and organizations, not individuals, are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants include public agencies, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations. One agency must be identified as the applicant organization and will have legal responsibility for the project. Additional agencies and organizations can be included as co-participants, subgrantees, subcontractors, or collaborators if they will assist in providing expertise and in helping to meet the needs of the recipients.

Any public or private nonprofit organization or agency is eligible to apply for a cooperative agreement grant. However, only those organizations or agencies which demonstrate the capability of providing the proposed services and meet the requirements of this announcement are considered for awards. Faith-based and community-based organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for these embryo donation and/or adoption public awareness cooperative agreement projects. Please note, however, that cooperative agreement funds may not be used for inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, and proselytization. If an organization engages in such activities, they must be offered separately in time or location from the cooperative agreement program and participation must be voluntary for program beneficiaries. A cooperative agreement program, in providing services and outreach related to program services, cannot discriminate against current or prospective program beneficiaries on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.

Applicants should note that section 74.81 of the DHHS grants administration regulations (45 CFR part 74) indicates that except for awards under certain small business programs, no grant funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization. Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

None.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Kit

Application kits may be obtained by accessing Grants.gov at http://www.grants.gov or the GrantSolutions system at GrantSolution.gov. To obtain a hard copy of the application kit, contact WilDon Solutions at 1-888-203-6161. Applicants may fax a written request to WilDon Solutions at (240) 453-8823 or e-mail the request to OPHSgrantinfo@teamwildon.com. Applications must be prepared using Form OPHS-1, which can be obtained at the Web sites noted above.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

The OPA requests that you send a Letter of Intent (LOI) if you intend to apply for this program. Although the LOI is not required, not binding, and does not enter into the review of your subsequent application, the LOI will be used to gauge the level of interest in this program, estimate the potential review workload, and allow OPA to plan the review process. The information will be used to determine the number of expert reviewers needed to evaluate the applications. The narrative should be not more than two double-spaced pages, printed on one side, with one-inch margins, and in 12-point font, unreduced. The LOI should include the following information: “Attention: Embryo Adoption Public Awareness Campaign Letter of Intent,” name and address of the applicant institution; name, address and telephone number of the contact person; and specific objectives to be addressed by the proposed project.

Applications must be prepared on the forms supplied (OPHS-1) and in the manner prescribed in the application kits provided by the OPA. The application must be signed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and to assume responsibility for the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant award.

To be considered for funding, applicants must submit one signed original of the application and two photocopies in one package, including all forms and attachments. Please label the application envelope: “Attention: Embryo Adoption Public Awareness Campaign.” The application should be typed and should be no more than 50 double-spaced pages (excluding attachments), printed on one side, with one-inch margins, and in 12-point font, unreduced. All pages, including appendices should be numbered Start Printed Page 17163sequentially and stapled, or otherwise secured, in the upper left corner.

Applications must include a one-page abstract of the proposed project. The abstract will be used to provide reviewers with an overview of the application, and will form the basis for the applications summary in grants management documents.

Program Requirements/Application Content

Applicants will be required to develop and implement programs for a public awareness campaign on embryo adoption. Applicants are required to submit a plan and time line that demonstrate that the proposed public awareness campaign: (a) Will be competency-based, (b) has experience with embryo adoption programs that conform to professionally-recognized guidelines and other relevant Federal or State requirements, (c) will be pilot tested and appropriately modified, as necessary, before use, and (d) can be reliably evaluated. In the narrative section of the application, applicants are advised to describe the strategies and processes that they will use to design a public awareness campaign. The applicant should document its capacity to undertake a public awareness campaign focused on potential donors and/or recipients. Applicants are encouraged to present a description of approaches that may be used, as well as any supplemental materials (brochures, handouts, visual aids, and other resources). Moreover, applicants are advised to demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of professionally recognized standards or practices (both medical and legal issues) pertaining to embryo adoption, as well as supportive services for potential donor or recipient couples. The applicant organization should clearly demonstrate its professional knowledge and experience in embryo adoption whether with potential donor or recipient populations.

Applicants must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the individuals who design and implement the public awareness campaign are knowledgeable in all elements of the embryo adoption process and are experienced in providing such information. Applicant organizations should demonstrate that they have access to frozen embryos for adoption either directly or through partnership arrangements. Applicants should include information about the number of frozen embryos to which they have access, their history in working with either potential donor or recipient couples, and the organization's capacity to facilitate an embryo adoption public awareness campaign. In the project narrative, applicants are encouraged to present a plan that may be used for working with potential donors and/or recipients under the proposed public awareness campaign.

Application Narrative

In the narrative section of the application, applicants are advised to describe the strategies and processes that they will use. The applicant should document its capacity to undertake a project that is focused on increasing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption. Applicants are encouraged to present a description of approaches that may be used, as well as any supplemental materials. Moreover, applicants are advised to demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of professionally recognized standards or practices (both medical and legal issues) pertaining to embryo donation and/or adoption, as well as supportive services for potential donor or recipient couples. The applicant organization should clearly demonstrate its professional knowledge and experience in embryo donation and/or adoption.

Applicants should include information about their history in working with embryo donation and/or adoption, and the organization's capacity to further the goal of increasing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption. As part of the project narrative, applicants are advised to describe the methods they will use to recruit, select, train and evaluate individuals who will implement the project.

Applicants, in the project narrative, are encouraged to present a plan for evaluation of the project. The evaluation plan should be two tiered to address: (1) Process, including the planning, content, and quality of the products (e.g., videos, pamphlets, journal articles, presentations, survey instruments, focus groups projects, pilot test reports, conference proceedings, etc.) produced and (2) participant satisfaction and/or project effectiveness, as appropriate. Applicants that do not have the in-house capacity to conduct an evaluation are advised to propose contracting with a third party evaluator to conduct the evaluation.

Applicants should prepare a project description statement in accordance with the following general instructions and use the information provided in this section and the evaluation criteria section to develop the application content. Applications will be evaluated on the criteria listed, so it is important to follow them in describing your program plan. The narrative should contain the following sections in the order presented below:

1. Project Summary/Abstract: Provide a summary of the project description not to exceed one page. Care should be taken to produce an abstract/summary that accurately and concisely reflects the proposed project since the abstract will be used to provide reviewers with an overview of the application, will form the basis for an application summary in official documents, and it may be posted on the OPA web site. It should describe the objectives of the project, the approach to be used, and the results or benefits expected.

2. Objectives and Need for Assistance: Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, legal, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance must be demonstrated and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Describe the rationale for use of the proposed approach based upon previous practice and review of the literature and/or evaluation findings. Any relevant data based on studies should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes. In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer to provide information on the total range of related projects being conducted or supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.

Describe the specific geographic region that will be served by the organization. This section should include a justification for the selection of the region, based on, for example, geographic size or the number and types of ART centers in the area. There are no geographic restrictions on where the prospective projects may be conducted. The OPA will accept applications for projects of national, regional, or local scope. The rationale for the project scope must be justified in detail.

3. Approach: Provide a detailed work plan and timetable for both the first and second year of the proposed project. Outline a plan of action, which describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work, and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, Start Printed Page 17164or extraordinary social and community involvement. Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of program activities to be held, or appropriate measurable outcomes. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

4. Evaluation: Provide a narrative addressing how the results of the project and the conduct of the project will be evaluated. In addressing the evaluation of results, state how you will determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated objectives and the extent to which the accomplishment of objectives can be attributed to the project. Discuss the criteria to be used to evaluate results, and explain the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met and if the project results and benefits are being achieved. With respect to the conduct of the project, define the procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted in a manner consistent with the work plan presented and discuss the impact of the project's various activities on the project's effectiveness.

5. Organizational Profiles: Provide information on the applicant organization and cooperating partners such as organizational charts, financial statements, audit reports or statements from CPAs/Licensed Public Accountants, Employer Identification Numbers, names of bond carriers, contact persons and telephone numbers, and other documentation of professional accreditation, information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards, documentation of experience in the program area, and other pertinent information.

6. Budget and Budget Justification: Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs. Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known. For each staff person, provide the title, time commitment to the project (in months), time commitment to the project (as a percentage or full-time equivalent), annual salary, grant salary, and wage rates. Do not include the costs of consultants or personnel costs of delegate agencies or of specific project(s) or businesses to be financed by the applicant. Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, FICA, retirement insurance, and taxes, unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate. Include information on the costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization (does not include costs of consultant travel). For each trip, show the total number of traveler(s), travel destination, duration of trip, per diem, mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used, and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances. For each type of equipment requested, provide a description of the equipment, the cost per unit, the number of units, the total cost, and a plan for use on the project, as well as use or disposal of the equipment after the project ends. An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy or section of its policy which includes the equipment definition. Specify general categories of supplies and their costs. Show computations and provide other information, which supports the amount requested. Include information on the costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those, which belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc. Third-party evaluation contracts (if applicable) and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, including delegate agencies and specific project(s) or businesses to be financed by the applicant, should be included under this category. Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each delegate agency, by agency title, along with the required supporting information.

3. Submission Dates and Times

To be considered for review, applications must be received by the Office of Public Health and Science, Office of Grants Management, c/o WilDon Solutions, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on June 5, 2007. Applications will be considered as meeting the deadline if they are received on or before the deadline date. The application due date requirement in this announcement supercedes the instructions in the OPHS-1 form.

Submission Mechanisms

The Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) provides multiple mechanisms for the submission of applications, as described in the following sections. Applicants will receive notification via mail from the OPHS Office of Grants Management confirming the receipt of applications submitted using any of these mechanisms. Applications submitted to the OPHS Office of Grants Management after the deadlines described below will not be accepted for review. Applications which do not conform to the requirements of the grant announcement will not be accepted for review and will be returned to the applicant.

While applications are accepted in hard copy, the use of the electronic application submission capabilities provided by the GrantSolutions system or the Grants.gov Website Portal is encouraged. Applications may only be submitted electronically via the electronic submission mechanisms specified below. Any applications submitted via any other means of electronic communication, including facsimile or electronic mail, will not be accepted for review.

In order to apply for new funding opportunities which are open to the public for competition, you may access the Grants.gov website portal. All OPHS funding opportunities and application kits are made available on Grants.gov. If your organization has/had a grantee business relationship with a grant program serviced by the OPHS Office of Grants Management, and you are applying as part of ongoing grantee related activities, please access GrantSolutions.gov.

Electronic grant application submissions must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the deadline date specified in the DATES section of the announcement using one of the electronic submission mechanisms specified below. All required hardcopy original signatures and mail-in items must be received by the OPHS Office of Grants Management no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the next business day after the deadline date specified in the DATES section of the announcement.

Applications will not be considered valid until all electronic application components, hardcopy original signatures, and mail-in items are received by the OPHS Office of Grants Management according to the deadlines specified above. Application submissions that do not adhere to the due date requirements will be considered late and will be deemed ineligible. Applicants are encouraged to initiate electronic applications early in the application development process, and to submit early on the due date or before. This will aid in addressing any problems with submissions prior to the application deadline. Start Printed Page 17165

Electronic Submissions via the Grants.gov Website Portal

The Grants.gov Website Portal provides organizations with the ability to submit applications for OPHS grant opportunities. Organizations must successfully complete the necessary registration processes in order to submit an application. Information about this system is available on the Grants.gov Web site, http://www.grants.gov.

In addition to electronically submitted materials, applicants may be required to submit hard copy signatures for certain Program related forms, or original materials as required by the announcement. It is imperative that the applicant review both the grant announcement, as well as the application guidance provided within the Grants.gov application package, to determine such requirements. Any required hard copy materials, or documents that require a signature, must be submitted separately via mail to the OPHS Office of Grants Management, and, if required, must contain the original signature of an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant award. When submitting the required forms, do not send the entire application. Complete hard copy applications submitted after the electronic submission will not be considered for review.

Electronic applications submitted via the Grants.gov Website Portal must contain all completed online forms required by the application kit, the Program Narrative, Budget Narrative and any appendices or exhibits. All required mail-in items must be received by the due date requirements specified above. Mail-In items may only include publications, resumes, or organizational documentation. When submitting the required forms, do not send the entire application. Complete hard copy applications submitted after the electronic submission will not be considered for review.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission via the Grants.gov Website Portal, the applicant will be provided with a confirmation page from Grants.gov indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission, as well as the Grants.gov Receipt Number. It is critical that the applicant print and retain this confirmation for their records, as well as a copy of the entire application package.

All applications submitted via the Grants.gov Website Portal will be validated by Grants.gov. Any applications deemed “Invalid” by the Grants.gov Website Portal will not be transferred to the GrantSolutions system, and OPHS has no responsibility for any application that is not validated and transferred to OPHS from the Grants.gov Website Portal. Grants.gov will notify the applicant regarding the application validation status. Once the application is successfully validated by the Grants.gov Website Portal, applicants should immediately mail all required hard copy materials to the OPHS Office of Grants Management to be received by the deadlines specified above. It is critical that the applicant clearly identify the organization name and Grants.gov Application Receipt Number on all hard copy materials.

Once the application is validated by Grants.gov, it will be electronically transferred to the GrantSolutions system for processing. Upon receipt of both the electronic application from the Grants.gov Website Portal, and the required hardcopy mail-in items, applicants will receive notification via mail from the OPHS Office of Grants Management confirming the receipt of the application submitted using the Grants.gov Website Portal.

Applicants should contact Grants.gov regarding any questions or concerns regarding the electronic application process conducted through the Grants.gov Website Portal.

Electronic Submissions via the GrantSolutions System

The electronic grants management system, GrantSolutions.gov, provides for applications to be submitted electronically. When submitting applications via the GrantSolutions system, applicants are required to submit a hard copy of the application face page (Standard Form 424) with the original signature of an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency and assume the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant award. If required, applicants will also need to submit a hard copy of the Standard Form LLL and/or certain Program related forms (e.g., Program Certifications) with the original signature of an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency. When submitting the required forms, do not send the entire application. Complete hard copy applications submitted after the electronic submission will not be considered for review.

Electronic applications submitted via the GrantSolutions system must contain all completed online forms required by the application kit, the Program Narrative, Budget Narrative and any appendices or exhibits. The applicant may identify specific mail-in items to be sent to the Office of Grants Management separate from the electronic submission; however, these mail-in items must be entered on the GrantSolutions Application Checklist at the time of electronic submission, and must be received by the due date requirements specified above. Mail-In items may only include publications, resumes, or organizational documentation. When submitting the required forms, do not send the entire application. Complete hard copy applications submitted after the electronic submission will not be considered for review.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission including all electronic application components, required hardcopy original signatures, and mail-in items, as well as the mailing address of the OPHS Office of Grants Management where all required hard copy materials must be submitted.

As items are received by the OPHS Office of Grants Management, the electronic application status will be updated to reflect the receipt of mail-in items. It is recommended that the applicant monitor the status of their application in the GrantSolutions system to ensure that all signatures and mail-in items are received.

Mailed or Hand-Delivered Hard Copy Applications

Applicants who submit applications in hard copy (via mail or hand-delivered) are required to submit an original and two copies of the application. The original application must be signed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency or organization and to assume for the organization the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the grant award.

Mailed or hand-delivered applications will be considered as meeting the deadline if they are received by the OPHS Office of Grant Management on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the deadline date specified in the DATES section of the announcement. The application deadline date requirement specified in this announcement supersedes the instructions in the OPHS-1. Applications that do not meet the deadline will be returned to the applicant unread. Start Printed Page 17166

4. Intergovernmental Review

This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” as implemented by 45 CFR part 100.

5. Funding Restrictions

The allowability, allocability, reasonableness, and necessity of direct and indirect costs that may be charged to OPHS grants are outlined in the following documents: OMB Circular A-21 (Institutions of Higher Education); OMB Circular A-87 (State and Local Governments); OMB Circular A-122 (Nonprofit Organizations); and 45 CFR part 74, Appendix E (Hospitals). Copies of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars are available on the Internet at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants/​grants_​circulars.html.

Applicants for cooperative agreements are expected to anticipate and justify their funding needs and the activities to be carried out with those funds in preparing the budget and accompanying narrative portions of their applications. If applicants are uncertain whether a particular cost is allowable, they should contact the OPHS Office of Grants Management at 240-453-8822 for further information.

V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Each application for a cooperative agreement grant project will be evaluated individually according to the following criteria by a panel of independent reviewers appointed by the OPHS. Before the review panel convenes, each application will be screened for applicant organization eligibility, as well as to make sure the application contains all of the essential elements.

Applicants that meet the requirements of this program announcement will be notified by the Office of Grants Management. A panel of at least three reviewers will use the evaluation criteria listed below to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each application, provide comments and assign numerical scores. Applicants should address each criterion in the project application. The point values (summing up to 100) indicate the maximum numerical weight each criterion will be accorded in the review process.

Criterion 1: Objectives and Need for Assistance (30 Points)

Applicants must demonstrate a clear understanding of the legislative goals and demonstrate how their approach to the project design will contribute to achieve the legislative goals. Applicants must also demonstrate an understanding of the information and skills needed by the designated staff, as well as of the intended audience. Applicants should provide letters of commitment or Memoranda of Understanding from organizations, agencies, and consultants that will be partners or collaborators in the proposed project. These documents should describe the role of the agency, organization, or consultant and detail specific tasks to be performed. Specific review criteria include:

(1) Extent to which the application reflects an understanding of the legislative goals of the public awareness campaign for embryo donation and/or adoption, and implementation will contribute to achieving the legislative goals;

(2) Extent to which the application clearly describes and documents an understanding of the need for assistance to support and/or enhance existing efforts regarding public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption;

(3) Extent to which the application reflects a knowledge and understanding of the challenges involved with embryo donation and/or adoption, and in increasing public awareness about embryo donation and/or adoption;

(4) Extent to which the application reflects a knowledge and understanding of the medical and legal framework of embryo donation and/or adoption, and the services and resources in the geographic area in which the proposed project will be conducted;

(5) Extent to which the application explains how the proposed project will contribute to increased knowledge of the problems, issues, and effective strategies and best practices in the field of embryo donation and/or adoption; and,

(6) Extent to which the application presents a vision of how the project will advance embryo donation and/or adoption public awareness, and discusses broad contextual factors that will facilitate or impede increasing public awareness of embryo donation and/or adoption.

Criterion 2: Approach (30 Points)

In this section, applicants are expected to define goals and specific, measurable objectives for the project. Goals are an end product of an effective project. Objectives are measurable steps for reaching goals. Applicants are advised to describe a preliminary, yet appropriate and feasible plan of action pertaining to the scope of the proposed project and provide details on how the proposed project will be accomplished. If the project involves partnerships with other agencies and organizations, then the roles of each partner should be clearly specified. Applicants are required to describe how the project will be evaluated to determine the extent to which it has achieved its stated goals and objectives. Applicants are expected to present a project design that includes detailed procedures for documenting project activities that is sufficient to implement the goals and provide for an evaluation. The evaluation design is expected to include process and outcome analyses, if feasible. Applicants are expected to report on their evaluation results in their final report to the OPHS upon completion of the project period. Applicants are required to describe the activities that they will develop pursuant to the project. Applicants should discuss the intended audiences for these activities (e.g., ART centers, adoption organizations, practitioners, professional organizations that work with infertile couples, potential recipients, or donors) and present a dissemination plan specifying the venues for conveying the information. This criterion consists of four broad topics: (A) project design, (B) implementation, (C) evaluation, and (D) dissemination. Specific review criteria include:

(A) Design of the Project. (1) Extent to which the application reflects a familiarity with and understanding of professionally recognized standards and/or other relevant Federal or State requirements pertaining to embryo donation and/or adoption.

(2) Extent to which the proposed project goals, objectives, and outcomes are clearly specified and measurable, and reflect an understanding of the context in which embryo donation and/or adoption operates; and,

(3) Extent to which the application presents an approach that is: (a) Competency based, (b) consistent with the nationally recognized guidelines, and (c) can be evaluated.

(B) Implementation. (1) Extent to which the application clearly describes and provides a justification for the selection of the geographic region that will be served by the project;

(2) Extent to which the application presents an appropriate, feasible, and realistic plan for conducting the project;

(3) Extent to which the application presents an appropriate, feasible and realistic plan for recruiting, selecting, and training individuals to conduct the project;

(4) Extent to which the application provides an appropriate, feasible and Start Printed Page 17167realistic plan for documenting project activities and results, that can be used to describe and evaluate the project, and participant satisfaction; and,

(5) Extent to which the proposed project will establish and coordinate linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations.

(C) Evaluation. (1) Extent to which the methods of evaluation are feasible, comprehensive, and appropriate to the goals, objective, and context of the project;

(2) Extent to which the applicant provides an appropriate, feasible, and realistic plan for evaluating the project, including performance feedback and assessment of program progress that can be used as a basis for program adjustments;

(3) Extent to which the methods of evaluation include process and outcome analyses, as appropriate, for assessing the effectiveness of program strategies and the implementation process; and,

(4) Extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the program and will produce quantitative and qualitative results.

(D) Dissemination. (1) Extent to which the application provides an appropriate, feasible and realistic plan for dissemination of information and related educational materials;

(2) Extent to which the intended audience is clearly identified and defined and is appropriate to the goals of the proposed program;

(3) Extent to which the program's products will be useful to the respective audiences;

(4) Extent to which the applicant presents a realistic schedule for developing these products, and provides a dissemination plan that is appropriate in scope and budget to each of the audiences; and,

(5) Extent to which the products to be developed during the program are described clearly and will address the goal of dissemination of information and are designed to support evidence-based improvements of practices in the field.

Criterion 3: Organizational Profile (20 Points)

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to implement the proposed program. Capacity includes: (1) Previous experience with similar projects; (2) experience with the target audience; (3) qualifications and experience of the project leadership; (4) experience and commitment of any consultants and subcontractors; and, (5) appropriateness of the organizational structure. This criterion consists of three broad topics: (A) management plan, (B) staff qualifications, and (C) organizational capacity and resources.

Applicants are expected to present a sound and feasible management plan for implementing the proposed program. This section should detail how the program will be structured and managed, how the timeliness of activities will be ensured, how quality control will be maintained, and how costs will be controlled. The role and responsibilities of the lead agency should be clearly defined and, if appropriate, applicants should discuss the management and coordination of activities carried out by any partners, subcontractors, and consultants. Applicants should include a list of organizations and consultants who will work with the project, along with a short description of the nature of their contribution or effort. Applicants are also expected to produce a time line that presents a reasonable schedule of target dates, and accomplishments. The time line should include the sequence and timing of the major tasks and subtasks, important milestones, reports, and completion dates. The application should also discuss factors that may affect project implementation or the outcomes and present realistic strategies for the resolution of these difficulties.

Applicants must provide evidence that project staff have the requisite experience, and expertise to carry out the proposed project on time, within budget, and with a high degree of quality. Include information on staff knowledge of the medical and legal issues concerning embryo donation and/or adoption, and experience working in this area. Brief resumes of current and proposed staff, as well as job descriptions, should be included. Resumes must indicate the position that the individual will fill, and each position description must specifically describe the job as it relates to the proposed project.

Applicants must show that they have the organizational capacity and resources to successfully carry out the project on time and to a high standard of quality, including the capacity to resolve a variety of technical and management problems that may occur. If the proposed project involves partnering and/or subcontracting with other agencies/organizations, then the application should include an organizational capability statement for each participating organization documenting the ability of the partners and/or subcontractors to fulfill their assigned roles and functions. Specific review criteria include:

(A) Management Plan. (1) Extent to which the management plan presents a realistic approach to achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, time lines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

(2) Extent to which the role and responsibilities of the lead agency are clearly defined and the time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel (including consultants) are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project; and,

(3) Extent to which the applicant discusses factors that may affect the development and implementation of the project and presents realistic strategies for the resolution of these difficulties.

(B) Staff Qualifications. (1) Extent to which the proposed project director, key project staff, and consultants have the necessary technical skill, knowledge, and experience to successfully carry out their responsibilities; and,

(2) Extent to which staffing is adequate for the proposed project, including administration, program services, data processing and analysis, evaluation, reporting and implementation of the project.

(C) Organizational Capacity and Resources. (1) Extent to which the applicant and partnering organizations collectively have experience in embryo donation and/or adoption consistent with professionally recognized guidelines;

(2) Extent to which the applicant has experience in developing and implementing similar projects; and,

(3) Extent to which the applicant has adequate organizational resources for the proposed project, including administration, program operations, data processing and analysis, and evaluation.

Criterion 4: Budget and Budget Justification (20 Points)

Applicants are expected to present a detailed budget for both the first and second year budget periods. The budget should present reasonable project costs, appropriately allocated across component areas and sufficient to accomplish the objectives. Consideration shall be given to project delays due to start-up when preparing the budget. Applicants are expected to allocate sufficient funds in the budget to provide for two meetings each year with the Project Officer in Rockville, Maryland, and regular conference calls for programmatic collaboration during the performance of the project. Specific review criteria include: Start Printed Page 17168

(1) Extent to which applicant demonstrates that the project costs and budget information submitted for the proposed program are reasonable and justified in terms of the proposed tasks and the anticipated results and benefits; and,

(2) Extent to which the fiscal control and accounting procedures are adequate to ensure prudent use, proper and timely disbursement, and an accurate accounting of funds received under this announcement.

Review and Selection Process

Each application submitted to the OPHS Office of Grants Management will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time.

The results of a competitive review are a primary factor in making funding decisions. In addition, Federal staff will conduct administrative reviews of the applications and, in light of the results of the competitive review, will recommend applications for funding to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). The DASPA may also solicit and consider comments from others within DHHS in making funding decisions. Final grant awards decisions will be made by the DASPA. The DASPA will fund those projects which will, in his/her judgment, best promote the purposes of this program, within the limits of funds available for such projects.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

The OPA does not release information about individual applications during the review process. When final decisions have been made, successful applicants will be notified by letter of the outcome of the final funding decisions. The official document notifying an applicant that a project as been approved for funding is the Notice of Grant Award (NGA), signed by the OPHS Grants Management Officer, which sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the award, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, and the total project period for which support is contemplated. Every effort will be made to notify all unsuccessful applicants as soon as possible after final decisions are made.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

In accepting this award, the grantee stipulates that the award and any activities thereunder are subject to all provisions in 45 CFR parts 74 (non-governmental) and 92 (governmental) currently in effect or implemented during the period of the grant.

The DHHS Appropriations Act requires that when issuing statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations, and other documents describing projects or programs funded in whole or in part with Federal money, grantees shall clearly state the percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the program or project which will be financed with Federal money and the percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the project or program that will be financed by non-governmental sources.

3. Reporting Requirements

A successful applicant under this notice will submit: (a) Progress reports; (b) annual Financial Status Reports; and (c) a final performance report, including an evaluation report, and Financial Status Report. Reporting formats are established in accordance with provisions of the general regulations which apply under 45 CFR parts 74 and 92. Applicants must submit all required reports in a timely manner, in recommended formats, and submit a final report on the project, including any information on evaluation results, at the completion of the project period.

The final performance report should contain an overview of the program from start to finish, including information on: (a) Summary of the project, (b) state of the major goals and objectives of the project, (c) list of significant accomplishments, (d) description of innovative features, (e) statement of significant problems encountered and solutions developed, (f) a complete written disclosure of any invention, curriculum, publication, video, pamphlet conceived or produced as part of the grant funded project, (g) a copy of any products developed in association with the project. The final evaluation report should reflect an assessment of the program. It should describe factors contributing to both program success and problem areas. The report should include a description of the project's objectives, interventions, evaluation model and hypotheses, findings, and conclusions. The report should include a summary of the program statistics and findings. It should discuss the implications of project findings as they relate to the project objectives, as well as a set of recommendations based on the findings (where appropriate). The appendices to the evaluation report should include any data collection instruments and relevant references. Copies of any published articles, based on the project or project evaluation findings are also requested.

Agencies receiving $500,000 or more in total Federal funds are required to undergo an annual audit as described in OMB Circular A-133, “Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.”

VII. Agency Contacts

For application kits, submission of applications, and information on budget and business aspects of the application, please contact: WilDon Solutions, Office of Grants Management Operations Center, 1515 Wilson Blvd., Third Floor Suite 310, Arlington, VA 22209 at 1-888-203-6161, e-mail OPHSgrantinfo@teamwildon.com, or fax 703-351-1138.

Program Office Contact: Evelyn Kappeler, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of Population Affairs, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 700, Rockville, Maryland 20852. E-mail: Evelyn.Kappeler@hhs.gov; telephone: 240-453-2837.

Start Signature

Dated: April 2, 2007.

Evelyn M. Kappeler,

Acting Director, Office of Population Affairs.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-6433 Filed 4-5-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4150-28-P