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How to Apply for Federal Assistance
Writing a Winning Grant Proposal
Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.157 Centers of Excellence

FEDERAL AGENCY:

HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AUTHORIZATION:

Public Health Service Act, Title VII, Section 736, 42 U.S.C. 293, as amended; Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998, Public Law 105-392.
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The goal of this program is to assist eligible schools in supporting programs of excellence in health professions education for under-represented minority individuals. The grantee is required to use the funds awarded: (1) To develop a large competitive applicant pool through linkages with institutions of higher education, local school districts, and other community-based entities and establish an education pipeline for health professions careers; (2) to establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of under-represented minority students attending the school; (3) to improve the capacity of such school to train, recruit, and retain under-represented minority faculty including the payment of stipends and fellowships; (4) to carry out activities to improve the information resources, clinical education, curricula and cultural competence of the graduates of the schools as it relates to minority health issues; (5) to facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting under-represented minority groups, including research on issues relating to the delivery of health care; (6) to carry out a program to train students of the school in providing health services to a significant number of under-represented minority individuals through training provided to such students at community-based health facilities that provide such health services and are located at a site remote from the main site of the teaching facilities of the school; and (7) to provide stipends as appropriate.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Grant funds may be used by health professions schools to: (1) Establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of minority students attending the school; (2) establish, strengthen or expand programs to increase the number and quality of minority applicants to the school; (3) improve the capacity of the school to train, recruit, and retain minority faculty; (4) with respect to minority health issues, to carry out activities to improve the information resources and curricula of the school and clinical education at the school; and (5) facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting minority groups.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   Eligible applicants are: accredited schools of allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, graduate programs in behavioral or mental health, or other public and nonprofit health or educational entities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities as described in Section 736(c)(2)(A) of the Public Service Act and which received a contract under Section 788B of the Public Health Service Act (Advanced Financial Distress Assistance) for fiscal year 1987 may apply for Centers of Excellence (COE) grants under Section 736 of the Public Health Service Act.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Certain HBCUs and eligible health professions schools must train a significant number of under-represented minority students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; faculty recruitment, training and retention; and faculty and student research activities.

Credentials/Documentation:   The basis for determining the allowance and allocability of costs charged to Public Health Service (PHS) grants is set forth in 45 CFR 74, Subpart Q.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   This program is excluded from courage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   The new URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) Grants Page is www.hrsa.dhhs.gov/bhpr/grants2002. The BHPr uses Adobe Acrobat and Word to publish its grant documents on the Web page. In order to download, view and print Adobe Acrobat documents, you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. This can be obtained without charge from the Internet by going to the Adobe Web Page (www.adobe.com) and downloading the version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is appropriate for your operating system, i.e., Windows, Unix, Macintosh, etc. A set of more detailed instructions on how to download and use the Adobe Acrobat Reader can be found on the BHPr Grants Web page under "Notes on this WWW Page." Applicants are encouraged to obtain application materials from the World Wide Web via the Internet.

Award Procedure:   Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Grant Award issued from the Headquarters office.

Deadlines:   Application deadlines are available on the World Wide Web at address: http://www.hrsa.gov/bhpr/grants2002.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   About 4 months after receipt of applications.

Appeals:   Appeals are available only to grantees.

Renewals:   At the end of the initial project period, competing continuation applications may be submitted for up to three 3 years.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Project periods are for 3 years.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   A Uniform Summary Progress Report must be submitted for the second or subsequent budget periods within the approved project period. Financial Status Reports are required within 90 days after the end of each budget period. A final progress report and final Financial Status Report must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the project period.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records:   Financial records must be kept available for 3 years after the submission of expenditure report, and 3 years after the final disposition of non-expendable property. If questions remain, such as those raised as a result of an audit, records must be retained until the problem is resolved.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:   75-0350-0-1-550.

Obligations:   FY 01 $27,008,586; FY 02 est $32,637,570; and FY 03 est $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  
HBCUs: FY 2015 actual: $2,339,598 to $3,498,237; Average: $3,000,000 FY 2016 est. $2,340,000 to $3,500,000; Average: $3,000,000

Non-HBCUs: FY 2015 actual: $418,288 to $700,000: Average: $661,287 FY 2016 est.: $ 860,000 to $900,000: Average: $891,000.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In fiscal year 2001, nine competing awards and 22 continuation awards were made. In fiscal year 2002, 14 continuations and 19 competitive awards are anticipated. In fiscal year 2003, no awards are anticipated.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Pertinent information may be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Health Professions Grants Office, Grants Management Branch, Room 8C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone number (301) 443-6880.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:   Not applicable.

Headquarters Office:  
Meseret Bezuneh 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15N52, Rockville, Maryland 20857 Email: mbezuneh@hrsa.gov Phone: (301) 443-6950

Web Site Address:  
http://bhw.hrsa.gov/grants/diversity/coe.html

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Projects funded proposed a range of activities for under-represented targeted minority individuals, including high school students; undergraduate college preprofessional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) students; enrolled professional students and faculty. COEs support structured and unstructured summer and academic year activities to address the five legislative purposes. Activities include summer academic enrichment programs for undergraduate college students; professional school admissions process preparation sessions (MCAT/DAT review, etc.); retention services for enrolled professional students (i.e., summer prematriculation programs, tutorials, personal and career counseling; clinical educational experiences; recruitment/retention of basic science and clinical faculty; student/faculty research experiences; medical school curriculum development; increased library holdings relative to minority health issues; and purchase of computer and other equipment (to retain faculty and improve professional student performance, etc.).

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Project proposals are evaluated on the basis of: (1) The degree to which the applicant arrange to continue the proposed project beyond the federally-funded project period; (2) the degree to which the proposed project meets all purposes stated in the legislative authorization; (3) the relationships of the objectives of the proposed project and the goals that are developed; (4) the administrative and managerial ability of the applicant to carry out the project in a cost-effective manner; (5) the adequacy of the staff and faculty to carry out the program; (6) the soundness of the budget for assuring effective utilization of grant funds and the proportion of total program funds which come from nonfederal sources and the degree to which they are projected to increase over the grant period; (7) the number of individuals who can be expected to benefit from the project; (8) the technical merit of the project; and (9) the overall impact the project will have on strengthening the schools' capacity to train the targeted minority health professionals and increase the supply of minority health professionals available to serve minority populations in underserved areas.

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