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FAQ: Maternal Health Research Collaborative for Minority-Serving Institutions (MH-RC-MSI) Research Centers (RCs)

1. Where do I find application materials for the Research Collaborative?

All application materials are available on

2. How can I download the complete application package for the Research Collaborative NOFOs?

You can download the application by searching for the application number HRSA-23-112 and HRSA-23-113 on

  • Click on the hyperlink for HRSA-23-112 and HRSA-23-113
  • Click on the last blue tab entitled "PACKAGE."
  • Scroll down and click on the "Preview" hyperlink under the "Actions" column.
  • Select the "Download Instructions" button in the right-hand corner. This will download the application.

3. What is is the website that the U.S. Government uses to inform citizens of grant opportunities and provide a portal for submitting applications to government agencies. More information can be found on the website.

4. Is there anything that we need to do immediately to better prepare for our new grant application?

Yes, make sure that the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at your university or institution has registered the university/organization and himself/herself in In order to submit your application (new or continuation), your university and your AOR MUST be registered in When your AOR registers in, he/she will receive a Credential User Name and Password which will allow that individual to submit application forms in

5. What are the key take-home messages about

  1. Make sure that the AOR from your university/organization is registered in NOW. This process can take up to 1 month and it is better to complete it and have it out of the way before starting any grant application.
  2. Read the instructions on carefully and allow time for corrections. Enter information in fields even if it is "0" or the form will remain incomplete. Required fields are highlighted in yellow.
  3. There are resources available on the website to help you navigate this new system. Please visit to access these resources.
  4. Key information for budget preparation:
    1. With the HRSA SF-424 R&R, report faculty and staff time in calendar month equivalents.
    2. Budget details about subcontracts are described in a section of the SF-424 R&R called subawards
      Detailed budgets are required for each of the 5 years in the period of performance.

6. What types of institutions can apply?

Eligibility is limited to public or non-profit institutions of higher learning and public or private non-profit agencies engaged in research or in programs relating to maternal and child health and/or services for children with special health care needs. See 42 CFR § 51a.3(b). Faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are eligible to apply.

See Section III.1 of the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for complete eligibility Information

7. The NOFO notes that the grant supports "applied research." What do you mean by "applied research"?

In general, we define applied research as bringing basic research models and theories to application in practice - e.g., efficacy trials of new interventions, implementation studies, etc. Applied research also includes the scaling of pilots and translating research into policy and practice recommendations.

8. We are trying to apply for the announced grants, but our organization does not have an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement. What should we do?

According to the HRSA SF-424 R&R Application Guide, "any non-federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, (except a governmental department or agency unit that receives more than $35 million in direct federal funding) may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10 percent of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely." The HRSA SF-424 R&R Application Guide also contains information on how to negotiate the indirect cost rate.

9. How do I know what my institution's indirect cost rate is?

Your institution's indirect cost rate is negotiated by the institution with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Your sponsored program office will be able to provide further information about the indirect cost rate.

10. Is there a requirement regarding minimum or maximum effort for the PI?

In general, the NOFO does not specify any minimum or maximum time requirement for the PD/PI, but we expect the PD/PI to dedicate a minimum of 20 percent effort to this cooperative agreement to justify their commitment to the project. The current PD/PI of an active HRSA/MCHB/Office of Epidemiology and Research (OER)/Division of Research (DOR) award can serve for no more than 10 percent time on a new proposal.

11. Can someone who is currently a PI on another agency grant be a PI of the Research Collaborative?

Yes, however, if selected for funding, the new recipient will need to verify that percent effort across all federally funded grants does not exceed 100 percent.

12. We have more than one investigator in our institution planning to apply to this NOFO. Is more than one application per institution allowable?

Yes, more than one application per institution is allowable.

13. Which format should we follow for the biographical sketch?

Please use the NIH biographical sketch form (DOCX - 28 KB). Please note that even though the document has an OMB clearance number, it is not a standard form and your response counts against the page limit. See Appendix Ffor Guidance.

14. Are there page limits for the submitted application?

Yes, the total size of all uploaded files included in the page limit may not exceed 60 pages when printed by HRSA.

15. What counts towards the page limits?

The page limit applies to the:

  • Project and budget narratives
  • Attachments
  • Biographical sketches

The page limit does not apply to the following:

  • Standard OMB-approved forms (including the new Project Abstract Summary) that are included in the application package
  • Indirect Cost Rate Agreement
  • Proof of Non-Profit Status
  • Documentation/Explanation Demonstrating Proof of Minority-Serving Institution Status

If an application exceeds required page limitations, the pages over the limit will be deleted.

16. Are there any page limitations to the narrative?

There is no page limitation to the narrative. The NOFO recommends a maximum of 15 pages for the Methodology section of the narrative. Preliminary studies can be included if applicable. Please consult the NOFO and/or the HRSA SF-424 R&R Application Guide, referenced throughout the NOFO, for more specific information.

17. Are there font/margin requirements?

Follow HRSA guidelines, which call for 1" margins and 12-point font. More information on specification regarding fonts and margins can be found in the HRSA SF-424 R&R Application Guide

18. Where do I include the staffing plan?

The staffing plan information is included in the budget narrative attachment that should be uploaded into the budget form Box K.

19. Where can I find information on previous awards for the MCH Research Program?

Information on current and past funded projects can be found on our website. Feel free to search our funded projects.

20. When will you announce your other research NOFOs?

Please join our listserv to receive an alert whenever our NOFOs are released.

21. Who should I talk to if I have further questions?

For programmatic questions, the Project Officers listed in the NOFO via email.

For budget questions, the Grants Management Specialist listed in the NOFO via email.

22. Can I send the point of contact/Project Officer my project proposal/abstract/project summary to review?

No. Though questions are welcome throughout the open competition phase, please be aware that the point of contact/Project Officer has no authority to determine the validity or success of your proposal. The Project Officer cannot provide feedback or guidance on your draft proposal. Your proposal will be reviewed by an independent review panel comprised of experts in the field.

23. Does HRSA offer extensions for submitting applications?

If you experience system glitches or a qualified emergency, you can request an exemption/waiver for your application which is subject to HRSA's discretion. Please submit your exemption request in writing to

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