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FAQs: HRSA 21-104: Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network Program

  1. Can you clarify the Eligible Institutions?

    The eligibility for this program is grounded in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 as described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network (RPPN) program.

    Note: One Center could fulfill more than one of the criteria listed below.

    The RPPN will be composed of five children’s hospitals or their affiliated university pediatric partners that collectively meet the following criteria:

    • At least one center in a State within both the Delta Regional Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission.
      • States that are within both the Delta Regional Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission are: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, or Tennessee
    • At least one such center at a pediatric hospital in each of HRSA's regions V and VII.
      • Region V includes these states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
      • Region VII includes these states: Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.
    • At least one such center in HRSA region VIII or X.
      • Region VIII includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
      • Region X includes: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
    • At least one such center at a pediatric hospital that is a primary National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grantee or a partner that contributes to the budget request of an academic medical center's application at the time of this application. To confirm eligibility, the applicant must include a letter from the institutional Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) / Business Official in the application that confirms they meet the criteria.
  2. How do I know if a Center fits the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) criterion? 

    An eligible applicant must be able to answer “yes” to either of the below questions and provide a letter from the Authorized Organizational Representative or Business Official as described in the NOFO:

    • Are you a CTSA program hub at a pediatric hospital? 
    • Are you a pediatric hospital that partners with a CTSA that uses your NIH funding to calculate their CTSA budget request?
  3. What is meant by equitable funding?

    The Joint Explanatory Statement language states that “Funding shall be equitably distributed among the five centers.” Equitable funding can be equal funding or it can be equitable based on the relative needs and/or contributions of the Centers. You must describe in the budget narrative the approach to and factors used to determine equitable distribution of the funding among the five centers (e.g., relative needs, size of population served, infrastructure needed or in place, center’s activities, etc.).

  4. Recognizing that only one institution may be a lead institution, are Co-PI's allowed for the grant proposal submission for this NOFO?

    Yes. Co-Principal Investigators (PI) are allowable. Note the individual / organization submitting the application must identify one person as the main PI, who will be the contractually responsible point of contact for the cooperative agreement with HRSA that is the primary PI overseeing and responsible for the project.

  5. What is the definition of a Children’s hospital?

    The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 requires that RPPN be “comprised of five children’s hospitals (centers) as defined by section 340E of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act or their affiliated university pediatric partners.” Section 340E of the PHS Act authorizes the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment program.

    Please note that the NOFO does not specify that an applicant has to be a recipient of CHGME funding. Rather, eligible applicants must be a children’s hospital as defined in the CHGME program or an affiliated university pediatric partner of a children’s hospital, applying on behalf of a Network and meeting additional criteria grounded in the Joint Explanatory Statement

  6. Can an institution be on multiple applications?

    The NOFO does not prohibit an institution from being listed in more than one application. Only one application will be awarded.

  7. What is the role of the children’s hospital or university pediatric partner that is a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grantee or a partner that contributes to the budget request of an academic medical center' application?

    As noted on page 38 of the NOFO, the CTSA Program supports a national network of medical research institutions/hubs that work together to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care. A key program priority is to maximize shared resources that bring academic researchers and community members together to demonstrate respect for community priorities, values and improve community health.

  8. Is there a research component?

    On page 1 of the NOFO, one primary objective of the RPPN program is to accelerate real-time dissemination of research-informed pediatric care to better address the unique needs of children and their families. The NOFO does not explicitly list implementing research as an activity but there may be activities that fall into that area.

    The NOFO seems to overlook the medical home as a key component of emergency and disaster readiness (and particularly for pandemic readiness).

    The NOFO does include health care as a key partner and in addition lists an activity that focuses on ensuring access to and delivery of preventive health services to all children during and after a pandemic (p.13).

  9. Is there a required format for the biographical sketch?

    No, only the two-page limit noted in the NOFO.

  10. Can the subject matter experts involved be from outside the awarded sites?

    Yes. 

  11. Are there any limitations to how SME’s can be funded as consultants?

    The NOFO does not give that specificity in regards to funding SMEs. The NOFO provides some guidance on SMES on page 19.

  12. Can subcontracts be generated to more than the 5 children’s hospitals?

    The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the NOFO on page 1 notes: The Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network (the “Network”) will be comprised of five children’s hospitals or their affiliated university pediatric partners in geographically diverse areas across the United States that will work collaboratively across institutions to plan and implement the work of this cooperative agreement.

    In addition, on page 19 of the NOFO, note that requirement that “Funding shall be equitably distributed among the five centers.”

    Also, please note on page 28 in the related criteria reviewers will use as they review the budget: “The degree to which funding is distributed equitably across all five participating children’s hospitals and the criteria for this are included and appropriate.”

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2021