Updated December 16, 2014


Budgeting for Core and Regional Consultants

Q1)  Does the regional staffing model allow for consultants to be budgeted on an hourly basis with an estimated amount (but not fixed percentage) of effort that would be flexible across the consultants to maintain flexibility?   

A1) Yes.


Q2) Would it be possible to specify two core consultants to represent one specialty (while also covering all of the specialties), so that either consultant could respond on an as-needed basis?  

A2) Yes.


Q3) If the flexible model is used, are there guidelines or expectations about the minimum amount of effort that would be distributed across the consultants and between the core and regional consultants?

Q3) There have been no minimums established.




Following the description of the hub-and-spoke staffing model on page 9, the RFP has a section on Satellites.  The RFP includes the following paragraph:

New regional satellite operations requests must be submitted to the PEHSU-West Program Office for ACMT review and approval. Requests should indicate proposed start date, satellite operational responsibilities and regional work plan linkages; proposed regional directorship management of satellite operations and work plan deliverables; and detailed budget with justifications. If approved, new satellite operations will be incorporated as part of the awardee annual report/continuation application.


Q4) Does “new” mean after the regional PEHSU is already approved and funded, or does it mean as a component of this RFP?  

A4)  Regional satellite requests should be submitted as a component of the regional PEHSU application.  


Q5) If any region is considering using a satellite structure, does this paragraph mean that the proposed satellite operation request should be submitted to the ACMT prior to the application deadline to get prior ACMT approval to include this structure in the application?  

A5) Requests for satellite operations should be submitted as part of the regional PEHSU application.  ACMT will not approve satellites in advance.


Q6) Would the funding for any satellite operation in a region have to be within the $150,000 cap for the region.

A6) The federal funding available through this RFP is $100,000 per region for Year 1.  It is expected that the funding for Years 2-5 will be $150,000 per region per year.  The funds requested  for any proposed satellite operations must be included in the total regional costs.  


Q7) Could there be any supplemental funding if approved in advance by the ACMT based on the satellite operations request?

A7) ACMT is not aware of any additional federal funding that is available for satellite operations.  If an applicant is able to secure supplemental funding in advance, that funding may be incorporated into the regional PEHSU application.  The applicant should clearly show which activities would be federally-funded through PEHSU funds and which activities are funded through alternate funds.



PEHSU Leadership Qualifications

Q8)The RFP states that the Regional Director must be a physician.  Are there any other qualifications that ACMT will accept to be eligible to be Regional Director?

A8) The Regional Director must be a physician.  A non-physician may share the leadership role.



New vs Existing PEHSUs

Q9) Do you know if ATSDR is looking to establish new PEHSU centers or is this RFP just to re-establish funding for existing centers?

A9) All qualified applicants are welcome to apply. The RFP is NOT just limited to current recipients and we have attempted to circulate the RFP broadly.



 Medical School Affiliation

Q10) The PEHSU West RFP states that the base of operations for each site must be an academic medical center with a medical school affiliation. Is a medical school affiliation required?

A10) The FOA places a high priority on education and expanded collaborative relationships with medical schools, so a close relationship with a medical school is required.



Naming Core Consultants

Q10) Must Regional and Core Consultants be named at the time of the application?  

A10) Ideally, the core and regional consultants should be named at the time of the application. The more information about your plans for identifying these consultants the better. Regardless, consultants must be named within 60 days of the award.



eLearning Modules

Q11) Page 11 of the RFP discusses e-lessons and e-learning modules. Are these considered distinct or does it refer to the same material? In some areas it appears that each PEHSU has to complete 5 of these, only one of which will be chosen for the national classroom. Does it mean that each PEHSU will be assigned one e-learning module, totaling 5 for the 5 regions?

A11) According to the FOA:

  • Annually, each PEHSU Region will develop and submit five (5) eLearning modules or other types of structured environmental medicine content appropriate for peer-review and eLearning module conversion consideration.

  • After consideration by the PEHSU Environmental Education Subcommittee, one of these five eLearning modules will be selected for peer-review and eLearning module conversion.

  • Annually each PEHSU will work with PEHSU-West instructional designer to develop the selected e-learning module into a full fledged module with instructional design which will be made available for clinicians and incorporated into the PEHSU National eLearning Classroom.


Narrative, Work Plan, and Budget (formatting and timelines)  

Q12) Can you clarify the number of pages allowed for the proposal?  It looks like the narrative has a maximum of 18 pages. But the work plan, which is under the narrative, has a maximum of 25 pages. What exactly included in the narrative page maximum?  Is the workplan that is submitted separately the work plan for the 5 year proposal or the workplan for the 8 months?

A12) The narrative is 18 pages. The work plan is an additional 25 pages.  Only one work plan is needed, and the narrative and work plan should be treated as separate write-ups.  Within the work plan, it is expected that the first year (8 months) will be covered in more detail than the subsequent years.  The FOA states: "Applicants must prepare a detailed work plan for the first year of the award and a high-level plan for subsequent years. ATSDR will provide feedback and technical assistance to awardees to finalize the work plan post-award."  


Q13) Are we expected to submit a budget for the entire 5 years or just for the 1st year (8 months). Also, do you just want the narrative budget or do you want a spreadsheet as well?

A13) Please provide a detailed budget for year one - which is 8 months. There is no need to submit a spreadsheet as well. (please see A14 below for further detail)  


Q14) I have reviewed the RFP for the PEHSU Program and noted that each document should be submitted as a separate PDF. Can you confirm whether or not the  'Budget Narrative' PDF should include the budget itself, or if you would like this as a separate document named 'Budget'?

A14) The budget narrative should be in the format of the CDC Budget Guidelines (available on the PEHSU RFP Information web page).  This format combines the budget itself with the narrative.  This is the only budget document that must be submitted. A Model Regional Budget (available on the PEHSU RFP Information web page) is an example of how funding may be used.


Q15) Is there any flexibility with the budget as the program is implemented? For example, if something changes, can funds be carried forward or switched between categories?

A15) A written request and justification would be necessary, but flexibility is expected.  


Q16) Could a subscription to Dreamweaver (website management) for $250/year be included in the budget?

A16) Requests for software are acceptable.


Q17) Should there be a plan and budget for a PEHSU meeting during the first 8 months?

A17) The first PEHSU meeting should take place within Year 1 and should be budgeted for.


Letters of Support and CVs  

Q18) One of our letter writers wanted to know the best address for mailing in a letter of support.  Could you let me know what that is?

A18) Letters of support should be addressed to the applicant/region supported and sent to the applicant/region as a PDF attachment. Applicants should then include this PDF attachment in their proposals.  


Q19) The RFP requested CVs. Are these interchangeable with NIH biosketches? That is what some people have sent in, though we have CVs for most.  

A19) NIH biosketches are acceptable.