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Purpose of Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to support organizations in preparing application documents. Applicants are responsible for reviewing the funding opportunity, required application templates, and the following guidelines when preparing applications.

Online Forms: Standard Forms 424, 424A, and 424B

There are three mandatory application forms that must be completed through SAMS Domestic ( ):

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

When completing these forms, please use the below guidance to fill in all fields except where noted as “Leave Blank.”

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)

1. Type of Submission: Application

2. Type of Application: New

3. Date Received: This will be assigned automatically.

4. Applicant Identifier: Leave blank.

5a. Federal Entity Identifier: Leave blank.

5b. Federal Award Identifier: Leave blank.

6. Date Received by State: Leave blank. This will be assigned automatically.

7. State Application Identified: Leave blank. This will be assigned automatically.

8a. Enter the legal name of the applicant organization: Do NOT list abbreviations or acronyms unless they are part of the organization’s legal name.

8b. Employer/Taxpayer ID Number: Non-U.S. organizations enter 44-4444444.

8c. Enter organizational Unique Entity Identifier number (UEI). Organizations can request a UEI number at: . Enter “0000000000” for organizations that do not yet have a UEI number.

8d. Enter the headquarters address of the applicant

8e. Enter the name of the primary organizational unit (and department or division) that will undertake the assistance activity as applicable.

8f. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the person to be contacted on matters involving this application.

9. Select an applicant type (type of organization)

10. Enter: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

11. Enter: 19.019. This should be automatically entered.

12. Enter the Funding Opportunity Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.

13. Enter the Competition Identification Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.

14. Areas Affected by Project: Enter country or region.

15. Enter the title of proposed project: Enter project title.

16. (16a) Congressional districts of Applicant: Applicants based in the U.S. should enter congressional district. Foreign applicants should enter “90.” 16(b) All applicants should enter “90.”

17. Enter start date March, 2024, and projected end date.

18. (18a) Enter the amount requested for the project described in the full proposal under “Federal”; (18b) enter any cost-share under “Applicant.” If not proposing cost-share, enter zeros.

19. Select “c. Program is not covered by E.O 12372.”

20. Select the appropriate box. If the answer is “yes” to this question, provide an explanation.

21. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the individual authorized to sign for the application on behalf of the applicant organization.

SF-424A Applicants often say this form is confusing. Please review the detailed instructions below BEFORE completing this form online.

Section A – Budget Summary – Complete Tab 1

a. Enter: Anti-Trafficking Program (This is the only grant program that needs to be entered). Click Save to refresh the page.

b. Click the Anti-Trafficking Program link and enter: 19.019.

c-d. Leave these fields blank.

e. Enter the amount of federal funds requested for this project.

f. Enter the amount of any other funds the applicant will receive towards this project.

g. The total cost of this project will automatically be calculated. Click Save & Return

Section B – Budget Categories – Complete Tab 2 – Enter total project costs in each category in Column 1 as described below. In Column 5 the form should automatically show the sum. Columns 2, 3, and 4 leave blanks.

a-h. Click into each category to enter the amount for each object class category (Include cost sharing).

i. Enter the sum of 6a-6h.

j. Enter any indirect charges.

k. Enter the sum of 6i and 6j.

Program Income. Enter any program income that will be earned as a result of the project. If none, leave this section blank.

Section C – Non-Federal Resources – Complete Tab 3 – (Only complete this section if the proposal includes funds from other sources)

1. Click into Anti-Trafficking Program.

2. Enter cost share amount in the Applicant field, if applicable.

3. Leave the State field blank.

4. Enter the amount of any other funding sources for this project.

5. The total amount for all non-federal resources should automatically be calculated.

Section D – Forecasted Cash Needs – Complete Tab 4

1. In the first column, enter the total amount of federal funds requested for the project. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.

2. In the first column, enter the total amount of non-federal funds you expect to expend during the project. Please list total cost share in this column. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.

3. The form should automatically calculate the sum. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.

Section E – Budget Estimates of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of the Project – Complete Tab 5

1. Click Anti-Trafficking Program.

2. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year one of the project. Click Save.

3. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year two of the project (if applicable).

4. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year three of the project (if applicable).

Section F – Other Budget Information – Complete Tab 6

1. Enter: Direct Charges – Leave Blank.

2. Enter: Indirect Charges – If Indirect Charges are shown in Tab 2 (Budget Categories), enter the type of Indirect Rate used (Provisional, Predetermined, Final, or Fixed).

3. Enter any comments.


This form must be signed online in SAMS Domestic. Please note, the SF-424B is now required only for those applicants who have not registered in or recertified their registration in since February 2, 2019, and completed the online representations and certifications.

Project Narrative: Research Experience and Country/Regional Expertise

Key Information

Applicants are required to use the project narrative template on SAMS-Domestic, do not submit a PDF file. Project narratives must not exceed 35,000-characters calculated in the Microsoft Word desktop application and must use black-colored, Calibri font no smaller than 12-point. NOTE: The project narrative template will not keep applicants from exceeding the character count, so applicants are responsible for keeping track of the total character count.

Applicants MUST use the section headers provided in the template. Any application that does not submit the required template with these restrictions will fail the technical review. Spaces, footnotes, and charts are included within the character limit. Applicants MUST type within the template’s grey box.

The project narrative must list the following key information in the cover page:

  • Project Region(s)
  • Project Country(ies)
  • Project Title
  • Name of applicant organization
  • Type of organization
  • Name and email address of point of contact for the application (this should be the same contact that is listed on the SF-424 in 8f)
  • Funding amount requested in U.S. dollars. If applicants include a cost share it should also be in U.S. dollars. No other figures are requested at this time.
  • Project duration in months

The remaining area of this section will make up the foundation of the project narrative.

Project Narrative

The project narrative should include the following components:

Past Experience Conducting Landscape and Gap Analyses (required)

In this section, applicants should describe current problem(s) and trends related to human trafficking and closely related issues in a particular region/country and how the applicant has addressed said problems in past landscape gap analyses. This assessment should contextualize these problem(s) and trends, including but not limited to: the cause of the problem(s); its magnitude; the impact on human trafficking and/or closely related issues; who or what is being impacted by the problem; and relevant conditions (i.e., economic, social, political, environmental, etc.) affecting the problem. Strong applicants should include a situational assessment that relies heavily on past performance (i.e., research, programming, etc.) of the applicant and local information sources. Applicants should also highlight their ability to operate in a specific country and/or region and conduct analyses that support anti-human trafficking work or other related fields.

Past Research on Human Trafficking or Closely Related Issues (required)

In this section, applicants should highlight both past and current work, including research, involving human trafficking or related issues. Strong applicants will demonstrate instances where research was informed by meaningful input and expertise from survivors or persons with lived experience of human trafficking.

In doing so, applicants should describe what methodologies were used and why to gather insight from stakeholders such as community members, local and national government officials, and civil society. Past experience should include both primary and secondary data collection and literature review.

Local Partnerships and Relationships with Local Research Institutions (required)

Applicants should describe existing partnerships with anti-trafficking organizations and other actors in the chosen locality(ies) to enhance the project’s ability to carry out activities. Coordination with a local research institution or human trafficking expert is required of any selected applicant, so these past or existing relationships should be described.

If selected, applicants may partner with other organizations to implement and carry out award activities or contribute to the co-creation and feedback processes of the project. If this is done, selected applicants must clearly identify the lead applicant, and the applicant may designate one or more partner organizations as sub-recipients. This section must provide an example an applicant has taken to partner with local research institutions and/or human trafficking experts that clearly delineates the respective roles and responsibilities of the applicant and of each partner in that program or study. Should the example include an instance where the lead applicant is not based in the intervention country and/or region, the example should highlight where the applicant identified local partner engaged in the project from its inception and how that approach might be replicated for future analyses.

Applicants should submit a copy of signed letters of agreement or intent to cooperate under Annex J. All letters of partnership from intended sub-recipients may be submitted in a foreign language, however, if selected for funding the applicant will be asked to submit an English translation. Other letters of endorsement, such as from governments may be submitted in a foreign language with an informal English translation. Applicants should not approach or include letters of intent from any U.S. embassies or consulates.

Organizational Capacity (required)

This section demonstrates the applicant’s (and if relevant, past sub-grantees’ and/or sub-contractor’s) capacities and qualifications that uniquely enable them to carry out a rapid landscape and gap analysis in the proposed country and/or regions. Applicants must clearly demonstrate relevant experience implementing such an analysis in the proposed country and/or region on the topic of human trafficking or closely related fields and experience administering projects within similar or related subject matter areas. Strong applicants must also demonstrate their ability and track record of working with stakeholders in governments, academia, civil society, human trafficking survivors, the private sector, other funders, and international organizations. The applicant should also have an appropriate knowledge of human trafficking or closely related fields.

For prior recipients of both TIP Office and other U.S. government funding, the TIP Office will consider the past performance on awards. For new applicants, the TIP Office will evaluate the organization’s potential to successfully implement rapid landscape and gap analyses in a particular country and/or region. Applicants must identify well-qualified key personnel to manage the project and oversee implementation.

Relevant Ethical Considerations (required)

Applicants must demonstrate experience giving proper consideration to ethics in past research activities. Ethical considerations should be identified, examined, and addressed from the project’s inception. Applicants must demonstrate in past studies their pro-active consideration of the ethical implications for all individuals involved in an analysis. They should discuss the measures they took to ensure informed consent, confidentiality, and respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals involved. Where relevant, applicants should also discuss the risks and benefits to researchers, participants, and others in past analyses, including potentially stigmatized or marginalized groups (e.g., LBQTIA+, undocumented migrants, etc.) as a result of the research.

Proposal Narrative Annexes

All applicants are required to submit the following annexes, completed to the extent possible. Panel members will use the annexes (unless noted otherwise) along with the project narrative to evaluate applications.

Annex A: Summary of Research Methods (required)

In this Annex, applicants must identify, justify, and describe research methods used in one or more of the deliverables identified in Section 2 of the Project Narrative above. If multiple methods have been used in the past, please provide a selection of the most relevant research methods for this opportunity. This is intended to provide the TIP Office and panel reviewers with additional insight into the applicant’s experience applying varied methods to produce actionable research.

Applicants should identify a selection of previously employed research methods which could theoretically also be used to respond to the areas of inquiry identified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Following this, the selection of these methods should be justified in the context of the deliverable for which they were applied. Applicants are encouraged to describe how the identified research methods provided deep insight into the context at hand and enabled the identification of future programmatic interventions in the same or similar locality. Strong applicants will highlight participatory approaches where the population affected by the issue being investigated were involved in planning and carrying out the research.

Next, applicants must fill out and paste Table 1 found below with additional information about the identified methods as they were applied in the relevant deliverable. This will enable the TIP Office and panel reviewers to understand how the method was applied to produce the findings and/or recommendations associated with the deliverable. The first column should list the deliverable title, and the second should list the method(s) identified above. Applicants should state the purpose for each method (e.g., to better understand victims’ experiences and perspectives of available services), the target population for the method (e.g., who will be interviewed, surveyed, etc.), and any recruitment strategies used to reach participants. Applicants may add additional rows to each deliverable as necessary.

Table 1: Summary of Research Methods

Deliverable Research Methods Purpose Target Population(s) Est. Sample Size Recruitment Strategy

Annex B: Budget Summary by Project Year (required)

Provide a summary budget showing totals for the categories listed below for each proposed assessment. Only include the cost-share column if the requested budget includes voluntary cost-share. Please provide a figure rounded to the nearest $100,000 for the total federal funds requested.

For your convenience, a sample is listed below.

Budget Summary Categories Year XX Year XX Cost Share

(If applicable)

Total Federal Funds Requested Total Cost of Project

(includes cost-share, if applicable)

1. Personnel
2. Fringe Benefits
3. Travel
4. Equipment
5. Supplies
6. Contractual
7. Construction
8. Other Direct Costs
9. Total Direct Costs (lines 1-8)
10. Indirect Costs
11. Total Costs (lines 9-10)

Annex C: Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)*

This is not applicable to all applicants and is only required for those applicants that have a NICRA.

A Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) is a document published to reflect an estimate of indirect cost rate negotiated between the Federal Government and a grantee organization, which reflects the indirect costs (facilities and administrative costs) and fringe benefit expenses incurred by the organization that will be the same across all of the agencies of the United States.

Applicants that have a NICRA must submit a copy of the current NICRA between their organization and the relevant U.S. government agency. It should clearly indicate the type of Indirect Rate used (e.g., Provisional, Predetermined, Final, or Fixed).

Not all organizations may have a NICRA and organizations that do not have a NICRA will not be disqualified or penalized. Applicants that do not have a NICRA can include a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC).

Annex D: Resumes/CVs for Key Personnel (required)

If key personnel have already been identified for the proposed project, applicants must submit the relevant individuals’ resume/CVs. Key personnel are defined as individuals who contribute to the program development or execution of a project in a substantive measurable way; this is typically a program director or program manager. No more than five positions should be identified as key personnel.

Each resume/CV shall include the individual’s educational background, current employment status, and previous work experience, including position title, duties performed, dates in position, and employing organizations. The resume should highlight skills relevant to managing the program, including donor coordination, grants management, and anti-trafficking-in-persons expertise.

If the key personnel selected to work on the proposed program will also be working on another TIP Office program or project that is already being funded, please provide the time commitments for both the existing program and proposed program.

You may consolidate resumes/CVs into one document.

Annex E: Letters of Agreement or Letters of Intent to Cooperate (required)

Applicants must demonstrate existing relationships with human trafficking stakeholders in the selected country and/or region. Coordination with a local research institution or human trafficking expert is required, so applicants should highlight past or current partnerships.

Therefore, applicants must propose one or more partnerships between NGOs, and universities, private sector entities, or governments and should submit letters of intent to cooperate from the entity or entities that indicate their willingness to form a partnership for the purposes of the program. All letters of partnership from intended sub-recipients may be submitted in a foreign language, however, if selected for funding the applicant will be asked to submit an English translation. Other letters of endorsement, such as from governments, may be submitted in a foreign language with an informal English translation. Applicants should not approach or include letters of intent from any U.S. embassies or consulates.

Annex F: Donor History Form

Include a list of previous and/or current U.S. federal assistance awards received to combat trafficking in persons or related topics within the past 10 years. Please include the awarding agency, name of the project, start and end dates, a brief description of the award and target population, and amount of the award. Applicants that have not received previous U.S. federal assistance should instead list current or past projects supported by other donors. Applicants that have not received donor funds should provide a list of current or past projects implemented on or related to trafficking in persons.

While no template is provided for Annex F, applicants are encouraged to submit a Word document using 12-point Calibri font.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future