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1. Q: The NOFO indicates a start of fall/winter of 2023, but the Guidelines Document indicates March 2024. Can the TIP Office confirm the anticipated start date?
  • A: Applicants should anticipate a start date of fall/winter 2023.
2. Q: May local organizations/firms be considered contractors if the nature of the work is more appropriately classified as a contract rather than a subaward per 2 CFR 200.331?
  • A: Yes, please clearly identify if the work will either be classified as a subcontract or a subaward. 2 CFR 200.331 provides definitions and identifies that it is the substance of the relationship that determines whether it should be classified as a contract or a subaward.
3. Q: Page 21 states, “Engagement with a local research university or entity in Nepal is required and the methodology for the research will need to receive relevant ethical approvals.” The National Health Research Council (NHRC) provides IRB reviews of social sciences research, however local IRB approval is only required for health research in Nepal (NHRC’s delegated universities/entities are all health-focused). Further, the NHRC will charge 3% of the project budget for an IRB review. Please clarify:
a. Given the high cost and lack of formal requirement for this research of this nature, would the TIP Office allow U.S.-based IRB approval coupled with a local research advisory council review in lieu of local IRB approval?
b. If not, can the TIP Office confirm that 3% of the award should be allocated for NHRC review/approval?
  • A: Research teams should follow their required IRB approvals before conducting any research. Applicants should explain in their proposals how/why they will work with local research advisory council review if they are proposing that over a local IRB approval, should that path be acceptable to their US-based IRB.
4. Q: Relatedly, is partnership with an academic institution and/or academic researcher required? The language of the NOFO suggests partnership with a local research firm coupled with a qualified local TIP researcher/co-investigator would meet the requirements, but we wanted to confirm.
  • A: As noted in the NOFO on page 4, “Strong applicants will demonstrate, through letters of support or letters of commitment, existing relationships with the relevant government institutions, civil society organizations, as well as academic and/or research institutions based in Nepal.”
5. Q: Given the large gap between the budget minimum and maximum, can the TIP Office elaborate if/how the cost proposal will be weighted/evaluated relative to the technical proposal? 
  • A: The cost and budget for any proposal should be appropriate for the research plan and methodology that is explained within the proposal. Applicants, no matter the total proposed budget of the proposal, will be evaluated based on their own merits using the evaluation criteria outlined in Section F of the notice of funding opportunity.
6. Q: Can a sub-contractor partner on more than one application or are they restricted to only one application?
  • A: The TIP Office does not have any restrictions that would prevent an organization from sub-contracting to more than one application under this funding opportunity.
7. Q: Can partner organizations be proposed on more than one application and/or by more than one prime/lead applicant?
  • A: Under this funding opportunity, applicants may be included as a sub-grantee on multiple applications.  Organizations can only submit one application as the lead applicant but can be included as the sub-grantee on multiple proposals.  If an organization chooses to submit as a lead applicant, they are still able to be listed as the sub-grantee for others. All applications must clearly identify what organization is serving as the lead applicant.

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