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2012 NIMH Outreach Partnership Program Solicitation

For North/Central California and Southern California

(A list of current Outreach Partners can be found at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/outreach/partnership-program/outreach-partners.shtml 
The question submission period for this solicitation closed on August 20, 2012.)

Prepared by Outreach Partnership Program, Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison, National Institute of Mental Health

July 2012

Contents

Solicitation

Preparing the Proposal

NIMH Outreach Partnership Program Solicitation

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is soliciting proposals for its Outreach Partnership Program from organizations in California to serve counties in the North/Central and Southern regions of the state, respectively. Non-profit organizations that conduct outreach focused on mental health are invited to submit proposals. Organizations with experience in child and adolescent mental health, or mental health disparities are also encouraged to apply.

Funding under this solicitation is awarded for one (1) year and renewable for two (2) subsequent years for organizations that meet all Program requirements, contingent upon continued funding for the Program. The Outreach Partnership Program supports 55 Outreach Partners: one (1) in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The states of California, New York, and Texas each have two (2) Outreach Partners.

NIMH plans to make a total of two (2) awards for the state of California to represent the North/Central regions and Southern regions1. Outreach Partners selected for North/Central California and Southern California will conduct dissemination and outreach activities in their respective regions (and statewide, if applicable). Each Outreach Partner operates independently of the NIMH and is selected through a competitive process in which applications are reviewed by experts internal and external to NIMH. A list of current Outreach Partners can be found at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/outreach/partnership-program/outreach-partners.shtml.

Organizations with non-profit, tax exempt status may jointly apply to this solicitation.


 1 The North/Central California region includes the following counties: Alameda, Berkeley City, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter-Yuba, Tulare, and Yolo.

The Southern California region includes the following counties: Los Angeles, Imperial, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tri-City, and Ventura.


Program Requirements

The requirements for participation in the Outreach Partnership Program are listed below and described in detail in the Statement of Work section:

  1. Designate a person to manage the organization’s participation in the Outreach Partnership Program. This person will serve as the primary contact for NIMH. Applicants must also identify a backup contact person;
  2. Attend the Outreach Partnership Program annual meeting and participate in Program-related education and training activities such as teleconferences;
  3. Disseminate NIMH research findings and science-based educational materials in their respective region;
  4. Conduct a special outreach project addressing mental disorders among children and adolescents, or mental health disparities that occur by race or ethnicity, age (e.g., older adults), education or income, disability status, geographic location, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families;
  5. Promote involvement in NIMH and National Institutes of Health (NIH) research; and
  6. Submit online quarterly progress reports (due April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31) and a brief end-of-year narrative progress report (January 31).

Organizational Eligibility

In order to be considered for an award, applicant organizations must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be located and have a mailing address in the state for which they are applying;
  • Be nongovernmental tax exempt organization, with non-profit status, under any section of the United States tax code; and/or a state or local higher education institution, with non-profit status, under any section of the United States tax code;
  • Meet the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity requirements;
  • Have an active record in the System for Award Management (SAM), formerly Central Contractor Registration database and the capacity to renew the record annually (The SAM is located at https://www.sam.gov/sam/ ); and
  • Demonstrate financial solvency.

Organizational Capabilities

To be considered for an award, applicant organizations must:

  • Demonstrate stable infrastructure (i.e., governance structure, financial stability, and sources of funding);
  • Demonstrate adequate staffing to fulfill the Outreach Partnership Program requirements;
  • Have electronic communication capabilities, namely regular access to e-mail, and a website that is maintained and can be modified to include a description of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program and links to the following NIMH and NIH websites:
  • Demonstrate experience and/or capability in disseminating science-based information in their respective regions; and
  • Demonstrate experience and/or capability in conducting science-based mental health education and outreach (e.g., trainings, workshops, etc.) at the regional or local level.

Benefits to Outreach Partners

The Outreach Partnership Program will provide the following benefits during the contract term [i.e., 12 months with the potential for two (2) additional years].

Funding
Outreach Partners receive an annual award of $7,500. NIMH recognizes that the award amount may not cover the entire costs of the required tasks, and encourages Partners to leverage it to secure and/or supplement other resources. All costs associated with performing the required tasks, and meeting the timeline and deliverables schedule shall be the responsibility of each Outreach Partner organization.

Education, Training and Networking
NIMH covers the costs for one (1) staff member from each Outreach Partner organization to attend the Program’s annual meeting. The annual meeting brings together researchers, Outreach Partners, National Partners, NIMH staff, and representatives from other Federal agencies. At this meeting, Outreach Partners learn about research advances related to the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders. Outreach Partners also benefit from networking with each other and learning about other Outreach and National Partners’ resources and initiatives. NIMH also facilitates networking through a Partners-only website and listserv, and teleconferences.

Materials
Outreach Partners have dedicated access to NIMH publications and other materials at no cost. In addition, Outreach Partners receive, via electronic distribution, the biweekly Update, which summarizes the latest mental health research findings, recently released Federal grant opportunities, and new government resources. NIMH may provide adaptable outreach tools and materials to support outreach and education efforts that coincide, for instance, with special observances like National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and World Suicide Prevention Day. Outreach Partners also are provided with an NIMH widget to highlight the organization’s participation in the Outreach Partnership Program on their website.

Other Benefits
Outreach Partners have opportunities to provide NIMH with feedback on research priorities, which support the development of the national mental health research agenda. Through dialogue at the annual Program meeting and other venues as well as the Program progress reports, these insights from Outreach Partners help NIMH better understand and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Outreach Partners also have opportunities for networking and collaborating with NIMH-funded researchers and other experts in the field. NIMH Outreach Partnership Program staff provide assistance in identifying local researchers if requested by Outreach Partners. To the extent possible, NIMH Outreach Partnership Program staff also assist Outreach Partners in gathering resources about research on various topics.

Background on NIMH

NIMH, one of 27 institutes and centers at the NIH, is the lead Federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured. The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. This public health mandate demands that the Institute harness powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and eventually, prevention of these disabling conditions that affect millions of Americans. To fulfill its mission, the Institute:

  • Conducts research on mental disorders and the underlying basic science of the brain and behavior;
  • Supports research on these topics at research settings throughout the United States and the world;
  • Collects, analyzes and disseminates information on the causes, occurrence, and treatment of mental illnesses;
  • Supports the training of more than 1,000 scientists each year to carry out basic and clinical mental health research; and
  • Communicates with scientists, current and past users of mental health services, families, the news media, primary care and mental health professionals and others about mental illnesses, the brain, behavior, and opportunities and research advances in these areas.

The success of the Institute’s mission depends on the effective collaboration of all stakeholders in the field of mental health. This requires strengthening current partnerships and working to build new ones so that the Institute understands the needs, capabilities, and limitations of the field as it works with its partners and other stakeholders to move the science forward. For additional information on the Institute and its mission, goals, and activities, please visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov.

Description of the Outreach Partnership Program

The Outreach Partnership Program is a nationwide initiative of NIMH that enlists national, state, and local non-profit organizations with experience in mental health outreach and education to increase the public’s access to science-based mental health information and encourage involvement in NIH and NIMH research, which is of particular importance among populations that experience mental health disparities. Through its education and outreach and that of its Outreach Partners, NIMH strives to achieve the following goals:

  • Foster more widespread understanding about mental disorders, the brain, and behavior, thereby helping to reduce myths and misperceptions that contribute to stigma and discrimination;
  • Help promote the acceptance and social inclusion of individuals affected by mental illness;
  • Increase awareness of the role of basic, translational, and clinical research in the understanding, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses; and
  • Increase awareness about the opportunities to benefit from participation in mental health research.

Statement of Work – Required Tasks

Task 1: Managing the Project

Outreach Partner organizations must have a designated a person who is responsible for the management of the organization’s participation in the Program, including accomplishing the tasks, ensuring that all education and outreach efforts are based on current science, and preparing contract deliverables. This person serves as the primary point of contact for NIMH. Outreach Partner organizations must also have a designated backup contact person. The primary or backup contact must participate in NIMH Outreach Partnership Program activities, including the NIMH-sponsored annual Program meeting, and other Program-related education and training opportunities offered by NIMH.

Outreach Partner organizations are required to have adequate staff to accomplish the Program requirements and submit online progress reports by the due dates. Outreach Partner organizations are also required to monitor, collect data, and report quarterly related to their broad dissemination of science-based information, and mental health outreach and education activities.

The online progress reports collect data and information about Program-related activities such as:

  • Types of NIMH materials and information disseminated;
  • Number of individuals who received these materials;
  • Number of listserv(s) subscribers;
  • Number of subscribers to the organization’s online and print publications; and
  • Number of media stories placed.

NIMH is committed to helping Outreach Partners enhance their ability to provide mental health education and outreach, and expects a reciprocal commitment from each Outreach Partner. Outreach Partners are asked to demonstrate this commitment by taking full advantage of the following opportunities:

  • Attend the Program’s annual meeting;
  • Participate in the flow of information among Partners by contributing to discussions on the listserv established for Outreach Partners;
  • Utilize the NIMH and Outreach Partnership Program websites and NIMH educational materials; and
  • Participate in Program teleconferences and other Program-related activities.

Task 2:  Disseminating NIMH Research Findings and Science-based Educational Materials

Outreach Partner organizations are required to widely disseminate NIMH research findings and educational materials to a variety of audiences throughout their state or designated region. NIMH asks Outreach Partners to distribute information through multiple channels such as:

  • Member/partner/affiliate listservs;
  • Traditional and online media;
  • Website and social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, YouTube);
  • Conferences and meetings;
  • Community events; and
  • Online and print newsletters/publications.

Outreach Partners are required to work to increase public awareness of the critical role of research in expanding the understanding, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by these disorders. Outreach Partners are asked to disseminate information and documents provided by NIMH and post links on their website to the:

Outreach Partners will have access to the latest scientific findings, publications, and other educational materials from the Program.

Task 3:  Conducting Targeted Outreach (Special Project) on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents, or Mental Health Disparities

Outreach Partner organizations are required to conduct science-based education and outreach addressing:

  • Mental disorders among children and adolescents, or
  • Mental health disparities, including those that occur by race or ethnicity, age (e.g., older adults), education or income, disability status, geographic location, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities such as immigrants, and military service members and their families.

Outreach Partners are required to disseminate NIMH science-based messages, materials, and current research findings to address one of the two focus areas above. This special targeted outreach project is conducted for the duration of the contract term [i.e., 12 months with the potential for two (2) additional years]. Examples of individuals and intermediaries that may be targeted as part of these efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health consumers;
  • Parents and/or caregivers of individuals with mental disorders;
  • Mental health, primary care, or other health providers;
  • Schools;
  • Professional and civic groups;
  • Faith-based communities;
  • Employers;
  • Community mental health centers;
  • Hospitals and community health clinics; and
  • Criminal justice and law enforcement.

This special targeted outreach project may address specific topics such as suicide, traumatic stress and trauma-related mental disorders (such as those associated with history of interpersonal violence, manmade and natural disasters, or deployment and combat), or other mental health issues.

Task 4: Advancing Research

Outreach Partner organizations are required to promote participation in research and clinical trials sponsored by NIMH and/or NIH, particularly among diverse racial and ethnic groups, and collaborate with researchers to the extent feasible.

Research/Clinical Trials Promotion
Requirements include:

Note: A clinical trial (also known as clinical studies or clinical research) is generally considered to be biomedical or health-related research in human beings that follow a pre-defined protocol to answer specific health questions. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. For more information, go to: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov .

Research Collaboration
Requirements, to the extent feasible, include:

  • Serve as a resource for universities and research institutions in determining priorities for conducting mental health research; and
  • Collaborate with researcher(s) who should be psychiatrist, psychologist, neuroscientist/neurobiologist, doctoral level social worker, or public health professional actively engaged in research related to mental health and affiliated with a university, teaching hospital, or research center to enhance local outreach and education, and clinical research promotion and participation. Note: Outreach Partner organizations do not need an established relationship in place at the time of award, but need to have the commitment to doing so. NIMH-funded researchers are preferred, but not required. NIMH can assist Outreach Partners in identifying grantee(s) in their state or community. This research collaboration requirement may not apply to Outreach Partner organizations (e.g., universities) with a primary research focus.

Reporting Requirements and Deliverables

In addition to completing the tasks above, Outreach Partners must complete and deliver the following:

  • Online quarterly progress reports on or before the due date (April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31) and a brief end-of-year narrative progress report (January 31).
  • Invoices submitted once a year following completion of the end-of-year progress report. Note: The first year’s stipend will be paid within the first quarter and after submission of the end-of-year progress report in subsequent years.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in forfeiture of participation in the Program.

Proposal Review and Evaluation Criteria

Applicant proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the field. Reviewers will score each proposal based on the evaluation criteria outlined below and will make recommendations to NIMH. Final selection of Outreach Partners will be made by NIMH.

Organizational Capabilities (35 Points)
Review will be based upon the organization’s experience and capability to disseminate science-based information and conduct mental health outreach and education in its designated region. Review also will be based upon the organization’s demonstrated stable infrastructure, and existing electronic communication capacities.

Task 1: Managing the Project (20 points)
Review will be based upon the organization’s demonstrated ability to manage the project, appropriate staffing, and experience and capability to monitor and report data related to broad dissemination of science-based information and mental health outreach and education activities.

Task 2: Disseminating NIMH Research Findings and Science-based Educational Materials (15 points)
Review will be based upon the organization’s demonstrated ability to manage the project, appropriate staffing, and experience and capability to monitor and report data related to broad dissemination of science-based information and mental health outreach and education activities.

Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach (Special Project) on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents, or Mental Health Disparities (15 points)
Review will be based upon the organization’s demonstrated experience, adequacy and creativity of the plan, rationale for the focus of activities, ability to form a variety of relationships with community and civic groups, and the plan to monitor and report data related to these activities.

Task 4: Advancing Research (15 points)
Review will be based upon the organization’s demonstrated experience in promoting research, the adequacy and creativity of the plan, and ability, if feasible, to form relationships with the research community.

Organizational Capabilities (10 points)
Review will be based upon demonstrated stable infrastructure, staffing, and financial solvency, and information technology infrastructure.

Organizational Eligibility
Organizations not providing adequate evidence of eligibility will not be considered.

Total Points: 100

Preparing the Proposal

Timeline

  • Solicitation posted: July 31, 2012, 10:00 AM (ET)
  • Deadline for inquiries: August 20, 2012
  • Response to inquiries posted: September 4, 2012
  • Proposals due: September 24, 2012, 5:00 PM (ET)
  • Outreach Partner selection: End of 2012
  • Awards announced: January 2013

Proposal Instructions

  • Download and complete the Proposal Form (This form is no longer available.)
  • Compile and attach the following documents:
    • Cover letter signed by an officer of the applicant organization with the authority to commit the organization to the proposal contents;
    • Evidence of organizational eligibility, including:
      • Copy of a letter from the Internal Revenue Service indicating organization’s non-profit status;
      • Copy of the organization’s auditor’s opinion letter; and
      • Copy of the organization’s Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy.
    • Resumes for the Primary and Backup contacts; and
    • Abridged curriculum vitae and a letter of commitment from the Research Collaborator, if named.
  • Email the completed Proposal Form with attachments to: NIMHPartners@mail.nih.gov.

Proposals are due Monday, September 24, 2012 by 5:00PM ET.