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NIMH Outreach Partnership Program 2010 Solicitation: Inquiries and Responses

2010 Solicitation for the District of Columbia and Following 22 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming

September 14, 2010

The following inquiries were submitted by interested parties in response to this Solicitation. The deadline to submit inquiries was August 30, 2010. The responses to the inquiries received were prepared by the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program, and are organized by the areas as listed in this Solicitation’s table of contents:

Organizational Eligibility and Capability

  1. Question: My organization is currently an NIMH Outreach Partner, and my state is listed in the current Solicitation. Do I need to respond to this Solicitation to maintain my organization’s position as an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: NIMH is seeking Outreach Partners in the District of Columbia and all of the states as listed in this Solicitation. Organizations that are currently an NIMH Outreach Partner and are located in one of the states as listed will need to submit a proposal if they would like to be considered for continued participation in the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program.
  2. Question: If there is an existing NIMH Outreach Partner in a state that is listed as open in this Solicitation, is this Solicitation intended for the organization already serving as the NIMH Outreach Partner for that state, or is this Solicitation for new and additional Partners?
    Response: All eligible organizations that are located in states for the 2010 Solicitation may apply.  Current NIMH Outreach Partners located in these states must submit a proposal to be considered for continued participation in the Program. There is one Outreach Partner in each state with the exception of New York, California, and Texas, which each have two Outreach Partner sites.
  3. Question: Are new non-profit organizations eligible to become an Outreach Partner?
    Response: New organizations are eligible to become Outreach Partners if they meet the organizational eligibility requirements as listed in this Solicitation. For more information about organizational eligibility, see Organizational Eligibility and Capability (page 2) in the Solicitation.
  4. Question: My organization is located in a state that is not listed in this Solicitation. I am interested in being an Outreach Partner. Will my organization have a chance to compete for the position?
    Response: States that are not listed in this Solicitation will be competed in the future. A schedule for future NIMH Outreach Partner Solicitations is listed below:

    2011: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York State, New York City, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas-Border Region, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin
    2012: California
    2013: Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, West Virginia
    2014: North Dakota

    A list of current Outreach Partners is located online.

  5. Question: Our organization promotes breastfeeding awareness. Are we eligible to become an Outreach Partner?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners perform mental health education and outreach in support of the Program’s goals and objectives as listed in Description of the Outreach Partnership Program (page 4) of the Solicitation. Organizations capable of supporting these goals and objectives are eligible to apply to become Outreach Partners.
  6. Question: Can an individual apply to be an Outreach Partner?
    Response: No, the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program is intended only for non-profit organizations, not for individuals.
  7. Question: We are a national organization that does not have local chapters. Can our organization partner with a local organization to apply to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: To serve as an NIMH Outreach Partner in a particular state, the organization must be located and have a mailing address in that state, and that state must be listed in this Solicitation. Organizations must demonstrate the capacity to perform statewide dissemination for the state they apply to serve as an Outreach Partner. For more information about organizational eligibility, see Organizational Eligibility and Capability (page 2) in the Solicitation. Further, organizations with non-profit, tax exempt status may jointly respond to this Solicitation indicating a primary organization, and describing roles, responsibilities and working relationships of identified co-partnering organizations. The Primary organization will serve as the point of contact with NIMH, will receive the stipend, and be responsible for all deliverables.
  8. Question: Would the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program be interested in accepting a regional proposal from an organization that is conducting outreach and educational activities across a number of states?
    Response: Each NIMH Outreach Partner organization represents one state and must be located in that state. A non-profit organization serving multiple states would be eligible to become an NIMH Outreach Partner for the state they are located in.
  9. Question: Is a governmental entity eligible to apply to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: No, a governmental organization is not eligible to become an NIMH Outreach Partner.
  10. Question: We are located at a university in one state, and implement educational activities in an adjoining state. Do we need to be located in the state for which we would be an Outreach Partner?
    Response: To serve as an NIMH Outreach Partner in a particular state, the organization must be located and have a mailing address in that state, and that state must be listed in this Solicitation. Organizations must demonstrate the capacity to perform statewide dissemination for the state they apply to serve as an Outreach Partner.
  11. Question: Have community mental health centers served as NIMH Outreach Partners, or is this Program geared more toward advocacy groups?
    Response: No, community mental health centers have not served as Outreach Partners before. However, any non-profit, tax-exempt organizations that conduct outreach related to mental disorders are invited to submit proposals for the Program. For more information about organizational eligibility, see Organizational Eligibility and Capability (page 2) in the Solicitation.
  12. Question: Are mental health programs on Indian reservations eligible to apply to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: Yes, programs on Indian reservations that have the demonstrated capacity to conduct statewide information dissemination and are otherwise qualified as outlined in the Solicitation are eligible to apply to become NIMH Outreach Partners. For more information about organizational eligibility, see Organizational Eligibility and Capability (page 2) in the Solicitation.
  13. Question: Are organizations from Puerto Rico eligible to apply for this Solicitation?
    Response: Organizations from Puerto Rico are not eligible to compete under this Solicitation. The NIMH Outreach Partner position for Puerto Rico will be open to competition in 2013.
  14. Question: Is there a reason why the U.S. territories are not included in the listing of this Solicitation?
    Response: At this time, the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program does not have the resources to expand the Program beyond the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
  15. Question: Our organization serves particular neighborhoods of a city. Would our organization be eligible to become an Outreach Partner?
    Response: Local organizations that have statewide information dissemination capability and are qualified as outlined in this Solicitation are eligible to apply to become NIMH Outreach Partners. For more information about organizational eligibility, see Organizational Eligibility and Capability (page 2) in the Solicitation.
  16. Question: If an organization does not have a website, but does have a Facebook page, would that organization be eligible to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.  While a Facebook page is a web presence, organizations whose only web presence is a Facebook page need to describe in their proposal how the Facebook page will be used to meet the requirements as stated in the Solicitation. Note: The Facebook page would need to be an “organizational page” so that content would be available to all web users, not just Facebook members.
  17. Question: Is an organization required to have 501c3 status to be eligible to apply to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response Organizations that are tax exempt, with a not-for-profit status, under any section of the United States tax code are eligible to apply.
  18. Question: Our organization is a newly formed non-profit organization, and does not have tax exempt status. Would our organization be eligible to become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: No, an organization without tax exempt status is not eligible to become an NIMH Outreach Partner.
  19. Question: Could a group of local organizations from a particular state partner to apply to become the Outreach Partner for that state?
    Response: Yes, as part of their proposal, an organization may propose collaborations with other organizations in the state that they are applying for. Organizations with non-profit, tax exempt status may jointly respond to this Solicitation indicating a primary organization, and describing roles, responsibilities and working relationships of identified co-partnering organizations. The Primary organization will serve as the point of contact with NIMH, will receive the stipend, and be responsible for all deliverables.
  20. Question: Can a mental health organization create an alliance with a government agency?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners can collaborate with a governmental organization in their state to support various Outreach Partner activities; however, a non-profit organization and a governmental organization cannot respond jointly to this Solicitation as formal co-partners for a particular state.
  21. Question: Is preference given to organizations currently serving as NIMH Outreach Partners with respect to awarding the position?
    Response: NIMH does not give preference to any organization applying for the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program. NIMH Outreach Partners are selected through a competitive process.

Benefits to NIMH Outreach Partners

  1. Question: Are there restrictions on how the $7,500 annual stipend can be used?
    Response: There are no specific restrictions regarding use of the $7,500 annual stipend; however, this funding is intended to support the specific tasks outlined in this Solicitation. Organizations are encouraged to leverage the annual stipend to seek additional outside funding to support their proposed activities.
  2. Question: Can the NIMH Outreach Partner $7,500 annual stipend be used for consultants or researchers to identify mental health needs and gaps within our state?
    Response: NIMH intends for the funding to support specific tasks outlined in this Solicitation. Applicants must provide a brief summary of how the $7,500 award will be used and how it supports the proposed activities.
  3. Question: Does NIMH help its Outreach Partners identify science-based mental health topics and expert speakers for conferences?
    Response: Yes, NIMH has provided assistance to its Outreach Partners in identifying mental health research topics and expert speakers for their conferences.
  4. Question: If our organization is selected as an NIMH Outreach Partner, could our organization use NIMH brochures to develop outreach and education programs?
    Response: NIMH expects that its Outreach Partners use NIMH brochures in developing their outreach and education activities that they plan to implement in support of the Program’s Statement of Work. NIMH Outreach Partners may disseminate NIMH provided materials as part of their activities, may adapt these materials as needed for their communities, and/or may use NIMH information as source material for the creation of their own outreach and educational materials.

Description of the Outreach Partnership Program

  1. Question: Is there a similar Program for California?
    Response: NIMH has two Outreach Partners in California. These positions will be competed in 2012.
  2. Question: We would be interested in knowing the audience focus for activities conducted by the current NIMH Outreach Partner in our state.
    Response: To obtain information about the Outreach Partner's activities in your state, please contact the current NIMH Outreach Partner directly.
  3. Question: What would you say are the key challenges that NIMH Outreach Partners face with this contract?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners are diverse in terms of geographic setting, size of staff and budget, among other factors. Challenges may vary from organization to organization.
  4. Question: Could you provide more information on an organization’s role as an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners conduct specific activities to support the Program’s goals and objectives. See Description of the Outreach Partnership Program (page 4) of the Solicitation.

Statement of Work

  1. Question: As stated in Task 1, “The primary or backup contact must participate in all NIMH Outreach Partnership Program education and training activities.” Please define “participate.” Can work be shared or delegated to staff members, board members, and volunteers?
    Response: NIMH asks that the primary or backup contact attend the Program’s Annual Meeting and any scheduled teleconferences or trainings. However, the day-to-day work associated with participation in the Program may be performed by any number of individuals at an organization.
  2. Question: For Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents or Mental Health Disparities, can organizations propose multiple, unrelated projects that would be implemented simultaneously?
    Response: For the purposes of Task 3, applicants are asked to select a focus (i.e., issues related to: 1) mental disorders among children and adolescents, and/or 2) mental health disparities) to address in their science-based education and outreach activities. The proposal should focus on the approaches that will be used and intended audiences to address the selected focus area. NIMH recognizes that the issues of child and adolescent mental disorders and mental health disparities are not mutually exclusive. The proposed concept may combine the two issues. Any number of approaches may be proposed, that may run parallel, to address the chosen focus area.
  3. Question: For Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents or Mental Health Disparities, can an Outreach Partner conduct education and outreach activities addressing children and adolescents AND other at risk groups or issues?
    Response: For the purposes of Task 3, applicants are asked to select a focus (i.e., issues related to: 1) mental disorders among children and adolescents, and/or 2) mental health disparities) to address in their science-based education and outreach activities. However, the issues related to mental disorders among children and adolescents and mental health disparities are not mutually exclusive, so it is possible to select a focus that addresses both. For example, education and outreach activities addressing issues related to mental disorders in children living in geographically rural areas would be addressing both mental disorders among children and adolescents, and mental health disparities. For Task 3, applicants will be evaluated on how well their proposed activities address one or both of the focus areas. For more details, see Proposal Review and Evaluation Criteria (page 9) of the Solicitation.
  4. Question: For Task 3: Conducting Targeted Outreach on Mental Disorders among Children and Adolescents or Mental Health Disparities, does an Outreach Partner have to perform activities in support of the same focus for the three-year duration of the project? Or, do Outreach Partners have the ability to change the focus each year?
    Response: For Task 3, NIMH asks applicants to identify their area of focus (i.e., mental disorders among children and adolescents, and/or mental health disparities), target audiences, and specific activities they will conduct to address the chosen focus for the duration of the three-year period. Activities and/or audiences addressing the selected area of focus may vary from year to year. NIMH Outreach Partners will have an opportunity to submit a summary of any changes to the proposed activities in the brief annual end-of-year narrative progress report.
  5. Question: Can an organization focus on more than one population group?
    Response: For the purposes of Task 3, applicants are asked to select a focus (i.e., issues related to: 1) mental disorders among children and adolescents, and/or 2) mental health disparities) to address in their science-based education and outreach activities. Applicants may propose to conduct education and outreach activities to one or more audiences or populations to address their identified focus for Task 3. Tasks 1, 2, and 4 are not limited to a particular focus area.
  6. Question: For Task 4, do research participant recruitment efforts need to tie back to the issue selected for Task 3, or is there the flexibility to concentrate on target population(s) as defined by the needs of our research partner?
    Response: No, proposed recruitment efforts do not need to align with the issue selected for Task 3.
  7. Question: As stated in Task 4, “Distribute materials on participation in clinical research as appropriate. Adapt materials as necessary for cultural and linguistic relevance.” Is adaptation of materials a requirement?
    Response: No, NIMH Outreach Partners are not required to adapt NIMH materials.
  8. Question: Is it possible for the NIMH Outreach Partners who have the ability to develop adapted materials to share those materials through a resource bank for other Outreach Partners via the Partners Only section of the NIMH website?
    Response: NIMH does not plan to create a resource bank for its Outreach Partners. However, NIMH Outreach Partners are encouraged to share resources via the Outreach Partner listserv.
  9. Question: How are NIMH Outreach Partners involved in clinical research?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners are expected to promote at the state and local levels, volunteer participation in clinical studies sponsored by NIMH and NIH, and form collaborations with researchers to the extent feasible. See detailed information under Task 4 (page 7) of this Solicitation.
  10. Question: Have NIMH Outreach Partners worked with community colleges?
    Response: NIMH Outreach Partners conduct activities with a variety of educational settings, including universities and colleges.
  11. Question: Can an NIMH Outreach Partner choose what NIMH information to post on its website, or are NIMH Outreach Partners required to post all information that NIMH sends to its Outreach Partners?
    Response: NIMH does not expect its Outreach Partners to post all the information provided by the Institute. However, the NIMH Outreach Partners are required to provide a link to the NIMH website, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the NIMH Clinical Trials webpage.
  12. Question: If our organization was chosen as an NIMH Outreach Partner, could we incorporate Outreach Partner activities into our current website or would we need to create a separate stand alone website to represent NIMH Outreach Partner activities?
    Response: The NIMH Outreach Partners can do either—incorporate Outreach Partner activities into their organization’s existing website, or create a separate stand alone website to represent their partnership with the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program.

Reporting Requirements and Deliverables

  1. Question: For reporting requirements, will the quarterly reporting system be set up to allow ongoing data entry, or will there be a predetermined time window during which NIMH Outreach Partners enter the requested data?
    Response: NIMH is still in the process of developing the quarterly reporting system; therefore, the reporting window has not been determined. NIMH Outreach Partners will be informed of the progress report process, including the reporting window, with adequate time to complete the necessary progress report.
    • Question: If a submission window, will NIMH Outreach Partners be given some guidelines, or an Excel worksheet that shows what information will be requested?
      Response: NIMH will provide guidelines in advance to its Outreach Partners to show what information will be requested in the progress report.
    • Question: If a standardized Excel spreadsheet is set up and used for tracking activities, is it possible to submit the completed Excel sheet for import into the Program’s reporting system?
      Response: NIMH intends to provide a template that NIMH Outreach Partners may use to track activities; however, NIMH does not anticipate that Outreach Partners will be able to directly import data into the Program’s progress report system.
  2. Question: This Solicitation indicates there will be quarterly progress reports, whereas current Outreach Partners report bi-annually. Are there plans for a future increase in the stipend to support additional reporting requirements?
    Response: NIMH is not able to offer additional funding at this time; however, please note that the current progress report questions will be streamlined. The new progress report will include a standard set of questions for all four quarterly reports.

Preparing the Proposal

  1. Question: What is the Central Contractor Registration database?
    Response: The Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the primary registrant database for U.S. Federal Government vendors, contractors, and grantees. The CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions. To learn more about CCR Policy and Background visit the Central Contractor Registration website .
  2. Question: Does Duns and Bradstreet (D&B) charge a monthly fee to maintain an organization’s DUNS number?
    Response: If an organization is requesting a DUNS number to obtain a credit report through D&B, D&B charges a fee; however, government contractors or grantees (or applicants) can get a DUNS number for free. Organizations that do not have a DUNS number and are applying to be an NIMH Outreach Partner can request a DUNS number through the D&B DUNS Request Service for Federal Contractors and Grantees . Organizations can also request a DUNS number via phone at 1-866-705-5711.
  3. Question: How can my organization become an NIMH Outreach Partner?
    Response: Organizations interested in becoming an NIMH Outreach Partner need to register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) , and submit a proposal by October 5, 2010 in response to this Solicitation. For more information about this Solicitation and how to apply, see the NIMH Seeks Proposals for its Outreach Partnership Program page.
  4. Question: What is the process for submitting a proposal to become an NIMH Outreach Partner? Are there format requirements for submitting the proposal (application, letter of intent, font/page requirements, etc.)?
    Response: To access the instructions for preparing proposals for the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program see Page 11 of this Solicitation.  No letter of intent is needed to apply and there is no font size requirement for proposals.
  5. Question: Do you have a copy of past successful proposals to share with potential applicants?
    Response: In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program is not permitted to disclose previously submitted proposals. (FAR Part 3.104-4, no person or other entity may disclose contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information to any person other than a person authorized, in accordance with applicable agency regulations or procedures, by the agency head or the contracting officer to receive such information).

Award

  1. Question: Can we find out the names of the organizations who have submitted proposals to become Outreach Partners?
    Response: In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program is not permitted to disclose the names of organizations that have submitted proposals in response to this solicitation. (FAR Part 3.104-4, no person or other entity may disclose contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information to any person other than a person authorized, in accordance with applicable agency regulations or procedures, by the agency head or the contracting officer to receive such information).
  2. Question: Where will the announcement of the awarded NIMH Outreach Partners be posted?
    Response: Applicant organizations will be individually notified whether or not they have been selected as an Outreach Partner. A list of awarded NIMH Outreach Partners will be posted on the NIMH website.