KIU! 3.0 Request for Proposals FAQs

Q: Is my organization still able to apply if we did not submit a Letter of Intent?

A: Yes, whether or not your organization submitted a Letter of Intent, we are interested in reviewing applications from all eligible applicants.

Q: Which agencies/types of organizations are eligible for this notice of funding opportunity?

A: Eligible applicants must be considered a nonprofit public or private organization with 501(c)(3) IRS status (other than institutions of higher education). This includes community-based, non-profit medical care organizations, STD/STI clinics, or other social service agencies. Eligible applicants must also offer HIV prevention and testing services to young men who have sex with men (ages 18-29). Applicant organizations must be located and provide services in one of the 44 target counties listed in the table below.

County Name

State (Abbreviated)

County Name

State (Abbreviated)

Pima County

AZ

Prince George’s County

MD

San Diego County

CA

Kent County

MI

Alameda County

CA

Hennepin County

MN

Sacramento County

CA

Mecklenburg County

NC

San Mateo County

CA

Wake County

NC

Denver County

CO

Middlesex County

NJ

Fairfield County

CT

Clark County

NV

Miami-Dade County

FL

Kings County

NY

Orange County

FL

Bronx County

NY

Hillsborough County

FL

Erie County

NY

Palm Beach County

FL

Monroe County

NY

Duval County

FL

Franklin County

OH

DeKalb County

GA

Cuyahoga County

OH

Cobb County

GA

Oklahoma County

OK

Honolulu County

HI

Washington County

OR

Lake County

IL

Philadelphia County

PA

Will County

IL

Providence County

RI

Marion County

IN

Davidson County

TN

Jefferson County

KY

Harris County

TX

Orleans Parish

LA

Salt Lake County

UT

Plymouth County

MA

Virginia Beach city

VA

Baltimore city

MD

Milwaukee County

WI

Q: Is my organization eligible if we provide services in one of the 44 selected counties, but are physically located at an office outside of the selected county?

A: Applicants are not required to have a physical office located in the target county for which your organization is applying for funding. However, it is required that your organization recruit 100-300 YMSM from the target county.

Q: Is my organization still eligible if we don’t provide STI testing?

A: It is only required that organizations offer HIV testing to YMSM. Organizations that do not offer STI testing are still eligible for this funding opportunity. However, your organization will be required to facilitate STI testing. The KIU! team will work with selected CBOs who do not offer STI testing to determine a method of facilitation that is best suited to their environment.

Q: I am interested in participating in the study / I work at an organization and want to offer this to my clients, but I don’t live in any of the 44 selected counties. How can I participate?

A: You may be in luck. There is a second arm of the Keep it Up! trial that will begin recruitment in Fall 2019 in 22 additional counties (see below for a list). In these counties, participants can sign themselves up for Keep it Up! online.

If you are interested in becoming a potential participant or are an organization in one of these 22 counties listed below and interested in notifying your clients about this service once it becomes available, please email us at kiu@northwestern.edu – and include whether you are a potential participant OR a person representing an organization, as well as the specific county you live in from the list.

The research team will follow up with you later this year to provide you with more details.

List of Counties participating in Direct-to-Consumer arm of Keep it Up!:

  • Allegheny County –Pennsylvania
  • Arlington County –Virginia
  • Bexar County –Texas
  • Dallas County –Texas
  • Essex County –New Jersey
  • Fresno County –California
  • Hamilton County –Ohio
  • Hartford County –Connecticut
  • Jackson County –Missouri
  • Jefferson County –Alabama
  • Lee County –Florida
  • Maricopa County –Arizona
  • Nassau County –New York
  • New Castle County –Delaware
  • Pierce County –Washington
  • San Bernardino County –California
  • Shelby County –Tennessee
  • Snohomish County –Washington
  • St. Louis County –Missouri
  • Suffolk County –Massachusetts
  • Travis County –Texas
  • Wayne County –Michigan

Q: When is my application due?

A: Applications are due no later than May 13, 2019 by 11:59pm Central Standard Time. No applications will be accepted after this date/time.

Q: What is the page limit for the project narrative and any other text requirements?

A: The Project Narrative should not exceed 10 pages, single-spaced, one-inch margins. The entire application package should not exceed 15 pages.

Q: How should I organize my application?

A: See page 11 in the RFP for details.

Q: What information needs to be included in the project narrative?

A: Requirements for the project narrative can be found on pages 5-7 of the RFP. Questions that require written responses should be answered in the order they appear on the RFP. When completing the Project Narrative, please use the letter or number of the heading, sub-heading, or question to delineate your answers.

Q: What additional materials, including licenses and/or certificates, do I need to submit, and how do I submit them?

A: See page 9 in the RFP for details.

Q: Why do we need to provide a DUNS number, a Federal EIN number, and SAM.gov registration information?

A: The DUNS, Federal EIN, and SAM.gov information will enable our contracting office to conduct required pre-contracting background work for the contracting process to move forward.

Q: Will KIU! be providing training or technical assistance to CBOs on Keep It Up!?

A: The KIU! team is designing a standardized package of technical assistance and training to provide to all CBOs. Trainings and technical assistance will include, but not be limited to, recruitment and retention, leveraging social media for successful engagement with YMSM, and facilitating STI testing. KIU! staff will also work individually with funded CBOs to provide tailored assistance to their needs.

Q: Are there budget templates you could share with us, to include the categories to use for the budget development?

A: See page 19 in the RFP for details.

Q: I might have missed this in the call, but how long should recruitment last? The last person should be recruited 12 months before the end of the grant, right?

A: We anticipate that recruitment will require 12-18 months of time. The funding period is two years. The main intervention content and 3- and 6-month boosters will require intermittent follow-up from CBO staff for a six month period. At 12 months following the beginning of the intervention time, the only required data from the CBO will be the PHI STI testing information. All other information gathered at the 12 months follow-up will be solicited by the KIU! team at Northwestern University.

Q: How long does each module take?

A: The time required to complete individual modules varies. Instead, you may want to think about the time required to complete the first seven modules, which comprise the main intervention content. In the most recent iteration of KIU!, the main intervention content took approximately 67 minutes to complete. We are presently revamping much of the content, and the final estimated time for main intervention content has not been finalized. However, we anticipate that the main intervention content will still require a total of 70-90 minutes total, over three intervention steps. See Appendix A on page 13 of the RFP for more details about the intervention.

Q: Do participants have to live in the county all year? What about college students?

A: Funded CBOs must provide services and recruit all participants from the target county for which they are funded. If a participant whom a funded CBO recruits does not live in the county all year, the funded CBO will not be penalized.

Q: What is the commitment for reporting our contact with clients? What type of data will be required?

A: We will require that you provide protected health information, commonly known as PHI, such as HIV and STI test results. In addition, we will require information on your recruitment and retention efforts. The details of the latter requirements are still being finalized. Our goal is to minimize reporting burden only to what is essential, however.

Q: If the participants are receiving services under another grant, can they also be enrolled in these services?

A: Yes, absolutely! We want KIU! to be a complementary service that enhances your existing HIV testing and prevention services.

Q: We have service centers in multiple cities in our state. Can we apply to facilitate KIU in more than one county?

A: Yes, you may apply to facilitate KIU in more than one eligible county. However, you must provide separate applications for each county. One county being funded does not guarantee the other county also being funded.

Q: What do you mean by transgender clients? Who can use it?

A: As stated in the RFP on page 5, “The KIU! program was developed for and evaluated primarily among individuals assigned a male sex at birth who have a male gender identity. Transgender individuals* may participate and benefit from the KIU! program, but may feel it is less relevant to their experiences and needs.” *We are referring to transgender men who have sex with men as this intervention is designed for young men who have sex with men.

 

Q: Will Northwestern provide training to awardees?

A: Yes, we are currently developing both required and optional training to onboard CBOs to using KIU!. In addition, we will work individually with CBOs on training needs.

Q: Are you looking for organizations to recruit new folks for this, or can we recruit HIV negative MSM within our community?

A: You may recruit from HIV negative YMSM who are already accessing other services at your CBO, and you may recruit new clients into the program. We hope that KIU! will help your existing clients as well as help you attract new clients.

Q: Is equipment an allowable expense – such as iPads or a new laptop for our cyber center?

A: Yes, with a caveat: you may include iPads or a laptop in your budget, but the iPad or laptop must only be used for KIU!,

Q: What would be the buy in for a client to participate in KIU outside of incentivizing?

A: Clients may access this program across devices – computer, tablet, or phone – at their convenience and at the level of privacy they select. In addition, the scripted live action stories, animations, and interactive goal setting exercises have been rated highly acceptable and engaging by participants in previous trials.

Q: I am looking at the data table for the RFP, and I see that it states to only provide unduplicated data. Our STI/HIV testing is anonymous and confidential, so we may not have 100% unduplicated numbers. Is that OK? Would you like us to explain that in the narrative?

A: We understand that there will be unique situations. If you do not have reliable, unduplicated data, please provide what you have, using the template table provided on page 6 of the RFP, and then write a brief explanatory paragraph immediately after the table.

Q: Although the goal is to reach 100-300 clients to participate in KIU, what if the actual number reached is 100 or less?

A: We are not looking to defund or penalize funded CBOs. If you remain engaged with us through the process and we know that you are doing what you can to reach targets, we will work with you throughout the funded project period.

Q: To confirm eligibility this is also extended to local health departments involved in HIV/STD testing and PrEP services?

A: Yes, if your local rules allow for you to apply for this type of funding and you otherwise qualify, you are welcome to apply.

Q: I’m not clear about the CBO’s role in implementing the program.  Do we monitor the platform so that we can see each person who enrolls in the KIU! and also where they are in making progress on the Intervention steps?

A: Yes, your administrative dashboard will include the ability to view progress each of your participants has made within the intervention. We anticipate that you will follow-up with participants to encourage them to complete the intervention. In addition, staff of funded CBOs will have an opportunity to review the entire intervention prior to recruiting participants. By knowing the intervention and where individual participants are within the intervention, we further anticipate that you will be able to leverage client contacts for in-person services, based on what participants are learning.

Q: Does the access to the dashboards of the clients also allow you to communicate within the software/program?

A: Unfortunately, no, it is beyond our capacity with our current funding to create a within-app communications feature.

Q: I understand there will be 22 awards from $440,000. What would be a reasonable budget range for the project?

A: The average CBO will receive $20,000, inclusive of overhead. Some CBOs will receive a little more than $20,000 while others receive a little less. Factors in determining final contracted amounts will include, but not necessarily be limited to, proposed reach, evidence of being able to achieve the proposed reach, and the estimated number of YMSM in the target county. For the application, you may propose more than $20,000 for your budget; however, please anticipate that the final budget may be $20,000 or less.

Q: I see one example includes incentives. Do you have any guidance on the use of incentives to encourage participants to get through the program?

A: Please see Appendix B: Program Design on page 15 of the RFP for examples of how incentives have been used previously. In the end, how incentive structures will or will not work will be best determined by you and your knowledge of the community you are serving.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for participants? I see the sample flow includes an eligibility screen.

A: Participants must be young men who have sex with men, which we are defining as young men between the ages of 18-29 who have had anal sex with at least one man in the previous year. Participants must have received a recent HIV negative test result. Participants must not have been adherent on PrEP for the previous six months.

Q: To clarify, they could have started PrEP but not be adherent?

A: Yes, that is correct. If they are taking PrEP intermittently or not adhering, they qualify to participate in the intervention.

Q: Once you send the intent to apply will more instructions come for applying?

A: No, all instructions for the application are contained in the RFP. As long as you respond to all questions within the RFP, you will have submitted all required information.

Q: Does the first phase of the intervention have to occur within 2 weeks?

A: We have required this in the past, but we will not be requiring it during this trial. Participants may take longer than 2 weeks to complete the main intervention; however, in our experience, participants who do not complete the intervention within the first 2-4 weeks are less likely to complete it.

Q: In the RFP, you want 3 years’ worth of data. What if we are a new CBO that doesn’t have 3 years’ worth of data, yet?

A: Please provide what data you have and write a brief explanatory paragraph.

Q: Is there a prototype of the platform or sample video somewhere?

A: You may watch an intro video on the intervention at https://isgmh.northwestern.edu/keepitup/. The old version of KIU! is currently being retired, and we are unable to setup review accounts at this time. You will have an opportunity to review the new KIU! after you are funded.

Q: For the Intent to Apply – do you want an outline or a simple email?

A: Send a simple email to KIUCommunity@northwestern.edu. We do not need an outline.

 

Q: Can those who identify as transgender and/or gender-queer participate in the study?

A: The KIU! program was developed for and evaluated primarily among individuals assigned a male sex at birth who have a male gender identity. Transgender individuals may participate and benefit from the KIU! program, but may feel it is less relevant to their experiences and needs.

Q: Where can I find more information about Keep It Up!?

A: More information about KIU! can be found on our website: https://isgmh.northwestern.edu/keepitup/.

Q: How will my organization’s proposal be evaluated?

A: Detail on the evaluation criteria may be found in the RFP on page 10.