October 17, 2011


Questions and Answers from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons meeting to provide Information about the 2012 Solicitation: Request for Statements of Interest (SOI)

Q. Who is eligible to apply for funding?
A. U.S.-based non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), public international organizations (PIO), foreign NGOs, and universities are eligible to submit SOIs. On a limited basis, for-profit organizations are also eligible to submit SOIs; however, they may not take a profit from grant-funded activities. Foreign governments are not eligible to apply, but governments may be beneficiaries of funded programs, provided that funding does not pay salaries of government agency personnel and that such assistance is not restricted by U.S. law or policy. Some projects may be accomplished by USG implementers through Interagency Agreement.

Q. Are small businesses, as defined by the USG, eligible to apply?
A. Yes, but as for-profit organizations, small businesses may not take a profit from grant funds.

Q. Can organizations that currently receive funds from G/TIP apply for additional funding under this solicitation?
A.
Yes.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of SOIs that can be submitted by a single applicant?
A. No, there is no limit. Organizations are permitted to submit multiple SOIs; however, we intend to provide funding to a wide range of qualified, capable organizations that do well in the competitive review.

Q. If an applicant proposes a partnership with an NGO, does the partnership agreement have to be finalized or in writing at the time of the SOI application?
A. No, partnerships that are referenced in a SOI do not need to be formal or in writing at the time the SOI is submitted. The Office encourages proposals that demonstrate strong partnerships. Proposed partnerships should be referenced in the SOIs to ensure that they are considered in the review.

Q. Can an organization submit an application that includes a new partnership or must it be an established partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
A. It is not expected that applicants have established MOUs at this initial stage. We encourage partnerships, whether they are new or old. The specifics of a partnership in a proposal are up to the applicant. Proposed partnerships should be referenced in the SOIs to ensure that they are considered in the review.

Q. Can an organization submit a proposal that includes non-priority countries?
A. Yes, an applicant can submit a proposal for a project in a country that is not on the FY 2012 priority country list. It is up to each applicant to determine which country or countries will be the focus of an application.

Q. How much funding does the Office have for FY2012?
A. FY 2012 funds have not yet been appropriated by Congress. All awards under this announcement are pending the appropriation of funds.

Q. How much money will be allocated to each region or priority country?
A. The final amount allocated for each country and region will depend on the quality of the proposals and the nature of the proposed activities.

Q. Please explain why some countries were not listed as priority countries this year?
A. The selection of priority countries is very difficult and is done in consultation with other offices in the State Department. The number of countries is restricted due to the limited amount of funding that our Office administers. The 2011 TIP Report describes the trafficking issues in more than 180 countries. Please note that we will accept proposals for any country, not just priority countries. Each year some projects are selected for non-priority countries.

Q. Can an organization work with more than one country?
A. Yes.

Q. Does G/TIP have a preference when it comes to Bilateral, Regional, or Global proposals?
A. Most projects that have been funded focus on the trafficking situation in one country (bilateral projects); but, we are also seeking projects that address cross border and regional trafficking problems, as well as research and evaluation and global projects.

Q. Can an organization submit SOIs for both bilateral and regional programs?
A. Yes.

Q. There are many examples listed in the solicitation. Must my application propose one of these projects?
A. No. We welcome innovative ideas.

Q. The award ceiling is $750,000 for this solicitation for 36 months. Does this mean $750,000 each year for up to 3 years?
A. No, our Office will award projects that total up to $750,000 for the duration of the project. The amount requested and the proposed duration should be consistent with the scope of the project. The maximum duration of a project is 36 months.

Q. Does the award ceiling of $750,000 include indirect costs?
A. Yes. All costs requested, including indirect costs, must be included in this amount.

Q. Do I need to submit a complete budget at the time of submitting the SOI?
A. No, only a total amount of funding requested in U.S. dollars is required. If cost share is offered, then a total for cost share should also be provided. No budget categories are required or requested for the SOI. Cost figures in a foreign currency will not meet the technical review requirements.

Q. Is there any difference between submitting applications to www.grantsolutions.gov versus www.grants.gov? Should applicants submit applications to both?
A. Applicants should not submit a SOI to both websites. While we will accept SOIs via either website, our Office encourages applicants to use www.grantsolutions.gov. Applicants should be aware that GrantSolutions requires a DUNS number to submit an application, while Grants.gov requires both a DUNS number and a current CCR registration, which takes approximately 3-5 business days (for U.S. based NGOs) to obtain and must be renewed annually. Regardless of the website used, all applicants are encouraged to initiate applications early in the application development process and to submit completed applications early to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise.

Q. What should I do if I encounter difficulty in using the GrantSolutions or Grants.gov websites?
A. For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or 1-800-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except for federal holidays. Please note that November 11th is a federal holiday and the help line will be closed.

For assistance with Grants.gov, please contact the Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 (toll charges for international callers). The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays. Please note that November 11th is a federal holiday and the help line will be closed.

Q. How many applicants do you expect to invite to submit a full proposal?
A. We are not certain of the number that will be invited to submit full applications in stage two of the process. The decision will be made after the review of the SOIs.

Q. How many full proposals did G/TIP fund in FY 2011?
A. In FY 2011 G/TIP received a total of 429 SOIs requesting $235.45 million and the Office ultimately funded 40 projects.

Q. What are the expected funding dates?
A. G/TIP will work to award grand funds to successful application by September 30, 2012.

Q. When do you expect to notify applicants that are requested to submit a full application?
A. We expect to notify applicants in February that their SOI was selected for the second stage of the process. Applicant organizations will have 30 days from notification to submit a full proposal.

Q. What does G/TIP require for full proposals?
A. Applicants that are evaluated highly in the first stage of the competitive review (SOI process) will be invited to submit full proposals. At that time, they will receive additional information about the second stage requirements.

Q. How does G/TIP decide which proposals to fund?
A. All bilateral proposals that pass the technical review are forwarded for review and comment to the Embassy in the country where the project would take place. This review is followed by regional inter-agency review panels consisting of individuals with knowledge and expertise in human trafficking programming and regional expertise. Panel recommendations are reviewed by the Ambassador-at-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Q. Please clarify U.S. Embassies’ involvement in the 2011 grant process.
A. All U.S. Embassies have been informed of the FY2012 solicitation and the Embassies in the 32 priority countries have been encouraged to post information about the solicitation on their websites. Embassies will review and comment on proposed bilateral projects that meet the technical requirements. Full proposals will also be shared with the embassy in the country where the work is proposed to take place.

Q. Where can I find specifics regarding previously funded projects?
A. Applicants are encouraged to look to our website, www.state.gov/j/tip for G/TIP-funded projects in FY2010 and FY2011.

Q: How can a for profit business receive a G/TIP grant?
A: On a very limited basis, the Office has provided grants to for-profit entities. These organizations do not make any profit from the funds provided. The Department of State’s Office of the Procurement Executive approves grants that are awarded to for-profit entities.

Q. Where can I get additional advice about preparing the SOI or full application?
A. No one from this Office, another Department of State office, including Embassy personnel, is permitted to advise you on the content of your application. Persons with questions about the requirements of the solicitation may contact Betsy Bramon at BramonB@state.gov.