Texas Wildlife Research Program

Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) Grants

Appendix I: Proposal Format
Request for Proposals — November 2020


Each proposal must follow this format. Proposals in older formats will be rejected. All proposals must include all sections below to be considered.

A. Proposal Title

Should be clear, concise, and 12 words or less.

B. Proposal Period

List the starting and ending dates of the proposed project. In consideration of the time required for full processing by both TPWD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, grants may have starting dates of September 1, 2021 or later.

C. Principal Investigator(s) Name and Affiliation

Current contact information for the principal investigator (PI) and any co-investigator(s) (co-PIs) in priority order. Provide name, affiliation, work address, work telephone number and email address. A TPWD Project Coordinator (PC) must also be identified in this section. This person will serve as co-author on any publications resulting from this research. Provide documentation of PC's written approval (copy of his/her supervisor’s email) to function as project coordinator as an attachment to this proposal. Write “No PC identified, please assign one” at the end of this section if you have not identified a PC for the project and TPWD will assign one.

D. Description

Essentially an executive summary or abstract of the project; should not be more than a paragraph.

E. Need

Describe why the project is being proposed and the need that will be met or the problem solved by the project. This section should contain the necessary background information, historical perspective, and other supporting information that will help the reader understand the importance of the project. It should cite the most appropriate, relevant scientific literature and describe how the project will build upon the findings of previously published research.

F. Purpose

State the purpose of the project based upon the need. This is a short and broad statement that describes the desired outcome of the proposed project in general terms. This section is usually one or two sentences.

G. Objective(s)

This is comprised of one or a few short, concise statements that list the things that will be accomplished through the project to address the need(s) listed above. The Objective section is typically one to three sentences. The objectives of the grant should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time- and space-bounded.

H. Hypotheses

Based on the objectives above, formulate specific research hypotheses to be tested or model predictions to be validated. These should be clear, relevant, and informative (i.e. nontrivial, not obvious or redundant).

I. Expected Results or Benefits

This section should describe the anticipated benefits or management implications of accomplishing the project objectives. It should explain how results will be translated into management recommendations. It should explain the limits to which results are applicable over space and time. It should define what would constitute project success. In most cases, this includes the expected benefits to the public, species and/or habitat. It should include a clear and complete description of the data that will be collected during the project and the data that will be provided in the Interim and Final Reports for the project. Anticipated publications may also be noted.

J. Approach

This section describes the activities, methods or procedures that will be used to accomplish the objective(s) of the project. The activities, methods and procedures should be described in a logical sequence of events and should describe the data that will be collected and provided in each Report. The level of detail should be commensurate with the nature and complexity of the project and the level of funding requested. Provide specific references to support the activities, methods or procedures proposed. Note: A detailed approach describes all field activities (e.g., habitat manipulation, ground disturbance, off-road vehicle use, etc.) and identifies the majority of information needed to document environmental compliance.

This section must also clearly describe the data analysis methods to be used. Identify any assumptions made; the sampling or experimental units; minimum sample size; and any controls, treatments and replication. Include a detailed description of the experimental design and statistics to be used.

K. Useful Life

Any grant that involves a capital improvement that has a cost or value of $10,000 or more must include a statement of the anticipated useful life of that capital improvement. If this section is not applicable, provide a statement such as “No capital improvements will be made using grant funds.”

A capital improvement, per 50 CFR 80.2, means:

(i) A structure that costs at least $10,000 to build; or
(ii) The alteration, renovation, or repair of a structure if it increases the structure's useful life or its market value by at least $10,000.

L. Geographic Location

Identify as explicitly as possible the bounds of the study area including amount and number of public and private properties (e.g. site or ranch name or street address if you have written landowner permission to disclose; county; region, municipality, or township; other description or information related to location). Include GPS Coordinates in degrees, minutes and seconds, if available. If administrative/office activities are proposed, provide the address(es) where the work will occur. Provide a map of all field location(s) as an attachment. If ground disturbing activities will be conducted, provide a 7.5 minute USGS topographic map with the specific location of these activities and include photos of the site.

M. Program Income

In one or two sentences, state whether the proposed project will generate any outside income as a result of the grant’s activities. In nearly all cases, we expect that program income will not be generated. If this section is not applicable, make a statement indicating as such.

N. Budget Narrative

The narrative for this section MUST be included on the second sheet of the Excel Budget Template provided (in “TPWD Budget Justification”) to ensure justification for all applicable cost categories.

A detailed, itemized budget should be prepared using the Excel budget template provided that describes how the project’s funding will be used/allocated. The budget should be prepared as a series of annual budgets that follow the state fiscal year (e.g. September 1 through August 31). Funds not spent in a fiscal year may roll to the following year within the contract grant period. Any request to roll funds will require a budget amendment.

The budget also should identify the source(s) of the 25% non-federal matching funds that will be provided by the grant recipient. Please note that for multi-year proposals the budget for the total project must have at least 25% non-federal match. Cumulative minimum non-federal match must be documented on each invoice equal or greater to the budgeted cumulative match for the project. Invoices submitted without the required cumulative match will not be processed by TPWD and will be returned for modification and resubmission.

The itemized budget must include estimated costs (rounded to the nearest whole dollar) for salary and wages, fringe benefits, travel costs (tips or gratuities and purchase of alcohol are not reimbursable expenses), supplies, miscellaneous and indirect costs. Also include contractual services if applicable to the project. Any indirect costs must be appropriately applied to the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) or your entity’s base. Typically, MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission (stipend), scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each sub-award and subcontract in excess of $25,000 over the life of the project. Please review your entity’s currently approved Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) for the base to which to apply your indirect cost rate as it may differ. An example budget table and an example budget narrative are provided in Appendix II.

O. Equipment

Federal regulation (2 CFR 200.33) identifies equipment as tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes or $5,000. Any equipment that is anticipated to be purchased using federal grant funds must be identified in this section for pre-approval of the expenditure, along with a projection of the equipment's useful life and a source supporting the useful life determination. Any item purchased using federal funds, which meets the federal definition of equipment, shall become the property of TPWD for tracking and auditing purposes. If the PI does not plan to purchase any equipment meeting the above definition, then a simple statement such as “No equipment will be purchased using grant funds.” may be written in this Section.

P. Relationship with Other Grants

Describe any relationship between this project and other related work funded by Federal grants that is planned, anticipated or underway by the applicant’s entity. Please note that this is not a criterion upon which the proposal will be evaluated. Whether or not related work is being funded under other federal grant programs will not affect whether a proposal is selected for funding. This is simply an information item that federal agencies require when preparing grant awards.

Q. Timeline

Provide a brief outline or approximate timeline for the activities that will be carried out under the grant. Where applicable, please include project milestones or significant dates/deadlines in the timeline. Please note that performance reporting deadlines are determined by the federal awarding agency and will be included in the state contract between TPWD and the entity for awarded projects.

Example:

November 1, 2021: Official project start date
January 2022 to April 2022: hire and enroll MS student to complete the project, purchase supplies
April to August 2022: perform fieldwork as per Approach
September to December 2022: analyze data, prepare interim report
April to August 2023: perform fieldwork as per Approach
September to December 2023: data analysis and preparation of Final Report
December 31, 2023: Official project end date
January 31, 2024: Final Report due to TPWD

R. Environmental Compliance

If selected, the PI will be required to provide compliance documents based on the proposed work. This will typically include an informal Section 7 to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Provide a statement if federally threatened or endangered species may be impacted by this project. For information regarding potential impacts on federally threatened and endangered species in your proposed project area, please refer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Information, Planning and Conservation System (IPaC) for the most current range maps and other information. The link can be found at ecos.fws.gov/ipac.

If there will be ground disturbing activities as part of the project, then the applicant must comply with Section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act. Applicants should also provide statements that explain whether or not the proposed grant activities are likely to affect water quality or wetlands (Clean Water Act) or air quality (Clean Air Act).

S. Literature Cited

A list of the citations and relevant, recent literature used to develop the proposal.

T. Biographical Sketch

A brief biographical sketch must be prepared for each Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator. Each biographical sketch is limited to one page per individual. The biographical sketch is not intended to be a full Curriculum Vitae or Resume; it only needs to provide an overview of his or her educational background, relevant experience, and relevant publications. It may also include any relevant professional affiliations and collaborating entities (e.g. museums, biological field stations, research labs). This information does not count against the ten-page proposal page count or the six-page attachment page count limits.

U. Checklist

Please include the following documents/information (1 page) at the end of the proposal text to ensure a complete RFP application package. This checklist will not count against the ten-page proposal page count limit:

  1. Are all sections listed in the proposal format guidelines (items A through U) included? _______ Yes _______ No
  2. Does the budget format follow the state fiscal year (Sept 1 through Aug 31) and have you had your grants or financial office review and sign off on the budget? Is the federal reimbursement request of your total project cost 75.00% or less? _______ Yes _______ No
  3. Please list the name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address of the likely point of contact for this project in your grants or financial office (the person with whom we would coordinate on the development of the Contractual Agreement and grant purchase order):
    Name: _____________________
    Mailing Address: ____________________
    E-mail: _____________________
    Phone: _____________________
  4. If the project budget includes the use of an indirect cost rate (F&A), please attach a copy of (or a web link to) your current Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Note that, if selected, it is up to the sub-recipient to submit his/her entity’s updated NICRA to TPWD as they are approved on an annual basis for the duration of the contract.
  5. Include the DUNS number, SAM expiration date, and Texas Identification Number (TIN) for your organization (your grants or financial office should have these):
    DUNS: ____________________________
    SAM expiration date: ________________
    TIN: ______________________________
  6. Do you anticipate that any soil-disturbing activities will be required as a part of this project? If so, this may trigger the need for TPWD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider the potential impact to cultural resources under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act or potential Tribal Consultation: _________ Yes _________ No