Section 6 Grants: Traditional Grants
Fiscal Year 2014 Request for Proposals
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) for state fiscal year 2014 under the “Traditional” Section 6 research program, to be funded in state fiscal year 2015 (after 1 September 2014). Funds for these Federal Assistance grants are provided by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, and are administered cooperatively between TPWD and the Endangered Species Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
These are scientific research grants, and must concern a species (or suite of species) listed federally as threatened or endangered, or a "species of concern for listing." Priority is typically given to the former, but meritorious proposals focusing on the latter are certainly eligible. Projects must specifically benefit conservation, management and recovery of taxa occurring in Texas, but project activities are not restricted to Texas (see further information below). Proposals should emphasize needs or objectives described in a USFWS Recovery Plan’s ‘Recovery Outline,’ or similar document(s) prepared by taxon experts, working groups or committees familiar with the subject.
Again for this year
In addition to the “broad category” subjects listed below, we seek proposals focusing on specific taxa and topics (FY 2014 Traditional Section 6 Grant Program Priority List of Project Topics). This year’s list was generated from requests by staff at TPWD and USFWS (Texas Ecological Field Offices) to address what are perceived to be the greatest immediate needs in conservation of Texas’ flora and fauna. We annually re-evaluate this list and will likely change from year to year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss potential project ideas with staff at TPWD and USFWS Ecological Services offices in Texas.
Broad categories for funding consideration:
- Research on rare, threatened or endangered species in relation to habitat change and fragmentation, including management and protection on private lands;
- Status surveys (including geographic distribution, density estimates, population trends, conservation threats, etc.), habitat characterization, systematics, phylogeography and ecological assessments;
- Development and/or testing of specific experimental methods/actions designed to elicit positive responses in T&E populations, thereby facilitating recovery;
- Innovative and effective projects addressing endangered species education and outreach.
Approximate proposal review process and timeline
- Late November: TPWD receives and distributes for internal review all eligible proposals. This same set of proposals is forwarded to the Austin Ecological Services Office (USFWS) for their own internal review. Each group independently generates a rank order list of proposals for funding consideration.
- Mid-February: Staff from TPWD and USFWS meet to generate a short-list (typically <30% of those submitted) of proposals. This list is then forwarded to USFWS Region 2 (Albuquerque, NM) for approval and budgeting.
- June-August, rarely September: Federal budget appropriation is finalized and submitted to USFWS Regions. TPWD receives from Region 2 (USFWS) an official award letter listing projects selected for funding. No information regarding which projects made it (or did not make it) to short-list will be divulged prior to the receipt of the above-referenced official award letter.
- August-September: TPWD notifies all applicants upon receipt of award letter from USFWS. State contracts are generated for awardees (=subgrantees). Please allow approximately 90 days from notification of USFWS award until execution of state contract with subgrantees.
Previous awards: The amount of funding available for individual projects varies; awards (Federal Request) from FY09-FY13 had a mean of $43.6K (Federal Share per year) and were 1-3 years in length.
Private consultant contracts are limited to Federal Requests less than $10,000 per year.
Project duration cannot exceed 3 years. Projects with timelines beyond three years will be automatically rejected.
Match requirements. Section 6 funds are made available on 3:1 (federal request:applicant match) basis. Therefore, of the Total Project Cost, at least 25% should be dedicated to “Match.” Please note that during review of proposals no extra evaluation points are awarded to Match amounts exceeding the minimum 25%. Any volunteer labor must be reasonable and requires full documentation of fair market value. Also note that the maximum Federal Share percentage cannot be greater than 75.000% of Total Cost.
Indirect Costs. Pursuant to 2 CFR (Part 220, Institutions of Higher Education; Part 225, State, Local and Tribal Governments; or, Part 230, Nonprofit Agencies) if you include Indirect (Facilities and Administration; F&A) Costs in your budget then a copy of the valid Indirect Cost rate agreement negotiated with the appropriate cognizant federal agency must be included with your application. Please note that TPWD caps the Indirect rate at 15%; however, if your negotiated rate is greater than 15% then the remainder may be applied as part of your match contribution.
Endangered Species Permits. If working with federally listed species appropriate federal and state endangered species permits must be in your possession, and must cover all proposed activities and researchers involved in the project. If you do not have these permits by the time you apply for a grant in this program you may not have the permits in time to qualify for an award. Contact TPWD’s permit office (512-389-4647) and the USFWS.
Landowner Permission. If proposed work is to be conducted on private land then TPWD Landowner Permission form attached to state contract will need to be signed and submitted with Final Report.
GIS data. If geographic locality data are to be collected then we require those data to be submitted electronically with Final Report as shapefile(s) or spreadsheets of latitude/longitude or degrees-minutes-seconds.
State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) requires approval for any project that will disturb soil. Therefore, projects involving fencing, digging for soil samples, etc., may need permission from the SHPO.
Funding process. This is a two-tier system, and commences upon notification of award from USFWS.
Tier 1: The state (TPWD) acts as the grantee for all Section 6 awards. This is true because the grant process involves commitment to a cooperative agreement between states and the federal government to receive these funds. The money is obligated to the state once projects are approved for award.
Tier 2: The successful applicant’s agency/institution becomes the "subgrantee." Once federal money has been budgeted to the state a contract can then be executed with the subgrantee. The terms of the subcontract include honoring the Objective, Approach and Estimated Cost from the Project Statement provided by applicants, as well as details regarding invoicing and other obligations.
Because of the above process money is not provided up front, and pre-award costs are generally not allowed with state contracts. Grant costs cannot be reimbursed if incurred prior to the execution date of the state contract. Therefore, applicants are strongly cautioned to schedule timing of individual Approach tasks with this unavoidable delay in mind as they prepare their Project Statements.
The proposal, referred to as a Project Statement (MS Word) under federal guidelines, consists of a space delimited, electronic file in MS Word format. Please follow all associated instructions to the letter.
The deadline for receipt of FY14 proposals is COB November 20, 2013.
Submit electronically by email attachment the Project Statement (total file size for emailed proposals cannot exceed 5 MB; please send separate files if larger than this) to:
Dr. Craig Farquhar
Endangered Species Grants Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Office Tel: (512) 389-4933
Office Fax: (512) 389-8043