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RFA: Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement (EXCITE) Immunization Education Pilot Projects (Activity 2)


Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, Health Innovation Task Force
Extension Foundation


DATES: MAY 1, 2021 - APRIL 30, 2023

ELIGIBILITY: The RFA for EXCITE Activity 2 is open to all Land Grant University CES professionals. Each LGU may apply as part of an unlimited number of lead and collaborating applications for EXCITE Activity 2. At most, one project per institution will be funded, whether the institution is lead or collaborating institution on the application. There is no limit to the number of projects as part of which a principal investigator or team member may apply. EXCITE Activity 2 is a competitive process.


  • Activity 2 RFA Published: upon receipt of the NIFA award notification
  • Activity 2 Application Due: May 14, 2021
  • Activity 2 Applications Review Process May 17-21, 2021
  • Activity 2 Award Notification: May 24-28, 2021
  • Activity 2 Funds Distribution to Subawardees: May 31-June 4, 2021

FUNDING LIMITS: Up to $200,000 per award for 2 years.

APPLICATION ACCESS: The application is available at The Application Guide and other information is available on the website at


Michelle Rodgers

Associate Dean and Director

University of Delaware

EXCITE Project Director

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Extension Foundation, in cooperation with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), through an Interagency Agreement (IAA) with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are funding the Cooperative Extension System (CES) to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities. (AWARD NO: 2021-77041-34831)

The Extension network as a trusted leader in communities across the nation is a key factor in the selection of Extension as a CDC partner. On behalf of the Cooperative Extension System and in collaboration with ECOP, the Extension Foundation serves as Principal Investigator; provides grants administration; fiscal, operational, and technological services; system-wide communication; innovation processes; wrap-around services for projects; data collection and dashboards; and partnership development. Goals of the EXCITE Program include:

  1. Address barriers and concerns and increase acceptability about COVID-19, flu and other vaccinations among rural and medically underserved audiences.
  2. Increase connection and communication between targeted communities and healthcare systems.
  3. Increase accessibility of local COVID-19, flu and other adult vaccinations and vaccination clinics.
  4. Inform CDC, USDA-NIFA, Cooperative Extension and health partners to implement public health programs to reduce health disparities.

Activity 2 Immunization Education Pilots are competitive and support up to 20 pilots, testing various methodologies to conduct immunization education programs with priority populations for all types of adult vaccinations. Funded projects will work cooperatively with the CDC, local health professionals and programs to improve immunization rates with priority populations.

The purpose is to create and test innovative delivery methods for each pilot project and inform future immunization education methodologies of best practices.Immunization Education Pilots will be developed to not only further message testing, but to learn from the selected communities about how CES, CDC, and local health professionals could work together to educate and reach PP for improved adult immunization rates in general.  Pilot projects selected for funding will ideally be diverse in geographic region, scope and delivery cost, and methods  to meet a range  of rural and other medically underserved at-risk areas and communities around COVID-19, flu and other adult vaccinations.

  • Participation in a pre-application assist workshop to develop a project including targeted population, a unique value proposition, plan for message testing implementation, and community engagement plan. Application developed with input from CDC key informants with a focus on innovative interventions.  Pilot programs will include at least 1 health partner to collaboratively develop the intervention. Approximately 20 Pilot projects to be selected
  • Awardees conduct intervention activities designed for their priority population.   Market Research will be conducted as a part of the intervention  to understand priority population views and perspectives.  Results will be shared among all Pilot projects. This will  inform a second iteration of the intervention. Teams will engage with technical assistance, key informants and team coaches. Innovative delivery methods will be dependent on the priority population and may include worksite education, train the trainer, media campaigns, development of community leaders as messengers, use of volunteers for local program delivery.

Award and Funding Decisions--Funding decisions will be considered final.  Award decisions will be published on the EXCITE Website and emailed to each institution individually.

Training Awardees--Successful applicants will attend periodic training provided by the Project Director, Assistant Project Director and the Extension Foundation in conjunction with the CDC to ensure all funded applicants have the data and input they may need to implement their projects, and ensure proper fiscal accountability, time and content of progress reports, final reports and any other information that will assist them to successfully manage their projects.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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