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RFA: Vaccine Hesitancy of the Cooperative Extension System



  Vaccine Hesitancy of the Cooperative Extension System

Funded by a Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA and CDC in partnership with the Extension Foundation and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP)

Extension Collaborative for Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE)

October 1, 2021 Released

October 31, 2021 November 12th, 2021 Application Deadline

ELIGIBILITY: All Land-grant universities (1862, 1890, 1994) are eligible to apply.




  • Application Open: October 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline: October 31, 2021 November 12th, 2021
  • Award Notification: November 7th-14th, 2021
  • Award Period: December 1, 2021-April 30, 2023

APPLICATION ACCESS: The deadline for receipt of your proposal is October 31, 2021 November 12th, 2021. Applications should be filled out through Extension Foundation here: Proposals received after this date will not be considered. For additional information, questions, or clarifications, please contact Dr. Michelle Rodgers at or phone at (302) 635-4306.

APPLICATION GUIDE: Click here for the Application Guide.


Michelle Rodgers

Associate Dean and Director

University of Delaware

EXCITE Project Director

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Land grant institutions (LGU) are invited to apply to The Extension Foundation’s Extension Collaborative for Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE) Program for funding to: 1) assess vaccine hesitancy of Extension field educators, specialists and administrators, and 2) create and implement a strategy to reduce vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 and other adult immunizations, and increase confidence and willingness to become immunization educators in their community. The goal of this project is to reduce hesitancy around vaccination, and increase willingness to serve in educational roles around adult vaccination among Cooperative Extension personnel at all three types of Land grant institutions (1862, 1890, 1994).

This funding is for December 1, 2021-April 30, 2023. By the end of this project, we anticipate the following outputs: 1) an assessment of Cooperative Extension system COVID-19 and adult vaccine hesitancy, and 2) tested, deployed and assessed strategic educational interventions to decrease Extension personnel hesitancy.   The anticipated outcomes are to: 1) increase confidence to serve as immunization educators 2) increase willingness to serve as immunization educators 3) improve attitude supporting vaccination education as an appropriate educational role for Cooperative Extension. Awardees can expect productive interaction with the national EXCITE Program Team as needed.

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 to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities. Priority work includes facilitating discussions at the community level to address barriers and concerns about COVID-19, flu, and other adult immunizations to help increase connections and communication between the community and health care professionals, increase accessibility and acceptability of local vaccination clinics and opportunities, and mobilize communities to implement public health programs to reduce health disparities. Through the IAA, the EXCITE program seeks to decrease vaccine hesitancy and build the evidence base of effective interventions to improve vaccination coverage in rural and other medical underserved communities.

BUDGET: The budget should address each of the major cost categories outlined in the Federal SF-424 Research and Related Budget form (see brief outline below).  No match of institutional funds is required. Note that EXCITE funds cannot be used to purchase vaccines. More specific guidance is found in the 2 CFR Part 200 Cost Principles ( and the NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide (

  • Personnel Costs (R&R Sections A&B)
    • Compensation in the form of Salaries and Wages for the faculty, technicians, research associates and assistants, postdoctoral associates and other technical personnel necessary to meet the goals of the project, computed as either percent effort, hourly wages or person months.

    • Fringe Benefits normally encompass employer contributions for social security, employee life, health, unemployment, worker's compensation insurance and pension plan costs related to the personnel charged to the project. Costs must be expressed as a percentage of salaries and wages in the proposal budget based on negotiated Federal rates applicable to each person or role.

  • Equipment Costs: Capital equipment (R&R Section C) is defined as tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. Requests must include item description, justification of use for equipment on the project, quote to substantiate the equipment cost, and plan for equipment disposal at the end of the performance period. Agency approval must be obtained before awarded funds may be released. If both cost and useful life criteria are not met, then equipment is considered noncapital (see Other Direct Costs below).

  • Travel Costs (R&R Section D): Employee costs for transportation, lodging, and subsistence that directly support the aims for the project. Include in the budget justification the destination, number of people traveling, and dates or duration of each stay for all anticipated travel.

  • Participant Support Costs (R&R Section E): Direct costs for items such as stipends or honoraria, subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects. NIFA considers payments to non-participants, e.g., organizers, recruiters, influencers, trainers, coaches, etc., who encourage or assist participants to be Participant Support. Payments made to defray the cost of participation, e.g., for travel and meals, are also allowed in accord with institutional policies and documentation requirements.

  • Other Direct Costs (R&R Section F):
    • Materials and Supplies: Consumables to be used in the performance of the proposed project, e.g., laboratory items and data processing supplies.

    • Noncapital Equipment: Equipment not meeting both capitalization criteria above. Note that such items are indistinguishable from other supplies.
    • Consultants/Independent Contractors: Consultants who provide expertise or a service to a particular project consistent with their normal course of business.

    • Subawards: A contract specifically creating a Federal assistance relationship with a subrecipient to carry out part of a Federal award received by the project applicant. A subrecipient typically is assigned responsibility for programmatic decision-making with subsequent performance measured in relation to whether it assigned project objectives were met.

    • Tuition Remission: Mandatory benefit for students employed as Graduate Research Assistants/Associates (GRAs) that is separate and distinct from other employee fringe benefits.

    • Other Costs: Various items such as vendor contracts for ancillary goods and services, publication, and meeting costs. Also may include items that are normally indirect, e.g., telephone long distance and photocopy costs, that are directly related and assignable with a high degree of accuracy.

  • Indirect costs (R&R Section H): Whereas Direct Costs (R&R Sections A-F) can be identified specifically with the performance of a project, Indirect (aka Facilities and Administrative) Costs are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with any project. Indirect Costs are quantified as a percentage of a pre-defined Direct Cost base: Total Direct Costs (TDC), Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC), or Salaries and Wages (S&W) that may or not include Fringe Benefits. Consult your institution’s current negotiated rate agreement for the correct rate base application. Applicants may also elect to apply the de minimis rate of 10% against MTDC. Note that Indirect Cost rates remain unchanged for the life of the project.

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