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About 2018 MRC Challenge Awards

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is pleased to announce the following funding opportunity for Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units:  The 2018 MRC Challenge Awards.  Funding for this opportunity is available through a cooperative agreement between NACCHO and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) (grant # 6 HITEP150032-02-09).  Any applicable statutory or regulatory requirements, including 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, directly apply to this sub-award.  Specific information on allowable costs can be found in 2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

MRC units may apply to one of the following funding opportunities:

  • Tier 1:  $2500 – Projects designed to strengthen MRC unit capabilities through retention, recruitment, trainings, and logistical resources.
  • Tier 2: $7,500 – Projects that are community based initiatives, which build MRC volunteer engagement, and capabilities, provide measureable outcomes, engage community partners, and improve community health and resiliency.
  • Tier 3: 12,500 – Project that include collaboration across multiple MRC units, stakeholders, or academic institutions to increase MRC capabilities, build MRC brand awareness, and develop shared resources.  

The 2018 MRC Challenge Awards aim to focus innovation towards projects that align with nationally recognized health initiatives, are significant at the local level, and demonstrate capability within the MRC network. Project proposals may draw from ASPR’s National Health Security Strategy (NHSS), the six Surgeon General’s Priorities which includes the National Prevention Strategy (NPS), the CDC ‘s Winnable Battles, or the strategic plans of other partner organizations.

The challenge is for MRC units to address community needs, strive to build their MRC unit capabilities, evaluate effectiveness, and share their results, as applicable, with a goal to to facilitate development of improved processes or resources. Proposed projects should include a number of approaches, such as educational programs, formation of unique partnerships or coalitions, community outreach, or creation of innovative tools or systems. Unit leaders can also use this opportunity to evaluate their programs and translate the processes and outcomes through research.

As you consider project ideas for your Challenge Award proposal, it is strongly encouraged that you search for nearby universities or other academic institutions that can assist you with developing research methods and goals and analyzing the data obtained.  We encourage MRC units to consider collaborating with others within the MRC Network to submit an application on behalf of a group of units and/or community partners. If you choose to partner as a group, only one unit can submit an application and that unit must agree to be the fiscal manager of the award. 

Applications for the Challenge Awards will be evaluated based on relevance of the proposed project to one of the three focus areas, clear description and intent of the project, and the overall impact of the funding to support the mission of the local MRC unit(s) applying.  Evaluation of the scope of the project will take into consideration the funding tier for which the unit is applying.  Application questions will be scored in four broad areas:

  1. Project Information (50%)
  2. Work Plan (30%)
  3. Budget (10%)
  4. Evaluation (10%)

Applications may receive a maximum score of 100% with funding awarded based on an applicant’s total score, recommendation of reviewer(s), and the total funding available across each of the tier levels. 

All awardees will be required to complete two progress reports: an initial progress report 3-4 months after receipt of funding and a final project evaluation report at twelve months. NACCHO will provide awardees with specific guidelines and requirements at the time of award. The information contained in these reports will be used to determine progress toward meeting the award goals and objectives, as well as identifying promising practices, resources or tools developed, and sharing them with the greater MRC network. 

Eligibility Requirements for MRC Units

Minimum eligibility requirements for the MRC Challenge Award:

  • MRC units must have an account at NACCHO’s Awards website ( ) to submit an application.
  • Selected applicants must have fully updated their unit profiles on the MRC Program Office website ( between September 1 and December 8, 2017, prior to being awarded funding.
    • A fully updated unit profile is one in which all questions have been answered or updated (particularly unit leader contact information, numbers of volunteers, and activity reports, if applicable).  The MRC Program Office strongly encourages units to update their unit profiles with any previously unreported activities for the calendar year, as well as new activities.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive federal funds through their housing/sponsoring agency or be a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.
  • Applicants must provide both their Employer Identification Number (EIN) and their Duns & Bradstreet Number (DUNS), as required by Federal regulations.
  • Prospective MRC units applying for a 2018 MRC Challenge Award must follow the MRC Program Office’s unit registration process, have submitted their prospective unit’s application for registration, and have been confirmed by their Regional Liaison no later than December 8, 2017, to be eligible.
    • A prospective MRC unit that has applied for an MRC Challenge Award will not be awarded funding until it is an approved and registered MRC unit.
  • MRC Units selected for funding will receive a notification of award and contractual agreement.  Units that accept the funding agree to comply with the terms of agreement outlined in the contractual agreement and submit all documents within the terms of agreement timeframe.  NACCHO will not be able to accept any requests for changes to the content language of the contractual agreement.  Requests for corrections or changes to designated approving authorities, housing agencies, or addresses to the contract must be submitted to NACCHO by February 28, 2018.
  • MRC units that received an MRC Challenge Award in 2016 must have submitted a final project evaluation report to be eligible for funding in 2018.  Contact if you are unsure if you have submitted a report.
  • MRC units that received an MRC Challenge Award in 2017 must have submitted an initial progress report to be eligible for funding in 2018.  Contact if you are unsure if you have submitted a report.

The Application Process


2018 MRC Challenge Award applications open.


2018 MRC Challenge Award applications close.


Application review period begins.


Application review period ends.


Notice of Awards released to awardees.


Challenge Award contracts mailed to awardees.


Deadline for NACCHO to receive signed contracts and Certificate of Non-Debarement Forms.


Initial Progress Report Due.


Final Project Evaluation Due