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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MRC Challenge Award?:

The Challenge is a competitive award that aims to focus innovation towards areas that are aligned with national health initiatives that are also significant at the local level. The MRC Challenge Award will ask units to design a proposal for a project that aligns with one of three focus areas:

  • Building and Sustaining Community Resiliency
  • Enhancing Community Collaboration and Coalitions
  • Strengthen Community Health

Go to the 2017 MRC Challenge Award Request for Application for detailed information on the award, eligibility, and application process.

What are some ideas for Challenge Award projects?

Unfortunately, as part of the review process, we are unable to weigh in on potential Challenge Award projects. Please see examples from the last two years of winners for some ideas of where to start. 

Can I collaborate with another unit for my Challenge Award application?

Yes, you are able to collaborate with another unit(s). If you choose to partner with another unit, only one unit can submit an application that unit must agree to be the fiscal manager of the award. 

How many Challenge Awards will be issued?

Up to 160 Challenge Awards will be issued. 

How much are the awards?

The Challenge Award amount will be up to $13,000.

Why are there no Capacity Building Awards?

In response to the changes in funding and the demonstrated success of the Challenge Awards, NACCHO and the MRC Program Office can better serve the MRC community by fostering innovation through MRC unit projects that can demonstrate the MRC's capability to enhance the resilience of local communities. This can bee seen through the blog profiles from previous Challenge Award winners. These units have seen great success and support for their work in their communities. Moving to a Challenge Award structure better illustrates the diversity, capability, and capacity of the MRC to other units around the network, amongst partners, and funders. 

Are there any additional sources of funding to replace the Capacity Building Awards?

Visit the MRC Program Office’s website to learn more about additional funding sources. 

What are the major milestones for the awards process?

  • Prospective MRC units must be registered and have a unit number through the MRC Program Office by October 31, 2016.
  • The application will open for Challenge Awards on October 31, 2016, and will close on December 9, 2016.
  • The Request for Application (RFA) will be live on October 10th. This will allow units enough time to review application requirements and to learn more about the focus areas for the Challenge Award before the application officially opens on October 31, 2016.
  • Notification of Awards and contract documents will be distributed the week of January 23, 2017. Units can expect to receive an email from the MRC Award website. A general announcement will also be made via listserv once the emails have been sent. Units will be able to download and print their award application(s) and budget(s), award notice, and contract document.
  • MRC Award contracts are due to NACCHO by March 31, 2017.

What are the minimum eligibility requirements for the Challenge Award?

  • MRC units must create an account at NACCHO’s  Awards website,
  • Applicants selected for funding will ensure their unit profiles are updated with the MRC Program Office prior to acceptance of an award. Awardees will be notified in early February and will be asked to update their profile at that time through the website ( 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).
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive federal funds through their housing/sponsoring agency or be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
  • New MRC units applying for an FY2016-2017 MRC Challenge Award must be registered with the MRC Program Office by October 31, 2016. Likewise, prospective MRC units who are interested in applying for an award must follow the MRC Program Office’s registration process, have submitted their prospective unit’s application for registration, and have  been confirmed by their Regional Coordinator no later than October 31, 2016 to be eligible.  A prospective MRC unit which has applied for a NACCHO MRC 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 by February 28, 2017.

How can I prepare for the awards process?

NACCHO has developed several resources that units can review now to familiarize themselves with the proposal writing, project planning, and budgeting process. NACCHO also held two webinars that were recorded and are available for reviewing.  The first webinar provided on overview on preparing for the Challenge Award and selecting a project.  The second webinar provided an overview of the application process and examples of a well written project.  Both webinar recordings are available from the NACCHO MRC webpage, under MRC Challenge Award and Capacity Building. 

The MRC Award application questions are on the site for unit leaders to review in advance of the application opening. Encourage your unit leaders to review the previous Challenge Award winners to learn more about the units and the types of projects that were funded. Unit leaders should also gather their stakeholders (Community partners, unit leadership, volunteers, and housing organization representative, etc.) to consider the requirements of the award, review the challenge focus areas, and consider the community needs. 

There have been staffing changes within my unit and there is a new unit leader. What do they need to do to access the website?

A new MRC Unit Coordinator will have to set up a profile and login with NACCHO prior to submitting their Challenge Award application.  Profiles are set up for individuals and not organizations.

I am a unit leader managing multiple units. Can I combine my units within one profile?

An individual can submit an application for more than one MRC unit, although only one application can be submitted per MRC unit.  The individual would simply select Apply Again and submit a new application for another MRC unit.  They should be sure to include the relevant unit contact information for each of the MRC units, in addition to their contact information as the person submitting the application.