Frequently Asked Questions about How Housing Matters to Families & Communities 2012-2013 Competition
December 11, 2012 | Article | Housing, How Housing Matters

Are individuals, independent of any institution eligible for funding?

No, only organizations with an IRS designation of nonprofit status are eligible for funding. A principal investigator affiliated with an eligible organization may submit an application on behalf of the organization but the organization must provide an independent acknowledgment that the organization is responsible for the selection of the principal investigator.

May an applicant organization or academic unit submit more than one abstract?

Yes, as long as the proposal topics are wholly distinct from one another and the research teams are led by and composed of different individuals.

Will the Foundation consider proposals from organizations with advanced graduate students listed as principal investigator or co-principal investigator?

Yes, as long as the proposal comes from the graduate student's academic institution that will sponsor the proposal with the graduate student listed as principal investigator.

Are research organizations based outside of the United States considered eligible for funding?

No, non-U.S. based organizations are NOT eligible for funding. Unlike past calls for proposals, in this call for proposals we have chosen to limit eligibility to organizations based in the United States and to topics focused in the United States context only.

Are research topics focused on non-U.S. contexts eligible for funding even if the applicant organization is based in the United States?

No, in this call for proposals we have chosen to limit eligibility to topics focused in the United States context only.

Does the Foundation have regional priorities for the research projects funded?

No, research projects taking place in all areas of the United States are eligible for consideration, provided they meet all of the program guidelines. Any funding must also be in accordance with applicable IRS requirements.

Can someone who has received a grant in previous rounds of How Housing Matters funding submit a proposal or be part of a research team submitting a proposal?

Yes, prior How Housing Matters grant recipients are eligible to submit a proposal whether as principal investigator or as a member of a team.

We notice that most prior grantees have been universities. Do you foresee that being the case again this year, and do you suggest that a non-profit submitting an abstract partner with a university for this work?

Grantees who have received funds under the How Housing Matters grant program include universities, think tanks, nonprofit groups and governmental entities. There are many models of partnership that could include researchers and individuals from more than one university or institution, from for- or non-profit organizations or from government entities. There is no one correct model. However, for each submission we require that only one entity be listed as the grant applicant that must be a non-profit organization.

May a non-profit grantee sub-contract some portion of their research efforts to a for-profit entity?

Yes, some portion of the grant may be subcontracted to a for-profit entity, or to other non-profit entities, subject to applicable IRS rules. However, the entirety of a grant may not be "passed through" to a for-profit entity.

Can multiple contacts be listed on the research abstract submission?

Only one primary contact can be listed. That primary contact, to be identified in the cover email, will receive all communications regarding the competition. This contact person may or may not also be the principal investigator. If there are two co-principal investigators leading the proposed study, only one can be listed as the primary contact.

May we include supporting documents in the research abstract submission?

No, please only include the content requested. Supplementary materials—such as photos, organizational brochures, news clippings, bios or CVs—will NOT be reviewed. Short footnotes or bibliography are appropriate to include if citations are necessary. Still, the total submission should not exceed 1500 words, in 12-point, Times New Roman font, with one inch margins inclusive of the footnotes and bibliography.

How does the Foundation define a "Research Outcome" and how does this differ from the description of the "Policy Need?"

"Research outcomes" include anticipated questions that will be answered as a result of the research. Attention should also be given to the products that the research team anticipates it will produce to disseminate its findings. The "policy need" refers to a clear articulation of a demonstrated need to answer such questions, and of the broader implications for policymakers. This may include potential policy changes and innovations that could be identified as a result of the research findings.

The RFP notes that the Foundation seeks to "inform and strengthen the impact that funded research will have on policy" and the examples of specific policy audiences given are all governmental. Does the Foundation's definition of policy also include private industry's or nonprofit practitioners' investment policies or program practices?

As noted in the call for proposals, "Unlike past calls for proposals, the Foundation this year asks that every applicant consider and identify the practical implications for their research. For research to inform how housing and other services are delivered, researchers must be attentive to how research findings might impact housing development, program design and other interventions." This is distinct from the "policy need/audience." We are thus interested in researchers considering and identifying how the research might inform practice by non-government or non-government funded actors.

Does the Foundation allow for indirect costs, and if so, is there a maximum indirect rate?

Depending on the specifics of the project, the Foundation may fund indirect costs in an amount not to exceed 15 percent of direct project costs. View the Foundation's policy on funding indirect costs.

Must a detailed budget be included in the research abstract?

At this stage, only a preliminary budget by year is required. Line item detail is not necessary.

Can grant funds be used to provide cash incentives for research subject participation or to pay for intervention costs (e.g., a social worker, costs to run credit checks, short term rental subsidy) and, if so, what costs are allowable?

Cash incentives may be acceptable for research subject participation under appropriate guidelines approved by the grantee and consistent with IRS regulations. However, some intervention costs such as housing subsidies are a large expense and we would have to balance whether such an investment will yield the sample sizes for a study population appropriate to gaining statistically valuable insights given the costs.


Final Note: Many potential applicants inquired as to whether a specific research topic would be of interest to the Foundation. At this stage, we will not comment about our interest in specific topics beyond what is laid out in the "Criteria for Selection" section of the call for proposals.

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