Frequently Asked Questions

When is the RFP available?

  • The RFP will be available via vaccineconfidencefund.org on June 10, 2021.  

When is the deadline for submissions?

  • The submission deadline is August 6, 2021 12:00am EST. We encourage proposals to be submitted as soon as they are ready, as proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

What countries are eligible? 

  • Research that takes place in any country is eligible. The goal of the RFP is to ensure diversity of research globally – both high-income and low-income countries.

What is the page limit (and corresponding word limit for each section) of the grant proposal?

  • We anticipate that the main application proposal will be no longer than 6 pages. This page limit only applies to key free form questions in the application. Please see the online application form (via https://webportalapp.com/sp/login/vaccineconfidencefund) for each section’s word limit requirements.

How should partnerships be addressed in the application?

  • All proposals must have a single grant recipient, or lead partner, who upon selection, will be the single contract holder and receive the full award of the grant. The name of this grant recipient and the banking information provided must match. Any other partner that is contributing to the project in a substantial way should be sub-contracted by the main partner however they choose but should also complete the vetting information requested. This would exclude subcontracting such as design, editors, or other one-off tasks not critical to the project. Details should be provided, as requested, in the application as to the roles and method of coordination among partners and the budget should include enough detail so that salaries and major costs to partners (sub-contractors) can be seen in line items. As sub-contractor(s) need to be approved, per the grant agreement, we are asking for this information to be provided in the application to expedite approval. An award of a grant will represent review and approval of sub-contractor(s).

How much is the grant amount?  

  • The range of awards will vary based on the scope of the research, but award amounts will range between $100,000 and $250,000. Please note this Fund is willing to consider proposals up to $400,000 provided there is strong justification for why additional funding is needed.

What will the disbursement schedule be?

  • The funds will be disbursed in two tranches: (1) upon execution of the Grant Agreement by the parties and (2) following the submission of required reports and information to the Fund manager.

What item lines can be included in the budget? Are there any specific budget restrictions?

  • You can review our budget template and accompanying guidance here. As indicated in our budget template and guidance, our major budget categories include: personnel; travel, conference, convening expenses; other expenses; and overhead. Please note the only major restriction is that capital assets may not be included in the budget. For more information regarding our IDC or overhead policy, please see the FAQ that directly follows this one.

What is the overhead rate for this Fund’s grants?

  • This Fund recognizes the varying amounts of overhead costs for different types of organizations. As such, this Fund will employ two different approaches for (1) non-profit organizations, non-US universities, and for-profit organizations and (2) US universities and colleges. For (1) non-profit organizations, non-US universities, and for-profit organizations, this Fund is open to considering overhead costs as proposed by those organizations. For (2) US universities and colleges, this Fund recognizes that these institutions often have more complex protocols and rates. As such, this Fund is open to considering overhead rates of up to 40% for all US universities and colleges. If needed, overhead rates that exceed the cap are also open to consideration on a case-by-case basis. Finally, across both types of organizations, all overhead/indirect costs should be well defined and justified and the overall project will need to demonstrate strong value for money principles.

What is the project’s grant duration?

  • Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and this Fund’s desire to provide immediately actionable solutions to the public health community, the implementation timeline for projects is short from June 30, 2021 (as the earliest potential start date) to January 31, 2022 (as the latest potential end date). Please note that the final grantee reporting deadline is February 15, 2022.

Does this Fund have a preference for individuals versus organizations applying?

  • This Fund is open to both individuals and organizations applying. Please note that all applicants – regardless of their status as individuals or organizations – will be required to complete a thorough background check. Please note that the applicant or organization/institution name will need to match the name on the bank account that the funds will be sent to.

Who are the Alliance partners?

  • The Alliance for Advancing Health Online is focused on advancing public understanding of how social media can best be utilized to better understand and increase the health and resiliency of communities around the world. The Alliance’s first activity is to launch the Vaccine Confidence Fund.
  • Alliance members currently include the Bay Area Global Health Alliance, the CDC Foundation, Facebook, the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, MSD (known as Merck in the US and Canada), Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. Further discussions with other key relevant institutions are currently ongoing with the goal of expanding the Alliance members.
  • Please also note that some representatives from the Alliance may also participate on the Advisory Council.

Who is funding this research? 

  • Facebook and Merck are providing funding to Global Impact – the third-party grant fund manager who will be independently executing the fund including:
    • Design and syndication of the RFP 
    • Managing the RFP process 
    • Managing transparent reviewing and scoring process for grants 
    • Conducting compliance with all grantees 
    • Managing financial transaction and monitoring & evaluation 
    • Compiling research findings and issuing an Impact Report covering the Fund’s aggregate activities and successes across its portfolio of grantees

What are the expectations around information and data sharing/dissemination?

  • In the view of the Fund, all project data, results, and insights generated by grantees should proactively be shared with relevant communities and the public, while also protecting the privacy of participants and any confidential information and adhering to local and national laws. Please reference our Fund Principle in this RFP for further details on our approach to information sharing.

How should social media factor into research?

  • While there are many factors that may influence confidence and uptake, we are seeking proposals that are specifically looking at the role of social media and and how they can be used as tools to contribute to increasing vaccination confidence and uptake.

Are COVID preventative behaviors of interest to this Fund?

  • While this Fund’s primary focus is on COVID-19 vaccination confidence and uptake (as well as routine immunizations), we would also be interested in better understanding how social media can be or has been leveraged to improving COVID preventative behaviors (e.g., masking, social distancing), particularly if those learnings can identify promising strategies to increase vaccine uptake.

Will this Fund support proposals focused on stopping the spread of misinformation or disinformation as it relates to vaccine hesitancy?

  • The goal of the fund is to support research on how social media can contribute to increasing confidence in and access to vaccines, which might touch on misinformation but isn’t the single focus.

Will this Fund support message advocacy and community outreach proposals?

  • This Fund is focused on supporting research proposals that are seeking to better understand how social media and online platforms can be best utilized to increase vaccination confidence and uptake. This Fund is less interested in pure message advocacy and/or community outreach efforts that do not include actionable research related to the topic of interest.

Will this Fund consider projects currently being implemented?

  • This Fund is interested in supporting new and innovative research. As such, this Fund will not consider funding projects that are currently ongoing or being implemented.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my application?