Centers of Excellence

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

The goal of this program is to assist eligible schools in supporting programs of excellence in health professions education for under-represented minority individuals. The grantee is required to use the funds awarded: (1) To develop a large competitive applicant pool through linkages with institutions of higher education, local school districts, and other community-based entities and establish an education pipeline for health professions careers; (2) to establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of under-represented minority students attending the school; (3) to improve the capacity of such school to train, recruit, and retain under-represented minority faculty including the payment of stipends and fellowships; (4) to carry out activities to improve the information resources, clinical education, curricula and cultural competence of the graduates of the schools as it relates to minority health issues; (5) to facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting under-represented minority groups, including research on issues relating to the delivery of health care; (6) to carry out a program to train students of the school in providing health services to a significant number of under-represented minority individuals through training provided to such students at community-based health facilities that provide such health services and are located at a site remote from the main site of the teaching facilities of the school; and (7) to provide stipends as appropriate.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Grant funds may be used by health professions schools to: (1) Establish, strengthen, or expand programs to enhance the academic performance of minority students attending the school; (2) establish, strengthen or expand programs to increase the number and quality of minority applicants to the school; (3) improve the capacity of the school to train, recruit, and retain minority faculty; (4) with respect to minority health issues, to carry out activities to improve the information resources and curricula of the school and clinical education at the school; and (5) facilitate faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting minority groups.

Who is eligible to apply...

Eligible applicants are: accredited schools of allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, graduate programs in behavioral or mental health, or other public and nonprofit health or educational entities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities as described in Section 736(c)(2)(A) of the Public Service Act and which received a contract under Section 788B of the Public Health Service Act (Advanced Financial Distress Assistance) for fiscal year 1987 may apply for Centers of Excellence (COE) grants under Section 736 of the Public Health Service Act.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

The basis for determining the allowance and allocability of costs charged to Public Health Service (PHS) grants is set forth in 45 CFR 74, Subpart Q.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The new URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) Grants Page is The BHPr uses Adobe Acrobat and Word to publish its grant documents on the Web page. In order to download, view and print Adobe Acrobat documents, you need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. This can be obtained without charge from the Internet by going to the Adobe Web Page ( and downloading the version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is appropriate for your operating system, i.e., Windows, Unix, Macintosh, etc. A set of more detailed instructions on how to download and use the Adobe Acrobat Reader can be found on the BHPr Grants Web page under "Notes on this WWW Page." Applicants are encouraged to obtain application materials from the World Wide Web via the Internet.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Grant Award issued from the Headquarters office.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Application deadlines are available on the World Wide Web at address:

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

About 4 months after receipt of applications.

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from courage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Appeals are available only to grantees.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


At the end of the initial project period, competing continuation applications may be submitted for up to three 3 years.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Certain HBCUs and eligible health professions schools must train a significant number of under-represented minority students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; faculty recruitment, training and retention; and faculty and student research activities.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$350,929 to $5,280,000; $640,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


FY 03 $34,311,000; FY 04 est $0 and FY 05 est $0.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Projects funded proposed a range of activities for under-represented targeted minority individuals, including high school students; undergraduate college preprofessional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) students; enrolled professional students and faculty. COEs support structured and unstructured summer and academic year activities to address the five legislative purposes. Activities include summer academic enrichment programs for undergraduate college students; professional school admissions process preparation sessions (MCAT/DAT review, etc.); retention services for enrolled professional students (i.e., summer prematriculation programs, tutorials, personal and career counseling; clinical educational experiences; recruitment/retention of basic science and clinical faculty; student/faculty research experiences; medical school curriculum development; increased library holdings relative to minority health issues; and purchase of computer and other equipment (to retain faculty and improve professional student performance, etc.).

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2002, 18 competing awards and 14 continuation awards were made. In fiscal year 2003, 27 continuations and 16 competitive awards are anticipated. In fiscal year 2004, no awards are anticipated.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Project proposals are evaluated on the basis of: (1) The degree to which the applicant arrange to continue the proposed project beyond the federally-funded project period; (2) the degree to which the proposed project meets all purposes stated in the legislative authorization; (3) the relationships of the objectives of the proposed project and the goals that are developed; (4) the administrative and managerial ability of the applicant to carry out the project in a cost-effective manner; (5) the adequacy of the staff and faculty to carry out the program; (6) the soundness of the budget for assuring effective utilization of grant funds and the proportion of total program funds which come from nonfederal sources and the degree to which they are projected to increase over the grant period; (7) the number of individuals who can be expected to benefit from the project; (8) the technical merit of the project; and (9) the overall impact the project will have on strengthening the schools' capacity to train the targeted minority health professionals and increase the supply of minority health professionals available to serve minority populations in underserved areas.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Project periods are for 3 years.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


A Uniform Summary Progress Report must be submitted annually within the approved project period. Financial Status Reports are required within 90 days after the end of each budget period. A final progress report and final Financial Status Report must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the project period.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Financial records must be kept available for 3 years after the submission of expenditure report, and 3 years after the final disposition of non-expendable property. If questions remain, such as those raised as a result of an audit, records must be retained until the problem is resolved.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Public Health Service Act, Title VII, Section 736, 42 U.S.C. 293, as amended; Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998, Public Law 105-392.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Pertinent information may be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Health Professions Grants Office, Grants Management Branch, Room 8C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone number (301) 443-6880.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Program Contact: Ms. Shelia Norris, Chief, Diversity Branch, Division of Health Careers Diversity and Development, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 8A-09, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Program information and assistance may be obtained by calling (301) 443-2100. Grants Management Contact: Director of Grants Management Operations, Health Resources and Services Administration, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 11-03, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: