American Rescue Plan Act FAQ

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Can I apply again if my application is not funded?  

Yes, pending available funds. All unsuccessful applicants will be given written feedback from the review committee. If you wish to address review committee concerns and resubmit your application in another grant cycle, you are welcome to do so. Resubmitting a revised application does not guarantee funding.

Applicants can access their applications in the online application portal. These applications can be copied, modified, and then submitted in either the same or different categories for the next application cycle.

How are applications reviewed?  

Four rounds of review committee meetings are held to review applications, following this process:

  1. Technical Review Committee: External experts in behavioral health workforce development review each application in the four categories. The Technical Reviewer determines the strengths and weaknesses of each application. A Technical Review Committee meets for each category to determine which applicants would move forward to the Full Review Committee using the Technical Reviewers’ recommendations.
  2. ARPA Review Committee: The ARPA Review Committees are then assigned applications. Each application has a primary and secondary reviewer. Applications are discussed during the Full Review Committee meeting and then scored anonymously by all reviewers. This committee consists of a chair; a team of 10-11 independent reviewers from various behavioral health and public health disciplines; a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion chair; and BHECN leadership.
  3. Funding Review Committee: The Funding Review Committee (Review Committee Chair, BHECN representative, BHECN ARPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair, and additional BHECN ARPA leadership) then uses scores from the Technical Reviewers and the Full Review Committees in combination with cut-off parameters to inform decisions about awards.
  4. Budget Review Meeting: Finally, BHECN leadership assesses applications and their respective budgets to ensure there is no overlap between institutions selected to be awarded funds within and across multiple categories.
Will the award categories change for Round 2?  

The categories will not change for Round 2. They are:

  • Award Category 1: Behavioral health training opportunities
  • Award Category 2: Telebehavioral health support in rural areas
  • Award Category 3: Behavioral health workforce projects related to COVID-19
  • Award Category 4: Funding for licensed behavioral health supervisors
What is the timeline and process for Round 2 applications?  

The application process will remain the same and will be done on the BHECN website.

Tentative Round 2 timeline:

  • Feb. 27: Application period begins.
  • April 10: Application period closes.
  • April to May: Review meetings occur.
  • June: Awards announced.
Can organizations have more than one application? In the same category?  
Yes; each application will be viewed independently.
Will organizations need to reapply every year?  
For each project, organizations can apply for up to three years of funding. All funding ends Dec. 31, 2025.
Will small projects be considered?  
Small projects will be considered. Please be sure to follow the application guidelines and review criteria to ensure you have a competitive application.
Is there a way to connect projects with similar tasks?  
A project needs to fit within one of the four award categories. Please refer to the four award categories to see which category best fits your project.
What should I do if my project could fit into more than one category?  
You should choose the category that most closely aligns with the major goal of your project.
Will collaborative projects be viewed more favorably during the review process?  
Please refer to the review criteria to see how collaboration will impact the score of your application.
Are metro programs eligible for funding?  
The only award category that is specific to serving rural areas is the Telebehavioral Health Support for Rural Areas Awards category. Any entity in the state is encouraged to apply.
Are for-profit organizations or private practices eligible to apply?  
All entities are encouraged to apply for ARPA Behavioral Health Awards. There are no eligibility limits.
Can I submit an application without a DUNS number?  
While we would prefer you submit your application with the required DUNS number, if you are concerned an issue will delay your application, you can submit without the number.
What are the evaluation reporting requirements and staff time needed?  

There will be financial and evaluation reporting requirements. Awardees will be receiving a sub-contract with UNMC and will have to comply with UNMC financial reporting requirements, which will occur on an at-least quarterly basis. Evaluation reporting will be done quarterly. Examples of evaluation measures.

Evaluation measures and processes are under development at BHECN. Evaluation activities will not take more than 5% of a staff person’s time.

If there are budget questions during application review, will the application be excluded from consideration?  
Applicants will not be scored on their budgets. Reviewers will provide written feedback to applicants about their budgets. If an applicant is granted an award, UNMC will ensure that budgets are within Federal guidelines.
In answering the application questions, will characters or words be limited?  
Text boxes within the online application are capped at 500 words.
Do we need to develop our own evaluation plan?  
No, you will not need to develop your own evaluation plan. Please note that while you do not have to develop your own evaluation plan, the application does require you to describe your plan for capturing required data collection and reporting, including key personnel involved in these efforts.
Will projects need sustainability plans?  
Because American Rescue Plan Act funding was awarded to help address the impacts of COVID-19, a sustainability plan is not required. Including a sustainability plan, however, will not hurt your application.
Are awards limited per year or by the total amount?  

Awards are not limited by year. However, there are budget caps for each project. For example, if you are proposing an internship project for three years, the total of the three-year project needs to be $500,000 or less.

  • Award Category 1: Behavioral health training opportunities - $500,000
  • Award Category 2: Telebehavioral health support in rural areas - $1,000,000
  • Award Category 3: Behavioral health workforce projects related to COVID-19 - $100,000
  • Award Category 4: Funding for licensed behavioral health supervisors - $100,000
Is the federal unique ID required?  
It is highly encouraged that applicants fill in all required financial organizational information. If you cannot obtain or do not have a federal unique ID and it will prohibit you from applying, please email BHECN_ARPA@unmc.edu
Will funds be distributed throughout the three-year period?  
Funds will not be held in reserve. As such, those interested in applying for funding are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible to ensure adequate funding. Once funding is gone, the application category will be closed.
Does the budget form need to be completed prior to submission?  

Yes, the budget form needs to be completed prior to submission.

What are the grant cycles?  
Grants will be awarded quarterly and funds will be distributed on an annual basis.
How will funds be distributed?  
Funds will be distributed on an annual basis. There will be quarterly budget reporting requirements.
What are the tax implications of receiving the funding?  
Please contact the financial advisor for your organization to address how this funding may impact your organization and taxes.
Is the funding given on a reimbursement basis or upfront?  
Funding will be through a subcontract with UNMC. UNMC will require invoicing for a subcontractor to receive funds.
Are any costs not allowed?  

Indirect costs are not allowed. Please look at the Uniform Guidance Allowable Costs on the front page of the Behavioral Health Workforce ARPA Awards to see if costs within your budget are allowable.

Are costs for faculty salary and benefits for training programs or administrative support allowed?  

UNMC has received the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding from the State of Nebraska through the means of a legislative appropriation. The Legislative Bill does not allow for indirect costs to be charged to the appropriated funds to UNMC. As such, UNMC cannot flow down indirect costs to the awardees under the BHECN program. We encourage applicants to accommodate for allowable costs as provided under 2 CFR, Part 200 (Uniform Guidance).

No indirect costs are allowed. If a project expense is critical for the success of the project – such as staff, faculty or administrative salaries, equipment or supplies – that expense should be a direct cost in your proposed budget. Please review the Uniform Guidance listing of allowable costs for information on allowable direct costs.

How are review committee members chosen?  
Review committees comprise eight to 10 individuals from across Nebraska and the United States with diverse backgrounds and professions. The review committee members have expertise in their respective award categories and often have experience conducting grant reviews. To ensure a fair and objective review, review committee members will identify if they have a conflict of interest with an application and will recuse themselves from reviewing that application.
What restrictions apply to categories in the budget application?  
There are links to find out greater detail on what is allowable within the Uniform Guidance.