Joint Hurricane Testbed
Fiscal Year 2005 Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity
- Questions and Answers
- If contact with hurricane specialists is to be restricted to contacts
with the Director of the Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) after the Federal
Register Notice, how should investigators determine whether their
proposed research is suitable as a JHT project.
The Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity does provide guidance
as to 14 priority topics for TPC and 4 priority topics for EMC. These
should be instructive in helping to determine whether a project is
suitable for possible JHT funding. Additionally, the principal investigators
that submit a preapplication will receive a short synthesis writeup
in addition to the recommendation to put in (or not put in) a full
proposal. Finally, potential principal investigators can contact the
JHT Director - Jiann-Gwo Jiing - for further clarifications of other
- Can more feedback comments on full proposals be provided to principal
investigators following their reviews?
Principal investigators that submit a full proposal will not receive
written comments. However, they will receive a breakdown of their
scores (averaged across all reviewers) and rankings (amongst all proposals)
for each of the 9 categories and subcategories, listed in the Announcement
of Federal Funding Opportunity. They will also receive their total
score and overall ranking. It is hoped that by providing this amount
of scoring detail that principal investigators will be able to glean
the strengths and weaknesses of their full proposal.
- What are the criteria for implementation for projects involving
the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) primarily rather than TPC?
The criteria utilized for deciding implementation of JHT projects
that primarily involve EMC rather than TPC are similar to what is
listed in the Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity for TPC-focused
projects. In general, the decision to implement JHT projects that
involve EMC (numerical modeling systems primarily) also consider:
1) forecast or analysis benefit (demonstrated improvement in the operational
model analysis and/or forecast accuracy), 2) compatibility (the JHT
project needs to have IT compatibility with operational hardware,
software, data, communications, etc at EMC), 3) sustainability (availability
of resources to operate, upgrade and/or provide support on a continuing
basis). In addition to these points, such an EMC-focused JHT project
must be shown to not have a detrimental effect on other parts of the
modeling system, even if tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting
aspects are improved. Modeling efforts at EMC must be considered with
the big picture of global atmospheric and ocean predictability in
- Are other centers besides TPC and EMC (like CPHC and JTWC) to be
considered for JHT projects?
Yes, JHT projects can be proposed, tested and evaluated for other
centers including the NOAA Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the
Joint Typhoon Warning Center. JHT numerical modeling projects will
be expected to be closely coordinated with the Environmental Modeling
Center (EMC) of NOAA.
- Does the fact that the awards will be Cooperative Agreements mean
that award moneys must be shared with the Federal laboratory or operational
No. The funding instrument for non-Federal applicants will be a Cooperative
Agreement based on the envisioned substantial involvement of NOAA
scientists in projects funded by this notice, but this does not mean
the Cooperative Agreement award dollars are shared with the Tropical
Prediction Center or Environmental Modeling Center. NOAA collaborates
on cooperative research activities and provides financial support
to enhance the public benefits to be derived from these researchactivities.
NOAA envisions that JHT project testing and evaluation will involve
close collaboration, facilitated by the JHT staff, between JHT-funded
researchers and operational center forecasters and point(s) of contact.
For example, operational forecasters may actually run or utilize output
from the experimental technique during their operational shifts, and
they may then provide direct feedback to the researchers for possible
- What was the money distribution by institution type (NOAA, universities,
Navy/Air Force, private) for JHT projects the last two times around?
In Fiscal Year 2002, $1.2 million was distributed amongst nine projects
(23% to state and private universities, 12% to the Navy [Naval Postgraduate
School and Naval Research Laboratory] and the Air Force, and 65% to
NOAA). In Fiscal Year 2003, $1.35 million was distributed amongst
fifteen projects (34% to state and private universities, 15% to the
Navy [Naval Postgraduate School and Naval Research Laboratory], 49%
to NOAA, and 2% to private companies).
- How much funding is available with this new announcement?
The estimate for total JHT funding that will be available in FY2005
is $1,500,000, which will likely be used to fund 10-15 new projects.
Award amounts for previous JHT grants have been mostly between $50,000
and $200,000 per year. A similar range is expected for this announcement.
Funding of any JHT proposals is, of course, contingent upon availability
of these funds.
- Does TPC receive Level II radar data now in real time?
Yes, TPC did have this data available on an experimental basis last
(2003) summer during landfalling events. TPC should have the same
capacity this hurricane season.
- I understand that matching funds are not required for this program.
However, will applicants who provide information on matching funds
receive additional points during the review process or any other competitive
The reviewers will score each project according to the criteria listed
in the FRN. The TPC/NHC Director shall recommend awards in the rank
order. The TPC/NHC Director may select a proposal out of rank order
based upon one or more of the factors listed in page 14 of the Announcement.
This option has not been exercised in the past.
- Do you encourage applicants to contact you before applying, or
only if they have questions?
I would prefer applicants contact me only if they have questions.
After the selection process is completed, I would welcome people to
contact me on any JHT-related issues until the next announcement is
- Who is typically most competitive type of applicant for this program?
Anyone with new science or technique that addresses the operational
priorities listed in the Announcement and is mature enough for real-time
testing in an quasi-operational environment.
- Is there a list online or elsewhere of prior award recipients?
- I missed the preapplication deadline. Can I send something in today?
No. However, you are not precluded from putting in a full proposal
for the Joint Hurricane Testbed. The date for this deadline is published
in the Federal Register Notice.
- I was wondering about the page limit requirements stated on
page 11 of the JHT Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity shown
on the JHT website. Item (h) (3) states that items 2a, 2b, 2c, 2f
and 2g must be contained within no more than 10 pages using a 12-point
font and one-inch margins. It is the inclusion of items 2f and 2g,
especially 2f, in this limit that concerns me. There are 2 PIs for
our proposal, so even an abbreviated CV for 2 people will take up
about 6 pages, leaving only 4 pages for the remaining sections required
to be within the page limit. Please advise.
The JHT Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity was reviewed and
approved by DOC lawyers. Please follow the instructions stated in
the announcement in preparing your proposal.
When there are multiple PIs on the same project from different
institutions, there must be a signed title page for each PI from the
different institutions. Can the multiple title pages from the PIs
count just as one page toward the ten page limit?