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Joint Hurricane Testbed

Fiscal Year 2005 Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity - Questions and Answers

  1. 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 issues.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 mind.

  4. 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.

  5. Does the fact that the awards will be Cooperative Agreements mean that award moneys must be shared with the Federal laboratory or operational center?

    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 modifications.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 advantage?

    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.

  10. 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 published.

  11. 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.

  12. Is there a list online or elsewhere of prior award recipients?


  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?