ARC RFA Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I find geocoded data that AidData has produced? 

All of AidData's geocoded datasets can be found at this link: 


2. Where can I direct my questions about how to use/understand the geocoded data?

Please direct all data related questions to


3. Under “Narrative Guidelines” the instructions state that “The main application (items 1-7) below should be covered in at most 10 pages”. However, only 5 items are specified. Can you please clarify?

The following 5 items should be covered in the application narrative: Project Name, Project Summary, Outcomes and Research Strategy, Policy Implications, Timeline for Implementation and Measurement.


4. Do all members of the research team need to be registered in SAM and have a DUNS number?

All members of the research team that are applying to receive funds will need to be registered in SAM and have a DUNS number. 


5. Clarification on Narrative Requirements: Are there any formatting requirements for the narrative (e.g., spacing, margins, font, submission format)?

The narrative should be single spaced, 1 inch margins, with font size no smaller than 11 pt. A single PDF is preferable but smaller files containing the various components are acceptable. 


6. I am interested in working with the development policy community. How can I leverage AidData's networks to work with USAID operating units? 

As many of you are preparing an application in response to AidData’s RFA, I have a few points of clarification. In regards to working with the policy community, the RFA indicates that “projects developed in collaboration with a USAID operating unit or that demonstrate alignment with USAID and GDL policy objectives are of special interest.” We encourage you to find ways to make your projects applicable to the development policy community.  

We understand that many of you already have relationships within USAID and we encourage you to leverage your existing contacts. For those of you that are interested in forging new relationships within USAID, AidData has a large network and we can help facilitate introductions. 

If you have already reached out to USAID in regards to the AidData RFA, please let us know of your ongoing conversations, so that we can a) advocate for your work and b) be aware of your work when we are asked by our USAID colleagues if we support your proposal, as we are often asked about proposed projects that are related to AidData’s initiatives. If you would like to engage with USAID, and have not yet done so, please reach out to myself (at the following prior to your outreach, so that we can help coordinate the requests to USAID efficiently and productively.


7. Are there special instructions if a lead institution intends to work with a College of William and Mary-affiliate who will serve as a non-lead consortium partner?

If a lead institution intends to work with a College of William and Mary-affiliate who will serve as a non-lead consortium partner, special application instructions do apply. Special instructions are as follows:

1. The WM Investigator should provide a letter of commitment to the lead institution as well as the detailed budget sheet.

2. FDP Attachment 3B is not required for the WM non-lead partner.

3. A copy of the WM rate agreement is not required as supporting justification for the detailed budget. 

4. The WM Investigator's budget shall not be included as a line-item in the lead applicant's budget. 

5. The lead applicant shall adjust the cover page contents to include: 

  • Title of the project
  • Proposed Duration
  • Budget Total (Lead applicant budget including any non-lead partners as sub-recipients + WM non-lead budget request)
  • William and Mary budgest request $ value
  • Statement of management per original RFA
  • Authorized Offiical signature 


8. Is there a standard RFA Cover Sheet for the application?

In an effort to help streamline the application, please use the standardized RFA Cover Sheet. You can also access the form here


9. How will awards be made to the Lead Institution and Partner Institutions?

Awards will be issued to the Lead Instituion who will then need to issue subawards to all partner instituions. 


10. What is the submission process for consortium proposals where partner institution(s) are receiving no funding?

On consortium proposals where PIs at partner institutions will receive no funds, the PIs should prepare a letter of commitment and contact their Office of Sponsored Programs alert them that they will perform a certain amount of work (please specify) but will receive no grant money. This should be clearly articulated in the letter. If the Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at the collaborating universities do not feel the need to do a full review, the PIs need to at least present to them the proposed research and level of effort and the PIs can state in their commitment letters that their OSP has determined that no review is necessary. If the OSP contacts do want to review, the Authorized Official should countersign the PI collaboration letter. 

On the Cover Page, please list the  as consortium partners and indicate they will be receiving zero funds. The following forms listed on the cover sheet (items 1c-1e) are not required for partner instituions receiving no funds: 

1c. Detailed budgets for non-lead institution(s) attached
1d. Copy of non-lead institution(s) negotiated indirect cost rate agreement attached
1e. FDP Attachment 3B completed for each non-lead institution