Eligibility Requirements and Application Process for CDC Grants

You are likely interested in securing funding to support your public health efforts. Grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide significant opportunities, but you must meet eligibility requirements and follow the proper application procedures to qualify. This article outlines key criteria to determine if you and your organization are eligible for CDC grants. It also walks through each step of the application process, from initial proposal submission to final award determination. With focus and diligence, you can position yourself to take advantage of CDC funding to further your public health initiatives. Using the guidance provided here will help ensure your application adequately demonstrates how your project aligns with CDC priorities and merits their financial support.

CDC Grant Eligibility: Who Can Apply for Funding

Government Organizations

Government organizations such as state, local, and tribal health departments are eligible to apply for CDC grants. Specifically, the CDC provides funding opportunities for programs related to public health issues like chronic disease prevention, infectious disease control, and emergency preparedness. Government agencies interested in CDC grants should explore funding announcements on and apply as directed.


Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations, including community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions, may also qualify for certain CDC grants. The CDC offers grants for nonprofit organizations focused on public health research, education and training, and community health initiatives. Nonprofits should review CDC grant announcements to determine their eligibility and follow the application procedures outlined in the announcements.

For-Profit Organizations

Although less common, the CDC at times offers grant funding for for-profit organizations, especially small businesses. These grants typically support the development of new healthcare technologies, medical devices, and other health-related innovations. For-profit organizations interested in CDC grants should search for opportunities designated for “small businesses.” If eligible, for-profits can apply by submitting grant applications through before the posted deadlines.

In summary, a variety of organizations—including government agencies, nonprofits, and for-profits—may qualify for CDC grant funding. The specific eligibility criteria and application process will depend on the goals and priorities of each grant program. Carefully reviewing grant announcements and following the directions provided is key to successfully applying for CDC funding. With diligent work, organizations across sectors can find and compete for CDC grants to improve public health.

How to Apply for a CDC Grant: The Step-by-Step Process

Check your eligibility

To be eligible for CDC funding, you must be a nonprofit organization, for-profit organization, local health agency, or academic institution located in the U.S. or its territories. Review the eligibility criteria for the specific grant program you are interested in to ensure you qualify. Some grants require applicants to have a certain number of years of experience or expertise in a particular public health area.

Identify a funding opportunity

The CDC offers over 100 funding opportunities in areas such as chronic disease prevention, infectious disease control, injury prevention, and public health infrastructure. Search the CDC website for grants that match your organization’s mission and experience. Make note of the deadlines for letters of intent and full applications.

Register your organization

If you have not received CDC funding before, you must register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) and obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. This establishes you as an entity eligible to apply for and receive federal grants.

Prepare the application

Carefully review the funding opportunity announcement and prepare the required application materials, which typically include forms to establish eligibility, project and budget narratives, staff resumes, and letters of support. Your application should convey how your project will advance the CDC’s public health priorities.

Submit your application

Applications must be submitted electronically through the website or the CDC’s electronic grants management system. Double check that you have included all required materials before the application deadline. Be prepared for a minimum 60 to 90 day review period.

Receive notification and make revisions

If your application is preliminarily approved, the CDC will contact you to discuss any required revisions to the budget, workplan, or other materials. Be prepared to negotiate the terms and conditions of the grant award. If your application is not selected for funding, ask the CDC for feedback on how to improve future applications.

CDC Grant Application FAQs

What are the eligibility criteria for CDC grants?

To qualify for CDC grant funding, applicants must meet several eligibility requirements. Organizations must be public entities, nonprofits, for-profits, faith-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations within the U.S. and its territories. Individuals are not eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed project aligns with CDC priorities and show a public health benefit.

What types of CDC grants are available?

The CDC offers grants for research, public health programs, training, and education. Major categories include:

  • Cooperative agreements for public health research, surveillance, and programs. These provide substantial CDC involvement in program activities.
  • Competitive grants for innovative research in public health. These include investigator-initiated research grants and program grants.
  • Block grants for preventive health services, immunization programs, and emergency health services. These provide funding to states and certain cities/territories.
  • Training grants and fellowships in areas like epidemiology, public health, and medicine.

What is the application process?

Applying for CDC grants typically involves a multi-step process:

  1. Review the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and determine if your organization and proposed project meet the eligibility criteria. The FOA will specify the program requirements, priorities, and evaluation criteria.
  2. Develop your project plan and budget following the guidelines in the FOA. This includes identifying program goals, objectives, activities, staffing, timeline, budget, and evaluation plan.
  3. Complete the required forms which usually include the SF-424 application form, budget forms, assurances/certifications, and program-specific forms.
  4. Submit your application through the website or through eRA Commons before the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.
  5. CDC will evaluate all submitted applications based on the criteria described in the FOA. Applicants may receive follow-up questions or site visits.
  6. CDC will notify applicants whether their proposal has been selected for funding. Applicants not selected may reapply in the future.
  7. Awardees will receive funding and work with CDC program officers to implement the awarded programs and projects. Regular reporting and evaluations will be required.

Following these steps and submitting a comprehensive, well-designed proposal aligned with CDC priorities will maximize your chances of receiving grant funding. Do not hesitate to contact CDC grants staff with any questions you may have.

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As you have seen, CDC grants provide critical funding for public health initiatives across diverse areas. While the eligibility requirements vary by funding opportunity announcement, most share key criteria like being a U.S.-based organization and submitting timely, complete applications. Carefully reviewing FOAs to confirm your eligibility and allotting sufficient time for required registrations and application components will set you on the path to a competitive submission. Though CDC grants are highly sought-after, organizations willing to invest the time upfront to understand processes and put forward their best effort have a strong chance of securing support. With sound preparation and persistence, your organization can access resources to drive meaningful community health impact through a CDC grant award.

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