Mental Health Policy Fellow and Peer Policy Fellow Grants: Questions and Answers

The foundation does not accept phone inquiries about grant projects, however, questions may be submitted to hogg-grants@austin.utexas.edu (we will respond within two business days). Those who are interested in applying are encouraged to review the Mental Health Policy Academy and Fellows webpage and this Questions and Answers resource for the most up-to-date information.

Registration for the informational teleconference is closed and responses to questions addressed that are relevant to all applicants will be posted on this Questions and Answers webpage by February 21, and on a rolling basis thereafter.

What are the key dates and deadlines associated with this request for proposals?
  • Teleconference Registration Deadline– February 13, 2018 (11:59 p.m. CST)
  • Teleconference for Applicants (optional, highly recommended)– February 14, 2018 (2:00 – 4:00 p.m. CST)
  • Fluxx Registration Deadline– Create or update account by February 23, 2018 (3:59 p.m. CST)
  • Proposal Submission Deadline– March 2, 2018 (11:59 p.m. CST)
  • Notification of Grantee Selection– April 2018
  • Grant Start Date– July 1, 2018
Is there a print-friendly version of the request for proposals?
When is the proposal due?

March 2, 2018, 11:59 p.m. CST

When will the grants be awarded?

The foundation plans to notify applicants in April 2018. Grant funding is expected to begin July 1, 2018. The period between the announcement of the grant awards and the start date is to be used to recruit fellows.

How many grantees will be selected?

Up to ten 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, or higher education institutions will receive grant funding: five organizations will receive a Policy Fellow Grant and five organizations will receive a Peer Policy Fellow Grant.

We typically receive 20-30 proposals in each of the two grant categories.

What is the total grant award and is the project budget flexible?

The total amount of the award depends on the salary paid to the fellow and the fringe benefit percentage of the organization. Additionally, the grant includes a $5,000 mentor stipend, professional development dollars to be used exclusively by the fellow ($2,000 for Policy Fellows and $3,000 for Peer Policy Fellows), and 10% overhead. The overhead is 10% of the combined total of the salary, fringe, mentor stipend, and professional development stipend and is calculated automatically in the budget template after the salary and fringe percentage are entered.

The only variables in the budget for this grant are the annual salary and the fringe benefits. The fellow salary is expected to be between $38,000 to $45,000 per year, plus fringe benefits. The foundation funds 95% of the fellow’s annual salary and 100% of the fringe benefits. We include a salary range to allow for the variations in the salary structure of different organizations. Fringe benefits should be specified and included on the budget template.

What is the maximum allowable length for the project narrative?

The project narrative must be no more than 2,500 words and must follow all of the guidelines laid out in the request for proposals. The word limit does not include the mentor resumes, fellow job description, or budget.

Are letters of support required?

Letters of support are only required if an organization is using a mentor external to their organization. The letter is needed as evidence that the external partner has agreed to the mentoring tasks required by the grant.

Can existing Hogg Foundation grantees submit a proposal?

Yes, current foundation grantees are eligible, however, please note that current Policy Fellows/Peer Policy Fellows are not eligible to be funded for an additional fellowship cycle. Organizations who have had a fellow in the past are welcome to reapply for a new policy fellow grant (to be filled by a new fellow).

Who is eligible to submit a proposal and how does the foundation define a "Texas-based" organization?

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, governmental agencies and colleges and universities* in Texas are eligible to submit proposals. Please note, the foundation only makes grants within the state of Texas. If your organization is under the provision of an international or national agency, but has offices, programs, and services in Texas, you may submit a proposal for this grant if your Texas office is an independent entity that can apply for and use grants for its own programs.

*A university department or center can submit a proposal. Respondents with a higher education institution must submit either written approval from the institution’s grant office (such as the Office of Sponsored Projects or Grants and Contracts), or a letter stating that such approval is not required for this type of grant application. The grant office review and approval process may take several business days, so please check with your institution and plan accordingly. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their proposals to their grant office with sufficient time for review and approval before the proposal deadline.

How long is the fellowship period and can we plan for more than one fellow during the period?

The fellowship period is two years. If a fellow departs prior to the end of the grant period, the grantee must get approval from the foundation before hiring a replacement. The foundation will decide on a case-by-case basis if hiring a new fellow to complete the fellowship is appropriate.

It is not possible to plan for one fellow per year as this fellowship is expected to be a two-year training experience for one individual.

If awarded this grant, is the selected fellow candidate classified as an employee or contract labor?

The fellow is expected to be a full-time employee of the grantee receiving the same benefits as other employees. Recruitment and hiring of the fellow is the sole responsibility of the grantee. The fellow is not an employee of, and does not represent, the Hogg Foundation.

What qualifications are required of the Policy Fellow?

Policy Fellows are required to have a master’s degree or higher in a related field, including but not limited to: law, social work, public policy, psychology, public health, etc. The individual must have graduated within the previous 18 months from starting the fellowship.

Note: The answer above only pertains to non-peer Policy Fellows. If you are considering submitting a proposal for the Peer Policy Fellow Grant, please see the Peer Policy Fellow qualifications in the question below. 

What qualifications are required of Peer Policy Fellows?

Peer Policy Fellows must be certified as mental health peer specialists or substance use recovery coaches. This is to ensure that they have a lived experience of mental illness and/or a substance use condition and they’re willing to share their story with others. We also require that they have two years of recent employment of some type (paid or volunteer). The idea is to have some indication that the individual is in recovery and ready to do the work of the fellowship. Peer Policy Fellows are NOT expected to have a higher education degree.

Note: This answer only pertains to Peer Policy Fellows. If you are considering submitting a proposal for the Policy Fellow Grant, please see the Policy Fellow qualifications in the question above. 

What percentage of the fellow’s time should be devoted to mental health policy?

The fellow is expected to devote 100% of his/her time to policy and/or advocacy activities related to mental health.

Should the fellow focus on one area of mental health or focus more generally on the mental health system?

Having a policy fellow focus on a particular area of mental health (e.g., criminal justice, child welfare, education, etc.) is at the discretion of the applicant. The foundation is interested in ensuring that fellows have meaningful learning experiences, which may be accomplished by becoming an “expert” in a particular area or by participating in a variety of policy issues.

Does the foundation restrict a fellow's lobbying activities? Are grantees required to track the fellow’s lobbying time/activities?

Grantees are expected to follow their own lobbying restrictions. The foundation supports 95% of the fellow’s salary to allow time for lobbying activities, at the grantee’s discretion. The foundation does not require any tracking or accounting of the fellow’s time.

Do the duties outlined in this grant preclude a fellow from performing services in a clinic for mental health?

Yes, this grant is not intended to provide clinical experience. The purpose of this grant is to fund policy fellows engaging in mental health policy work in Texas.

Can the Peer Policy Fellow Grant be used to hire a peer provider for our program?

No. This grant program is intended to develop policy and advocacy skills. It cannot be used to fund peer support services.

Must a mentor have both policy and mental health expertise?

Policy Fellows and Peer Policy Fellows must be provided both policy and mental health mentoring and supervision. This may be the responsibility of one person with expertise in both areas or it may be provided by two mentors—one with expertise in mental health and one with expertise in policy. Only one mentor stipend will be included in the grant. The mentor(s) may be internal or external to the organization although experience has shown us that having an internal mentor typically works better.

Note: Mentors of Peer Policy Fellows are expected to participate in a post-award teleconference to discuss various aspects of supporting peer employees. This is NOT required of individuals mentoring non-peer Policy Fellows.