Centers of Excellence

The goal of this program is to assist eligible schools in supporting programs of excellence in health professions education for underrepresented minority (URM) individuals.

The Centers of Excellence (COE) program is a catalyst for institutionalizing a commitment to under-represented minority (URM)
students/faculty and to serve as a national resource and educational center for diversity and minority health issues.

Additionally, the COE program will help to strengthen the national capacity to produce a culturally competent healthcare workforce whose diversity is representative of the United States population.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of California, Los Angeles $ 606,482   2022-07-012027-06-30
University Of New Mexico $ 686,000   2022-07-012027-06-30
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center $ 685,999   2022-07-012027-06-30
Oklahoma State University $ 677,953   2022-07-012027-06-30
University Of North Texas $ 676,593   2022-07-012027-06-30
Touro College $ 556,775   2022-07-012027-06-30
Howard University $ 686,000   2022-07-012027-06-30
Loma Linda University $ 685,552   2022-07-012027-06-30
Research Foundation For The State University Of New York, The $ 640,753   2022-07-012027-06-30
Regents Of The University Of California, San Francisco, The $ 2,775,842   2018-07-012027-06-30

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Health professions schools awarded a COE grant are required to use funds to offer programming that will meet the following seven legislative purposes of the program: (1) Increase the competitive applicant pool for health professions schools; (2) Expand programs to enhance underrepresented minority student academic performance; (3) Improve recruitment, training and retention of underrepresented minority faculty; (4) Improve information resources curriculum, clinical education and cultural competency of graduates as it relates to minority health issues; (5) Facilitate faculty and student research on health issues affecting underrepresented minority groups; (6) Engage students in practice-based training in community-based settings serving significant numbers of underrepresented minority individuals; and (7) Provide stipends, as appropriate.

In addition, the four designated HBCU institutions must also propose activities to carry out the following purposes: (1) Develop a plan to achieve institutional improvements, including financial independence, to enable the school to support programs of excellence in health professions education for underrepresented minority individuals; and (2) Provide improved access to the library and informational resources of the school.

Restricted Uses: Indirect costs under training awards to organizations other than State, local or American Indian tribal governments will be budgeted and reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement, and are not subject to upward or downward adjustment.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants include designated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and health professions schools that are accredited schools of allopathic medicine; osteopathic medicine; dentistry; pharmacy; or a graduate program in behavioral or mental health; or other public and nonprofit health or educational entities that meet the required conditions regarding: underrepresented minorities as described in Section 736 of the Public Health Service Act.

Native American Centers of Excellence are eligible, as specified in statute. Eligible applicants must also have: (1) a significant number of under represented minority individuals enrolled in the schools; (2) been effective in assisting under-represented minority students of the schools to complete the program of education and receive the degree involved; (3) been effective in recruiting under represented minority individuals to enroll in and graduate from the school, including providing scholarships and other financial assistance to such individuals and encouraging under represented minority students from all levels of the educational pipeline to pursue health professions careers; and (4) made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of under represented minority individuals serving in faculty or administrative positions at the school.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Designated HBCUs and eligible health professions schools must recruit and train a significant number of underrepresented minority students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; recruit, train, and retain underrepresented minority faculty recruitment; and facilitate faculty and student research activities.


Applicants should review the individual HRSA Notice of Funding Opportunity issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications which must be submitted with an application package. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. HRSA requires all applicants to apply electronically through All eligible, qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee. Based on the advice of the objective review committee, the HRSA program official with delegated authority is responsible for final selection and funding decisions.

Award Procedures

Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Award.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Public Health Service Act, Title VII, Section 736, 42 U.S.C. 293.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 120 to 180 days after receipt of applications.


Not Applicable.


Depending on Agency priorities and availability of funding, during the final budget year of the approved project period competing continuation applications may be solicited from interested applicants.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details. The recipient must agree to maintain non-federal funding for grant activities at a level which is not less than expenditures for such activities during the fiscal year prior to receiving the award.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

This funding opportunity provides support for a 5-year project period. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Recipients draw down funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System, the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards.

Post Assistance Requirements


Both program and financial reports are required.

The recipient will be required to submit annual performance and progress reports.

Cash reports are not applicable.

A Federal Financial Report (SF-425) is required according to the schedule in HRSA?s Application Guide.

A final report is due within 90 days after the project period ends.

If applicable, the recipient must submit a Tangible Personal Property Report (SF-428) and any related forms within 90 days after the project period ends.

New awards (?Type 1?) issued under this Notice of Funding Opportunity are subject to the reporting requirements of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006 (Pub.


109?282), as amended by section 6202 of Public Law 110?252, and implemented by 2 CFR Part 170.

Grant and cooperative agreement recipients must report information for each first-tier subaward of $25,000 or more in federal funds and executive total compensation for the recipient?s and subrecipient?s five most highly compensated executives as outlined in Appendix A to 2 CFR Part 170 (The FFATA details are available online at

Competing continuation recipients may be subject to this requirement and will be so notified in the Notice of Award.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Recipients are required to maintain grant accounting records 3 years from the date they submit the FFR. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the award has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records shall be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $20,552,091; FY 17 est $20,464,265; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

HBCUs: FY 2016 actual: $2,339,598 to $3,498,237; Average: $3,000,000 FY 2017 est. $2,502,475 to $3,499,317; Average: $3,000,000 Non-HBCUs: FY 2016 actual: $620,509 to $700,000: Average: $676,427 FY 2017 est.: $ 606,099 to $693,000: Average: $660,250.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

All administrative and audit requirements and the cost principles that govern Federal monies associated with this activity will be subject to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 as codified by HHS at 45 CFR 75. HRSA awards are also subject to the requirements of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) that are applicable based on recipient type and purpose of award. The HHS GPS is available at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Denethia Sellers McCarthy, Ph.D., MSW Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15N-62C, Rockville, Maryland 20857 Email: Phone: (301) 443-0550

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Procedures for assessing the technical merit of grant applications have been instituted to provide an objective review of applications and to assist the applicant in understanding the standards against which each application will be judged. Critical indicators have been developed for each review criterion to assist the applicant in presenting pertinent information related to that criterion and to provide the reviewer with a standard for evaluation. Competing applications are reviewed by nonfederal reviewers for technical merit recommendations. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria: (1) Purpose and Need; (2) Response to Program Purpose; (3) Impact; (4) Organizational Information, Resources and Capabilities; and (5) Support Requested. See the most recent Notice of Funding Opportunity for detailed review criteria.

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