Project Statement

1.  Why is a Project Statement part of the TRACS architecture?

Applicants applying for awards on a project-by- project basis are required to provide a project statement containing the elements required by 50 CFR 80.82. In general, the project statement must provide sufficient information so reviewers may verify that the proposed activities are eligible for funding and substantial in character and design (see 50 CFR 80.56).

2.  Is entry of information into the Project Statement required in TRACS?

Yes, Project statements are required and must be use standard objectives consistent with TRACS Grant Performance System requirements.   

3. Can we have multiple project statements in one grant? What are some design considerations for "lumping" vs. "splitting" projects and/or objectives?

Yes, each grant application must have at least one project statement but may also include additional project statements as part of the same grant.  It is the applicant’s choice as to whether they want to submit a grant application with one project statement or have multiple project statements included under one grant. There are pros and cons to both splitting and lumping.  

Having 1:1 (one project statement in one grant) helps to keep the grant simple as generally the grant award includes very specific and fewer eligible activities. This type of grant is also perhaps the easiest and cleanest to setup in a State’s accounting system. 

Including multiple project statements under one grant application may be ideal when the projects are similar in nature.  For example, some agencies prefer to include all their sport fish research projects under one grant, with each research project having their own project statement, respectively.  

The intent of TRACS is to communicate program accomplishments by “rolling-up” data to report on the program performance at local, state, regional, and national scales.  Therefore, the scale and number of activities reported should reflect accomplishments at the program level.

Keep in mind that each grant program has required elements for project statements that must be included as part of a complete application package.  For most grant programs administered by the Office of Conservation Investment, there are 13 required elements that must be included in a project statement.  As part of the TRACS workflow, each project statement will go through the approvals process in TRACS separately and required performance reports must be completed for each individual project statement.  We encourage project leaders to contact their Federal Aid Coordinators to discuss any questions you may have when considering whether to submit grant applications with one or multiple project statements.  The Federal Regional Office staff may also provide you some suggestions as to how best to organize your current and future grants.

4. What are the 13 project statement required elements of a Project Statement, and are they required in TRACS?

A State fish and wildlife agency must submit the following 13 required elements when applying for a project-by-project grant, per 50 CFR 80.82(c). These elements are required in TRACS, see definitions below:

Elements Definition
Need Explain why the project is necessary and how it fulfills the purpose of the grant program.
Purpose and Objectives State the ultimate purpose for the proposed project and link the purpose to the demonstrated need.  Objectives identify specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound during the project period, and base them on the need. 
Results or Benefits expected  Describe the expected results or benefits from accomplishing the objectives.
Approach Describe the approach to be used in meeting the objectives,  e.g., methods, designs, procedures
Useful Life Purpose a useful life for each capital improvement that costs at $25,000 to build, acquire, or install.
Geographic Location Described the locations(s) where activities would occur.
Principal investigator for research projects Principal investigator for search projects, include their name, work address, and work telephone number.
Program Income Gross income received by the grantee or subrecipient and earned only as a results of the grant during the grant period.
Budget Narrative Explain and justify all requested budget items/costs.
Multipurpose Projects Caries out the purposes of (1) a single grant program under the Acts; and (b) another grant programs under the Acts, a grant program not under the Acts, or an activity unrelated to grants.
Relationships with other grants Describe any relationship between the proposed project and other related work funded by Federal grants that is planned, anticipated, or underway.
 Timeline Describe significant milestones in completing the project and any accomplishments to date.
 General Any additional information that benefits the project. Note: This is not a separate field in TRACS but may be incorporated into the fields above or elsewhere as needed. 

5.  Are States using a Comprehensive Management System (CMS) required to complete a Project Statement?

Project statements are not required for those States applying for a CMS grant (see 50 CFR 80.81). However, in TRACS a short version of the Project Statement is required for CMS grants to set the stage for performance reporting.

6.  Do States have to do a budget narrative in TRACS for each project or can they do one for the whole grant?

A budget narrative is required for each project statement.  If there are multiple project statements under one grant then a separate budget statement is required for each project statement per 50 CFR 80.82(c)(9).