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Traditional Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Businesses, and
Agencies for Telemedicine in Rural Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service (RUS)

Deadline Date:

05/15/19 Postmarked by date or online submittal by midnight.


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Grants starting at $50,000 to USA and territories nonprofits, for-profits, local and state governmental entities, Tribes, and consortia of eligible entities to develop technologies and distance learning programs for rural healthcare teachers and students. Special consideration will be given to programs with opioid treatment or STEM education as their primary focus.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program is specifically designed to assist rural communities in acquiring distance learning and telemedical technologies so that local teachers and medical service providers who serve rural residents can link to other teachers, medical professionals, and other needed expertise located at distances too far to access otherwise.

Eligible Grant Purposes: There are three categories of eligible purposes:

1. Acquiring, by lease or purchase, eligible equipment. If leased, the cost of the lease during the three-year life of the grant is eligible.

2. Acquiring instructional programming that is a capital asset (including the purchase or lease of instructional programming already on the market). Renewals of instructional programming are not eligible nor is classroom equipment (such as laboratory equipment). Also, expenses (such as those for tuition, fees for coursework on a per course basis, or fees for cultural events or virtual field trips) are not capital assets and therefore, are not eligible.

3. Providing technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment, including any related software; developing instructional programming that is a capital asset and providing engineering or environmental studies relating to the establishment or expansion of the phase of the project to be financed with the grant. The costs for this category cannot exceed 10% of the grant amount requested.

For more information on the three grant categories, see the RFP:

Other Considerations:

Rural Areas: The intent of the DLT program is to benefit rural areas (populations of 20,000 or less). While some projects could include end-users in more urbanized areas, the Agency will evaluate projects based on their benefit to rural areas.

Online Education Services: Because this program is intended to fund end-user equipment at specifically identified sites, applications which propose to provide only web-based services which are universally available are considered ineligible. This type of project does not have a defined service area and the beneficiaries can be located anywhere, including urban areas.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157088

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum Grant amount which can be requested is $50,000. The maximum Grant amount which can be requested is $500,000.


  • Agency of the county or other local government
  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Local Governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a grant, an organization must:

1. Be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b (e); a state or local unit of government, a consortium; or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis. Each applicant must provide evidence of its legal capacity to contract with the Rural Utilities Service to obtain the grant and comply with all applicable requirements.

Consortium: A consortium is a combination or group of entities formed to undertake the purposes for which the distance learning and telemedicine financial assistance is provided.
- If the applicant is an existing established consortium with the legal ability to contract with the Federal Government, that organization can apply in the name of the formal consortium.
- If the applicant is an informal consortium which by itself lacks the legal capacity to contract with the Federal Government, each individual entity must contract with RUS in its own behalf.
- An informal consortium may have a legally organized host organization which will apply on behalf of the consortium and be designated as the project owner with all awardee responsibilities.

2. Either operate a rural community facility or deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.

Per 2 CFR 200.319 (a), contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, and invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for procurements of equipment or services under the grant.

Equipment vendors, manufacturers, system integrators, and other businesses whose purpose in the proposal is to sell equipment or technological services to support applicants cannot themselves be applicants or affiliates of the applicant. If the grant writer for the application is paid by a vendor, manufacturer, system integrator, or other business, the vendor, manufacturer, system integrator or other business becomes an affiliate of the applicant and cannot participate in the project.

Note: Electric or telecommunications borrowers financed through the Rural Utilities Service are eligible for grants.

For a list of ineligible grant purposes, see the RFP:

Pre-Application Information:

Grant applications must be postmarked by: May 15, 2019

Applications must be submitted in EITHER of the following two ways:

1. Electronically via If submitting via, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is included with the submittal. applications must be submitted by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date.


2. Postmarked, shipped, or hand-delivered 2 paper copies of a completed application, one with original signatures, accompanied by a full electronic copy in the form of a USB Flash Drive. Due to the possible disruptions in mail delivery service, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via express mail or hand delivery to the office.

Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, if such requests are made prior to April 30, 2019.

Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System Registration – As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all applicants for grants must supply a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying.

System for Award Management Registration – Applicants, whether applying electronically or by paper, also must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) PRIOR to submitting an application. Applicants may register for the SAM free of charge at . Applicants should keep in mind that it can take up to ten (10) business days to register with SAM.

Matching Contribution: The grant applicant’s matching contribution must equal 15 percent of the grant amount requested and be used for eligible grant purposes.

Special Matching Provisions for American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the
Northern Mariana Islands. Under Federal law, applications from these areas are exempt from matching requirements up to $200,000. The maximum DLT Grant in FY 2019 is $500,000 and the required minimum match is 15%, or $75,000. This means that for the FY 2019 DLT Treatment Grant Program, these areas are not required to provide a minimum match.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The paper applications and the USB Flash Drive containing a digital copy
of the full application must be submitted to:

Deputy Assistant Administrator
Loan Origination and Approval Division
Rural Utilities Service
STOP 1597, Room 2844
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-1597

For DLT questions, please contact: or call Loan Origination and Approval Division at (202) 720-0800.

General field representatives:

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)