APHL is seeking an instructional designer to help broadly guide and execute the development of the comprehensive curriculum, the accompanying design, and packaging of modules and field guides. The curriculum will be designed based on pre-identified learning objectives and prioritized competencies utilizing the MMWR Competency Guidelines for Public Health Laboratory Professionals, which provide a guiding framework for producing education and training programs. Each eLearning module and associated material will be aligned with a Core Competency (see Competencies RES 7.00 and RES 8.00 in MMWR link).

APHL has a repository of independently developed scientific writing courses and accompanying materials, and the goal is to use these existing resources to package them into a cohesive, standardized source of information. Content, in the format of multiple PowerPoint slide presentations, already exists for all learning objectives, outlined in Appendix A. These presentations will serve as the basis for curriculum development. As such, the awardee will be asked to rely on these existing materials and, with few exceptions, will not be generating de novo content but rather reorganizing and repackaging existing materials to create focused eLearning modules and accompanying field guides, which align with the Appendix A learning objectives. Proposals should include different, scalable options for the presentation of the content. This award will be for a maximum of $230,000 and work must be completed by August 31, 2020. APHL recognizes that the current time constraints and funding may not be sufficient to address all learning objectives in Appendix A and as such requests applicants to propose feasible phases based on prioritization outlined in Appendix A.

Through this RFP, APHL seeks to identify a company or individual who can support a concept to completion project. Desired expertise and approaches include those found in the following traditional Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (ADDIE) model:

  • Program analysis and needs identification 
  • Program instructional design and development expertise
  • Graphic/design layout capabilities and expertise
  • Program monitoring and evaluation expertise
  • Strong facilitation and project management methodologies


Interested parties must submit a proposal to APHL that provides all of the information specified in the Proposal Submission section of this RFP. In order to be considered for funding, an applicant must ensure APHL has its complete proposal by no later than the Proposal Due Date specified in the Anticipated RFP Schedule section below.Late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants will find proposal submission information in the Response Submittal section below.

Anticipated RFP Schedule

Applications are due to the individual(s) specified in the Final Response section of this RFP by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 22, 2019. APHL anticipates the following schedule for the entire competitive bidding process:

October 28, 2019 RFP issued

November 5, 2019 Letter of Intent due to APHL by 5:00 pm EST

November 22, 2019 Complete RFP responses due to APHL by 5:00 pm EST

November 25 – December 5, 2019 Proposal review

December 5, 2019 APHL publicly announces the names of the selected applicants on its procurement website, www.aphl.org/rfp 

January 6, 2020 Anticipated start date of project

If APHL makes any modification to this anticipated schedule, it will post the change to APHL's procurement website, www.aphl.org/rfp

Response Submittal 

Confirmation of Intent to Respond

APHL requires that prospective applicants submit a brief email statement indicating intent to submit a proposal by no later than 5:00 PM EST on November 5, 2019. The letter of intent should be emailed to infectious.diseases@aphl.org  Attn: Elizabeth Toure). While the letter of intent is not binding and does not enter into the review of the RFP, the information that it contains allows APHL's evaluation team to plan the contract development and review process. A letter of intent is required for consideration of application. Potential applicants must include the name of the organization or individual that will submit the proposal in their email. Upon receipt of a letter of intent, APHL will provide PDF files of the existing PowerPoint slides for Phase 1 learning objectives to help aid the applicant's proposal.

Final Response

APHL must receive a complete proposal by no later than 5:00 PM EST on November 22, 2019.  Applicants should submit proposals via email to infectious.diseases@aphl.org (Attn: Elizabeth Toure). It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the proposal is received at APHL by this deadline. APHL will send an email acknowledging the receipt of your application. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours, please call 240-485-3860 and email infectious.diseases@aphl.org. APHL may terminate or modify the RFP process at any time during the response period. All changes to the RFP will be posted to the APHL's procurement website, www.aphl.org/rfp


Please direct all questions regarding this RFP or its application requirements via email to Stephanie Chester/Elizabeth Toure at infectious.diseases@aphl.org. A member of APHL's Infectious Diseases staff will respond directly to the questions on an individual basis as questions are received. While APHL will endeavor to answer questions within one business day of receipt, additional time may be needed depending on the issue raised. APHL anticipates that it will also post each question, together with the answers, to APHL's procurement website (www.aphl.org/rfp) within one business day of responding directly to the email sender.


The Instructional Design for Scientific Writing Comprehensive Curriculum RFP provides detailed information in regards to this request, please read it in its entirety.

Questions and Answers

Is there an incumbent for this project?

Can APHL confirm that seat time for the workshops for the material in Phase 1 material is five days, or 40 hours (based on information in the Phase 1 PPTs)?

What is driving the dates in the estimated overall project timetable on page 18 of the RFP?

Does APHL anticipate that modules and guides will need to be produced in languages other than English for Phase 1?

May the vendor use subcontractors (located within the continental U.S.) for specific, approved portions of the project? For instance, creating closed captioning scripts for the videos.

On page iii of the RFP, APHL notes that the learner and instructor guides should mirror the eModule content. Does this mean that the learner and instructor guides should have only the content that’s presented in the eModules? Should the vendor expect to develop additional/alternative material for the learner and instructor guides?

What format should the learner and instructor guides be created in (for example, Word and PowerPoint; Google Docs and Slides; other tools)?

What is the expected use of the learner and instructor guides (used to teach in-person classes, available as downloads)?

Will the eModules be hosted directly on APHL’s website or in something like a learning management system that APHL includes as part of their website?

It’s clear that the eModules need to be developed using HTML5. Does APHL have a preference for a development tool (an HTML framework such as Adapt, or development tool that can generate HTML5 output, such as Trivantis Lectora or Articulate Storyline)?

Does APHL have a preferred survey tool?

Will elements such as audio files, video files, photographs, graphs, and other graphics be provided by APHL, or should the vendor plan on creating them?

Do the eModules and the digital versions of the learner and instructor guides need to be accessible (compliant with Section 508, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG))?

Will audio files, video files, photographs, graphs, and other graphics have the associated Section 508/WCAG treatments or will the vendor be required to provide the treatments? These may include closed captioning (audio files), audio description (video files), alternative text associated with photographs, images, graphs and other graphics.

Are post-course evaluations from the source material workshops available for review? (These can help identify aspects of the training content that are particularly effective.)

Is it possible for APHL to map the planned content to the eight overarching research domain competency areas listed in the MMWR? The RFP indicates that APHL wants content to address all eight competencies, but only a few of the eight focus on scientific writing. The others seem to focus on issues related to research itself, such as getting funding, study design, testing methodology, etc. Does APHL plan to expand this training to include training on the other competencies?

The table provided in Appendix C, page 21 appears to have cut off text in the criteria section. Can you please provide the complete text for the following content presented in the table?

Does APHL wish for the training course to include digital, interactive modules, quizzes, knowledge checks, etc.? Or should all these activities be contained within the field learning guide?

Does APHL have an anticipated overall course length for Phase 1?

Does APHL wish for there to be a login feature to enable users to save their progress and come back to their work?

Can APHL share its webpage specs (platform, server, etc.) so that we can ensure our solution is readily compatible?

Does APHL wish for this course to be accredited? If so, can you share the desired accrediting body?

Can APHL confirm that this course will be used both for remote, independent study and in support of an in-person, instructor led training?

Can APHL describe its review and approval process for deliverables? For example, the number of individuals involved in review, anticipated turnaround time, etc.?

Does APHL desire monthly progress reports and/or regular progress meetings? If so, please clarify the frequency.

Page 19, point 8, item b states: “the awardee will not conduct an evaluation as part of this contract.” Does this preclude the awardee from conducting user testing on early iterations of the training? We find that user testing early in the design process often surfaces critical user preferences and leads to the development of a more successful product. If user testing is desired, can APHL assist in recruiting members to participate in a virtual focus group?

What does APHL value most in a vendor-partner?

It sounds like the content coverage for both a self-directed and instructor-led curriculum will be the same. What is the degree of overlap between delivery modes?

The competency framework below describes 4 levels (beginner to expert). Which competency level will be targeted in this curriculum, or will the curriculum attempt to address multiple levels (e.g. perhaps "Competent")? If the latter, how do you envision the curriculum catering to such a wide set of outcomes?

What activities does APHL envision for participants achieving skill-oriented learning objectives? Will offline work be considered, particularly to assist with meeting skill-based learning objectives?

Once a master design plan/storyboard is created/approved for each course module, will APHL be able to help supply any missing content needed for examples, activities, scenarios, role-plays, etc. that are planned?

Can you describe your vision for feedback and assessment? Will a scored, summative evaluation be required, or will it be sufficient to design activities that require the learner to demonstrate - and receive feedback on - what they've learned (formative assessments)?

Do the materials emailed out represent all of the source material for Phase 1 or were those files just a portion? If just a portion, can you tell us what percentage of the source the sample set represents?

Can you comment on what if any incoming experience or prerequisite knowledge target learners will be assumed to have?

Will the instructor-led design assume that instructors are already fluent in the content and have some experience delivering professional training? If not, what assumptions will be made about the instructors?

Do the existing PowerPoints have speaker’s notes in addition to the onscreen text? If so how extensive are they? (We are trying to determine how much existing content there is to work from. The minimal on screen text seen in the PDFs of the PPTs will have to be fleshed out to create voiceover narration for the online modules; if there are extensive speaker’s notes, that shortens this process considerably.)

Was any of the workshop audio- or video-taped? (Especially if there are no or minimal speaker’s notes, this would provide another source of content to draw on.)

Can you clarify the anticipated start date for the work?