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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program

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Notice.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

Overview Information:

Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) .

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.120A.

DATES: Back to Top

Applications Available: April 1, 2013.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 2013.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement Back to Top

I. Funding Opportunity Description Back to Top

Purpose of Program: The MSEIP is designed to effect long-range improvement in science and engineering education at predominantly minority institutions and to increase the flow of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and technological careers.

Priorities: This notice contains one competitive preference priority and two invitational priorities. The competitive preference priority is from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).

Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we will award an additional two points to an application that meets this competitive preference priority.

This priority is:

Competitive Preference Priority: Increasing Postsecondary Success.

Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:

Increasing the number and proportion of high-need students (as defined in this notice) who persist in and complete college or other postsecondary education and training.

Note:

Applicants seeking to address the competitive priority must do so in the context of meeting all other program requirements, including those provisions requiring a focus on science and engineering education in the grants funded under this program. Applicants should also consider how all elements of their proposed project contribute to the priority.

Invitational Priorities: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

These priorities are:

Invitational Priority 1: Institutionalize Practices that have Evidence of Success.Building institutional capacity to effect long-range improvement in science and engineering education through projects that are supported by strong or moderate evidence of effectiveness (as defined in this notice).

Invitational Priority 2: Improve STEM Education in the First Two Years of College.

This invitational priority invites applications to eliminate systemic problems and impediments that result in high failure and dropout rates within the introductory years of science and engineering programs. We invite applications for projects that are designed to improve student success and retention in the first two years with actions, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:

(a) Providing greater exposure to science and engineering real-world problems in the first two years through actions such as the appropriate sequencing of courses.

(b) Introducing recent innovations and discoveries in the first two years to make science and engineering education relevant. The students should experience real developments such as those led by nanotechnology, cell biology, and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).

(c) Widespread integration of research courses into the introductory STEM curricula. Expand the use of scientific research and engineering design courses in the first two years.

(d) Increasing opportunities for student research and design in faculty research laboratories.

(e) Developing new curricula that integrate scientific theory with real-world applications in scientific problem-solving and engineering design, in the context of global environmental, energy, and economic problems.

(f) Adopting pedagogy for integrative teaching.

(g) Establishing programs to train faculty in evidence-based teaching practices, and catalyzing widespread adoption of empirically validated teaching practices.

(h) Seeking institutional and accreditation support for changes in curricular, pedagogical, and graduation requirements that are necessary to improve the first two years of STEM coursework.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637), and apply to the priorities in this notice:

Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that attempts to approximate an experimental study (as defined in this notice). More specifically, it is a design in which project participants are matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, but are not limited to:

(1) Prior test scores and other measures of academic achievement (preferably, the same measures that the study will use to evaluate outcomes for the two groups);

(2) Demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, and single- or two-parent family background;

(3) The time period in which the two groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and

(4) Methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading skills administered in the same way to both groups).

Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control groups.

High-need children and high-need students means children and students at risk of educational failure, such as children and students who are living in poverty, who are English learners, who are far below grade level or who are not on track to becoming college- or career-ready by graduation, who have left school or college before receiving, respectively, a regular high school diploma or a college degree or certificate, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who are pregnant or parenting teenagers, who have been incarcerated, who are new immigrants, who are migrant, or who have disabilities.

Interrupted time series design means a type of quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) in which the outcome of interest is measured multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after treatment will have a different slope or level from those before treatment. That is, the series should show an “interruption” of the prior situation at the time when the program was implemented. Adding a comparison group time series, such as schools not participating in the program or schools participating in the program in a different geographic area, substantially increases the reliability of the findings. [1]

Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence:

(1) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation or analysis that limit generalizability;

(2) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that does not demonstrate equivalence between the intervention and comparison groups at program entry but that has no other major flaws related to internal validity; or

(3) Correlational research with strong statistical controls for selection bias and for discerning the influence of internal factors.

Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts to approximate an experimental study (as defined in this notice) and can support causal conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal validity, such as selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) quasi-experimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs (as defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as defined in this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as defined in this notice).

Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) design that closely approximates an experimental study (as defined in this notice). In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an application for funding. Another example would be assignment of eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain score (“cut score”) to the treatment group and assignment of those below the score to the comparison group.

Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The following are examples of strong evidence:

(1) More than one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) experimental study (as defined in this notice) or well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice) that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program; or

(2) One large, well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) randomized controlled, multisite trial that supports the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program.

Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, with or without reservations (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 and in particular the description of “Reasons for Not Meeting Standards” at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/Doc.aspx?docId=19&tocId=4#reasons).

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1067-1067k.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99; (b) The Education Department suspension and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485; (c) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 637; (d) The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information Back to Top

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $8,992,686 for this program for FY 2013, of which it intends to allocate $2,906,074 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2014 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $150,000-$250,000. Special Project Grants: $100,000-$250,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $250,000-$300,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $200,000. Special Project Grants: $175,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $275,000.

Maximum Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $250,000. Special Project Grants: $250,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $300,000. We may choose not to further consider or review applications with budgets that exceed the maximum award. We may choose not to further consider or review applications with the budget for a single budget period of 12 months exceeding the maximum award. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amounts through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: 10; Special Project Grants: 1; Cooperative Project Grants: 1.

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information Back to Top

1. Eligible Applicants: The eligibility of an applicant is dependent on the type of MSEIP grant. There are four types of MSEIP grants:

Institutional projects, special projects, cooperative, and design.

Institutional project grants are grants that support the implementation of a comprehensive science improvement plan, which may include any combination of activities for improving the preparation of minority students for careers in science.

There are two types of special projects grants. There are special projects grants for which minority institutions are eligible. These special projects grants support activities that: (1) Improve quality training in science and engineering at minority institutions; or (2) enhance the minority institutions' general scientific research capabilities. There are also special projects grants for which all applicants are eligible. These special projects grants support activities that: (1) Provide a needed service to a group of eligible minority institutions; or (2) provide in-service training for project directors, scientists, and engineers from eligible minority institutions.

Cooperative project grants assist groups of nonprofit accredited colleges and universities to work together to conduct a science improvement program.

Design project grants assist minority institutions that do not have their own appropriate resources or personnel to plan and develop long-range science improvement programs. We will not award design project grants in the FY 2013 competition.

(a) For institutional project grants, eligible applicants are limited to:

(1) Public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education that (i) Award baccalaureate degrees; and (ii) are minority institutions;

(2) Public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education that (i) Award associate degrees; and (ii) are minority institutions that (A) Have a curriculum that includes science or engineering subjects; and (B) enter into a partnership with public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education that award baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering.

(b) For special projects grants for which minority institutions are eligible, eligible applicants are described in paragraph (a).

(c) For special projects grants for which all applicants are eligible, eligible applicants include those described in paragraph (a), and

(1) Nonprofit science-oriented organizations, professional scientific societies, and institutions of higher education that award baccalaureate degrees that: (i) Provide a needed service to a group of minority institutions; or (ii) provide in-service training to project directors, scientists, and engineers from minority institutions; or

(2) A consortia of organizations, that provide needed services to one or more minority institutions, the membership of which may include—(i) Institutions of higher education which have a curriculum in science or engineering; (ii) institutions of higher education that have a graduate or professional program in science or engineering; (iii) research laboratories of, or under contract with, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense or the National Institutes of Health; (iv) relevant offices of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology; (v) quasi-governmental entities that have a significant scientific or engineering mission; or (vi) institutions of higher education that have State-sponsored centers for research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

(d) For cooperative projects grants, eligible applicants are groups of nonprofit accredited colleges and universities whose primary fiscal agent is an eligible minority institution as defined in 34 CFR 637.4(b).

Note:

As defined in 34 CFR 637.4(b), “minority institution” means an accredited college or university whose enrollment of a single minority group or a combination of minority groups exceeds 50 percent of the total enrollment.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information Back to Top

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application via the Internet at Grants.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact Krish Mathur, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006-8517. Telephone: (202) 502-7512.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer disc) by contacting the program contact persons listed in this section.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We have established a mandatory page limit for the application narrative of each type of MSEIP grant project as follows:

Institutional project grants: 40 pages;

Special projects grant application: 35 pages;

Cooperative project grant application: 50 pages.

You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to these established page limits, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ × 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and a document identifier may be within the 1″ margin.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, captions, and all text in charts, tables, and graphs. These items may be single spaced; however, they will count toward the page limit.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

If you use some but not all of the allowable space on a page, it will be counted as a full page in determining compliance with the page limit.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the budget justification; Part IV, the one-page abstract, the table of contents, the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form, required letter(s) of commitment, evidence of partnerships, or the assurances and certifications. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items will be counted as part of the program narrative (Part III) for purposes of the page limit requirement. You must include your complete responses to the selection criteria in the program narrative.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit. We will also reject your application if you fail to provide the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: April 1, 2013.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 2013.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2013.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Central Contractor Registry, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)—and, after July 24, 2012, with the System for Award Management (SAM)—the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active CCR or SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The CCR or SAM registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at SAM.gov.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the MSEIP, CFDA Number 84.120A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the MSEIP at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.120, not 84.120A).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

and

  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Krish Mathur, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8517. Fax: (202) 502-7877.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.120A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.120A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information Back to Top

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 637.32(a) through (j). Applicants must address each of the selection criteria. The total weight of the selection criteria is 100 points; the weight of each criterion is noted in parentheses. Please see the application package for detailed explanation of these criteria. The selection criteria are as follows:

(a) Identification of need for the project (Total 5 points).

(b) Plan of operation (Total 20 points).

(c) Quality of key personnel (Total 5 points).

(d) Budget and cost effectiveness (Total 10 points).

(e) Evaluation plan (Total 15 points).

(f) Adequacy of resources (Total 5 points).

(g) Potential institutional impact of the project (Total 15 points).

(h) Institutional commitment to the project (Total 5 points).

(i) Expected Outcomes (Total 10 points).

(j) Scientific and educational value of the proposed project (Total 10 points).

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

Tiebreaker for Institutional, Special Project, and Cooperative Grants. If there are insufficient funds for all applications with the same total scores, applications will receive preference in the following manner. The Secretary gives priority to applicants which have not previously received funding from the program and to previous grantees with a proven record of success, as well as to applications that contribute to achieving balance among funded projects with respect to: (1) Geographic region; (2) Academic discipline; and (3) Project type.

3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information Back to Top

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). Please see the application package for details of annual and final reporting requirements. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the MSEIP: (1) The percentage of change in the number of full-time, degree-seeking minority undergraduate students at the grantee's institution enrolled in the fields of engineering or physical or biological sciences, compared to the average minority enrollment in the same fields in the three-year period immediately prior to the beginning of the current grant; (2) the percentage of minority students enrolled at four-year minority-serving institutions in the fields of engineering or physical or biological sciences who graduate within six years of enrollment. Please see the application package for details of data collection and reporting requirements for these measures.

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contacts Back to Top

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Krish Mathur, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6155, Washington, DC 20006-8517 by telephone: (202) 502 7512, or by email: Krish.mathur@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information Back to Top

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Dated: March 27, 2013.

David A. Bergeron,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

[FR Doc. 2013-07559 Filed 3-29-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of an interrupted time series design that relies on the comparison of treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. There is little confidence that findings based on this design would be the same for other members of the population. In some single subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared with a post treatment measure, the treatment would then be stopped for a period of time; a second baseline measure of the outcome would be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a different treatment. A multiple baseline design addresses concerns about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or treatments of different lengths or intensity.

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