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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Notice Inviting Applications for New Rehabilitation Research Training Centers for Fiscal Year 2000

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NOTE TO APPLICANTS: This notice is a complete application package. Together with the statute authorizing the programs and applicable regulations governing the programs, including the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), this notice contains information, application forms, and instructions needed to apply for a grant under these competitions.

These programs support the National Education Goal that calls for all Americans to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

The estimated funding levels in this notice do not bind the Department of Education to make awards in any of these categories, or to any specific number of awards or funding levels, unless otherwise specified in statute.

APPLICABLE REGULATIONS: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 85, and 86; Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers—34 CFR Part 350, and the Notice of Final Priority published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

PRE-APPLICATION MEETINGS: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application meeting to discuss the funding priority for the two RRTCs on Improved Management of Centers for Independent Living (CIL) Programs and Services and Independent Living (IL) and the New Paradigm of Disability and to receive technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priorities.

A pre-application meeting for the RRTC on Improving Service and Supports for Individuals with Long-Term Mental Illness will be held on June 13, 2000 at the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Switzer Building, Room 3065, 330 C St. SW, Washington, DC between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

The pre-application meeting for the Independent Living priorities will be held on June 15, 2000 at the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Switzer Building, Room 3065, 330 C St. SW, Washington, DC between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m.

NIDRR staff will also be available at this location on from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on that same day of the meeting to provide technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priorities. NIDRR will make alternate arrangements to accommodate interested parties who are unable to attend the pre-application meeting in person. For further information or to make arrangements to attend either in person or by telephone contact the following: for the pre-application meeting on the Long-Term Mental Illness priority contact Connie Pledger, Switzer Building, room 3423, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone (202) Start Printed Page 31758205-4352. And for the pre-application meeting on the Independent Living priority contact David Keer, Switzer Building, room 3431, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone (202) 205-5633. If you use a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), you may call (202) 205-4475.

Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities at the Public Meetings

The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities, and a sign language interpreter will be available. If you need an auxiliary aid or service other than a sign language interpreter in order to participate in the meeting (e.g. other interpreting service such as oral, cued speech, or tactile interpreter; assistive listening device; or materials in alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this Notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet a request we receive after this date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

Application Notice for Fiscal Year 2000 Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

[CFDA No. 84-133B]

Funding priorityDeadline for transmittal of applicationsEstimated number of awardsAward amount (per year)*Project period (months)
84.133B-1 Improved management of CIL programs and servicesJuly 17, 20001$500,00060
84.133B-5 IL and the new paradigm of disabilityJuly 17, 20001500,00060
84.133B-7 Improving service and supports for individualsJuly 17, 20001550,00060

Program Title: Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.

CFDA Number: 84.133B.

Purpose of Program: RRTCs are operated in collaboration with institutions of higher education or providers of rehabilitation services or other appropriate services. RRTCs serve as centers of national excellence and national or regional resources for providers and individuals with disabilities and the parents, family members, guardians, advocates or authorized representatives of the individuals.

RRTCs conduct coordinated, integrated, and advanced programs of research in rehabilitation targeted toward the production of new knowledge to improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, to alleviate or stabilize disabling conditions, and to promote maximum social and economic independence of individuals with disabilities.

RRTCs provide training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-service training, to assist individuals to more effectively provide rehabilitation services. They also provide training including graduate, pre-service, and in-service training, for rehabilitation research personnel and other rehabilitation personnel.

RRTCs serve as informational and technical assistance resources to providers, individuals with disabilities, and the parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of these individuals through conferences, workshops, public education programs, in-service training programs and similar activities.

RRTCs disseminate materials in alternate formats to ensure that they are accessible to individuals with a range of disabling conditions.

Eligible Applicants: Parties eligible to apply for grants under this program are States, public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies, public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

Selection Criteria: The Assistant Secretary uses the following selection criteria to evaluate applications for RRTCs on Improved Management of CIL Programs and Services, IL and the New Paradigm of Disability and Improving Service and Supports for Individuals with Long-Term Mental Illness (See section 350.54). The total maximum score for the criteria is 100 points.

(a) Importance of the problem (9 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the importance of the problem.

(2) In determining the importance of the problem, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the applicant clearly describes the need and target population (3 points).

(ii) The extent to which the proposed activities address a significant need of those who provide services to individuals with disabilities (3 points).

(iii) The extent to which the proposed project will have beneficial impact on the target population (3 points).

(b) Responsiveness to an absolute or competitive priority (4 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the responsiveness of the application to an absolute or competitive priority published in the Federal Register.

(2) In determining the application's responsiveness to the absolute or competitive priority, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant's proposed activities are likely to achieve the purposes of the absolute or competitive priority (4 points).

(c) Design of research activities (35 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the extent to which the design of research activities is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project.

(2) In determining the extent to which the design is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the research activities constitute a coherent, sustained approach to research in the field, including a substantial addition to the state-of-the-art (5 points).

(ii) The extent to which the methodology of each proposed research activity is meritorious, including consideration of the extent to which—

(A) The proposed design includes a comprehensive and informed review of the current literature, demonstrating knowledge of the state-of-the-art (5 points);

(B) Each research hypothesis is theoretically sound and based on current knowledge (5 points);

(C) Each sample population is appropriate and of sufficient size (5 points);

(D) The data collection and measurement techniques are appropriate and likely to be effective (5 points); and (E) The data analysis methods are appropriate (5 points). Start Printed Page 31759

(iii) The extent to which anticipated research results are likely to satisfy the original hypotheses and could be used for planning additional research, including generation of new hypotheses where applicable (5 points).

(d) Design of training activities (11 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the extent to which the design of training activities is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project.

(2) In determining the extent to which the design is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the proposed training materials are likely to be effective, including consideration of their quality, clarity, and variety (2 points).

(ii) The extent to which the proposed training methods are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (2 points).

(iii) The extent to which the proposed training content—

(A) Covers all of the relevant aspects of the subject matter (1 point); and

(B) If relevant, is based on new knowledge derived from research activities of the proposed project (1 point).

(iv) The extent to which the proposed training materials, methods, and content are appropriate to the trainees, including consideration of the skill level of the trainees and the subject matter of the materials (2 points).

(v) The extent to which the proposed training materials and methods are accessible to individuals with disabilities (1 point).

(vi) The extent to which the applicant is able to carry out the training activities, either directly or through another entity (2 points).

(e) Design of dissemination activities (8 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the extent to which the design of dissemination activities is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project.

(2) In determining the extent to which the design is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the content of the information to be disseminated—

(A) Covers all of the relevant aspects of the subject matter (1 point); and

(B) If appropriate, is based on new knowledge derived from research activities of the project (1 point).

(ii) The extent to which the materials to be disseminated are likely to be effective and usable, including consideration of their quality, clarity, variety, and format (2 points).

(iii) The extent to which the methods for dissemination are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (2 points).

(iv) The extent to which the materials and information to be disseminated and the methods for dissemination are appropriate to the target population, including consideration of the familiarity of the target population with the subject matter, format of the information, and subject matter (1 point).

(v) The extent to which the information to be disseminated will be accessible to individuals with disabilities (1 point).

(f) Design of technical assistance activities (4 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the extent to which the design of technical assistance activities is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project.

(2) In determining the extent to which the design is likely to be effective in accomplishing the objectives of the project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the methods for providing technical assistance are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (1 point).

(ii) The extent to which the information to be provided through technical assistance covers all of the relevant aspects of the subject matter (1 point).

(iii) The extent to which the technical assistance is appropriate to the target population, including consideration of the knowledge level of the target population, needs of the target population, and format for providing information (1 point).

(iv) The extent to which the technical assistance is accessible to individuals with disabilities (1 point).

(g) Plan of operation (4 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the plan of operation.

(2) In determining the quality of the plan of operation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The adequacy of the plan of operation to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, and timelines for accomplishing project tasks (2 points).

(ii) The adequacy of the plan of operation to provide for using resources, equipment, and personnel to achieve each objective (2 points).

(h) Collaboration (2 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of collaboration.

(2) In determining the quality of collaboration, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the applicant's proposed collaboration with one or more agencies, organizations, or institutions is likely to be effective in achieving the relevant proposed activities of the project (1 point).

(ii) The extent to which agencies, organizations, or institutions demonstrate a commitment to collaborate with the applicant (2 points).

(i) Adequacy and reasonableness of the budget (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy and the reasonableness of the proposed budget.

(2) In determining the adequacy and the reasonableness of the proposed budget, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed project activities (1 point).

(ii) The extent to which the budget for the project, including any subcontracts, is adequately justified to support the proposed project activities (2 points).

(j) Plan of evaluation (7 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the plan of evaluation.

(2) In determining the quality of the plan of evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the plan of evaluation provides for periodic assessment of progress toward—

(A) Implementing the plan of operation (1 point); and

(B) Achieving the project's intended outcomes and expected impacts (1 point).

(ii) The extent to which the plan of evaluation will be used to improve the performance of the project through the feedback generated by its periodic assessments (1 point).

(iii) The extent to which the plan of evaluation provides for periodic assessment of a project's progress that is based on identified performance measures that—

(A) Are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and expected impacts on the target population (2 points); and

(B) Are objective, and quantifiable or qualitative, as appropriate (2 points).

(k) Project staff (9 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the project staff.

(2) In determining the quality of the project staff, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been Start Printed Page 31760underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability (1 point).

(3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the key personnel and other key staff have appropriate training and experience in disciplines required to conduct all proposed activities (2 points).

(ii) The extent to which the commitment of staff time is adequate to accomplish all the proposed activities of the project (2 points).

(iii) The extent to which the key personnel are knowledgeable about the methodology and literature of pertinent subject areas (2 points).

(iv) The extent to which the project staff includes outstanding scientists in the field (2 points).

(l) Adequacy and accessibility of resources (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy and accessibility of the applicant's resources to implement the proposed project.

(2) In determining the adequacy and accessibility of resources, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the applicant is committed to provide adequate facilities, equipment, other resources, including administrative support, and laboratories, if appropriate (2 points).

(ii) The extent to which the facilities, equipment, and other resources are appropriately accessible to individuals with disabilities who may use the facilities, equipment, and other resources of the project (1 point).

Instructions for Application Narrative

The Assistant Secretary strongly recommends the following:

(a) A one-page abstract;

(b) An application narrative (i.e., Part III that addresses the selection criteria that will be used by reviewers in evaluating individual proposals) of no more than 125 pages double-spaced (no more than 3 lines per vertical inch) 8-1/2′× 11″pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and sides). The application narrative page limit recommendation does not apply to: Part I—the electronically scannable form; Part II—the budget section (including the narrative budget justification); and Part IV—the assurances and certifications; and

(c) A font no smaller than a 12-point font and an average character density no greater than 14 characters per inch.

Instructions for Transmittal of Applications

(a) If an applicant wants to apply for a grant, the applicant must—

(1) Mail the original and two copies of the application on or before the deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA # 84.133B [Applicant should include title]), Washington, DC 20202-4725, or

(2) Hand deliver or express mail the original and two copies of the application by 4:30 p.m. [Washington, DC time] on or before the deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA # 84.133B [Applicant should include title]), Room #3633, Regional Office Building #3, 7th and D Streets, SW., Washington, DC 20202.

(b) An applicant must show one of the following as proof of mailing:

(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.

(c) If an application is mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, the Secretary does 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.

Notes:

(1) The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, an applicant should check with its local post office.

(2) An applicant wishing to know that its application has been received by the Department must include with the application a stamped self-addressed postcard containing the CFDA number and title of this program.

(3) The applicant must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 10 of the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424) the CFDA number—and letter, if any—of the competition under which the application is being submitted.

Application Forms and Instructions

The appendix to this application is divided into four parts. These parts are organized in the same manner that the submitted application should be organized. These parts are as follows:

Part I: Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424 (Rev. 1/12/1999) and instructions.

Part II: Budget Form—Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 524A) and instructions.

Part III: Application Narrative.

Additional Materials

Estimated Public Reporting Burden.

Assurances—Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B).

Certification Regarding Lobbying, Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters: and Drug-Free Work-Place Requirements (ED Form 80-0013).

Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion: Lower Tier Covered Transactions (ED Form 80-0014) and instructions. (NOTE: ED Form GCS-014 is intended for the use of primary participants and should not be transmitted to the Department.)

Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance in Certain Programs (ED Form 80-0016).

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (Standard Form LLL (if applicable) and instructions; and Disclosure Lobbying Activities Continuation Sheet (Standard Form LLL-A).

An applicant may submit information on a photostatic copy of the application and budget forms, the assurances, and the certifications. However, the application form, the assurances, and the certifications must each have an original signature. No grant may be awarded unless a completed application form has been received.

For Applications Contact: The Grants and Contracts Service Team (GCST), Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., room 3317, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 20202 or call (202) 205-8207. Individuals who use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) may call the TDD number at (202) 205-9860. The preferred method for requesting information is to FAX your request to (202) 205-8717.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternate format by contacting the GCST. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternate format the standard forms included in the application package.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., room 3414, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or TDD (202) 205-4475. Internet: Donna_Nangle@ed.gov

Electronic Access to This Document

You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the following sites: Start Printed Page 31761

http://ocfo.ed.gov/​fedreg.htm

http://www.ed.gov/​news.html

To use the PDF you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at either of the preceding sites. If you have questions about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

Note:

The official version of 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 on GPO Access at:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/​nara/​index.html

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers: 84.133B, Rehabilitation Research Training Centers)

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 760-762.

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Dated: May 11, 2000.

Judith E. Heumann,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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Appendix—Application Forms and Instructions

Applicants are advised to reproduce and complete the application forms in this Section. Applicants are required to submit an original and two copies of each application as provided in this Section. However, applicants are encouraged to submit an original and seven copies of each application in order to facilitate the peer review process and minimize copying errors.

Frequent Questions

1. Can I Get an Extension of the Due Date?

No. On rare occasions the Department of Education may extend a closing date for all applicants. If that occurs, a notice of the revised due date is published in the Federal Register. However, there are no extensions or exceptions to the due date made for individual applicants.

2. What Should Be Included in the Application?

The application should include a project narrative, vitae of key personnel, and a budget, as well as the Assurances forms included in this package. Vitae of staff or consultants should include the individual's title and role in the proposed project, and other information that is specifically pertinent to this proposed project. The budgets for both the first year and all subsequent project years should be included.

If collaboration with another organization is involved in the proposed activity, the application should include assurances of participation by the other parties, including written agreements or assurances of cooperation. It is not useful to include general letters of support or endorsement in the application.

If the applicant proposes to use unique tests or other measurement instruments that are not widely known in the field, it would be helpful to include the instrument in the application.

Many applications contain voluminous appendices that are not helpful and in many cases cannot even be mailed to the reviewers. It is generally not helpful to include such things as brochures, general capability statements of collaborating organizations, maps, copies of publications, or descriptions of other projects completed by the applicant.

3. What Format Should Be Used for the Application?

NIDRR generally advises applicants that they may organize the application to follow the selection criteria that will be used. The specific review criteria vary according to the specific program, and are contained in this Consolidated Application Package.

4. May I Submit Applications to More Than One NIDRR Program Competition or More Than One Application to a Program?

Yes. You may submit applications to any program for which they are responsive to the program requirements. You may submit the same application to as many competitions as you believe appropriate. You may also submit more than one application in any given competition.

5. What Is the Allowable Indirect Cost Rate?

The limits on indirect costs vary according to the program and the type of application. The Rehabilitation Research Training Centers are limited to a 15% indirect cost rate.

6. Can Profitmaking Businesses Apply for Grants?

Yes. However, for-profit organizations will not be able to collect a fee or profit on the grant, and in some programs will be required to share in the costs of the project.

7. Can Individuals Apply for Grants?

No. Only organizations are eligible to apply for grants under NIDRR programs. However, individuals are the only entities eligible to apply for fellowships.

8. Can NIDRR Staff Advise me Whether my Project is of Interest to NIDRR or Likely to be Funded?

No. NIDRR staff can advise you of the requirements of the program in which you propose to submit your application. However, staff cannot advise you of whether your subject area or proposed approach is likely to receive approval.

9. How do I Assure That my Application Will be Referred to the Most Appropriate Panel for Review?

Applicants should be sure that their applications are referred to the correct competition by clearly including the competition title and CFDA number, including alphabetical code, on the Standard Form 424, and including a project title that describes the project.

10. How Soon After Submitting my Application Can I Find Out if it Will be Funded?

The time from closing date to grant award date varies from program to program. Generally speaking, NIDRR endeavors to have awards made within five to six months of the closing date. Unsuccessful applicants generally will be notified within that time frame as well. For the purpose of estimating a project start date, the applicant should estimate approximately six months from the closing date, but no later than the following September 30.

11. Can I Call NIDRR to Find Out if my Application is Being Funded?

No. When NIDRR is able to release information on the status of grant applications, it will notify applicants by letter. The results of the peer review cannot be released except through this formal notification.

12. If my Application is Successful, Can I Assume I Will Get the Requested Budget Amount in Subsequent Years?

No. Funding in subsequent years is subject to availability of funds and project performance.

13. Will all Approved Applications be Funded?

No. It often happens that the peer review panels approve for funding more applications than NIDRR can fund within available resources. Applicants who are approved but not funded are encouraged to consider submitting similar applications in future competitions.

Estimated Public Reporting Burden

Public reporting burden for these collections of information is estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of these collections of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: the U.S. Department of Education, Information Management and Compliance Division, Washington, DC 20202-4651; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 1820-0027, Washington, DC 20503.

Rehabilitation Research Training Center

(CFDA No. 84.133B) 34 CFR Part 350.

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BILLING CODE 4000-01-U

[FR Doc. 00-12503 Filed 5-17-00; 8:45 am]

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