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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Notice Inviting Applications and Pre-application for a New Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects for Fiscal Year 2001-2002

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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 estimate of funding levels in this notice does 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.

Requests for funding reasonable accommodations are not included in the maximum award amount, per year, as listed in the table.

Reasonable Accommodation: We will consider, and may grant, requests for additional funding as an addendum to an application to reflect the costs of reasonable accommodations necessary to allow individuals with disabilities to be employed on the project as personnel on project activities.

This notice also invites interested parties to participate in a pre-application meeting to discuss the funding priorities for a National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information Technology and the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers and to receive technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priority. The pre-application meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 at the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Switzer Building, Room 3065, 330 C St. SW, Washington, DC between 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. NIDRR staff will also be available at this location from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on that same day to provide technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priority. NIDRR will make alternate arrangements to accommodate interested parties who are unable to attend the pre-application meeting in person. For further information contact Joseph DePhillips, Switzer Building, room 3418, 330 C Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202. Telephone (202) 205-8187. If you use a TTY, please call (202) 205-4475.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities at the Public Meeting

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 alternative 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.

Purpose of the Program: One of the purposes of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Assistant Secretary takes this action to focus research attention on an area of national need. The priority is intended to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

The notice of final funding priorities for a National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information Technology and the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

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.

Application Available: January 8, 2001.

Project Period: 60 months.

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Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(4).

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Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 85, and 86; the program regulations 34 CFR part 350, and the Notice of Final Priority published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Application Notice for Fiscal Years 2000-2001 Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects, CFDA No. 84-133D

Funding priorityDeadline for transmittal of applicationsEstimated number of awardsMaximum award amount (per year)*Project period (months)
84.133D National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information TechnologyMarch 26, 20011$700,00060
84.133-D8 Disability and Business Technical Assistance CentersMarch 26, 2001see belowSee below (Break down by Region)60
Region I, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$850,00060
Region II, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,100,00060
Region III, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,100,00060
Region IV, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,450,00060
Region V, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,450,00060
Region VI, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,100,00060
Region VII, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$850,00060
Region VIII, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$850,00060
Region IX, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$1,450,00060
Region X, DBTACMarch 26, 20011$850,00060
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AIMS (optional)March 26, 20011$80,00060
*Note: Consistent with EDGAR 34 CFR 75.104(b), we will reject any application that proposes a project funding level for any year that exceeds the stated maximum award amount for that year.

For Applications Contact: The Grants and Contracts Service Team (GCST), Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Switzer Building, 3317, 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 alternative format by contacting the GCST. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative 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, SW, room 3414, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475. Internet: Donna_Nangle@ed.gov.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding paragraph.

Selection Criteria

National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information

Technology Selection Criteria: The Secretary uses the following selection criteria to evaluate applications for the National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information Technology.

(a) Importance of the problem (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the importance of the problem.

(2) In determining the importance of the problem, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project will have beneficial impact on the target population (3 points).

(b) Design of training activities (24 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 (17 points).

(ii) The extent to which the proposed training methods are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (7 points).

(c) Design of dissemination activities (24 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 materials to be disseminated are likely to be effective and usable, including consideration of their quality, clarity, variety, and format (17 points).

(ii) The extent to which the methods for dissemination are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (7 points).

(d) Design of technical assistance activities (22 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 (7 points).

(ii) The extent to which the information to be provided through technical assistance covers all of the relevant aspects of the subject matter (15 points).

(e) Quality of the management plan (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks (3 points).

(f) Adequacy and reasonableness of the budget (4 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 (2 points).

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

(g) Quality of the project evaluation (3 points total).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project (3 points).

(h) Project staff (13 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 underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability (1 point).

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(i) The extent to which key personnel have expert knowledge on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and experience with providing technical assistance on the ADA to conduct all proposed activities (3 points).

(ii) The extent to which key personnel have expert knowledge about state-of-the-art Information Technology (IT) to conduct all proposed activities (7 points).

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

(i) Adequacy and accessibility of resources (4 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 (2 points).

The Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers

Selection Criteria: The Secretary uses the following selection criteria to evaluate applications for the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers.

(a) Importance of the problem (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the importance of the problem.

(2) In determining the importance of the problem, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project will have beneficial impact on the target population (3 points).

(b) Significance (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project.

(3) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population (3 points).

(c) Design of training activities (14 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 (7 points).

(ii) The extent to which the proposed training methods are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (7 points).

(d) Design of dissemination activities (21 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 materials to be disseminated are likely to be effective and usable, including consideration of their quality, clarity, variety, and format (7 points).

(ii) The extent to which the methods for dissemination are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (7 points).

(iii) 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 (7 points).

(e) Design of technical assistance activities (21 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 (7 points).

(iii) The extent to which the information to be provided through technical assistance covers all of the relevant aspects of the subject matter (7 points).

(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 (7 points).

(f) Quality of project services (10 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability (2 points).

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

(i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services (5 points).

(ii) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the leveraging of non-project resources (3 points).

(g) Quality of the management plan (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks (3 points).

(h) Adequacy and reasonableness of the budget (4 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 the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed project activities (2 points).

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

(i) Quality of the project evaluation (3 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and Start Printed Page 1483outcomes of the proposed project (3 points).

(j) Project staff (14 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 underrepresented 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 key personnel have expert knowledge on the ADA and experience with providing technical assistance on the ADA to conduct all proposed activities (8 points).

(ii) The extent to which key personnel have expert knowledge about state-of-the-art IT to conduct all proposed activities (3 points).

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

(k) Adequacy and accessibility of resources (4 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 (2 points).

Additional Selection Criterion: The maximum score for all the criteria is 100 points; however, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we will also use the following criterion so that up to an additional 10 points may be earned by an applicant for a total possible score of 110 points.

Up to 10 points based on the extent to which an application includes effective strategies for employing and advancing in employment qualified individuals with disabilities in projects awarded under these absolute priorities. In determining the effectiveness of those strategies, we will consider the applicant's prior success, as described in the application, in employing and advancing in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.

Thus, for purposes of this competitive preference, applicants can be awarded up to a total of 10 points in addition to those awarded under the published selection criteria for these priorities. That is, an applicant meeting this competitive preference could earn a maximum total of 110 points.

Instructions for Application Narrative

The Secretary will reject without consideration or evaluation any application that proposes a project funding level that exceeds the stated maximum award amount per year (See 34 CFR 75.104(b)).

The Secretary strongly recommends the following:

(1) A one-page abstract;

(2) 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 125 pages for Project applications, double-spaced (no more than 3 lines per vertical inch) 8″ x 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

(3) 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 # [Applicant must insert number and letter] and name), Washington, DC 20202-4725, or

(2) Hand deliver 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 # [Applicant must insert number and letter] and name), Room #3633, Regional Office Building #3, 7th and D Streets, SW., Washington, DC.

(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 (ED Form 424 (Rev. 11/12/99)) and instructions.

PART II: Budget Form—Non-Construction Programs (ED 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.)

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 Start Printed Page 1484awarded unless a completed application form has been received.

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:

http://ocfo.ed.gov/​fedreg.htm

http://www.ed.gov/​news.html

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at either of the preceding sites. If you have questions about using 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 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 on GPO Access at:

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

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers: 84.133D, Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects)

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Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(4).

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Dated: December 26, 2000.

Curtis L. Richards,

Acting 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.

Frequest Questions

1. Can I Get an Extansion 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.

An applicant for a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project should limit indirect charges to the organization's approved indirect cost rate. If the organization does not have an approved indirect cost rate, the application should include an estimated actual 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 ED 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.

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