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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research-Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Purpose of the Program: The purpose of the DRRP Program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the Act), as amended.

For FY 2002 the competition for new awards focuses on projects designed to meet the priorities we describe in the PRIORITIES section of this application notice. We intend these priorities to improve the rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals with severe burn injuries and traumatic brain injury.

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 Notice for Fiscal Year 2002 Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects, CFDA No. 84-133A

Funding priorityApplication availableDeadline for transmittal of applicationsEstimated available fundsMaximum award amount (per year) *Estimated number of awardsProject period (months)
84.133A-1, Burn Model SystemsJune 7, 2002July 22, 2002$1,200,000$300,000460
84.133A-4, Burn Data CenterJune 7, 2002July 22, 2002250,000250,000160
84.133A-5, Traumatic Brain Injury Model SystemsJune 7, 2002July 22, 20025,475,000365,0001560
* Note: We will reject without consideration any application that proposes a budget exceeding the stated maximum award amount in any year (See 34 CFR 75.104(b)).
Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
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Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86 and 97, and (b) The program regulations 34 CFR part 350.

Priorities

This competition focuses on projects designed to meet the priorities in the notice of final priorities for these programs, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The priorities are:

Priority 1—Burn Model System Projects

Priority 2—Burn Data Center

Priority 3—Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems

For FY 2002 these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one or more of these priorities.

Selection Criteria

We use the following selection criteria to evaluate applications under this program.

The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points.

The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses.

An additional 10 points may be earned by an applicant depending on how well they meet the additional selection criterion elsewhere in this notice.

Priority 1—Burn Model Systems Projects and Priority 3—Traumatic Brian Injury Model Systems

We use the following selection criteria to evaluate applications for the Burn Model Systems Projects and for the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems.

(a) Responsiveness to an absolute or competitive priority (6 points).

(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 one or more of the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the applicant addresses all requirements of the absolute or competitive priority. (3 points)

(ii) The extent to which the applicant's proposed activities are likely to achieve the purposes of the absolute or competitive priority. (3 points)

(b) Design of research activities (40 points).

(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 one or more of 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. (10 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; (8 points)

(C) Each sample population is appropriate and of sufficient size; (7 points)

(D) The data collection and measurement techniques are appropriate and likely to be effective; (5 points)

(E) The data analysis methods are appropriate. (5 points)

(c) Design of dissemination activities (8 points).

(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 one or more of 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. (4 points)

(ii) The extent to which the materials and information to be disseminated and the methods for dissemination are appropriate to the target population. (2 points)

(iii) The extent to which the information to be disseminated will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. (2 points)

(d) Plan of operation (8 points).

(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 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. (8 points)

(e) Collaboration (5 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of collaboration.

(2) In determining the quality of collaboration, the Secretary considers one or more of 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. (3 points)

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

(f) Adequacy and reasonableness of the budget (5 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the adequacy and the reasonableness of the budget.

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

(i) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed project activities. (3 points)

(ii) The extent to which the applicant is of sufficient size, scope, and quality to effectively carry out the activities in an efficient manner. (2 points)

(g) Plan of Evaluation (10 points).

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

(i) Are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and expected impacts on the target population; (5 points) and

(ii) Are objective, and quantifiable or qualitative, as appropriate. (5 points)

(h) Project Staff (8 points).

(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. (2 points)

(3) In addition, the Secretary considers one or more of the following:

(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 Start Printed Page 39579accomplish 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)

(i) Adequacy and accessibility of resources (10 points).

(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 one or more of the following factors:

(i) The quality of an applicant's past performance in carrying out a grant. (1 point)

(ii) The extent to which the applicant has appropriate access to clinical populations and organizations representing individuals with disabilities to support advanced clinical rehabilitation research. (8 points)

(iii) 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)

Priority 2—Burn Data Center

We use the following selection criteria to evaluate applications for the Burn Data Center.

(a) Responsiveness to an absolute or competitive priority (15 points total).

(1) The Secretary considers the responsiveness of the application to the absolute or competitive priority published in the Federal Register.

(2) In determining the responsiveness of the application to the absolute of competitive priority, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the applicant addresses all requirements of the absolute or competitive priority (5 points).

(ii) The extent to which the applicant's proposed activities are likely to achieve the purposes of the absolute or competitive priority (10 points)

(b) Quality of the project design (35 points total).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable (5 points).

(ii) The quality of the methodology to be employed in the proposed project (15 points).

(iii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to and will successfully address the needs of the target population or other identified needs (5 points).

(iv) The extent to which the proposed development efforts include adequate quality controls and, as appropriate, repeated testing of products (5 points).

(v) The extent to which the proposed project will be coordinated with similar or related efforts, and with other appropriate community, State, and federal resources (5 points).

(c) Design of dissemination activities (15 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 projects, 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 (8 points).

(ii) 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).

(d) Technical Assistance (10 points).

(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 one or more of the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the methods for providing technical assistance are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration (5 points).

(ii) 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 (5 points).

(e) Plan of evaluation (10 points).

(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 (3 points); and

(B) Achieving the project's intended outcomes and expected impacts (2 points).

(ii) 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 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 (3 points).

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

(f) Project Staff (10 points).

(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 (2 points).

(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 (3 points).

(ii) The extent to which the commitment of staff time is adequate to accomplish all the proposed activities of the project (3 points).

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

(g) Adequacy and reasonableness of the budget (5 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).

(ii) The extent to which the budget for the project, including any subcontracts, is adequately justified to support the proposed project activities (3 points). Additional Selection Criterion (10 points).

We use the following additional criterion to evaluate applications under each priority.

Up to 10 points based on the extent to which an application includes Start Printed Page 39580effective 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.

Pre-Application Meeting: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application meeting to discuss the funding priorities and to receive technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priorities. The pre-application meeting will be held on June 28, 2002 either by conference call or in person at the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Switzer Building, room 3065, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. NIDRR staff will also be available from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on that same day to provide technical assistance through individual consultation and information about the funding priority. For further information or to make arrangements to attend contact Donna Nangle, Switzer Building, room 3412, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20202. Telephone (202) 205-5880 or via Internet: donna.nangle@ed.gov.

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 will 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 Procedures

The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-277) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107) encourage us to undertake initiatives to improve our grant processes. Enhancing the ability of individuals and entities to conduct business with us electronically is a major part of our response to these Acts. Therefore, we are taking steps to adopt the Internet as our chief means of conducting transactions in order to improve services to our customers and to simplify and expedite our business processes.

We are requiring that applications to the FY 2002 Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program be submitted electronically using e-Application available through the Education Department's e-GRANTS system. The e-GRANTS system is accessible through its portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

Applicants who are unable to submit an application through the e-GRANTS system may apply for a waiver to the electronic submission requirement. To apply for a waiver, applicants must explain the reason(s) that prevent them from using the Internet to submit their applications. The reason(s) must be outlined in a letter addressed to: Ruth Brannon, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3413, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. Please submit your letter no later than two weeks before the closing date.

Any application that receives a waiver to the electronic submission requirement will be given the same consideration in the review process as an electronic application.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

Note:

Some of the procedures in these instructions for transmitting applications differ from those in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

In FY 2002, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to expand its pilot project of electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program—CFDA 84.133A is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the DRRP, you must submit your application to us in electronic format or receive a waiver.

The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant Application System (e-APPLICATION, formerly e-GAPS) portion of the Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS). We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for improvement.

Please note the following:

  • Do not wait until the deadline date for the transmittal of applications to submit your application electronically. If you wait until the deadline date to submit your application electronically and you are unable to access the e-Application system, you must contact the Help Desk by 4:30 p.m. Washington DC time on the deadline date.
  • Keep in mind that e-Application is not operational 24 hours a day every day of the week. Click on Hours of Web Site Operation for specific hours of access during the week.
  • You will have access to the e-Application Help Desk for technical support: 1-888-336-8930 (TTY: 1-866-697-2696, local 202-401-8363). The Help Desk hours of operation are limited to: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Washington DC time Monday-Friday.
  • If you submit your application electronically by the transmittal date but also wish to submit a paper copy of your application, then you must mail the paper copy of the application on or before the deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA # 84.133A, 7th and D Streets, SW., Room 3671, Regional Office Building 3, Washington, DC 20202-4725.
  • You can submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424 Standard Face Sheet), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Within three working days of submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424 Standard Face Sheet) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from the e-APPLICATION system.

2. Make sure that the institution's Authorizing Representative signs this form.

3. Before faxing this form, submit your electronic application via the e-Start Printed Page 39581APPLICATION system. You will receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).

4. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of ED 424.

5. Fax ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 260-1349.

  • We may request that you give us original signatures on all other forms at a later date.

You may access the electronic grant application for the DRRP at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3412, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or via Internet: Donna.Nangle@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475.

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 under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to This Document

You may review 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 the following site: www.ed.gov/​legislation/​FedRegister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. 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.

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

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Dated: June 3, 2002.

Robert H. Pasternack,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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Appendix

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. An applicant for an RRTC is limited to an indirect rate of 15%. 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 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.

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[FR Doc. 02-14385 Filed 6-6-02; 8:45 am]

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