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Notice

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-Special Focus Competition: US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program (Institutional Cooperation and Student Mobility in Postsecondary Education Between the United States and Brazil)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2003.

Purpose of Program: To provide grants or enter into cooperative agreements to improve postsecondary education opportunities by focusing on problem areas or improvement approaches in postsecondary education.

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education or combinations of institutions and other public and private nonprofit institutions and agencies.

Applications Available: December 17, 2002.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 28, 2003.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 27, 2003.

Estimated Available Funds: $300,000. The estimated amount of funds available for awards is based on the Administration's request for this program for FY 2003. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

Estimated Range of Awards: $28,000-$32,000 for FY 2003; $190,000-$210,000 for 4-year duration of grant.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $30,000 for FY 2003; $200,000 for 4-year duration of grant. (The first year grant is a preparatory phase. The grant amounts in subsequent years will be higher during the implementation phase of the grant).

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This program is a Special Focus Competition under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (Title VII, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended) to support projects addressing a particular problem area or improvement approach in postsecondary education. The competition also includes an invitational priority to encourage proposals designed to support the formation of educational consortia of American and Brazilian institutions to encourage cooperation in the coordination of curricula, the exchange of students, and the opening of educational opportunities between the United States and Brazil. The invitational priority is issued in cooperation with Brazil. These awards support only the participation of U.S. institutions and students in these consortia. Brazilian institutions participating in any consortium proposal responding to the invitational priority may apply, respectively, to the Coordination of Improvement of Personnel of Superior Level (CAPES), Brazilian Ministry of Education, for additional funding under a separate but parallel Brazilian competition.

Priority

Invitational Priority

We are particularly interested in applications that meet the following invitational priority:

Projects that support consortia of institutions of higher education that promote institutional cooperation and student mobility between the United States and Brazil.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets the priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

Methods for Applying Selection Criteria: The Secretary gives equal weight to the listed criteria. Within each of the criteria, the Secretary gives equal weight to each of the factors.

Selection Criteria

In evaluating applications for grants under this program competition, the Secretary uses the following selection criteria chosen from those listed in 34 CFR 75.210.

(1) The significance of the proposed project, as determined by—

(a) The extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to, existing strategies;

(b) The likely utility of the products (such as information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings; and

(c) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement.

(2) The quality of the design of the proposed project, as determined by—

(a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable; and

(b) 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.

(3) The adequacy of resources, as determined by—

(a) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project;

(b) The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated commitment of Start Printed Page 77245appropriate entities to such support; and

(c) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.

(4) The quality of the project personnel, as determined by—

(a) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel; and

(b) 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.

Application Procedures:

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 Fiscal Year 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to expand its pilot project for electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program—CFDA No. 84.116M is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program—CFDA No. 84.116M, you may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format.

The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) portion of the Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS). Users of e-Application will be entering data on-line while completing their applications. You may not e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you enter on-line will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for improvement.

If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:

  • Your participation is voluntary.
  • You will not receive any additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format. When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print ED 424 from the e-Application system.

(2) The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy signature page of the ED 424.

(4) Fax the signed 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.
  • Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program—CFDA No. 84.116M and you are prevented from submitting your application on the closing date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery.

For us to grant this extension—

(1) You must be a registered user of e-Application, and have initiated an e-Application for this competition; and

(2) (a) The e-Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the deadline date. The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension you must contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930.

You may access the electronic grant application for the US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program—CFDA No. 84.116M at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

We have included additional information about the e-Application pilot project (see Parity Guidelines between Paper and Electronic Applications) in the application package.

For Applications Contact: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.

You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html.

Or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.116M.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Copies of the application materials and further program information may also be obtained from Cindy Fisher, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Telephone: (202) 502-7500. You may also request application guidelines by submitting the name of the competition (US-Brazil) and your name and postal address to: fipse@ed.gov.

Applications are also available on the FIPSE Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/​offices/​OPE/​FIPSE/​Brazil/​.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Start Printed Page 77246Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://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: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d.

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Dated: December 12, 2002.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 02-31691 Filed 12-16-02; 8:45 am]

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