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Notice

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-Special Focus Competition: European Community-United States of America Cooperation Program in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 and vocational education and training or combinations of institutions and other public and private nonprofit educational institutions and agencies.

Applications Available: December 20, 2002.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 28, 2003.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 30, 2003.

Estimated Available Funds: $700,000 in fiscal year 2003; $2,370,000 over three years. 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: $25,000-$200,000 total for up to three years.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $25,000 for one-year preparatory projects; $35,000 for one-year complementary activities projects; $75,000 for two-year complementary activities projects; $50,000 for year one of a three-year consortia implementation project with a $200,000 three-year total.

Estimated Number of Awards: 13.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 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:

Under the Special Focus Competition, we will award grants or enter into cooperative agreements that focus on problem areas or improvement approaches in postsecondary education. We have included an invitational priority to encourage proposals designed to support the formation of educational consortia of institutions and organizations in the United States and the European Union to encourage cooperation in the coordination of curricula, the exchange of students and the opening of educational opportunities between the United States and the European Union. The invitational priority is issued in cooperation with the European Union. European institutions participating in any consortium proposal responding to the invitational priority may apply to the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture for additional funding under a separate European competition.

Priority: The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that meet the following invitational priority. However, an application that meets this invitational priority does not receive competitive or absolute preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Invitational Priority: Projects that support consortia of institutions of higher education that promote institutional cooperation and student mobility between the United States and the Member States of the European Union.

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 selection criteria chosen from those listed in 34 CFR 75.210.

For Applications Contact: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), PO 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 84.116J. You may also request application forms by calling (732) 544-2504 (fax on demand), or application guidelines by calling (202) 358-3041 (voice mail) or submitting the name of the competition and your name and postal address to FIPSE@ed.gov (e-mail).

Applications are also listed on the FIPSE Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​Start Printed Page 79065FIPSE. e-APPLICATIONS are available at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339. For additional program information call the FIPSE office (202-502-7500) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

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

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

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 European Community/United States of America Cooperation Program in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training—84.116J is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the European Community/United States of America Cooperation Program in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training, 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 European Community/United States of America Cooperation Program in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training 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 European Community/United States of America Cooperation Program in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training 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.

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 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: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d.

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Dated: December 20, 2002.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 02-32713 Filed 12-26-02; 8:45 am]

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