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Notice

Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2004.

Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program supports overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, or group research or study. This competition will not support advanced overseas intensive language projects.

Eligible Applicants: (1) Institutions of higher education, (2) State departments of education, (3) nonprofit private educational organizations, and (4) consortia of these entities.

Applications Available: August 18, 2003.

Deadline for Transmittal of applications: October 14, 2003.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $2,715,000 for GPA Program new awards for FY 2004. 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: $50,000—$80,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $68,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 40.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 12 months.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the narrative to the equivalent of no more than 35 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5” x 11”, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. However, you may single space all text in charts, tables, figures and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

The page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; the one-page abstract or the appendices. However, you must include your complete response to the selection criteria in the application narrative.

We will reject your application if—

  • You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
  • You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99; and (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 664.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

Priorities

Absolute Priority: This competition focuses on projects designed to meet the Start Printed Page 47554priority in the regulations for this program (34 CFR 664.32(a)(2)).

Specific geographic regions of the world: A group project funded under this priority must focus on one or more of the following geographic regions of the world: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Western Hemisphere (Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean), East Central Europe and Eurasia, and the Near East.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet the priority.

Competitive Priority: Within the absolute priority specified in this application notice we will focus on projects that meet the following competitive priority.

Short-term seminars that develop and improve foreign language and area studies at elementary and secondary schools.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), 664.30(b), and 664.31(g) we award up to five (5) points to an application, depending upon how well the application meets the priority.

Invitational Priority: Within the absolute priority specified in this application notice, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the following invitational priority.

Group study projects that provide opportunities for nationally recruited undergraduate students to study in a foreign country for either a semester or a full academic year.

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

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.

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.

We are requiring that applications for grants for FY 2004 under the GPA Program be submitted electronically using e-Application available through the Department's e-GRANTS system. The e-GRANTS system is accessible through its portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

An applicant who is unable to submit an application through the e-GRANTS system may submit a written request for a waiver of the electronic submission requirement. In the request, the applicant should explain the reason or reasons that prevent the applicant from using the Internet to submit the application. The request should be addressed to: Dr. Lungching Chiao, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6066, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Please submit your request no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

If, within two weeks of the application deadline date, an applicant is unable to submit an application electronically, the applicant must submit a paper application by the application deadline date in accordance with the transmittal instructions in the application package. The paper application must include a written request for a waiver documenting the reasons that prevented the applicant from using the Internet to submit the application.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

In FY 2004, the Department is continuing to expand its pilot project of electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The GPA Program—CFDA 84.021A is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the GPA Program, 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). 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. The data you enter on-line will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate the success of e-Application and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

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

  • When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to initiate an e-Application package.
  • You will not receive 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.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your e-Application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • 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 Education Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

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 other forms at a later date.
  • Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you are prevented from submitting your application on the application deadline 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 application deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of time Start Printed Page 47555during 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 application deadline date.

The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm the Department's acknowledgement of any system availability, 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 GPA Program at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lungching Chiao, U.S. Department of Education, International Education and Graduate Programs Service, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6066, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7624 or via Internet: lungching.chiao@ed.gov.

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 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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format by contacting that person. 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 Register, 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.

You may also view this document in PDF at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​offices/​HEP/​iegps/​.

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: 22 U.S.C. 2452.

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: August 6, 2003.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 03-20434 Filed 8-8-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P