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Notice

Office of Postsecondary Education; Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program offers opportunities to faculty members of institutions of higher education for research and study in modern foreign languages and area studies.

For FY 2004 the competition for new awards focuses on projects designed to meet the priority we describe in the PRIORITY section of this application notice.

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education.

Applications Available: August 26, 2003.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 20, 2003.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $1,575,000 for Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship 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: $20,000-$100,000.

Estimated Average Size of Fellowship Awards: $47,727.

Estimated Number of Awards: 33 fellowships.

Note:

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

Project Period: The institutional project period is 18 months beginning July 1, 2004. Faculty may request funding for 3-12 months.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where the faculty applicant addresses the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate the application. The faculty applicant must limit the narrative to the equivalent of no more than 10 pages, and the references to the equivalent of no more than 2 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, as well as 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).

The page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the bibliography. However, the faculty applicant must include the complete response to the selection criteria in the application narrative.

We will reject an 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, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99; and (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 663.

Priority

This competition focuses on projects designed to meet a priority in the regulations for this program (34 CFR 663.21(d)), which provides that priorities may be established for projects focusing on certain geographic areas in addition to certain other categories. Start Printed Page 51258

Absolute Priority

A research project that focuses on one or more of the following areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, East Central Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean). Please note that applications that propose projects focused on Western Europe will not be funded.

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

Performance Measures: The effectiveness of the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program will be measured by the improvement of language proficiency of fellows. All grantees will be expected to provide documentation of the improved language proficiency of fellows through the Department's Evaluation of Exchange, Language, International and Area Studies (EELIAS) electronic reporting system for the purposes of assessing the effectiveness of individual projects and the program overall.

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 Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship 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: Eliza Washington or Amy Wilson, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K St., NW., Suite 6000, 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 for electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program—CFDA 84.019A is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship 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 shall continue to evaluate the success of e-Application and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

Note:

In order for institutions to apply electronically, potential project directors must email the following information to fra@ed.gov: first and last name of potential project director, university, and email address. This information must be submitted no later than September 8, 2003.

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), 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 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 application deadline date. Start Printed Page 51259

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 unavailability, you may 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 Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

Note:

An applicant institution of higher education must submit all individual applications in electronic format unless the institution receives a waiver of this requirement. Individuals interested in funding under this program must check with the applicant institution to see if the institution is participating in e-Application, or has requested a waiver.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eliza Washington or Amy Wilson, International Education and Graduate Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7700 or via Internet: fra@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/​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(b)(6).

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Dated: August 21, 2003.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 03-21812 Filed 8-25-03; 8:45 am]

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