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Notice

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education; Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language 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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Start Preamble

Purpose of Program: The Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Program provides grants to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages.

Eligible Applicants: (1) Institutions of higher education, (2) combinations of institutions of higher education, (3) partnerships between nonprofit educational organizations and institutions of higher education, and (4) public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including professional and scholarly associations.

Applications Available: September 11, 2003.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 5, 2003.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: January 5, 2004.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $2,039,000 for UISFL 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: $40,000-$130,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $72,821.

Estimated Number of Awards: 28.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 24 months for grants to single institutions of higher education, and up to 36 months for grants to combinations of institutions of higher education, to partnerships, and to public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations.

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 40 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ × 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; or the one-to-two page abstract or the appendices. However, you must include all of the application narrative in responding to the selection criteria.

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, 79, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98 and 99; and (b) the regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 655 and 658.

Note:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Matching requirement: Under title VI, part A, section 604(a)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), 20 U.S.C. 1124(a)(3), UISFL Program grantees must provide matching funds in either of the following ways: (a) cash contributions from the private sector equal to one-third of the total project costs; or (b) a combination of institutional and non-institutional cash or in-kind contributions equal to one-half of the total project costs. The Secretary may waive or reduce the required matching share for institutions that are eligible to receive assistance under part A or part B of title III of HEA, or under title V of HEA.

Priorities

Competitive Priority

This competition focuses on projects designed to meet the priority in section 604(a)(5) of HEA (20 U.S.C. 1124(a)(5)) (see 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv)).

Applications from institutions of higher education; or combinations of institutions of higher education; or partnerships between nonprofit educational organizations and institutions of higher education, that: (a) Require entering students to have successfully completed at least two years of secondary school foreign language instruction; (b) require each graduating student to earn two years of postsecondary credit in a foreign language or have demonstrated equivalent competence in the foreign language; or (c) in the case of a two-year degree granting institution, offer two years of postsecondary credit in a foreign language.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional five points to an application that meets the priority.

Invitational Priorities

We are particularly interested in applications that meet the following invitational priorities.

Invitational Priority 1

Applications from (1) institutions of higher education, (2) combinations of institutions of higher education, (3) partnerships between nonprofit educational organizations and institutions of higher education, and (4) public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including professional and scholarly associations, that propose projects that provide in-service training for k-12 teachers in foreign languages and international studies and strengthen instruction in international studies and foreign languages in teacher education programs. Start Printed Page 53602

Invitational Priority 2

Applications from (1) institutions of higher education, (2) combinations of institutions of higher education, (3) partnerships between nonprofit educational organizations and institutions of higher education, and (4) public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including professional and scholarly associations of higher education, that propose educational projects that include activities focused on the targeted world areas of Central and South Asia, the Middle East, Russia, the Independent States of the former Soviet Union, and Africa and that are integrated into the curricula of the home institutions or organizations.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets one or more of the invitational priorities 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 UISFL 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: Ms. Christine Corey, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6069, 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 UISFL Program—CFDA 84.016 is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the UISFL 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.

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 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 requirement 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 all 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.

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 UISFL Program at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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For further Information Contact:

Christine Corey, U.S. Department of Start Printed Page 53603Education, International Education and Graduate Programs Service, 1990 K Street, NW, Suite 6069, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7629 or via Internet: christine.corey@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: 20 U.S.C. 1124.

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: September 8, 2003.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 03-23182 Filed 9-10-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P