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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-Special Focus Competition: US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.116M.

DATES:

Applications Available: November 28, 2003.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2004.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 16, 2004.

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

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $300,000 for new awards under this program 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: $25,000-$30,000 for FY 2004; $190,000-$210,000 for 4-year duration of grant.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 12.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

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. 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.

Priority: Under this competition, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priority.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2004 this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105 (c) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority encourages 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.

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

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.

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary awards.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $300,000 for this program 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: $25,000-$30,000 for FY 2004; $190,000-$210,000 for 4-year duration of grant.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 12.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

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

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not involve cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Beverly Baker, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., suite 6140, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Telephone: (202) 502-7503 or by e-mail: Beverly.Baker@ed.gov or 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.

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) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the standard forms included in the application package.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

Page Limit: 10 single spaced or 20 double spaced 8.5″ x 11″ sized pages (font size 12), with 1 inch margins on the top, bottom and the sides. The page limit does not apply to the cover sheet, the abstract, the budget section and budget narrative, the assurances and certifications; the short resumes, or letters of support.

Our reviewers will not read any pages of your application that—

  • Exceed the page limit if you apply these standards; or Start Printed Page 67156
  • Exceed the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other standards.

3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: November 28, 2003. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2004. The dates and times for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this program. The application package also specifies the hours of operation of the e-Application Web site.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 16, 2004.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Instructions and requirements for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this program.

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: We are continuing to expand our 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 Number 84.116M is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program, 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). If you use e-Application, you will be entering data online while completing your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you enter online will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

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

  • Your participation is voluntary.
  • 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 may submit all documents electronically, including the US-Brazil Higher Education Program cover page, US-Brazil Program Budget Information 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 US-Brazil Program cover page to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print the US-Brazil Higher Education cover page from e-Application.

2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign the US-Brazil Program cover page.

3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy signature page of the US-Brazil Program cover page.

4. Fax the signed US-Brazil Program cover page 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 elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program and 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. We will grant this extension if—

1. You are a registered user of e-Application, and you have initiated an e-Application for this competition; and

2.(a) The e-Application system is 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 is unavailable for any period of time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under For Further Information Contact (see VII. Agency 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 at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are in 34 CFR 75.210 as follows:

(1) Significance. The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers—

(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) Quality of the Project Design. The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers— Start Printed Page 67157

(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) Adequacy of Resources. The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers—

(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 appropriate 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) Quality of Project Personnel. The Secretary considers the quality of the project personnel. In determining the quality of project personnel, The Secretary considers—

(a) 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; and

(b) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

2. Review and Selection Process: The Secretary gives equal weight to each of the listed criteria. Within each of the criteria, the Secretary gives equal weight to each of the factors.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notice (GAN). We may also notify you informally.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), FIPSE performance is focused on (1) the extent to which funded projects are being replicated—i.e., adopted or adapted—by others; and (2) the manner in which projects are being institutionalized and continued after grant funding. These two results constitute FIPSE's indicators of the success of our program. Consequently, applicants for FIPSE grants are advised to give careful consideration to these two outcomes in conceptualizing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the proposed project. If funded, you will be asked to collect and report data in your project's annual performance report on steps taken toward these goals.

VII. Agency Contact

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For Further Information Contact:

Beverly Baker, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., suite 6140, Washington, DC 20006-8544. Telephone: (202) 502-7503 or by e-mail: Beverly.Baker@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 in this section.

VIII. Other Information

Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​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.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: November 24, 2003.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 03-29753 Filed 11-28-03; 8:45 am]

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