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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects Program-Collaboration Research Projects in Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A-6.

Dates:

Applications Available: February 19, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 6, 2004.

Eligible Applicants: Parties eligible to apply for grants under this program are States; public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

Estimated Available Funds: $600,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$600,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $600,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $600,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Note:

The maximum amount includes direct and indirect costs.

Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. 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. We intend this priority to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority for this program, published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2003, (68 FR 44752).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2004 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

The Assistant Secretary intends to fund a Collaborative Research Project in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems for the purpose of generating new knowledge through research to improve treatment and services delivery outcomes for persons with TBI. A collaborative research project must—

(1) Collaborate with three or more of the 16 NIDRR Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS). The three can include the lead project plus additional projects;

(2) Conduct research on questions of significance to TBI rehabilitation, using clearly identified research designs such as randomized control trials, observational research methodologies, or longitudinal studies. The research must focus on areas identified in the New Freedom Initiative (NFI) and in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (Plan), ensuring that each project has sufficient sample size and methodological rigor to generate robust findings. Areas of interest include Start Printed Page 7730health and function, technology for function, community integration and independent living, employment, and long-term outcomes. The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​news/​freedominitiative/​freedominiative.html.

The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.ed.gov/​rschstat/​research/​pubs/​index.html.

(3) Disseminate research findings to clinical and consumer audiences, using accessible formats; and

(4) Evaluate impact of research findings on improved outcomes for persons with TBI.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a).

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86 and 97, and (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 350.

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $600,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$600,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $600,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $600,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Note:

The maximum amount includes direct and indirect costs.

Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Parties eligible to apply for grants under this program are States; public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

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

3. Other: Additional Requirement—The TBIMS priority requires the applicants to collaborate with the current TBIMS grantees. The National Rehabilitation Information Center has the contact information for the TBIMS grantees at: http://www.naric.com/​search/​pd/​notice.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: 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 84.133A-6.

Note:

A listing of available FY 2004 discretionary grant applications including this grant application is available on the following Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html.

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.

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 competition. Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 75 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 Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 19, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 6, 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 competition. 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.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

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 competition.

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. Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects Program—Collaboration Research Projects in Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems—CFDA Number 84.133A-6 is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects Program—Collaboration Research Projects in Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, 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 Start Printed Page 7731(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 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 elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the Disability Rehabilitation Research Projects Program—Collaboration Research Projects in Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems 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 DRRP Program—Collaboration Research Projects in Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are in the application package.

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 Notification (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. NIDRR will provide information in a letter format on how and when to submit the report.

4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its research program, NIDRR assesses the quality of its funded projects through review of grantee performance and products. Each year, NIDRR examines, through expert peer review, a portion of its grantees to determine:

  • The degree to which the grantees are conducting high-quality research, as reflected in the appropriateness of study designs, the rigor with which accepted standards of scientific and engineering methods are applied, and the degree to which it builds on and contributes to the level of knowledge in the field;
  • The number of new or improved tools, instruments, protocols, and technologies developed and published by grantees that are deemed to improve the measurement of disability and rehabilitation-related concepts and contribute to changes/improvements in policy, practice, and outcomes for individuals with disabilities and their families;
  • The percentage of grantees deemed to be implementing a systematic outcomes-oriented dissemination plan, with measurable performance goals and targets, that clearly identifies the types of products and services to be produced and the target audiences to be reached, and describes how dissemination products and strategies will be used to meet the needs of end-users, including individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds, and promote the awareness and use of information and findings from NIDRR-funded projects;
  • The percentage of consumer-oriented dissemination products and services (based on a subset of products and services nominated by grantees to be their “best” outputs) that are deemed to be of high-quality and contributing to advances in knowledge and to changes/improvements in policy, practices, services, and supports by individuals with disabilities and other end-users, including practitioners, service providers, and policy makers; and
  • The percentage of new studies funded each year that assess the effectiveness of interventions or Start Printed Page 7732demonstration programs using rigorous and appropriate methods.

NIDRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their Annual Performance Reports (APRs) for these reviews. NIDRR also determines, using information submitted as part of the APR, the number of publications in refereed journals that are based on NIDRR-funded research and development activities.

Department of Education program performance reports, which include information on NIDRR programs, are available on the Department of Education Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​offices/​OUS/​PES/​planning.html. Updates on the GPRA indicators, revisions and methods appear in the NIDRR Program Review Web site: http://www.cessi.net/​pr/​RERC/​Summative/​Supplemental.html. Grantees should consult these sites, on a regular basis, to get details and explanations on how NIDRR programs contribute to the advancement of the Department's long-term and annual performance goals.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3412, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or via Internet: donna.nangle@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475 or 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: February 12, 2004.

Troy R. Justesen,

Acting Deputy Assistant

Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 04-3614 Filed 2-18-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P