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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Overview Information; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-Field Initiated (FI) Projects; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133G-1 (Research) and 84.133G-2 (Development)

DATES:

Applications Available: November 17, 2004. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 18, 2005.

Eligible Applicants: 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: $3,750,000. The Administration has requested $3,750,000 for this program for FY 2005. 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: $145,000-$150,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $147,500.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $150,000 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: 25.

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to further one or both of the following: (a) Develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities; or (b) improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act). FI projects carry out either research activities or development activities.

In carrying out a research activity, a grantee must identify one or more hypotheses and, based on the hypotheses identified, perform an intensive, systematic study directed toward new scientific knowledge or better understanding of the subject, problem studied, or body of knowledge.

In carrying out a development activity, a grantee must use knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods beneficial to the target population, including design and development of prototypes and Start Printed Page 67330processes. Target population means the group of individuals, organizations, or other entities expected to be affected by the project. More than one group may be involved since a project may affect those who receive services, provide services, or administer services.

Note: NIDRR supports the goals of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​infocus/​newfreedom/​.

The FI projects are in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating to disability and rehabilitation research and development topics. The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​osers/​nidrr/​policy.html.

Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate findings.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 764.

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: $3,750,000. The Administration has requested $3,750,000 for this program for FY 2005. 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: $145,000-$150,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $147,500.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $150,000 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: 25.

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: 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.

IV. Other Submission Requirements

1. Address to Request Application Package: You may obtain an application package via Internet or from the ED Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via Internet use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html.

To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write or call the following: ED Pubs, PO 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 84.133G.

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 under section VII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). All other 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 50 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: November 17, 2004. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 18, 2005.

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

Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants system, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or by mail or hand delivery, please refer to Section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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: Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

If you submit your application to us electronically, you must use e-Application available through the Department's e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data Start Printed Page 67331online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in e-Application is voluntary.
  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The e-Application system will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The regular hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6 a.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until midnight Saturday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is unavailable on Sundays, and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time, for maintenance. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit your 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 electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to download it and print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement that 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 ED 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

2. The applicant'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) 245-6272.

  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically 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 electronic 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 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.

Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the Department's e-Application system. If the e-Application system is available, and, for any reason, you are unable to submit your application electronically or you do not receive an automatic acknowledgement of your submission, you may submit your application in paper format by mail or hand delivery in accordance with the instructions in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must send the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.133G), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

1. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark;

2. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service;

3. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier; or

4. Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the U.S. Secretary of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

1. A private metered postmark, or

2. A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is post-marked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note: Applicants should note that the U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must hand deliver the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.133G), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays. A person delivering an application must show photo identification to enter the building.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department:

1. You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application.

2. The Application Control Center will mail a Grant Application Receipt Acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the notification of application receipt within 15 days from the mailing of your application, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are in 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and 34 CFR 350.54. There are two different sets of Start Printed Page 67332selection criteria for FI projects: one set to evaluate applications proposing to carry out research activities, and a second set to evaluate applications proposing to carry out development activities. The set of FI selection criteria that will be used to evaluate an application will be based on the applicant's designation of the type of activity (i.e., research or development) that the application proposes to carry out. The specific selection criteria are in the application package.

The Secretary is interested in outcomes-oriented research and development projects that use rigorous scientific methodologies. To address this interest it is expected that applicants will articulate goals, objectives, and expected outcomes for the proposed research and development activities. It is critical that proposals describe how results and planned outputs are expected to contribute to advances in knowledge, improvements in policy and practice, and eventually to public benefits for individuals with disabilities, and propose projects that are optimally designed to be consistent with these goals. Applicants are encouraged to include information describing how they will measure progress towards achievement of anticipated outcomes, the mechanisms that will be used to evaluate outcomes associated with specific problems or issues, and how the proposed activities will support new intervention approaches and strategies, including a discussion of measures of effectiveness. Submission of this information is voluntary except where required by the selection criteria listed 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.

Note: NIDRR will provide information by letter to grantees 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 and an expert panel examines, through formative and summative review, a portion of grantees to examine the quality of research and development activities and outcomes, including:

  • The number of discoveries, analyses, and standards developed or tested with NIDRR funding that have been judged by expert panels to advance understanding of key concepts, issues, and emerging trends and strengthen the evidence-base for disability and rehabilitation policy, practice, and research;
  • The number of new or improved tools and methods developed or tested with NIDRR funding that have been judged by expert panels to improve measurement and data collection procedures and enhance the design and evaluation of disability and rehabilitation interventions, products and devices;
  • The number of new and improved interventions, programs, and devices developed or tested with NIDRR funding that have been judged by expert panels to be successful in improving individual outcomes and increasing access;
  • The number of tools, methods, interventions, programs, and devices, developed or validated with NIDRR funding that meet the standards for review by independent scientific collaborations and registries; and
  • The number of new or improved assistive and universally designed technologies, products, and devices developed by grantees that are judged by an expert panel to be effective in improving outcomes and have potential to be transferred to industry for commercialization.

To evaluate the overall success of individual grantee research and development activities, NIDRR assesses the quality of its funded projects through review of grantee performance and products. 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/​grc/​index.htm.

Grantees should consult these sites, on a regular basis, to obtain details and explanations on how NIDRR programs contribute to the advancement of the Department's long-term and annual performance goals.

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6030, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 245-7462 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) 245-7317 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: November 10, 2004.

Troy R. Justesen,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. E4-3203 Filed 11-16-04; 8:45 am]

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