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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad (FRA) Program Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007

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Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.019A.

Dates: Applications Available: October 10, 2006.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 15, 2006.

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education (IHE). As part of the application process, faculty submit individual applications to the IHE. The IHE then officially submits all eligible Start Printed Page 56116individual faculty applications with its grant application to the Department.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $1,395,000 for new awards in this program for FY 2007. 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 Fellowship Awards: $20,000-$100,000.

Estimated Average Size of Fellowship Awards: $60,000.

Estimated Number of Fellowship Awards: 25.

Note:

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

Project Period: The institutional project period is 18 months beginning June 1, 2007. Faculty may request funding for 3-12 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program offers opportunities to faculty of IHEs to engage in research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies.

Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 663.21(d)).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2007 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is: 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 (excluding the United States and its territories). Please note that applications that propose projects focused on Western Europe are not eligible.

Within this absolute priority, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following competitive priority.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within the absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105 (c)(2)(i) and 663.21(d)(2) we award an additional five (5) points to an application, that meets this priority.

This priority is: Research projects that focus on one or more of the areas where one or more of the following critical languages are spoken: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, as well as the Indic, Iranian, and Turkic language families.

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Program Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2452(b)(6).

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 663.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants redistributed as fellowships to individual beneficiaries.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $1,395,000 for this program for FY 2007. 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 Fellowship Awards: $20,000—$100,000.

Estimated Average Size of Fellowship Awards: $60,000.

Estimated Number of Fellowship Awards: 25.

Note:

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

Project Period: The institutional project period is 18 months beginning June 1, 2007. Faculty may request funding for 3-12 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs. As part of the application process, faculty submit individual applications to the IHE. The IHE then officially submits all eligible individual faculty applications with its grant application to the Department.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Both IHEs and faculty applicants may obtain an application package via the Internet by downloading the package from the program Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​iegpsfra/​applicant.html.

IHEs and faculty applicants may also obtain a copy of the application package by contacting Amy Wilson, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7689 or by e-mail: amy.wilson@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) 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.

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

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 10 pages and the bibliography to the equivalent of two (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. However, faculty applicants may single space all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, titles, headings, footnotes, endnotes, quotations, bibliography, and captions.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes. However, these items are considered part of the narrative and counted within the 10-page limit.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New or Arial. Applications submitted in any other font (including Times Roman, Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limits only apply to the application narrative and bibliography. However, faculty applicants must include their complete responses to the selection criteria in the application narrative.

We will reject a faculty applicant's application if—

  • A faculty applicant applies these standards and exceeds the page limits; or
  • A faculty applicant applies other standards and exceeds the equivalent of the page limits.

3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: October 10, 2006.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 15, 2006.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Start Printed Page 56117Application System (e-Application) available through the Department's e-Grants system. Please note that the application availability date for this competition is October 10. The application will not be available on the e-Application system until October 10. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit an IHE's application electronically or by mail or hand delivery if an IHE qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically, unless an IHE qualifies for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program—CFDA Number 84.019A must be submitted electronically using e-Application available through the Department's e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

We will reject an application if an IHE submits it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, the IHE qualifies for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submits, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that the IHE qualifies for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

While completing the electronic application, both the IHE and the faculty applicant will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. Neither the IHE nor the faculty applicant may e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • The process for submitting applications electronically under the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program has several parts. The following is a brief summary of the process; however, all applicants should review and follow the detailed description of the application process that is contained in the application package. In summary, the major parts are as follows: (1) IHEs must e-mail the following information to amy.wilson@ed.gov: name of university, full name and e-mail address of potential project director. We recommend that applicant IHEs submit this information as soon as possible to ensure that applicant IHEs obtain access to the e-Application system well before the application deadline date. We suggest that applicant IHEs send this information no later than October 31, 2006, in order to facilitate timely submission of their applications; (2) Faculty must complete their individual applications and submit them to their IHE's project director using e-Application; (3) Persons providing references for individual faculty must complete and submit reference forms for the faculty and submit them to the IHE's project director using e-Application; and (4) The IHE's project director must officially submit the IHE's application, which must include all eligible individual faculty applications, reference forms, and other required forms, using e-Application. Unless an IHE applicant qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement in accordance with the procedures in this section, all portions of the application must be submitted electronically.
  • The IHE must complete the electronic submission of the 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 program after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that both the IHE and the faculty applicant 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.
  • Faculty applicants will not receive additional point value because he/she submits his/her application in electronic format, nor will we penalize the IHE or faculty applicant if it qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submits an application in paper format.
  • IHEs must submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Both IHEs and faculty applicants must attach any narrative sections of the application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (portable document) format. If an IHE or a faculty applicant uploads a file type other than the three file types specified above or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Both the IHE's and the faculty applicant's electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After the individual faculty applicant electronically submits his/her application to his/her IHE, the faculty member will receive an automatic acknowledgment. In addition, the applicant IHE's Project Director will receive a copy of this acknowledgment by e-mail. After a person submits a reference electronically, he/she will receive an online confirmation. After the applicant IHE submits its application, including all eligible individual faculty applications, to the Department, the applicant IHE will receive an automatic acknowledgment, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to the IHE's application).
  • Within three working days after submitting the IHE's electronic application, the IHE must fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant IHE'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 SF 424.

(4) Fax the signed SF 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 e-Application System Unavailability: If an IHE is prevented from electronically submitting the application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant the IHE an extension of one business day in order Start Printed Page 56118to transmit the application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

(1) The IHE is a registered user of e-Application and the IHE has 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 the IHE an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, an IHE 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. If the system is down and therefore the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the Department's e-Application system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: An IHE may qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit its application in paper format, if the IHE is unable to submit an application through the e-Application system because—

  • The IHE or a faculty applicant does not have access to the Internet; or
  • The IHE or a faculty applicant does not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Department's e-Application system; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), the IHE mails or faxes a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent the IHE from using the Internet to submit its application. If an IHE mails a written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If an IHE faxes its written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax this statement to: Amy Wilson, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Fax: (202) 502-7860.

The IHE's paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If an IHE qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, the IHE may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) its application to the Department. The IHE must mail the original and two copies of the application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.019A), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260, or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.019A), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address the IHE uses, the IHE 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 Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If the IHE mails its 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 the IHE's application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider its application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, the IHE should check with its local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If an IHE qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, the IHE (or a courier service) may deliver its paper application to the Department by hand. The IHE must deliver the original and two copies of the application, by hand, 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 84.019A), 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.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If an IHE mails or hand delivers its application to the Department:

(1) The IHE must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which the IHE is submitting its application.

(2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application receipt acknowledgment to the IHE. If the IHE does not receive the grant application receipt acknowledgment within 15 business days from the application deadline date, the IHE should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Faculty applications are divided into seven categories based on the world area focus of their research projects, as described in the absolute priority listed in this notice. Language and area studies experts in seven discrete world area-based panels will review the faculty applications. Each panel reviews, scores and ranks its applications separately from the applications assigned to the other world area panels. However, all fellowship applications will be ranked from the highest to lowest score for funding purposes.

Selection Criteria: The following selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 663.21: The maximum score for all of the criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses.

Quality of proposed project (60 points): In determining the quality of the research project proposed by the applicant, the Secretary considers (1) The statement of the major hypotheses to be tested or questions to be examined, and the description and justification of the research methods to be used (10 points); (2) The relationship of the research to the literature on the topic and to major theoretical issues in the field, and the project's importance in terms of the concerns of the discipline (10 points); (3) The preliminary research already completed or plans for research prior to going overseas, and the kinds, Start Printed Page 56119quality and availability of data for the research in the host country or countries (10 points); (4) The justification for overseas field research and preparations to establish appropriate and sufficient research contacts and affiliations abroad (10 points); (5) The applicant's plans to share the results of the research in progress with scholars and officials of the host country or countries and the American scholarly community (10 points); and (6) The objectives of the project regarding the sponsoring institution's plans for developing or strengthening, or both, curricula in modern foreign languages and area studies (10 points).

Qualifications of the applicant (40 points): In determining the qualifications of the applicant, the Secretary considers (1) The overall strength of the applicant's academic record (teaching, research, contributions, professional association activities) (10 points); (2) The applicant's excellence as a teacher or researcher, or both, in his or her area or areas of specialization (10 points); (3) The applicant's proficiency in one or more of the languages (other than English and the applicant's native language) of the country or countries of research, and the specific measures to be taken to overcome any anticipated language barriers (15 points); and (4) The applicant's ability to conduct research in a foreign cultural context, as evidenced by the applicant's previous overseas experience, or documentation provided by the sponsoring institution, or both (5 points).

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If a faculty application is successful, we notify the IHE's U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send the IHE a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may also notify the IHE informally.

If a faculty application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify the IHE.

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 its approved application as part of its binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of the project period, the IHE must submit a final performance report, including the final reports of all of the IHE's fellows, and financial information, as directed by the Secretary. The IHE and fellows are required to use the electronic reporting system Evaluation of Exchange, Language, International and Area Studies (EELIAS) to complete the final report.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the following measures will be used by the Department in assessing the performance of the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program:

(1) The average language competency score of Fulbright-Hays Training Grants—Faculty Research Abroad fellows at the end of the research period (post-test) minus the average competency score at the beginning of the research period (pre-test). All grantees will be expected to provide documentation of the improved language proficiency of the fellows through the EELIAS system. Reporting screens for institutions and fellows may be viewed at: http://www.eelias.org/​eelias/​pdfs/​FRA/​fraDirectorCombined.pdf, http://www.eelias.org/​eelias/​pdfs/​FRA/​fraFellowCombined.pdf.

(2) The percent of projects judged to be successful by the program officer, based on a review of information provided in the final performance reports. The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via EELIAS will be the source of data for this measure.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Amy Wilson, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7689 or via the Internet: amy.wilson@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) 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.

Start Signature

Dated: September 20, 2006.

James F. Manning,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E6-15757 Filed 9-25-06; 8:45 am]

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