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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-Research Fellowships Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133F-1.

Dates:

Applications Available: July 23, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 21, 2007.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Research Fellowships Program is to build research capacity by providing support to enable highly qualified Start Printed Page 40128individuals, including those who are individuals with disabilities, to perform research on the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities.

Note:

This program is in concert with President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI) and NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​infocus/​newfreedom.

The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating to disability and rehabilitation research topics. The Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8165), 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.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR part 356.10).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2008, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Research Fellowships Program

Fellows must conduct original research in an area authorized by section 204 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). Section 204 authorizes research designed to 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, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.

Start Authority

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(e).

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75.60 and 75.61, 77, 82, 84, 85, and 97. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 356. (c) The regulations in 34 CFR 350.51 and 350.52.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $106,705,000 for new awards for the NIDRR program for FY 2008, of which we intend to use an estimated $505,000 for the Research Fellowships competition. 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.

Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $65,000 for Merit Fellowships and $75,000 for Distinguished fellowships 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.

Estimated Number of Awards: Seven total, including both Merit Fellowships and Distinguished Fellowships.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 12 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible individuals must have training and experience that indicate a potential for engaging in scientific research related to the solution of rehabilitation problems of individuals with disabilities. The program provides two categories of Research Fellowships: Distinguished Fellowships and Merit Fellowships.

(a) To be eligible for a Distinguished Fellowship, an individual must have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, methods, or techniques relevant to rehabilitation research and must have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic qualifications.

(b) To be eligible for a Merit Fellowship, an individual must have either advanced professional training or independent study experience in an area that is directly pertinent to disability and rehabilitation. In the most recent competitions, Merit Fellowship recipients had research experience at the doctoral level.

Note:

Institutions are not eligible to be recipients of research Fellowships.

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

V. Application and Submission Information

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

To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: Education Publications Center, 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), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or 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 84.133F-1.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Alternative Format in section VIII of this notice.

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. The application package will provide instructions for completing all components to be included in either the paper application or electronically using Grants.gov. Each application must include the required forms, an abstract, Human Subjects narrative, if applicable, Part III narrative, resume, and other related materials, if applicable.

Note:

Part II, the budget section, is not required for this program and should not be included.

Applicants submitting a paper application or electronically using Grants.gov must place their Social Security Number in Block #8b SF 424 form in place of the Employer Identification Number.

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. You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 24 double-spaced pages. The following standards are recommended:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Start Printed Page 40129
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative. Single spacing may be used for 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, Application for Federal Assistance; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resume, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative (Part III).

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.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: July 23, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 21, 2007.

Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), or in paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery, 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.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

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

5. Funding Restrictions: Applicants are not required to submit a budget with their proposal. The Merit Fellowships and Distinguished Fellowships awards are one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) awards. The Fellow must work principally on the fellowship during the term of the fellowship award. We define one FTE as equal to 40 hours per week. The Fellow cannot receive support through any other Federal Government grants during the term of the fellowship award.

We reference additional 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.

To comply with the President's Management Agenda, we are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site in FY 2007. The NIDRR Research Fellowships Program, CFDA Number 84.133F-1, is one of the programs included in this project. We request your participation in Grants.gov.

If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must use the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Research Fellowship Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.133, not 84.133F).

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process for an individual. You do not need to register in the Central Contractor Registry. The steps to register as an individual include—

(1) Accessing the Grants.gov Credential Provider Web page, http://apply.grants.gov/​IndCPRegister and entering the funding opportunity number, which can be located when you search for this grant opportunity on http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​search_​opportunities.jsp;​

(2) Completing the credential information to obtain a credential username and password; and

(3) Using the credential username and password, complete the registration at http://apply.grants.gov/​IndGGRegister.

Registration for individuals is complete, once the Grants.gov registration step is finished. Please note that the registration process may take one or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov.

  • 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.
  • If you submit your application electronically, you must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary Start Printed Page 40130assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • If you submit your application electronically, you must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in Section VII in this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

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 mail the original and two copies of your 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 84.133F-1), 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 84.133F-1), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, 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.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department 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.

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

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

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 deliver the original and two copies of your 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 84.133F-1), 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 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 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

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

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 356.30 through 356.32 and are listed in the application package.

2. Review and Selection Process: Additional factors we consider in determining the merits of an application are as follows:

The Secretary is interested in outcomes-oriented research projects that use rigorous scientific methodologies. To address this interest applicants are encouraged to articulate goals, objectives, and expected outcomes for the proposed research activities. Proposals should describe how results and planned outputs are expected to contribute to advances in knowledge or improvements in policy and practice. Applicants should propose projects that are optimally designed to be consistent with these goals. Submission of the information identified under this paragraph is not required by law or regulation, but is desired.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Start Printed Page 40131Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notice (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

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 in this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in 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, in accordance with 34 CFR 356.51, that must contain, at a minimum, an analysis of the significance of the project and an assessment of the degree to which the objectives of the project have been achieved.

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 a portion of its grantees to determine the extent to which grantees are conducting high-quality research and related activities that lead to high quality products. Performance measures for the Research Fellowships program include—

  • The percentage of NIDRR-supported fellows, post-doctoral trainees, and doctoral students who publish results of NIDRR-sponsored research in refereed journals;
  • The percentage of grantee research and development that has appropriate study design, meets rigorous standards of scientific and/or engineering methods, and builds on and contributes to knowledge in the field; and
  • The number of publications per award based on NIDRR-funded research and development activities in refereed journals.

NIDRR evaluates the overall success of individual research and development grants through review of grantee performance and products. NIDRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their final performance report for these reviews. Approved final performance report guidelines require grantees to submit information regarding research methods, results, outputs, and outcomes.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6030, PCP, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 245-7462 or by e-mail: donna.nangle@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can 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: July 18, 2007.

John H. Hager,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-14179 Filed 7-20-07; 8:45 am]

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