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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.022A.

Dates:

Applications Available: September 5, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 5, 2007.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States.

Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 662.21(d)).

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:

A research project that focuses on one or more of the following geographic 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.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) and 34 CFR 662.21(d) we award an additional five (5) points to an application that meets this priority.

This priority is:

A research project that utilizes one or more of the following critical languages: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, as well as Indic, Iranian, and Turkic language families.

Start Authority

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

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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 662.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants redistributed as fellowships to individual beneficiaries. As part of its FY 2008 budget request, the Administration proposed to continue to allow funds to be used to support the applications of individuals who plan both to utilize their language skills in world areas vital to the United States national security and to apply their language skills and knowledge of these countries in the fields of government, international development, and various professions. Therefore, students planning to apply their language skills in such fields are eligible to apply for this program, in addition to those planning teaching careers. However, authority to use funds in this manner depends on final Congressional action. Applicants will be given an opportunity to amend their applications if such authority is not provided.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $4,400,000 for new awards for this program for FY 2008. 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: $15,000-$60,000.

Estimated Average Size of Fellowship Awards: $37,000.

Estimated Number of Fellowship Awards: 118.

Note:

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

Project Period: The institutional project period is 18 months beginning July 1, 2008. Students may request funding for a period of no less than six months nor more than twelve months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs. As part of the application process, students submit individual applications to the IHE. The IHE then officially submits all eligible individual student 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 student applicants can obtain an application package via the Internet. To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​iegpsddrap/​index.html.

IHEs and student applicants may also obtain a copy of the application package by contacting Carla White, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7700 or by e-mail: ddra@ed.gov.

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

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 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 program.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where the student applicant addresses the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate the application. The student applicant must limit the application narrative to 10 pages and the bibliography to 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, student 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).
  • Student applicants may 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. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limit only applies to the application narrative and bibliography. Start Printed Page 50943However, student applicants must include their complete responses to the selection criteria in the application narrative.

We will reject a student applicant's application if the student applicant exceeds the page limits.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: September 5, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 5, 2007.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) available through the Department's e-Grants system. Please note that the application availability date for this competition is September 5, 2007. The application will not be available on the e-Application system until September 5, 2007. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit an IHE's application electronically, or in paper format 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.

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 program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

5. Funding Restrictions: We specify allowable costs in 34 CFR part 662. We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in 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 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program, CFDA Number 84.022A, 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 student applicant will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. Neither the IHE nor the student 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 Doctoral Dissertation 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 ddra@ed.gov: Name of university, and 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 August 29, 2007, in order to facilitate timely submission of their applications; (2) Students must complete their individual applications and submit them to their IHE's project director using e-Application; (3) Persons providing references for individual students must complete and submit reference forms for the students 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 student applications, reference forms, and other required forms, using e-Application. Student transcripts, however, must be mailed or hand delivered to the Department on or before the application deadline date using the applicable mail or hand delivery instructions for paper applications in this notice.
  • 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 student 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.
  • Student applicants will not receive additional point value because the student submits his or her application in electronic format, nor will we penalize the IHE or student applicant if the applicant 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, except for student transcripts, electronically, including the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Supplement to the SF 424, and all necessary assurances and certifications. Both IHEs and student 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 student applicant uploads a file type other than the three file types specified above or submits a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Student transcripts must be mailed or hand delivered to the Department on or before the application deadline date in accordance with the applicable mail or hand delivery instructions for paper applications described in this notice.
  • Both the IHE's and the student 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 student applicant electronically submits his or Start Printed Page 50944her application to the student's IHE, the student will receive an automatic acknowledgment. In addition, the applicant IHE's Project Director will receive a copy of this acknowledgment by email. After a person submits a reference electronically, he or she will receive an online confirmation. After the applicant IHE submits its application, including all eligible individual student 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 the SF 424 and 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 its application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant the IHE an extension of one business day to enable the IHE to transmit its 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 qualifies 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 student applicant does not have access to the Internet; or
  • the IHE or a student 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: Carla White, 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 84.022A), 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 84.022A), 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 84.022A), 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 Start Printed Page 50945acknowledgment 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

Student 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 student 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 together from the highest to lowest score for funding purposes.

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 662.21 and are listed in the following paragraphs. The maximum score for all of the criteria, including the competitive preference priority, is 105 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 originality and importance in terms of the concerns of the discipline (10 points); (3) the preliminary research already completed in the United States and overseas or plans for such research prior to going overseas, and the kinds, quality 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 and a copy of the dissertation with scholars and officials of the host country or countries (10 points); and (6) the guidance and supervision of the dissertation advisor or committee at all stages of the project, including guidance in developing the project, understanding research conditions abroad, and acquainting the applicant with research in the field (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 graduate academic record (10 points); (2) the extent to which the applicant's academic record demonstrates strength in area studies relevant to the proposed project (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 references or previous overseas experience, or both (5 points).

VI. Award Administration Information

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

If a student 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 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 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 International Resource Information System (IRIS) to complete the final report.

4. Performance Measures: The objective of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program is to maintain a U.S. higher education system able to produce experts in less commonly taught languages and area studies who are capable of contributing to the needs of the U.S. government, academic, and business institutions.

The following performance measure has been developed to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the DDRA program—the improvement of language proficiency of fellows. All grantees will be expected to provide documentation of the improved language proficiency of the fellows through the IRIS system. Reporting screens for institutions and fellows may be viewed at: http://www.ieps-iris.org/​iris/​pdfs/​DDRA_​fellow.pdf. http://www.ieps-iris.org/​iris/​pdfs/​DDRA_​director.pdf.

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carla White, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7700 or by e-mail: ddra@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the 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) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.

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: August 30, 2007.

Diane Auer Jones,

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. E7-17526 Filed 9-4-07; 8:45 am]

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