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Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Science Foundation.

ACTION:

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.

SUMMARY:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Start Printed Page 65083 Federal Register at 72 FR 50410, and no substantial comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed renewal submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; or (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and to Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 295, Arlington, Virginia 22230 or send e-mail to splimpto@nsf.gov. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling 703-292-7556.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne Plimpton at (703) 292-7556 or send e-mail to splimpto@nsf.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

NSF may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title of Collection: Recurring Study of National Science Foundation-sponsored Graduate Education Impacts or Legacy (GEIL). (Formerly called the Evaluation of the Initial Impacts of the Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship (IGERT) Program.)

OMB Control No.: 3145-0182.

Abstract

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requests reinstatement of this data collection (e.g., interviews, surveys, focus groups, site visits) measuring NSF's contribution to the Nation's graduate education enterprise and overall science and engineering workforce. This continuation expands the data collection formerly called “The Evaluation of the Initial Impacts of the IGERT Program” most recently approved through July 2005 (OMB 3145-0182).

IGERT began data collection in the late 1990s for use in program research, management, and evaluation. Data collection was concurrent with NSF-funding in order to document IGERT's initial impact within individual departments or institutions (often called projects), and on student, faculty, and other participants as compared to the educational and training experiences of individuals who were external to IGERT. This request expands data collection to the portfolio of NSF-funded graduate education programs and projects, typically on a program-by-program sub-study basis in order to address long-term impact.

For over fifty years NSF has funded directly and indirectly (e.g., via institutions), tens of thousands of individuals who pursue post-undergraduate education or research training. NSF's graduate education portfolio includes:

The Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship (IGERT) program. IGERT provides grants to institutions to recruit and support doctoral students in interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs (STEM).

The Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program. GK-12 provides grants to institutions to support STEM graduate students' acquisition of skills that will prepare them for careers in the 21st century.

The Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program. GRF provides three years of funding to eligible individuals for graduate study leading to research-based masters or doctoral degrees at an IHE of their choice.

A longer list of NSF's graduate education opportunities and eligibility information is on the NSF Web site under the link: “Specialized information for Graduate Students” at: http://www.nsf.gov/​funding/​education/​jsp?​org=​NSF@fund--type-2.

Through longitudinal study NSF aims to learn about the long-term impact or legacy of its program strategies in graduate education. A primary goal is to identify and follow-up with individuals who participate in NSF-funded programs or projects, especially students who graduated with masters or doctoral degrees. The primary means of data collection will be surveys. Site visits, focus groups and interviews are used to improve survey instruments, clarify responses or address questions of institutional impact. Typical respondents are former NSF-funded fellows, trainees or to her participants in NSF-funded projects or are professional scientists, engineers, IHE faculty, K-graduate educators, education administrators and K-IHE policymakers. NSF uses the analysis of responses to prepare and publish reports and to respond to requests from Committees of Visitors, Congress and the Office of management and Budget, particularly as related to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).

The study's broad questions include but are not limited to: What do individuals following post-participation in IGERT or other NSF-funded graduate opportunities do? Do IGERT or other NSF-funded opportunities provide graduates with the professional and/or research skills needed to work in science and engineering? Are IGERT or other NSF-sponsored graduates satisfied that their NSF-funded graduate education advanced their careers in science or engineering? To what extent do IGERT or other former-NSF-sponsored graduates engage in the science and engineering workforce conduct inter- or multi-disciplinary science? Is there evidence of a legacy from NSF-funding that changed a degree-granting department beyond number of students supported and degrees awarded? To what extent have projects achieved or contributed to individual project goals or the NSF program goals? To what extent have NSF-funded projects or programs broadened participation by diverse individuals, particularly individuals traditionally underemployed in science or engineering, including but not limited to women, minorities, and persons-with-disabilities?

Respondents: Individuals or households, not-for-profit institutions, business or other for profit, and Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government.

Number of Respondents: 3,345.

Burden on the Public: 1,552 hours. This estimate covers three graduate education programs, their participants, Start Printed Page 65084and comparison group respondents over a three year period.

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Dated: November 13, 2007.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 07-5707 Filed 11-16-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7555-01-M