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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.200A.

Dates:

Applications Available: February 13, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16, 2009.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 15, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: This program provides fellowships in areas of national need to assist graduate students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their courses of study at the institution.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 648.33(a) and Appendix to part 648—Academic Areas).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2009, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Areas of National Need: A project must provide fellowships in one or more of the following areas of national need: Biology, Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, and Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research.

Within this absolute priority, the Secretary is particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority:

Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is: Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Programs that focus on preparing students at the Master's or Ph.D. level who will be trained in statistics and measurement theory to become psychometricians. These psychometrics programs focus on the principles and procedures for designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating test and other mechanisms used to measure learning, evaluate student progress, and assess the performance of specific teaching tools, strategies and curricula.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR Part 648.

II. Award Information

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

Estimated Available Funds: We estimate that $22,773,000 will be available for new awards for this program in FY 2009. 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: $128,628-$214,380.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $213,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 107.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

Stipend Level: The Secretary will determine the fellowship stipend for GAANN for the academic year 2009-2010 based on the level of support provided by the graduate fellowships of the National Science Foundation, as of February 1, 2009. However, the Secretary will adjust the amount, as necessary, so as not to exceed the fellow's demonstrated level of financial need as calculated for purposes of the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs under Title IV, Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

Institutional Payment: The Secretary will determine the institutional Start Printed Page 7222payment for the academic year 2009-2010 by adjusting the previous academic year institutional payment, which is $12,876 per fellow, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for the 2008 calendar year.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Academic departments of institutions of higher education that meet the requirements in 34 CFR 648.2.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program involves matching (See 34 CFR 648.7).

3. Other: For requirements relating to selecting fellows, see 34 CFR 648.40.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Gary Thomas, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6016, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone (202) 502-7767; or, by e-mail: gary.thomas@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 accessible 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, Part II 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 II, as follows:

  • An application in a single discipline must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 40 pages.
  • An inter-disciplinary application must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 60 pages. An inter-disciplinary application must request funding for a single proposed program of study that involves two or more academic disciplines.
  • A multi-disciplinary application must be limited to the equivalent of no more than 40 pages for each academic department included in the proposal. A multi-disciplinary application must request funding for two or more academic departments in areas of national need designated as priorities by the Secretary that are independent and unrelated to one another.
  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an identifier may be within the 1″ margin.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. However, you may single space all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs presented in the application narrative count toward the page limit.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger; or, no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.
  • 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.
  • Appendices are limited to the following: Curriculum Vitae—no more than two pages per faculty member, a course listing, letters of support, a bibliography, and one additional optional appendix relevant to the support of the proposal, not to exceed five pages.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424); the Supplemental Information Form required by the Department of Education; Part III, the assurances and certifications; the GAANN Statutory Assurance Form; the GAANN Budget Spreadsheet(s) form; the one-page abstract or the appendices. The page limit also does not apply to the table of contents, if you include one. However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part II.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 13, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16, 2009.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements of 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 of 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.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 15, 2009.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 648.64. We reference additional 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 you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the GAANN Competition, CFDA number 84.200A, must be submitted electronically using 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.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify 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.

You may access the electronic grant application for the GAANN Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search Start Printed Page 7223for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.200, not 84.200A).

Please note the following:

  • 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. 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 4:30:00 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 program 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 (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five 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. In addition, you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • 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, the GAANN Budget Spreadsheet(s) Form, and the GAANN Statutory Assurances and all certifications.
  • 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in Section VII of 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 that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 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.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov 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), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked Start Printed Page 7224no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your 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 your statement to: Gary Thomas, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6016, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Fax (202) 502-7859.

Your 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 you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 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: 84.200A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 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.

(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 qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You 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: 84.200A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 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 program are in 34 CFR 648.31.

2. Review and Selection Process: Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an award are in 34 CFR 648.32.

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 notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we will 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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118 and 34 CFR 648.66. Grantees will be required to submit a supplement to the Final Performance Report two years after the expiration of their GAANN grant. The purpose of the supplement to the Final Performance Report is to identify and report the educational outcome of each GAANN Fellow.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the following measures will be used by the Department in assessing the performance of the GAANN Program:

(1) The percentage of GAANN Fellows completing the terminal degree in the designated areas of national need;

(2) The percentage of GAANN Fellows from traditionally underrepresented groups enrolled in a terminal degree program in the designated areas of national need; and

(3) The median time to completion of Master's and Doctorate degrees for GAANN students.

If funded, you will be asked to collect and report data in your project's annual performance report (EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.590) on these measures and on steps taken toward improving performance on these outcomes. Consequently, applicants are advised to include these outcomes in conceptualizing the design, implementation, and evaluation of their proposed projects. Their measurement should be a part of the project evaluation plan, along with measures of your progress on the goals and objectives specific to your project.

All grantees will be expected to submit an annual performance report documenting their success in addressing these performance measures.

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

For Further Information Contact:

Gary Thomas, U.S. Department of Education, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6016, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone: (202) 502-7767, or by e-mail: gary.thomas@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible 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 of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as well as Start Printed Page 7225all 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: February 10, 2009.

Daniel T. Madzelan,

Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. E9-3163 Filed 2-12-09; 8:45 am]

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