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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; International Research and Studies (IRS) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.017A-1 and 84.017A-3.

Dates:

Applications Available: November 10, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 12, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The IRS Program provides grants to conduct research and studies to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields.

Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), these priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 660.10 and 660.34).

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2010, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional five points to an application that meets one or more of these priorities.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Instructional Materials Applications.

The development of specialized instructional or assessment materials focused on any of the following seventy-eight (78) languages selected from the U.S. Department of Education's list of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs):

Akan (Twi-Fante), Albanian, Amharic, Arabic (all dialects), Armenian, Azeri (Azerbaijani), Balochi, Bamanakan (Bamana, Bambara, Mandikan, Mandingo, Maninka, Dyula), Belarusian, Bengali (Bangla), Berber (all languages), Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano (Visayan), Chechen, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Gan), Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Min), Chinese (Wu), Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Georgian, Gujarati, Hausa, Hebrew (Modern), Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khmer (Cambodian), Kirghiz, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Kurdish (Sorani), Lao, Malay (Bahasa Melayu or Malaysian), Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Oromo, Panjabi, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (all varieties), Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala (Sinhalese), Somali, Swahili, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrigna, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur/Uigur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Research, Surveys, and Studies Applications.

Research, surveys, or studies relating to current needs for improving internationalization (including foreign language instruction, area studies, and international studies) in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Native American-serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs), or Alaskan Native and/or Native Hawaiian institutions (as defined in Title III and Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended).

Note:

You will receive an additional five points for meeting a competitive preference priority in your application. Applicants are expected to address only one competitive preference priority in each application, but regardless of how many priorities are addressed, no more than five points in total can be awarded to a single application.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1125.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 655 and 660.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

Areas of National Need: In accordance with section 601(c) of the Start Printed Page 58006Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), 20 U.S.C. 1121(c), the Secretary has consulted with and received recommendations regarding national need for expertise in foreign languages and world regions from the head officials of a wide range of Federal agencies. The Secretary has taken these recommendations into account, and a list of foreign languages and world regions identified by the Secretary as areas of national need may be found on links on the following Web sites: http://www.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​ope/​policy.html and http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​iegpsirs/​legislation.html.

Also included on these Web sites and links are the specific recommendations the Secretary received from Federal agencies.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $102,335,000 for the International Education and Foreign Language Studies: Domestic Programs for FY 2010, of which we intend to use an estimated $1,637,000 for awards under these competitions (84.017A-1 and 84.017A-3). 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: $50,000-$200,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $164,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals.

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: Carla White, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 6085, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7636; or by e-mail: carla.white@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. The IRS Program has two application packages. Research, surveys, and studies applicants must use the application package for 84.017A-1. Instructional materials applicants must use the application package for 84.017A-3.

Page Limit: The application narrative 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 30 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. Page numbers and an identifier may be outside of the 1″ margin.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, captions, and all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. These items may be single-spaced. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs 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, and graphs.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424); the supplemental information form required by the Department of Education; Part II, the budget information summary form (ED Form 524); or Part IV, the assurances and certifications. The page limit also does not apply to a table of contents. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested in the application package, these items will be counted as part of your application narrative [Part III] for purposes of the page limit requirement. You must include your complete response to the selection criteria in the application narrative.

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

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: November 10, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 12, 2010.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. 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.

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 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 IRS Program, CFDA number 84.017A, must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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 Start Printed Page 58007before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this program after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • 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: the 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 assurances and 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.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, 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'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 Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because e-Application is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

(1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have initiated an electronic application for this competition; and

(2) (a) E-Application 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) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you 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 e-Application is unavailable due to technical problems with the system 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 e-Application.

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 e-Application because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to e-Application; 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 prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no 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: Carla White, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6085, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Fax: (202) 502-7860.

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 84.017A), 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. Start Printed Page 58008

(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 84.017A), 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 grant 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. General: Applications are divided into two groups, instructional materials (CFDA 84.017A-3) and research, surveys, and studies (CFDA 84.017A-1). Review panels will be assigned to read either instructional materials applications or research, surveys, and studies applications. The number of panels for each category will depend on the number of applications received. Each panel reviews, scores, and ranks its applications separately from the applications assigned to other panels. All instructional materials applications will be ranked together from the highest to the lowest score for funding purposes; and, all research, surveys, and studies applications will be ranked together from the highest to the lowest score for funding purposes.

2. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 655.31, 660.31, 660.32, and 660.33 and are as follows:

For instructional materials—

Need for the project (10 points); Potential for the use of materials in other programs (5 points); Account of related materials (10 points); Likelihood of achieving results (10 points); Expected contribution to other programs (5 points); Plan of operation (10 points); Quality of key personnel (5 points); Budget and cost effectiveness (5 points); Evaluation plan (15 points); Adequacy of resources (5 points); Description of final form of materials (5 points); and Provisions for pretesting and revision (15 points).

For research, surveys and studies—

Need for the project (10 points); Usefulness of expected results (10 points); Development of new knowledge (10 points); Formulation of problems and knowledge of related research (10 points); Specificity of statement of procedures (5 points); Adequacy of methodology and scope of project (10 points); Plan of operation (10 points); Quality of key personnel (10 points); Budget and cost effectiveness (5 points); Evaluation plan (15 points); and Adequacy of resources (5 points).

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 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. Grantees are required to use the electronic data instrument International Resource Information System (IRIS), to complete the final report. Electronically formatted instructional materials such as CDs, DVDs, videos, computer diskettes and books produced by the grantee as part of the grant approved activities are also acceptable as final reports. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: The objective for the IRS Program is to support surveys, studies, and the development of instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. The Department will use the following measures to evaluate the success of the IRS Program:

Performance Measure 1: Percentage of IRS Program projects judged to be successful by the program officer, based on a review of information provided in annual performance reports.

Performance Measure 2: Number of outreach activities that are adopted or disseminated within a year, divided by the total number of IRS outreach activities conducted in the current reporting period.

Efficiency Measure: Cost per high-quality, successfully completed IRS project.

The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via IRIS will be the source of data for these measures. Reporting screens can be viewed at: http://iris.ed.gov/​iris/​pdfs/​IRS.pdf.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Beth MacRae, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6088, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7596; or by e-mail: beth.macrae@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 all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Start Printed Page 58009Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 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.h tml.

Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Daniel T. Madzelan, Director, Forecasting and Policy Analysis for the Office of Postsecondary Education, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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Dated: November 4, 2009.

Daniel T. Madzelan,

Director, Forecasting and Policy Analysis.

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[FR Doc. E9-27122 Filed 11-9-09; 8:45 am]

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