CFDA Number: 84.133A-5.
Final priority; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)—Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program—Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)—Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Specifically, this notice announces a priority for Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) Centers. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for a competition in fiscal year (FY) 2012 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on areas of national need.
Effective Date: This priority is effective July 11, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
This notice of final priority is in concert with NIDRR's currently approved Long-Range Plan (Plan). 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: 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.
This notice announces a final priority that NIDRR intends to use for a DRRP competition in FY 2012 and possibly later years. However, nothing precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed. Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award for this priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of applications received and available funding.
Purpose of Program:
The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities; to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that maximize the full inclusion and integration of individuals with disabilities into society, employment, independent living, family support, and promote 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 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs)
The purpose of DRRPs, which are funded under NIDRR's Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. DRRPs carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: Research, training, demonstration, development, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance. Additional information on DRRPs can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP.
Priority—Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers (TBIMS)
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the funding of Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) Centers under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) program. The TBIMS Centers must provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary services to individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and conduct research that contributes to the development of evidence-based rehabilitation interventions and clinical and practice guidelines.
For purposes of this priority, the term traumatic brain injury or TBI is defined as damage to brain tissue caused by an external mechanical force as evidenced by loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia due to brain trauma or by objective neurological findings that can be reasonably attributed to TBI on physical examination or mental status examination. Both penetrating and non-penetrating wounds that fit these criteria are included, but, primary anoxic encephalopathy is not.
The TBIMS Centers must generate new knowledge that can be used to improve outcomes of individuals with TBI in one or more domains identified in NIDRR's currently approved Long Range Plan, published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8165): Health and function, community living and participation, technology, and employment. Each TBIMS Center must contribute to this outcome by—
(a) Providing a multidisciplinary system of rehabilitation care specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals with TBI. The system must encompass a continuum of care, including emergency medical services, acute care services, acute medical rehabilitation services, and post-acute services. TBIMs Centers may choose to adopt practice guidelines to guide care within the TBIMS Centers, using established TBIMS procedures of deliberation and voting for recommendations that affect all TBIMS Centers;
(b) Continuing the assessment of long-term outcomes of individuals with TBI by enrolling at least 35 subjects per year into the TBIMS database, following established protocols for the collection of enrollment and follow-up data on subjects (found at www.tbindsc.org);
TBIMS Centers will be funded at varying amounts up to the maximum award based on the numbers of TBIMS database participants from whom TBIMS Centers must collect follow-up data. TBIMS Centers that have previously been TBIMS grantees with large numbers of database participants will receive more funding within the specified range than TBIMS Centers with fewer participants, as determined by NIDRR after applicants are selected for funding. Applicants must include in their budgets specific estimates of their costs for follow-up data collection. Funding will be determined individually for each successful applicant, up to the maximum allowed, based upon the documented workload associated with the follow-up data collection, other costs of the grant, and the overall budget of the research project.
(c) Proposing and conducting at least one, but no more than two, site-specific research projects to test innovative approaches to treating TBI or to assess outcomes of individuals with TBI. Site-specific research projects must focus on outcomes in one or more domains identified in the Plan: Health and function, community living and participation, technology, and employment, and contribute to the development of evidence-based TBI rehabilitation practices through the advancement of science at any stage of research;
Applicants who propose more than two site-specific research projects will be disqualified.
(d) Participating as a research collaborator in at least one module project. Module projects are research collaborations with one or more TBIMS Centers on topics of mutual interest and expertise. Such module projects must be carried out as part of the TBIMS Centers' activities. The module project research activities funded under this priority must not be part of a current TBIMS Multi-Site Collaborative Project, which the Department funded under a separate priority (see the notice inviting applications, published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 6162) and the associated notice of final priority, published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 6132));
Applicants should not propose a specific module project in their application. While all TBIMS Centers grantees are required to participate as research collaborators in at least one module project, they are not required to develop any module project on their own. Immediately following the announcement of awards under this priority, TBIMS Centers that are interested in proposing module projects may identify module topics, identify potential collaborators from among the other TBIMS Centers, and propose research protocols for the potential modules. At the first TBIMS Centers Project Directors' meeting, Project Directors will review, discuss, and decide upon specific module projects to implement. NIDRR staff will facilitate this post-award discussion and negotiation among TBIMS Centers grantees. Once these module projects are agreed upon by the Project Directors, each TBIMS Center must participate in at least one of them.
(e) Demonstrating, in its application, its capacity to successfully engage in multi-site collaborative research on TBI. This capacity includes access to research participants, the ability to maintain data quality, and the ability to adhere to research protocols;
(f) Spending at least 15 percent of its annual budget on participating in a module project, as described in paragraph (d) of this priority;
(g) Coordinating with the NIDRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) (http://www.msktc.org/) to provide scientific results and information for dissemination to stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, consumers, and policymakers, using a variety of mechanisms that could include state-of-the-science meetings, webinars, Web sites, and other approaches;
(h) Addressing the needs of individuals with TBI, including individuals from one or more traditionally underserved populations, as discussed in section 21 of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 718;
(i) Ensuring that the input of individuals with TBI is used to shape TBIMS research; and
(j) Ensuring that its project director participate in two annual face-to-face TBIMS Center Project Directors' meetings in the greater Washington, DC area.
Types of Priorities:
When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.
This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563
Regulatory Impact Analysis
Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);
(2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or
(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.
This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
We have also reviewed this final regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—
(1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);
(2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;
(3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
(4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and
(5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.
Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”
We are issuing this final priority only on a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.
We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and Tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.
In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
Summary of potential costs and benefits:
The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Programs have been well established over the years in that similar projects have been completed successfully. This final priority will generate new knowledge through research and development.
Another benefit of this final priority is that the establishment of a new DRRP will improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The new DRRP will provide support and assistance for NIDRR grantees as they generate, disseminate, and promote the use of new information that will improve the options for individuals with disabilities to perform regular activities of their choice in the community.
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) 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 or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site 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). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
Dated: June 6, 2012.
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2012-14115 Filed 6-8-12; 8:45 am]
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