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Notice

Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information Collection

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AGENCY:

National Science Foundation.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request clearance of this collection. In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting that OMB approve clearance of this collection for no longer than three years.

DATES:

Written comments on this notice must be received by June 17, 2013 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Contact Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 295, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone (703) 292-7556; or send email 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. You also may obtain a copy of the data collection instrument and instructions from Ms. Plimpton.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title of Collection: Grantee Reporting Requirements for Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECs).

OMB Number: 3145-NEW.

Expiration Date of Approval: Not applicable.

Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to establish an information collection.

Overview of This Information Collection

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECs) Program supports innovation in the integrative conduct of research, education, and knowledge transfer. NSECs build intellectual and physical infrastructure within and between disciplines, weaving together knowledge creation, knowledge integration, and knowledge transfer. NSECs conduct world-class research through partnerships of academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities. New knowledge thus created is meaningfully linked to society.

NSECs enable and foster excellent education, integrate research and education, and create bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity more fully support the learning process. NSECs capitalize on diversity through participation in center activities and demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

NSECs will be required to submit annual reports on progress and plans, which will be used as a basis for performance review and determining the level of continued funding. To support this review and the management of a Center, NSECs will be required to develop a set of management and performance indicators for submission annually to NSF via the Research Performance Project Reporting module in Research.gov and an external technical assistance contractor that collects programmatic data electronically. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include, for example, the characteristics of center personnel and students; sources of financial support and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; characteristics of industrial and/or other sector participation; research activities; education activities; knowledge transfer activities; patents, licenses; publications; degrees granted to students involved in Center activities; descriptions of significant advances and other outcomes of the NSEC effort. Such reporting requirements will be included in the cooperative agreement which is binding between the academic institution and the NSF.

Each Center's annual report will address the following categories of activities: (1) Research, (2) education, (3) knowledge transfer, (4) partnerships, (5) diversity, (6) management and (7) budget issues.

For each of the categories the report will describe overall objectives for the year, problems the Center has encountered in making progress towards goals, anticipated problems in the following year, and specific outputs and outcomes.

NSECs are required to file a final report through the RPPR and external technical assistance contractor. Final reports contain similar information and metrics as annual reports, but are retrospective.

Use of the Information: NSF will use the information to continue funding of the Centers, and to evaluate the progress of the program.

Estimate of Burden: 200 hours per center for thirteen centers for a total of 2600 hours.

Respondents: Non-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Responses per Report: One from each of the thirteen NSECs.

Comments: Comments are invited on (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to Start Printed Page 22918enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (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.

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Dated: April 12, 2013.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2013-08993 Filed 4-16-13; 8:45 am]

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