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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.

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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 December 30, 2013 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

For Additional Information or Comments:

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: Awardee Reporting Requirements for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 (RII Track-1) Program.

OMB Number: 3145-NEW.

Expiration Date of Approval: Not applicable.

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

Abstract:

Proposed Project:

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 (RII Track-1) Program advances science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions for discovery, innovation and overall knowledge-based prosperity. EPSCoR RII Track-1 projects build human, cyber, and physical infrastructure in EPSCoR jurisdictions, stimulating sustainable improvements in their Research & Development (R&D) capacity and competitiveness.

EPSCoR RII Track-1 projects are founded on key research themes that empower knowledge generation, dissemination and application. They are generally inter- (or multi-)disciplinary and involve effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits; and they broaden participation in science and engineering by engaging multiple institutions and organizations at all levels of research and education, and people within and among (EPSCoR jurisdictions.

EPSCoR RII Track-1 projects are required to submit annual reports on progress and plans, which are used as a basis for performance review and determining the level of continued funding. To support this review and the management of an EPSCoR RII Track-1 project, project teams are required to develop a set of performance indicators for building sustainable infrastructure and capacity in terms of a strategic plan for the project; measure performance and revise strategies as appropriate; report on the progress relative to the project's goals and milestones; and describe changes in strategies, if any, for submission annually to NSF. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include, for example, the characteristics of project personnel and students; aggregate demographics of participants; sources of financial support and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; characteristics of industrial and/or other sector participation; research activities; workforce development activities; external engagement activities; patents and patent licenses; publications; degrees granted to students involved in project activities; and descriptions of significant advances and other outcomes of the EPSCoR RII Track-1 project's efforts. Part of this reporting takes the form of several spreadsheets to capture specific information to demonstrate progress towards achieving the goals of the program. Such reporting requirements are included in the cooperative agreement which is binding between the awardee institution and NSF.

Each project's annual report addresses the following categories of activities: (1) Research, (2) education, (3) workforce development, (4) partnerships and collaborations, (5) communication and dissemination, (6) sustainability, (7) diversity, (8) management, and (9) evaluation and assessment.

For each of the categories the report is required to describe overall objectives for the year; specific accomplishments, impacts, outputs and outcomes; problems or challenges the project has encountered in making progress towards goals; and anticipated problems in performance during the following year.

Use of the Information: NSF will use the information to continue funding of the EPSCoR RII Track-1 projects, and to evaluate the progress of the program.

Estimate of Burden: 100 hours per project for twenty-nine projects for a total of 2,900 hours.

Respondents: Non-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Responses per Report: One

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 enhance 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: October 28, 2013.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2013-25938 Filed 10-30-13; 8:45 am]

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