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Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Science Foundation.

ACTION:

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request.

SUMMARY:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register at 78 FR 22916, and one comment was received. NSF is forwarding the proposed renewal submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission (including comments) may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. Comments regarding (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (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 should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 17th Street NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and to Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230 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, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).

Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling 703-292-7556.

NSF may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments: As required by 5 CFR 1320.8(d), comments on the information collection activities as part of this study were solicited through publication of a 60-Day Notice in the Federal Register on April 17, 2013, at 78 FR 22916. We received one comment, to which we here respond.

Commenter: The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) raised a general concern that additional reporting requirements presented added burden on their members.

Response: The reporting requirements and estimates on the hourly burden were discussed with the management of the Centers. Center Directors and their management staff, the primary respondents to this data collection, were consulted for feedback on the availability of data, frequency of data collection, the clarity of instructions, and the data elements. Their feedback confirmed that the frequency of data collection was appropriate and that they did not provide these data in other data collections. After consideration of this comment, we are moving forward with our submission to OMB.

Title of Collection: Grantee Reporting Requirements for National user facilities managed by the NSF Division of Materials Research.

OMB Approval Number: 3145—NEW.

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

Abstract: The NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR) supports a number of National user facilities that provide specialized capabilities and instrumentation to the scientific community on a competitive proposal basis. In addition to the user program, these facilities support in-house research, development of new instrumentation or techniques, education, and knowledge transfer.

The facilities integrate research and education for students and post-docs Start Printed Page 79013involved in experiments, and support extensive K-12 outreach to foster an interest in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and STEM careers. Facilities capitalize on diversity through participation in center activities and demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups underrepresented in science and engineering. National User Facilities 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. User facilities will be required to develop a set of management and performance indicators for submission annually to NSF via the Research Performance Project Reporting (RPPR) module in Research.gov. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include, for example, lists of successful proposal and users, the characteristics of facility personnel and students; sources of financial support and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; research activities; education activities; knowledge transfer activities; patents, licenses; publications; degrees granted to students supported through the facility or users of the facility; descriptions of significant advances and other outcomes of this investment. Such reporting requirements are included in the cooperative agreement, which is binding between the academic institution and the NSF.

Each facility'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 and metrics for the reporting period, challenges or problems the facility has encountered in making progress towards goals, anticipated problems in the following year, and specific outputs and outcomes. Facilities are required to file a final report through the RPPR. 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 DMR national user facilities, and to evaluate the progress of the program.

Estimate of Burden: 790 hours per facility for three national user facilities for a total of 2,370 hours.

Respondents: Non-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Responses per Report: One from each of the DMR user facilities.

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Dated: December 20, 2013.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2013-30869 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]

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