Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.
American Overseas Research Centers Program
Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.274A.
Applications Available: June 20, 2016.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 4, 2016.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 3, 2016.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The American Overseas Research Centers (AORC) Program provides grants to consortia of institutions of higher education (IHEs) to establish or operate an AORC that promotes postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies.
AORC grants may be used to pay all or a portion of the cost of establishing or operating a center or program, including: The cost of operation and maintenance of overseas facilities; the cost of organizing and managing conferences; the cost of teaching and research materials; the cost of acquisition, maintenance, and preservation of library collections; the cost of bringing visiting scholars and faculty to the center to teach or to conduct research; the cost of faculty and staff stipends and salaries; the cost of faculty, staff, and student travel; and the cost of publication and dissemination of materials for the scholarly and general public.
Priorities: This notice contains two invitational priorities.
Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets the priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.
These priorities are:
Invitational Priority 1. Projects that propose outreach and related activities designed to inform scholars and faculty at community colleges and minority-serving institutions of potential fellowships and other research and professional development opportunities at the AORC and encourage and facilitate the participation of these individuals in AORC programs.
For the purpose of this priority:
Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the HEA) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent) or master's, professional, or other advanced degrees.
Minority-serving institution means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA.
You may view lists of title III- and title V-eligible institutions at the following link: https://ww2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/t3t5-eligibiles-2015.pdf. The eligibility status is still current for institutions listed at this link. You may also view the list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities at 34 CFR 608.2.
Invitational Priority 2. Projects that propose to leverage technology to provide open access to the AORC's resources such as conference proceedings, and teaching, research, and outreach materials for use by the scholarly and general public.
Areas of National Need: In accordance with section 601(c) of the 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 the following Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/consultation-2016.pdf.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.
The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $650,000.
Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $48,000-$65,000 per year.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $56,000 per year.Start Printed Page 39917
Maximum Award: The maximum award amount is $65,000. We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $65,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.
Estimated Number of Awards: 10.
The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 48 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: Consortia of United States institutions of higher education that receive more than 50 percent of their funding from public or private United States sources, have a permanent presence in the country in which the center is located, and are organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which are exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such code.
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: Cheryl E. Gibbs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E245, Washington, DC 20202-4260. Telephone: (202) 453-5690 or by email: email@example.com.
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.
Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) 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.
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 no more than 30 pages. Partial pages will count as a full page toward the page limit. For the purpose of determining compliance with the page limit, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page. Applicants must use 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 within the 1″ margin.
- Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the project narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in figures and graphs. Text in charts and tables may be single-spaced. You should also include a table of contents in the project narrative, which will not be counted against the page limit.
- Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
- 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); Part II, the Budget Information Summary form (ED Form 524); Part III A, the one-page Project Abstract form; Part III B, the Performance Measure Form(s); and Part IV, the Assurances and Certifications. You must include your complete response to the selection criteria and priorities in Part III, the Project Narrative.
We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.
3. Submission Dates and Times:
Applications Available: June 20, 2016.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 4, 2016.
Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). 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 Other Submission Requirements in section IV 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.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 3, 2016.
4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.
5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—
a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;
c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.
You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.
If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.
The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.
Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.
If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration Start Printed Page 39918annually. This may take three or more business days.
Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
7. 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 American Overseas Research Centers Program, CFDA Number 84.274A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
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 before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
You may access the electronic grant application for the Training Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.274, not 84.274A).
Please note the following:
- When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
- Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
- The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
- You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.
- 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 upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.
- Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
- After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.
Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.
These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.Start Printed Page 39919
- We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.
Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.
The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.
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 the Grants.gov system because—
- You do not have access to the Internet; or
- You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; 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: Cheryl E. Gibbs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E245, Washington, DC 20202-4260. FAX: (202) 453-5780.
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 84.274A), 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.
(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
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.
We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.
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 84.274A), 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 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.
Applicants must include in the one-page abstract submitted with the application a statement indicating if they have addressed the invitational priorities.
V. Application Review Information
1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are in 34 CFR 75.209(a) and 75.210 in EDGAR, and are listed in the application package.
2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).Start Printed Page 39920
For this competition, a panel of non-Federal reviewers will review each application in accordance with the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.209 and 75.210. The individual scores of the reviewers will be added and the sum divided by the number of reviewers to determine the peer review score received in the review process.
3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.
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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
(b) 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 multiyear 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. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). Performance reports for the AORC Program must be submitted electronically using the International Resource Information System (IRIS), the International and Foreign Language Education office Web-based reporting system. For information about the system and to view the instructions on reporting, please go to http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/AORC.pdf.
(c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
4. Performance Measures: The Department intends to use the following program measures to assess the effectiveness of the Overseas Centers projects:
AORC Performance Measure: Number of individuals conducting postgraduate research utilizing the services of Title VI AORCs.
AORC Performance Measure: Percentage of AORC Program participants who advanced in their professional field two years after their participation.
5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation grant under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
VII. Agency Contacts
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Cheryl E. Gibbs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E245, Washington, DC 20202-4260. Telephone: (202) 453-5690 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, 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 compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
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 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.
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Dated: June 15, 2016.
Lynn B. Mahaffie,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation, Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2016-14528 Filed 6-17-16; 8:45 am]
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