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Notice

Notice of Intent to Seek Approval to Establish an Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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. 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 February 17, 2017 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 1265, 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:

Comments: 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. 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.

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

OMB Number: 3145-0234.

Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2017.

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

Overview of this Information Collection: 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 involved 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 and training, (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 and focus on the period that was not addressed in previous annual reports.

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: 200 hours per facility for three National User Facilities for a total of 600 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 14, 2016.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2016-30434 Filed 12-16-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7555-01-P