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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request; Grantee Reporting Requirements for National User Facilities Managed by the NSF Division of Materials Research

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AGENCY:

National Science Foundation.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to renew this collection. In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.

DATES:

Written comments on this notice must be received by May 26, 2020 to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite W18200, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 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, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including Federal holidays).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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: June 30, 2020.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Proposed Project

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 Start Printed Page 17370personnel 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 (1) from each of the DMR user facilities.

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: March 23, 2020.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2020-06427 Filed 3-26-20; 8:45 am]

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