[Federal Register: August 12, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 155)]
[Page 47915-47917]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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[CFDA No. 84.200A]

Office of Postsecondary Education; Graduate Assistance in Areas 
of National Need (GAANN) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New 
Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

    Purpose of Program: GAANN provides fellowships in areas of national 
need to assist graduate students with excellent academic records who 
demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree 
available in their courses of study.
    Eligible Applicants: Academic departments of institutions of higher 
education that meet the requirements in the program regulations at 34 
CFR 648.2.
    Applications Available: October 1, 2003.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 7, 2003.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: January 7, 2004.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$10,015,000 for the GAANN Program new awards for FY 2004. The actual 
level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. 
However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete 
the grant process, if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $124,668-$750,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $208,645.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 48.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    Stipend Level: The Secretary will determine the GAANN fellowship 
stipend for the academic year 2004-2005 based on the level of support 
provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowships 
as of February 1, 2004, except that the amount will be adjusted as 
necessary so as not to exceed the GAANN fellow's demonstrated level of 
financial need.
    Institutional Payment: The Secretary will determine the 
institutional payment for the academic year 2004-2005 by adjusting the 
previous academic year institutional payment, which is $11,296 per 
fellow, by the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for the 
2003 calendar year.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III as 
    Applications in a single discipline must be limited to no more than 
40 pages.
    Interdisciplinary applications, as defined below, must be limited 
to no more than 60 pages.
    Multidisciplinary applications, as defined below, must be limited 
to no more than 40 pages for each academic discipline included in the 
    All applications (single discipline, Interdisciplinary and 
Multidisciplinary) must apply the following standards:
    [sbull] A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [sbull] Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. However, you may 
single space all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. Charts, 
tables, figures, and graphs presented in the application narrative do 
count toward the page limit.
    [sbull] Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (character per inch).
    [sbull] Appendices are limited to the following: Curriculum vitae--
no more than two pages per faculty member; a course listing; letters of 
support; bibliography; and one additional optional appendix relevant to 
the support of the proposal, not to exceed five pages.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section; the assurances and certifications; the one-page 
abstract; or the appendices. However, you must include all of the 
application narrative in Part III.
    We will reject your application if--
    [sbull] You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
    [sbull] You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the 
page limit.

    Note: Interdisciplinary applications request funding for a 
single proposed program of study that involves academic fields in 
two or more disciplines.

    Multidisciplinary applications request funding for two or more 
proposed programs of study that are independent and unrelated to one 
another. Applicants must abide by these definitions of 
``Interdisciplinary'' and ``Multidisciplinary'' when applying the page 
limit standards.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 
85, 86, 97, 98, and 99; and (b) The regulations for this program in 34 
CFR part 648.


    Absolute Priority: This competition focuses on projects designed to 
meet a priority in the regulations for this program (34 CFR 648.33).
    Areas of National Need: A project must provide fellowships in one 
or more of the following areas of national need: biology, chemistry, 
computer and information sciences, engineering, geological and related 
sciences, mathematics, and physics.
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet 
the priority.

Performance Measures

    Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), two 
measures have been developed for evaluating the overall effectiveness 
of the GAANN Program: (1) To increase the percentage of GAANN fellows 
who obtain a doctorate degree in an area of national need; and (2) To 
increase the percentage of GAANN fellows from traditionally 
underrepresented populations.
    All grantees will be expected to submit an annual performance 

[[Page 47916]]

documenting their success in addressing these performance measures.

Application Procedures

    The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 (Pub. L. 
105-277) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement 
Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107) encourage us to undertake initiatives to 
improve our grant processes. Enhancing the ability of individuals and 
entities to conduct business with us electronically is a major part of 
our response to these Acts. Therefore, we are taking steps to adopt the 
Internet as our chief means of conducting transactions in order to 
improve services to our customers and to simplify and expedite our 
business processes.

    Note: Some of the procedures in these instructions for 
transmitting applications differ from those in the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 
75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make 
procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. 
Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined 
that proposed rulemaking is not required.

    We are requiring that applications for grants for FY 2004 under the 
GAANN program be submitted electronically using e-Application available 
through the Department's e-GRANTS system. The e-GRANTS system is 
accessible through its portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    An applicant who is unable to submit an application through the e-
GRANTS system may submit a written request for a waiver of the 
electronic submission requirement. In the request, the applicant should 
explain the reason or reasons that prevent the applicant from using the 
Internet to submit the application. The request should be addressed to: 
Brandy Silverman, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K St., NW., room 
6018, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Please submit your request no later 
than two weeks before the application deadline date.
    If, within two weeks of the application deadline date, an applicant 
is unable to submit an application electronically, the applicant must 
submit a paper application by the application deadline date in 
accordance with the transmittal instructions in the application 
package. The paper application must include a written request for a 
waiver documenting the reasons that prevented the applicant from using 
the Internet to submit the application.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In FY 2004, the Department is continuing to expand its pilot 
project for electronic submission of applications to include additional 
formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. 
The GAANN program-CFDA 84.200A is one of the programs included in the 
pilot project. If you are an applicant under GAANN, you must submit 
your application to us in electronic format or receive a waiver.
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-Application). Users of e-Application will be 
entering data on-line while completing their applications. You may not 
e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. The data you enter on-
line will be saved into a database. We shall continue to evaluate the 
success of e-Application and solicit suggestions for its improvement.
    If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:
    [sbull] When you enter the e-Application system, you will find 
information about its hours of operation. We strongly recommend that 
you do not wait until the application deadline date to initiate an e-
Application package.
    [sbull] You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize 
you if you submit an application in paper format.
    [sbull] You must submit all documents electronically, including the 
Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget 
Information Sheet, and all necessary assurances and certifications.
    [sbull] Your e-Application must comply with any page limit 
requirements described in this notice.
    [sbull] After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award 
number (an identifying number unique to your application).
    [sbull] Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education 
Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following 
these steps:
    1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.
    2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign the ED 
    3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard copy signature page of the ED 424.
    4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 
    [sbull] We may request that you give us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    [sbull] Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from submitting your application 
on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is 
unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in 
order to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand 
delivery. For us to grant this extension--
    1. You must be a registered user of e-Application and have 
initiated an e-Application for this competition; and
    2. (a) The e-Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes 
or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date; or
    (b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of 
time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time 
between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the application 
deadline date.
    The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of 
unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this 
extension or to confirm the Department's acknowledgement of any system 
unavailability, you may contact either: (1) The person listed elsewhere 
in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-
GRANTS help desk at 1-888-336-8930.
    You may access the electronic grant application for GAANN at: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brandy Silverman, U.S. Department of 
Education, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program, 1990 
K Street NW., Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 
502-7886 or via Internet: ope_gaann@ed.gov.    If you use a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR 
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternative format by contacting that person. However, 
the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the 
standard forms included in the application package.

[[Page 47917]]

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
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    You may also view this document in PDF at the following site: 

    Note: 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 on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1135.

    Dated: August 7, 2003.
Sally L. Stroup,
Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 03-20520 Filed 8-11-03; 8:45 am]