FR Doc E9-26127[Federal Register: October 29, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 208)]
[Notices]               
[Page 55828-55831]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr29oc09-64]       

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Overview 
Information; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research (NIDRR)--Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and 
Centers Program--Field Initiated (FI) Projects; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.133G-1 
(Research) and 84.133G-2 (Development).
    Dates: Applications Available: October 29, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 6, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the FI Projects program is to 
develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that 
maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, 
independent living, family support, and economic and social self-
sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals 
with the most severe disabilities. Another purpose of the FI Projects 
program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under 
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
    NIDRR makes two types of awards under the FI Projects program: 
Research grants (CFDA 84.133G-1) and development grants (CFDA 84.133G-
2).
    In carrying out a research activity under an FI research grant, a 
grantee must identify one or more hypotheses or research questions and, 
based on the hypotheses or research questions identified, perform an 
intensive, systematic study directed toward producing (1) new 
scientific knowledge, or (2) better understanding of the subject, 
problem studied, or body of knowledge.
    In carrying out a development activity under an FI project 
development grant, a grantee must use knowledge and understanding 
gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, or methods, 
including designing and developing prototypes and processes, that are 
beneficial to the target population. Target population means the group 
of individuals, organizations, or other entities expected to be 
affected by the project. There may be more than one target population 
because a project may affect those who receive services, provide 
services, or administer services.

    Note: Different selection criteria are used for FI projects 
research grants (84.133G-1) and development grants (84.133G-2). 
Applicants must clearly indicate in the application whether they are 
applying for a research grant (84.133G-1) or a development grant 
(84.133G-2) and must address the selection criteria relevant for 
their grant type. Without exception, NIDRR will review each 
application based on the designation (i.e., research (84.133G-1) or 
development (84.133G-2)) made by the applicant. Applications will be 
determined ineligible and will not be reviewed if they do not 
include a clear designation of research or development.


    Note:  This program is in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan 
for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The Plan, which was published in the 
Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8165), can be accessed 
on the Internet at the following site: 
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.

    Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to (1) improve 
the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) 
foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to 
facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique 
needs of individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved 
populations; (3) determine the best strategies and programs to improve 
rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with disabilities from 
underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify 
mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate 
findings.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 764.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 
82, 84, 85, 86, and 97. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR 
part 350.

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$110,700,000 for NIDRR for FY 2010, of which we intend to use an 
estimated $4,000,000 for the FI Projects competition. 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: $195,000-$200,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $200,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 
may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.

    Note:  The maximum amount includes direct and indirect costs.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 20.

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

    Maximum Project Period: We will reject any application that 
proposes a project period exceeding 36 months. The Assistant Secretary 
for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the 
maximum project period through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States; public or private agencies, 
including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, 
including for-profit organizations; IHEs; and Indian tribes and tribal 
organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing is required by 34 CFR 
350.62 and will be negotiated at the time of the grant award.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the

[[Page 55829]]

Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the 
Internet, use the following address: 
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain 
a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, 
or call the following: Education Publications Center, P.O. Box 1398, 
Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 
470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), 
call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: 
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.133G-1 or 84.133G-2.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    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 competition.
    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. We recommend that you limit 
Part III to the equivalent of no more than 50 pages, using the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative. You may single space titles, 
headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as 
all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     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 or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative section (Part III).
    The application package will provide instructions for completing 
all components to be included in the application. Each application must 
include a cover sheet (Standard Form 424); budget requirements (ED Form 
524) and narrative justification; other required forms; an abstract, 
Human Subjects narrative, Part III narrative; resumes of staff; and 
other related materials, if applicable.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: October 29, 
2009. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 6, 2010.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using Electronic Grant Application System (e-
Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. 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 section IV. 6. Other Submission 
Requirements in 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 
in 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.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition 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 Field Initiated Projects 
program--CFDA Number 84.133G-1 (Research) or 84.133G-2 (Development) 
must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible 
through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    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.
    While completing your electronic application, you will be entering 
data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an 
electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    Please note the following:
     You must complete the electronic submission of your grant 
application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this 
competition after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait 
until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
     The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 
a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 
8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of 
maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 
6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. 
on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are 
posted on the e-Grants Web site.
     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 attach any narrative sections of your 
application as files in a .DOC

[[Page 55830]]

(document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If 
you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in 
this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review 
that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page 
limit requirements described in this notice.
     Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may 
wish to print a copy of it for your records.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number 
(an identifying number unique to your application).
     Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control 
Center after following these steps:
    (1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.
    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.
    (4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 245-6272.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting 
your application on the application deadline date because e-Application 
is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by 
hand delivery. We will grant this extension if--
    (1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have 
initiated an electronic application for this competition; and
    (2)(a) E-Application is 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) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 
3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under For 
Further Information Contact (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-
Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due 
to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application 
deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users 
who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this 
section apply only to the unavailability of e-Application.
    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 e-Application because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
e-Application; 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: Lynn Medley, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 6027, Potomac 
Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. FAX: (202) 245-7323.
    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 [Applicants must identify either CFDA Number 84.133G-1 
(Research) or 84.133G-2 (Development) depending on the designation of 
their proposed project.]), 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.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:  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.

    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 [Applicants must identify either CFDA Number 84.133G-1 
(Research) or 84.133G-2 (Development) depending on the designation of 
their proposed project.]), 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 grant 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.


[[Page 55831]]



V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 350.54 and 350.55 and are listed in the application 
package.

    Note:  There are two different sets of selection criteria for FI 
projects: One set to evaluate applications proposing to carry out 
research activities (CFDA 84.133G-1), and a second set to evaluate 
applications proposing to carry out development activities (CFDA 
84.133G-2). Each applicant will be evaluated using the selection 
criteria for the type of project the applicant designates in its 
application.

    2. Review and Selection Process: Additional factors we consider in 
selecting an application for an award are as follows:
    The Secretary is interested in outcomes-oriented research or 
development projects that use rigorous scientific methodologies. To 
address this interest, applicants are encouraged to articulate goals, 
objectives, and expected outcomes for the proposed research or 
development activities. Proposals should describe how results and 
planned outputs are expected to contribute to advances in knowledge, 
improvements in policy and practice, and public benefits for 
individuals with disabilities. Applicants should propose projects that 
are designed to be consistent with these goals. We encourage applicants 
to include in their applications a description of how results will 
measure progress towards achievement of anticipated outcomes (including 
a discussion of measures of effectiveness), the mechanisms that will be 
used to evaluate outcomes associated with specific problems or issues, 
and how the proposed activities will support new intervention 
approaches and strategies. Submission of the information identified in 
this section is voluntary, except where required by the selection 
criteria listed in the application package.

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). 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: 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 multi-year 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). For specific requirements 
on reporting, please go to 
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    Note:  NIDRR will provide information by letter to grantees on 
how and when to submit the performance report.

    4. Performance Measures: NIDRR assesses the quality of its funded 
projects through review of grantee performance and products. Each year, 
NIDRR examines a portion of its grantees to determine:
     The percentage of newly awarded NIDRR projects that are 
multi-site, collaborative, controlled studies of interventions and 
programs.
     The number of accomplishments (e.g., new or improved 
tools, methods, discoveries, standards, interventions, programs, or 
devices) developed or tested with NIDRR funding that have been judged 
by expert panels to be of high quality and to advance the field.
     The average number of publications per award based on 
NIDRR-funded research and development activities in refereed journals.
     The percentage of new grants that include studies funded 
by NIDRR that assess the effectiveness of interventions, programs, and 
devices using rigorous and appropriate methods.
    Each grantee must annually report on its performance through 
NIDRR's Annual Performance Report (APR) form. NIDRR uses APR 
information submitted by grantees to assess progress on these measures.

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Contact either Lynn Medley or 
Marlene Spencer as follows: Lynn Medley, U.S. Department of Education, 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6027, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. 
Telephone: (202) 245-7338 or by e-mail: Lynn.Medley@ed.gov. Marlene 
Spencer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
6026, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by 
e-mail: Marlene.Spencer@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (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 computer diskette) by 
contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    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.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Andrew J. Pepin, Executive Administrator for Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services, to perform the functions of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

    Dated: October 26, 2009.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. E9-26127 Filed 10-28-09; 8:45 am]

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