FR Doc E9-28758[Federal Register: December 1, 2009 (Volume 229, Number 74)]
[Notices]               
[Page 62767-62770]
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[DOCID:fr01de09-54]    
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); 
Overview Information; National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)--Research Fellowships Program

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2010.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133F-1.

DATES: Applications Available: December 1, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 1, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Research Fellowships Program 
is to build research capacity by providing support to enable highly 
qualified individuals, including those who are individuals with 
disabilities, to conduct research on the rehabilitation of individuals 
with disabilities.

    Note: This program is in concert with NIDRR's Final Long-Range 
Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and 
integrates many issues relating to disability and rehabilitation 
research topics. 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 traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine the best 
strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for 
underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify 
mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate 
findings.
    Priorities: This competition contains one absolute priority and one 
invitational priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), 
these priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 
356.10).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2010, this priority is an absolute 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that 
meet this priority.
    This priority is:

Research Fellowships Program

    Fellows must conduct original research in an area authorized by 
section 204 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). 
Section 204 authorizes research designed to maximize the full inclusion 
and integration of individuals with disabilities, especially 
individuals with the most severe disabilities, into society, by 
fostering improvements in the areas of employment, independent living, 
family, support, and economic and social self-sufficiency, and to 
improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.
    Within this absolute priority, we are particularly interested in 
applications that address the following invitational priority.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2010, this priority is an 
invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
    For FY 2010, the Secretary is particularly interested in 
applications from qualified individuals with disabilities.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(e).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR 75.60 and 75.61, and parts 
77, 82, 84, 85, and 97. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR 
part 356. (c) The regulations in 34 CFR 350.51 and 350.52.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$110,741,000 for the NIDRR program for FY 2010, of which we intend to 
use an estimated $505,000 for the Research Fellowships Program. 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.
    Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $65,000 for Merit Fellowships and $75,000 for 
Distinguished Fellowships for a single budget period of 12 months. 
(These Fellowships are described in the Eligible Applicant section of 
this notice.) The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice 
published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: Seven total, including both Merit 
Fellowships and Distinguished Fellowships.

    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 12 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: Eligible individuals must have training and 
experience that indicate a potential for engaging in scientific 
research related to the solution of rehabilitation problems of 
individuals with disabilities. The program provides two categories of 
Research Fellowships: Merit Fellowships and Distinguished Fellowships.
    (a) To be eligible for a Merit Fellowship, an individual must have 
either advanced professional training or independent study experience 
in an area that is directly pertinent to disability and rehabilitation. 
In the most recent competitions for this program,

[[Page 62768]]

Merit Fellowship recipients had research experience at the doctoral 
level.
    (b) To be eligible for a Distinguished Fellowship, an individual 
must have seven or more years of research experience in subject areas, 
methods, or techniques relevant to rehabilitation research and must 
have a doctorate, other terminal degree, or comparable academic 
qualifications.

    Note: Institutions are not eligible to be recipients of Research 
Fellowships.

    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: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the 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: 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 program as follows: CFDA Number 84.133F-1.
    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. You must limit the 
application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 24 
double-spaced 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. Single spacing may be used for 
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 page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for 
Federal Assistance; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the 
one-page abstract, the eligibility statement, the curriculum vitae, the 
bibliography, the letters of recommendation, or the information on the 
protection of human subjects. However, the page limit does apply to all 
of the application narrative section (Part III).
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: December 1, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 1, 2010.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the 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: Applicants are not required to submit a 
budget with their proposal. The Merit Fellowships and Distinguished 
Fellowships awards are one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) awards. The 
Fellow must work principally on the fellowship during the term of the 
fellowship award. We define one FTE as equal to 40 hours per week. No 
Fellow is allowed to be a direct recipient of Federal government grant 
funds in addition to those provided by the Merit or Distinguished 
Fellowship grant (during the duration of the Fellowship award 
performance period). Fellows may, subject to compliance with their 
institution's policy on additional employment, work on a Federal grant 
that has been awarded to the Fellow's institution.
    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions 
in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. 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 Research Fellowships Program--
CFDA Number 84.133F-1 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 
program after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on

[[Page 62769]]

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 (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: Marlene Spencer, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 6026, Potomac 
Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Fax: (202) 245-7643.
    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 84.133F-1), 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,

[[Page 62770]]

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 84.133F-1), 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.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 356.30 through 356.32 and are listed in the application 
package.
    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 projects 
that use rigorous scientific methodologies. To address this interest 
applicants are encouraged to articulate goals, objectives, and expected 
outcomes for the proposed research activities. Proposals should 
describe how results and planned outputs are expected to contribute to 
advances in knowledge or improvements in policy and practice. 
Applicants should propose projects that are optimally designed to be 
consistent with these goals. Submission of the information identified 
under this paragraph is not required by law or regulation, but is 
desired.

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. In accordance with 34 CFR 356.51, the final report 
must contain at a minimum an analysis of the significance of the 
project and an assessment of the degree to which the objectives of the 
project have been achieved. The Secretary may also require more 
frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific 
requirements on reporting, please go to 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its 
research program, 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 extent to which 
grantees are conducting high-quality research and related activities 
that lead to high quality products. Performance measures for the 
Research Fellowships program include--
     The percentage of NIDRR-supported fellows, post-doctoral 
trainees, and doctoral students who publish results of NIDRR-sponsored 
research in refereed journals;
     The percentage of grantee research and development that 
has appropriate study design, meets rigorous standards of scientific 
and/or engineering methods, and builds on and contributes to knowledge 
in the field; and
     The number of publications per award based on NIDRR-funded 
research and development activities in refereed journals.
    NIDRR evaluates the overall success of individual research and 
development grants through review of grantee performance and products. 
NIDRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their final 
performance report for these reviews. Approved final performance report 
guidelines require grantees to submit information regarding research 
methods, results, outputs, and outcomes.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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: 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: 
www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: November 25, 2009.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E9-28758 Filed 11-30-09; 8:45 am]

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