[Federal Register: March 5, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 43)]
[Page 10652-10653]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI)
[CFDA No: 84.305T]

National Research Institutes' Field-Initiated Studies (FIS) 
Research Grant Program; Notice of Application Review Procedures for
OERI Fiscal Year 1999 FIS Grants.

SUMMARY: On December 14, 1998, the Secretary published in the Federal 
Register (63 FR 68985) a notice inviting applications for new awards 
for fiscal year 1999 for the FIS Research Grant Program. On January 28, 
1999, the Secretary published in the Federal Register (64 FR 4401) a 
notice extending

[[Page 10653]]

the deadline date for the receipt of applications and applications 
availability date for this program. This notice explains the procedures 
that will be used in reviewing applications.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Secretary advises potential applicants 
of the following two tier review process that will be used by the FIS 
Program for this year's competition. This two tier process modifies the 
review procedures established in 34 CFR 700.21. The regulations in 34 
CFR Part 700 otherwise remain in effect.

Application Review Procedure

    Tier I. At the Tier I level, each application will be assigned to 
at least three reviewers who are selected according to the 
appropriateness of their expertise and experience and who specifically 
meet the qualifications for reviewers established in the regulations at 
34 CFR 700.11. Reviewers will evaluate the assigned applications in 
accordance with the three equally weighted selection criteria 
established in the application package: (1) National Significance; (2) 
Project Design; and (3) Personnel. Reviewers will rate the assigned 
applications as either: ``Excellent'' (outstanding, deserves highest 
priority for support); ``Very Good'' (high quality proposal in nearly 
all aspects; should be supported if at all possible); ``Good'' (a 
quality proposal, worthy of support); ``Fair'' (proposal lacking in one 
or more critical aspects-key issues need to be addressed); or ``Poor'' 
(proposal has serious deficiencies). A conference call will be arranged 
for each review panel to discuss their assigned proposals and their 
    Based on the Tier I reviews, the top 60 applications will advance 
to the Tier II review. The top 60 will be determined by assigning a 
score of ``2'' for every ``excellent'' rating the application receives, 
a score of ``1'' for each ``very good'' rating the application receives 
and a score of ``0'' for any other rating. The application will then be 
ranked by total score. In the event of a tie at the 60th rank all such 
tied applications will advance to the Tier II review.
    Tier II. Each application that advances to the Tier II level will 
be read by 25 Tier II reviewers, with written reviews completed by at 
least 3 reviewers. These reviewers will meet the qualifications for 
reviewers established in 34 CFR 700.11. The Tier II reviewers will 
apply the same selection criteria and the same rating system used in 
Tier I.
    The Tier II reviewers will meet in Washington, DC. During this 
time, each application will be discussed in turn, with the three 
reviewers who have completed written reviews leading the discussion. 
Following the discussion of each application, all reviewers will assign 
a final rating to the application.
    When all the applications from Tier II have been discussed and 
reviewers have completed their evaluations, OERI staff will rank the 
applications to form the recommended slate to be sent forward to the 
Assistant Secretary. The slate will be formed as follows. An 
application will receive a score of 2 for each ``Excellent'' rating it 
receives and a score of 1 for each ``Very Good'' rating it receives. 
The applications will then be ranked by total score. In the event that 
a set of applications surrounding the funding cutoff point have an 
identical score, the Assistant Secretary will determine which 
applications from that set contribute most to the mission of OERI.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), 
it is the practice of the Secretary to offer interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, since this 
notice merely establishes procedural requirements for review of 
applications and does not create substantive policy, proposed 
rulemaking is not required under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) (A).
    (The valid OMB control number for this collection of information is 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Veda Bright, Office of Educational 
Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey 
Avenue, NW, Room 604, Washington, DC 20208, or by e-mail at 
veda__bright@ed.gov or by telephone at (202) 219-1935. 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.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) via the Internet at either of the 
following sites:
    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office at (202) 512-1530 or, toll free, at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511, 
or toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G--Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of a document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6031(c)(2)(B).

    Dated: March 1, 1999.
C. Kent McGuire,
Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 99-5449 Filed 3-4-99; 8:45 am]