[Federal Register: April 24, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 79)]
[Page 20731-20732]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 20731]]


Part III

Department of Education


Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI); Field-Initiated 
Studies (FIS) Education Research Grant Program; Notice of Application 
Review Procedures for New Awards for the Second Cycle of Fiscal Year 
(FY) 2001; Notice

[[Page 20732]]



[CFDA No. 84.305T]

Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI); Field-
Initiated Studies (FIS) Education Research Grant Program; Notice of 
Application Review Procedures for New Awards for the Second Cycle of 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2001

SUMMARY: On September 22, 2000 we published in the Federal Register (65 
FR 57326) a notice of application review procedures for new awards for 
FY 2001 for the FIS Education Research Grant Program. These procedures 
governed the first cycle of the competition and modified the procedures 
governing the review of applications in 34 CFR part 700. This notice 
establishes procedures that OERI will use to review applications for 
the second cycle of the FIS competition.

Application Review Procedure

    OERI will continue to use a one-tier review process for the second 
cycle of the FY 2001 FIS program competition. OERI will form eleven 
review panels. Each panel will be composed of reviewers who are expert 
in a particular substantive area. Each panel will have approximately 
12-15 members. Applications will be assigned to review panels where the 
expertise of the panel matches the topic of the application. All 
applications assigned to a panel will be mailed to all members of that 
review panel for review. Each application will be assigned to three 
Lead Reviewers who have particular expertise related to the topic of 
that application. Prior to the panel meeting, each of the three Lead 
Reviewers will independently complete technical review forms for the 
assigned applications. On those forms, the Lead Reviewers document 
their judgment regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the 
applications they have been assigned according to the published 
selection criteria and assign a preliminary rating for each of the 
criteria on each of those applications. The three selection criteria 
were cited in the application package: National Significance, Quality 
of the Project Design, and Quality and Potential Contributions of 
Personnel. The Lead Reviewers will select from one of the following to 
indicate the preliminary rating for a specific criterion for each 
application: Exceptional quality, High quality, Moderate quality, or 
Low quality.
    In addition, all reviewers are expected to be familiar enough with 
all of the applications to participate in a discussion of the 
applications at the review panel meeting. At the review panel meeting, 
the three Lead Reviewers lead a discussion of the applications they 
have been assigned. Other panelists then ask questions of the three 
Lead Reviewers when necessary. Following the full discussion of each 
application, all panelists assign their ratings for each criterion on 
that application, using the rating scale described in this notice. At 
that time, the three Lead Reviewers may also change their preliminary 
ratings if they wish.
    Ratings provided by individual reviewers across the three rating 
criteria will be translated by OERI into numerical scores where a 
rating of ``exceptional quality'' will be assigned a 3, a rating of 
``high quality'' will be assigned a 2, a rating of ``moderate quality'' 
will be assigned a 1, and a rating of ``low quality'' will be assigned 
a 0. In cases where scores provided by 50% or more of the reviewers on 
a particular application are 2 or higher (i.e., ``high quality'' or 
``exceptional quality'') for all three rating criteria, a multiplier 
will be used. In these cases, the scores of only those reviews 
comprised of ``high quality'' or ``exceptional quality'' for all three 
criteria will be multiplied by 1.25. The use of a multiplier favors 
those applications that receive consistently high ratings.
    To construct the funding slate, a numeric average for each 
application will be determined. To determine the average score, the 
total of the numeric scores provided by all reviewers for a given 
application will be divided by the number of reviewers who rated that 
application. The resulting array of average scores will form the 
funding slate.
    For this competition, potential applicants were invited to submit 
letters of intent. In the letter of intent, applicants identified the 
panel they thought was best suited to review their application. 
Applicants are hereby notified that the data in the letters of intent 
were collected for administrative purposes only. OERI reserves the 
right to assign any application to any panel where the agency believes 
the reviewers are best qualified to review that application.

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, because 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).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Payer, Office of Educational 
Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey 
Avenue, NW., room 502e, Washington, DC 20208-5645. Telephone: (202) 
219-1310 or via Internet: Elizabeth_Payer@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications 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 

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    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://

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

    Dated: April 20, 2001.
Sue Betka,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 01-10267 Filed 4-20-01; 2:09 pm]