University Transportation Centers Program, 60012-60014 [2012-24114]

Download as PDF 60012 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2012 / Notices granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequent comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency previously published notices of final disposition announcing its decision to exempt these 26 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). The final decision to grant an exemption to each of these individuals was made on the merits of each case and made only after careful consideration of the comments received to its notices of applications. The notices of applications stated in detail the qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant for an exemption from the vision requirements. That information is available by consulting the above cited Federal Register publications. Interested parties or organizations possessing information that would otherwise show that any, or all, of these drivers are not currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption of a driver. Issued on: September 21, 2012. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2012–24143 Filed 9–28–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Research and Innovative Technology Administration University Transportation Centers Program Research and Innovative Technology Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability. AGENCY: The United States Department of Transportation (the Department) is publishing this notice to give eligible nonprofit institutions of higher learning advance notice that they will have an opportunity to submit grant applications for the University Transportation Centers (UTCs) program. The Department requests public comments on this notice. Funds for this grant program are authorized beginning on October 1, 2012. In the near future, the Department, via the Research and Innovative Technology Administration mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Sep 28, 2012 Jkt 226001 (RITA), will release a grant solicitation through Grants.gov and on the UTC Program’s Web site, http://utc.dot.gov, describing the competition and deadlines for applications. Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive process on the basis of demonstrated ability, research, technology and education resources, leadership, multimodal research capability, and commitment to transportation workforce development programs, technology transfer capability, the use of peer review, and effective partnerships to advance diversity. DATES: All public comments must be received by October 31, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number RITA– 2012–0002 using any of the following methods: Government-wide rulemaking Web site: http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Fax 1–202–493–2251. Courier: Commercial delivery service, such as, but not limited to the following—Federal Express or United Parcel Service, addressed to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington DC 20590. Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Department will post all comments received, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information. If you mail or hand deliver your comments and want the Department to acknowledge receipt of your comments, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it to you. Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to http://dms.gov or to Docket Management Facility, U. S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received in any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment if submitted on behalf of an association, a business, a labor union, etc.). You may PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 review the Department’s complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http://Docketslnfo.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Kevin Womack, Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology, mail code RDT–10, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone Number (202) 366–5306 or Email Kevin. Womack@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. Eligibility III. Matching Requirements IV. Application Process V. Program Funding and Award VI. Use of Grant Funds VII. Request for Comments I. Background The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21, Pub. L. 112– 141, Sec. 51001(a)(5)) authorizes $72.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2013 (FY 2013) and 2014 (FY 2014) for up to 35 competitive grants for UTCs. The FY 2013 and FY 2014 funds are subject to an annual obligation limitation. The amount of budget authority available in a given year may be less than the amount authorized for that fiscal year. MAP–21 authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to make grants to eligible nonprofit institutions of higher education to establish and operate UTCs. RITA will administer the program. The Department will solicit competitive grant applications for national university transportation Centers, regional university transportation Centers, and Tier I university transportation Centers as set forth in MAP–21. UTCs will be selected by the Secretary, in consultation as appropriate with the Administrators of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(B) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). The Department plans to competitively select five national UTCs with an award of $3 million each, ten regional UTCs with an award of $2.75 million each, and up to 20 Tier I UTCs with an award of $1.5 million each. The role of each UTC is to advance transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of transportation through education, research, and technology E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES transfer activities; to provide for a critical transportation knowledge base outside of the Department of Transportation; and to address critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders. institution for a National or Regional Center. Applicants that apply for more than one type of grant may face a statutory restriction to being selected for more than one grant. II. Eligibility A UTC must be located in the United States or territories. It may be a single nonprofit institution of higher learning, or a consortium of two or more nonprofit institutions of higher learning. A regional UTC must be located in the region for which the grant is sought. (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(A) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). If a regional UTC is a consortium of two or more nonprofit institutions of higher learning, then each institution in the consortium must be located in the region for which the grant is sought. Institutions may collaborate with state departments of transportation, the private sector, and community, junior, or technical colleges; however, these organizations or others that are not U.S. nonprofit institutions of higher learning may not be considered members of a consortium. The grantee institution (lead institution in the case of a consortium of institutions) will be the direct and primary recipient of UTC program funds, and must perform a substantive role in carrying out UTC activities, and not serve merely as a conduit for awards to other parties. Applicants may apply for more than one type of grant, but MAP–21 limits the circumstances in which an institution may receive more than one grant. (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(2) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). These restrictions include: • A lead institution of a consortium that receives a grant for a National Center or a Regional Center is not eligible to receive a Tier I grant in any capacity (either as a sole institution, a lead institution or a member of a consortium). • A lead institution of a consortium that receives a grant for a National or Regional Center is not eligible to receive an additional grant as a lead institution or a member of a consortium for a National or Regional Center. • A sole institution that receives a grant for a National or Regional Center is not eligible to receive an additional grant as a lead institution or a member of a consortium for a National or Regional Center. • A member of a consortium that receives a grant for a National or Regional Center is not eligible to receive a grant as a sole institution for a National or Regional Center, or as a lead III. Matching Requirements VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Sep 28, 2012 Jkt 226001 Each UTC is required to obtain matching funds from non-federal sources. The amount of matching funds required for a national or regional UTC is 100 percent. The amount of matching funds required for a Tier I UTC is 50 percent. The matching amounts may include the amounts made available to a grant recipient under 23 U.S.C. 504(b) or 505. (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(D)(ii) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). A Tier I UTC may be exempted from the requirement for matching funds if it demonstrates that providing the required 50 percent matching funds would constitute a financial hardship on the applicant institution. Currently, the Department is developing criteria for determining how an applicant can demonstrate financial hardship. For example, the Department is considering having applicants explain the following: 1. Has your institution received any federal research funding, in the past five years, that required a match which your institution or a collaborative partner provided? 2. Has your institution received any research funds from your state Department of Transportation during the past five years? 3. Does your institution house a federally funded Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Center? 4. Is the size of your institutional endowment greater than $50 million? One option under consideration is that if an applicant answers ‘‘yes’’ to any of the questions then there is a rebuttable presumption that the applicant does not qualify for the exemption for the matching requirement. The Department solicits public comments as to what other hardship criteria or evaluation methods should be used in determining a financial hardship. IV. Application Process Full and Open Competition. The Department will conduct the UTC program selection based on principles of full and open competition. Five National Centers, ten Regional Centers, and up to 20 Tier I Centers will be selected from the pool of applicants for each type of UTC. Subject Matter Focus. An applicant for a National UTC must focus its PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60013 research on one of the Department’s five strategic goals: 1. Safety: Improve public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries. 2. State of Good Repair: Ensure the U.S. proactively maintains its critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair. 3. Economic Competitiveness: Promote transportation policies, investments, and innovations that bring lasting and equitable economic benefits to the Nation and its citizens. 4. Livable Communities: Foster livable communities through placebased policies and investments that increase transportation choices and access to transportation services. 5. Environmental Sustainability: Advance environmentally sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation sources. The Department intends to select one national UTC to lead research in each of the five goal areas. Regional UTCs (one UTC in each of ten Standard Federal Regions, each receiving $2.75M/year) are required to focus on highway and/or public transportation research and education (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(B)(iii) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). Regional UTCs must be able to conduct research in an area of focus from among ‘‘nonexclusive candidate topic areas established by the Secretary that address the research priorities identified in section 503 of title 23’’ (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(A) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). One of the regional Centers must focus on ‘‘comprehensive transportation safety’’ as its main research issue (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(E) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). An applicant for a regional UTC must designate the region in which it is applying. Based on the statute’s general selection criteria, the Tier I UTCs (no more than 20 UTCs receiving $1.5M/ year) must focus on nonexclusive candidate topic areas that address the research priorities identified in section 503 of title 23 (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(A) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). The Department seeks a balanced portfolio of UTCs that supports the Department’s Strategic Goals, contains different types and/or sizes of universities, and focuses on improving overall system performance using multiple transportation resources that address multimodal needs. In making awards to Tier I UTCs, consideration will be given E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 60014 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 190 / Monday, October 1, 2012 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES to minority institutions, as defined by section 365 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k), or consortia that include such institutions that have demonstrated an ability in transportation-related research. Letter of Intent. The solicitation will require that each applicant submit a non-binding letter of intent approximately one month after the solicitation is announced on the grants.gov and the UTC Program Web site http://utc.dot.gov. The letter of intent must identify the following items: • The category of grant(s) that the applicant will apply for (National, Regional, Tier I); • The chosen goal in which to focus research, out of the Department’s five strategic goals; and • The members of the consortium, if any, for each of the applications. Letters of intent will be required so that the Department’s review panels, comprising relevant subject-matter experts, may be organized in advance of receipt of final proposals. If an institution intends to apply for more than one UTC grant, a separate letter of intent must be submitted for each intended application. Selection criteria. The Department will evaluate and select UTC applicants based on the nine selection criteria outlined in MAP–21: ‘‘(i) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to address each specific topic area described in the research and strategic plans of the recipient; ‘‘(ii) the demonstrated research, technology transfer, and education resources available to the recipient to carry out this section; ‘‘(iii) the ability of the recipient to provide leadership in solving immediate and long range national and regional transportation problems; ‘‘(iv) the ability of the recipient to carry out research, education, and technology transfer activities that are multimodal and multidisciplinary in scope; ‘‘(v) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to carry out transportation workforce development programs through— ‘‘(I) degree-granting programs; and ‘‘(II) outreach activities to attract new entrants into the transportation field; ‘‘(vi) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to disseminate results and spur the implementation of transportation research and education programs through national or statewide continuing education programs; ‘‘(vii) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to the use of peer review principles and other research best practices in the selection, management, and dissemination of research projects; ‘‘(viii) the strategic plan submitted by the recipient describing the proposed research to be carried out by the recipient and the performance metrics to be used in assessing the performance of the recipient in meeting the stated research, technology transfer, education, and outreach goals; and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Sep 28, 2012 Jkt 226001 ‘‘(ix) the ability of the recipient to implement the proposed program in a cost efficient manner, such as through cost sharing and overall reduced overhead, facilities, and administrative costs.’’ (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(B) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). These criteria apply to the evaluation and selection of all three categories of UTCs. The following additional selection criteria apply to Regional UTCs and Tier I UTCs: Regional UTCs. The institution (or lead institution in the case of a consortium) must have a wellestablished, nationally recognized program in research and education, as shown by: ‘‘(I) recent expenditures by the institution in highway or public transportation research; ‘‘(II) a historical track record of awarding graduate degrees in professional fields closely related to highways and public transportation; and ‘‘(III) an experienced faculty who specialize in professional fields closely related to highways and public transportation.’’ (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(B)(iii) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). Tier I UTCs. Consideration will be given to minority institutions, as defined by section 365 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k), or consortia that include such institutions that have demonstrated an ability in transportation-related research. External Stakeholders. The Department will consult with external stakeholders (including the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, among others), to the maximum extent practicable, to evaluate and review all proposals. (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(6) as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). V. Program Funding and Award UTCs will be selected by the Secretary, in consultation as appropriate with the Administrators of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. VI. Use of Grant Funds According to the terms of the grant agreements, grantees will have until September 30, 2017 to expend both FY13 funds and, assuming availability, FY14 funds. VII. Request for Comments Because of the changes made by MAP–21 to the UTC program, this notice invites interested parties to PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 submit comments on any aspect of the Department’s implementation of MAP– 21 requirements for awarding UTC grants. The Department will consider these comments as it continues to implement the UTC program and develops its future grant solicitation. The instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Addresses section above. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2012. Ray LaHood, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–24114 Filed 09–28–2012; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–HY–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; System of Records Notice Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of alterations of three Privacy Act systems of records. AGENCY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (‘‘FinCEN’’), Department of the Treasury (‘‘Treasury’’), gives notice of proposed alterations to three existing systems of records entitled ‘‘Treasury/FinCEN .001—FinCEN Investigations and Examinations System (the ‘‘Investigations and Examinations System’’),’’ ‘‘Treasury/FinCEN .002— Suspicious Activity Report System (the ‘‘SAR System’’),’’ and ‘‘Treasury/ FinCEN .003—Bank Secrecy Act Reports System (the ‘‘BSA System’’).’’ The systems of records were last published in their entirety on July 21, 2008, at 73 FR 42406, 73 FR 42407, and 73 FR 42409, respectively. DATES: Comments must be received no later than October 31, 2012. This altered system of records will be effective November 5, 2012 unless the Department receives comments which would result in a contrary determination. SUMMARY: Written comments should be submitted to: Office of Chief Counsel, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183–0039, Attention: Revisions to PA System of RecordsComments. Comments also may be submitted be electronic mail to the following Internet address: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 190 (Monday, October 1, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60012-60014]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24114]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Research and Innovative Technology Administration


University Transportation Centers Program

AGENCY: Research and Innovative Technology Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The United States Department of Transportation (the 
Department) is publishing this notice to give eligible nonprofit 
institutions of higher learning advance notice that they will have an 
opportunity to submit grant applications for the University 
Transportation Centers (UTCs) program. The Department requests public 
comments on this notice.
    Funds for this grant program are authorized beginning on October 1, 
2012. In the near future, the Department, via the Research and 
Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), will release a grant 
solicitation through Grants.gov and on the UTC Program's Web site, 
http://utc.dot.gov, describing the competition and deadlines for 
applications. Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive process 
on the basis of demonstrated ability, research, technology and 
education resources, leadership, multimodal research capability, and 
commitment to transportation workforce development programs, technology 
transfer capability, the use of peer review, and effective partnerships 
to advance diversity.

DATES: All public comments must be received by October 31, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number RITA-2012-
0002 using any of the following methods:
    Government-wide rulemaking Web site: 
http:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for 
sending your comments electronically.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. 
Fax 1-202-493-2251.
    Courier: Commercial delivery service, such as, but not limited to 
the following--Federal Express or United Parcel Service, addressed to 
Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington DC 20590.
    Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    The Department will post all comments received, without change, to 
http:[sol][sol]dms.dot.gov, including any personal information. If you 
mail or hand deliver your comments and want the Department to 
acknowledge receipt of your comments, include with your comments a pre-
addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will 
stamp the date on the postcard and mail it to you.
    Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to 
http:[sol][sol]dms.gov or to Docket Management Facility, U. S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received in any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment if submitted on behalf 
of an association, a business, a labor union, etc.). You may review the 
Department's complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register 
published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit 
http:[sol][sol]Docketslnfo.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Kevin Womack, Associate 
Administrator for Research, Development and Technology, mail code RDT-
10, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone Number (202) 366-
5306 or Email Kevin.Womack@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Eligibility
III. Matching Requirements
IV. Application Process
V. Program Funding and Award
VI. Use of Grant Funds
VII. Request for Comments

I. Background

    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, Pub. 
L. 112-141, Sec. 51001(a)(5)) authorizes $72.5 million for each of the 
fiscal years 2013 (FY 2013) and 2014 (FY 2014) for up to 35 competitive 
grants for UTCs. The FY 2013 and FY 2014 funds are subject to an annual 
obligation limitation. The amount of budget authority available in a 
given year may be less than the amount authorized for that fiscal year.
    MAP-21 authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to make grants to 
eligible nonprofit institutions of higher education to establish and 
operate UTCs. RITA will administer the program. The Department will 
solicit competitive grant applications for national university 
transportation Centers, regional university transportation Centers, and 
Tier I university transportation Centers as set forth in MAP-21. UTCs 
will be selected by the Secretary, in consultation as appropriate with 
the Administrators of the Federal Highway Administration and the 
Federal Transit Administration. (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(B) as amended by 
Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)).
    The Department plans to competitively select five national UTCs 
with an award of $3 million each, ten regional UTCs with an award of 
$2.75 million each, and up to 20 Tier I UTCs with an award of $1.5 
million each.
    The role of each UTC is to advance transportation expertise and 
technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of 
transportation through education, research, and technology

[[Page 60013]]

transfer activities; to provide for a critical transportation knowledge 
base outside of the Department of Transportation; and to address 
critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of 
transportation leaders.

II. Eligibility

    A UTC must be located in the United States or territories. It may 
be a single nonprofit institution of higher learning, or a consortium 
of two or more nonprofit institutions of higher learning.
    A regional UTC must be located in the region for which the grant is 
sought. (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(A) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 
52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). If a regional UTC is a consortium of 
two or more nonprofit institutions of higher learning, then each 
institution in the consortium must be located in the region for which 
the grant is sought.
    Institutions may collaborate with state departments of 
transportation, the private sector, and community, junior, or technical 
colleges; however, these organizations or others that are not U.S. 
nonprofit institutions of higher learning may not be considered members 
of a consortium. The grantee institution (lead institution in the case 
of a consortium of institutions) will be the direct and primary 
recipient of UTC program funds, and must perform a substantive role in 
carrying out UTC activities, and not serve merely as a conduit for 
awards to other parties.
    Applicants may apply for more than one type of grant, but MAP-21 
limits the circumstances in which an institution may receive more than 
one grant. (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(2) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 
52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). These restrictions include:
     A lead institution of a consortium that receives a grant 
for a National Center or a Regional Center is not eligible to receive a 
Tier I grant in any capacity (either as a sole institution, a lead 
institution or a member of a consortium).
     A lead institution of a consortium that receives a grant 
for a National or Regional Center is not eligible to receive an 
additional grant as a lead institution or a member of a consortium for 
a National or Regional Center.
     A sole institution that receives a grant for a National or 
Regional Center is not eligible to receive an additional grant as a 
lead institution or a member of a consortium for a National or Regional 
Center.
     A member of a consortium that receives a grant for a 
National or Regional Center is not eligible to receive a grant as a 
sole institution for a National or Regional Center, or as a lead 
institution for a National or Regional Center.
Applicants that apply for more than one type of grant may face a 
statutory restriction to being selected for more than one grant.

III. Matching Requirements

    Each UTC is required to obtain matching funds from non-federal 
sources. The amount of matching funds required for a national or 
regional UTC is 100 percent. The amount of matching funds required for 
a Tier I UTC is 50 percent. The matching amounts may include the 
amounts made available to a grant recipient under 23 U.S.C. 504(b) or 
505. (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(D)(ii) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 
52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). A Tier I UTC may be exempted from the 
requirement for matching funds if it demonstrates that providing the 
required 50 percent matching funds would constitute a financial 
hardship on the applicant institution. Currently, the Department is 
developing criteria for determining how an applicant can demonstrate 
financial hardship. For example, the Department is considering having 
applicants explain the following:
    1. Has your institution received any federal research funding, in 
the past five years, that required a match which your institution or a 
collaborative partner provided?
    2. Has your institution received any research funds from your state 
Department of Transportation during the past five years?
    3. Does your institution house a federally funded Local Technical 
Assistance Program (LTAP) Center?
    4. Is the size of your institutional endowment greater than $50 
million?
    One option under consideration is that if an applicant answers 
``yes'' to any of the questions then there is a rebuttable presumption 
that the applicant does not qualify for the exemption for the matching 
requirement. The Department solicits public comments as to what other 
hardship criteria or evaluation methods should be used in determining a 
financial hardship.

IV. Application Process

    Full and Open Competition. The Department will conduct the UTC 
program selection based on principles of full and open competition. 
Five National Centers, ten Regional Centers, and up to 20 Tier I 
Centers will be selected from the pool of applicants for each type of 
UTC.
    Subject Matter Focus. An applicant for a National UTC must focus 
its research on one of the Department's five strategic goals:
    1. Safety: Improve public health and safety by reducing 
transportation-related fatalities and injuries.
    2. State of Good Repair: Ensure the U.S. proactively maintains its 
critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair.
    3. Economic Competitiveness: Promote transportation policies, 
investments, and innovations that bring lasting and equitable economic 
benefits to the Nation and its citizens.
    4. Livable Communities: Foster livable communities through place-
based policies and investments that increase transportation choices and 
access to transportation services.
    5. Environmental Sustainability: Advance environmentally 
sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other 
harmful emissions from transportation sources.
    The Department intends to select one national UTC to lead research 
in each of the five goal areas.
    Regional UTCs (one UTC in each of ten Standard Federal Regions, 
each receiving $2.75M/year) are required to focus on highway and/or 
public transportation research and education (49 U.S.C. 
5505(c)(3)(B)(iii) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective 
Oct. 1, 2012)). Regional UTCs must be able to conduct research in an 
area of focus from among ``nonexclusive candidate topic areas 
established by the Secretary that address the research priorities 
identified in section 503 of title 23'' (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(A) as 
amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). One 
of the regional Centers must focus on ``comprehensive transportation 
safety'' as its main research issue (49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(E) as amended 
by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). An applicant 
for a regional UTC must designate the region in which it is applying.
    Based on the statute's general selection criteria, the Tier I UTCs 
(no more than 20 UTCs receiving $1.5M/year) must focus on nonexclusive 
candidate topic areas that address the research priorities identified 
in section 503 of title 23 (49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(A) as amended by Pub. 
L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 2012)). The Department seeks 
a balanced portfolio of UTCs that supports the Department's Strategic 
Goals, contains different types and/or sizes of universities, and 
focuses on improving overall system performance using multiple 
transportation resources that address multimodal needs. In making 
awards to Tier I UTCs, consideration will be given

[[Page 60014]]

to minority institutions, as defined by section 365 of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k), or consortia that include such 
institutions that have demonstrated an ability in transportation-
related research.
    Letter of Intent. The solicitation will require that each applicant 
submit a non-binding letter of intent approximately one month after the 
solicitation is announced on the grants.gov and the UTC Program Web 
site http://utc.dot.gov. The letter of intent must identify the 
following items:
     The category of grant(s) that the applicant will apply for 
(National, Regional, Tier I);
     The chosen goal in which to focus research, out of the 
Department's five strategic goals; and
     The members of the consortium, if any, for each of the 
applications.
Letters of intent will be required so that the Department's review 
panels, comprising relevant subject-matter experts, may be organized in 
advance of receipt of final proposals. If an institution intends to 
apply for more than one UTC grant, a separate letter of intent must be 
submitted for each intended application.
    Selection criteria. The Department will evaluate and select UTC 
applicants based on the nine selection criteria outlined in MAP-21:

    ``(i) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to address each 
specific topic area described in the research and strategic plans of 
the recipient;
    ``(ii) the demonstrated research, technology transfer, and 
education resources available to the recipient to carry out this 
section;
    ``(iii) the ability of the recipient to provide leadership in 
solving immediate and long range national and regional 
transportation problems;
    ``(iv) the ability of the recipient to carry out research, 
education, and technology transfer activities that are multimodal 
and multidisciplinary in scope;
    ``(v) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to carry out 
transportation workforce development programs through--
    ``(I) degree-granting programs; and
    ``(II) outreach activities to attract new entrants into the 
transportation field;
    ``(vi) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to disseminate 
results and spur the implementation of transportation research and 
education programs through national or statewide continuing 
education programs;
    ``(vii) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to the use 
of peer review principles and other research best practices in the 
selection, management, and dissemination of research projects;
    ``(viii) the strategic plan submitted by the recipient 
describing the proposed research to be carried out by the recipient 
and the performance metrics to be used in assessing the performance 
of the recipient in meeting the stated research, technology 
transfer, education, and outreach goals; and
    ``(ix) the ability of the recipient to implement the proposed 
program in a cost efficient manner, such as through cost sharing and 
overall reduced overhead, facilities, and administrative costs.''

(49 U.S.C. 5505(b)(4)(B) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 
(effective Oct. 1, 2012)).
    These criteria apply to the evaluation and selection of all three 
categories of UTCs. The following additional selection criteria apply 
to Regional UTCs and Tier I UTCs:
    Regional UTCs. The institution (or lead institution in the case of 
a consortium) must have a well-established, nationally recognized 
program in research and education, as shown by:

    ``(I) recent expenditures by the institution in highway or 
public transportation research;
    ``(II) a historical track record of awarding graduate degrees in 
professional fields closely related to highways and public 
transportation; and
    ``(III) an experienced faculty who specialize in professional 
fields closely related to highways and public transportation.''

(49 U.S.C. 5505(c)(3)(B)(iii) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 
(effective Oct. 1, 2012)).
    Tier I UTCs. Consideration will be given to minority institutions, 
as defined by section 365 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
U.S.C. 1067k), or consortia that include such institutions that have 
demonstrated an ability in transportation-related research.
    External Stakeholders. The Department will consult with external 
stakeholders (including the Transportation Research Board of the 
National Academy of Sciences, among others), to the maximum extent 
practicable, to evaluate and review all proposals. (49 U.S.C. 
5505(b)(6) as amended by Pub. L. 112-141, Sec. 52009 (effective Oct. 1, 
2012)).

V. Program Funding and Award

    UTCs will be selected by the Secretary, in consultation as 
appropriate with the Administrators of the Federal Highway 
Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

VI. Use of Grant Funds

    According to the terms of the grant agreements, grantees will have 
until September 30, 2017 to expend both FY13 funds and, assuming 
availability, FY14 funds.

VII. Request for Comments

    Because of the changes made by MAP-21 to the UTC program, this 
notice invites interested parties to submit comments on any aspect of 
the Department's implementation of MAP-21 requirements for awarding UTC 
grants. The Department will consider these comments as it continues to 
implement the UTC program and develops its future grant solicitation. 
The instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Addresses 
section above. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent 
practicable.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2012.
Ray LaHood,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-24114 Filed 09-28-2012; 8:45 am]
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