Applications for New Awards; American Overseas Research Centers Program, 7754-7758 [2020-02651]

Download as PDF 7754 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 28 / Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / Notices BILLING CODE 5001–06–C khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; American Overseas Research Centers Program Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Feb 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 the American Overseas Research Centers (AORC) program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.274A. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1894–0006. DATES: Applications Available: February 11, 2020. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 27, 2020. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 26, 2020. Pre-Application Webinar Information: The Department will hold a preapplication meeting via webinar for PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 prospective applicants. Detailed information regarding the webinar will be provided on the website for the AORC program at www2.ed.gov/ programs/iegpsaorc/index.html. For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg.FR-201902-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 EN11FE20.017</GPH> [FR Doc. 2020–02685 Filed 2–10–20; 8:45 am] Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 28 / Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl E. Gibbs, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 257–09, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–5690. Email: cheryl.gibbs@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The AORC program provides grants to consortia of United States institutions of higher education (IHEs) to establish or operate overseas centers to promote postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies. AORC grants may be used to pay all or a portion of the costs for the operation and maintenance of overseas facilities; organizing and managing conferences; teaching and research materials; the acquisition, maintenance, and preservation of library collections; bringing visiting scholars and faculty to the center to teach or to conduct research; faculty and staff stipends and salaries; faculty, staff, and student travel; and publication and dissemination of materials for the scholarly and general public. Priorities: Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priorities. Invitational Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications. These priorities are: Invitational Priority 1—Professional Development Opportunities for Community Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions. Provide professional development opportunities to participants from community colleges and minorityserving institutions. The opportunities must include: Foreign language instruction at the beginning level to introduce participants to the languages of the center, or at the intermediate and advanced levels to strengthen participants’ foreign language proficiency; curriculum development workshops for incorporating global content into courses; and conferences related to the scholarly focus of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Feb 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 center. The professional development opportunities may be provided in the United States or overseas where the center is located. For the purpose of this priority: Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the HEA) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor’s degrees (or an equivalent) or master’s, professional, or other advanced degrees. Minority-serving institution means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA. Note: The list of institutions currently designated as eligible under title III and title V is available at: www2.ed.gov/ about/offices/list/ope/idues/ eligibility.html#el-inst. Invitational Priority 2—Open Access to Center-related Research, Instructional, and Scholarly Resources. Projects that promote international scholarship by providing open access to center-related research studies, conference proceedings, online libraries, digital archives, foreign language instructional materials, scholarly publications, and other resources related to the thematic focus of the center. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1128a. Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only. II. Award Information Type of Award: Discretionary grants. Available Funds: $1,000,000. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2021 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. Estimated Range of Awards: $46,000$70,000 for each 12-month budget period. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7755 Estimated Average Size of Awards: $58,000. Estimated Number of Awards: 17. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 48 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: Consortia of United States IHEs that receive more than 50 percent of their funding from public or private United States sources, have a permanent presence in the country in which the center is located, and are organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which are exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching. 3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.go v/content/ pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. 2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the AORC grant competition, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ‘‘business information’’ and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we plan to post on our website a selection of FY 2020 AORC funded abstracts and applications’ narrative sections, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 7756 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 28 / Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / Notices For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c). 3. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition. 4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate the application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 30 pages and (2) use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ × 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, except 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. The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, Application for Federal Assistance cover sheet (SF 424); the Supplemental Information Form SF 424B; Part II, ED 524 (Summary Budget A) and the detailed budget justification (Summary Budget C); or Part IV, assurances and certifications. The recommended page limit also does not apply to the project abstract, curriculum vitae, or letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to the entire application narrative. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from section 609 of the HEA and 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. (a) Program purpose (up to 20 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the proposed project promotes postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies. (b) Need for project (up to 10 points). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Feb 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 (1) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. (2) In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project. (c) Quality of the project design (up to 10 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (ii) The extent to which fellowship recipients or other project participants are to be selected on the basis of academic excellence. (d) Quality of project services (up to 20 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services. (e) Quality of project personnel (up to 15 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel. (ii) The extent to which time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (f) Adequacy of resources (up to 10 points). (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. (2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project. (ii) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization. (g) Quality of the project evaluation (up to 15 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are appropriate to the context within which the project operates. (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide timely guidance for quality assurance. 2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant’s use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality. In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). All applications submitted to the FY 2020 AORC competition will be evaluated and scored by peer reviewers who are subject matter experts in area studies, international studies, and world languages. The Department will develop a rank order slate of all applicants in the competition, from the highest score to the lowest score. Applications selected E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 28 / Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES for funding will be determined by the applicant’s rank order in the competition. 3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. 4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS. Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000. VI. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify the U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of the 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Feb 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 the approved application as part of the binding commitments under the grant. 3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) 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 multiyear 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). AORC program grantees are required to submit their performance reports into the web-based International Resource Information System (IRIS) data reporting system. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. 5. Performance Measures: The purpose of the AORC program is to PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7757 promote area studies, exchanges, and postgraduate research. In compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Department will use the following measures to assess the impact of the AORC program on project participants and researchers: AORC Performance Measure 1: The number of individuals conducting postgraduate research utilizing the services of title VI AORCs. AORC Performance Measure 2: The percentage of AORC program participants who advanced in their professional field within two years after their participation. The grantee performance reports collected in IRIS will be the data source for these measures. The AORC program reporting screens may be viewed at: http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/AORC.pdf. 6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee’s approved application. In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). VII. 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 compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 7758 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 28 / Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / Notices Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2020–02651 Filed 2–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION Proposed Information Collection— 2020 Election Administration and Voting Survey; Comment Request U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the EAC announces an information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The EAC intends to submit this proposed information collection (2020 Election Administration and Voting Survey, or EAVS) to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for approval. The 2020 EAVS asks election officials questions concerning voting and election administration, including the following topics: Voter registration; overseas and military voting; voting by mail; early in-person voting; polling operations; provisional voting; voter participation; election technology; election policy; and other related issues. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before March 12, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments on the proposed information collection should be submitted electronically via https:// www.regulations.gov (docket ID: EAC– 2019–0001). Written comments on the proposed information collection can also be sent to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1335 East West Highway, Suite 4300, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: EAVS. Obtaining a Copy of the Survey: To obtain a free copy of the draft survey instrument: (1) Download a copy at https://www.regulations.gov (docket ID: EAC–2019–0001); or (2) write to the EAC (including your address and phone number) at U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1335 East West Highway, Suite 4300, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: EAVS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Nichelle Williams at 301–563–3919, or email clearinghouse@eac.gov; U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1335 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Feb 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 East West Highway, Suite 4300, Silver Spring, MD 20910. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments: Public comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Title and OMB Number: 2020 Election Administration and Voting Survey; OMB Number Pending. Needs and Uses The EAC issues the EAVS to meet its obligations under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to serve as national clearinghouse and resource for the compilation of information with respect to the administration of Federal elections; to fulfill both the EAC and the Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) data collection requirements under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA); and meet its National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) mandate to collect information from states concerning the impact of that statute on the administration of Federal elections. In addition, under the NVRA, the EAC is responsible for collecting information and reporting, biennially, to Congress on the impact of that statute. The information the states are required to submit to the EAC for purposes of the NVRA report are found under Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations. States that respond to questions in this survey concerning voter registration-related matters will meet their NVRA reporting requirements under 52 U.S.C. 20508 and EAC regulations. Finally, UOCAVA mandates that FVAP work with the EAC and chief state election officials to develop standards for reporting UOCAVA voting information (52 U.S.C. 20302) and that FVAP will store the reported data and present the findings within the congressionally-mandated report to the President and Congress. Additionally, UOCAVA requires that ‘‘not later than 90 days after the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each state and unit of local government which administered the election shall (through the state, in the case of a unit of local PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 government) submit a report to the EAC on the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election and the combined number of such ballots which were returned by such voters and cast in the election, and shall make such a report available to the general public.’’ States that complete and timely submit the UOCAVA section of the survey to the EAC will fulfill their UOCAVA reporting requirement under 52 U.S.C. 20302. In order to fulfill the above requirements, the EAC is seeking information relating to the period from the Federal general election day 2018 +1 through the November 2020 Federal general election. The EAC will provide the data regarding UOCAVA voting to FVAP after data collection is completed. This data sharing reduces burden on local election offices because FVAP does not have to conduct its own data collection to meet its reporting requirements. Affected Public (Respondents): State or local governments, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Number of Respondents: 56. Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Burden per Response: 101 hours per collection, 50.5 hours annualized. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,656 hours per collection, 2,828 hours annualized. Frequency: Biennially. * * * * * Nichelle Williams, Director of Research, U.S. Election Assistance Commission. [FR Doc. 2020–02688 Filed 2–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–KF–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection for the State Energy Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The Department of Energy (DOE), pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to extend for three years a currently approved collection of information with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The information collection request, State Energy Program, was previously approved on June 30, 2017 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 28 (Tuesday, February 11, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7754-7758]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02651]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; American Overseas Research Centers 
Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the American 
Overseas Research Centers (AORC) program, Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.274A. This notice relates to the approved 
information collection under OMB control number 1894-0006.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: February 11, 2020.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 27, 2020.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 26, 2020.
    Pre-Application Webinar Information: The Department will hold a 
pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants. 
Detailed information regarding the webinar will be provided on the 
website for the AORC program at www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsaorc/index.html.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg.FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.

[[Page 7755]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl E. Gibbs, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 257-09, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-5690. Email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The AORC program provides grants to consortia 
of United States institutions of higher education (IHEs) to establish 
or operate overseas centers to promote postgraduate research, 
exchanges, and area studies. AORC grants may be used to pay all or a 
portion of the costs for the operation and maintenance of overseas 
facilities; organizing and managing conferences; teaching and research 
materials; the acquisition, maintenance, and preservation of library 
collections; bringing visiting scholars and faculty to the center to 
teach or to conduct research; faculty and staff stipends and salaries; 
faculty, staff, and student travel; and publication and dissemination 
of materials for the scholarly and general public.
    Priorities: Under this competition we are particularly interested 
in applications that address the following priorities.
    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year in 
which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets these 
invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications.
    These priorities are:
    Invitational Priority 1--Professional Development Opportunities for 
Community Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions.
    Provide professional development opportunities to participants from 
community colleges and minority-serving institutions. The opportunities 
must include: Foreign language instruction at the beginning level to 
introduce participants to the languages of the center, or at the 
intermediate and advanced levels to strengthen participants' foreign 
language proficiency; curriculum development workshops for 
incorporating global content into courses; and conferences related to 
the scholarly focus of the center. The professional development 
opportunities may be provided in the United States or overseas where 
the center is located.
    For the purpose of this priority:
    Community college means an institution that meets the definition in 
section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) 
(20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education (as defined 
in section 101 of the HEA) that awards degrees and certificates, more 
than 50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent) 
or master's, professional, or other advanced degrees.
    Minority-serving institution means an institution that is eligible 
to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title 
III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA.
    Note: The list of institutions currently designated as eligible 
under title III and title V is available at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html#el-inst.
    Invitational Priority 2--Open Access to Center-related Research, 
Instructional, and Scholarly Resources.
    Projects that promote international scholarship by providing open 
access to center-related research studies, conference proceedings, 
online libraries, digital archives, foreign language instructional 
materials, scholarly publications, and other resources related to the 
thematic focus of the center.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1128a.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474.
    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Available Funds: $1,000,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2021 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $46,000-$70,000 for each 12-month budget 
period.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $58,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 17.
    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Consortia of United States IHEs that 
receive more than 50 percent of their funding from public or private 
United States sources, have a permanent presence in the country in 
which the center is located, and are organizations described in section 
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which are exempt from 
taxation under section 501(a) of such Code.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to 
follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of 
Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at 
www.govinfo.go v/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the AORC grant 
competition, your application may include business information that you 
consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ``business information'' 
and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that 
information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as 
amended). Because we plan to post on our website a selection of FY 2020 
AORC funded abstracts and applications' narrative sections, you may 
wish to request confidentiality of business information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your 
application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information.

[[Page 7756]]

For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this competition.
    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection 
criteria that reviewers use to evaluate the application. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 30 pages 
and (2) use 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, except 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.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, Application 
for Federal Assistance cover sheet (SF 424); the Supplemental 
Information Form SF 424B; Part II, ED 524 (Summary Budget A) and the 
detailed budget justification (Summary Budget C); or Part IV, 
assurances and certifications. The recommended page limit also does not 
apply to the project abstract, curriculum vitae, or letters of support. 
However, the recommended page limit does apply to the entire 
application narrative.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from section 609 of the HEA and 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score 
for all selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each 
criterion is indicated in parentheses.
    (a) Program purpose (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to 
which the proposed project promotes postgraduate research, exchanges, 
and area studies.
    (b) Need for project (up to 10 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers the magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or 
the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.
    (c) Quality of the project design (up to 10 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.
    (ii) The extent to which fellowship recipients or other project 
participants are to be selected on the basis of academic excellence.
    (d) Quality of project services (up to 20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and 
sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for 
eligible project participants who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability.
    (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the extent to which the 
services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the 
needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.
    (e) Quality of project personnel (up to 15 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will 
carry out the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary 
considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability.
    (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel.
    (ii) The extent to which time commitments of the project director 
and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet 
the objectives of the proposed project.
    (f) Adequacy of resources (up to 10 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed project.
    (ii) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization.
    (g) Quality of the project evaluation (up to 15 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are appropriate 
to the context within which the project operates.
    (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project.
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
timely guidance for quality assurance.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    All applications submitted to the FY 2020 AORC competition will be 
evaluated and scored by peer reviewers who are subject matter experts 
in area studies, international studies, and world languages. The 
Department will develop a rank order slate of all applicants in the 
competition, from the highest score to the lowest score. Applications 
selected

[[Page 7757]]

for funding will be determined by the applicant's rank order in the 
competition.
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the 
applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of 
unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before we make 
an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that 
is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as 
the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify the 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of the 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 the approved application as part of the binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) 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 multiyear 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).
    AORC program grantees are required to submit their performance 
reports into the web-based International Resource Information System 
(IRIS) data reporting system. For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    5. Performance Measures: The purpose of the AORC program is to 
promote area studies, exchanges, and postgraduate research. In 
compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the 
Department will use the following measures to assess the impact of the 
AORC program on project participants and researchers:
    AORC Performance Measure 1: The number of individuals conducting 
postgraduate research utilizing the services of title VI AORCs.
    AORC Performance Measure 2: The percentage of AORC program 
participants who advanced in their professional field within two years 
after their participation.
    The grantee performance reports collected in IRIS will be the data 
source for these measures. The AORC program reporting screens may be 
viewed at: http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/AORC.pdf.
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. 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 compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this 
document, as well as all other documents of this Department published 
in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF, you must have 
Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal

[[Page 7758]]

Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

Robert L. King,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2020-02651 Filed 2-10-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P