[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 86 (Monday, May 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26445-26450]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09446]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Education Research and Special 
Education Research Grant Programs

AGENCY: Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the 
Education Research and Special Education Research Grant Programs, 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.305A, 84.305B, 
84.305C, 84.305R, 84.324A, 84.324B, 84.324P, and 84.324R. This notice 
relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 
4040-0001.

DATES: The dates when applications are available and the deadlines for 
transmittal of applications invited under this notice are indicated in 
the chart at the end of this notice and in the Requests for 
Applications (RFAs) that are posted at the following website: https://ies.ed.gov/funding.

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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The contact person associated with a 
particular research competition is listed in the chart at the end of 
this notice, as well as in the relevant RFA and application package.

[[Page 26446]]

    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: In awarding these grants, the Institute of 
Education Sciences (IES) intends to provide national leadership in 
expanding knowledge and understanding of (1) developmental and school 
readiness outcomes for infants and toddlers with or at risk for a 
disability, (2) education outcomes for all learners from early 
childhood education through postsecondary and adult education, and (3) 
employment and wage outcomes when relevant (such as for those engaged 
in career and technical, postsecondary, or adult education). The IES 
research grant programs are designed to provide interested individuals 
and the general public with reliable and valid information about 
education practices that support learning and improve academic 
achievement and access to education opportunities for all learners. 
These interested individuals include parents, educators, learners, 
researchers, and policymakers. In carrying out its grant programs, IES 
provides support for programs of research in areas of demonstrated 
national need.
    Competitions in This Notice: IES is announcing eight research 
competitions through two of its centers:
    The IES National Center for Education Research (NCER) is annoucing 
four competitions--one competition in each of the following areas: 
Education research; education research training; education research and 
development centers; and systematic replication in education.
    The IES National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) is 
announcing four competitions--one competition in each of the following 
areas: Special education research; special education research training; 
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) process data; and 
systematic replication in special education.

NCER Competitions

    The Education Research Competition. Under this competition, NCER 
will consider only applications that address one of the following 
topics:
     Career and Technical Education.
     Civics Education and Social Studies.
     Cognition and Student Learning.
     Early Learning Programs and Policies.
     Effective Instruction.
     English Learners.
     Improving Education Systems.
     Postsecondary and Adult Education.
     Literacy.
     Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) 
Education.
     Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning.
    The Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences 
Competition. Under this competition, NCER will consider only 
applications that address one of the following topics:
     Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training 
Program.
     Postdoctoral Research Training Program in the Education 
Sciences.
     Methods Training for Education Researchers.
    The Education Research and Development Centers Competition. Under 
this competition, NCER will consider only applications that address the 
following topic:
     Improving Teaching and Learning in Postsecondary 
Institutions.
    Research Grants Focused on Systematic Replication. Under this 
competition, NCER will consider only applications that address 
identifying what works in education through systematic replication.

NCSER Competitions

    The Special Education Research Competition. Under this competition, 
NCSER encourages a broad range of research including studies that may 
have more than one research focus (such as reading and behavior) and 
may focus broadly on students with disabilities or on a particular 
disability (such as autism spectrum disorders). Applicants should 
identify their primary focus of research from one of the following 
topics:
     Cognition and Student Learning.
     Early Intervention and Early Learning.
     Educators and School-Based Service Providers.
     Families of Children with Disabilities.
     Reading, Writing, and Language.
     Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
     Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence.
     Systems, Policy, and Finance.
     Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or 
Independent Living.
    The Research Training Programs in Special Education Competition. 
Under this competition, NCSER will consider only applications that 
address one of the following two topics:
     Early Career Development and Mentoring.
     Methods Training for Special Education Research.
    Research Grants Focused on NAEP Process Data for Learners with 
Disabilities. Under this competition, NCSER will consider only 
applications using the restricted-use data, including the NAEP process 
data, from the 2017 eighth-grade NAEP mathematics assessment to examine 
outcomes for students with disabilities.
    Research Grants Focused on Systematic Replication. Under this 
competition, NCSER will consider only applications that address 
identifying what works in special education through systematic 
replication.
    Exemption from Proposed Rulemaking: Under section 191 of the 
Education Sciences Reform Act, 20 U.S.C. 9581, IES is not subject to 
section 437(d) of the General Education Provisions Act, 20 U.S.C. 
1232(d), and is therefore not required to offer interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on priorities, selection criteria, definitions, 
and requirements.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 9501 et seq.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 77, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, 
and 99. In addition, the regulations in 34 CFR part 75 are applicable, 
except for the provisions in 34 CFR 75.100, 75.101(b), 75.102, 75.103, 
75.105, 75.109(a), 75.200, 75.201, 75.209, 75.210, 75.211, 75.217(a)-
(c), 75.219, 75.220, 75.221, 75.222, 75.230, and 75.708. (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 institutions of 
higher education only.


    Note: The open licensing requirement in 2 CFR 3474.20 does not 
apply for this competition.

II. Award Information

    Types of Awards: Discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.

[[Page 26447]]

    Fiscal Information: Although Congress has not yet enacted an 
appropriation for FY 2021, IES is inviting applications for these 
competitions now so that applicants can have adequate time to prepare 
their applications. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on 
final congressional action. In addition, the level of available funding 
may depend on IES provision of additional support for ongoing grants 
that have been affected by COVID-19. IES may announce additional 
competitions later in 2020.
    Estimated Range of Awards: See chart at the end of this notice. The 
size of the awards will depend on the scope of the projects proposed.
    Estimated Number of Awards: The number of awards made under each 
competition will depend on the quality of the applications received for 
that competition, the availability of funds, and the following limits 
on awards for specific competitions and topics set by IES.
    IES may waive any of the following limits on awards for a specific 
competition or topic in the special case that the peer review process 
results in a tie between two or more grant applications, making it 
impossible to adhere to the limits without funding only some of the 
equally ranked applications. In that case, IES may make a larger number 
of awards to include all applications of the same rank.
    For NCER's Research Training Programs in the Education Sciences 
competition, we intend to fund up to five grants under the Pathways to 
the Education Sciences Research Training Program topic. However, should 
funding be available, we may consider making additional awards to high-
quality applications that remain unfunded after five awards are made.
    For NCER's Education Research and Development Center competition, 
we intend to fund up to one grant. However, should funding be 
available, we may consider making additional awards to high-quality 
applications that remain unfunded after one award is made.
    For NCSER's Research Training Programs in Special Education, under 
the Methods Training for Special Education Research topic we will not 
fund training in single-case design and we intend to fund only one 
grant for training programs focused on any particular method. However, 
should funding be available, we may consider making awards to more than 
one high-quality application focused on a particular method.
    For all competitions, contingent on the availability of funds and 
the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2022 
from the list of highly-rated unfunded applications from the FY 2021 
competitions.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: See chart at the end of this notice.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Applicants that have the ability and 
capacity to conduct scientifically valid research are eligible to 
apply. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, nonprofit 
and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and 
institutions of higher education, such as colleges and universities.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: These programs do not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee under this 
competition may award subgrants--to directly carry out project 
activities described in its application--to the following types of 
entities: Nonprofit and for-profit organizations and public and private 
agencies and institutions of higher education. The grantee may award 
subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved 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.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
    2. Other Information: Information regarding program and application 
requirements for the competitions will be contained in the currently 
available IES Application Submission Guide and in the NCER and NCSER 
RFAs, which will be available on or before May 30, 2020 on the IES 
website at: https://ies.ed.gov/funding/. The dates on which the 
application packages for these competitions will be available are 
indicated in the chart at the end of this notice.
    3. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application are contained in the RFA for 
the specific competition. The forms that must be submitted are in the 
application package for the specific competition.
    4. Submission Dates and Times: The deadline date for transmittal of 
applications for each competition is indicated in the chart at the end 
of this notice and in the RFAs for the competitions.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    5. Intergovernmental Review: These competitions are not subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    6. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: For all of its grant competitions, IES uses 
selection criteria based on a peer review process that has been 
approved by the National Board for Education Sciences. The Peer Review 
Procedures for Grant Applications can be found on the IES website at 
https://ies.ed.gov/director/sro/peer_review/application_review.asp.
    For the 84.305A, 84.324A, 84.324P, 84.305R, and 84.324R 
competitions, peer reviewers will be asked to evaluate the significance 
of the application, the quality of the research plan, the 
qualifications and experience of the personnel, the resources of the 
applicant to support the proposed activities, and the quality of the 
dissemination history and dissemination plan. These criteria are 
described in greater detail in the RFAs.
    For the 84.305B competition, peer reviewers for the pathways and 
postdoctoral training programs will be asked to evaluate the 
significance of the application, the quality of the research training 
plan, the qualifications and experience of the personnel, and the 
resources of the applicant to support the proposed activities. For the 
84.305B and 84.324B competitions, peer reviewers for the methods 
training programs will be asked to evaluate the significance of the 
application, the quality of the research training plan, the 
qualifications and experience of the personnel, the resources of the 
applicant to support the proposed activities, and the quality of the 
dissemination plan. For the 84.324B competition, peer reviewers for the 
early career development and mentoring program will be asked to 
evaluate the significance of the application, the quality of the 
research plan, the quality of the career development plan, the 
qualifications and experience of the personnel, the resources of the 
applicant to support the proposed activities, and

[[Page 26448]]

the quality of the dissemination plan. These criteria are described in 
greater detail in the RFA.
    For the 84.305C competition, peer reviewers will be asked to 
evaluate the significance of the application, the quality of the 
research plan for the focused program of research, the quality of the 
plans for other center activities, the quality of the management and 
institutional resources, and the qualifications and experience of the 
personnel. These criteria are described in greater detail in the RFA.
    For all IES competitions, applications must include budgets no 
higher than the relevant maximum award as set out in the relevant RFA. 
IES will not make an award exceeding the maximum award amount as set 
out in the relevant RFA.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
IES 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, compliance with the 
IES policy regarding public access to research, and compliance with 
grant conditions. IES 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, IES also 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 (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 
106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under these competitions, the 
Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 
CFR 3474.10, IES 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 your 
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 your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Grant Administration: Applicants should budget for an annual 
meeting of up to three days for project directors to be held in 
Washington, DC.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under one of the 
competitions announced in this notice, 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 
IES. 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 IES under 34 CFR 
75.118. IES may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 
CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    5. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its 
education research and special education research grant programs, IES 
annually assesses the percentage of projects that result in peer-
reviewed publications and the number of IES-supported interventions 
with evidence of efficacy in improving learner education outcomes. In 
addition, NCSER annually assesses the number of newly developed or 
modified interventions with evidence of promise for improving learner 
education outcomes. School readiness outcomes include pre-reading, 
reading, pre-writing, early mathematics, early science, and social-
emotional skills that prepare young children for school. Student 
academic outcomes include learning and achievement in academic content 
areas, such as reading, writing, math, and science, as well as outcomes 
that reflect students' successful progression through the education 
system, such as course and grade completion; high school graduation; 
and postsecondary enrollment, progress, and completion. Social and 
behavioral competencies include social and emotional skills, attitudes, 
and behaviors that are important to academic and post-academic success. 
Additional education outcomes for students with or at risk of a 
disability (as defined in the relevant RFA) include developmental 
outcomes for infants and toddlers (birth to age three) pertaining to 
cognitive, communicative, linguistic, social, emotional, adaptive, 
functional, or physical development; and developmental and functional 
outcomes that improve education outcomes, transition to employment, 
independent living, and postsecondary education for students with 
disabilities.
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, IES 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;

[[Page 26449]]

whether a grantee is in compliance with the IES policy regarding public 
access to research; and if IES has established performance measurement 
requirements, whether the grantee has met the performance targets in 
the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation award, IES 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 RFA in an accessible format (e.g., braille, 
large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the appropriate 
program contact person listed in the chart at the end of this notice.
    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 Portable Document Format (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 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.

Mark Schneider,
Director, Institute of Education Sciences.

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                                 Application    Deadline for                                       For further
      CFDA No. and name            package     transmittal of  Estimated range   Project period    information
                                  available     applications     of awards *                         contact
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  National Center for Education Research (NCER)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.305A Education Research...         6/11/20         8/20/20  $100,000 to      Up to 5 years..  Erin Higgins,
[ssquf] Career and Technical                                    $760,000.                         [email protected]
 Education..                                                                                      d.gov.
    [ssquf] Civics Education
     and Social Studies.
    [ssquf] Cognition and
     Student Learning.
    [ssquf] Early Learning
     Programs and Policies.
    [ssquf] Effective
     Instruction.
    [ssquf] English Learners.
    [ssquf] Improving
     Education Systems.
    [ssquf] Postsecondary and
     Adult Education.
    [ssquf] Literacy.
    [ssquf] Science,
     Technology, Engineering,
     and Mathematics
     Education.
    [ssquf] Social and
     Behavioral Context for
     Academic Learning.
84.305B Research Training             6/11/20         8/20/20  $100,000 to      Up to 5 years..  Katina
 Programs in the Education                                      $312,000.                         Stapleton,
 Sciences.                                                                                        Katina.Staplet
[ssquf] Pathways to the                                                                           [email protected]
 Education Sciences Research
 Training Program..
    [ssquf] Postdoctoral
     Research Training
     Program in the Education
     Sciences.
    [ssquf] Methods Training
     for Education
     Researchers.
84.305C Education Research            6/11/20         8/20/20  $1,000,000 to    Up to 5 years..  Meredith
 and Development Centers.                                       $2,000,000.                       Larson,
[ssquf] Improving Teaching                                                                        Meredith.Larso
 and Learning in                                                                                  [email protected]
 Postsecondary Institutions..
84.305R Research Grants               6/11/20         8/20/20  $400,000 to      Up to 5 years..  Christina
 Focused on Systematic                                          $900,000.                         Chhin,
 Replication.                                                                                     [email protected].
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.324A Special Education             6/11/20         8/20/20  $100,000 to      Up to 5 years..  Jacquelyn
 Research.                                                      $760,000.                         Buckley,
[ssquf] Cognition and Student                                                                     Jacquelyn.Buck
 Learning..                                                                                       [email protected]
    [ssquf] Early
     Intervention and Early
     Learning.
    [ssquf] Educators and
     School-Based Service
     Providers.
    [ssquf] Families of
     Children with
     Disabilities.
    [ssquf] Reading, Writing,
     and Language.
    [ssquf] Science,
     Technology, Engineering,
     and Mathematics (STEM).
    [ssquf] Social, Emotional
     and Behavioral
     Competence.
    [ssquf] Systems, Policy,
     and Finance.
    [ssquf] Transition to
     Postsecondary Education,
     Career, and/or
     Independent Living.
84.324B Research Training             6/11/20         8/20/20  $100,000 to      Up to 4 years..  Katherine
 Programs in Special                                            $266,000.                         Taylor,
 Education.                                                                                       Katherine.Tayl
[ssquf] Early Career                                                                              [email protected]
 Development and Mentoring..
    [ssquf] Methods Training
     for Special Education
     Research.
84.324P Research Grants               6/11/20         8/20/20  $100,000 to      Up to 2.5 years  Sarah Brasiel,
 Focused on NAEP Process Data                                   $280,000.                         [email protected]
 for Learners with                                                                                ed.gov.
 Disabilities.
84.324R Research Grants               6/11/20         8/20/20  $400,000 to      Up to 5 years..  Katherine
 Focused on Systematic                                          $900,000.                         Taylor,
 Replication.                                                                                     [email protected].
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* These estimates are annual amounts.



[[Page 26450]]

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.


    Note: If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

[FR Doc. 2020-09446 Filed 5-1-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P