[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 62 (Monday, April 1, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19468-19474]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-07559]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Minority Science and Engineering 
Improvement Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information:
    Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) .
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2013.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.120A.


DATES: Applications Available: April 1, 2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 2013.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The MSEIP is designed to effect long-range 
improvement in science and engineering education at predominantly 
minority institutions and to increase the flow of underrepresented 
ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and 
technological careers.
    Priorities: This notice contains one competitive preference 
priority and two invitational priorities. The competitive preference 
priority is from the notice of final supplemental priorities and 
definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal 
Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 
2011 (76 FR 27637).
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2013 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we will award an additional two points to 
an application that meets this competitive preference priority.
    This priority is:
    Competitive Preference Priority: Increasing Postsecondary Success.
    Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:
    Increasing the number and proportion of high-need students (as 
defined in this notice) who persist in and complete college or other 
postsecondary education and training.

    Note: Applicants seeking to address the competitive priority 
must do so in the context of meeting all other program requirements, 
including those provisions requiring a focus on science and 
engineering education in the grants funded under this program. 
Applicants should also consider how all elements of their proposed 
project contribute to the priority.

    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in 
which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants 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: Institutionalize Practices that have 
Evidence of Success. Building institutional capacity to effect long-
range improvement in science and engineering education through projects 
that are supported by strong or moderate evidence of effectiveness (as 
defined in this notice).
    Invitational Priority 2: Improve STEM Education in the First Two 
Years of College.
    This invitational priority invites applications to eliminate 
systemic problems and impediments that result in high failure and 
dropout rates within the introductory years of science and engineering 
programs. We invite applications for projects that are designed to 
improve student success and retention in the first two years with 
actions, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
    (a) Providing greater exposure to science and engineering real-
world problems in the first two years through actions such as the 
appropriate sequencing of courses.
    (b) Introducing recent innovations and discoveries in the first two 
years to make science and engineering education relevant. The students 
should experience real developments such as those led by 
nanotechnology, cell biology, and ICT (Information and Communication 
Technologies).
    (c) Widespread integration of research courses into the 
introductory STEM curricula. Expand the use of scientific research and 
engineering design courses in the first two years.
    (d) Increasing opportunities for student research and design in 
faculty research laboratories.
    (e) Developing new curricula that integrate scientific theory with 
real-world applications in scientific problem-solving and engineering 
design, in the context of global environmental, energy, and economic 
problems.
    (f) Adopting pedagogy for integrative teaching.
    (g) Establishing programs to train faculty in evidence-based 
teaching practices, and catalyzing widespread adoption of empirically 
validated teaching practices.
    (h) Seeking institutional and accreditation support for changes in 
curricular, pedagogical, and graduation requirements that are necessary 
to improve the first two years of STEM coursework.
    Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of final 
supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637), and apply to the 
priorities in this notice:
    Carefully matched comparison group design means a type of quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) that attempts to 
approximate an experimental study (as defined in this notice). More 
specifically, it is a design in which project participants are matched 
with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to 
be related to the outcome. These characteristics include, but are not 
limited to:
    (1) Prior test scores and other measures of academic achievement 
(preferably, the same measures that the study will use to evaluate 
outcomes for the two groups);
    (2) Demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, 
English proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational 
attainment, and

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single- or two-parent family background;
    (3) The time period in which the two groups are studied (e.g., the 
two groups are children entering kindergarten in the same year as 
opposed to sequential years); and
    (4) Methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of 
reading skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Experimental study means a study that employs random assignment of, 
for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to 
participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not to 
participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project 
is the average difference in outcomes between the treatment and control 
groups.
    High-need children and high-need students means children and 
students at risk of educational failure, such as children and students 
who are living in poverty, who are English learners, who are far below 
grade level or who are not on track to becoming college- or career-
ready by graduation, who have left school or college before receiving, 
respectively, a regular high school diploma or a college degree or 
certificate, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, 
who are homeless, who are in foster care, who are pregnant or parenting 
teenagers, who have been incarcerated, who are new immigrants, who are 
migrant, or who have disabilities.
    Interrupted time series design means a type of quasi-experimental 
study (as defined in this notice) in which the outcome of interest is 
measured multiple times before and after the treatment for program 
participants only. If the program had an impact, the outcomes after 
treatment will have a different slope or level from those before 
treatment. That is, the series should show an ``interruption'' of the 
prior situation at the time when the program was implemented. Adding a 
comparison group time series, such as schools not participating in the 
program or schools participating in the program in a different 
geographic area, substantially increases the reliability of the 
findings.\1\
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    \1\ A single subject or single case design is an adaptation of 
an interrupted time series design that relies on the comparison of 
treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. 
There is little confidence that findings based on this design would 
be the same for other members of the population. In some single 
subject designs, treatment reversal or multiple baseline designs are 
used to increase internal validity. In a treatment reversal design, 
after a pretreatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared 
with a post treatment measure, the treatment would then be stopped 
for a period of time; a second baseline measure of the outcome would 
be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a 
different treatment. A multiple baseline design addresses concerns 
about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, 
and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using 
a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or 
treatments of different lengths or intensity.
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    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies whose 
designs can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high 
internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate 
external validity), or studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity. The following would constitute moderate evidence:
    (1) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in 
this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in 
this notice) supporting the effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or 
program, with small sample sizes or other conditions of implementation 
or analysis that limit generalizability;
    (2) At least one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in 
this notice) experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in 
this notice) that does not demonstrate equivalence between the 
intervention and comparison groups at program entry but that has no 
other major flaws related to internal validity; or
    (3) Correlational research with strong statistical controls for 
selection bias and for discerning the influence of internal factors.
    Quasi-experimental study means an evaluation design that attempts 
to approximate an experimental study (as defined in this notice) and 
can support causal conclusions (i.e., minimizes threats to internal 
validity, such as selection bias, or allows them to be modeled). Well-
designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) quasi-
experimental studies include carefully matched comparison group designs 
(as defined in this notice), interrupted time series designs (as 
defined in this notice), or regression discontinuity designs (as 
defined in this notice).
    Regression discontinuity design study means, in part, a quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) design that closely 
approximates an experimental study (as defined in this notice). In a 
regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a 
treatment or comparison group based on a numerical rating or score of a 
variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an 
application for funding. Another example would be assignment of 
eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain 
score (``cut score'') to the treatment group and assignment of those 
below the score to the comparison group.
    Strong evidence means evidence from previous studies whose designs 
can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity), and studies that in total include enough of the range of 
participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, 
or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity). The 
following are examples of strong evidence:
    (1) More than one well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in 
this notice) experimental study (as defined in this notice) or well-
designed and well-implemented (as defined in this notice) quasi-
experimental study (as defined in this notice) that supports the 
effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program; or
    (2) One large, well-designed and well-implemented (as defined in 
this notice) randomized controlled, multisite trial that supports the 
effectiveness of the practice, strategy, or program.
    Well-designed and well-implemented means, with respect to an 
experimental or quasi-experimental study (as defined in this notice), 
that the study meets the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards, 
with or without reservations (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1 and in particular the 
description of ``Reasons for Not Meeting Standards'' at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/Doc.aspx?docId=19&tocId=4#reasons).
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1067-1067k.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 
84, 86, 97, 98, and 99; (b) The Education Department suspension and 
debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485; (c) The regulations for this 
program in 34 CFR part 637; (d) The notice of final supplemental 
priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published 
in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and 
corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

[[Page 19470]]

    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$8,992,686 for this program for FY 2013, of which it intends to 
allocate $2,906,074 for this competition. The actual level of funding, 
if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting 
applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if 
Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2014 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $150,000-
$250,000. Special Project Grants: $100,000-$250,000. Cooperative 
Project Grants: $250,000-$300,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: 
$200,000. Special Project Grants: $175,000. Cooperative Project Grants: 
$275,000.
    Maximum Awards: Institutional Project Grants: $250,000. Special 
Project Grants: $250,000. Cooperative Project Grants: $300,000. We may 
choose not to further consider or review applications with budgets that 
exceed the maximum award. We may choose not to further consider or 
review applications with the budget for a single budget period of 12 
months exceeding the maximum award. The Assistant Secretary for 
Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amounts through a notice 
published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: Institutional Project Grants: 10; 
Special Project Grants: 1; Cooperative Project Grants: 1.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: The eligibility of an applicant is 
dependent on the type of MSEIP grant. There are four types of MSEIP 
grants:
    Institutional projects, special projects, cooperative, and design.
    Institutional project grants are grants that support the 
implementation of a comprehensive science improvement plan, which may 
include any combination of activities for improving the preparation of 
minority students for careers in science.
    There are two types of special projects grants. There are special 
projects grants for which minority institutions are eligible. These 
special projects grants support activities that: (1) Improve quality 
training in science and engineering at minority institutions; or (2) 
enhance the minority institutions' general scientific research 
capabilities. There are also special projects grants for which all 
applicants are eligible. These special projects grants support 
activities that: (1) Provide a needed service to a group of eligible 
minority institutions; or (2) provide in-service training for project 
directors, scientists, and engineers from eligible minority 
institutions.
    Cooperative project grants assist groups of nonprofit accredited 
colleges and universities to work together to conduct a science 
improvement program.
    Design project grants assist minority institutions that do not have 
their own appropriate resources or personnel to plan and develop long-
range science improvement programs. We will not award design project 
grants in the FY 2013 competition.
    (a) For institutional project grants, eligible applicants are 
limited to:
    (1) Public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education 
that (i) Award baccalaureate degrees; and (ii) are minority 
institutions;
    (2) Public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education 
that (i) Award associate degrees; and (ii) are minority institutions 
that (A) Have a curriculum that includes science or engineering 
subjects; and (B) enter into a partnership with public or private 
nonprofit institutions of higher education that award baccalaureate 
degrees in science and engineering.
    (b) For special projects grants for which minority institutions are 
eligible, eligible applicants are described in paragraph (a).
    (c) For special projects grants for which all applicants are 
eligible, eligible applicants include those described in paragraph (a), 
and
    (1) Nonprofit science-oriented organizations, professional 
scientific societies, and institutions of higher education that award 
baccalaureate degrees that: (i) Provide a needed service to a group of 
minority institutions; or (ii) provide in-service training to project 
directors, scientists, and engineers from minority institutions; or
    (2) A consortia of organizations, that provide needed services to 
one or more minority institutions, the membership of which may 
include--(i) Institutions of higher education which have a curriculum 
in science or engineering; (ii) institutions of higher education that 
have a graduate or professional program in science or engineering; 
(iii) research laboratories of, or under contract with, the Department 
of Energy, the Department of Defense or the National Institutes of 
Health; (iv) relevant offices of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and 
Technology; (v) quasi-governmental entities that have a significant 
scientific or engineering mission; or (vi) institutions of higher 
education that have State-sponsored centers for research in science, 
technology, engineering, and mathematics.
    (d) For cooperative projects grants, eligible applicants are groups 
of nonprofit accredited colleges and universities whose primary fiscal 
agent is an eligible minority institution as defined in 34 CFR 
637.4(b).

    Note: As defined in 34 CFR 637.4(b), ``minority institution'' 
means an accredited college or university whose enrollment of a 
single minority group or a combination of minority groups exceeds 50 
percent of the total enrollment.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application via the Internet at Grants.gov. If you do not have access 
to the Internet, please contact Krish Mathur, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006-8517. Telephone: 
(202) 502-7512.
    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.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer disc) by contacting the program contact persons listed in 
this section.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page 
Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where 
you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use 
to evaluate your application. We have established a mandatory page 
limit for the application narrative of each type of MSEIP grant project 
as follows:
    Institutional project grants: 40 pages;
    Special projects grant application: 35 pages;
    Cooperative project grant application: 50 pages.
    You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to these 
established

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page limits, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and a document 
identifier may be within the 1'' margin.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, captions, and all text in charts, 
tables, and graphs. These items may be single spaced; however, they 
will count toward the page limit.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no 
smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 
point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    If you use some but not all of the allowable space on a page, it 
will be counted as a full page in determining compliance with the page 
limit.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the budget justification; Part IV, the 
one-page abstract, the table of contents, the MSEIP Eligibility 
Certification Form, required letter(s) of commitment, evidence of 
partnerships, or the assurances and certifications. If you include any 
attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items will 
be counted as part of the program narrative (Part III) for purposes of 
the page limit requirement. You must include your complete responses to 
the selection criteria in the program narrative.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit. We 
will also reject your application if you fail to provide the MSEIP 
Eligibility Certification Form.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: April 1, 2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 2013.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 30, 2013.
    4. 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.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, Central Contractor Registry, and System for Award Management: 
To do business with the Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR)--and, after July 24, 2012, with the System 
for Award Management (SAM)--the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR or SAM registration with current 
information while your application is under review by the Department 
and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR or SAM registration process may take five or more business 
days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may 
not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more 
business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at 
SAM.gov.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the MSEIP, CFDA Number 84.120A, must 
be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply 
site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download 
a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload 
and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the MSEIP at 
www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application 
package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the 
CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.120, not 
84.120A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your

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application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and 
time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non 
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach 
files is in the application instructions.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;
    and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Krish Mathur, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., room 6032, Washington, DC 
20006-8517. Fax: (202) 502-7877.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.120A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

[[Page 19473]]

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.120A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:  If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 637.32(a) through (j). Applicants must address each of the 
selection criteria. The total weight of the selection criteria is 100 
points; the weight of each criterion is noted in parentheses. Please 
see the application package for detailed explanation of these criteria. 
The selection criteria are as follows:
    (a) Identification of need for the project (Total 5 points).
    (b) Plan of operation (Total 20 points).
    (c) Quality of key personnel (Total 5 points).
    (d) Budget and cost effectiveness (Total 10 points).
    (e) Evaluation plan (Total 15 points).
    (f) Adequacy of resources (Total 5 points).
    (g) Potential institutional impact of the project (Total 15 
points).
    (h) Institutional commitment to the project (Total 5 points).
    (i) Expected Outcomes (Total 10 points).
    (j) Scientific and educational value of the proposed project (Total 
10 points).
    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 
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 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    Tiebreaker for Institutional, Special Project, and Cooperative 
Grants. If there are insufficient funds for all applications with the 
same total scores, applications will receive preference in the 
following manner. The Secretary gives priority to applicants which have 
not previously received funding from the program and to previous 
grantees with a proven record of success, as well as to applications 
that contribute to achieving balance among funded projects with respect 
to: (1) Geographic region; (2) Academic discipline; and (3) Project 
type.
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special 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 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

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). 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 in 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. 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 multi-year 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). Please see the application package for 
details of annual and final reporting requirements. For specific 
requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the 
following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of 
the MSEIP: (1) The percentage of change in the number of full-time, 
degree-seeking minority undergraduate students at the grantee's 
institution enrolled in the fields of engineering or physical or 
biological sciences, compared to the average minority enrollment in the 
same fields in the three-year period immediately prior to the beginning 
of the current grant; (2) the percentage of minority

[[Page 19474]]

students enrolled at four-year minority-serving institutions in the 
fields of engineering or physical or biological sciences who graduate 
within six years of enrollment. Please see the application package for 
details of data collection and reporting requirements for these 
measures.
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, 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. Agency Contacts

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krish Mathur, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6155, Washington, DC 20006-8517 by 
telephone: (202) 502 7512, or by email: Krish.mathur@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

VIII. 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 persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. 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 Adobe 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.

    Dated: March 27, 2013.
David A. Bergeron,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2013-07559 Filed 3-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P