[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 204 (Friday, October 21, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72791-72797]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25539]


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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 Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
(FY) 2017.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.120A.

Dates: 
    Applications Available: October 21, 2016.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department of Education 
(Department) intends to hold a Webinar to provide technical assistance 
to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding this Webinar 
will be provided on the Web site for the Minority Science and 
Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iduesmsi/index.html. A recording of this Webinar will be available on 
the Web site following the session.

[[Page 72792]]

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 20, 2016.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 21, 2017.

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.
    Priority: This notice contains one competitive preference priority. 
The competitive preference priority is from the Department's notice of 
final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 
73425) (Supplemental Priorities).
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2017 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two 
points to an application that meets this priority.
    The priority is:
    Competitive Preference Priority--Promoting Science, Technology, 
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education (2 additional points).
    Projects that are designed to improve student achievement or other 
related outcomes by identifying and implementing instructional 
strategies, systems, and structures that improve postsecondary learning 
and retention, resulting in completion of a degree in a STEM field.

    Note:  We recognize that the definition of ``student 
achievement'' from the Secretary's Supplemental Priorities is not 
relevant in the context of this competition because that definition 
pertains to elementary and secondary grades and subjects that are 
covered by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended. In responding to this priority, however, applicants may 
propose projects that are designed to improve ``other related 
outcomes,'' which could include, for example, end-of-course grades, 
or improvement in research or laboratory skills, among other 
outcomes.


    Note:  Applicants must indicate in the one-page abstract and on 
the MSEIP Eligibility Certification Form in the application package 
whether they intend to address the competitive preference priority.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1067-1067k.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 
84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB 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 as adopted in 2 
CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 646. 
(e) The Supplemental Priorities.

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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$9,648,000 for MSEIP for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an 
estimated $2,597,607 for new awards. 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 2018 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: $230,000.
    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 will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the 
maximum award amount listed for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards

    Institutional Project Grants: 9.
    Special Project Grants: 1.
    Cooperative Project Grants: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: An applicant's eligibility depends on the 
type of MSEIP grant the applicant seeks. There are four types of MSEIP 
grants: institutional project, special project, cooperative project, 
and design project.
    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 project grants. First, there are 
special project grants for which only minority institutions are 
eligible. These special project 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 also are special project grants 
for which all applicants are eligible. These special project 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 2017 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 project grants for which only minority institutions 
are eligible, eligible applicants are described in paragraph (a).
    (c) For special project grants for which all applicants are 
eligible, eligible

[[Page 72793]]

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 consortium of organizations that provide needed services to 
one or more minority institutions, the membership of which may include 
(i) institutions of higher education that 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 project 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 Dr. Bernadette Hence, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C115, Washington, DC 
20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7913 or by 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.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in 
this section.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content and form 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 application as follows:
    Institutional project grant: 40 pages.
    Special project grant: 35 pages.
    Cooperative project grant: 50 pages.
    You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to these 
established 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 an 
identifier may be within the 1'' margin.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including charts, tables, 
figures, and graphs. Titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, 
references, and captions may be singled spaced.
     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. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman and 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 III, the 
one-page abstract, the table of contents, the MSEIP Eligibility 
Certification Form, required letter(s) of commitment, evidence of 
partnerships; and Part IV, the assurances and certifications. If you 
include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these 
items will be counted as part of the application narrative for purposes 
of the page limit requirement. You must include your complete responses 
to the selection criteria in the application 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: October 21, 2016.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department intends to hold a 
Webinar to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. 
Detailed information regarding this Webinar will be provided on the 
MSEIP Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iduesmsi/index.html. A 
recording of this Webinar will be available on the Web site following 
the session.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 20, 2016.
    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 Other Submission Requirements in section 
IV 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: February 21, 2017.
    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, and System for Award Management: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--

[[Page 72794]]

    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 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 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 at the 
following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be 
created within one to two business days.
    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 two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. 
Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial 
assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow 
sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We 
strongly recommend that you register early.
    Note: Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 
hours before you can access the information in, and submit an 
application through, Grants.gov.
    If you are currently registered with SAM, 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.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    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/web/grants/register.html.
    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 
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. In addition, for specific guidance and 
procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please 
refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.
     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 read-only, non-modifiable 
Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a 
password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note 
that this could result in your application not being considered for 
funding because the material in question--for example, the application 
narrative--is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For 
that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload 
all material as PDF files. The Department

[[Page 72795]]

will not convert material from other formats to PDF. 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. Grants.gov 
will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all 
the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors 
(such as submission of your application by someone other than a 
registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an 
attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will 
be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you 
must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.
    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the 
Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you 
an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.
    These emails do not mean that your application is without any 
disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully 
validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application 
requirements as specified in this notice and in the application 
instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure 
to upload attachments in read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to 
submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant 
eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your 
submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.
     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 the 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will 
contact you after we determine 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 
prevents 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: Dr. Bernadette Hence, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C115, 
Washington, DC 20202. Fax: (202) 502-7861.
    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.
    (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.

    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.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the deadline 
date.
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 7039, 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,

[[Page 72796]]

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 should 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 a 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 that 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. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose special 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 
$150,000), 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 SAM. 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. 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). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    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

[[Page 72797]]

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; and (2) the percentage of minority students enrolled 
at four-year minority 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 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 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: Dr. Bernadette Hence, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C115, Washington, DC 
20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7913 or by email: [email protected]
    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 person 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 Portable Document Format. 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: October 18, 2016.
Lynn B. Mahaffie,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation, 
Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary 
Education.
[FR Doc. 2016-25539 Filed 10-20-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P