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Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities


Program Announcement

NSF-02-115


DIRECTORATE FOR EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
DIRECTORATE FOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
DIRECTORATE FOR COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
DIRECTORATE FOR ENGINEERING
DIRECTORATE FOR GEOSCIENCES
DIRECTORATE FOR MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
DIRECTORATE FOR SOCIAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES
OFFICE OF INTEGRATIVE ACTIVITIES
OFFICE OF POLAR PROGRAMS



 




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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS



GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title: Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities

Synopsis of Program: The National Science Foundation encourages scientists and engineers with disabilities to participate fully in all of its programs.  This announcement describes opportunities for physically disabled persons to facilitate their work by providing special equipment or assistance needed in conjunction with NSF-supported projects. This announcement covers all projects supported by NSF in science and engineering research or education, including fellowships.  

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

AWARD INFORMATION

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements

PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION





TABLE OF CONTENTS



SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
  3. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  4. AWARD INFORMATION
  5. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
  6. PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
  7. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements
  8. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  9. OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST




I. INTRODUCTION

The Foundation's mandate to ensure the vitality of the Nation's scientific enterprise includes responsibility for the quality, distribution, and effectiveness of the human resource base in science and engineering. As part of its effort to promote full utilization of highly qualified scientists and engineers and to develop scientific and technical talent, the Foundation has the following goals:

- to reduce or remove barriers to participation in research and training by physically disabled individuals by providing special equipment and assistance under awards made by NSF, and

- to encourage disabled individuals to pursue careers in science and engineering by stimulating the development and demonstration of special equipment that facilitates his or her work performance.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

METHOD OF SUPPORT

Requests for special equipment or assistance may be: (1) included in the original proposal submitted to a Foundation program, or (2) submitted as a separate request for supplemental funding for an existing grant.

There is no separate program for funding special equipment or assistance. Requests are made in conjunction with regular competitive proposals, and funds are provided as part of any resulting grant or as a supplement to an existing NSF award.

WHAT IS SUPPORTED

Funds may be requested to purchase special equipment, modify equipment or provide services required specifically for the work to be undertaken. Equipment or assistance that compensate in a general way for the disabling condition are not allowed.

For example, funds may be requested to provide prosthetic devices to manipulate a particular apparatus; equipment to convert sound to visual signals, or vice versa, for a particular experiment; access to a special site or to a mode of transportation (except as defined below); a reader or interpreter with special technical competence related to the project; or other special-purpose equipment or assistance needed to conduct a particular project.

Items such as standard wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids, TDD/text-phones, or general readers for the blind would not be supported because the need for them is not specific to the proposed project. Similarly, ramps, elevators, or other structural modifications of research facilities are not eligible for support.

No maximum amount has been set for requests. It is expected, however, that the cost (including equipment adaptation and installation) will not be a major portion of the total proposed budget for the project. Decisions about what constitutes appropriate support will be made on a case-by-case basis by the cognizant program officer.

WHO IS SUPPORTED

Individuals with disabilities eligible for this support include principal investigators, other senior professionals, and graduate and undergraduate students.

PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING SUPPORT

Requests in Initial Proposal Submission

Guidelines for proposal preparation and general information on proposal evaluation and grant administration are contained in "Grant Proposal Guide". Foundation programs are described in the "NSF Guide to Programs". These publications may be obtained without cost by calling (703) 292-8129; by writing to: Publications Clearinghouse, National Science Foundation, P.O. Box 218, Jessup, Maryland 20794-0218; or by accessing NSF's Science and Technology Information System (STIS) through Internet: stisserv@nsf.gov web page at www.nsf.gov.

In preparing proposals for submission to Foundation programs, requests for funds for special equipment or assistance to facilitate the participation of individuals with disabilities should be included in the proposed budget for the project. The budget justification should describe the specific nature, purpose and need for such equipment or assistance in sufficient detail to permit evaluation of the request by knowledgeable reviewers.

Requests for Supplemental Funding for Existing Grants

Requests for supplemental funding may be initiated in the FastLane system by using the “Supplemental Funding Request” function. Such requests must include a summary of the proposed work, a brief justification, and a budget for the requested funds.

Note: A signed paper copy of the supplemental funding request budget is no longer required to be submitted to NSF because all necessary certifications are provided at the time of submission of the supplemental funding request.

Title to equipment purchased or fabricated by an academic institution or other non-profit organization with NSF grant funds normally vests in the grantee organization. Title to equipment acquired through an NSF grant by a small business or other commercial organization normally will vest in the Government. When title to specialized equipment purchased with grant funds vests in the grantee organization and the principal investigator moves to another non-profit organization, NSF encourages transfer of the equipment to the new organization provided it is not required at the organization holding title, the cost of the transfer (shipping charges, freight, etc.) is not excessive, and the principal investigator continues the project at the new location.

III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.

IV. AWARD INFORMATION

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at: http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

The program announcement/solicitation contains supplements to the standard Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) proposal preparation guidelines. Please see the full program announcement/solicitation for further information.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF-02-115) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Announcement.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: An administrative allowance, limited to 25 percent of the participating stipend support only, is allowed for Facilitation Award requests in lieu of indirect costs.

Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full program announcement/solicitation for further information.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Deadlines are not applicable to this Program Announcement.

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Announcement through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this Program Announcement should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov.

VI. PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

A. NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the identities of reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Mail and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

In most cases, proposers will be contacted by the Program Officer after his or her recommendation to award or decline funding has been approved by the Division Director. This informal notification is not a guarantee of an eventual award.

NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation or the date of proposal receipt (whichever is later). The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at one's own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions;* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/grants/grants_gac.htm. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Web site at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpm. The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Web site at http://www.gpo.gov.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.

VIII. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

General inquiries regarding  Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities  should be made to: For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

IX. OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST

The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gp. General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at http://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service (http://www.nsf.gov/home/cns/start.htm) to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

ANOTHER PROGRAM OF INTEREST

The Bioengineering and Aiding the Disabled Program supports fundamental research on emerging engineering technologies. The basic program includes: 1) sensory and motor function - rehabilitation, substitution, and control; 2) materials and their properties; 3) system analysis and control.

Examples of funded research include:

- Bioengineering: on-chip signal analysis; biological batteries; tissue-engineering and sensors;

- Research to Aid the Disabled: neural-neural and neural-muscular interfaces; detection of imminent failure in orthoses and protheses; tactile.

Further information on the above program may be obtained from the Program Director, Room 565, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, telephone (703) 292-8320.

The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists and engineers, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in it programs. Individuals with hearing impairment may obtain information on NSF programs by calling TDD (703) 292-5090.

In accordance with Federal statue and regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.

The Foundation provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering. The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such research and preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

Programs to which this document applies are listed in the following categories of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 47.041 ENG, 47.049 MPS, 47.050 GEO, 47.070 CISE, 47.073 OSTI, 47.074 BIO, 47.075 SBE, 47.076 EHR.

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement/solicitation for further information.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090, FIRS at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at plainlanguage@nsf.gov.

PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(b), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, or to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation (3145-0058), 725 17th Street, N.W. Room 10235, Washington, D.C. 20503.

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