OSERS Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.325D


Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel

CFDA: 84.325D

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to attracting as many qualified applicants as possible for its discretionary grant competitions. The Department is also committed to an equitable and transparent application process. OSERS is, therefore, providing to interested applicants technical assistance on the application process and application requirements for this competition.

Informational Webinar:

OSERS has posted a pre-recorded webinar providing application instructions and assistance for this competition.

Download Webinar

Application Q & A:

This blog provides applicants with an additional opportunity to ask questions about the application process and the application requirements for this competition. Please submit your questions in the comment box below no later than 5:00 pm ET, on June 10, 2019. OSERS intends to post answers here within two business days of receipt. When submitting your questions, please keep the purpose of this blog in mind. OSERS will only post answers to questions related to the application process and the application requirements for this competition. OSERS will not respond to questions on other topics or to any comments.

For More Information Contact:

During and after the Q & A period, applicants may also call or send questions about the application process and application requirements for this competition to the competition manager:

Celia Rosenquist

Email: Celia Rosenquist@ed.gov

Phone: 202-245-7373

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.

If answers to questions received by telephone or email may be useful to other applicants, OSERS will update the blog.



  1. Can the PI be the project director, or is it expected that the project director be another individual?

    • The percentage of effort is determined by the applicant. The proposed percentage of effort for the project and other key personnel should be sufficient for meeting the objectives of the proposed project.

  2. Does the 65% of budget going to scholar support across all 5 years or does each year need to meet the 65% of budget to scholar support?

    • The priority states that at least 65 percent of the total budget over the project period will be used for scholar support. The amount of scholar support can vary each year as long as the minimum of 65 percent is met for the project period (e.g., 5 years).

  3. I’ve seen conceptual frameworks developed as logic models and vice versa. Which is desired, preferred, or required by OSEP?

    • In the priority, applicants are asked to provide the conceptual framework of the leadership preparation program, including any empirical support, that will promote the acquisition of the identified competencies needed by leadership personnel in the narrative. There is no preference or required format specified in the priority.

  4. Is the 65% student support calculated from the federally requested budget or from the total budget (including federal contribution and cost share matching)?

    • The priority states that at least 65 percent of the total budget over the project period will be used for scholar support. The total budget would include the federal contribution and matching support.

      • This essentially requires that much of the match be in category of student support. The largest obvious source of match that is scholar support is waived tuition. So the combination the Competitive Preference for match and the requirement of at least 65% of the total budget being scholar support has the effect of greatly advantaging IHEs with high tuition (simply waiving tuition may provide all match that is needed) relative to those with lower tuition (waiving tuition may provide much less than half the required match). So public universities, HBCUs, HSIs, and any other IHEs that attempt to enhance access by keeping tuition low will be systematically disadvantaged. Is this OSEP and DOE policy?

        • The priority states that applicants under Absolute Priority 1 must demonstrate matching support for the proposed project at 10 percent of the total amount of the grant. For an applicant requesting $250,000/year for five years, an applicant is required to be eligible to receive an award to provide matching support at $125,000. The matching support could be distributed across years (e.g., $25,000/year). Matching support can come from different sources that may include scholar support or faculty time. The Department does not believe that a 10 percent matching support requirement either disadvantages or places an excessive burden on any applicants.

  5. We intend to submit an application under Competitive Preference Priority 1 (partnership). I understand that there will be one application, but should we identify a PI at each institution who will be responsible for grant activities at their institution? In other words, will each partner do their own annual and scholar reports, budget?

    • As stated in Competitive Preference Priority 1, the applicant should address in the project narrative how policies, procedures, standards, and fiscal management of the partnership will be established. The applicant should identify the key personnel, including the Project Director, for the project. An applicant can propose Co-Project Directors for the project but it is not a requirement. An applicant that receives an award under Competitive Preference Priority 1 will be responsible for any reporting requirements, the use of grant funds, and ensuring the project is carried out by the group in accordance with Federal requirements.
      For additional information regarding group applications, refer to 34 CFR 75.127, 75.128, and 75.129 (see https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=393301a7cdccca1ea71f18aae51824e7&node=34:

  6. Under Competitive Priority #1, are the high needs areas (sub part b) that are listed (e.g. secondary transition, sp.ed. admin, or early childhood behavior) preferred high needs areas, or simply examples of high needs areas. In other words, are other high needs areas appropriate/allowed? If so, is there a list of allowable high needs areas?

    • The applicant can propose the high-need area and those listed in the priority are provided as examples. There is not a list of allowable high-need areas.

    • Applicants must submit successfully to Grants.gov before 11:59:59 Eastern Time on the competition closing date. The competition closing date is July 8, 2019. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the last day to submit your application. Grants.gov will put a date/time stamp on your application and then process it after it is fully uploaded. The time it takes to upload an application will vary depending on a number of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection, and the time it takes Grants.gov to process the application will vary as well.

  7. Does the $250,000/year maximum award include the matching support or does it refer to the federal only?

    • An applicant can request the federal contribution to be up to a maximum of $250,000/year. The matching support is in addition to the requested award. So an applicant requesting the maximum award of $250,000/year for five years and proposing a 20% cost match would have a proposed budget of $300,000/year.

  8. We are partnering with another institution (Competitive Preference Priority 1). One institution has not received a 325D grant in the last five years and the other institution has an active 325D grant. The institution that has not received a 325D grant will be the applicant. Can the applicant also apply under Competitive Preference Priority 3?

    • Yes. The institution that will be the applicant for a partnership is eligible to receive points under Competitive Preference Priority 3 if the institution has not had an active grant award under this program (CFDA number 84.325D) at any point in the preceding five fiscal years (i.e., FY 2014 – FY 2018).

  9. We intend to submit an application under Competitive Preference Priority 1 (partnership). Does each institution need to enroll and support scholars?

    • Yes. All institutions in a partnership are expected to enroll and support scholars.

  10. We intend to submit an application with a partnering institution (Competitive Preference Priority 1). Does each partnering institution submit a separate application? Or, does the partnership submit one application?

  11. Will there be a PDF Application document made available this year? Or will we only have the Federal Register to reference for guidance?

  12. For Competitive Preference Priority 3, if it is a multiple IHE partnership, do all IHEs in the partnership need to be free from a 325D award for the past 5 years, or only the submitting IHE? That is, if the IHE submitting the grant has not had a 325D in the last 5 years, but a partnering IHE has, would that applicant still be eligible for the 3 points from Competitive Preference Priority 3?

    • Yes. The institution that will be the applicant for a partnership is eligible to receive points under Competitive Preference Priority 3 if the institution has not had an active grant award under this program (CFDA number 84.325D) at any point in the preceding five fiscal years (i.e., FY 2014 – FY 2018).

  13. Under IDEA, psychological services are considered a related service. I want to confirm that child clinical psychologist preparation programs could be an eligible related service area as long as their training and service focuses on special education. Thank you!

  14. Hello
    In terms of the Assurance that applicants will not be “selected” based on race/national origin/etc.–does this mean that we can consider non-U.S. applicants? In the past only U.S. citizens were eligible to receive training grants.

    • A non-U.S. applicant would typically not be eligible for this grant program. To qualify for the grant an applicant must be either an institution of higher education (IHE) or private non-profit organization. For the definition of “institution of higher education” we apply the definition provided in Section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. section 1001). Under that definition, an IHE is an educational institution in any State that meets specific criteria listed in the statute. The key requirement is that the institution be in a “state.” Under section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act a “state” is any of the 50 state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and enumerated “outlying territories.” A non-U.S. entity would not qualify as an IHE if it was not operating in the U.S. or its territories. The definition for a nonprofit for Department purposes is covered at 34 CFR 77.1, and methods for proving nonprofit status are covered under 34 CFR 75.51. Documentation from a state or Federal agency or a certificate of incorporation that meets U.S. legal standards is required and as a result, non-U.S. entities are rarely able to establish non-profit status, as the term applies to Department discretionary grants.

      Non–U.S. scholars may be supported under certain circumstances. A scholar must satisfy the citizenship/resident requirements governing their grant (see: https://pdp.ed.gov/OSEP/Regulation/ProgramRegs2006).
      Grantees must ensure that the scholar:
      1) Is a citizen or national of the United States; or
      2) Is a permanent resident of:
      a. Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or
      b. The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau during the period in which these entities are eligible to receive an award under the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program; or
      3) Provides and maintains evidence for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the individual is—
      a. A lawful permanent resident of the United States; or
      b. In the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident.

      All scholars, including non-citizen scholars, have a service obligation. Service obligation cannot be fulfilled working with children with disabilities in a country outside the U.S. Any service obligation to be fulfilled by working directly with children with disabilities must occur within a school that is covered by IDEA.

  15. HELLO–
    I have just read the RFP and viewed the webinar re: to 84.325D (Absolute Priority #1), but I have a question related to the COMPETITIVE PREFERENCE PRIORITY #3 for novice applicants. I am wondering if an “applicant” refers to the “individual” PD/PI or the “institution” or university?

  16. What is required for a “partnership” among IHEs? A few common courses? Common programs of studies? Common internships? Are there any guidelines?

    • As stated in Competitive Preference Priority 1, applicants are to address in the project narrative how the opportunities provided to scholars through the partnership activities will promote the competencies needed by leaders the project proposes to prepare. There are no specific guidelines and applicants are to describe the opportunities provided to scholars.

  17. Will there be a list of programs and services a grant recipient will be required to use?

    • To be considered for funding under one of the 325D absolute priorities, all applicants must meet all of the application requirements contained in the priority. All projects funded under one of the absolute priorities also must meet all of the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority. Other than the requirements specified in the priority, there is not an additional list of programs and services grant recipients are required to use.

  18. Does the novice applicant Competitive Priority apply to the institution, the Project Director, or the entire team of named individuals?

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