RSA Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.129


Competition:

Long Term Training

CFDA:

84.129B—Rehabilitation Counseling

84.129H—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill

84.129P—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments

84.129Q—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

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.

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 July 24, 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 managers:

84.129B—Rehabilitation Counseling

Cassandra Shoffler
Email: Cassandra.Shoffler@ed.gov
Phone: 202-245-7827

84.129H—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill

Darryl Glover
Email: Darryl.Glover@ed.gov
Phone: 202-245-7339

84.129P—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments

Karen Holliday
Email: Karen.Holliday@ed.gov
Phone: 202-245-7318

84.129Q—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Cassandra Shoffler
Email: Cassandra.Shoffler@ed.gov
Phone: 202-245-7827

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.


 

26 Comments

  1. Where do I find a copy of the Dear Applicant Letter for 84.129?
    Is there a Project Directors Meeting for which we need to reserve travel funds?
    Where do I find a copy of the Evidence of Effectiveness Form?

    • The Dear Applicant Letter may be found in section A of the Application Package. The Application Package can be found on the “Package” tab at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=318013. Once you click on the link, you may select the Download Instructions button on the right hand side about half way down the page.

      No. There is no required project directors’ meeting for which you must reserve travel funds.

      The Evidence of Effectiveness Form may be found on the “Package” tab at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=318013. Once you click on the link, you may select preview or apply. If you select the preview link, you will be able to preview all the mandatory and optional forms by clicking on the link to each. If you select the apply link, you are brought to the Select Grant Opportunity Package. The first page within the Package tab displays all of the opportunity packages within this grant; there may be one or multiple packages inside a single grant opportunity. To preview the mandatory and optional forms in the package or the application instructions, click the Preview link in the Actions column. You will be able to select and view each individual form in the Preview Opportunity Package Details pop-up window. There is also a Download Instructions button in this window to access the application instructions. To access a specific opportunity package, click the Apply link in the Actions column. This will display additional information about the opportunity package. Click the Apply button to create a workspace to begin your application.

    • Yes. Salaries and wages of employees may be used in meeting cost sharing or matching requirements on Federal awards. Know that they must be supported in the same manner as salaries and wages claimed for reimbursement from Federal awards, Also, be aware that the use of salaries and wages of employees must meet certain criteria outlined in 2 CFR part 200.306, Cost sharing or matching, as follows:

      § 200.306 Cost sharing or matching.

      (a) Under Federal research proposals, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected. It cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals, but may be considered if it is both in accordance with Federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity. Criteria for considering voluntary committed cost sharing and any other program policy factors that may be used to determine who may receive a Federal award must be explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity. See also §§ 200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, 200.203 Notices of funding opportunities, and Appendix I to Part 200 – Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity.

      (b) For all Federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the non-Federal entity’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the following criteria:

      (1) Are verifiable from the non-Federal entity’s records;
      (2) Are not included as contributions for any other Federal award;
      (3) Are necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives;
      (4) Are allowable under Subpart E – Cost Principles of this part;
      (5) Are not paid by the Federal Government under another Federal award, except where the Federal statute authorizing a program specifically provides that Federal funds made available for such program can be applied to matching or cost sharing requirements of other Federal programs;
      (6) Are provided for in the approved budget when required by the Federal awarding agency; and
      (7) Conform to other provisions of this part, as applicable.

      (c) Unrecovered indirect costs, including indirect costs on cost sharing or matching may be included as part of cost sharing or matching only with the prior approval of the Federal awarding agency. Unrecovered indirect cost means the difference between the amount charged to the Federal award and the amount which could have been charged to the Federal award under the non-Federal entity’s approved negotiated indirect cost rate.

      (d) Values for non-Federal entity contributions of services and property must be established in accordance with the cost principles in Subpart E – Cost Principles. If a Federal awarding agency authorizes the non-Federal entity to donate buildings or land for construction/facilities acquisition projects or long-term use, the value of the donated property for cost sharing or matching must be the lesser of paragraphs (d)(1) or (2) of this section.

      (1) The value of the remaining life of the property recorded in the non-Federal entity’s accounting records at the time of donation.

  2. Regarding “other attachments” and consecutively numbered pages:
    Do you want all “other attachments” combined into one uploaded document, or should they be uploaded separately.
    Are all application components to have page numbers or just the project narrative? If each component to have page numbers, is there a specific order you want things in?

    • Submission information is located under IV. Application and Submission Information, specifically 5. Recommended Page Limit: We recommended that applicants (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 45 pages and (2) use the following standards:
      • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
      • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
      • 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.
      The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

      Please note that these are recommendations, not requirements.

      There is no requirement as to whether other attachments be combined into one document and uploaded or separate. There is no required order for you to upload them. Page numbers are always helpful, even in attachments, but not a requirement.

    • No. The eligible applicants for this competition include States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education.

  3. Is the Evidence of Effectiveness Form required to be completed and submitted with the application? The only reference to it I see is Dear Applicant letter (plus the form itself in the appendices).

    Is the form “Project Objectives and Performance Measures Information” an application component or something completed if an award is received? I do not see that form indicated in the RFP anywhere.

    Neither of the above two forms are noted on the Applicant Checklist nor are available when trying to connect to Grants.gov for a system-to-system submission.

    • The Evidence of Effectiveness Form should be included in your submission. Please check one of the boxes for question 1 and the response for question 2 is “Not Applicable”. The remainder of the form can be left blank. The “Project Objectives and Performance Measures Information” must be completed in the system. It is not a separate form to be uploaded. It was an oversight that they were not included on the Applicant Checklist.

  4. In the following CFRs, does the total cost include cost share? Or does the total cost refer to the federal funds being requested?

    “A grantee must use at least 65 percent of the total cost of the project under this program for scholarships as defined in § 386.4.”

    “The grantee is required to contribute at least ten percent of the total cost of a project under this program.” (386.30)

    • In the 34 C.F.R. parts 386.30 and 386.31, the term total cost of the project includes both the Federal portion and the non-federal portion (match/cost-share).

  5. Where do we locate he percentage required to support students/scholars. Could you guide us to where that information is located?

    • For the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program (84.129B, H, P, and Q), please refer to the Applicable Regulations section of the Notice Inviting Applications, which states, in part, that the applicable regulations include the “regulations for this program in 34 C.F.R. parts 385 and 386.” Specifically, the regulations in 34 C.F.R. part 386.31(a) state, “A grantee must use at least 65 percent of the total cost of the project under this program for scholarships as defined in § 386.4.” As defined in § 386.4, “Scholarship means an award of financial assistance to a scholar for training and includes all disbursements or credits for student stipends, tuition and fees, books and supplies, and student travel in conjunction with training assignments.”

  6. For the maximum award per 12 month period for .129b (200K in a 12 month period) is this for the federal portion only or does this include a total budget of 200k for federal and non-federal matching funds?

    • The maximum award amount of $200,000 for the 84.129B competition is for the federal portion only. It does not include the non-federal matching funds.

  7. Is there a page limit for appendices?
    Are appendices limited to: bibliography, letters of support, resumes? Can other things be included?
    If other items (e.g., syllabi) can be included in appendices, do need to be double-spaced?

    • No. There is no page limit for appendices. The page limits in the Notice Inviting Applications are recommendations.

      No. Appendices are not limited to the bibliography, letters of support, resumes. Applicants may include other items, such as syllabi. Please note that if proprietary information is included in the application, we remind you that we define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11 and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

      No. Other items in the Appendices do not need to be double-spaced.

  8. What date(s) can or must a project begin?
    Can any portion of the first year be used for planning purposes.

    Thank you.

    • The performance period start date will be October 1, 2019.

      There may be a period used for planning. However, keep in mind that the regulations in 34 C.F.R. part 386.31(a) state, “A grantee must use at least 65 percent of the total cost of the project under this program for scholarships as defined in § 386.4.” As defined in § 386.4, “Scholarship means an award of financial assistance to a scholar for training and includes all disbursements or credits for student stipends, tuition and fees, books and supplies, and student travel in conjunction with training assignments.” Therefore, the expenses incurred during planning period along with other expenses throughout the year must not exceed 35 percent of the total cost of the project.

  9. For the 84.129B, is there any specific requirement that the grant funds must be used for direct payment of student scholarship (e.g., at least 75% or 65%)?

    • Yes. As stated in the Notice Inviting Applications, the regulations for 84129B, H, P, and Q include the program regulations in 34 C.F.R. parts 385 and 386. The regulations in 34 C.F.R. part 386.31(a) state, “A grantee must use at least 65 percent of the total cost of the project under this program for scholarships as defined in § 386.4.” As defined in § 386.4, “Scholarship means an award of financial assistance to a scholar for training and includes all disbursements or credits for student stipends, tuition and fees, books and supplies, and student travel in conjunction with training assignments.”

    • The eligible applicants for this competition are States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education. Therefore, if a school is public (e.g., a public institution of higher education) and can provide either (1) a master’s degree in VR counseling or (2) a master’s degree or academic certificate in one of three specialty areas (Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill; Specialized Personnel for Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or have Vision Impairments; and Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing), it would be eligible for this competition.

  10. Do the following GPRA measures apply only apply to 84.129B or other 84.129 grants (e.g., 84.129P) as well, given that the measures specifically refer to “counseling” graduates?

    GPRA Measure 1: The percentage of master’s level counseling graduates
    fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying employment.
    GPRA Measure 2: The percentage of master’s level counseling graduates
    fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying employment in State VR agencies.
    GPRA Measure 3: The Federal cost per master’s level RSA-supported
    rehabilitation counseling graduate.

    • The GPRA measures identified in the question and in the Performance Measures section of the Notice Inviting Applications apply to all Rehabilitation Long-Term Training programs, including the 84.129B, H, P, and Q. In addition, the Program Measures in the Performance Measures section of the Notice Inviting Applications apply to all Rehabilitation Long-Term Training programs, including the 84.129B, H, P, and Q.

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