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§3401.8 Grant awards.
(a) General. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding official shall make research project grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most meritorious in the announced program areas under the evaluation criteria and procedures set forth in this part. The date specified by the Director as the beginning of the project period shall be no later than September 30 of the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved for support and funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless otherwise permitted by law. All funds granted under this part shall be expended solely for the purpose for which the funds are granted in accordance with the approved application and budget, the regulations of this part, the terms and conditions of the award, the applicable Federal cost principles, and the Department's “Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations” (parts 3015 and 3019 of this title).
(b) Grant award document and notice of grant award—(1) Grant award documents. The grant award document shall include at a minimum the following:
(i) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution to whom the Director has awarded a rangeland research project grant under the terms of this part;
(ii) Title of project;
(iii) Name(s) and address(es) of principal investigator(s) chosen to direct and control approved activities;
(iv) Identifying grant number assigned by the Department;
(v) Project period, which specifies how long the Department intends to support the effort without requiring recompetition for funds;
(vi) Total amount of Departmental financial assistance approved by the Director during the project period;
(vii) Legal authority(ies) under which the research project grant is awarded to accomplish the purpose of the law;
(viii) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds to accomplish the stated purpose of the research project grant award; and
(ix) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by the Department to carry out its granting activities or to accomplish the purpose of a particular research project grant.
(2) Notice of grant award. The notice of grant award, in the form of a letter, will be prepared and will provide pertinent instructions or information to the grantee that is not included in the grant award document.
(c) Categories of grant instruments. The major categories of grant instruments by which the Department may provide support are as follows:
(1) Standard grant. This is a grant instrument by which the Department agrees to support a specified level of research effort for a predetermined project period without the announced intention of providing additional support at a future date. This type of research project grant is approved on the basis of peer review and recommendation and is funded for the entire project period at the time of award.
(2) Renewal grant. This is a document by which the Department agrees to provide additional funding under a standard grant as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section for a project period beyond that approved in an original or amended award, provided that the cumulative period does not exceed the statutory limitation. When a renewal application is submitted, it should include a summary of progress to date under the previous grant instrument. Such a renewal shall be based upon new application, de novo peer review and staff evaluation, new recommendation and approval, and a new award instrument.
(3) Continuation grant. This is a grant instrument by which the Department agrees to support a specified level of effort for a predetermined period of time with a statement of intention to provide additional support at a future date, provided that performance has been satisfactory, appropriations are available for this purpose, and continued support would be in the best interests of the Federal government and the public. It involves a long-term research project that is considered by peer reviewers and Departmental officers to have an unusually high degree of scientific merit, the results of which are expected to have a significant impact on the productivity of the Nation's rangelands, and it supports the efforts of experienced scientists with records of outstanding research accomplishments. This kind of document normally will be awarded for an initial one-year period and any subsequent continuation research project grants also will be awarded in one-year increments, but in no case may the cumulative period of the project exceed the statutory limit. The award of a continuation research project grant to fund an initial or succeeding budget period does not constitute an obligation to fund any subsequent budget period. A grantee must submit a separate application for continued support for each subsequent fiscal year. Requests for such continued support must be submitted in duplicate at least three months prior to the expiration date of the budget period currently being funded. Such requests must include: an interim progress report detailing all work performed to date; an Application for Funding; a proposed budget for the enuring period, including an estimate of funds anticipated to remain unobligated at the end of the current budget period; and current information regarding other extramural support for senior personnel. Decisions regarding continued support and the actual funding levels of such support in future years usually will be made administratively after consideration of such factors as the grantee's progress and management practices and within the context of available funds. Since initial peer reviews were based upon the full term and scope of the original rangeland research application for funding, additional evaluations of this type generally are not required prior to successive years' support. However, in unusual cases (e.g., when the nature of the project or key personnel change or when the amount of future support requested substantially exceeds the application for funding originally reviewed and approved), additional reviews may be required prior to approval of continued funding.
(4) Supplemental grant. This is an instrument by which the Department agrees to provide small amounts of additional funding under a standard, renewal, or continuation grant as specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this section and may involve a short-term (usually six months or less) extension of the project period beyond that approved in an original or amended award, but in no case may the cumulative period of the project, including short term extensions, exceed the statutory time limitation. A supplement is awarded only if required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work and if there is sufficient justification of need to warrant such action. A request of this nature normally does not require additional peer review.
(d) Obligation of the Federal government. Neither the approval of any application nor the award of any research project grant shall commit or obligate the United States in any way to make any renewal, supplemental, continuation, or other award with respect to any approved application or portion of an approved application.