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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2020

Title 34Subtitle BChapter VIPart 648 → Subpart C


Title 34: Education
PART 648—GRADUATE ASSISTANCE IN AREAS OF NATIONAL NEED


Subpart C—How Does the Secretary Make an Award?


Contents
§648.30   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?
§648.31   What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
§648.32   What additional factors does the Secretary consider?
§648.33   What priorities and absolute preferences does the Secretary establish?

§648.30   How does the Secretary evaluate an application?

(a) The Secretary evaluates an application on the basis of the criteria in §648.31.

(b) The Secretary informs applicants of the maximum possible score for each criterion in the application package or in a notice published in the Federal Register.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135, 1135b)

[58 FR 65842, Dec. 16, 1993, as amended at 70 FR 13375, Mar. 21, 2005]

§648.31   What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

The Secretary evaluates an application on the basis of the criteria in this section.

(a) Meeting the purposes of the program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine how well the project will meet the purposes of the program, including the extent to which—

(1) The applicant's general and specific objectives for the project are realistic and measurable;

(2) The applicant's objectives for the project seek to sustain and enhance the capacity for teaching and research at the institution and at State, regional, or national levels;

(3) The applicant's objectives seek to institute policies and procedures to ensure the enrollment of talented graduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds; and

(4) The applicant's objectives seek to institute policies and procedures to ensure that it will award fellowships to individuals who satisfy the requirements of §648.40.

(b) Extent of need for the project. The Secretary considers the extent to which a grant under the program is needed by the academic department by considering—

(1) How the applicant identified the problems that form the specific needs of the project;

(2) The specific problems to be resolved by successful realization of the goals and objectives of the project; and

(3) How increasing the number of fellowships will meet the specific and general objectives of the project.

(c) Quality of the graduate academic program. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the current graduate academic program for which project funding is sought, including—

(1) The course offerings and academic requirements for the graduate program;

(2) The qualifications of the faculty, including education, research interest, publications, teaching ability, and accessibility to graduate students;

(3) The focus and capacity for research; and

(4) Any other evidence the applicant deems appropriate to demonstrate the quality of its academic program.

(d) Quality of the supervised teaching experience. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the teaching experience the applicant plans to provide fellows under this program, including the extent to which the project—

(1) Provides each fellow with the required supervised training in instruction;

(2) Provides adequate instruction on effective teaching techniques;

(3) Provides extensive supervision of each fellow's teaching performance; and

(4) Provides adequate and appropriate evaluation of the fellow's teaching performance.

(e) Recruitment plan. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the applicant's recruitment plan, including—

(1) How the applicant plans to identify, recruit, and retain students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in the academic program for which fellowships are sought;

(2) How the applicant plans to identify eligible students for fellowships;

(3) The past success of the academic department in enrolling talented graduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds; and

(4) The past success of the academic department in enrolling talented graduate students for its academic program.

(f) Project administration. The Secretary reviews the quality of the proposed project administration, including—

(1) How the applicant will select fellows, including how the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disabling condition;

(2) How the applicant proposes to monitor whether a fellow is making satisfactory progress toward the degree for which the fellowship has been awarded;

(3) How the applicant proposes to identify and meet the academic needs of fellows;

(4) How the applicant proposes to maintain enrollment of graduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds; and

(5) The extent to which the policies and procedures the applicant proposes to institute for administering the project are likely to ensure efficient and effective project implementation, including assistance to and oversight of the project director.

(g) Institutional commitment. The Secretary reviews each application for evidence that—

(1) The applicant will provide, from any funds available to it, sufficient funds to support the financial needs of the fellows if the funds made available under the program are insufficient;

(2) The institution's social and academic environment is supportive of the academic success of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds on the applicant's campus;

(3) Students receiving fellowships under this program will receive stipend support for the time necessary to complete their courses of study, but in no case longer than 5 years; and

(4) The applicant demonstrates a financial commitment, including the nature and amount of the institutional matching contribution, and other institutional commitments that are likely to ensure the continuation of project activities for a significant period of time following the period in which the project receives Federal financial assistance.

(h) Quality of key personnel. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project, including—

(1) The qualifications of the project director;

(2) The qualifications of other key personnel to be used in the project;

(3) The time commitment of key personnel, including the project director, to the project; and

(4) How the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disabling condition, except pursuant to a lawful affirmative action plan.

(i) Budget. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which—

(1) The applicant shows a clear understanding of the acceptable uses of program funds; and

(2) The costs of the project are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.

(j) Evaluation plan. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the evaluation plan for the project, including the extent to which the applicant's methods of evaluation—

(1) Relate to the specific goals and measurable objectives of the project;

(2) Assess the effect of the project on the students receiving fellowships under this program, including the effect on persons of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and ages, and on persons with disabilities who are served by the project;

(3) List both process and product evaluation questions for each project activity and outcome, including those of the management plan;

(4) Describe both the process and product evaluation measures for each project activity and outcome;

(5) Describe the data collection procedures, instruments, and schedules for effective data collection;

(6) Describe how the applicant will analyze and report the data so that it can make adjustments and improvements on a regular basis; and

(7) Include a time-line chart that relates key evaluation processes and benchmarks to other project component processes and benchmarks.

(k) Adequacy of resources. The Secretary reviews each application to determine the adequacy of the resources that the applicant makes available to graduate students receiving fellowships under this program, including facilities, equipment, and supplies.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0604)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135-1135c)

[58 FR 65842, Dec. 16, 1993, as amended at 70 FR 13375, Mar. 21, 2005]

§648.32   What additional factors does the Secretary consider?

(a) Continuation awards. (1) Before funding new applications, the Secretary gives preference to grantees requesting their second or third year of funding.

(2) If appropriations for this program are insufficient to fund all continuation grantees for the second and third years at the approved funding level, the Secretary prorates the available funds, if any, among the continuation grantees and, if necessary, awards continuation grants of less than $100,000.

(b) Equitable distribution. In awarding grants, the Secretary will, consistent with an allocation of awards based on the quality of competing applications, ensure the following:

(1) An equitable geographic distribution of grants to eligible applicant institutions of higher education.

(2) An equitable distribution of grants to eligible applicant public and eligible applicant private institutions of higher education.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135-1135c)

§648.33   What priorities and absolute preferences does the Secretary establish?

(a) For each application period, the Secretary establishes as an area of national need and gives absolute preference to one or more of the general disciplines and sub-disciplines listed as priorities in the appendix to this part or the resulting interdisciplines.

(b) The Secretary announces the absolute preferences in a notice published in the Federal Register.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1135, 1135a)

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