Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
 
Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OPRE-YR-0150
Application Due Date: 06/01/2011

 

Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OPRE-YR-0150
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
Executive Summary
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - (if applicable)
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Package
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information
Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
HHS-2011-ACF-OPRE-YR-0150
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Funding Opportunity Title:Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2011-ACF-OPRE-YR-0150
CFDA Number: 93.600
Due Date For Letter of Intent: 05/02/2011
Due Date for Applications: 06/01/2011
Executive Summary:

Funds are provided for Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants to support dissertation research by advanced graduate students who are working in partnership with Head Start or Early Head Start programs and faculty mentors.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

These grants are authorized under Section 649 of the Head Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, codified at 42 U.S.C. 9844.

Description

A. Background

Since 1991, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has explicitly supported the association between Head Start programs and their local research community through the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants. These awards attract applications from leading academic researchers and their graduate students, specializing in social sciences, education, and/or health. In close collaboration with their Head Start program partners, these researchers design high-quality projects that directly address the needs of low-income children and families and their early childhood educators. The results inform and improve Head Start policies and practice.

 

This funding mechanism also serves as an important research capacity-building effort. The grants foster the mentor-student relationship between leading researchers and their graduate students, in order to maximize the quality of the current work and build the skills of the graduate student. Within this supportive relationship, student researchers learn both theory and the hands-on features of conducting applied research within community service organizations. The researchers often contribute directly to their local Head Start partner programs (e.g., providing trainings, establishing databases, identifying key resources, and pursuing research that addresses questions of interest to programs), and many continue to make significant contributions to the early childhood and Head Start research field throughout their careers.

 

The goals of the Head Start Graduate Student Research grant program are to:

 

  1. Complete high quality research projects directed at the current concerns of Head Start programs and policymakers;
  2. Provide direct support for advanced graduate students to encourage research with Head Start populations, thus contributing to the knowledge base about the best services and policies for diverse, low-income families and their children;  
  3. Promote mentor-student relationships that a) provide project supervision from qualified, experienced researchers in the field and b) support students' graduate training and professional development to produce researchers able to engage in high-quality, policy-relevant, applied research;
  4. Emphasize the importance of developing and maintaining working research partnerships with Head Start programs and other relevant entities within the community, thereby  increasing both the programs' use of current research information and the quality of the funded research work; and
  5. Support active communication, networking, and collaboration among the group of graduate students, their mentors and other prominent researchers in the field, both during the graduate students' training as well as into the early stages of their research careers.


Given these goals, proposed projects must address applied research questions that will inform and improve Head Start policies and practice. Applicants for the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants will be most likely to succeed if they address issues of both local and national significance for Head Start or Early Head Start programs. The application must contain evidence of the collaborative research partnership with the Head Start programs in project development and throughout the research plan. In addition, details of the mentor's plan for supporting the student should be included in the application.

 

Topics of current interest for this announcement include (but are not limited to):

 

1. Research that will improve understanding of the needs of families from diverse backgrounds, and/or improve Head Start/Early Head Start programs and policies for various subpopulations, including:

 

a. American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) children and families,

 

b. Migrant/seasonal families and their children,

 

c. Homeless children and families,

 

d. Children with disabilities and their families,

 

e. Abused and/or neglected children, or

 

f. Foster children.

 

2. Family involvement and family outcomes, and:

 

a. Their effect on child outcomes (e.g., models of family involvement and direct, moderator and/or mediator impacts on children's development);

 

b. Assessment (e.g., development and validation of measure(s) of parent engagement and perceptions of early childhood education);

 

c. The impact of Family Support Services (e.g., how Family Service Workers' efforts impact family and child outcomes);

 

d. Parent leadership (e.g., how parent involvement in leadership activities impact family and child outcomes; effective means for engaging parents in leadership);

 

e. Barriers and facilitators to engagement (e.g., identifying the teacher/staff and administrative features that are most strongly predictive of family engagement; how programs are serving and engaging the highest risk families).

 

3. Issues related to children who are dual language learners, including children from language-minority families, English language learners, and children in native language revitalization programs (e.g., development of valid assessments for infant/toddler dual language learners; validation of preschool dual language learner assessments; strategies for improving quality of services for dual language learners).

 

4. Professional development, especially of staff working with families (i.e., Family Service Workers) (e.g. identifying effective and efficient means of training staff working with families to successfully engage and assist these families).

 

5. Community collaboration (e.g., effectiveness of various models of collaboration with other early care and education programs; identifying elements of effective community partnerships/collaboration/systems).

 

6. Health services, including mental and dental health (e.g., effectiveness of dental homes initiatives; evaluation of the oral health status of Head Start children) and family health literacy (e.g., empirical validation of programs for families regarding health issues such as smoking reduction, healthy sleep schedules for children, oral health, vision health, asthma control, appropriate nutrition, etc.).

 

7. Transition to kindergarten or from Early Head Start to Head Start (e.g., the impact of transition on teachers, parents, and children; program, child and family features predictive of transition resiliency; alignment of curricula; etc.).

 

In addition to working closely with their Head Start or Early Head Start partner program(s), it is strongly recommended that potential applicants review the Head Start Program Performance Standards and/or the Early Head Start Program Performance Measures in order to assess whether their proposals are relevant to the child, family, program, and/or community systems that are features of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. For additional information, descriptions of previous Head Start Graduate Student Research projects can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/grad_student/index.html.

 

We encourage applicants to go beyond simply recording linguistic, ethnic, and racial categories to providing more thorough examination of how these groupings intersect with important cultural dynamics such as social position, immigration status, family practices, or parental goals for socialization.

 

Reflecting what we know about the important impact of the early years on long-term health and education, the Administration for Children and Families has expanded services and attention to young children and their families as we work to promote quality. In addition, ACF has established a more integrated focal point for early childhood at the Federal level. The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and the Inter-Departmental Liason for Early Childhood Development provides coordination across the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, as well as working with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to administer and coordinate the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. We encourage applicants to identify research questions that have implications for policies across Head Start/Early Head Start and other early childhood service settings.  In addition, we encourage research projects that address efforts of States, Territories, Tribes, and localities to coordinate early childhood programs, examine the challenges and opportunities to doing this, and investigate how coordination affects the services received by eligible families and children.  These grants are intended to support research projects that are focused on Head Start/Early Head Start, but projects may have applications to child care policy issues and are encouraged to consider these.  To learn more about related policies and programs in Federal agencies, please visit ACF's website to learn more about Early Childhood Development Interagency Coordination and to view a list of key Federal agencies http://www.acf.hhs.gov/earlychildhood/index.html.

 

 

B. Project Requirements

Consultation/Collaboration with Policymakers and/or Program Administrators. Applicants for Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants are most likely to succeed if they address issues of significance related to Head Start/Early Head Start services and programs; develop research projects with direct implications for policy and/or programmatic decisions and solutions, particularly for underserved/understudied populations; and utilize the most rigorous research methodology to answer the selected research question(s).  The link(s) between the research topic and the Head Start/Early Head Start program goals should be clearly stated and demonstrated explicitly in the application.  We intend to support projects that improve our capacity to respond to questions of immediate concern to policymakers and program administrators, particularly those of Head Start/Early Head Start program partners. Applicants must consult with a Head Start/Early Head Start program in the development of the proposal. For Head Start/Early Head Start program office contact list, please visit the Head Start Program Directory at:

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hslc_grantee_directory

Or the Head Start Locator at:

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/HeadStartOffices

 

In order to facilitate networking among researchers and communication between researchers, policymakers, and program administrators, grantees are required to participate in the following activities:

 

Conferences and Meetings. The scholar and faculty mentor must attend two meetings in Washington, DC each year of the grant. Required meetings will include two of the following: (1) Scholars' grantee meeting (historically held in the Fall), (2) Annual Meeting of the Child Care Policy Research Consortium (historically held in the Fall), and/or (3) Head Start Research Conference (in alternating years, historically held in the Summer).  The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) will endeavor to schedule the grantee meeting concurrently with one of the research conferences whenever possible.  The applicant's proposed budget should reflect funds to cover travel, lodging, and other costs for the scholar and mentor for two meetings per budget period, including 3 days lodging and expenses for each meeting.  However, if the faculty mentor will utilize another source of travel funds, such arrangements are encouraged and should be clearly noted in the application.

 

Research Briefs and Briefings. The scholar is expected to prepare a 1-2-page brief describing the objectives, hypotheses, and/or findings (when available), and the potential practice or policy implications of their research projects twice during the award. These briefs will be required at the beginning and end of the project period. At the beginning of the project period, OPRE will provide grantees with guidance to support the development of the research briefs. Examples can be found on the ACF/OPRE website at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/ehs/research_practice/index.html. In addition, the grantee may be asked to present at research briefings in Washington, DC.  Workplans/timelines included in the application should reflect time and effort for preparation of research briefs during the course of the project. (The budget need not reflect travel funds for possible briefing(s) in Washington, DC).

 

Archiving and Publishing. The scholar must agree to archive his/her approved dissertation, final datasets, reports, and other research products with Child Care and Early Education Research Connections.  For more information on Research Connections and social science data preparation and archiving, please visit http://researchconnections.org/childcare/contribute.jsp .

 

 

C. Definitions

Applicant: Institutions of higher education, as defined in Section III.1, acting on behalf of doctoral-level graduate students.

 

Budget Period: The 12-month period of time for which funds are made available to a particular grantee (i.e., the first budget period would begin September 30, 2011, and end September 29, 2012).

 

Principal Investigator: The faculty mentor of the doctoral-level graduate student serves as the Principal Investigator of the grant.

 

Project Period: The total length of the proposed project, which is either for 12 or 24 months. For a 1-year proposed project, the project period would be the same as the budget period and, for example, start September 30, 2011, and end September 29, 2012. For a 2-year proposed project, the project period would, for example, start September 30, 2011, and end September 29, 2013.

 

D. Questions Regarding Applications

For questions regarding this funding opportunity and/or the application process, please call (877) 301-8193, or direct inquiries via email to: OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review at HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $150,000
Expected Number of Awards: 6
Award Ceiling: $25,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $0 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $25,000 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

24-month project with two 12-month budget periods

 

Applicants may apply for project periods up to 24 months with two 12-month budget periods. Applicants proposing 24-month project periods will be awarded up to $25,000 for the first 12-month budget period and up to $25,000 for the second 12-month budget period, for a total not exceeding $50,000 for the entire 24-month project period.  The amount requested for each 12-month budget period must not exceed $25,000.

 

Initial awards will be made for the first 12-month budget period. For 24-month projects, continuation awards for the second 12-month budget period will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress by the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Federal Government.

 

The need for a 24-month project period should be identified in Item 17 on the Standard Form (SF) 424, in the project narrative, and in the budget. Applicants proposing 24-month projects will receive instructions during the first budget period on how to submit non-competing continuation applications in order to request funds for the second budget period.

 

A second-year budget period will not be granted if the student has graduated by the end of the first-year budget period.

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of Federal funds.

Waiver of Indirect Costs

Due to the small amount of the grant, the applicant institution is encouraged to waive indirect costs. An authorized representative of the institution must submit a written acknowledgement that the indirect costs are being waived. In the event that waiving the indirect costs is not possible, the applicant is encouraged to apply the University's or non-profit institution's off-campus research rates for indirect costs. However, this is voluntary and failure to waive indirect costs or to apply off-campus research rates will not impact eligibility to submit an application, will not disqualify an application from review, and will not be a factor in object review.

 

Section 649 (f): Ownership of Results: Ownership of products from these grants is regulated by Section 649f of the Head Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, codified at 42 U.S.C. 9844.

Please see Section IV.5 Funding Restrictions for any limitations on the use of grant funds awarded under this announcement.

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

Accredited public, State-controlled, and private institutions of higher education acting on behalf of doctoral-level graduate students are eligible applicants. The following are particularly encouraged to apply:

(a) Faith-based institutions of higher education;

(b) Tribally Controlled Land Grant Colleges and Universities (TCUs) as cited in Section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. § 301 note), any other institutions that qualify for funding under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978, (25 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq.), and Navajo Community College (Dine College), authorized in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978, Public Law (P.L.) 95-471, Title II (25 U.S.C. § 640a);

(c) Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as defined in the amended version of the Higher Education Act of 1965, codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1061(2), and that are institutions established prior to 1964 whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans, and must meet the definition of "Part B institution" in Section 322 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended; and

(d) Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) as defined in Section 502(a)(5) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. § 1101a(a)(5). 

To be eligible to administer the grant on behalf of the student, the institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions recognized by the Department of Education and the Council of Post-Secondary Accreditation.

 

 

Eligible U.S. institutions may apply on behalf of their own university faculty who will serve as a mentor and Principal Investigator for an international non-U.S. citizen who is an advanced graduate student enrolled in their program.

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in Section IV.2 for documentation required to support eligibility.
 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No
Refer to Section IV.2 for information on pre-application submissions.
 
III.3. Other

 

(a) The Principal Investigator/faculty mentor must have a Ph.D. or equivalent in the respective field, conduct research as a primary professional responsibility, and have published or have been accepted for publication in major peer-reviewed research journals as a first or second author. Acceptable evidence includes a current curriculum vitae.

(b) Although the faculty mentor is listed as the Principal Investigator and must be committed to taking a central role in supporting the proposed dissertation research, this grant is intended for dissertation research for an individual student. Contact information for both the graduate student and the student's faculty mentor is required as part of the application.

(c) As Principal Investigator, the graduate student's faculty mentor must submit a letter of support stating that he/she approves the application and describing how he/she will regularly monitor the student's work. In addition, the letter must verify (a) the student's status in the doctoral program, (b) that the grant will be used to fund the student's dissertation research, and (c) that the student is within two years or less of completing his/her dissertation. This letter of support should be included in the Appendix.

(d) The student must include an official transcript reflecting his/her completed graduate course work and a current curriculum vitae.

(e) As the author of the grant proposal, the graduate student is expected to have an approved dissertation proposal by the due date for the grant application. Evidence of this approval should be submitted with the proposal. Sufficient proof would include a departmental form signed by committee members or another departmental administrator attesting to the fact that the student's dissertation proposal has been approved. Alternatively, a form or letter describing some other process that is equivalent to establishing this doctoral status would suffice. If the student does not have an approved dissertation proposal (or have this status) at the time of application, the application should include a statement of assurance that the proposed research plan will be approved prior to September 30, 2011 (i.e., when the funding for this program would begin). Please refer to the information above regarding what should be included in the letter of support from the student's faculty mentor (in Sections III.3.b.) In summary, if ACF does approve the application for an award, the award will depend on written confirmation prior to the funding being awarded that: (a) the dissertation proposal/plan has been officially approved by the university/department, and (b) if the proposal had not been approved at the time of the application, that the scope and approach of the research has not changed substantively from what was proposed in the application.

(f) Letters of support from Head Start/Early Head Start program (s) and Policy Council(s). The graduate student must have established a collaborative partnership with a Head Start or Early Head Start program(s). The evidence of this partnership should be apparent throughout the research proposal (e.g., development, piloting, interpretation of results, etc.), and in the signed letters of support from the participating Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) and the relevant Head Start or Early Head Start Policy Council.

Disqualification Factors

Applications with requests that exceed the ceiling on the amount of individual awards as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.

Applications that fail to satisfy the due date and time deadline requirements stated in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, will be deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement. 

See Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times for disqualification information specific to electronically-submitted applications:

  • Electronically-submitted applications that do not receive a date/time-stamp email indicating application submission on or before 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, will be disqualified and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications that fail the checks and validations at www.Grants.gov because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) does not have a current registration at the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) at the time of application submission will be disqualified and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage.  Standard Forms are also available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website.

OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Phone: (877) 301-8193
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Copies Required: 

If applying in hard copy
, applicants are required to submit one original and two copies of all application materials.  If applying electronically via www.Grants.gov, applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically.  Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application materials.

Signatures: 

The original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy of hard copy application submissions.  The AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.  A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Formatting Requirements:

All application materials for both hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) and electronic submissions must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the application submission (hard and electronic copies) must be sequentially numbered.  Project Descriptions, narratives, summaries, etc., must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font.  Hard copy application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.  Hard copy application copies (original and two copies) must not be bound, they may be clipped or rubber-banded together.  

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the application narrative or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the appendices and resumes, the extra pages will be removed and will not be reviewed. In addition, if an application narrative is single-spaced and/or one-and-a-half spaced (in whole or in part) the total number of these lines will be doubled. This adjustment may result in an increased total number of pages, which will be removed so that the application conforms to the cited double-spaced page limitation. Page limitations do not include the required Standard Forms.

This section also may include instructions on the order of assembly for hard copy (mailed or hand delivered) application submissions.  Acceptable formats for applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are MS-Word and Excel, Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, Jpeg and Gif.

Later in this section of the announcement, specific information on page limitations is provided.  Information on required Standard Forms and other forms, certifications and assurances, D-U-N-S Numbers and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) requirements, the project description, budget and budget justification requirements, and methods of application submission are also found later in this section (Section IV.2.).|

A checklist of required application elements is available for applicants' use in Section VIII. Additional Information.

 

The applicant must write the Project Abstract and Project Description/Narrative Statement in their entirety.  The proposal should be consistent with the format and style guidelines of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  The research should comply with the "Ethical Standards" detailed in the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002; http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx).

 

Format and Organization of Application. Applicants must limit their application to 100 pages, double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins and 12-point fonts. This page limit includes the Table of Contents, Project Abstract, and Project Description/Narrative Statement (see list below). Applicants must number the pages of their application beginning with the Table of Contents. Standard Federal Forms (SF), Budget Justification, and Appendices (see list below) are not included in this limitation, yet applicants are urged to be concise. There is a 5-page limit for each additional supporting document, including letters of support, curriculum vitae, and transcript. Applicants are requested not to send pamphlets, brochures, or other printed material along with their applications as these pose copying difficulties. These materials, if submitted, will not be included in the review process. In addition, applicants must not submit any additional letters of endorsement beyond any that may be required.

 

Applicants are strongly advised to use Headings and Sub-Headings that correspond to the required information, the evaluation criteria, and required proposal sections. Applicants are further advised to include all required forms and materials and to organize these materials according to the format, and in the order, presented below:

 

1. Standard Federal Forms (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html), including:

a. Standard Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424)

b. Project/Performance Site Location (SF-P/PSL)

c. Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A)

d. Assurance Regarding Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B)

e. Certification Regarding Lobbying (requires signature)

f. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (if necessary) (SF-LLL)

g. The Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

h. Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

i. Certification Regarding Maintenance of Effort

 

Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey titled "Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants '' The form is located on the web at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/forms.htm

 

NOTE: All standard forms and certifications must be signed by the authorizing official for the institution of higher education (the applicant, as defined in Section III).

 

2. Table of Contents

 

3. Project Abstract (one page maximum).

 

4. Project Description/Narrative Statement: The project description/narrative statement should be carefully developed in accordance with ACF's research goals and agenda as described in the "Funding Opportunity Description" (Section I) and should attend to the criteria that will be used to evaluate the applications (Section V.I).

 

As part of the project description/narrative statement, in addition to fully describing the research project's objectives, approach, and methodology, the applicant must describe the proposed project's significance and implications for policymakers, program administrators, Head Start/Early Head Start programs and education settings.  At a minimum, applicants should detail:

a. how the applicant has consulted, collaborated, or partnered with Head Start/Early Head Start program(s) to develop or refine research questions and project  design; and

b. how the applicant plans to consult or collaborate during various stages of development and in completion of the research project.

 

See additional instructions later in this Section (under "The Project Description") for details on preparing the full project description.

 

5. Budget and Budget Justification. For 24-month projects, please include a budget and budget justification in the application reflecting each budget period in separate columns. This budget should match the appropriate budget categories reflected in 424-A, Section B.

 

Due to the small amount of the grant, the applicant institution is encouraged to waive indirect costs. An authorized representative of the institution must submit a written acknowledgement that the indirect costs are being waived. In the event that waiving the indirect costs is not possible, the applicant is encouraged to apply the University's or non-profit institution's off-campus research rates for indirect costs. However, this is voluntary and failure to waive indirect costs or to apply off-campus research rates will not impact eligibility to submit an application, will not disqualify an application from review, and will not be a factor in object review.

 

In order to facilitate networking with researchers and policymakers, applicants are required to budget costs for attendance at two meetings in Washington, DC for each year of the grant.  The graduate student and mentor must both agree to attend two meetings for each year of the grant, and the budget should reflect travel and housing funds for the graduate student and mentor for these meetings. However, if the faculty member will utilize another source of travel funds, arrangements are encouraged and should be clearly noted in the application.  See Section I.B Project Requirements, Conferences and Meetings for details about the required meetings. 

 

See additional instructions later in this Section under "The Project Description, Budget and Budget Justification".

 

6. Appendix, including (note page limits described earlier in this Section under Format and Organization of Application):

a. Letter of Support from Faculty Mentor (see Section III.3).

b. Curriculum Vitae for Student and Faculty Mentor (see Section III.3).

c. Official Transcript of Student Reflecting Completed Graduate Courses and Status in the Doctoral Program (see Section III.3).

d. Documentation of approved doctoral dissertation proposal (see Section III.3).

e. Additional Letters of Support:  

  • Letter(s) of Support from Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) (see Section III.3).
  • Letter of Support from the applicant's local Head Start or Early Head Start Program Policy Council (see Section III.3).

f. Proof of Non-profit Status, if applicable (see information later in this Section under "The Project Description, Proof of Non-Profit Status").

g. For non-private university non-profit organizations: Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicant (voluntary) (see information above in this Section, under Standard Federal Forms).

 

For electronic submissions via Grants.gov, the application sections 1 through 6 above are considered part of the mandatory project narrative section. In addition, the signed letter of support and the transcript may be scanned and attached to the electronic application via Grants.gov.

Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking financial assistance under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications.  All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at ACF Funding Opportunities Forms or at the Grants.gov Forms Repository unless specified otherwise.

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Certification

Submission required for all applicants.

Required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Submission required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants prior to award.

Required for all applications.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Required for all applicants.

Required for all applicants.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Required for all applicants.

Required for all applicants.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Submission is voluntary.

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the "Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants"  with their applications.  Submission of the survey is voluntary.   Applicants applying electronically may submit this survey along with the application.  Hard copy submissions should include the survey in a separate envelope.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Submission required for all applicants applying for a non-construction project by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Submission required prior to award.

Form is available at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/assurances/forms/index.html.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

If applicable, submission is required prior to award.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions. Applicants must furnish an executed copy of the Certification Regarding Lobbying prior to award.


The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 42 U.S.C. 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 701 et seq., requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. The recipient must notify the awarding office if an employee of the recipient is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 45 C.F.R. part 82, "Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)."

The Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.  

By signing and submitting the application, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Additional information on certifications and assurances may be found in the HHS Grants Policy Statement at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/notices.html#policy.

Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-Federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information.If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.

DUNS Number and CCR Registration Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

All applicants for grants and cooperative agreements must have a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) at the time of application.   A DUNS number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the Government-wide electronic portal, www.Grants.gov.   A DUNS number is required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement, and block grant programs.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:

U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1)
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

The process to request a D-U-N-S® Number by telephone takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

Effective October 1, 2010, HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for and ultimately receive Federal grant funds from any HHS Operating/Staff Division (OPDIV) or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:

  • Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application of plan;
  • Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

An award cannot be made until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, the OPDIV:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Additionally, all first-tier subaward recipients (i.e., direct subrecipient) must have a DUNS number at the time the subaward is made

CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Definitions:

Central Contractor Registration (CCR): 
The Federal registrant database and repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a recipient.  CCR, managed by the General Services Administration, collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency financial assistance missions.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number: 
The nine-digit, or thirteen-digit (DUNS + 4), number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.

Entity:
Means all of the following:

  • A Governmental organization, which is a State, local government, or Indian tribe;
  • A foreign public entity:
  • A domestic or foreign for-profit organization; and
  • A Federal agency, but only as a subrecipient under an award or subaward to a non-Federal entity.

Subaward:  This term means a legal instrument to provide support for the performance of any portion of the substantive project or program for which you received this award and that the recipient awards to an eligible subrecipient.

  • This term does not include the procurement of property and services needed to carry out the project or program (for further explanation, see Sec. --.210 of the attachment to OMB Circular A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations").
  • A subaward may be provided through any legal agreement, including an agreement that the grantee or a subrecipient consider to be a contract.

First Tier Subrecipient:  An entity that receives a subaward from a prime grantee and is accountable to the prime for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

Part I: The Project Description Overview

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  The project description should be concise and complete.  It should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  In preparing the project description, information that is responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided.  Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations.   It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

General Expectations and Instructions

ACF is particularly interested in specific project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity should be placed in an appendix.

Part II: General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants that are required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The topics listed in this section provide a broad overview of what the project description should include while the Criteria in Section V.1 identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Letter of Intent

Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify ACF of their intention to submit an application under this announcement. Please submit the letter of intent by the deadline date listed in Section IV.3 Submission Dates and Times.  The letter of intent should include the following information: number and title of this announcement; the name and address of the applicant organization; and/or Fiscal Agent (if known); and the name, phone number, fax number and email address of a contact person.  Letter of intent information will be used to determine the number of expert reviewers needed to evaluate applications. The letter of intent is optional. Failure to submit a letter of intent will not impact eligibility to submit an application and will not disqualify an application from competitive review.

Letter of Intent. Include only the following information in the Letter of Intent: the Funding Opportunity Number; the title of this announcement (Head Start Graduate Research); the name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address of the fiscal representative, and the Principal Investigator; and the name of the university or institution of higher education.  Do not include a description of the proposed project.  Submit the Letter of Intent to following address:

Head Start Graduate Research Grant Review Team

c/o ICF International

9300 Lee Highway

Fairfax, VA 22031-6050

Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com

 

See additional instructions later in this Section under "The Project Description, Letter of Intent."

 

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application's project description.  The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application.  The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable

 The project abstract must be single-spaced and limited to one page in length.

Objectives And Need For Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution.  The need for assistance including the nature and scope of the problem must be demonstrated, and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly and concisely stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included.  Any relevant data based on planning studies or needs assessments should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed.  In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.

Outcomes Expected

Identify the outcomes to be derived from the project.

Explain how the proposed project will achieve the detailed goals and objectives you have identified related to the research questions of interest; specify the number of programs, teachers, children, and/or families to be involved; and explain specifically how the information obtained will benefit the greater Head Start/Early Head Start community. What benefits will programs derive from these results? Discuss how the project will inform Head Start policies and practices.

Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.  Account for all functions or activities identified in the application.  Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished.  Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Contact information should be clearly presented for key individuals (as defined in Section III), including the institution's authorized/fiscal representative, Principal Investigator/faculty mentor, and doctoral student. Be sure to provide mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses that will be active six months after the application due date.

 

As part of the project description/narrative statement, in addition to fully describing the research project's objectives, approach, and methodology, the applicant must describe the proposed project's significance and implications for policymakers, program administrators, or early childhood care and education settings.  At a minimum, applicants should detail:

  • how the applicant has consulted, collaborated, or partnered with a Head Start/Early Head Start program partners to develop or refine research questions and project design, and
  • how the applicant plans to consult or collaborate with Head Start/Early Head Start program partners during various stages of development and in completion of the research project.

 

Evaluation

Provide a narrative addressing how the conduct of the project and its results will be evaluated.  In addressing the evaluation of results, state what measures will be used to determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated objectives and the extent to which the accomplishment of objectives can be attributed to the project.  Discuss the criteria to be used to evaluate results, and explain the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met and if the project results and benefits are being achieved.  With respect to the conduct of the project, define the procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted in a manner consistent with the work plan presented and discuss the impact of the project's various activities that address the project's effectiveness.

Legal Status of Applicant Entity
Proof of Non-Profit Status
Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:
  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS tax-exemption certificate.
  • A statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.
When applying electronically, proof of non-profit status may be submitted as an attachment; however, proof of non-profit status must be submitted prior to award.
Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

If any confidential or sensitive information will be collected during the course of the project, whether from staff (e.g., background investigations) or project participants and/or project beneficiaries, provide a description of the methods that will be used to ensure that confidential and/or sensitive information is properly handled and safeguarded.  Also provide a plan for the disposition of such information at the end of the project period.

Dissemination Plan

Provide a plan for distributing reports and other project outputs to colleagues and to the public.  Applicants must provide a description of the method, volume, and timing of distribution.

Letters Of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding.   All submissions should be included in the application package or by the application deadline.

Budget and Budget Justification

Provide a budget with line-item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information Form (SF-424A or SF-424C).  Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated.  If matching is a requirement, include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Provide a narrative budget justification for each year of the proposed project. The narrative budget justification should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.
General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification.  Both Federal and non-Federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification.   "Federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying.  "Non-Federal resources" are all other non-ACF Federal and non-Federal resources.  It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format:  first column, object class categories; second column, Federal budget; next column(s), non-Federal budget(s); and last column, total budget.  The budget justification should be in a narrative form.

Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification:  Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.   For each staff person, provide:  the title; time commitment to the project in months; time commitment to the project as a percentage or full-time equivalent; annual salary; grant salary; wage rates; etc.  Do not include the costs of consultants, personnel costs of delegate agencies, or of specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement insurance, taxes, etc.

Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization.  (This item does not include costs of consultant travel). 

Justification:  For each trip show:  the total number of traveler(s); travel destination; duration of trip; per diem; mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances.  If appropriate for this project, travel costs for key staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops should be detailed in the budget.

Equipment

Description:  "Equipment" means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the lesser of:  (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000.  (Note:   Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, shall be included in or excluded from acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular written accounting practices.)

Justification:  For each type of equipment requested provide:  a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use on the project; as well as use and/or disposal of the equipment after the project ends.  An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy, or section of its policy, that includes the equipment definition.

Supplies

Description:  Costs of all tangible personal property other than that included under the Equipment category.

Justification:  Specify general categories of supplies and their costs.  Show computations and provide other information that supports the amount requested.

Other

Description:  Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to:  local travel; insurance; food; medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs; space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training costs, such as tuition and stipends; staff development costs; and administrative costs.

Justification:  Provide computations, a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category.

Indirect Charges

Description:  Total amount of indirect costs.  This category should be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

Justification:  An applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement.  If the applicant organization is in the process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, upon notification that an award will be made, it should immediately develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal based on its most recently completed fiscal year, in accordance with the cognizant agency's guidelines for establishing indirect cost rates, and submit it to the cognizant agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also request indirect costs.  When an indirect cost rate is requested, those costs included in the indirect cost pool should not be charged as direct costs to the grant.  Also, if the applicant is requesting a rate that is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The Funding Opportunity Announcement is found on the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov where the electronic application can be downloaded for completion.
  • To apply electronically, applicants must be registered with Grants.gov, Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS Number), and the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). 
  • All pages of the application package must be sequentially numbered.
  • Electronically submitted applications must be received and time/date stamped by the due date and receipt time described in this announcement in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.
  • To submit an application through Grants.gov, the applicant must be the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) for their organization and must have current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR) registration must be updated annually.  As of October 1, 2010, all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements are required to have CCR registration.
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Applications rejected by Grants.gov for an unregistered AOR will be disqualified and will not be considered for competition.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/registration_checklist.html.
  • If difficulties are encountered in using Grants.gov, applicants must contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the closing date and time.
  • Applicants should not wait until the due date for applications to begin submission of their application.

Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed due date and time does not ensure acceptance of your application.  If difficulties are encountered, ACF's Grants Management Officer (GMO) will make a determination whether the issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error. 


Hard Copy Submission

Applicants that are submitting their applications in hard copy format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.6 of this announcement for address information for hard copy application submissions.

Applications submitted in hard copy must show a DUNS Number.  A DUNS Number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711; Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1).  Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., c.s.t.

As of October 1, 2010, all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements, including those that apply in paper format, are required to have Central Contractor Registration.  CCR registration is also required for organizations that will receive subawards under Federal grants and cooperative agreements.  CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

CCR registration must be updated annually from the date of the initial registration.  CCR registration is required to be active throughout the period of award.  Lack of CCR registration will prevent ACF from making an award to a recommended applicant.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website at application due dates therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date.  CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Letter of Intent: 05/02/2011
Due Date for Applications: 06/01/2011

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview and in this section.  Applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will not be considered in the current competition.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that applications are received by mail, hand-delivery, or submitted electronically well in advance of the application due date and time.

Mailed Applications

Mailed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date, listed in the Overview and in this section, at the address provided in Section IV.6 of this announcement.  Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Hand-Delivered Applications


Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays).  Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.6. of this announcement. Applications received after the stated due date and time will be designated as late and will disqualified from competition.

Electronically-Submitted Applications

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by facsimile or email.  Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov may be found at the Grants.gov Registration Checklist

Electronically-submitted applications must be received and validated at www.Grants.gov by 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.

Upon submission and receipt of an application via www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number.  Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the application due date for the application to be considered as meeting the due date.  Applications received at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.

  2. Acknowledgement from Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications received on the due date that fail the validation check on, or after, 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date because the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is not registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be determined to be late and will not be considered for the review. Applications that do not pass the validation check at Grants.gov after the due date and time will be disqualified.
       
  3. An additional email from ACF will be sent to the applicant indicating that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF.

Late Applications

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances:

  • Hard-copy applications received after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications are considered late, and are disqualified, when the date and time-stamp received by email from www.Grants.gov is after 4:30 p.m., eastern time, on the due date.
     
  • Electronically-submitted applications submitted by an AOR that does not have a current registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) will be rejected by Grants.gov. Although the applicant may have an acceptable dated and time-stamped email from Grants.gov, these applications are considered late and are disqualified.  

Extension/Waiver of Due Date and Receipt Time

ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances such as natural disasters occur (floods, hurricanes, etc.); when there are widespread disruptions of mail service; or in other rare cases.  The determination to extend or waive the due date and receipt time requirements rests with ACF's Chief Grants Management Officer.

Acknowledgement of Received Application

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

Upon submission of an application electronically via http://www.Grants.gov, the applicant will receive three emails:

  1. Acknowledgement of the application's submission to Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov tracking number. The email will also provide a date and time-stamp, which serves as the official record of application submission.
  2. Your application has been validated and provides a Time/Date Stamp. See the previous section on failing the validation check because of an unregistered Authorized Organization Representative (AOR).
  3. An email will be sent to the applicant from ACF indicating that the application has been retrieved from Grants.gov by ACF.

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (SPOC)

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 6th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions, are considered unallowable costs under grants awarded under this announcement.

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
Construction is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.
Purchase of real property is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.

 

Each application may include only one proposed project.

 

It is unlikely that multiple applications with the same principal investigator (i.e., mentor) will be funded if there are at least six applications from different mentors/institutions that qualify for support.

 

Only expenses directly related to the student's dissertation research, including required personnel costs (salary), travel and other directly related expenses, are allowable under this grant.

 

Transferability

Grants awarded as a result of this competition are not transferable to another graduate student.

 

Grants awarded as a result of this competition are not transferable to another institution without prior approval from ACF. In addition, grant funds may not be used to support project activities outside of the scope of the proposal of the awarded project without prior approval by ACF.

 

Sharing of Awards

The awards are for support of an individual graduate student researcher. Awards cannot be divided among two or more students (i.e., no co-investigators).

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit applications to one of the following addresses:

Submission By Mail

Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Head Start Graduate Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050

Hand Delivery

Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Head Start Graduate Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2 for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via http://www.Grants.gov.


For all submissions, see Section IV.3 for information on due dates and times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.
 
APPROACH Maximum Points: 40

The extent to which the applicant's:

 

1. Literature review is current, comprehensive, delineates the gaps in the existing literature, and strongly supports the need for the study. The reference citations are complete and written consistent with the most current version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (See information in Section IV.2.)

 

2. Research goals, conceptual model, questions, and hypotheses are clearly stated, adequately described, and logically connected.

 

3. Proposed research design is clearly described, sufficient for addressing the goals of the project, and appropriately links research issues, questions, variables, data sources, samples, and analyses.

 

4. Planned research specifies the measures to be used and their psychometric properties, and demonstrates that the measures are appropriate and sufficient for the questions of the study and the population to be studied.

 

5. Data analytic plan is adequately described and the proposed data analytic techniques are appropriate for the specific research question(s) under consideration.

 

6. Proposed sample size is sufficient to answer the range of proposed research questions for the study, especially for longitudinal studies and studies involving a priori subgroups of interest. It is recommended that anticipated numbers of participants available from the participating programs be noted and that power analyses be completed for each research question that will be tested, as appropriate. Citations supporting hypothesized effect sizes would be appropriate.

 

7. Proposed design:

a. reflects sensitivity to technical, logistical, and ethical issues that may arise;

 

b. reflects adequate protection of human subjects, confidentiality of data and consent procedures, as appropriate; and

 

c. demonstrates how the researcher will gain access to the necessary organizations, participants, and data sources needed for the project.

 

8. Proposed research project is feasible for the time frame specified.

 

9. Research questions, design, measures, and analyses reflect state-of-the-art research, or advance the state-of-the-art, as appropriate.

 

10. Proposed research is a discrete research project designed by the graduate student. If the proposed project is part of a larger study designed by others, the Approach section should clearly delineate the research component to be carried out by the student and how it is distinguished from the larger research project.

 

11. Planned project, whether it involves primary data collection or secondary data analyses, explicitly describes how Head Start/Early Head Start program partners were involved in the selection of the research topic and/or the design of the proposed study. At a minimum, the application must include signed Letters of Support from the Head Start/Early Head Start program director(s) and the Head Start Program Policy Council(s).

 

12. Proposal is clearly written, organized, and provides appropriate details. It is highly recommended that sections be carefully labeled, to ease reviewers' identification of information relevant to the evaluation criteria.

 

The extent to which the application:

 

13. If addressing issues of demographic differences (i.e. language, ethnicity, race), goes beyond simply recording linguistic, ethnic, and racial categories to providing a more thorough examination of how these groupings intersect with important sociocultural dynamics such as social position, immigration status, family practices, and parental goals for socialization.

 

14. Verifies that the research proposal has been approved by a dissertation committee, either in the faculty mentor's letter of support and university/departmental forms indicating approval of dissertation proposal or with other official documentation indicating the proposal's approved status. (See information in Section III.3).

 

RESULTS AND BENEFITS EXPECTED Maximum Points: 20

The extent to which the applicant's:

 

1. Proposal reflects a solid understanding of critical issues, information needs, and research issues relevant to low-income families from various cultural, linguistic, and ethnic groups, generally, and to Head Start/Early Head Start policy and practice, specifically.

 

2. Conceptual model, research questions, and hypotheses reflect and are clearly linked to the goals, mission, and policies of the local and national Head Start/Early Head Start programs.

 

3. Proposed project will contribute new knowledge to the field.

 

4. Project addresses research questions that could directly impact policies and programmatic services for Head Start children and their families at the local and national levels.

 

The extent to which the application:

 

5. Specifies a sound description of the anticipated results and benefits of the project, including the proposed project's significance and implications for policymakers, program administrators, Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and education settings.

 

6. Describes how the applicant will collaborate with Head Start/Early Head Start program partners during various stages of development and in completion of the research project.

 

7. Presents a detailed plan for disseminating and translating, as appropriate, the proposed research to researchers, policymakers, program partners, and/or practitioners in the field (including completion of research brief(s) and archiving of a final report and study data by OPRE on the Child Care and Early Education Research Connections website).

 

STAFF AND POSITION DATA Maximum Points: 20

The extent to which the student and faculty mentor:

 

1. Possess the research expertise necessary to conduct the study as demonstrated in the application and information contained in their biographical sketches and/or curriculum vitae, including relevant background, experience, and training on related research or similar projects.

 

2. Demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the issues of working in a community setting, working in partnership with Head Start program staff, parents, and children, and, if applicable, working with a culturally, linguistically, and/or ethnically diverse population.

 

3. The faculty mentor (Principal Investigator) has earned a doctorate or equivalent in a relevant field and has first or second author publications in major peer-reviewed research journals.

 

The extent to which the application:

 

4. Provides a management plan (e.g., detailed outline or timeline) that presents a sound framework for how the mentor and student will maintain quality control over the implementation and ongoing operations for the study and will maintain a productive relationship with the program partner(s) that includes continued involvement or periodic feedback as the research progresses.

 

5. Provides a detailed and adequate plan for the faculty mentor's supervision and mentoring of the graduate student, including student's completion of the research and consultation/collaboration with program partners or policymakers.

 

 

Dissemination Maximum Points: 10

The extent to which the application:

 

1. Describes how the applicant plans to consult or collaborate with program partners or policymakers in completion of the research project, including (at a minimum) review and interpretation of the project's findings and its implications for program administrators, policymakers, and/or early care and education settings.

 

2. Presents a detailed plan for disseminating and translating, as appropriate, the proposed research to researchers, policymakers, program partners, and/or practitioners in the field, including (at a minimum) attendance at conferences and meetings, completion of research brief(s), and archiving of research briefs, a final report, study data and other research products on the Child Care and Early Education Research Connections website). Workplans/timelines should reflect sufficient time and effort for dissemination activities. (See information in Section I.B). 

 

3. Proposes a dissemination plan that encompasses both research and policy/program oriented products. Proposed products should demonstrate consideration of ways to maximize the utilization of findings and the appropriateness of the proposed distribution channels to reach intended audiences. For example, in addition to traditional research products and dissemination channels, plans should include development of research briefs tailored for policy and/or program/practice audiences.

 

4. Includes assurances and plans for working with Research Connections to archive final products. (See information in Section I.B).

 

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 10

The extent to which the applicant's proposed project costs:

 

1. Are reasonable and sufficient to accomplish the research objectives, design, and dissemination plan.

 

2. Are appropriately allocated to accomplish the research objectives, design, and dissemination plan.

 

3. Reflect expenses directly related to the student's dissertation research (which may include required personnel costs/salary, travel, and other directly related expenses).

 

4. Include adequate funds for the student and (if necessary) for his/her mentor to participate in the required meetings in Washington, DC (two meetings each annually, per year of funding; see Section I.B and Section IV.2).

 

5. Are justified according to the needs and time frame for carrying out the proposed project.

V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant that does not have active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time and whether the requested amount exceeds the award ceiling.  Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, or those with requests that exceed the award ceiling, stated in Section II. Award Information, will receive a screen-out letter noting that the application was deemed non-responsive and will not be considered for competitive review or funding under this announcement.

Objective Review and Results

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1 of this announcement.  Each panel is made up of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels are composed of three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding.  They are one element in the decision-making process.

ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project.  Applications may be funded in whole or in part.  Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested.  ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty.  ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its award decisions.

The competitive review will be conducted by panels of non-Federal expert reviewers knowledgeable in the areas of Head Start programmatic and policy issues, and early education research and evaluation.

  

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) will conduct an administrative review of the applications and results of the competitive review panels and make recommendations for funding to the Director of OPRE, taking into account the topical priorities of the Office of Head Start as listed in Section I.

 

On the basis of the review of an application, ACF will: (a) approve the application for funding; (b) disapprove the application; or (c) approve the application but not fund it due to lack of funds or a need for further review.

 

The Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families is responsible for the final selection.

 

Applications may be funded in whole or in part depending on: (1) the ranked order of applicants resulting from the competitive review; (2) the staff review and consultations; (3) the combination of projects that best meets the topical priorities of the Office of Head Start as listed in Section I; (4) the funds available; and (5) the best interests of the Federal Government.

 

It is unlikely that multiple applications with the same principal investigator (i.e., mentor) will be funded if there are at least six applications from different mentors/institutions that qualify for support.

 

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-Federal reviewers in the review process.
 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

It is anticipated that Award decision letters will be mailed out on or before September 30, 2011.

VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Financial Assistance Award (FAA) document that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The FAA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail.  Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter, signed by the Program Office head.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 C.F.R. Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations) or 45 C.F.R. Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).  The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr.

An application funded with the release of Federal funds through a grant award, does not constitute, or imply, compliance with Federal regulations.  Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable Federal regulations.

Prohibition Against Profit

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 C.F.R. Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 C.F.R.  Part 74.81_Prohibition against profit), which states that, "... no HHS funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization.  Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs." 

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to separate, in time or location, their inherently religious activities from the services funded under this program.  

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS funded activities. 

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, and additional information on "Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Community Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/regulations/index.html.

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr.

Award Term and Condition under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the requirements of Section 106 (g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (22 U.S.C. 7104).  For the full text of the award term, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/award_term.html.  If you are unable to access this link, please contact the Grants Management Contact identified in Section VII. Agency Contacts of  this announcement to obtain a copy of the Term.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.  ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements.  Appendices to the HHS GPS include a glossary of terms and a list of standard abbreviations for ease of reference.  The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Financial Assistance Award (FAA). The HHS GPS is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

In FY 2009, most ACF grantees began using a standard form for required performance progress reporting (PPR). At a minimum, grantees are required to submit the ACF-OGM SF-PPR, which consists of the ACF-OGM SF-PPR Cover Page and the Program Indicators-Attachment B. ACF Programs that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the ACF-OGM SF-PPR have listed the reporting requirements later in this section.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

ACF-OGM-SF-PPR may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

As of February 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began the transition from use of the SF-269, Financial Status Report (Short Form or Long Form) to the use of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting. SF-269s will no longer be accepted for expenditure reports due after that date. If an SF-269 is submitted, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will return it and require the recipient to complete the SF-425.

The transition strategy is allowing individual HHS Operating Divisions to select--from a limited number of options--the approach that best fits their programs and business process. This transition does not affect completion or submission of the cash reporting to the HHS Division of Payment Management's Payment Management System (PMS). The primary features of this transition for recipients are that OPDIVs that previously required electronic submission of the SF-269 will receive the SF-425 expenditure reports electronically and, until further notice, OPDIVs that have been receiving expenditure reports in hard copy will continue to do so.

All expenditure reports will be due on one of the standard due dates by which cash reporting is required to be submitted to PMS OR at the end of a calendar quarter as determined by the Operating Division. As a result, a recipient that receives awards from more than one OPDIV may be subject to more than one approach, but will not be required to change its current means of submission or be subjected to more than eight standard due dates.

Beginning with budget periods which end from January 1 - March 31, 2011, and for all budget periods thereafter, all affected ACF grantees will be required to submit an SF-425 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award using due dates for reports to PMS.
 

For budget periods ending in the months of:

The FFR (SF-425) is due to ACF on:

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on the ACF Funding Opportunity website Forms page.

Final program performance and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.

Further instructions will be provided, as necessary, with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates on an award-by-award basis.   Additional information on frequency of reporting is available on the ACF Funding Opportunities web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

For planning purposes, reporting periods for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

Awards issued as a result of this funding opportunity may be subject to the Transparency Act subaward and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 170.  See ACF's Award Term for Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirement implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information.

In accordance with section 4 of Executive Order Number 13230 titled "President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans," grantees should provide data resulting from this project if so requested by the Commission or the staff of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (66 FR 52841, October 17, 2001).

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Melinda Leidy
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Administration for Children and Families
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 20447
Phone: (877) 301-8193
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

David Kadan
OPRE Head Start Graduate Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Phone: (877) 301-8193
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

VIII. Other Information

NOTICE:  ACF intends to implement all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applications for discretionary awards in FY 2012.  For applicants without Internet access, or those without the computer capacity to upload large documents, ACF will offer a waiver procedure. In 2011, ACF will post a Federal Register notice soliciting public comment on the intended move to all electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for applicants for discretionary awards.

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Internet http://www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the Internet http://www.acf.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families - ACF Funding Opportunities homepage  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (C.F.D.A.) https://www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys.  

United States Code (U.S.C) http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/.

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Forms page at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at http://www.grants.gov/agencies/aforms_active_form_SF424f.jsp.

Versions of other Standard Forms (SFs) are available on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Grants Management Forms web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms/.

For information regarding accessibility issues, visit the Grants.gov Accessibility Compliance Page at http://www07.grants.gov/aboutgrants/accessibility_compliance.jsp.

Sign up to receive notification of ACF Funding Opportunities at www.Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp.

Application Checklist

Applicants may use the checklist below as a guide when preparing your application package.
 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

Letter of Intent

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the Letter of Intent due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to www.ccr.gov to register.

Required for all applicants. CCR registration must be active by time of award.

Cover Letter

Referenced in  Section IV.2 of the announcement

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.  Go to https:// eupdate.dnb.com /requestoptions.asp to obtain DUNS Number.

Required in application submission.

Contact Information Sheet

Referenced in  Section IV.2 of the announcement

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/grants_resources.html and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at http:// apply07.grants.gov /apply/FormLinks?family=15.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html

Submission is due prior to award.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, if applicable

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission of this form is required if any funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan.

If applicable, submission is due prior to award.

Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Biographical sketches and/or Curriculum Vitae for Student and Faculty Mentor

Referenced in  Section IV.2 of the announcement

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Letter of Support from Faculty Mentor

Referenced in  Section IV.2 of the announcement

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Official Transcript of Student Reflecting Graduate Courses and Status in the Doctoral Program

Referenced in  Sections III.3 and IV.2 of the announcement

Submission due by application due date found in Overview and Section IV.3.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in the "Project Description."

Submission is due prior to award.

Letters of Support

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

This program is covered under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities."  Applicants must submit all required application materials to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http:// www.whitehouse.gov /omb/grants_spoc/ as indicated in Section IV.4. of this announcement.

Submission due to State Single Point of Contact by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Certification

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http://
www.acf.hhs.gov
/programs/ofs/grants/maintain.htm

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.

Protection of Human Subjects Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption (Common Rule)

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement and available at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/assurances/forms/index.html.

Submission is due prior to award.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications. Applicants using a hard copy application, place the completed survey in an envelope labeled "Applicant Survey." Seal the envelope and include it along with the application package. Applicants applying electronically, may submit this survey along with the application.

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. The survey may be found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application or prior to award.

Appendices