Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
 
Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
HHS-2017-ACF-OPRE-YR-1219
Application Due Date: 05/08/2019
Due Date for Applications:

FY 2017: June 12, 2017
FY 2018:
 April 2, 2018
FY 2019: May 8, 2019

 
Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
HHS-2017-ACF-OPRE-YR-1219
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
    1. Overview
    2. Executive Summary
    1. Program Description
    2. Federal Award Information
    3. Eligibility Information
      1. Eligible Applicants
      2. Cost Sharing or Matching
      3. Other
    4. Application and Submission Information
      1. Address to Request Application Package
      2. Content and Form of Application Submission
      3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management
        (SAM)
      4. Submission Dates and Times
      5. Intergovernmental Review
      6. Funding Restrictions
      7. Other Submission Requirements
    5. Application Review Information
      1. Criteria
      2. Review and Selection Process
      3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates
    6. Federal Award Administration Information
      1. Federal Award Notices
      2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
      3. Reporting
    7. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)
    8. Other Information
 
 
HHS-2017-ACF-OPRE-YR-1219
Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
ANNOUNCEMENT MODIFICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Funding Opportunity Title:Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants
Announcement Type:Modification
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2017-ACF-OPRE-YR-1219
Primary CFDA Number: 93.600
 
Due Date for Letter of Intent:

FY 2017: May 15, 2017
FY 2018:
 March 1, 2018
FY 2019: April 8, 2019

Due Date for Applications: 05/08/2019
 
Due Date for Applications:

FY 2017: June 12, 2017
FY 2018:
 April 2, 2018
FY 2019: May 8, 2019

 
Executive Summary

Notice: 

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire funding opportunity announcement (FOA) carefully and observe the application formatting requirements listed in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission. For more information on applying for grants, please visit "How to Apply for a Grant" on the ACF Grants & Funding Page at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has opened competition for the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants to support dissertation research by advanced graduate students who are working in partnership with Head Start programs and with faculty mentors. Competitive applicants will 1) demonstrate a collaborative partnership with their program partners, and 2) pursue research questions that directly inform local, state, or federal policy relevant to multiple early care and education practices. Applicants should consider pursuing data collection across contexts, including child care, pre-kindergarten (pre-K), home-visiting programs, Head Start, Early Head Start, and/or others. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an established partnership with their early care and education program partners that should be apparent throughout the research plan, from development and refinement of the research questions through the proposed data collection, interpretation, and dissemination. For more information about OPRE, please go to http​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​. For further information about previous Head Start Graduate Student Research Grantees, please refer to http​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/head​-start​-gradu​ate​-stude​nt​-resea​rch​-progr​am​. Awards are dependent on the availability of funds and the best interest of the federal government.

 

The 2019 version of this FOA features minor edits to Section I. Program Description; Section II. Federal Award Information; Section III.3. Other; Section IV.2 Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, and Project Budget and Budget Justification; Section IV.4 Submission Dates and Times; Section V.1 Criteria; Section V.2 Review and Selection Process; and Section VIII. Other Information. These edits are for clarification and are not substantial changes from the 2018 version of this FOA.

I. Program Description

Statutory Authority

Awards under this funding opportunity announcement 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 supported the development of partnerships between Head Start programs and their local research community through the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants. These awards attract applications from leading researchers and their graduate students specializing in social sciences, education, health, or other relevant disciplines. In close collaboration with their Head Start and Early 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 builds research capacity. The grants foster the mentor-student relationship between leading researchers and their graduate students, enhancing the quality of the current work and building 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 and Early 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 fields throughout their careers. To learn about previously funded Head Start Research Scholars projects, please visit: http​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/ head​-start​-gradu​ate​-stude​nt​-resea​rch​-progr​am​.

B. Goals of the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants

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

  • complete high-quality research projects that address current concerns of Head Start and Early Head Start programs and policymakers;
  • provide support for advanced graduate students whose dissertation research focuses on Head Start and/or Early Head Start populations, thus building knowledge about effective services, practices, and policies for diverse, low-income families and their children;
  • promote mentor-student relationships that a) support students' independent line of research; b) provide project supervision from qualified, experienced researchers in the field; and c) further students' graduate training and professional development in policy-relevant, applied research;
  • foster working research partnerships between academic researchers and Head Start and Early Head Start programs, thereby increasing a) the programs' understanding and use of current research information, and b) the quality and relevance of the funded research work to Head Start and Early Head Start communities;
  • support active communication, networking, and collaboration among the cohort 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, topics of current interest for this announcement include (but are not limited to): 

  • transition from Head Start to kindergarten or from Early Head Start to Head Start. For example, the impact of transition on teachers, parents, and children; program, child, and family features predictive of transition resiliency; continued family engagement in new learning settings, and/or alignment of curricula);

  • evidence-based teaching practices for supporting the development of infants and toddlers. This includes research that will highlight practices that can be used in group settings to intentionally support and build upon children's skills and development. For example, research of interest might examine how to support effective curriculum implementation with infants and toddlers; how to build effective teacher-child interactions with this age group; and/or how to help teachers in supporting children's learning and development in an intentional and focused way;

  • how Head Start and Early Head Start programs use data, including:

(a) how teachers understand and use information about children's development to support individualized practices. For example, research might examine teachers' understanding of developmental trajectories in key areas of school readiness; how to assess children's development, and how to use information about children's current developmental needs and strengths to move them along a developmental continuum;

(b) how family services staff, managers, and directors make use of family wellbeing and family engagement data to inform individual practice with families and to measure program wide progress toward goals related to family wellbeing and family engagement;

(c) how grantees make use of data at the organizational level to enhance program planning. For example, a project could examine how programs use community assessment and family assessment information in conjunction with other sources of data to target and tailor their services, and/or how programs link child outcome data to other sources of information to better understand and contextualize information about children's school readiness.

  • cost of quality (e.g., cost per child; cost effectiveness)

 

  • integrated approaches that pair intensive and intentional supports for adult outcomes with effective approaches for supporting children's school readiness (e.g., two-generation, dual-generation, or whole family approaches). For example, a study may examine different approaches to supporting adult employment or educational outcomes, adult financial capability, and adult language and literacy skills, or Head Start or Early Head Start implementation of a parenting curriculum or intervention;
  • the experiences and influence of parent participation in governance and policy council. For example, researchers could gather information on the relationship between parent participation in governance and its associations with transitions to kindergarten and/or child outcomes;
  • Head Start or Early Head Start partnerships with child care or other child/family programs. For example, research that can help identify strengths and challenges of such partnerships, potential approaches to creating such partnerships, or how/whether partnerships support improvements in the quality of services or ability of Head Start/Early Head Start to meet child and/or family needs;
  • improving Head Start and Early Head Start programs, policies, and practices with populations, such as:

(a) American Indian/Alaskan Native children and families;

(b) migrant/seasonal families and their children;

(c) children with disabilities and their families;

(d) families in contact with the child welfare system, including abused and/or neglected children;

(e) foster children;

(f) children raised by family members other than their biological parents (e.g., grandparents);

(g) homeless children.

  • family engagement, specifically research that looks at:

(a) links to child outcomes. For example, models of family engagement and direct, moderator, or mediator impacts on children's learning, approaches to learning, and development;

(b) assessment. For example, development and validation of measure(s) of parent, family and community engagement framework family outcomes;

(c) the impact of different family support program designs and their effects on family and child outcomes;

(d) program features that most strongly predict family engagement for programs serving and engaging families facing adversity and/or program features that affirm the traditions of different cultural groups in programs/communities).

For additional information, see the Office of Head Start’s Parent, Family and Community Engagement framework: https​://eclkc​.ohs​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/schoo​l​-readi​ness​/artic​le​/pfce​-inter​activ​e​-frame​work​.

  • exposure to Head Start or Early Head Start. For example, research examining the impact of program structure, program duration, instructional time, summer learning loss, or attendance on child outcomes;
  • dual language learners, including children in native language revitalization programs. For example, the development of valid assessments for infant/toddler dual language learners; validation of preschool dual language learner assessments, and/or strategies for improving quality of services for dual language learners;
  • professional development of program staff. For example, identifying effective and efficient means of training staff working with families to successfully engage and assist these families and/or developing assessments of staff competencies;
  • community engagement and collaboration. For example, examining the effectiveness of various models of collaboration with other early care and education programs and health and human service organizations and/or identifying elements of effective community partnerships, collaboration, and systems;
  • health services. For example, examining programs for families regarding health issues such as family health literacy, smoking reduction, healthy sleep schedules for children, oral health, vision health, asthma control, and/or appropriate nutrition;
  • teacher and classroom characteristics and practices that influence children's academic readiness.  For example, the impact of curricula, assessment, teaching strategies and approaches, or other environmental characteristics on children's learning and development;

  • leadership and management in Head Start and Early Head Start programs (e.g., how leadership, organizational structure, and management influence climate and culture of programs; how such factors influence the effectiveness of programs, services, teaching practices);

  • projects of relevance to Head Start or Early Head Start using secondary data. Potential secondary datasets include, but are not limited to:

(a) the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES): https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/head​-start​-famil​y​-and​-child​-exper​ience​s​-surve​y​-faces​

(b) the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES): https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/early​-head​-start​-famil​y​-and​-child​-exper​ience​s​-study​-baby​-faces​

(c) Head Start Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion (Head Start CARES): https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/head​-start​-cares​-head​-start​-class​room​-based​-appro​aches​-and​-resou​rces​-for​

(d) the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES): https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/ameri​can​-india​n​-and​-alask​a​-nativ​e​-head​-start​-famil​y​-and​-child​-exper​ience​s​-surve​y​-faces​

(e) the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/natio​nal​-surve​y​-of​-early​-care​-and​-educa​tion​-nsece​-2010​-2014​

(f) the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CC Partnerships): (link available in Spring 2019)

Data sets and supporting documents can be found on Child Care and Early Education Research Connections: http​://www​.resea​rchco​nnect​ions​.org​/child​care​/datas​ets​-instr​ument​s​.jsp​

 

Head Start Program Performance Standards

 

Each applicant should assess whether their proposal is relevant to the child, family, program, and/or community systems that are features of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. To that end, applicants can review the Head Start Program Performance Standards at https​://eclkc​.ohs​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/polic​y​/45​-cfr​-chap​-xiii​.

C. Project Requirements

1. Consultation/Collaboration with Head Start Program Administrators. Applicants must consult and collaborate with a Head Start and/or Early Head Start program in the development of the proposal. Collaborations with programs should be evident in the research proposal, and at a minimum, in signed letters of support from the participating, Head Start or Early Head Start program(s), and from the relevant Head Start or Early Head Start Policy Council(s). For the Head Start and Early Head Start program office contact list, please visit the Head Start Program Directory at: https​://eclkc​.ohs​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/feder​al​-monit​oring​/repor​t​/progr​am​-servi​ce​-repor​ts​ or the Head Start Locator at: https​://eclkc​.ohs​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/cente​r​-locat​or​.

2. Research Dissemination. As a post-award requirement, grantees are expected to participate in several activities that will facilitate communication and dissemination of research between researchers, policymakers, and program administrators:

(a) Conferences and Meetings. For each year of the award, participation in two conferences is mandatory. The first conference is the Annual Meeting of CCEEPRC in Washington, DC. Additionally, participation in one of the following is required: (1) ACF's National Research Conference on Early Childhood (in alternating years) or (2) in an off-year, a professional society meeting that corresponds with the applicant’s profession/area of expertise. The applicant's proposed budget should reflect funds to cover travel, lodging, and other costs for the scholar and mentor for two conferences per budget period, including 3 days lodging and expenses for each meeting.

Participation in the scholars' grantee meeting is also mandatory. In previous years, this meeting has been scheduled to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium (CCEEPRC). Participants should budget 2 days of lodging and expenses for this meeting for the student and mentor. However, if the faculty mentor will utilize another source of travel funds, such arrangements are encouraged and should be clearly noted in the application.

(b) Research Briefs and Briefings. Twice during the award, the scholar is expected to prepare a one to two page brief describing the objectives, hypotheses, and/or findings (when available), and the potential practice or policy implications of their research projects. These briefs will be required at the beginning and end of the project period. At the beginning of the project period, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) will provide grantees with guidance to support the development of the research briefs. Examples can be found on the ACF/OPRE website at: https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​/opre​/resea​rch​/proje​ct​/early​-head​-start​-resea​rch​-to​-pract​ice​-0​. In addition, the grantee may be asked to present at research briefings in Washington, DC. Work plans/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.)

(c) Archiving and Publishing. The scholar must agree to archive his/her approved dissertation, final grant-funded datasets, reports, and other research products in the Early Care and Education Data Archive at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) or a project officer-designated digital library. For more information on the Early Care and Education Data Archive and social science data preparation and archiving, please visit: https​://www​.icpsr​.umich​.edu​/icpsr​web​/conte​nt​/depos​it​/guide​/.

D. Definitions

Budget Period: 12-month periods of time for which funds are made available to a particular grantee (i.e., the first budget period would begin September 30, 2019, and end September 29, 2020).

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

Project Period: The total length of the proposed project, which is either 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, 2019 and end September 29, 2020. For a 2-year proposed project, the project period would, for example, start September 30, 2019, and end September 29, 2021.

E. Questions Regarding Application

For questions regarding this funding opportunity and/or the application process, please call (877) 350-5913 or direct inquiries via email to: OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review at HSGra​duate​Resea​rchRe​views​@icfi​.com​.

F. Additional Information

Transferability

The merit of the application and the award are associated with the support of a single graduate student, specified in the application. Awards may not be transferred to support any other graduate student. Grant awards are not transferable to another organization or institution without prior written approval from ACF. In addition, grant funds may not be used to support project activities outside the scope of the proposal for the awarded project without prior written 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).

Indirect Costs

If the applicant institution voluntarily relinquishes their indirect costs, or chooses to apply off-campus research rates, an authorized representative of the institution must submit a written acknowledgement that the indirect costs are being relinquished or a lower rate is being used. This voluntary decision to relinquish indirect costs, or to apply off-campus research rates, will not impact eligibility to submit an application and will not be a factor in an objective review.

II. Federal 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: $20,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $25,000 Per Budget Period
Anticipated Project Start Date: 09/30/2019

Length of Project Periods:

Length of Project Period: 12-month project period and budget period
24-month project period with two 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

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

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A recipient's failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. See Section III.2. of this announcement for information on cost-sharing or matching requirements.

Applicants conducting high-quality research, including research using various methodologies and designs or secondary data analysis, may apply for either a 12-month project period (with one budget period) or a 24-month project period (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. 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 dependent upon the availability of funds, satisfactory progress by the grantee, and interest of the Federal Government.

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

Indirect Costs are included in the Award Ceiling and are taken into consideration under the Award Ceiling disqualification factor.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are public, private and state controlled institutions of higher education; state, county, city or township, and special district governments; independent school districts; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; small businesses; Native American tribal governments and organizations; public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities. 

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

See Section IV.2. Legal Status of Applicant Entity for documentation required to support eligibility.
 

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR 75.306.

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards. These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by an applicant and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the applicant will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

 

III.3. Other

1. To be eligible for award, the graduate student must provide evidence of an approved dissertation proposal. Please refer to Section IV.2. The Project Description, Additional Eligibility Documentation for further details and guidance.

 

2. The student and faculty mentor must:

(a) possess the expertise, including relevant background, experience, and training on related research or similar projects, necessary to conduct the research as demonstrated in the application and information contained in their biographical sketches and/or curricula vitae.

(b) demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the issues of working in a community setting; working in partnership with Head Start and/or Early Head Start program staff and/or families; and, if applicable, working with a culturally, linguistically, and/or ethnically diverse population. This should be demonstrated in both the application and through letters of support, as appropriate, from the partnering Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) and Policy Council(s).

 

3. The faculty mentor (Principal Investigator) must have earned a doctorate or equivalent in a relevant field and have first and/or second author publications in major peer-reviewed research journals, as indicated in his/her biographical sketch and/or curriculum vitae.

 

4. The applicant organization must have a history of research and budget oversight and have appropriate resources to support the student. Applicants are required to submit written evidence that research is a primary organizational activity as part of the application submission.

 

Required documentation is described in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Additional Eligibility Documentation.

 

Application Disqualification Factors

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period ("per project period" refers only to fully funded awards), as stated in Section II. Federal Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov. Paper applications received from applicants that have not been approved for an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow the applicant to submit applications in paper format. Information and the requirements for requesting an exemption from required electronic application submission are found in "ACF Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6


Missing the Application Deadline (Late Applications)

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. 

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the www.Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at, or acknowledged by, ACF. 

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the submission will generate a new date and time-stamp email notification. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.  

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

 

Notification of Application Disqualification

Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Phone: (877) 350-5913
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available in the FOA's listing at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" available in the FOA's Grants.gov Synopsis under the Package tab at www.Grants.gov. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) for assistance at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS

Each applicant applying electronically via www.Grants.gov is required to upload only two electronic files, excluding Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. No more than two files will be accepted for the review, and additional files will be removed. Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.

FOR ALL APPLICATIONS:
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
AOR is the designated representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the award and administration of grants. In signing a grant application, this individual agrees that the organization will assume the obligations imposed by applicable Federal statutes and regulations and other terms and conditions of the award, including any assurances, if a grant is awarded.

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.  The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.

Accepted Font Style
Applications must be in Times New Roman (TNR), 12-point font, except for footnotes, which may be TNR 10-point font.  Pages that contain blurred text, or text that is too small to read comfortably, will be removed. 

English Language
Applications must be submitted in the English language and must be in the terms of United States (U.S.) dollars. If applications are submitted using another currency, ACF will convert the foreign currency to U.S. currency using the date of receipt of the application to determine the rate of exchange.


Page Limitations
Applicants must observe the page limitation(s) listed under "PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:".  Page limitation(s) do not include SFs and OMB-approved forms.

All applications must be double-spaced.  An application that exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description file or the Appendices file will have the last extra pages removed and the removed pages will not be reviewed.

Application Elements Exempted from Double-Spacing Requirements
The following elements of the application submission are exempt from the double-spacing requirements and may be single-spaced: the table of contents, the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, required Assurances and Certifications, required SFs, required OMB-approved forms, resumes, logic models, proof of legal status/non-profit status, third-party agreements, letters of support,  footnotes, tables, the line-item budget and/or the budget justification.

Adherence to FOA Formatting, Font, and Page Limitation Requirements
Applications that fail to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will be adjusted by the removal of page(s) from the application. Pages will be removed before the objective review. The removed page(s) will not be made available to reviewers.

Applications that have more than one scanned page of a document on a single page will have the page(s) removed from the review.

For applicants that submit paper applications, double-sided pages will be counted as two pages. When the maximum allowed number of pages is reached, excess pages will be removed and will not be made available to reviewers.

NOTE: Applicants failing to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will receive a letter from ACF notifying them that their application was amended. The letter will be sent after awards have been issued and will specify the reason(s) for removal of page(s).

Corrections/Updates to Submitted Applications
When applicants make revisions to a previously submitted application, ACF will accept only the last on-time application for pre-review under the Application Disqualification Factors. The Application Disqualification Factors determine the application's acceptance for competitive review. See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors and Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

Applicants submitting applications in paper format must submit one original and two copies of the complete application, including all Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. The original copy must have original signatures.

Signatures
Applicants submitting electronic applications must follow the registration and application submission instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

The original of a paper format application must include original signatures of the authorized representatives.

Accepted Application Format
With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, all application materials must be formatted so that they are 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins all around.

If possible, applicants are encouraged to include page numbers for each page within the application.

ACF generally does not encourage submission of scanned documents as they tend to have reduced clarity and readability.  If documents must be scanned, the font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable. Documents must be scanned page-for-page, meaning that applicants may not scan more than one page of a document onto a single page. Pages with blurred text will be removed from the application.

PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:

1. Each application may include only one proposed project, presented in two files.

2. Page Limits and Numbering. Applicants must limit their entire application (including the narrative and appendices) to 100 pages. Pages submitted beyond the first 100 in the application will be removed prior to panel review.

(a) File 1: Applicants must number the pages of File 1 beginning with the Table of Contents. Applicants are strongly advised to use headings and subheadings that correspond to the required information, found in Section IV.2. The Project Description and Budget and Budget Justification, the evaluation criteria, found in Section V.1. Criteria, and required proposal sections. Applicants are further advised to include all required forms and materials. See additional instructions later in this Section (under The Project Description) for details on preparing the full project description. File 1 must include:

1. Table of Contents
2. Project Summary/Abstract
3. 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 Section I. Program Description and incorporate information related to the criteria that will be used to evaluate the applications as described in Section V.I Criteria.

Sections must be carefully labeled to ease reviewers' identification of information relevant to the review criteria. It is strongly encouraged that the project description/narrative statement be organized according to the sections presented here. Additional headers and subheaders may also be used to organize the content of each section.

(a) Background, Significance and Objectives
(b) Research Design and Methodology
(c) Dissemination, Management, and Collaborative Partner Plan
(d) References

4. Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information
5. Project Timeline and Milestones
6. Project Budget and Budget Justification

(b) File 2: Applicants may have only one appendix file, which may contain multiple appendices.

1. Letter of Support from Principal Investigator/Faculty Mentor
2. Curriculum Vitae for Student
3. Curriculum Vitae for the Principal Investigator/Faculty Mentor
4. Transcript Reflecting Completed Graduate Courses and Status in the Doctoral Program
5. Documentation of Approved or Scheduled Doctoral Dissertation Proposal
6. Additional Letters of Support, as appropriate, from the Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) and Policy Council(s)  
7. Documentation of Research as a Primary Organizational Activity 
8. Proof of Non-profit Status, if applicable (see information later in this section under The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity).
9. Proof of For-profit Status,  if applicable (see information later in this section under The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity).

3. Writing Style. The proposal should be consistent with the format and style guidelines of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (e.g., identify sections and subsections with headers and sub headers, follow citation guidelines). The research should comply with the "Ethical Standards" detailed in the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002).

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options for information about requesting an exemption.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.

Each applicant is required to upload ONLY two electronic files, excluding SFs and OMB-approved forms.

File One: Must contain the entire Project Description, and the Budget and Budget Justification (including a line-item budget and a budget narrative).

File Two: Must contain all documents required in the Appendices.

Adherence to the Two-File Requirement
No more than two files will be accepted for the review.  Applications with additional files will be amended and files will be removed from the review.  SFs and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.  

Application Upload Requirements
ACF strongly recommends that electronic applications be uploaded as Portable Document Files (PDFs). One file must contain the entire Project Description and Budget Justification; the other file must contain all documents required in the Appendices. Details on the content of each of the two files, as well as page limitations, are listed earlier in this section.

To adhere to the two-file requirement, applicants may need to convert and/or merge documents together using a PDF converter software. Many recent versions of Microsoft Office include the ability to save documents to the PDF format without need of additional software. Applicants using the Adobe Professional software suite will be able to merge these documents together.  ACF recommends merging documents electronically rather than scanning multiple documents into one document manually, as scanned documents may have reduced clarity and readability.

Applicants must ensure that the version of Adobe Professional they are using is compatible with Grants.gov. To verify Adobe software compatibility please go to Grants.gov and click on “Support” at the top bar menu and select “Adobe Software Compatibility,” which is listed under the topic “Online Answers.” The Adobe verification process allows applicants to test their version of the software by opening a test application package. Grants.gov also includes guidance on how to download a supported version of Adobe, as well as troubleshooting instructions for use, if an applicant is unable to open the test application package. 

The Adobe Software Compatibility page located on Grants.gov also provides guidance for applicants that have received error messages while attempting to save an application package. It also addresses local network and/or computer security settings and the impact this has on use of Adobe software.

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved Forms
Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL (Project/Performance Site Location), are uploaded separately at Grants.gov. These forms are submitted separately from the Project Description and Appendices files. See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for the listing of required Standard Forms, OMB-approved forms, and required assurances and certifications.

Naming Application Submission Files
Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov. Limit file names to 50 characters (characters and spaces). Special characters that are allowed under Grants.gov’s naming conventions, and are accommodated by ACF’s systems, are listed in the instructions available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" at Grants.gov. Please also see https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/submitting-utf-8-special-characters.html.

Use only file formats supported by ACF
It is critical that applicants submit applications using only the supported file formats listed here. While ACF supports all of the following file formats, we strongly recommend that the two application submission files (Project Description and Appendices) are uploaded as PDF documents in order to comply with the two file upload limitation. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do Not Encrypt or Password-Protect the Electronic Application Files
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they are encrypted or password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed. This removal may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make awards based on an incomplete application.

FORMATTING FOR PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:
The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order for a paper format application to be accepted for review. For more information on the exemption, see "ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission'" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ howto#chapter-6

Format Requirements for Paper Applications
All copies of mailed or hand-delivered paper applications must be submitted in a single package. If an applicant is submitting multiple applications under a single FOA, or multiple applications under separate FOAs, each application submission must be packaged separately. The package(s) must be clearly labeled for the specific FOA it addresses by FOA title and by Funding Opportunity Number (FON).

Applicants using paper format should download the application forms package associated with the FOA's Synopsis on www.Grants.gov under the Package tab.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate sections of the application. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the federal government for review. All application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes. All pages in the application submission must be sequentially numbered.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper format application submissions.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications


Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application.
All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the Application Package posted for this FOA at www.Grants.gov.

 

Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

Certificate of Good Standing

Submission is required for all for-profit organizations.

Sole proprietorships are not eligible applicants. The submission of the Certificate of Good Standing, along with the current list of board members, and organizational documents that require the establishment and maintenance of a Board of Directors, provide proof of eligibility for for-profit organizations.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project. 

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of the certification is required for all applicants.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application.  If it is not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

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.

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

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Form is available at http​:// www​.hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ assur​ances​/ forms​/index​.html​.

General information about the HHS Protection of Human Subjects regulations can be obtained at http​://www​. hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ . Applicants may also contact OHRP by email (ohrp​@csoph​s​ .dhhs​.gov​) or by phone (240-453-6900).

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/ webfo​rm​

Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SAM registration is available at 
http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) for more information.

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

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications. In the SF-P/PSL, applicants must cite their primary location and up to 29 additional performance sites.

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

All applicants and recipients are required to submit, in writing, to the awarding agency and to the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), all information related to violations of federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the federal award. (Mandatory Disclosures, 45 CFR 75.113)

Disclosures must be sent in writing to:

The Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Grants Management, ATTN: Grants Management Specialist, 330 C Street, SW., Switzer Building, Corridor 3200, Washington, DC 20201

And to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 20201

Fax: (202) 205-0604 (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line) or
Email: MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov



SF-424 Key Contact Form: 

Use this form to provide contact information for the Principal Investigator, Student, and the Authorized Organizational Representative.

 

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.
    The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

Purpose

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  It should address the activity for which federal funds are being requested, and should be consistent with the goals and objectives of the program as described in Section I. Program Description.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  When appropriate, applicants should cite the evaluation criteria that are relevant to specific components of their project description.   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

Applicants should develop 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.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants must prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria in Section V.1. Criteria.  The text options give a broad overview of what the project description should include while the evaluation criteria 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.4. 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.

Submit the Letter of Intent to the following address:

Head Start Graduate Research Grant Review Team
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com


Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers. The table of contents must be single spaced and will be counted against the total page limitations.


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, in Times New Roman 12-point font, and limited to one page in length. Additional pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.


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 should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as well as data describing the needs of the target population and the proposed service area as needed. When appropriate, a literature review should be used to support the objectives and needs described in this section.


Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed project will be accomplished.  Applicants must account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Describe any design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and/or community involvement in the project. Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals that will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Cite potential obstacles and challenges to accomplishing project goals and explain strategies that will be used to address these challenges.

A. Background, Significance, and Objectives. The application must demonstrate understanding of the relevant literature on critical issues and existing knowledge, describe their objective, and demonstrate their understanding of the overall significance of the proposal. Applications must be sure to demonstrate how the proposal will address issues of significance related to the Head Start and/or Early Head Start, as well as how it addresses key gaps in the field of early child care and education. Students are expected to connect their research proposal to critical public policy questions. Applications must incorporate the following information:

1. A thorough literature review, justifying the proposed study and the outcomes of interest. The application must briefly discuss previous studies that have been conducted related to the proposed study, as well as identify gaps in the literature. The literature review must provide a sound justification for the proposed study. The application must cite relevant, current literature related to this topic, using the most recent version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

2. The study's theoretical framework. The application must discuss the underlying theoretical framework of the study and how this relates to the project goals and research questions.

3. Specific research questions of interest. The application must list the research questions, as well as discuss how they relate to Head Start and/or Early Head Start goals and critical issues in the early childhood field.

4. Hypothesized results. Hypothesized results must be discussed. Findings from the current literature should be used to justify the hypothesized results.

5. Significance and implications of the research. The application must describe the proposed project's significance and implications for policymakers, program administrators, and/or early childhood care and education settings, as well as how the research project extends our current understanding of the problem/phenomena. The application must explain specifically how the information obtained will benefit the greater Head Start and Early Head Start community, what benefits programs will derive from these results, and how the project will inform Head Start policies and practices.

B. Research Design and Methodology

1. Method and research design. The application must clearly define the study population, expected sample size, how the data will be collected, consent issues, and how both the participants' responses and the data will be kept confidential. The design must also include sufficient protection of human subjects and adequate consent procedures. The design must clearly address the goals of the project and be sensitive to the context of Head Start or Early Head Start. The project must clearly be designed by the graduate student. If the proposed project is part of a larger study designed by others, this section must clearly delineate the component that will be carried out by the student and how it is distinguished from the larger research project.

2. Measures. The specific measures that will be utilized in the study, as well as the psychometric properties of each measure, must be included.

3. Data analysis plan. The proposed data analytic plan must be described, as well as a brief justification for how the data analytic plan is appropriate for the research questions. 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.

C. Dissemination, Management, and Collaborative Partner Plan. The application must outline and describe several plans related to how the findings will be disseminated to a larger audience, how the student and faculty mentor will work together to execute the proposed project, and how the student will collaborate with program partners.

1. Dissemination plan. The application must articulate how the project's findings will be disseminated to a wide audience using both research and policy-oriented products and dissemination channels, as well as how the student will archive final products in the Early Care and Education Data Archive at ICPSR or a project officer-designated digital library. In addition to traditional research products and dissemination channels (e.g., conference presentations, journal publications), plans should include development of presentations and research briefs tailored for policymakers and/or practitioners (e.g., program directors, teachers, staff). The dissemination plan must clearly outline the conferences and meetings where the student plans to disseminate findings, as well as if the student plans to create research briefs or create research products for the Early Care and Education Data Archive at ICPSR or a project officer-designated digital library.

2. Management plan. The application must outline a strong management plan that describes a sound, workable plan of action for how the proposed project will be carried out. This section must describe how the faculty mentor and student will maintain quality control over the implementation and ongoing operations for the study. This plan must also outline how the faculty mentor will oversee and mentor the student including frequency of mentoring meetings and details of productivity goals. A detailed timeline must also be included, outlining milestones for completion of the various project tasks. The timeline must include when the expected completion of the research project will occur, as well as when the findings will be disseminated to a wider audience, such as at conferences or through documenting findings in the Early Care and Education Data Archive at ICPSR or a project officer-designated digital library. The timeline must also include professional development activities.

3. Collaborative partner plan. The application must describe how the student and mentor have developed and maintained a productive relationship with Head Start and/or Early Head Start program administrators . The student must also outline plans to consult and/or collaborate with program partner(s) during various stages of the project, including developing and refining the research question(s) and project design, implementation of research, and dissemination of findings. In particular, the application should describe how program partners will be consulted regarding initial project findings and the overall interpretation of findings.


Project Timeline and Milestones

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.


Legal Status of Applicant Entity


For-Profit Organizations

Sole proprietorships are not eligible applicants. For-profit organizations applying for funding must submit the following to provide proof of their eligibility and legal status:

    • A Certificate of Good Standing,
    • A current list of board members, and
    • Organizational documents that require the establishment and maintenance of a Board of Directors.
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.

Unless directed otherwise, applicants must include proof of non-profit status in the Appendices file of the electronic application submission.


Additional Eligibility Documentation

Applicants must provide the additional, required documentation, or required credentials, to support eligibility for an award, as described in Section III. Eligibility Information of this announcement:

As described in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, the following documents should be included in the Appendices file (i.e., File 2).

1. Letter of Support. As Principal Investigator, the graduate student's 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 2 years or less of completing his/her dissertation.

2. Faculty Mentor Curriculum Vitae. The Principal Investigator must submit a curriculum vitae documenting that he/she has a Ph.D. or equivalent in the respective field, conducts research as a primary professional responsibility, and has published or has been accepted for publication in major peer-reviewed research journals as a first or second author.

3. Student Curriculum Vitae. The student must submit curriculum vitae.

4. Student Transcript. The student must submit a graduate transcript reflecting completed graduate courses and status in the doctoral program

5. Documentation of Approved or Scheduled Doctoral Dissertation Proposal. ACF must receive evidence of an approved dissertation proposal immediately following the proposal defense, but no later than by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 30, 2019.

If the graduate student has an approved dissertation proposal (or an equivalent status) at the time of application submission:

a. Evidence of the approval must be submitted with the application. Sufficient evidence includes a document signed by committee member(s) or another departmental administrator attesting to the fact that the graduate student’s dissertation proposal has been approved. Alternatively, a form or letter describing completion of other processes that are equivalent to establishing this pre-doctoral status would suffice.

If the graduate student does not have an approved dissertation proposal (or an equivalent status) at the time of application submission:

a. Step 1: Evidence that the dissertation proposal defense (or equivalent) has been scheduled must be submitted with the application. Sufficient evidence of a scheduled defense would be a document signed by committee member(s) or another departmental administrator attesting to the fact that the graduate student’s dissertation proposal defense (or equivalent) has been scheduled; and

b. Step 2: Evidence of an approved dissertation proposal (or equivalent) must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 30, 2019. Sufficient proof of approval would include written confirmation from a committee member or other departmental administrator that: (a) the dissertation proposal/plan has been officially approved by the university/department (or equivalent) and (b) that the scope and approach of the approved research has not changed substantively from what was proposed in the original application submission. This documentation must be emailed to HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 30, 2019. 

If this information is not received prior to the deadline, the application will be considered incomplete and will be ineligible for funding.

 

6. Additional Letters of Support, as appropriate, from the Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) and Policy Council(s). The graduate student must have established a collaborative partnership with a Head Start and/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 and/or Early Head Start program(s) and the relevant Head Start and/or Early Head Start Policy Council(s).

7. Documentation of Research as a Primary Organizational Activity. The applicant organization must have a history of research and budget oversight and have appropriate resources to support the student. Written evidence that research is a primary organizational activity is required. This evidence must include a history of the completion of high-quality research within the past 2 years.

 

Organizational Capacity

Provide the following information on the applicant organization and, if applicable, on any cooperating partners:

  • Evidence that the applicant organization, and any partnering organizations, have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of programs similar to that offered under this announcement;
  • Evidence that each participating organization, including partners and/or subcontractors, possess the organizational capability to fulfill their role(s) and function(s) effectively;
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.

Letters of Support

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

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is entered on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C, according to the directions provided with the SFs. The budget justification consists of a budget narrative and a line-item budget detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Applicants must indicate the method they are selecting for their indirect cost rate.  See Indirect Charges for further information. 

Project budget calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance). See the table in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications listing the appropriate budget forms to use in this application.

Special Note: The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, (Division B, Title II, Sec. 202), limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the "Rates of Pay for the Executive Schedule" is $189,600. This amount reflects an individual's base salary exclusive of fringe benefits and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties of the applicant organization. This salary limitation also applies to subawards and subcontracts under an ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

 

Provide a budget using the 424A and/or 424C, as applicable, for each year of the proposed project. Provide a budget justification, which includes a budget narrative and a line-item detail, for each year of the proposed project. The budget narrative should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

The following costs must be included in the budget and budget justification:

1. Expenses directly related to the student's dissertation research, which may include personnel costs/salary of the student, travel of the student, and other directly related expenses. Budget should not include salary for the student's mentor.

2. Expenses related to travel for the student to attend the required meetings and conferences outlined in Section I., C. Project Requirements.

3. If necessary, expenses to enable the mentor to participate in the required meetings in Washington, DC, should be included.

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. Contractors and consultants should not be placed under this category.


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, and taxes.


Travel

Description:  Costs of out-of-state or overnight project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization. Do not include in-state travel or 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 project staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops/conferences/grantee orientations 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 per unit 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 applicant organization's regular written accounting practices.) 

Justification:  For each type of equipment requested applicants must provide a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use of the equipment in the project; as well as a plan for the 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.  This includes office and other consumable supplies with a per-unit cost of less than $5,000.

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


Contractual

Description:  Costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc.  Include third-party evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations (with budget detail), including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.  This area is not for individual consultants.

Justification:  Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open, and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients are required to use 45 CFR 75.328 procedures and must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed by 41 U.S.C. § 134, as amended by 2 CFR Part 200.88, and currently set at $150,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc., available to ACF.

Note: Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each contractor/sub-contractor, by agency title, along with the same supporting information referred to in these instructions.  If the applicant plans to select the contractors/sub-contractors post-award and a detailed budget is not available at the time of application, the applicant must provide information on the nature of the work to be delegated, the estimated costs, and the process for selecting the delegate agency.


Other

Description: Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to: consultant costs, local travel; insurance; food (when allowable); medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs (including audit charges); 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 has one of two methods that an applicant can select.  An applicant may only select one.
 

1) The applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant federal agency.

Note: An applicant must enclose a copy of the current approved rate agreement.  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.

2) Per 45 CFR  § 75.414(f) Indirect (F&A) costs, “any non-Federal entity [i.e., applicant] that has never received a negotiated indirect costs rate, … may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10%  of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely.   As described in § 75.403, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both.  If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.” 

 

Justification:  This method only applies to applicants that have never received an approved negotiated indirect cost rate from HHS or another cognizant federal agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposal may request the 10 percent de minimis rate.  When the applicant chooses this method, costs included in the indirect cost pool must not be charged as direct costs to the grant.


Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description:  Amounts of non-federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.  The match calculation applies to the total project cost (including match) and not just to the federal share. 

Justification:  If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter or other documentation) is required with the application.  Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Note: Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching or cost-sharing requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s) and, for in-kind contributions, a justification of how the stated valuation was determined.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification is estimated to average 60 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, expiration date is 01/31/2019. 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.

    Application Submission Options

    Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

This section provides the application submission and receipt instructions for ACF program applications. Please read the following instructions carefully and completely.

Electronic Delivery
ACF is participating in the Grants.gov initiative to provide the grant community with a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. ACF applicants are required to submit their applications online through Grants.gov.

How to Register and Apply through Grants.gov
Read the following instructions about registering to apply for ACF funds. Applicants should read the registration instructions carefully and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling the required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last-minute searches for required information.

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Organization applicants can find complete instructions here: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html

Obtain a DUNS Number: All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Applicants must enter the DUNS number in the data entry field labeled "Organizations DUNS" on the SF-424 form.

For more detailed instructions for obtaining a DUNS number, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html

Register with SAM: In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through Grants.gov must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with SAM will prevent your organization from applying through Grants.gov.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html

Create a Grants.gov Account: The next step in the registration process is to create an account with Grants.gov. Applicants must know their organization's DUNS number to complete this process. Completing this process automatically triggers an email request for applicant roles to the organization's E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) for review. The EBiz POC is a representative from your organization who is the contact listed for SAM. To apply for grants on behalf of your organization, you will need the AOR role.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html

Authorize Grants.gov Roles: After creating an account on Grants.gov, the EBiz POC receives an email notifying them of your registration and request for roles. The EBiz POC will then log in to Grants.gov and authorize the appropriate roles, which may include the AOR role, thereby giving you permission to complete and submit applications on behalf of your organization. You will be able to submit your application online any time after you have been approved as an AOR.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov. refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/authorize-roles.html

Track Role Status: To track your role request, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/track-role-status.html


When applications are submitted through Grants.gov, the name of the organization's AOR that submitted the application is inserted into the signature line of the application, serving as the electronic signature. The EBiz POC must authorize individuals who are able to make legally binding commitment on behalf of the organization as an AOR; this step is often missed and it is crucial for valid and timely submissions.

How to Submit an Application to ACF via Grants.gov
Grants.gov applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For each FOA, you can create individual instances of a workspace.

The following is an overview of applying via Grants.gov. For access to complete instructions on how to apply for opportunities, refer to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html 

Create a Workspace: Creating a workspace allows you to complete an application online and route it through your organization for review before submitting.

Complete a Workspace: Add participants to the workspace, complete all the required forms, and check for errors before submission.

Adobe Reader: If you decide not to apply by filling out webforms you can download individual PDF forms in Workspace so that they will appear similar to other Standard or ACF forms. The individual PDF forms can be downloaded and saved to your local device storage, network drive(s), or external drive(s), then accessed through Adobe Reader.

NOTE: Visit the Adobe Software Compatibility page on Grants.gov to download the appropriate version of the software at: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/adobe-software-compatibility.html

Mandatory Fields in Forms: In the forms, you will note fields marked with an asterisk and a different background color. These fields are mandatory fields that must be completed to successfully submit your application.

Complete SF-424 Fields First: The forms are designed to fill in common required fields across other forms, such as the applicant name, address, and DUNS number. To trigger this feature, an applicant must complete the SF-424 information first. Once it is completed, the information will transfer to the other forms.

Submit a Workspace: An application may be submitted through workspace by clicking the Sign and Submit button on the Manage Workspace page, under the Forms tab. Grants.gov recommends submitting your application at least 24-48 hours prior to the close date to provide you with time to correct any potential technical issues that may disrupt the application submission.

Track a Workspace: After successfully submitting a workspace package, a Grants.gov Tracking Number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) is automatically assigned to the package. The number will be listed on the Confirmation page that is generated after submission.

For additional training resources, including video tutorials, refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-training.html

Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov. For questions related to the specific grant opportunity, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your submission, it is best to call the Grants.gov Support Center and get a ticket number. The Support Center ticket number will assist ACF with tracking your issue and understanding background information on the issue.

Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission
All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date established for each program. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic date/time stamp is generated within the system when the application is successfully received by Grants.gov. The applicant AOR will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicant AORs will also receive the official date/stamp and Grants.gov Tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission.

When ACF successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, and acknowledges the download of submission, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt of the application to the email address of the applicant with the AOR role. Again, proof of timely submission shall be the official date and time that Grants.gov receives your application. Applications received by Grants.gov after the established due date for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by ACF.

Applicants with slow internet, such as dial-up connections, should be aware that transmission can take some time before Grants.gov receives your application. Again, Grants.gov will provide either an error or a successfully received transmission in the form of an email sent to the applicant with the AOR role. The Grants.gov Support Center reports that some applicants end the transmission because they think that nothing is occurring during the transmission process. Please be patient and give the system time to process the application.

Issues with Federal Systems
For any systems issues experienced with Grants.gov or SAM.gov, please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Applicants Experiencing Federal Systems Issues” document for complete guidance at www.acf.hhs.gov /sites/default/files/assets/systems_issue_policy_final.pdf.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission
To request an exemption from required electronic submission please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission” document for complete guidance at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/acf_policy_for_requesting_an_exemption_from_required_electronic.pdf.

Paper Format Application Submission
An exemption is required for the submission of paper applications. See the preceding section on "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper 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 AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.7. of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions. Applications submitted in paper format must be received by 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date.

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.4. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All applicants must have a DUNS Number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov/SAM, https://www.sam.gov).

Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

All applicants are required to maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If a grant is awarded, registration at SAM must be active throughout the life of the award.

Plan ahead. Allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e. Grants.gov.

This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application through Grants.gov or prevent the award of a grant. Applicants should maintain documentation (with dates) of their efforts to register for, or renew a registration, at SAM. User Guides are available under the “Help” tab at https://www.sam.gov.

HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:   

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM 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 active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award 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, ACF:

  • 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.
IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Letter of Intent
Due Date for Letter of Intent:
Due Date for Letter of Intent:

FY 2017: May 15, 2017
FY 2018:
 March 1, 2018
FY 2019: April 8, 2019

Due Date for Applications:

FY 2017: June 12, 2017
FY 2018:
 April 2, 2018
FY 2019: May 8, 2019

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications
The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged.

Mailed Paper Format Applications
The deadline for receipt of mailed, paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications
Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.7.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

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

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Emergency Extensions
ACF may extend an application due date when circumstances make it impossible for an applicant to submit their applications on time. Only events such as documented natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or a verifiable widespread disruption of electrical service, or mail service, will be considered. The determination to extend or waive the due date, and/or receipt time, requirements in an emergency situation rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s).

Acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov
Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application 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's submission. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Applicants will also receive an email acknowledging that the received application is in the Grants.gov validation process, after which a third email is sent with the information that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, the series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged by ACF.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:
Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of receipt of a paper format application:

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

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

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 https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_-Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf.
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, 330 C St. SW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20201.

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.6. Funding Restrictions

IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable. Fund raising costs for the purposes of meeting the Federal program objectives are allowable with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency. (45 CFR §75.442)

Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids, proposals, or applications on potential Federal and non-Federal awards or projects, including the development of data necessary to support the non-Federal entity's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect (F&A) costs and allocated currently to all activities of the non-Federal entity. No proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable to the current period. (45 CFR §75.460)

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.
IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. Also see ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6.

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 www.Grants.gov.

For all submissions, see Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Please note: With the exception of the funding opportunity announcement and relevant statutes and regulations, reviewers will not access, or review, any materials that are not part of the application documents.  This includes information accessible on websites via hyperlinks that are referenced, or embedded, in the application.  Though an application may include web links, or embedded hyperlinks, reviewers will not review this information as it is not considered to be part of the application documents.  Nor will the information on websites be taken into consideration in scoring of evaluation criteria presented in this section. Reviewers will evaluate and score an application based on the documents that are presented in the application and will not refer to, or access, external links during the objective review.

Application components should be organized such that a reviewer will be able to follow a seamless and logical flow of information (i.e., from a broad overview of the project to more detailed information about how it will be conducted). In addition, it is recommended that the application be carefully labeled to ease reviewers' identification of information relevant to the review criteria. 

BACKGROUND, SIGNIFICANCE, AND OBJECTIVES Maximum Points:40

The application:

1. Is clearly written, organized, and provides all appropriate details and documentation necessary to understand the research plan. Sections are labeled with appropriate headers and sub headers.

2. Includes reference citations that are complete and consistent with the most current version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (See information in Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications)

3. Contains a comprehensive review of the current literature, delineates gaps in the existing literature, and strongly supports the need and objectives for the study.

4. Describes a project that satisfies the goal of this grant program to support dissertation level research addressing questions of interest to Head Start and/or Early Head Start programs. Clearly demonstrates link(s) between the research topic and the Head Start and/or Early Head Start program goals/concerns.

5. Describes the theoretical framework, research goals, and/or research questions in a way that is clear and logically connected.

6. Includes research questions that fill a gap in the literature and current understanding of Head Start and/or Early Head Start.

7. Reflects a sound description of the anticipated outcomes and benefits of the project, including:

(a) The hypothesized results of the study.
(b) Anticipated outcomes discussed in a way that reflects a solid understanding of critical issues, information needs, and research issues relevant to the Head Start and/or Early Head Start populations, programs, and policies as well as the early education field more broadly.
(c) A thorough description of the significance and implications for policymakers, program administrators, Head Start and/or Early Head Start programs, and early education settings.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Maximum Points:25

1. The research design:

(a) Is clearly described, thoroughly addresses the goals of the project, and appropriately links research issues, questions, hypotheses, variables, data sources, samples, and analyses.

(b) 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.

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

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

2. The data analytic plan:

(a) Clearly and adequately describes the statistical techniques to be used, and the statistical techniques are appropriate for the research question(s) under consideration.

(b) Includes a proposed sample size that 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.

3. The application is sensitive to technical, logistical, and ethical issues that may arise.

4. The application provides sufficient protection of human subjects, confidentiality of data, and consent procedures, as defined by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002) and as evidenced by the Protection of Human Subjects: Assurance Identification/IRB Certification/Declaration of Exemption form.

5. The research project is clearly designed by the graduate student. If the proposed project is part of a larger study designed by others, the application clearly delineates the research component to be carried out by the student and distinguishes it from the larger research project.

DISSEMINATION, MANAGEMENT, AND COLLABORATIVE PLAN Maximum Points:15

1. The dissemination plan (maximum of 5 points) includes:

(a) A description of how the student plans to consult or collaborate with program partners to review and interpret the project's findings and its implications for program administrators, policymakers, and/or early care and education settings.

(b) A detailed plan for disseminating and translating, as appropriate, the proposed research to each target audience, including (but not limited to):

i. Research community,

ii. Policymakers and practitioners in the field of early childhood education and care, and

iii. Program partners.

(c) Both research and policy/program-oriented products. The application demonstrates ways to maximize the utilization of findings and the appropriateness of the proposed distribution channels to reach intended audiences.

(d) Detailed plans for working with the Early Care and Education Data Archive at ICPSR or project officer-designated digital library to archive final dissemination products, including the study data and final report.

2. The management plan (maximum of 5 points):

(a) Is sound, workable, illustrates how the project will be carried out, as well as how the student and faculty member will ensure quality control during the project.

(b) Describes how the faculty member will mentor the student, including how often meetings between the mentor and student will occur. The plan should also describe the faculty mentor's supervision of the student's completion of the research and consultation/collaboration with program partner(s).

(c) Includes a feasible timeline for when key project milestones are expected to be met, including when the entire project is expected to be finished, and when findings will be disseminated to a wider audience.

3. The collaborative partner plan (maximum of 5 points):

(a) Explains how/if the student has consulted or collaborated with program partners.

(b) Reflects sufficient consultation, collaboration, or partnership with program partner(s) that is sustained throughout the research project, including the development and refinement of the research question(s) and project design,
implementation of research (if applicable), and dissemination of findings.

(c) Describes how they will maintain a productive relationship with the program partner(s) that may include continued involvement or periodic feedback as the research progresses.

QUALIFICATIONS Maximum Points:15

1. The student and faculty mentor must:

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

(b) Demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the issues of working in a community setting; working in partnership with Head Start and/or Early Head Start program staff and/or families; and, if applicable, working with a culturally, linguistically, and/or ethnically diverse population.

2. 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, as indicated in his/her biographical sketch and/or curriculum vitae.

3. The applicant organization has a history of research and budget oversight and has appropriate resources to support the student.

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points:5

1. Proposed project costs are:

(a) Reasonable, sufficient, and appropriately allocated to accomplish the research objectives, design, and dissemination plan.

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

(c) Include adequate funds for the student and (if necessary) for his/her mentor to participate in the required meetings (two meetings for each year of funding; see Section I.C. Project Requirements).

(d) Justified according to the needs and time frame for carrying out the proposed project.

V.2. 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 or sub-recipient that does not have a DUNS number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration at SAM (www.sam.gov). See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM).

Initial ACF Screening
Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualification factors described in Section III.3.Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Disqualified applications are considered to be “non-responsive” and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

Objective Review and Results
Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include 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. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award 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 and Early Head Start programmatic and policy issues, and early care and education research and evaluation. Reviewers will use the evaluation criteria listed in Section V.1.Criteria to review and score the application. OPRE will conduct an administrative review of the applications and results of the competitive review panels and will make recommendations for funding to the Director of OPRE, taking into account the goals of the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants as listed in Section I. Program Description. The Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families is responsible for the final selection. 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.

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 goals of the Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants as listed in Section I. Program Description; (4) the funds available; and (5) the best interests of the Federal Government.

 

Dissertation Proposal Approval Requirement

To be eligible for award, the graduate student must provide evidence of an approved dissertation proposal by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 30, 2019. Evidence of the scheduled or approved dissertation proposal must be submitted with the application submission. If the dissertation proposal is not approved at the time of application, the graduate student must submit documentation of dissertation proposal approval to ACF immediately following the proposal defense. If proof of an approved dissertation proposal is not received by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 30, 2019, the application will be disqualified. Please refer to Section IV. 2. Project Description, Additional Eligibility Documentation above for additional guidance.

Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

As required by 2 CFR Part 200, the Uniform Guidance, effective January 1, 2016, ACF is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), www.fapiis.gov/, before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency has previously entered into FAPIIS. ACF will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR § 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants (http://www.ecfr.gov/ cgi-bin/text-idx?node=se2.1.200_1205&rgn=div8).

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval in the objective review process, but not selected for award, may receive funding if additional funds become available or may compete for funding during the next review cycle (if one occurs in the next fiscal year). Applications designated as “approved but unfunded” typically cannot be kept in an active status for more than 12 months. For those applications determined as “approved but unfunded,” notice will be given of the determination by email.

 
 

V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date. ACF staff cannot respond to requests for information regarding funding decisions prior to the official applicant notification. 

VI. Federal Award Administration Information

VI.1. Federal Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) 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 NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail, email, or by GrantSolutions.gov or the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES), whichever is relevant. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Grantees may translate the Federal award and other documents into another language. In the event of inconsistency between any terms and conditions of the Federal award and any translation into another language, the English language meaning will control. Where a significant portion of the grantee’s employees who are working on the Federal award are not fluent in English, the grantee must provide the Federal award in English and in the language(s) with which employees are more familiar.

 

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at www.ecfr.gov. Unless otherwise noted in this section, administrative and national policy requirements that are applicable to discretionary grants are available at: www.acf.hhs.gov/administrative-and-national-policy-requirements.

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. 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 Notice of Award (NOA). The HHS GPS is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-1.


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. 


Ownership of Results

Ownership of data, reports, proposals, and studies produced or developed under funding of this federal award are subject to section 649(f) of the Head Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. § 9844), which says, "The Secretary shall take necessary steps to ensure that all studies, reports, proposals, and data produced or developed with Federal funds under this subchapter shall become the property of the United States."

 

VI.3. Reporting

 
Performance Progress Reports: Semi-Annually

Recipients under this FOA will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. Information on reporting requirements is available on the ACF website at www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-2.

For planning purposes, the frequency of required reporting for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually
VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Program Office Contact

Wendy DeCourcey
OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Phone: (877) 350-5913
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Tim Chappelle
OPRE Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Review
c/o ICF International
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-6050
Phone: (877) 350-5913
Fax: (703) 934-3740
Email: HSGraduateResearchReviews@icfi.com
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) www.acf.hhs.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunities Forecast www.grants.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunity Announcements ami.grantsolutions.gov/.

ACF "How To Apply For A Grant" https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

Grants.gov Accessibility Information www.grants.gov/ web/grants/accessibility-compliance.html.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  http://www.ecfr.gov/.

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

 

Application Checklist

 

Applicants may use this checklist as a guide when preparing an application package.

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

Letter of Intent

Referenced in Section IV.2. Project Description.

Submission is due by the Letter of Intent due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submit with the application by the due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

Submission is due with the application by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Timeline and Milestones

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification.

Submission is required in addition to submission of SF-424A and / or SF-424C.


Submission is required with the application package by the due date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Letter of Support from Faculty Mentor

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

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

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

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

Referenced in Sections III.3. Other and IV.2 The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Documentation of approved doctoral dissertation proposal

Referenced in Sections III.3. Other and IV.2 The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

If it is not available at the time of application submission, documentation of an approved dissertation proposal must be submitted as soon as possible, but not later than by August 30, 2019.

Letters of Support, as appropriate, from the Head Start or Early Head Start program(s) and Policy Council(s)

Referenced in Sections III.3. Other and IV.2 The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Documentation of Research as a Primary Organizational Responsibility

Referenced in Sections III.3. Other and IV.2 The Project Description.

Submission due by application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the application due date and time listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. of the FOA. 

If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Certificate of Good Standing

See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications and The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Submission is required with the application by the Application Due Date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Eligibility Documentation by For-Profit Organizations

Referenced in Section IV.2. Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity.

Submission is required with the application by the Application Due Date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in
Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application. 


If it not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the
award of a grant.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. 

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application package or prior to the award of a grant.

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

Requirement, submission instructions, and mailing addresses are found in the "Mandatory Grant Disclosure"  in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications.

If applicable, concurrent submission to the Administration for Children and Families and to the Office of the Inspector General is required.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

These forms are available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section. 
They are required for applications that include only non-construction activities. 

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

 

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

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Referenced in Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) in the announcement.

To obtain a DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier), go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/webfo​rm​.

To register at SAM, go to http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

A DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier) and registration at SAM.gov are required for all applicants.

Active registration at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

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

Referenced in Section IV.2. Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. See http​://www​.hhs​.gov​/ ohrp​/ assur​ances​/ forms​/ index​.html​ for additional information.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ 

Submission of the required information and forms is due with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. If the information is not available at the time of application, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities" 

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 at http​://www​. white​house​.gov​ /omb​ /grant​s_spo​c​/ as indicated in Section IV.5. Intergovernmental Review of this announcement.  

Submission of application materials is due to SPOC by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.