NEW ERA RURAL TECHNOLOGY COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM

To establish a competitive grants program to provide funding for technology development, applied research, and training to aid in the development of an agriculture-based renewable energy workforce.



Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - None.

USDA, CSREES, National Program Leader, Science and Education Resources Development - Higher Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 2251, Washington, DC 20024.

Telephone: (202) 720-2067 and Facsimile: (202) 720-3945.


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

In General:
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall establish a program to make grant funds available for approved technology development, applied research, and training to aid in the development of an agriculture-based renewable energy workforce.

Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct the program.

The initiative shall support the following fields:
(A) bioenergy;
(B) pulp and paper manufacturing; and
(C) agriculture-based renewable energy resources.

Grant Priority:
In providing grants under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to eligible entities working in partnership-
(1) to improve information-sharing capacity; and
(2) to maximize the ability to meet the following requirements for funding
delineated in (A), (B) and (C) of Section :081 below.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals): Higher Education (includes Research).

Other public institution/organization: Higher Education (includes Research).

Quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization: Higher Education (includes Research)

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public nonprofit institution/organization; Other public institution/organization; Quasi-public nonprofit organization; Rural; Education (13+)

Credentials/Documentation

A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained - A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. It has been adopted by the Federal government to help track how Federal grant money is distributed. If your organization does not have a DUNS number, call the special Dun & Bradstreet hotline at 1-866-705-5711 to receive one free of charge. You will receive a DUNS number within several days of your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual.

Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - The CCR is the central government repository for organizations working with the Federal government. If your organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register your organization. When your organization registers with CCR, it will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. Visit the CCR Web site at http://www.ccr.gov to begin this process. It may take several days to collect the information needed for your organization s registration. The CCR Assistance Center can be reached at 888-227-2423. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, "CSREES Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs."

Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another CSREES program. CSREES will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.". This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. 091 Preapplication Coordination:
All RFAs are published on the Agency s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.


:092 Application Procedure:
Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.

Award Procedures

Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 1613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the CSREES Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.

Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.


Priority:
In providing grants under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to eligible entities:
(1) to improve information-sharing capacity; and
(2) to maximize the ability to meet the requirements as delineated in (A), (B) and (C) of Section :081 above.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

Subtitle K of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3319e]., 7 U.S.C 3319e.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 180 days.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.This program has no matching requirements. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The term of competitive project grants and/or cooperative agreements under this program may not exceed three (3) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Grantees are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

A final "Financial Status Report" (SF-269) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Branch, Office of Extramural Programs at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).




Awards Management Branch
Office of Extramural Programs
Cooperative State Research, Education,
and Extension Service
U.S.

Department of Agriculture
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986.

Grantees are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

A final "Financial Status Report" (SF-269) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Branch, Office of Extramural Programs at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).




Awards Management Branch
Office of Extramural Programs
Cooperative State Research, Education,
and Extension Service
U.S.

Department of Agriculture
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986.

Grantees are required to submit annual and summary progress reports via CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS).

This reporting requirement was approved under OMB Control No.

0524-0042, "CSREES Current Research Information System (CRIS)." CRIS is an electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Audits will be conducted in accordance with guidelines established in the revised OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," and implemented in 7 CFR 3052. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.

Records

In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1500-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $702,000; FY 10 est $702,000 - Computation of estimated amount available: Appropriations $750,000 LESS: Federal Administration $30,000 and Small Business set-aside $18,000 = $ 702,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant or cooperative agreement are established, these will be announced in the annual program announcement or RFA.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Grant Programs - General Grant Administrative Provisions and Program-Specific Administrative Provisions; 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; and 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations and 7 CFR Part 3021, Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None. USDA, CSREES, National Program Leader, Science and Education Resources Development - Higher Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 2251, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 720-2067 and Facsimile: (202) 720-3945.

Headquarters Office

National Program Leader, SERD USDA, CSREES, National Program Leader, Science and Education Resources Development - Higher Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 2251, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 720-2067 and Facsimile: (202) 720-3945. , Washington 20024 Phone: 202-720-2067

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFAs.



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