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Field Initiated (FI) Projects Program: Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) - Research

Grant to a USA Minority-Serving IHE for Pilot Research
on the Integration of Individuals with Disabilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living (ACL)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/22/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grant to a USA minority-serving IHE to carry out pilot research activities addressing the integration of individuals with disabilities. Applicants must create or verify required registrations at least two weeks prior to the deadline. Projects may address issues such as family support, independent living, and social and economic self-sufficiency. Emphasis is placed on individuals with severe disabilities.

The purpose of the Field Initiated (FI) Projects program is to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. Another purpose of the FI Projects program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

The purpose of this competition is to improve the capacity of minority entities to conduct high- quality disability and rehabilitation research. NIDILRR will accomplish this by limiting eligibility for this competition to minority entities and Indian tribes in a manner consistent with section 21(b)(2)(A) of the Act, which authorizes NIDILRR to make awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities authorized under Title II of the Act. NIDILRR makes two types of awards under the FI Projects program: research grants and development grants.

In carrying out a research activity under an FI Projects research grant, a grantee must identify one or more hypotheses or research questions and, based on the hypotheses or research questions identified, perform an intensive, systematic study directed toward producing (1) new or full scientific knowledge or (2) better understanding of the subject, problem studied, or body of knowledge.

NIDILRR plans to make one MSI FIP award. NIDILRR's MSI FIP award may be a research project or a development project, depending on the ranking of applications provided by the peer review panel.

Note: An applicant should consult NIDRR’s Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 (78 FR 20299) (the Plan) when preparing its application. The Plan is organized around the following outcome domains: (1) community living and participation; (2) health and function; and (3) employment. Applicants for FI projects must specify in their abstract and project narrative which major outcome domain their proposed project will focus on. Although applicants may propose projects that address more than one domain, they should select the primary domain addressed in their proposed project.

FIP research applicants must define the stage or stages of research that they propose to conduct. If the FIP grant is to conduct research that can be categorized under more than one stage including research that progresses from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. These stages: exploration and discovery, intervention development, intervention efficacy, and scale-up evaluation, are defined in this funding opportunity announcement.

(a) Exploration and discovery mean the stage of research that generates hypotheses or theories through new and refined analyses of data, producing observational findings and creating other sources of research-based information. This research stage may include identifying or describing the barriers to and facilitators of improved outcomes of individuals with disabilities, as well as identifying or describing existing practices, programs, or policies that are associated with important aspects of the lives of individuals with disabilities. Results achieved under this stage of research may inform the development of interventions or lead to evaluations of interventions or policies. The results of the exploration and discovery stage of research may also be used to inform decisions or priorities;

(b) Intervention development means the stage of research that focuses on generating and testing interventions that have the potential to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Intervention development involves determining the active components of possible interventions, developing measures that would be required to illustrate outcomes, specifying target populations, conducting field tests, and assessing the feasibility of conducting a well-designed intervention study. Results from this stage of research may be used to inform the design of a study to test the efficacy of an intervention;

(c) Intervention efficacy means the stage of research during which a project evaluates and tests whether an intervention is feasible, practical, and has the potential to yield positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Efficacy research may assess the strength of the relationships between an intervention and outcomes and may identify factors or individual characteristics that affect the relationship between the intervention and outcomes. Efficacy research can inform decisions about whether there is sufficient evidence to support “scaling-up” an intervention to other sites and contexts. This stage of research may include assessing the training needed for wide-scale implementation of the intervention and approaches to evaluation of the intervention in real-world applications; and

(d) Scale-up evaluation means the stage of research during which a project analyzes whether an intervention is effective in producing improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities when implemented in a real-world setting. During this stage of research, a project tests the outcomes of an evidence-based intervention in different settings. The project examines the challenges to successful replication of the intervention and the circumstances and activities that contribute to successful adoption of the intervention in real-world settings. This stage of research may also include well-designed studies of an intervention that has been widely adopted in practice, but lacks a sufficient evidence base to demonstrate its effectiveness

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182648

Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 1

Estimated Size of Grant:

$200,000 per budget period

Term of Contract:

The project period is 36-months with three 12-month budget periods.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Parties eligible to apply for MSI FI Projects grants are limited to minority entities and Indian tribes as authorized by section 21(b)(2)(A) of the Act. A minority entity is defined as a historically black college or university (a part B institution, as defined in section 322(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended), a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, an American Indian tribal college or university, or another IHE whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent. NIDILRR is especially interested in applications from individual minority entities that have historically been underrepresented in the federal research arena.

Funding Restrictions:

Note: A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has raised considerable concerns about grantees and contractors charging the Federal government for additional meals outside of the standard allowance for travel subsistence known as per diem expenses. Executive Orders on Promoting Efficient Spending (EO 13589) and Delivering Efficient, Effective and Accountable Government (EO 13576) have been issued and instruct Federal agencies to promote efficient spending. Therefore, if meals are to be charged in your proposal, applicants should understand such costs must meet the following criteria outlined in the Executive Orders and HHS Grants Policy Statement:

Meals are generally unallowable except for the following:
-For subjects and patients under study (usually a research program);
-Where specifically approved as part of the project or program activity, e.g., in programs providing children’s services (e.g., Headstart);
-When an organization customarily provides meals to employees working beyond the normal workday, as a part of a formal compensation arrangement; or
-As part of a per diem or subsistence allowance provided in conjunction with allowable travel.

Pre-Application Information:

All applicants must have a DUNS number and be registered with the System for Award Management and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete and, should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award. Applicants should finalize a new, or renew an existing, registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.

Due to the open nature of the priorities in this competition, and to assist with the selection of reviewers, NIDILRR is requesting all potential applicants submit a letter of intent (LOI). The submission is not mandatory and the content of the LOI will not be peer reviewed or otherwise. LOIs are due January 3, 2018.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on January 22, 2018.

You are strongly encouraged to submit your application a minimum of 3-5 days prior to the application closing date.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Shelley Reeves, Project Officer
Office: 202-795-7427
Fax: 202-205-0392

Kapua Hatch, Grants Management Specialist
Office: 202-795-7361
Fax: 202-205-0392

CFDA Number:


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URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming