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

Grant to a USA Minority-Serving IHE for Research to
Promote Integration for 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 IHEs for the development of methods, rehabilitation technology, and procedures to further integration and inclusion for individuals with disabilities, with an emphasis on individuals with severe disabilities. Applicants are advised to create or verify required registrations at least two weeks prior to the deadline.

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 development activity under a FI Projects development grant, a grantee must use knowledge and understanding gained from research to create materials, devices, systems, methods, measures, techniques, tools, prototypes, processes, or intervention protocols that are beneficial to the target population.

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 development applicants must define the stage or stages of development that they propose to conduct. If the FIP grant is to conduct development that can be categorized under more than one stage, those stages must be clearly specified. These stages: proof of concept, proof of product, and proof of adoption, are defined in this funding opportunity announcement.

(a) Proof of concept means the stage of development where key technical challenges are resolved. Stage activities may include recruiting study participants, verifying product requirements, implementing and testing (typically in controlled contexts) key concepts, components, or systems, and resolving technological challenges. A technology transfer plan is typically developed and transfer partner(s) identified, and plan implementation may have started. Stage results establish that a product concept is feasible.

(b) Proof of product means the stage of development where a fully-integrated and working prototype, meeting critical technical requirements, is created. Stage activities may include recruiting study participants, implementing and iteratively refining the prototype, testing the prototype in natural or less-controlled contexts, and verifying that all technical requirements are met. A technology transfer plan is typically ongoing in collaboration with the transfer partner(s). Stage results establish that a product embodiment is realizable.

(c) Proof of adoption means the stage of development where a product is substantially adopted by its target population and used for its intended purpose. Stage activities typically include completing product refinements and continued implementation of the technology transfer plan in collaboration with transfer partners. Other activities include measuring users’ awareness of the product, opinion of the product, decisions to adopt, use, and retain products; and identifying barriers and facilitators impacting product adoption. Stage results establish that a product is beneficial.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182649

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards:1

Estimated Size of Grant:

$200,000 per budget period

Term of Contract:

This grant covers a 36-month project period 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:

-Due Date for Letter of Intent: 1/03/2018
-Due Date for Applications: 1/22/2018

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 used to rate an applicant’s application. 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:


Funding or Pin Number:


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