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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
10.221 Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants

AUTHORIZATION:

Authority for the Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants (TCEG) program is contained in the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note) as amended by the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7601 note). Appropriated funds are to be awarded to the 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (hereinafter referred to as 1994 Institutions) for Education capacity building and funds are to be distributed equally among institutions that meet eligibility requirements., 7 U.S.C 301 note.
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This grants program is designed to promote and strengthen higher education instruction in the food and agricultural sciences at the 33 Tribal Colleges designated as 1994 Land-Grant Institutions in the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended. Plans of Work should focus on undergraduate and/or graduate studies in the food and agricultural sciences in one or more of the following areas: Curricula Design and Materials Development, Faculty Development and Preparation for Teaching, Instruction Delivery Systems, Student Experiential Learning, Equipment and Instrumentation for Teaching, or Student Recruitment and Retention.

The purpose of the TCEG Program is to provide funding to enhance educational opportunities for Native Americans in the food and agricultural sciences. The TCEG program is intended to strengthen institutional capacity to deliver relevant formal education opportunities. The TCEG is intended to be a component of the applicant 1994 institution�s land grant roadmap or strategic planning process. To the extent practicable, priorities should reflect the following national critical needs areas:

1. Sustainable energy
2. Global food security and hunger
3. Climate change
4. Nutrition and preventing childhood obesity
5. Food safety
6. Sustainable rural economies


Awards are made upon approval of each institution�s application for a grant that relate to an institution�s long-range goals. As indicated in Part 1, C. of the RFA, an application may address one (1) or more of the following program areas: Curricula Design and Materials Development Faculty Development and Preparation for Teaching Instruction Delivery Systems Student Experiential Learning Equipment and Instrumentation for Teaching Student Recruitment and Retention

Recognizing that strengthening instructional programs is a long-term ongoing process, the TCEG program is interested in funding subsequent phases of previously funded projects in order to strengthen institutional capacity, and institutions are encouraged to build on a theme over several grant awards to reach institutional long-range goals.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

The Tribal College Equity Program (TCEG) provides funds to enhance educational opportunities for Native Americans by strengthening instructional programs in the food and agricultural sciences at the thirty four (34) tribal colleges designated as the 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (hereinafter referred to as 1994 Institutions). Under this authority, appropriated funds are to be awarded to the 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (hereinafter referred to as 1994 Institutions) for Education capacity building and funds are to be distributed equally among institutions that meet eligibility requirements. Funding Restrictions:

Section 7132 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, amended the National Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3310(a)), limiting indirect costs to 22 percent of the total Federal funds provided under each award.

Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution�s official negotiated indirect cost rate or the equivalent of 22 percent of total Federal funds awarded.

Indirect costs for the Equity program are not required and a 1994 institution may take less than the allowable amount or forego indirect costs altogether - adjust budgets accordingly.

Neither research nor extension projects are supported under the TCEG Program.

The use of grant funds to plan, acquire, or construct a building or facility is not allowed under this program. With prior approval, and in accordance with the cost principles set forth in OMB Circular No. A-21, some grant funds may be used for minor alterations, renovations, or repairs deemed necessary to retrofit existing teaching or research spaces in order to carry out a funded project. However, requests to use grant funds for such purposes must demonstrate that the alterations, renovations, or repairs are essential to achieving the major purpose of the project.

Grant funds may not be used for endowment investing.

Special Notices:

1. NIFA will withhold all funds for a TCEG award to an applicant requesting indirect costs if the applicant has not negotiated an indirect cost rate with its cognizant federal agency.

2. If a grantee is in the process of negotiating an indirect cost rate with its federal agency, NIFA will withhold all funds from that grantee until the indirect cost rate has been established.

3. If an institution�s indirect cost rate has expired or will expire in the near future, a clear statement on renegotiation efforts must be included in the application. (See Part IV, B.5. of the RFA - Budget Justification.)

4. It is incumbent on all applicants to have a current indirect cost rate or begin negotiations to establish an indirect cost rate prior to the TCEG submission deadline. Because it may take several months to obtain an indirect cost rate, applicants needing an indirect cost rate are encouraged to start work on establishing these rates well in advance of submitting a TCEG application.

5. In lieu of requesting indirect costs (if the applicant does not have a negotiated rate), an applicant may prepare a budget in which all charges in the budget are included as direct costs.

NIFA does not require matching support for this program. Fully discretionary.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   Applications may be submitted by any of the Tribal colleges and universities designated as 1994 Land-Grant Institutions under the Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended. This Act, as amended in Section 533(a), requires that each 1994 Land-Grant Institution be accredited or making progress towards accreditation and be recognized as a legal entity. If accreditation is being sought, a college must demonstrate its progress towards accreditation by a letter from a nationally recognized accreditation agency affirming receipt of application for an accreditation site visit or other such documentation.

An applicant�s failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the time of an application deadline will result in NIFA returning the application without review or, even though an application may be reviewed, will preclude NIFA from making an award.

Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of project goals and objectives.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   The 1994 Institutions--Bay Mills Community College, Black feet Community College, Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Cheyenne River Community College, Dine Community College, D-Q University, Dull knife Memorial College, Fond Du Lac Community College, Fort Belknap Community College, Fort Berthold Community College, Fort Peck Community College, LacCourte Orielles Ojibwa Community College, Little Big Horn Community College, Nebraska Indian Community College, Northwest Indian College, Oglala Lakota College, Salish Kootenai College, Sinte Gleska University, Sisseton Wahpeton Community College, Sitting Bull College, Stone child Community College, Turtle Mountain Community College, United Tribes Technical College, Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute, Institute of American Indian Arts, Crown point Institute of Technology, Haskell Indian Nations University, Leech Lake Tribal College, College of the Menominee Nation; and Little Priest Tribal College.

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, �NIFA 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 NIFA program. NIFA 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.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   All Requests for Applications (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. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. 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 Procedure:   Applications were 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. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who were specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications were judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. This information collection is approved under OMB Control No. 0524-0039, �NIFA Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.

Reviewers were 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.

Deadlines:   Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   

From 30 to 60 days. Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website.

Respective links are provided below:
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
http://www.grants.gov

Appeals:   

Not Applicable.

Renewals:   

Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.

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ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no matching requirements. There is no statutory formula for this program. However, appropriated funds are to be awarded to the 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (hereinafter referred to as 1994 Institutions) for Education capacity building and funds are to be distributed equally among institutions that meet eligibility requirements. Equity Funds for ineligible 1994 institutions or of those who fail to apply by the application submission date will be redistributed equally among the remaining eligible 1994 institutions.

NIFA does not require matching or cost sharing support for this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   

Under this RFA, only new applications for four-year continuation awards may be submitted to the TCEG Program. These are project applications not previously submitted to TCEG. All new applications will be reviewed by a review panel using the process and criteria described in Part V of the RFA � Application Review Requirements. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   Award Terms and Conditions:

Awards are accompanied by provisions including Terms and Conditions for the funded project. Grantees must stay informed and guided by the Terms and Conditions of the award regarding required reports, program/project data collection, program income, release of information, sharing of findings, data, and other project products, patents, inventions, copyrights, etc.

Current Research Information System Required Reporting: Grantees are required to submit initial project information and annual and summary reports to NIFA� s Current Research Information System (CRIS). The CRIS database contains narrative project information, progress/impact statements, and final technical reports that are made available to the public. For applications recommended for funding, instructions on preparing and submission of project documentation will be provided to the applicant by the Agency Contact. Documentation must be submitted to CRIS before NIFA funds will be released. Project reports will be requested by the CRIS office when required. For more information about CRIS, visit http://cris.nifa.usda.gov.

Annual Performance Report:

Annual performance reports are due 30 days after the anniversary date of the award and should be submitted to the NIFA Current Research Information System (CRIS). Annual performance reports must include the following information:

1) a comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals established for the reporting period;

2) if established goals were not met, the reasons

3) documentation of outputs; i.e., significant activities, including dissemination activities, events, services or products that contribute toward achieving the goals and objectives of the project

4) outcomes/impacts; i.e., a change in knowledge, actions or conditions;

5) any other indication of increased capacity for carrying out the land grant mission

Final Technical Report:

A final technical report must be submitted to CRIS within 90 days after the expiration date of the project. The expiration date is specified in the award documents and modifications thereto, if any. Generally, the final technical report should be a summary of the completed project, including:
1. A review of project objectives and accomplishments;

2. A description of outcomes resulting from the project and activities undertaken to disseminate these outcomes;

3. An explanation of partnerships and collaborative ventures that resulted from the project, including future initiatives that are planned as a result of the project;

4. A description of the project�s impact on the PD(s), the institution(s) involved, and the community;

5. Any pertinent data on project personnel and beneficiaries. The final technical report also must contain any other information specified in the terms and conditions of the award; and,

Quarterly �Reports of Federal Cash Transactions� (SF-272) were required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and were submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds.

A final �Financial Status Report� (SF-269) or ��Federal Financial Report� (SF-425) 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 National Institute of Food and Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture STOP 2271 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-2271 Telephone: (202) 401-4986.

NIFA uses SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. Award Terms and Conditions: Awards are accompanied by provisions including Terms and Conditions for the funded project. Grantees must stay informed and guided by the Terms and Conditions of the award regarding required reports, program/project data collection, program income, release of information, sharing of findings, data, and other project products, patents, inventions, copyrights, etc.

Current Research Information System Required Reporting: Grantees are required to submit initial project information and annual and summary reports to NIFA� s Current Research Information System (CRIS). The CRIS database contains narrative project information, progress/impact statements, and final technical reports that are made available to the public. For applications recommended for funding, instructions on preparing and submission of project documentation will be provided to the applicant by the Agency Contact. Documentation must be submitted to CRIS before NIFA funds will be released. Project reports will be requested by the CRIS office when required. For more information about CRIS, visit http://cris.nifa.usda.gov.

Are cash reports required?

A final �Financial Status Report� (SF-269) or ��Federal Financial Report� (SF-425) 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 National Institute of Food and Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture STOP 2271 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-2271 Telephone: (202) 401-4986. Award Terms and Conditions:

Awards are accompanied by provisions including Terms and Conditions for the funded project. Grantees must stay informed and guided by the Terms and Conditions of the award regarding required reports, program/project data collection, program income, release of information, sharing of findings, data, and other project products, patents, inventions, copyrights, etc.

Audits:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB 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.

Obligations:   (Project Grants) FY 08 $3,318,606; FY 09 est $3,342,000; FY 10 est $3,342,000 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  

Appropriated funds are to be awarded to the 1994 Land-Grant Institutions (hereinafter referred to as 1994 Institutions) for Education capacity building and funds are to be distributed equally among institutions that meet eligibility requirements. Equity Funds for ineligible 1994 institutions or of those who fail to apply by the application submission date will be redistributed equally among the remaining eligible 1994 institutions.

Under this RFA, only new applications for four-year continuation awards may be submitted to the TCEG Program. These are project applications not previously submitted to TCEG. All new applications will be reviewed by a review panel using the process and criteria described in Part V of the RFA � Application Review Requirements.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: DATA MUST BE PROVIDED BY PROGRAM UNIT AT A FUTURE DATE. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-Formula Federal Assistance Programs � General Award 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) ; 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; 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� USDA implementation of Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-free Workplace (Financial Assistance).

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:   USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Division of Community and Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2250, Washington , District of Columbia 20250-2250 Email: Policy@nifa.usda.gov Phone: (202) 720-2324 Fax: (202) 720-2030.

Web Site Address:  
http://nifa.usda.gov/program/tribal-equity-grants-program

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: It is anticipated that similar projects will be funded in FY 2010. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Request for Application (RFA).

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