Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.
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 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 consult NIDILRR’s Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2023 (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.