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

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Field Initiated Projects Program: Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) - Development
Opportunity ID
Primary CFDA Number
Funding Opportunity Number
Funding Instrument Type
Expected Number of Awards Synopsis
Eligibility Applicants
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education,Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized),Private institutions of higher education,Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility
Parties eligible to apply for FIP - MSI grants are limited to minority entities and Indian Tribes as authorized by Section 21 (b)(2)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act. A minority entity is defined as a Historically Black College or University (HCBU) (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. Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.
Estimated Award Date
Funding Opportunity Description

The purpose of the Field Initiated (FI) Projects program is to develop knowledge, 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 four MSI FI awards. NIDILRR's MSI FI awards may be research projects or development projects, depending on the ranking of applications provided by the peer review panel.Note: An applicant should 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 of these major outcome domains their proposed project will focus on. Although applicants may propose projects that address more than one domain, they should specify the primary domain addressed in their proposed project.An applicant must demonstrate, in its original application, that people with disabilities from diverse racial and ethnic communities will be included in proposed samples in sufficient numbers to generate knowledge and products that are relevant to the racial and ethnic diversity of the population of people with disabilities being studied. The applicant must describe and justify, in its original application, the planned racial and ethnic distribution of people with disabilities who will participate in the proposed research or development activities.Applicants must ensure that all materials, websites and information technology tools and products that they plan to develop or maintain are accessible, and that electronic materials are produced in full compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d). For websites this compliance currently requires meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0/2.1 AA success criteria. Applications must demonstrate an ability to meet these requirements.Invitational Priority: In FY 2024, there are seven invitational priorities of interest to the agency (see below). NIDILRR does not give applications that address these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.Research or development projects that address the needs, experiences, or outcomes of people with disabilities from underserved communities. People with disabilities from underserved communities include those from communities or populations defined in Section 2 of the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, including: people with disabilities who are racial and ethnic minorities; people with disabilities who are members of religious minorities; people with disabilities who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer; people with disabilities who live in rural areas; or people with disabilities otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.Research or development projects to explore or address the relationship between climate change and the needs, experiences, and outcomes of people with disabilities.Research or development projects related to oral health among people with disabilities.Research or development projects that focus on making airline travel accessible for people with disabilities.Research or development projects that focus on improving the extent to which emergency and disaster preparedness plans and systems are accessible to, and responsive to the needs of, people with disabilities.Research or development projects that focus on improving the experience and outcomes of people with disabilities as they interact with one or more components of the criminal justice system (e.g., police, courts, jails and prisons).Research or development projects that focus on services, supports, or interventions for people with disabilities who experience Long COVID.FI Projects development applicants must define the stage or stages of development that they propose to conduct. Any rigorous development activities can be appropriate, depending on the development aims being addressed by the applicant. NIDILRR does not have an absolute preference for any one development stage over others. If the FI Projects 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.

Award Ceiling
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Original Closing Date for Applications
Date for Informational Conference Call

Last modified on 02/20/2024

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