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Funding Announcement for American Indians Into Nursing

For questions or help, please contact the Training Center at 928-769-2200

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[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 59 (Monday, March 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17181-17188]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [http://www.gpo.gov/]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06969]

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Indian Health Service


American Indians Into Nursing; Nursing Program

    Announcement Type: New and Competing Continuation Limited 
Competition.
    Funding Announcement Number: HHS-2016-IHS-NU-0001.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 93.970.

Key Dates

    Application Deadline Date: June 1, 2016.
    Review Date: June 15, 2016.
    Earliest Anticipated Start Date: August 1, 2016.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

    The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting competitive 
cooperative agreement applications for American Indians into Nursing. 
This program is authorized under section 1616e of the Indian Health 
Care Improvement Act, Public Law 94-437, as amended (IHCIA). This 
program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) under 93.970.

Background

    The IHS, an agency within the Department of Health and Human 
Services (HHS), is responsible for providing Federal health services to 
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The mission of the IHS is 
to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of AI/AN. 
The IHCIA authorizes the IHS to provide grants and cooperative 
agreements to colleges, universities, and other entities to develop and 
maintain nursing education programs and recruit individuals to become 
registered nurses, certified nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners 
who will provide services to AI/AN people. The programs administered 
are designed to attract and recruit qualified AI/AN individuals into 
nursing and advance practice nursing professions. The American Indians 
into Nursing program cooperative agreements or grant is used by the 
educational institution to provide IHS scholarships to students 
enrolled in nursing education programs.

Purpose

    The purpose of this IHS cooperative agreement is to recruit, 
retain, graduate and increase the number of registered nurses, 
certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners who deliver health 
care services to AI/AN communities. The primary objectives of this 
cooperative agreement grant award are to: (1) Recruit and train AI/AN 
individuals to be registered nurses; (2) facilitate associate degree 
registered nurses becoming baccalaureate prepared registered nurses; 
(3) provide a program that prepares practicing registered nurses for 
advance nursing education; (4) provide a program that encourages 
registered nurses and advance practice nurses to provide or continue to 
provide, health care services to AI/NA communities; and (5) provide 
scholarships to individuals that will cover tuition, books, fees, room 
and board, stipend for living expenses, or other expenses incurred in 
connection with nursing or advance practice nursing programs.
    The funding opportunity announcement solicits applications that 
provide a preference to AI/AN students and a curriculum with a rural 
health and public health focus.

Limited Competition Justification

    The limitation is based on IHS geographically high need areas: 
Navajo Area (NM, AZ) Billings Area (MT, WY), Great Plains Area (SD, ND, 
NE., IA), Albuquerque Area (CO, NM NV), and Phoenix Area (NV, UT, AZ). 
Historically and currently, these IHS areas have a high need for both 
registered nurses and advance practice nurses. These IHS areas are 
designated by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA) as 
Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSA). Additionally, many of these 
states have American Indian Serving Institutions (Tribal colleges and 
universities) that feed into universities with nursing programs.

II. Award Information

Type of Award

    Cooperative Agreement.

Estimated Funds Available

    The total amount of funding identified for the current fiscal year 
(FY) 2016 is approximately $1,669,697. Individual award amounts are 
anticipated to be between $300,000 and $400,000. The amount of funding 
available for competing and continuation awards issued under this 
announcement are subject to the availability of appropriations and 
budgetary priorities of the Agency. The IHS is under no obligation to 
make awards that are selected for funding under this announcement.

Anticipated Number of Awards

    Approximately five awards will be issued under this program 
announcement.

Project Period

    The project period is for three years and will run consecutively 
from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019.

Cooperative Agreement

    Cooperative agreements awarded by the HHS are administered under 
the same policies as a grant. The funding agency, IHS, is required to 
have substantial programmatic involvement in the project during the 
entire award segment. Below is a detailed description of the level of 
involvement required for both IHS and the grantee. IHS will be 
responsible for activities listed under section A and the grantee will 
be responsible for activities listed under section B as stated:

[[Page 17182]]

Substantial Involvement Description for Cooperative Agreement

A. IHS Programmatic Involvement
    (1) IHS assigned program official will work with project director 
to ensure timely receipt of progress and audit reports and to ensure 
program compliance.
    (2) IHS program official will provide programmatic technical 
assistance to grantees as needed.
    (3) IHS program official will coordinate and conduct site visits as 
needed, if funds are available for travel.
    (4) IHS program official will conduct semi-annual conference calls 
with grantees and students.
    (5) IHS program official will work with the Division of Grants 
Management (DGM) to ensure all goals and objectives of the program are 
met.
    (6) IHS program official will provide American Indians into Nursing 
programs and scholarship recipients with an online handbook for IHS 
scholarship service obligation requirements.
    (7) IHS program official will initiate default proceedings within 
90 days after receiving notification from the program director that a 
student has been dismissed from the nursing program, withdrawn from 
school, failed to graduate with a nursing degree, or failed to get 
licensed and begin obligated service time within 90 days of graduation.
B. Grantee Cooperative Agreement Award Activities
    (1) Awardee must designate a program director to manage the project 
being supported by the grant. The program director is responsible for 
the day-to-day management of the program and accountability for the 
proper conduct of grant-related activities.
    (2) The program director must have a current curriculum vitae on 
file with DGM and the IHS program official.
    (3) Notification in writing must be provided to the IHS program 
official and the DGM for changes or replacement of the program 
director.
    (4) Awardee must provide scholarships, stipends, room and board and 
other expenses incurred in connection with the program to individuals 
enrolled in the nursing program as stated in 25 U.S.C. 1616e(b)(2).
    (5) Awardee will become familiar with the IHS service obligation 
policy and will thoroughly review the IHS service obligation contract 
with the IHS scholarship recipients.
    (6) Awardee is required to maintain program records for IHS 
scholarship recipients using a secure web based system during the 
awarded project of performance.
    (7) Awardee will assist IHS program official in monitoring 
fulfillment of all contractual obligations incurred by the nursing 
program and IHS scholarship recipient.
    (8) Awardee is expected to collaborate with other American Indians 
into Nursing grant programs to share best practices, successes, and 
challenges of the program.
    (9) Awardee will complete an audit report at the end of each 
academic year.
    (10) Awardee will adhere to the terms and conditions of the IHS 
nursing scholarship program, scholarship awards are for a 1-year 
period; additional scholarship support may be awarded to each eligible 
student for up to four years (maximum).
    (11) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipients review the 
American Indians into Nursing and INPSYCH Scholarship Recipients IHS 
Grants Handbook 2015-2016 and carry out their IHS service obligation 
after successful completion of their nursing program.
    (12) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipient will notify 
the program director and IHS program official of academic status, 
change in information, notice of graduation, preferred assignment, and 
placement update.
    (13) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipient maintains 
communication with IHS program official by submitting status reports 
every six months from time of hire at IHS or Tribal health care 
facility until service obligation is complete.

III. Eligibility Information

I.

1. Eligibility

    The following entities are eligible:
    (a) Accredited public or private schools of nursing,
    (b) accredited Tribally controlled community colleges and Tribally 
controlled post-secondary vocational institutions, and
    (c) nurse midwife programs and nurse practitioners programs, that 
are provided by any public or private institution.
    All schools of nursing must be fully accredited without 
restrictions by a national nurse educational accrediting body or state 
approval body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of 
Education for the purposes of nursing education. The schools offering a 
degree in nurse midwifery must provide verification of accreditation by 
the American College of Nurse Midwives. Tribally-controlled community 
colleges nursing programs and post-secondary vocational institutions 
must be fully accredited by an appropriate recognized nursing 
accrediting body without restrictions.
    (a) In accordance with the IHCIA, funding preference will be given 
to applicants who have: (1) Programs that provide a preference to AI/
AN; (2) programs that train nurse midwives or nurse practitioners; and 
(3) programs that are interdisciplinary, i.e. with medicine, pharmacy, 
dental and behavioral health students.
    (b) Priorities: All complete, eligible applications will be 
considered. If more than one university and college application is 
received from an IHS area, only one award will be made to that 
particular area providing a DNP, MSN, BSN, or ADN program.
    1. Priority I: At least two awards to public or private college or 
university, school of nursing which provides DNP, MSN, BSN, ADN 
(registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife) degrees, not to 
exceed $400,000 per year up to a project period of five years.
    2. Priority II: At least three awards to a Tribally-controlled 
community college, school of nursing which provides BSN and ADN 
(registered nurse) degrees, not to exceed $400,000 per year up to a 
project period of five years.
    (c) Other preferences: Schools of nursing that have transcultural, 
cultural competency, and rural and public health care focus.
    Current American Indians into Nursing grantees are eligible to 
apply for competing continuation funding under this announcement and 
must demonstrate that they have complied with previous terms and 
conditions of the American Indians into Nursing cooperative agreement 
in order to receive funding under this announcement.

    Note:  Please refer to Section IV.2 (Application and Submission 
Information/Subsection 2, Content and Form of Application 
Submission) for additional proof of applicant status documents 
required, such as Tribal resolutions, proof of non-profit status, 
etc.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The IHS does not require matching funds or cost sharing for grants 
or cooperative agreements.

3. Other Requirements

    If application budgets exceed the highest dollar amount outlined 
under the ``Estimated Funds Available'' section within this funding

[[Page 17183]]

announcement, the application will be considered ineligible and will 
not be reviewed for further consideration. If deemed ineligible, IHS 
will not return the application. The applicant will be notified by 
email by the DGM of this decision.
Proof of Non-Profit Status
    Organizations claiming non-profit status must submit proof. A copy 
of the 501(c)(3) Certificate must be received with the application 
submission by the Application Deadline Date listed under the Key Dates 
section on page one of this announcement.
    An applicant submitting any of the above additional documentation 
after the initial application submission due date is required to ensure 
the information was received by the IHS by obtaining documentation 
confirming delivery (i.e., FedEx tracking, postal return receipt, 
etc.).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Obtaining Application Materials

    The application package and detailed instructions for this 
announcement can be found at http://www.grants.gov/ or http://www.ihs.gov/dgm/funding/.
    Questions regarding the electronic application process may be 
directed to Mr. Paul Gettys at (301) 443-2114 or (301) 443-5204.

2. Content and Form Application Submission

    The applicant must include the project narrative as an attachment 
to the application package. Mandatory documents for all applicants 
include:
     Table of contents.
     Abstract (one page) summarizing the project.
     Application forms:
    [cir] SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance.
    [cir] SF-424A, Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs.
    [cir] SF-424B, Assurances--Non-Construction Programs.
     Budget Justification and Narrative (must be single spaced 
and not exceed five pages).
     Project Narrative (must be single spaced and not exceed 30 
pages).
    [cir] Background information on the organization.
    [cir] Proposed scope of work, objectives, and activities that 
provide a description of what will be accomplished, including a one-
page Timeframe Chart.
     Tribal resolution(s).
     501(c)(3) Certificate (if applicable).
     Biographical sketches for all key personnel.
     Contractor/consultant resumes or qualifications and scope 
of work.
     Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL).
     Certification Regarding Lobbying (GG-Lobbying Form).
     Copy of current Negotiated Indirect Cost (IDC) rate 
agreement (required) in order to receive IDC.
     Organizational Chart (optional).
     Documentation of current Office of Management and Budget 
Audit, as required by 45 CFR part 75, subpart F or other required 
Financial Audit (if applicable).
    Acceptable forms of documentation include:
    [cir] Email confirmation from Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) 
that audits were submitted; or
    [cir] Face sheets from audit reports. These can be found on the FAC 
Web site: http://harvester.census.gov/sac/dissem/accessoptions.html?submit=Go+To+Database.
Public Policy Requirements
    All Federal-wide public policies apply to IHS grants and 
cooperative agreements with exception of the discrimination policy.
Requirements for Project and Budget Narratives
    A. Project Narrative: This narrative should be a separate Word 
document that is no longer than 30 pages and must: Be single-spaced, be 
type written, have consecutively numbered pages, use black type not 
smaller than 12 characters per one inch, and be printed on one side 
only of standard size 8\1/2\'' x 11'' paper.
    Be sure to succinctly address and answer all questions listed under 
the narrative and place them under the evaluation criteria (refer to 
Section V.1, Evaluation criteria in this announcement) and place all 
responses and required information in the correct section (noted 
below), or they shall not be considered or scored. These narratives 
will assist the Objective Review Committee (ORC) in becoming familiar 
with the applicant's activities and accomplishments prior to this 
cooperative agreement award. If the narrative exceeds the page limit, 
only the first 30 pages will be reviewed. The 30 page limit for the 
narrative does not include the work plan, standard forms, table of 
contents, budget, budget justifications, narratives, and/or other 
appendix items.
    There are three parts to the narrative: Part A--Program 
Information; Part B--Program Planning and Evaluation; and Part C--
Program Report. See below for additional details about what must be 
included in the narrative.
    Part A: Program Information (10 page limitation)
    Section 1: Needs
    Present the comprehensive framework of the proposed American 
Indians into Nursing program. Clearly describe the unmet AI/AN nursing 
workforce needs in AI/AN communities. Describe the social determinants 
and health disparities that impact AI/AN communities and how the 
proposed program will serve the IHS and Tribal health care programs as 
well as support to IHS scholarship recipients. Discuss how these social 
determinants have historically effected access to AI/AN health care and 
have impacted AI/AN student's access to education specifically nursing 
education. Include the purpose and background of the program and prior 
experience with nurse recruitment programs.
Part B: Program Planning and Evaluation (10 page limitation)
Section 1: Program Plans
    American Indians into Nursing program applicants must develop a 
comprehensive, succinct, well organized work plan to address the 
proposed project. The information should include the elements below but 
is not limited to the following: (1) Describe the administration of the 
program-strategies, activities, methods, techniques, or steps that will 
be use to achieve objectives in proposed project; (2) describe the 
strategy to attract pre-nursing students and recruit, retain, and 
graduate AI/AN nursing students and identify actions to monitor IHS 
scholarship recipients post-graduation for IHS service obligation; (3) 
describe how the activities of the project are defined by objectives 
and how the project will achieve the desired outcomes; (4) include a 
plan to achieve sustainability after the cooperative agreement is 
complete; (5) describe how the program will incorporate support to AI/
AN nursing students who have experienced the social determinants in AI/
AN communities; and (6) describe how the program will support AI/AN 
students in meeting their social, physical, spiritual and academic 
needs.
Section 2: Program Evaluation
    Applicant must provide a complete program evaluation plan that 
describes the projects methodology and strategies for assessing the 
progress of the objectives and outcomes of their program. The 
evaluation should address the successes, failures, and continuing 
improvements.

[[Page 17184]]

Part C: Program Report (10 page limitation)
    Section 1: Describe major accomplishments over the last project 
period for previous awardees.
    Previous awardees shall include objectives, strategies, and a brief 
description of the following for program function and or activity 
involved: (1) Compare actual accomplishments to the goals established 
for the period; (2) provide description of internal and external 
collaboration, new resources secured, interventions, successes, 
barriers identified and plans for the next quarter (academic year); (3) 
indicate reasons for slippage where established goals were not met and 
plan of action to overcome slippages; (4) indicate the number of 
current AI/AN recipients in the program and their academic status; and 
(5) indicate the number of AI/AN recipients placed in IHS and Tribal 
facilities and whom have completed their service obligations.
    Section 2: Describe major activities over the last 24 months. 
Please identify and summarize recent major project activities of the 
work done during the project period. Program activities shall include: 
recruitment, retention and support activities to student, graduate and 
evaluation demonstrating performance measures.
    B. Budget Narrative: This narrative must include a line item budget 
with a narrative justification for all expenditures identifying 
reasonable and allowable costs necessary to accomplish the goals and 
objectives as outlined in the project narrative. Budget should match 
the scope of work described in the project narrative. The page 
limitation should not exceed five pages.

3. Submission Dates and Times

    Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov by 
11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on the Application Deadline Date 
listed in the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement. Any 
application received after the application deadline will not be 
accepted for processing, nor will it be given further consideration for 
funding. Grants.gov will notify the applicant via email if the 
application is rejected.
    If technical challenges arise and assistance is required with the 
electronic application process, contact Grants.gov Customer Support via 
email to support@grants.gov or at (800) 518-4726. Customer Support is 
available to address questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except on 
Federal holidays). If problems persist, contact Mr. Paul Gettys 
(Paul.Gettys@ihs.gov), DGM Grant Systems Coordinator, by telephone at 
(301) 443-2114 or (301) 443-5204. Please be sure to contact Mr. Gettys 
at least ten days prior to the application deadline. Please do not 
contact the DGM until you have received a Grants.gov tracking number. 
In the event you are not able to obtain a tracking number, call the DGM 
as soon as possible.
    If the applicant needs to submit a paper application instead of 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov, a waiver must be 
requested. Prior approval must be requested and obtained from Mr. 
Robert Tarwater, Director, DGM, (see Section IV.6 below for additional 
information). The waiver must: (1) Be documented in writing (emails are 
acceptable), before submitting a paper application, and (2) include 
clear justification for the need to deviate from the required 
electronic grants submission process. A written waiver request must be 
sent to GrantsPolicy@ihs.gov with a copy to Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov. 
Once the waiver request has been approved, the applicant will receive a 
confirmation of approval email containing submission instructions and 
the mailing address to submit the application. A copy of the written 
approval must be submitted along with the hardcopy of the application 
that is mailed to DGM. Paper applications that are submitted without a 
copy of the signed waiver from the Director of the DGM will not be 
reviewed or considered for funding. The applicant will be notified via 
email of this decision by the Grants Management Officer of the DGM. 
Paper applications must be received by the DGM no later than 5:00 p.m., 
EDT, on the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section 
on page one of this announcement. Late applications will not be 
accepted for processing or considered for funding.

4. Intergovernmental Review

    Executive Order 12372 requiring intergovernmental review is not 
applicable to this program.

5. Funding Restrictions

     Pre-award costs are not allowable.
     The available funds are inclusive of direct and 
appropriate indirect costs.
     Only one grant/cooperative agreement will be awarded per 
applicant.
     IHS will not acknowledge receipt of applications.

6. Electronic Submission Requirements

    All applications must be submitted electronically. Please use the 
http://www.grants.gov/ Web site to submit an application electronically 
and select the ``Find Grant Opportunities'' link on the homepage. 
Download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and 
then upload and submit the completed application via the http://www.grants.gov/ Web site. Electronic copies of the application may not 
be submitted as attachments to email messages addressed to IHS 
employees or offices.
    If the applicant receives a waiver to submit paper application 
documents, they must follow the rules and timelines that are noted 
below. The applicant must seek assistance at least ten days prior to 
the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section on page 
one of this announcement.
    Applicants that do not adhere to the timelines for System for Award 
Management (SAM) and/or http://www.grants.gov/ registration or that fail 
to request timely assistance with technical issues will not be 
considered for a waiver to submit a paper application.
    Please be aware of the following:
     Please search for the application package in http://www.grants.gov/ by entering the CFDA number or the Funding Opportunity 
Number. Both numbers are located in the header of this announcement.
     If you experience technical challenges while submitting 
your application electronically, please contact Grants.gov Support 
directly at: support@grants.gov or (800) 518-4726. Customer Support is 
available to address questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except on 
Federal holidays).
     Upon contacting Grants.gov, obtain a tracking number as 
proof of contact. The tracking number is helpful if there are technical 
issues that cannot be resolved and a waiver from the agency must be 
obtained.
     If it is determined that a waiver is needed, the applicant 
must submit a request in writing (emails are acceptable) to 
GrantsPolicy@ihs.gov with a copy to Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov. Please 
include a clear justification for the need to deviate from the standard 
electronic submission process.
     If the waiver is approved, the application should be sent 
directly to the DGM by the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key 
Dates section on page one of this announcement.
     Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the 
deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov as 
the registration process for SAM and Grants.gov could take up to 
fifteen working days.
     Please use the optional attachment feature in Grants.gov 
to attach

[[Page 17185]]

additional documentation that may be requested by the DGM.
     All applicants must comply with any page limitation 
requirements described in this funding announcement.
     After electronically submitting the application, the 
applicant will receive an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The DGM will download the 
application from Grants.gov and provide necessary copies to the 
appropriate agency officials. Neither the DGM nor the American Indian 
into Nursing program will notify the applicant that the application has 
been received.
     Email applications will not be accepted under this 
announcement.
Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
    All IHS applicants and grantee organizations are required to obtain 
a DUNS number and maintain an active registration in the SAM database. 
The DUNS number is a unique 9-digit identification number provided by 
D&B which uniquely identifies each entity. The DUNS number is site 
specific; therefore, each distinct performance site may be assigned a 
DUNS number. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy, and there is no charge. 
To obtain a DUNS number, please access it through http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform, or to expedite the process, call (866) 705-
5711.
    All HHS recipients are required by the Federal Funding 
Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended (``Transparency 
Act''), to report information on sub-awards. Accordingly, all IHS 
grantees must notify potential first-tier sub-recipients that no entity 
may receive a first-tier sub-award unless the entity has provided its 
DUNS number to the prime grantee organization. This requirement ensures 
the use of a universal identifier to enhance the quality of information 
available to the public pursuant to the Transparency Act.
System for Award Management (SAM)
    Organizations that were not registered with Central Contractor 
Registration and have not registered with SAM will need to obtain a 
DUNS number first and then access the SAM online registration through 
the SAM home page at https://www.sam.gov/ (U.S. organizations will also 
need to provide an Employer Identification Number from the Internal 
Revenue Service that may take an additional 2-5 weeks to become 
active). Completing and submitting the registration takes approximately 
one hour to complete and SAM registration will take 3-5 business days 
to process. Registration with the SAM is free of charge. Applicants may 
register online at https://www.sam.gov/.
    Additional information on implementing the Transparency Act, 
including the specific requirements for DUNS and SAM, can be found on 
the IHS Grants Management, Grants Policy Web site: http://www.ihs.gov/dgm/policytopics/.

V. Application Review Information

    The instructions for preparing the application narrative also 
constitute the evaluation criteria for reviewing and scoring the 
application. Weights assigned to each section are noted in parentheses. 
The 30 page narrative should include only the first year of activities; 
information for multi-year projects should be included as an appendix. 
See ``Multi-year Project Requirements'' at the end of this section for 
more information. The narrative section should be written in a manner 
that is clear to outside reviewers unfamiliar with prior related 
activities of the applicant. It should be well organized, succinct, and 
contain all information necessary for reviewers to understand the 
project fully. Points will be assigned to each evaluation criteria 
adding up to a total of 100 points. A minimum score of 70 points is 
required for funding. Points are assigned as follows:

1. Criteria

A. Introduction and Need for Assistance (10 points)
    (1) Applications must justify overall need of the program and 
clearly demonstrate the administration of the cooperative agreement, 
and indicate prior experience with similar programs.
    (2) Describe the target population receiving IHS scholarships 
(preference will be given to schools of nursing that recruit, retain 
and graduate AI/AN veterans and veterans who have medical military 
experience).
    (3) Describe how the program will increase the number of registered 
nurses, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners in IHS.
    (4) Describe relevance of the program relating the objectives to 
the purposes of the cooperative agreement.
    (5) Describe the differences between the current and proposed 
activities (previous awardees).
B. Project Objective(s), Work Plan and Approach (40 points)
    Applications must clearly state specific, time-framed, measurable 
objectives for the goals related to the purpose of the IHS nursing 
cooperative agreement.
    (1) Objectives:
    (a) Describe how the program will increase the number of AI/AN 
nursing students that are recruited, retained and graduated from school 
of nursing.
    (b) Describe how the program will recruit AI/AN students who are 
veterans and veterans who have experience as an emergency medical 
technician (EMT), hospital corpsman, paramedic/military medic, license 
vocational/practical nurse and nurses (associate or diploma nurse).
    (c) Describe how the program will offer or establish formal bridge 
program agreements between Tribal colleges, universities.
    (d) Describe how the program will provide a program that increases 
the skills of, and provide continuing education to registered nurses, 
nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.
    (e) Describe how the program will assist IHS program official with 
job placement and track the IHS scholarship recipient's service 
obligation.
    (2) Methodology:
    (a) Describe strategies, activities, steps, timelines, and staff 
for implementation of proposal of projects.
    (b) Describe the methodology of how IHS scholarships will be 
awarded to nursing students.
    (c) Provide evidence supporting the proposed methodologies using 
historical data and prior experiences.
    (3) Approach:
    (a) Describes how the program will establish or collaborate with 
existing IHS and Tribal programs and colleges.
    (i) To establish an agreement for clinical rotations.
    (ii) To establish a faculty exchange program to enhance cultural 
competency and faculty strength.
    (iii) Offer formal bridge programs agreements between Tribal 
colleges and universities so as to provide a program that increases the 
skills of, and provide continuing education to nurses, nurse 
practitioners, and nurse midwives.
    (b) Include challenges that are likely to be encountered or have 
been a challenge in designing and implementing the activities in the 
work plan and approaches that will be used to resolve challenges.
    (c) Describe how the program will sustain the project after the 
period of performance ends. Include in the sustainability plan the 
barriers to achieving self-sufficiency.
C. Program Evaluation (30 points)
    Applicant must include an evaluation plan that describes strategies 
for

[[Page 17186]]

assessing the progress and outcomes of their projects. The evaluation 
plan should be linked to the objectives and purpose of the cooperative 
agreement. The proposed project shall have evaluation measures that 
demonstrate how the program is meeting identified goals and objectives 
where programs can collect, track, and report performance measures on a 
semi-annual basis and for periodic audit reports. Applicants must 
include how the program will collect and manage student scholarship 
data. Applicants must describe any potential obstacles for implementing 
the program performance evaluation and how those obstacles will be 
addressed.
D. Organizational Capabilities, Key Personnel and Qualifications (15 
points)
    Provide information on applicant's organization, philosophy, and 
practice methods. Describe how all will contribute to the ability to 
conduct program requirements and meet American Indians into Nursing 
program/cooperative agreement purpose, objectives, and expectations. 
Include nursing accreditation documentation. All schools of nursing 
that are associated with the project and have conferring degrees must 
be accredited.
E. Categorical Budget and Budget Justification (5 points)
    (1) Personnel costs: Applicants shall identify one program 
director. Program director must be a licensed registered nurse.
    (2) Key support personnel: Provide names, title, position 
description, salary, and fringe benefits. Administrative cost is 
limited to 25% of the award.
    (3) Consultants: Provide names, affiliations and qualifications of 
each consultant, including expected rate of compensation, travel, per 
diem and other related costs.
    (4) Travel: Name conferences or other recruitment events, airline 
tickets, lodging, per diem, booth, public transportation, or other 
related costs.
    (5) Equipment: Must be related to the objectives of the project, 
retained by awardee, use in accordance with the terms of the 
cooperative agreement award, and must comply with procurement 
requirements for Federal grant and cooperative agreements.
    (6) Scholarships: Must cover tuition, fees, books, stipend, and 
other related educational expenses. The proposed project must use IHS 
scholarship funds in a manner that will meet the needs of eligible AI/
AN students. The budget narrative must indicate the number of students 
to receive scholarship for each year of the cooperative agreement and 
the amount of each scholarship per student.

Multi-Year Project Requirements

    Projects requiring a second and/or third year must include a brief 
project narrative and budget (one additional page per year) addressing 
the developmental plans for each additional year of the project.
Additional Documents can be Uploaded as Appendix Items in Grants.gov
     Work plan, logic model and/or time line for proposed 
objectives.
     Position descriptions for key staff.
     Resumes of key staff that reflect current duties.
     Consultant or contractor proposed scope of work and letter 
of commitment (if applicable).
     Current Indirect Cost Agreement.
     Organizational chart.
     Map of area identifying project location(s).
     Additional documents to support narrative (i.e. data 
tables, key news articles, etc.).

2. Review and Selection

    Each application will be prescreened by the DGM staff for 
eligibility and completeness as outlined in the funding announcement. 
Applications that meet the eligibility criteria shall be reviewed for 
merit by the ORC based on evaluation criteria in this funding 
announcement. The ORC could be composed of both Tribal and Federal 
reviewers appointed by the IHS program to review and make 
recommendations on these applications. The technical review process 
ensures selection of quality projects in a national competition for 
limited funding. Incomplete applications and applications that are non-
responsive to the eligibility criteria will not be referred to the ORC. 
The applicant will be notified via email of this decision by the Grants 
Management Officer of the DGM. Applicants will be notified by DGM, via 
email, to outline minor missing components (i.e., budget narratives, 
audit documentation, key contact form) needed for an otherwise complete 
application. All missing documents must be sent to DGM on or before the 
due date listed in the email of notification of missing documents 
required.
    To obtain a minimum score for funding by the ORC, applicants must 
address all program requirements and provide all required 
documentation.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

    The Notice of Award (NoA) is a legally binding document signed by 
the Grants Management Officer and serves as the official notification 
of the grant award. The NoA will be initiated by the DGM in our grant 
system, GrantSolutions (https://www.grantsolutions.gov/). Each entity 
that is approved for funding under this announcement will need to 
request or have a user account in GrantSolutions in order to retrieve 
their NoA. The NoA is the authorizing document for which funds are 
dispersed to the approved entities and reflects the amount of Federal 
funds awarded, the purpose of the grant, the terms and conditions of 
the award, the effective date of the award, and the budget/project 
period.
Disapproved Applicants
    Applicants who received a score less than the recommended funding 
level for approval, 70 points, and were deemed to be disapproved by the 
ORC, will receive an Executive Summary Statement from the IHS program 
office within 30 days of the conclusion of the ORC outlining the 
strengths and weaknesses of their application submitted. The IHS 
program office will also provide additional contact information as 
needed to address questions and concerns as well as provide technical 
assistance if desired.
Approved but Unfunded Applicants
    Approved but unfunded applicants that met the minimum scoring range 
and were deemed by the ORC to be ``Approved,'' but were not funded due 
to lack of funding, will have their applications held by DGM for a 
period of one year. If additional funding becomes available during the 
course of FY 2016, the approved but unfunded application may be re-
considered by the awarding program office for possible funding. The 
applicant will also receive an Executive Summary Statement from the IHS 
program office within 30 days of the conclusion of the ORC.

    Note:  Any correspondence other than the official NoA signed by 
an IHS grants management official announcing to the project director 
that an award has been made to their organization is not an 
authorization to implement their program on behalf of IHS.

2. Administrative Requirements

    Cooperative agreements are administered in accordance with the 
following regulations, policies, and OMB cost principles:
    A. The criteria as outlined in this Program Announcement.

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    B. Administrative Regulations for Grants:
     Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, 
located at 45 CFR part 75.
    C. Grants Policy:
     HHS Grants Policy Statement, Revised 01/07.
    D. Cost Principles:
     Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, ``Cost 
Principles,'' located at 45 CFR part 75, subpart E.
    E. Audit Requirements:
     Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, 
``Audit Requirements,'' located at 45 CFR part 75, subpart F.

3. Indirect Costs

    This section applies to all grant recipients that request 
reimbursement of IDC in their grant application. In accordance with HHS 
Grants Policy Statement, Part II-27, IHS requires applicants to obtain 
a current IDC rate agreement prior to award. The rate agreement must be 
prepared in accordance with the applicable cost principles and guidance 
as provided by the cognizant agency or office. A current rate covers 
the applicable grant activities under the current award's budget 
period. If the current rate is not on file with the DGM at the time of 
award, the IDC portion of the budget will be restricted. The 
restrictions remain in place until the current rate is provided to the 
DGM.
    Generally, IDC rates for IHS grantees are negotiated with the 
Division of Cost Allocation (DCA) https://rates.psc.gov/ and the 
Department of Interior (Interior Business Center) https://www.doi.gov/ibc/services/finance/indirect-Cost-Services/indian-tribes. For 
questions regarding the IDC policy, please call the Grants Management 
Specialist listed under ``Agency Contacts'' or the main DGM office at 
(301) 443-5204.

4. Reporting Requirements

    The grantee must submit required reports consistent with the 
applicable deadlines. Failure to submit required reports within the 
time allowed may result in suspension or termination of an active 
grant, withholding of additional awards for the project, or other 
enforcement actions such as withholding of payments or converting to 
the reimbursement method of payment. Continued failure to submit 
required reports may result in one or both of the following: (1) The 
imposition of special award provisions; and (2) the non-funding or non-
award of other eligible projects or activities. This requirement 
applies whether the delinquency is attributable to the failure of the 
grantee organization or the individual responsible for preparation of 
the reports. Per DGM policy, all reports are required to be submitted 
electronically by attaching them as a ``Grant Note'' in GrantSolutions. 
Personnel responsible for submitting reports will be required to obtain 
a login and password for GrantSolutions. Please see the Agency Contacts 
list in section VII for the systems contact information.
    The reporting requirements for this program are noted below.
A. Progress Reports
    Program progress reports are required semi-annually, within 30 days 
after the budget period ends. These reports must include a brief 
comparison of actual accomplishments to the goals established for the 
period, a summary of progress to date or, if applicable, provide sound 
justification for the lack of progress, and other pertinent information 
as required. A final report must be submitted within 90 days of 
expiration of the budget/project period.
B. Financial Reports
    Federal Financial Report FFR (SF-425), Cash Transaction Reports are 
due 30 days after the close of every calendar quarter to the Payment 
Management Services, HHS at: http://www.dpm.psc.gov/. It is recommended 
that the applicant also send a copy of the FFR (SF-425) report to the 
grants management specialist. Failure to submit timely reports may 
cause a disruption in timely payments to the organization.
    Grantees are responsible and accountable for accurate information 
being reported on all required reports: The Progress Reports and 
Federal Financial Report.
C. Federal Sub-Award Reporting System (FSRS)
    This award may be subject to the Transparency Act sub-award and 
executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170.
    The Transparency Act requires the OMB to establish a single 
searchable database, accessible to the public, with information on 
financial assistance awards made by Federal agencies. The Transparency 
Act also includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to 
report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive 
compensation under Federal assistance awards.
    IHS has implemented a Term of Award into all IHS Standard Terms and 
Conditions, NoAs and funding announcements regarding the FSRS reporting 
requirement. This IHS Term of Award is applicable to all IHS grant and 
cooperative agreements issued on or after October 1, 2010, with a 
$25,000 sub-award obligation dollar threshold met for any specific 
reporting period. Additionally, all new (discretionary) IHS awards 
(where the project period is made up of more than one budget period) 
and where: (1) The project period start date was October 1, 2010 or 
after and (2) the primary awardee will have a $25,000 sub-award 
obligation dollar threshold during any specific reporting period will 
be required to address the FSRS reporting. For the full IHS award term 
implementing this requirement and additional award applicability 
information, visit the DGM Grants Policy Web site at: http://www.ihs.gov/dgm/policytopics/.
D. Compliance With Executive Order 13166 Implementation of Services 
Accessibility Provisions for All Grant Application Packages and Funding 
Opportunity Announcements
    Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must 
administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. 
This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to 
their programs without regard to a person's race, color, national 
origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. 
This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with 
limited English proficiency. HHS provides guidance to recipients of FFA 
on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide 
meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English 
proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/special-topics/limited-english-proficiency/guidance-federal-financial-assistance-recipients-title-VI/.
    The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying 
with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have 
specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with 
disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for 
Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions 
under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/disability/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-
537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to

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quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and 
supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing 
culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should 
review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically 
Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.
    Pursuant to 45 CFR 80.3(d), an individual shall not be deemed 
subjected to discrimination by reason of his/her exclusion from 
benefits limited by federal law to individuals eligible for benefits 
and services from the IHS.
    Recipients will be required to sign the HHS-690 Assurance of 
Compliance form which can be obtained from the following Web site: 
http://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/forms/hhs-690.pdf, and send it 
directly to the: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office 
of Civil Rights, 200 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20201.
E. Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)
    The IHS is required to review and consider any information about 
the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity 
Information System (FAPIIS) before making any award in excess of the 
simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period 
of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information 
about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. IHS 
will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other 
information in FAPIIS in making a judgment about the applicant's 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as 
described in 45 CFR 75.205.
    As required by 45 CFR part 75 Appendix XII of the Uniform Guidance, 
non-federal entities (NFEs) are required to disclose in FAPIIS any 
information about criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings, and/
or affirm that there is no new information to provide. This applies to 
NFEs that receive Federal awards (currently active grants, cooperative 
agreements, and procurement contracts) greater than $10,000,000 for any 
period of time during the period of performance of an award/project.
Mandatory Disclosure Requirements
    As required by 2 CFR part 200 of the Uniform Guidance, and the HHS 
implementing regulations at 45 CFR part 75, effective January 1, 2016, 
the IHS must require a non-federal entity or an applicant for a Federal 
award to disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the IHS or pass-
through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, 
bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal 
award.
    Submission is required for all applicants and recipients, in 
writing, to the IHS and to the HHS Office of Inspector General all 
information related to violations of Federal criminal law involving 
fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the 
federal award. 45 CFR 75.113
    Disclosures must be sent in writing to: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Division of Grants 
Management, ATTN: Robert Tarwater, Director, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail 
Stop 09E70, Rockville, Maryland 20857, (Include ``Mandatory Grant 
Disclosures'' in subject line), Ofc: (301) 443-5204, Fax: (301) 594-
0899, Email: Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov.
    AND
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector 
General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 
Independence Avenue SW, Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 
20201, URL: http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/index.asp, (Include 
``Mandatory Grant Disclosures'' in subject line), Fax: (202) 205-0604 
(Include ``Mandatory Grant Disclosures'' in subject line) or, Email: 
MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov.
    Failure to make required disclosures can result in any of the 
remedies described in 45 CFR 75.371. Remedies for noncompliance, 
including suspension or debarment (See 2 CFR parts 180 & 376 and 31 
U.S.C. 3321).

VII. Agency Contacts

    1. Questions on the programmatic issues may be directed to: Naomi 
Aspaas, BSN, RN, Program Official, Office of Human Resource, Division 
of Health Professions Support, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR 
11E53A, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 443-5710, Fax: (301) 443-
1071, Email: naomi.aspaas@ihs.gov.
    2. Questions on grants management and fiscal matters may be 
directed to: Vanietta Armstrong, Senior Grants Management Specialist, 
5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: 09E70, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 
443-4792, Fax: (301) 594-0899, Email: Vanietta.Armstrong@ihs.gov.
    3. Questions on systems matters may be directed to: Paul Gettys, 
Grant Systems Coordinator, Mail Stop: 09E70, 5600 Fishers Lane, 
Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 443-2114; or the DGM main line (301) 
443-5204, Fax: (301) 443-9602, E-Mail: Paul.Gettys@ihs.gov.

VIII. Other Information

    The Public Health Service strongly encourages all cooperative 
agreement and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and 
promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 
103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain 
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of the facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children. This is 
consistent with the HHS mission to protect and advance the physical and 
mental health of the American people.

    Dated: March 21, 2016.
Elizabeth Fowler,
Deputy Director for Management Operations, Indian Health Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-06969 Filed 3-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4165-16-P

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