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STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE

Grant Guideline, Notice

AGENCY: State Justice Institute.
ACTION: Grant Guideline for FY 2013.
SUMMARY: This Guideline sets forth the administrative, programmatic, and financial requirements attendant to Fiscal Year 2013 State Justice Institute grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.
DATES: October 11, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Mattiello, Executive Director, State Justice Institute, 11951 Freedom Drive, Suite 1020, Reston, VA 20190, 571-313-8843,jonathan.mattiello@sji.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to the State Justice Institute Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10701,et seq.), SJI is authorized to award grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to state and local courts, nonprofit organizations, and others for the purpose of improving the quality of justice in the state courts of the United States.

The following Grant Guideline is adopted by the State Justice Institute for FY 2013.

Table of Contents I. The Mission of the State Justice Institute II. Eligibility for Award III. Scope of the Program IV. Grant Applications V. Grant Application Review Procedures VI. Compliance Requirements VII. Financial Requirements VIII. Grant Adjustments

• Appendix A Grant Application Forms

○ Form A—Application and Application Instructions ○ Form B—Certificate of State Approval and Instructions ○ Form C—Project Budget and Instructions ○ Form D—Assurances ○ Form E—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities • Appendix B Education Support Program (ESP) Application Forms (Forms ESP-1 and ESP-2)
I. The Mission of the State Justice Institute

SJI was established by State Justice Institute Authorization Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10701et seq.) to improve the administration of justice in the state courts of the United States. Incorporated in the State of Virginia as a private, nonprofit corporation, SJI is charged, by statute, with the responsibility to:

• Direct a national program of financial assistance designed to assure that each citizen of the United States is provided ready access to a fair and effective system of justice;

• Foster coordination and cooperation with the federal judiciary;

• Promote recognition of the importance of the separation of powers doctrine to an independent judiciary; and

• Encourage education for judges and support personnel of state court systems through national and state organizations.

To accomplish these broad objectives, SJI is authorized to provide funding to state courts, national organizations which support and are supported by state courts, national judicial education organizations, and other organizations that can assist in improving the quality of justice in the state courts. SJI is supervised by a Board of Directors appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board is statutorily composed of six judges; a state court administrator; and four members of the public, no more than two can be of the same political party.

Through the award of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements, SJI is authorized to perform the following activities:

A. Support technical assistance, demonstrations, special projects, research and training to improve the administration of justice in the state courts;

B. Provide for the preparation, publication, and dissemination of information regarding state judicial systems;

C. Participate in joint projects with federal agencies and other private grantors;

D. Evaluate or provide for the evaluation of programs and projects to determine their impact upon the quality of criminal, civil, and juvenile justice and the extent to which they have contributed to improving the quality of justice in the state courts;

E. Encourage and assist in furthering judicial education; and,

F. Encourage, assist, and serve in a consulting capacity to state and local justice system agencies in the development, maintenance, and coordination of criminal, civil, and juvenile justice programs and services.

II. Eligibility for Award

SJI is authorized by Congress to award grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to the following entities and types of organizations:

A.State and local courts and their agencies (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(1)(A)).

B.National nonprofit organizations controlled by, operating in conjunction with, and serving the judicial branches of state governments (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(1)(B)).

C.National nonprofit organizations for the education and training of judges and support personnel of the judicial branch of state governments (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(1)(C)).An applicant is considered a national education and training applicant under section 10705(b)(1)(C) if:

1. The principal purpose or activity of the applicant is to provide education and training to state and local judges and court personnel; and

2. The applicant demonstrates a record of substantial experience in the field of judicial education and training.

D.Other eligible grant recipients (42 U.S.C. 10705 (b)(2)(A)-(D)).

1. Provided that the objectives of the project can be served better, the Institute is also authorized to make awards to:

a. Nonprofit organizations with expertise in judicial administration;

b. Institutions of higher education;

c. Individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations (for-profit organizations must waive their fees); and

d. Private agencies with expertise in judicial administration.

2. SJI may also make awards to state or local agencies and institutions other than courts for services that cannot be adequately provided through nongovernmental arrangements (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(3)).

E.Inter-agency Agreements.SJI may enter into inter-agency agreements with federal agencies (42 U.S.C. 10705(b)(4)) and private funders to support projects consistent with the purposes of the State Justice Institute Act.

SJI is prohibited from awarding grants to federal, tribal, and international courts.

III. Scope of the Program

SJI is offering six types of grants in FY 2013: Project Grants, Technical Assistance (TA) Grants, Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grants, Partner Grants, Strategic Initiatives Grants (SIG) Program, and the Education Support Program (ESP).

The SJI Board of Directors has established Priority Investment Areas for grant funding. SJI will allocate significant financial resources through grant-making for these Priority Investment Areas (in no ranking order):

• Limited English Proficiency (LEP)—e.g., interpretation service plans, remove interpretation (outside the courtroom), interpreter certification, courtroom services (plain language forms, Web sites, etc.).

• Self-Represented Litigation—e.g., court-operated self-help centers, online services, training.

• Reengineering in Response to Budget Reductions—e.g., the process of court reengineering, regionalization or centralization of services, structural changes, the electronic record.

• Human Trafficking and the State Courts—e.g., technical assistance/training, trafficking victim identification and assistance.

• Immigration Issues in the State Courts—e.g., impact of federal and state immigration law and policies, juvenile and family issues, technical assistance/training.

• Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Elder Issues—e.g., court visitor programs, electronic reporting, reports, technical assistance/training.

The Priority Investment Areas replace the former Special Interest Categories for Project Grants in many ways—most importantly in that they apply to ALL grant types (with the exception of the Education Support Program). SJI strongly encourages potential grant applicants to consider projects addressing one or more of these Priority Investment Areas.

A. Project Grants

Project Grants are intended to support innovative education and training, research and evaluation, demonstration, and technical assistance projects that can improve the administration of justice in state courts locally or nationwide. Project Grants may ordinarily not exceed $300,000. Examples of expenses not covered by Project Grants include the salaries, benefits, or travel of full-or part-time court employees. Grant periods for Project Grants ordinarily may not exceed 36 months.

Applicants for Project Grants will be required to contribute a cash match of not less than 50 percent of the total cost of the proposed project. In other words, grant awards by SJI must be matched at least dollar for dollar by grant applicants. Applicants may contribute the required cash match directly or in cooperation with third parties. Prospective applicants should carefully review Section VI.8. (matching requirements) and Section VI.16.a. (non-supplantation) of the Guideline prior to beginning the application process. If questions arise, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult SJI.

A temporary reduced cash match process is available for state courts submitting Project Grant applications. The use of this cash match reduction authority is intended to help the state courts in this climate of severe budget reductions. The process requires the state court to formally request a reduced cash match, and that the request be certified by the chief justice of that state. The state court must explain in detail how it is facing budgetary cutbacks that will result in significant reductions in other services, and why it will be unable to undertake the project without a cash match reduction. This must be described in detail in the application and verified by the chief justice of that state. Only state courts may apply for a cash match reduction.

Applicants should examine their projected project costs closely, and if they are unable to cover half the costs of the project, they may apply for a reduction in cash match. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide as much cash match as possible in their application, as some cash match contribution is still required.

Applicants are also encouraged to provide the percentage of budget reductions in their court(s), and the measures that have been taken by the jurisdiction/state to handle the budget shortfalls. This may include staff reductions, as well as reductions in services and programs. Some cash contribution is still required for Project Grants, and should be reflected in the budget proposal for the project. For example, if the total cost of the proposed project is $100,000, the normal cash match would be $50,000. However, if the applicant is unable to provide $50,000 for the activities, but is able to contribute $25,000, the budget should show the request to SJI totaling $75,000, with the cash match of $25,000.

As set forth in Section I., SJI is authorized to fund projects addressing a broad range of program areas. Funding will not be made available for the ordinary, routine operations of court systems.

B. Technical Assistance (TA) Grants

TA Grants are intended to provide state or local courts, or regional court associations, with sufficient support to obtain expert assistance to diagnose a problem, develop a response to that problem, and implement any needed changes. TA Grants may not exceed $50,000. Examples of expenses not covered by TA Grants include the salaries, benefits, or travel of full- or part-time court employees. Grant periods for TA Grants ordinarily may not exceed 24 months. In calculating project duration, applicants are cautioned to fully consider the time required to issue a request for proposals, negotiate a contract with the selected provider, and execute the project.

Applicants for TA Grants will be required to contribute atotalmatch of not less than 50 percent of the grant amount requested, of which 20 percent must be cash. In other words, an applicant seeking a $50,000 TA grant must provide a $25,000 match, of which up to $20,000 can be in-kind and not less than $5,000 must be cash. TA Grant application procedures can be found in section IV.B.

C. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grants

CAT Grants are intended to: (1) Enable courts and regional or national court associations to modify and adapt model curricula, course modules, or conference programs to meet states' or local jurisdictions' educational needs; train instructors to present portions or all of the curricula; and pilot-test them to determine their appropriateness, quality, and effectiveness, or (2) conduct judicial branch education and training programs, led by either expert or in-house personnel, designed to prepare judges and court personnel for innovations, reforms, and/or new technologies recently adopted by grantee courts. CAT Grants may not exceed $30,000. Examples of expenses not covered by CAT Grants include the salaries, benefits, or travel of full- or part-time court employees. Grant periods for CAT Grants ordinarily may not exceed 12 months.

Applicants for CAT Grants will be required to contribute a match of not less than 50 percent of the grant amount requested, of which 20 percent must be cash. In other words, an applicant seeking a $30,000 CAT grant must provide a $15,000 match, of which up to $12,000 can be in-kind and not less than $3,000 must be cash. CAT Grant application procedures can be found in section IV.C.

D. Partner Grants

Partner Grants are intended to allow SJI and federal, state, or local agencies or foundations, trusts, or other private entities to combine financial resources in pursuit of common interests. SJI and its financial partners may set any level for Partner Grants, subject to the entire amount of the grant being available at the time of the award. Grant periods for Partner Grants ordinarily may not exceed 36 months.

Partner Grants are subject to the same cash match requirement as Project Grants. In other words, grant awards by SJI must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar. Partner Grants are coordinated by the funding organizations. Partner Grant application procedures can be found in section IV.E.

E. Strategic Initiatives Grants

The Strategic Initiatives Grants (SIG) program provides SJI with the flexibility to address national court issues as they occur, and develop solutions to those problems. This is an innovative approach where SJI uses its expertise and the expertise and knowledge of its grantees to address key issues facing state courts across the United States.

The funding is used for grants or contractual services, and any remaining balance not used for the SIG program will become available for SJI's other grant programs. The program is handled at the discretion of the SJI Board of Directors and staff outside the normal grant application process (i.e., SJI will initiate the project).

F. Education Support Program (ESP) for Judges and Court Managers

The new Education Support Program (ESP), formally the Scholarship Program, is intended to enhance the skills, knowledge, and abilities of state court judges and court managers by enabling them to attend out-of-state, or to enroll in online, educational and training programs sponsored by national and state providers that they could not otherwise attend or take online because of limited state, local, and personal budgets. An ESP award only covers the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $1,000 per award. ESP application procedures can be found in section IV.D.

IV. Grant Applications A. Project Grants

An application for a Project Grant must include an application form; budget forms (with appropriate documentation); a project abstract and program narrative; a disclosure of lobbying form, when applicable; and certain certifications and assurances (see below). See Appendix B for the Project Grant application forms.

1. Forms a. Application Form (Form A)

The application form requests basic information regarding the proposed project, the applicant, and the total amount of funding requested from SJI. It also requires the signature of an individual authorized to certify on behalf of the applicant that the information contained in the application is true and complete; that submission of the application has been authorized by the applicant; and that if funding for the proposed project is approved, the applicant will comply with the requirements and conditions of the award, including the assurances set forth in Form D.

b. Certificate of State Approval (Form B)

An application from a state or local court must include a copy of Form B signed by the state's chief justice or state court administrator. The signature denotes that the proposed project has been approved by the state's highest court or the agency or council it has designated. It denotes further that, if applicable, a cash match reduction has been requested, and that if SJI approves funding for the project, the court or the specified designee will receive, administer, and be accountable for the awarded funds.

c. Budget Form (Form C)

Applicants must submit a Form C. In addition, applicants must provide a detailed budget narrative providing an explanation of the basis for the estimates in each budget category (see subsection A.4. below).

If funds from other sources are required to conduct the project, either as match or to support other aspects of the project, the source, current status of the request, and anticipated decision date must be provided.

d. Assurances (Form D)

This form lists the statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements with which recipients of Institute funds must comply.

e. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (Form E)

Applicants other than units of state or local government are required to disclose whether they, or another entity that is part of the same organization as the applicant, have advocated a position before Congress on any issue, and to identify the specific subjects of their lobbying efforts (see section VI.A.7.).

2. Project Abstract

The abstract should highlight the purposes, goals, methods, and anticipated benefits of the proposed project. It should not exceed 1 single-spaced page on 81/2by 11 inch paper.

3. Program Narrative

The program narrative for an application may not exceed 25 double-spaced pages on 81/2by 11 inch paper. Margins must be at least 1 inch, and type size must be at least 12-point and 12 cpi. The pages should be numbered. This page limit does not include the forms, the abstract, the budget narrative, and any appendices containing resumes and letters of cooperation or endorsement. Additional background material should be attached only if it is essential to impart a clear understanding of the proposed project. Numerous and lengthy appendices are strongly discouraged.

The program narrative should address the following topics:

a. Project Objectives

The applicant should include a clear, concise statement of what the proposed project is intended to accomplish. In stating the objectives of the project, applicants should focus on the overall programmatic objective (e.g., to enhance understanding and skills regarding a specific subject, or to determine how a certain procedure affects the court and litigants) rather than on operational objectives (e.g., provide training for 32 judges and court managers, or review data from 300 cases).

The applicant must describe how the proposed project addresses one or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant must provide an explanation why not.

b. Need for the Project

If the project is to be conducted in any specific location(s), the applicant should discuss the particular needs of the project site(s) to be addressed by the project and why those needs are not being met through the use of existing programs, procedures, services, or other resources.

If the project is not site-specific, the applicant should discuss the problems that the proposed project would address, and why existing programs, procedures, services, or other resources cannot adequately resolve those problems. In addition, the applicant should describe how, if applicable, the project will be sustained in the future through existing resources.

The discussion should include specific references to the relevant literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products available online through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from prior work.

c. Tasks, Methods and Evaluations

(1) Tasks and Methods. The applicant should delineate the tasks to be performed in achieving the project objectives and the methods to be used for accomplishing each task. For example:

(a)For research and evaluation projects,the applicant should include the data sources, data collection strategies, variables to be examined, and analytic procedures to be used for conducting the research or evaluation and ensuring the validity and general applicability of the results. For projects involving human subjects, the discussion of methods should address the procedures for obtaining respondents' informed consent, ensuring the respondents' privacy and freedom from risk or harm, and protecting others who are not the subjects of research but would be affected by the research. If the potential exists for risk or harm to human subjects, a discussion should be included that explains the value of the proposed research and the methods to be used to minimize or eliminate such risk.

(b)For education and training projects,the applicant should include the adult education techniques to be used in designing and presenting the program, including the teaching/learning objectives of the educational design, the teaching methods to be used, and the opportunities for structured interaction among the participants; how faculty would be recruited, selected, and trained; the proposed number and length of the conferences, courses, seminars, or workshops to be conducted and the estimated number of persons who would attend them; the materials to be provided and how they would be developed; and the cost to participants.

(c)For demonstration projects,the applicant should include the demonstration sites and the reasons they were selected, or if the sites have not been chosen, how they would be identified and their cooperation obtained; and how the program or procedures would be implemented and monitored.

(d)For technical assistance projects,the applicant should explain the types of assistance that would be provided; the particular issues and problems for which assistance would be provided; the type of assistance determined; how suitable providers would be selected and briefed; and how reports would be reviewed.

(2)Evaluation.Projects should include an evaluation plan to determine whether the project met its objectives. The evaluation should be designed to provide an objective and independent assessment of the effectiveness or usefulness of the training or services provided; the impact of the procedures, technology, or services tested; or the validity and applicability of the research conducted. The evaluation plan should be appropriate to the type of project proposed.

d. Project Management

The applicant should present a detailed management plan, including the starting and completion date for each task; the time commitments to the project of key staff and their responsibilities regarding each project task; and the procedures that would ensure that all tasks are performed on time, within budget, and at the highest level of quality. In preparing the project time line, Gantt Chart, or schedule, applicants should make certain that all project activities, including publication or reproduction of project products and their initial dissemination, would occur within the proposed project period. The management plan must also provide for the submission of Quarterly Progress and Financial Reports within 30 days after the close of each calendar quarter (i.e., no later than January 30, April 30, July 30, and October 30), per section VI.A.13.

Applicants should be aware that SJI is unlikely to approve a limited extension of the grant period without strong justification. Therefore, the management plan should be as realistic as possible and fully reflect the time commitments of the proposed project staff and consultants.

e. Products

The program narrative in the application should contain a description of the product(s) to be developed (e.g., training curricula and materials, Web sites or other electronic multimedia, articles, guidelines, manuals, reports, handbooks, benchbooks, or books), including when they would be submitted to SJI. The budget should include the cost of producing and disseminating the product to the state chief justice, state court administrator, and other appropriate judges or court personnel. If final products involve electronic formats, the applicant should indicate how the product would be made available to other courts. Discussion of this dissemination process should occur between the grantee and SJI prior to the final selection of the dissemination process to be used.

(1)Dissemination Plan.The application must explain how and to whom the products would be disseminated; describe how they would benefit the state courts, including how they could be used by judges and court personnel; identify development, production, and dissemination costs covered by the project budget; and present the basis on which products and services developed or provided under the grant would be offered to the court community and the public at large (i.e., whether products would be distributed at no cost to recipients, or if costs are involved, the reason for charging recipients and the estimated price of the product) (see section VI.A.11.b.). Ordinarily, applicants should schedule all product preparation and distribution activities within the project period.

Applicants proposing to develop Web-based products should provide for sending a notice and description of the document to the appropriate audiences to alert them to the availability of the Web site or electronic product (i.e., a written report with a reference to the Web site).

Three (3) copies of all project products should be submitted to SJI, along with an electronic version in HTML or PDF format. Discussions of final product dissemination should be conducted with SJI prior to the end of the grant period.

(2)Types of Products.The type of product to be prepared depends on the nature of the project. For example, in most instances, the products of a research, evaluation, or demonstration project should include an article summarizing the project findings that is publishable in a journal serving the courts community nationally, an executive summary that would be disseminated to the project's primary audience, or both. Applicants proposing to conduct empirical research or evaluation projects with national import should describe how they would make their data available for secondary analysis after the grant period (see section VI.A.14.a.).

The curricula and other products developed through education and training projects should be designed for use by others and again by the original participants in the course of their duties.

(3)SJI Review.Applicants must submit a final draft of all written grant products to SJI for review and approval at least 30 days before the products are submitted for publication or reproduction. For products in Web site or multimedia format, applicants must provide for SJI review of the product at the treatment, script, rough-cut, and final stages of development, or their equivalents. No grant funds may be obligated for publication orreproduction of a final grant product without the written approval of SJI (see section VI.A.11.f.).

(4)Acknowledgment, Disclaimer, and Logo.Applicants must also include in all project products a prominent acknowledgment that support was received from SJI and a disclaimer paragraph based on the example provided in section VI.A.11.a.2. in the Grant Guideline. The “SJI” logo must appear on the front cover of a written product, or in the opening frames of a Web site or other multimedia product, unless SJI approves another placement. The SJI logo can be downloaded from SJI's Web site:www.sji.gov.

f. Applicant Status

An applicant that is not a state or local court and has not received a grant from SJI within the past three years should indicate whether it is either a national non-profit organization controlled by, operating in conjunction with, and serving the judicial branches of state governments, or a national non-profit organization for the education and training of state court judges and support personnel (see section II). If the applicant is a non-judicial unit of federal, state, or local government, it must explain whether the proposed services could be adequately provided by non-governmental entities.

g. Staff Capability

The applicant should include a summary of the training and experience of the key staff members and consultants that qualify them for conducting and managing the proposed project. Resumes of identified staff should be attached to the application. If one or more key staff members and consultants are not known at the time of the application, a description of the criteria that would be used to select persons for these positions should be included. The applicant also should identify the person who would be responsible for managing and reporting on the financial aspects of the proposed project.

h. Organizational Capacity

Applicants that have not received a grant from SJI within the past three years should include a statement describing their capacity to administer grant funds, including the financial systems used to monitor project expenditures (and income, if any), and a summary of their past experience in administering grants, as well as any resources or capabilities that they have that would particularly assist in the successful completion of the project.

Unless requested otherwise, an applicant that has received a grant from SJI within the past three years should describe only the changes in its organizational capacity, tax status, or financial capability that may affect its capacity to administer a grant.

If the applicant is a non-profit organization (other than a university), it must also provide documentation of its 501(c) tax-exempt status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service and a copy of a current certified audit report. For purposes of this requirement, “current” means no earlier than two years prior to the present calendar year.

If a current audit report is not available, SJI will require the organization to complete a financial capability questionnaire, which must be signed by a certified public accountant. Other applicants may be required to provide a current audit report, a financial capability questionnaire, or both, if specifically requested to do so by the Institute.

i. Statement of Lobbying Activities

Non-governmental applicants must submit SJI's Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form, which documents whether they, or another entity that is a part of the same organization as the applicant, have advocated a position before Congress on any issue, and identifies the specific subjects of their lobbying efforts (see Appendix A).

j. Letters of Cooperation or Support

If the cooperation of courts, organizations, agencies, or individuals other than the applicant is required to conduct the project, the applicant should attach written assurances of cooperation and availability to the application, or send them under separate cover. Letters of general support for a project are also encouraged.

4. Budget Narrative

In addition to Project Grant applications, the following section also applies to Technical Assistance and Curriculum Adaptation and Training grant applications.

The budget narrative should provide the basis for the computation of all project-related costs. When the proposed project would be partially supported by grants from other funding sources, applicants should make clear what costs would be covered by those other grants. Additional background information or schedules may be attached if they are essential to obtaining a clear understanding of the proposed budget. Numerous and lengthy appendices are strongly discouraged.

The budget narrative should cover the costs of all components of the project and clearly identify costs attributable to the project evaluation. Grant funds may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.

a. Justification of Personnel Compensation

The applicant should set forth the percentages of time to be devoted by the individuals who would staff the proposed project, the annual salary of each of those persons, and the number of work days per year used for calculating the percentages of time or daily rates of those individuals. The applicant should explain any deviations from current rates or established written organizational policies. No grant funds or cash match may be used to pay the salary and related costs for a current or new employee of a court or other unit of government because such funds would constitute a supplantation of state or local funds in violation of 42 U.S.C. 10706(d)(1); this includes new employees hired specifically for the project. The salary and any related costs for a current or new employee of a court or other unit of government may only be accepted as in-kind match.

b. Fringe Benefit Computation

For non-governmental entities, the applicant should provide a description of the fringe benefits provided to employees. If percentages are used, the authority for such use should be presented, as well as a description of the elements included in the determination of the percentage rate.

c. Consultant/Contractual Services and Honoraria

The applicant should describe the tasks each consultant would perform, the estimated total amount to be paid to each consultant, the basis for compensation rates (e.g., the number of days multiplied by the daily consultant rates), and the method for selection. Rates for consultant services must be set in accordance with section VII.I.2.c. Prior written SJI approval is required for any consultant rate in excess of $800 per day; SJI funds may not be used to pay a consultant more than $1,100 per day. Honorarium payments must be justified in the same manner as consultant payments.

d. Travel

Transportation costs and per diem rates must comply with the policies of the applicant organization. If the applicant does not have an establishedtravel policy, then travel rates must be consistent with those established by the federal government. The budget narrative should include an explanation of the rate used, including the components of the per diem rate and the basis for the estimated transportation expenses. The purpose of the travel should also be included in the narrative.

e. Equipment

Grant funds may be used to purchase only the equipment necessary to demonstrate a new technological application in a court or that is otherwise essential to accomplishing the objectives of the project. In other words, grant funds cannot be used strictly for the purpose of purchasing equipment. Equipment purchases to support basic court operations ordinarily will not be approved. The applicant should describe the equipment to be purchased or leased and explain why the acquisition of that equipment is essential to accomplish the project's goals and objectives. The narrative should clearly identify which equipment is to be leased and which is to be purchased. The method of procurement should also be described. Purchases of automated data processing equipment must comply with section VII.I.2.b.

f. Supplies

The applicant should provide a general description of the supplies necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of the grant. In addition, the applicant should provide the basis for the amount requested for this expenditure category.

g. Construction

Construction expenses are prohibited except for the limited purposes set forth in section VI.A.16.b. Any allowable construction or renovation expense should be described in detail in the budget narrative.

h. Postage

Anticipated postage costs for project-related mailings, including distribution of the final product(s), should be described in the budget narrative. The cost of special mailings, such as for a survey or for announcing a workshop, should be distinguished from routine operational mailing costs. The bases for all postage estimates should be included in the budget narrative.

i. Printing/Photocopying

Anticipated costs for printing or photocopying project documents, reports, and publications should be included in the budget narrative, along with the bases used to calculate these estimates.

j. Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are only applicable to organizations that are not state courts or government agencies. Recoverable indirect costs are limited to no more than 75 percent of a grantee's direct personnel costs; i.e., salaries plus fringe benefits (see section VII.I.4.).

Applicants should describe the indirect cost rates applicable to the grant in detail. If costs often included within an indirect cost rate are charged directly (e.g., a percentage of the time of senior managers to supervise project activities), the applicant should specify that these costs are not included within its approved indirect cost rate. These rates must be established in accordance with section VII.I.4. If the applicant has an indirect cost rate or allocation plan approved by any federal granting agency, a copy of the approved rate agreement must be attached to the application.

5. Submission Requirements

a. Every applicant must submit an original and three copies of the application package consisting of Form A; Form B, if the application is from a state or local court, or a Disclosure of Lobbying Form (Form E), if the applicant is not a unit of state or local government; Form C; the Application Abstract; the Program Narrative; the Budget Narrative; and any necessary appendices.

Letters of application may be submitted at any time. However, applicants are encouraged to review the grant deadlines available on the SJI Web site. Receipt of each application will be acknowledged by letter or email.

b. Applicants submitting more than one application may include material that would be identical in each application in a cover letter. This material will be incorporated by reference into each application and counted against the 25-page limit for the program narrative. A copy of the cover letter should be attached to each copy of the application.

B. Technical Assistance (TA) Grants 1. Application Procedures

Applicants for TA Grants may submit an original and three copies of a detailed letter describing the proposed project, as well as a Form A, “State Justice Institute Application” (see Appendix B) and Form B, Certificate of State Approval from the State Supreme Court, or its designated agency and Form C, “Project Budget in Tabular Format.” Letters from regional court associations must be signed by the president of the association.

2. Application Format

Although there is no prescribed form for the letter, or a minimum or maximum page limit, letters of application should include the following information:

a.Need for Funding.The applicant must explain the critical need facing the applicant, and the proposed technical assistance enable the applicant to meet this critical need. The applicant must also explain why state or local resources are not sufficient to fully support the costs of the project. In addition, the applicant should describe how, if applicable, the project will be sustained in the future through existing resources.

The discussion should include specific references to the relevant literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products available online through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from prior work.

b.Project Description.The applicant must describe how the proposed project addressed one or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant must provide an explanation why not.

The applicant must describe the tasks the consultant will perform, and how would they be accomplished. In addition, the applicant must identify which organization or individual will be hired to provide the assistance, and how the consultant was selected. If a consultant has not yet been identified, what procedures and criteria would be used to select the consultant (applicants are expected to follow their jurisdictions' normal procedures for procuring consultant services)? What specific tasks would the consultant(s) and court staff undertake? What is the schedule for completion of each required task and the entire project? How would the applicant oversee the project and provide guidance to the consultant, and who at the court orregional court association would be responsible for coordinating all project tasks and submitting quarterly progress and financial status reports?

If the consultant has been identified, the applicant should provide a letter from that individual or organization documenting interest in and availability for the project, as well as the consultant's ability to complete the assignment within the proposed time frame and for the proposed cost. The consultant must agree to submit a detailed written report to the court and SJI upon completion of the technical assistance.

c.Likelihood of Implementation.What steps have been or would be taken to facilitate implementation of the consultant's recommendations upon completion of the technical assistance? For example, if the support or cooperation of specific court officials or committees, other agencies, funding bodies, organizations, or a court other than the applicant would be needed to adopt the changes recommended by the consultant and approved by the court, how would they be involved in the review of the recommendations and development of the implementation plan?

3. Budget and Matching State Contribution

Applicants must follow the same guidelines provided under Section IV.A.4. A completed Form C “Project Budget, Tabular Format” and budget narrative must be included with the letter requesting technical assistance.

The budget narrative should provide the basis for all project-related costs, including the basis for determining the estimated consultant costs, if compensation of the consultant is required (e.g., the number of days per task times the requested daily consultant rate). Applicants should be aware that consultant rates above $800 per day must be approved in advance by SJI, and that no consultant will be paid more than $1,100 per day from SJI funds. In addition, the budget should provide for submission of two copies of the consultant's final report to the SJI.

Recipients of TA Grants do not have to submit an audit report but must maintain appropriate documentation to support expenditures (see section VI.A.3.).

4. Submission Requirements

Letters of application should be submitted according to the grant deadlines provided on the SJI Web site.

If the support or cooperation of agencies, funding bodies, organizations, or courts other than the applicant would be needed in order for the consultant to perform the required tasks, written assurances of such support or cooperation should accompany the application letter. Letters of general support for the project are also encouraged. Support letters also may be submitted under separate cover; however, they should be received by the same date as the application.

C. Curriculum Adaptation and Training (CAT) Grants 1. Application Procedures

In lieu of formal applications, applicants should submit an original and three photocopies of a detailed letter as well as a Form A, “State Justice Institute Application;” Form B, “Certificate of State Approval;” and Form C, “Project Budget, Tabular Format” (see Appendices).

2. Application Format

Although there is no prescribed format for the letter, or a minimum or maximum page limit, letters of application should include the following information.

a. For adaptation of a curriculum:

(1)Project Description.The applicant must describe how the proposed project addresses one or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant must provide an explanation why not. Due to the high costs of travel to attend training events, the innovative use of distance learning is highly encouraged.

The applicant must provide the title of the curriculum that will be adapted, and identify the entity that originally developed the curriculum. The applicant must also address the following questions: Why is this education program needed at the present time? What are the project's goals? What are the learning objectives of the adapted curriculum? What program components would be implemented, and what types of modifications, if any, are anticipated in length, format, learning objectives, teaching methods, or content? Who would be responsible for adapting the model curriculum? Who would the participants be, how many would there be, how would they be recruited, and from where would they come (e.g., from a single local jurisdiction, from across the state, from a multi-state region, from across the nation)?

(2)Need for Funding.The discussion should include specific references to the relevant literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products available online through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from prior work.

The applicant should explain why state or local resources are unable to fully support the modification and presentation of the model curriculum. The applicant should also describe the potential for replicating or integrating the adapted curriculum in the future using state or local funds, once it has been successfully adapted and tested. In addition, the applicant should describe how, if applicable, the project will be sustained in the future through existing resources.

(3)Likelihood of Implementation.The applicant should provide the proposed timeline, including the project start and end dates, the date(s) the judicial branch education program will be presented, and the process that will be used to modify and present the program. The applicant should also identify who will serve as faculty, and how they were selected, in addition to the measures taken to facilitate subsequent presentations of the program. Ordinarily, an independent evaluation of a curriculum adaptation project is not required; however, the results of any evaluation should be included in the final report.

(4)Expressions of Interest by Judges and/or Court Personnel.Does the proposed program have the support of the court system or association leadership, and of judges, court managers, and judicial branch education personnel who are expected to attend? Applicants may demonstrate this by attaching letters of support.

b. For training assistance:

(1)Need for Funding.The applicant must describe how the proposed project addresses one or more Priority Investment Areas. If the project does not address one or more Priority Investment Areas, the applicant must provide an explanation why not.

The discussion should include specific references to the relevant literature and to the experience in the field. SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products available online through the NationalCenter for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive. Applicants are required to conduct a search of the NCSC Library and Digital Archive on the topic areas they are addressing. This search should include SJI-funded grants, and previous projects not supported by SJI. Searches for SJI grant reports and other state court resources begin with the NCSC Library section. Applicants must discuss the results of their research; how they plan to incorporate the previous work into their proposed project; and if the project will differentiate from prior work.

The applicant should describe the court reform or initiative prompting the need for training. The applicants should also discuss how the proposed training help the applicant implement planned changes at the court, and why state or local resources are not sufficient to fully support the costs of the required training. In addition, the applicant should describe how, if applicable, the project will be sustained in the future through existing resources.

(2)Project Description.The applicant must identify the tasks the trainer(s) will be expected to perform, which organization or individual will be hired, and, if in-house personnel are not the trainers, how the trainer will be selected. If a trainer has not yet been identified, the applicant must describe the procedures and criteria that will be used to select the trainer. In addition, the applicant should address the following questions: What specific tasks would the trainer and court staff or regional court association members undertake? What presentation methods will be used? What is the schedule for completion of each required task and the entire project? How will the applicant oversee the project and provide guidance to the trainer, and who at the court or affiliated with the regional court association would be responsible for coordinating all project tasks and submitting quarterly progress and financial status reports?

If the trainer has been identified, the applicant should provide a letter from that individual or organization documenting interest in and availability for the project, as well as the trainer's ability to complete the assignment within the proposed time frame and for the proposed cost.

(3)Likelihood of Implementation.The applicant should explain what steps have been or will be taken to coordinate the implementation of the training. For example, if the support or cooperation of specific court or regional court association officials or committees, other agencies, funding bodies, organizations, or a court other than the applicant will be needed to adopt the reform and initiate the training proposed, how will the applicant secure their involvement in the development and implementation of the training?

3. Budget and Matching State Contribution

Applicants must also follow the same guidelines provided under Section IV.A.4. Applicants should attach a copy of budget Form C and a budget narrative (see subsection A.4. above) that describes the basis for the computation of all project-related costs and the source of the match offered.

4. Submission Requirements

For curriculum adaptation requests, applicants should allow at least 90 days between the Board meeting and the date of the proposed program to allow sufficient time for needed planning. Letters of support for the project are also encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to call SJI to discuss concerns about timing of submissions.

D. Partner Grants

SJI and its funding partners may meld, pick and choose, or waive their application procedures, grant cycles, or grant requirements to expedite the award of jointly-funded grants targeted at emerging or high priority problems confronting state and local courts. SJI may solicit brief proposals from potential grantees to fellow financial partners as a first step. Should SJI be chosen as the lead grant manager, Project Grant application procedures will apply to the proposed Partner Grant. As with Project Grants, Partner Grants will be targeted at initiatives likely to have a significant national impact.

E. Education Support Program (ESP) 1. Limitations

Applicants may not receive more than one ESP award in a two-year fiscal year period unless the course specifically assumes multi-year participation, such as a certification program or a graduate degree program in judicial studies in which the applicant is currently enrolled (neither exception should be taken as a commitment on the part of SJI's Board of Directors to approve serial ESP awards). If the course assumes multi-year participation, awards will be limited to one per fiscal year. Attendance at annual or mid-year meetings or conferences of a state or national organization does not qualify as an out-of-state educational program for the ESP, even though it may include workshops or other training sessions.

The ESP only covers the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $1,000 per award, per course. Awards will be made for the exact amount requested for tuition. Funds to pay tuition in excess of $1,000, and other cost of attending the program such as travel, lodging, transportation, meals, materials, transportation to and from airports (including rental cars) must be obtained from other sources or borne by the ESP award recipient. Applicants are encouraged to check other sources of financial assistance and to combine aid from various sources whenever possible. An ESP award is not transferable to another individual. It may be used only for the course specified in the application unless the applicant's request to attend a different course that meets the eligibility requirements is approved in writing by SJI.

2. Eligibility Requirements

a.Recipients.Because of the limited amount of funding available, only full-time judges of state or local trial and appellate courts; full-time professional, state, or local court personnel with management and supervisory responsibilities; and supervisory and management probation personnel in judicial branch probation offices are eligible for the program. Senior judges, part-time judges, quasi-judicial hearing officers including referees and commissioners, administrative law judges, staff attorneys, law clerks, line staff, law enforcement officers, and other executive branch personnel are not eligible.

b.Courses.An ESP award is only for: (1) a course presented in a state other than the one in which the applicant resides or works, or (2) an online course. The course must be designed to enhance the skills of new or experienced judges and court managers; or be offered by a recognized graduate program for judges or court managers.

Applicants are encouraged not to wait for the decision on an ESP application to register for an educational program they wish to attend. SJI does not submit the names of ESP award recipients to educational organizations, nor provide the funds to the educational organization. ESP funds are provided as reimbursements directly to the recipient.

3. Forms

a. Education Support Program Application—Form ESP-1 (Appendix B). The application requests basic information about the applicant and the educational program the applicant would like to attend. It also addresses the applicant's commitment to share theskills and knowledge gained with state and local court colleagues. The application must bear the original signature of the applicant. Faxed or photocopied signatures will not be accepted. Please be sure to indicate whether the state will be providing funds for the course and, if so, how much. SJI will not supplant state funds with these awards.

b. Education Support Program Concurrence—Form ESP-2 (Appendix B). Judges and court managers applying for the program must submit the original written concurrence of the chief justice of the state's supreme court (or the chief justice's designee) on Form ESP-2 (see Appendix B). The signature of the presiding judge of the applicant's court may not be substituted for that of the state's chief justice or the chief justice's designee. The chief justice or state court administrator must notify SJI of the designees within the state for ESP purposes.

4. Submission Requirements

Applications may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. This means ESP awards will be on a “first-come, first-considered” basis. The dates for applications to be received by SJI for consideration in FY 2013 are November 1, February 1, May 1, and August 1. These arenotmailing deadlines. The applications must be received by SJI on or before each of these dates. No exceptions or extensions will be granted. All the required items must be received for an application to be considered. If the Concurrence form or letter of support is sent separately from the application, the postmark date of the last item sent will be used in determining the review date. All applications should be sent by mail or courier (not fax or email).

V. Application Review Procedures A. Preliminary Inquiries

SJI staff will answer inquiries concerning application procedures.

B. Selection Criteria 1. Project Grant Applications

a. Project Grant applications will be rated on the basis of the criteria set forth below. SJI will accord the greatest weight to the following criteria:

(1) The soundness of the methodology;

(2) The demonstration of need for the project;

(3) The appropriateness of the proposed evaluation design;

(4) If applicable, the key findings and recommendations of the most recent evaluation and the proposed responses to those findings and recommendations;

(5) The applicant's management plan and organizational capabilities;

(6) The qualifications of the project's staff;

(7) The products and benefits resulting from the project, including the extent to which the project will have long-term benefits for state courts across the nation;

(8) The degree to which the findings, procedures, training, technology, or other results of the project can be transferred to other jurisdictions;

(9) The reasonableness of the proposed budget; and

(10) The demonstration of cooperation and support of other agencies that may be affected by the project.

b. In determining which projects to support, SJI will also consider whether the applicant is a state court, a national court support or education organization, a non-court unit of government, or other type of entity eligible to receive grants under SJI's enabling legislation (see section II.); the availability of financial assistance from other sources for the project; the amount of the applicant's match; the extent to which the proposed project would also benefit the federal courts or help state courts enforce federal constitutional and legislative requirements; and the level of appropriations available to SJI in the current year and the amount expected to be available in succeeding fiscal years.

2. Technical Assistance (TA) Grant Applications

TA Grant applications will be rated on the basis of the following criteria:

a. Whether the assistance would address a critical need of the applicant;

b. The