Review of the Administration of Research and Demonstration Grants by the Rehabilitation Services Administration

HRD-79-103: Published: Jul 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1979.

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Information was requested on the research and development programs conducted by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The review was limited to developing the latest possible listing of research grants awarded by RSA, the results of research evaluation contracts, and reporting on past and present peer review procedures.

Legislation authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare through RSA to make grants or award contracts to pay part of the cost of projects for planning and conducting demonstrations, and related activites which assist in providing rehabilitation services to handicapped persons. The research and demonstration program is carried out pimarily by nonprofit agencies and organizations under grants managed by RSA through four sub-units or program offices. The sequential procedures RSA follows in awarding research and demonstration grants include announcement of the availability of grant funds and receipt and initial review of applications; preliminary review of applications by appropriate officials; peer review of competing applications by a panel of non-Federal experts; and approval for funding of recommended applicants by the Commissioner of RSA. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was chartered to advise the Federal Government in any matter of science and technology. Under a contract with RSA, the NAS Committee of Prosthetics Research and Development (CPRD) performed a peer review function for RSA rehabilitation engineering projects, but not for the other RSA research areas. The mission of the newly created National Institute of Handicapped Research is to provide leadership and resources for research and its utilization to improve the lives of people of all ages with physical and mental handicaps.

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