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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily                        < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: January 11, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 8)]
[Notices]               
[Page 2474-2476]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11ja01-168]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 3535]

 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; College and 
University Affiliations Program for Tunisia; Notice: Request for Grant 
Proposals

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for an 
assistance award program to support the development of programs of 
instruction and faculty training at universities in Tunisia in business 
management, public administration, or another field with significant 
potential impact on the Tunisian economy. Accredited, post-secondary 
educational institutions meeting the provisions described in IRS 
regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may apply to pursue institutional or 
departmental objectives in partnership with one or more Tunisian 
institutions with support from the College and University Affiliations 
Program. The means for achieving the objectives of the applicant and 
its partner(s) may include mentoring, teaching, consultation, research, 
distance education, internship training, and professional outreach to 
public and private sector managers and entrepreneurs.

Overview and Project Objectives

    The project is designed to assist Tunisian universities to develop 
a modern curriculum and program in business management or public 
administration to facilitate the development of business activity and 
the quality, efficiency and integrity of the private and public sectors 
in Tunisia. While priority will be given to competitive proposals in 
business management, proposals in public administration and other 
fields are also eligible if the proposals demonstrate their potential 
impact on the Tunisian economy.
    Proposals emphasizing practical strategies to assist the Tunisian 
faculty and administrators to develop new curricula, teaching 
methodologies and programs are encouraged. All proposals should explain 
the potential impact of the project on the Tunisian economy.
    Bureau policy stipulates that awards to organizations with less 
than four years' experience in conducting international exchanges are 
limited to $60,000. Funds will be awarded for a period up to three 
years to assist with the costs of exchanges, educational materials, and 
to increase library holdings and improve Internet connections. Up to 
20% of the grant total may be used towards costs of

[[Page 2475]]

project administration. Indirect administrative costs are not an 
eligible expense for Bureau funding under this competition, but may be 
presented as part of the U.S. institutional contribution.
    The project should pursue these objectives through a strategy that 
coordinates the participation of junior and senior level faculty, 
administrators or graduate students for any appropriate combination of 
teaching, mentoring, internships, in-service training and outreach, for 
exchange visits ranging from one week to an academic year. Visits of 
one semester or more for participants from Tunisia are strongly 
encouraged and program activities must be tied to the goals and 
objectives of the program. Proposals may also include English language 
training for selected participants whose existing English skills may 
need to be strengthened or refreshed.

U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In the United States, participation in the program is open to 
accredited two and four-year colleges and universities, including 
graduate schools. Applications from consortia or other combinations of 
U.S. colleges and universities are eligible. Secondary U.S. partners 
may include governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as 
non-profit service and professional organizations. The lead U.S. 
university in the consortium or other combination of cooperating 
institutions is responsible for submitting the application. Each 
application must document the lead organization's authority to 
represent all U.S. cooperating partners.
    Participants representing the U.S. institution must be U.S. 
citizens. With the exception of outside consultants reporting on the 
degree to which project objectives have been achieved, participants who 
are traveling under the Bureau's grant funds must be teachers, advanced 
graduate students who are teaching or research assistants, or 
administrators from the participating institution(s). Advanced graduate 
students are eligible for Bureau-funded participation in this program 
only if they are working under the direction of an accompanying faculty 
participant.

Tunisian Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In Tunisia, the partner must be a recognized institution of post-
secondary education. Secondary foreign partners may include relevant 
governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as non-profit 
service and professional organizations concerned with issues in 
business development or public administration training in Tunisia.
    Foreign participants must be citizens or permanent residents of 
Tunisia and must be qualified to receive a J-1 visa.

Budget Guidelines

    Applicants may submit a budget proposing up to $120,000 for funding 
by the Bureau. Requests for amounts smaller than the maximum are 
eligible. Budget and budget notes should carefully justify the amounts 
needed. There must be a summary budget as well as a breakdown 
reflecting the program and administrative budgets including unit costs. 
Cost sharing will be considered an important indicator of institutional 
commitment. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete 
guidelines and formatting instructions.

Announcement Title and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs concerning this RFGP should reference the above title ``College 
and University Affiliations Program in Tunisia'' and reference number 
ECA/A/S/U-01-19.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the Humphrey Fellowships and 
Institutional Linkages Branch, Office of Global Educational Programs, 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; ECA/A/S/U, Room 349, SA-44; 
U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
phone (202) 619-5289, fax: (202) 401-1433, e-mail: 
mpizarro@pd.state.gov to request a Solicitation Package.
    The Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, and guidelines for preparing proposals, including 
specific criteria for preparation of the proposal budget. Please 
specify the above reference number on all inquiries and correspondence.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet

    The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's 
website at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps. Please read all 
information before downloading.

Deadline of Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington DC time on Friday, April 20, 
2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents 
postmarked by the due date but received on a later date will not be 
accepted.
    It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure compliance 
with the deadline.

Approximate Program Dates

    Grants should begin on or about August 1, 2001.

Duration

    August 1, 2001-August 31, 2004.

Submissions

    The U.S. institutional partner must submit the proposal. Applicants 
must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original 
and 10 copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of 
State, SA-44, Ref.: ECA/A/S/U-01-19, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, 
Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    All copies should include the documents specified under Tabs A 
through E in the ``Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation'' 
(POGI) section of the Solicitation Package. The documents under Tab F 
of the POGI should be submitted with the original application and with 
one of the ten copies.
    Proposals that do not follow RFGP requirements and the guidelines 
appearing in the POGI and PSI may be excluded from consideration due to 
technical ineligibility.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' Sections of the proposal on a 3.5'' diskette, 
formatted for DOS. This material must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will 
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section of 
the U.S. Embassy in Tunis for its review, with the goal of reducing the 
time it takes to get the Embassy's comments for the Bureau's grants 
review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, projects must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to, 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly

[[Page 2476]]

encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in 
program administration and in program content.
    Please refer to the review criteria under the ``Support for 
Diversity'' section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity 
into the total proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying 
out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose 
people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall 
take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in 
such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such 
countries.'' Public Law 106--113 requires that the governments of the 
countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the 
selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals 
in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.

Review Process

    The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will 
review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed 
ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein 
and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be 
reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Affairs Section 
of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. Eligible proposals will be subject to 
compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and 
forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may 
also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other 
Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of 
the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and 
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards 
(grants or cooperative agreements) resides with the Bureau's Grants 
Officer.

Review Criteria

    State Department officers in Washington, D.C. and overseas will use 
the criteria below to reach funding recommendations and decisions. 
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank-
ordered or weighed.

1. Quality of the Program Idea

    Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and 
resourcefulness. Proposals should exhibit sensitivity to the region, 
and have reasonable and feasible project objectives that are relevant 
to the needs of a Tunisian university. Proposals should describe 
projected benefits to the institutions involved as well as to wider 
communities of educators and practitioners in Tunisia.

2. Program Planning

    Proposals should include creative, realistic and feasible program 
plans as well as a detailed schedule, which should include a well-
reasoned combination of useful and appropriate mentoring, teaching 
techniques and outreach activities supporting the project objectives.

3. Support of Diversity

    Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's 
policy on diversity by explaining how issues of diversity relate to 
project objectives and how these issues will be addressed during 
project implementation. Proposals should also outline the institutional 
profile of each participating institution with regard to issues of 
diversity.

4. Institutional Capacity and Commitment

    Proposals should demonstrate significant understanding of the needs 
and capacities of the Tunisian university partner(s) as well as the 
needs and capacity of the U.S. institution, and should demonstrate a 
strong commitment to on-going cooperation during and after the period 
of the grant activity. Relevant factors include: the availability of a 
sufficient number of faculty and/or administrators willing and able to 
participate in project activities. Proposals should demonstrate a 
promise of long-term impact and a plan for follow-on activities.

5. Institutional Record/Ability

    Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of 
administering successful exchange programs, including responsible 
fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements 
for past Bureau grants as determined by the State Department's 
contracts officers. The Bureau will consider the past performance of 
prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. 
Reviewers will also consider the quality of exchange participants' 
academic credentials, skills, commitment and experience relative to the 
goals and activities of the project plan.

6. Project Evaluation

    The proposal should outline a methodology to assess progress toward 
the achievement of project goals. The final evaluation should include 
an external component and observations about anticipated long-term 
impact on the Tunisian economy.

7. Cost-Effectiveness

    Administrative and program costs should be reasonable and 
appropriate with cost sharing provided as a reflection of commitment to 
the pursuit of project objectives.

Authority

    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of 
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase 
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the 
people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us 
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural 
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United 
States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of 
friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States 
and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority for the 
program cited above is provided through the U.S. North African Economic 
Partnership.

Notice

    The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment 
on the part of the Government.
    The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase 
proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the 
availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic 
reporting and evaluation requirements.

Notification

    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

Dated: January 2, 2001.
William B. Bader,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-746 Filed 1-10-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-U


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