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[Federal Register: February 15, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 32)]
[Page 10551-10553]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 3571]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Freedom Support Act Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program; 
Notice: Request for Grant Proposals

SUMMARY: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition 
for administration of the Freedom Support Act Contemporary Issues 
Fellowship Program for the academic year 2001-2002. Public and private 
non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS 
regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals to administer 
recruitment, selection, placement, monitoring, evaluation and follow-on 
    Program Information: The Freedom Support Act Fellowships in 
Contemporary Issues Program selects highly qualified government 
officials, NGO leaders, and other professionals from the Newly 
Independent States who are engaged in the political, economic, social 
and educational transformation of their countries to receive 
fellowships at U.S. universities, think tanks, NGOs and U.S. Government 
offices. Fellows conduct research on topics that help advance the 
transition to democracy, free markets and the building of a civil 
society in their countries. Fellowships are for a duration of four 
months and include a one-month optional internship. Fellows are matched 
with U.S. host advisors who guide their research, writing and 
professional development.
    ECA will award one grant for this program. Should an applicant 
organization wish to work with other organizations in the 
implementation of this program, a subgrant agreement must be arranged. 
Programs and projects must conform with Bureau requirements and 
guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. ECA programs are 
subject to the availability of funds. Programs must

[[Page 10552]]

comply with J-1 Visa regulations. Please refer to Solicitation Package 
for further information.
    Budget Guidelines: Grants awarded to eligible organizations with 
less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange 
programs will be limited to $60,000. ECA anticipates awarding one grant 
not to exceed $2,095,236. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide 
maximum levels of cost sharing and funding from private sources in 
support of its programs. There must be a summary budget as well as 
breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. 
Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, 
phase, location, or activity to provide clarification. Please refer to 
the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting 
    Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau 
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Office of Academic Exchange 
Programs, ECA/A/E/EUR, Room 246, U.S. Department of State, 301 4th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Phone: 202-205-0525; Fax: 202-260-
7985, to request a Solicitation Package. The 
Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard 
guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Bureau Program 
Manager Lucy Jilka on all other 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:http:/
/ Please read all information 
before downloading.
    Deadline for Proposals: All proposal copies must be received at the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, D.C. 
time on April 6, 2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any 
time. Documents postmarked the due date but received on a later date 
will not be accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the proposals are 
received by the above deadline.
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and eight copies of the application should be 
sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/E/EUR-01-09, Program Management, ECA/EX/
PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20547.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5" diskette, 
formatted for DOS. These documents 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 Sections the 
U.S. Embassies for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it 
takes to get Embassies' comments for the Bureau's grants review 

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs 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 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 content, to the 
fullest 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 Sections 
overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be forwarded to 
panels of Department of State officers 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 

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. Quality of the program plan: Proposals should include academic 
rigor, thorough conception of the project, demonstration of meeting 
participants' needs, contributions to understanding the partner 
country, specific details of recruitment, selection, placement, 
professional development, and monitoring processes, proposed alumni 
activities and alumni tracking, qualifications and expertise of program 
staff and participants, and relevance to ECA's mission and U.S. foreign 
policy goals and objectives.
    2. Program planning and organizational capacity: A detailed work 
plan and timeline should demonstrate the organization's logistical and 
administrative capacity to implement the program. Proposals must 
demonstrate how the organization and its staff will meet the program's 
objectives and work plan. Proposed personnel and organizational 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to implement the program 
requirements and achieve program objectives.
    3. Institution's record/ability: Proposals should demonstrate 
experience in developing, implementing, administering, and evaluating 
scholarly research exchanges with the NIS. This includes responsible 
fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements 
for past ECA grants as determined by ECA's Office of Contracts.
    4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed program must demonstrate an 
impact on the wider community of scholars, policymakers, opinion-
leaders, and public, private, and third sector professionals through 
the sharing of information and the establishment of long-term 
institutional and individual

[[Page 10553]]

linkages among U.S. and NIS scholars and practitioners.
    5. Cost effectiveness and cost sharing: The overhead and 
administrative components of the proposals, including salaries and 
honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be 
necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize cost sharing 
through other private sector support as well as institutional direct 
funding contributions.
    6. Support of diversity and pluralism: Proposals should demonstrate 
substantive support of the ECA's policy on diversity through the 
recruitment, selection, and placement of participants, as well as 
through orientation presentations, to the extent feasible for the 
applicant organization.
    7. Alumni tracking: Proposals should provide a plan for effective 
tracking of participants after the completion of the program.
    8. Program evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the program's success. A results-oriented draft survey questionnaire or 
other technique plus a description of a methodology to be used to link 
outcomes to original project objectives is required as well as a 
comprehensive plan to track participants before, during, and after 
their Fellowships.


    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 Freedom Support Act.


    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.


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

Dated: February 7, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-3755 Filed 2-14-01; 8:45 am]

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