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[Federal Register: February 15, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 32)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3572]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: Regional Scholar Exchange Program; Notice: Request for Grant
SUMMARY: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition
for administration of the Regional Scholar Exchange Program for the
academic year 2002-2003. 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 activities.
Program Information: The Regional Scholar Exchange Program provides
opportunities for junior and mid-level university faculty, researchers,
and scholars in the social sciences and humanities from the Newly
Independent States (NIS) and the United States to receive fellowships
for study at U.S. and NIS institutions.
All RSEP fellows are matched with host advisors who guide their
research and professional development. All fellows conduct research on
specific topics, write academic papers, articles and books, and deliver
lectures with the goal of contributing to the further development of
higher education and scholarship in their home countries. Fellowships
are for a duration of four months for scholars from the NIS and up to
nine months for scholars from the United States.
ECA will consider awarding one or more grants for this program.
Applicant organizations may apply to recruit and host all fellows or a
number of fellows considered feasible and reasonable for the
organization. Should more than one organization be selected to
administer the program, the Bureau will decide on the distribution of
fellows between administering organizations.
Should an applicant organization wish to work with other
organizations in the implementation of this program, a sub grant
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 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.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire
program or any number of fellows that the organization applies to
administer. The total award for the entire program will not exceed
$2,000,000. If more than one organization is awarded a grant, the
Bureau will divide the total funding between the organizations. There
must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both
administrative and program budgets. The Bureau encourages applicants to
provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding from private sources
in support of its programs. 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 instructions.
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, email@example.com 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://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. Please read all information
Deadline for Proposals: All proposal copies must be received at the
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, DC
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-01-10, Program Management, ECA/EX/
PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 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 section at
the US Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it
takes to get Embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.
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.
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
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 and
follow-on activities, 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 time line 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. Organization's track record: ECA will consider relevant ECA and
outside assessments of the organization's experience in developing,
implementing, administering, and evaluating scholarly research
exchanges with the NIS, including responsible fiscal management and
full compliance with all reporting requirements for past ECA grants as
determined by ECA's Office of Contracts. ECA will consider the past
performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new
4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs must demonstrate an
impact on the wider community of scholars, policy makers, opinion-
leaders, and public, private, and third sector professionals through
the sharing of information and the establishment of long-term
institutional and individual linkages among U.S. and NIS scholars and
5. Cost effectiveness and cost sharing: The overhead and
administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and
honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be
necessary and appropriate. Organizations should maximize cost sharing
through other private sector support as well as institutional direct
6. Support of diversity and pluralism: Proposals should demonstrate
substantive support of ECA's policy on diversity through the
recruitment, selection and placement of participants, to the extent
feasible for the applicant organizations.
7. Alumni and follow-on activities: Proposals should provide a plan
for alumni and other follow-on activities (without ECA support) which
ensures that ECA supported programs are coordinated with and
incorporated into other ECA and PAS alumni activities so that fellows
may benefit from overall ECA supported alumni programs.
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
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 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
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. In addition, it reserves the
right to accept proposals in whole or in part and make an award or
awards in accordance with what serves the best interest of the Regional
Scholar Exchange Program. 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. 01-3756 Filed 2-14-01; 8:45 am]
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