[Federal Register: June 14, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 115)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3698]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: Edmund S. Muskie/FREEDOM Support Act Graduate Fellowship
Subject to the availability of funds, the Office of Academic
Exchange Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
announces an open competition for an assistance award. Public and
private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in
IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals to administer the
selection, placement, monitoring, evaluation, follow-on, and alumni
activities for the FY 2002 Edmund S. Muskie/FREEDOM Support Act
Graduate Fellowship Program. Proposals should include provisions for
the recruitment of FY 2003 fellows.
The Edmund S. Muskie/FREEDOM Support Act Graduate Fellowship
Program (herein referred to as the Muskie/FSA Program) selects
outstanding citizens from the New Independent States (NIS) to receive
fellowships for Master's level study in the United States in the fields
of business administration, economics, education, environmental
management, international affairs, law, library and information
science, journalism/mass communications, public administration, public
health, and public policy. Fellowships are granted to qualified
individuals who are citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia,
Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. Muskie/FSA Program fellows will
be enrolled in graduate degree, certificate, and non-degree programs
lasting one to two academic years, with the majority enrolled in two-
year degree-granting programs. It is estimated that approximately 330
fellows will receive fellowships under the FY 2002 program. Interested
organizations should read the entire Federal Register announcement for
all information prior to preparing proposals.
Organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting
international exchange programs are not eligible for this competition.
Overview: The Muskie/FSA Program is designed to foster
democratization and the transition to market economies in the NIS
through intensive academic study and professional training. The
academic component of the program begins in the fall semester of the
year following the award (in this case 2002). Fellows may participate
in a nine, twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four month academic program.
Fellows also take part in an eight to twelve week internship during the
summer following the first academic year, with an option for a second
internship following the second year of study. Fellows must return to
their home countries at the
conclusion of their program. The Muskie/FSA Program is not intended as
a precursor to doctoral studies, extended professional training, or
employment in the United States. At the end of their designated
academic and/or internship programs, fellows are required to
immediately return to their home countries.
ECA will consider awarding one or more grants for this program.
Should more than one organization be selected to administer the Muskie/
FSA Program, ECA will decide on the distribution of fellows between
Should an applicant organization wish to work with other
organizations in the implementation of this program, ECA prefers that a
sub-grant agreement be developed. However, ECA will entertain
separately submitted proposals from two or more organizations for joint
program management, as long as the proposals demonstrate a value-added
relationship and clearly delineate responsibilities. Program
responsibilities should not be duplicated and the arrangement should
not produce prohibitive administrative expenses.
The Muskie/FSA Program must conform to ECA requirements and
guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. ECA programs are
subject to the availability of funds and must comply with J-1 Visa
regulations. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further
Applicant organizations must demonstrate the ability to administer
all aspects of the Muskie/FSA Program--selection, university
placements, orientation, monitoring and support of FY 2002 fellows
including all logistics, financial management, evaluation, follow-on,
and alumni tracking and programming, as well as advertisement for, and
recruitment of, FY 2003 applicants in the NIS. Applicant organizations
must demonstrate the ability to recruit and select a diverse pool of
candidates from various geographic regions in the NIS. Organizations
will take the lead in the recruitment and selection of appropriate host
institutions from throughout the United States for pre-academic,
English as a Foreign Language, and academic programs. Organizations
will serve as the principal liaison with Muskie/FSA Program host
institutions for ECA. Applicant organizations should demonstrate the
ability to work with private sector organizations in the United States
and the NIS to facilitate fellows' professional development and post-
program re-entry. Further details on specific program responsibilities
can be found in the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation
(POGI) Statement, which is part of the formal solicitation package
available from ECA.
Guidelines: The award to the grantee organization will begin on or
about October 1, 2001 and will be approximately two years in duration.
Recruitment and initial selection activities for FY 2002 fellows will
be performed by the current grantee organizations. The level of funding
for FY 2002 is uncertain, but is anticipated to be approximately
$20,460,000. Based on this figure, applicant organizations should
submit a budget to fund no fewer than 330 fellows. The final number of
fellowships per country will be announced following the grant award;
however, for planning purposes organizations should assume the
following distribution of fellows by country: Armenia 40, Azerbaijan
28, Belarus 9, Georgia 24, Kazakstan 15, Kyrgyzstan 11, Moldova 8,
Russian Federation 67, Tajikistan 3, Turkmenistan 7, Ukraine 101,
Uzbekistan 17. Additionally, applicant organizations should assume the
following number of fellows by field of study: Business Administration
45, Economics 30, Education 30, Environmental Management 30,
International Affairs 35, Journalism/Mass Communications 20, Law 30,
Library and Information Science 10, Public Administration 40, Public
Health 30, and Public Policy 30.
Applicant organizations are encouraged, through cost sharing and
other methods, to provide for as many fellowships as possible above and
beyond the minimum numbers supplied by ECA.
Budget Guidelines: ECA grant guidelines limit organizations with
less than four years experience conducting international exchanges to
$60,000 in Bureau grant support. Because of the scope and complexity of
this program, organizations with less than four years experience in
conducting international exchanges are not eligible to apply under this
ECA encourages applicant organizations to provide maximum levels of
cost sharing and funding from private sources in support of its
programs. Applicant organizations must submit a comprehensive line item
budget to include 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. A comprehensive narrative must
accompany the budget, clearly explaining all proposed costs (staff
salaries and time on task must be supported by appropriate
documentation and certified as true and accurate representations of
actual costs and percentage of task).
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) Program Expenses
(2) Domestic Administration
(3) Overseas Administration
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget
guidelines and formatting instructions.
Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with ECA
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, SA-44, 301
4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone: (202) 619-5429, fax:
(202) 260-7985, e-mail: 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 ECA Program Officer
Nadine Asef-Sargent on all inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has
passed, ECA 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 ECA's
website at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. 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, DC
time, Thursday, August 9, 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 ten (10) 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-02-02, Program Management, ECA/EX/
PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and
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. ECA will transmit these files
electronically to Public Affairs Sections at U.S. Embassies in the NIS
for review, with the goal of reducing the time it takes to obtain
embassy comments for ECA's grants review process.
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines: Pursuant to ECA'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,'' ECA ``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, to the full extent deemed feasible.
Review Process: ECA 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. The Program Office, as well as the
Public Affairs Sections overseas, where appropriate, will review all
eligible proposals. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance
with Federal and ECA regulations and guidelines and forwarded to ECA
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
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final
technical authority for assistance awards (grants or cooperative
agreements) resides with an ECA Grants Officer.
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
1. Program Development: The proposal should exhibit originality,
substance, precision, and relevance to ECA's mission. Objectives should
be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. A detailed and relevant work
plan should demonstrate substantive understanding of program goals and
2. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program's
goals. The proposal should demonstrate an institutional record of
successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management
and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past ECA
grants. ECA will consider the past performance of prior recipients and
the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
3. Multiplier Effect: The program should strengthen long-term
mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and
establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.
4. Support of Diversity: The proposal should demonstrate the
applicant organization's commitment to promoting the awareness and
understanding of diversity through participant recruitment efforts, the
selection of U.S. host institutions, and other measures.
5. Follow-on and Alumni Activities: The proposal should provide a
plan for continued activity which ensures that ECA-supported programs
are not isolated events, but have meaning and scope beyond the time the
actual exchange took place.
6. Project Evaluation: The proposal should include plans to
evaluate the program's success, both during and after the program.
7. Cost-effectiveness: 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.
8. Cost-sharing: The proposal should maximize cost sharing through
private sector support as well as institutional direct funding
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 above is provided
principally through FREEDOM Support Act legislation.
Notice: The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding
and may not be modified by any ECA representative. Explanatory
information provided by ECA that contradicts published language will
not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award
commitment on the part of the Government. ECA 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 ECA procedures.
Dated: June 5, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S.
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-15052 Filed 6-13-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
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