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[Federal Register: July 5, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 129)]
[Page 35494-35496]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[Public Notice 3715]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: U.S.-China Youth Exchange Initiative

SUMMARY: The Youth Programs Division, Office of Citizen Exchanges, of 
the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open 
competition for the U.S.-China YouthExchange Initiative. Public and 
private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in 
IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals to support 
institutional partnerships and to administer a reciprocal youth 
exchange between secondary schools in the United States and in China. 
This program will develop linkages between schools and communities in 
the U.S. and China for the purpose of mutual education and the 
development of student participation in community affairs. The Bureau 
expects to award one grant, not to exceed $475,000, to support 
exchanges for seven school partnerships and technology assistance for 
25 partnerships.

Program Information


    The focus of this youth exchange program is to support the 
partnership of schools and communities in China with schools and 
communities in the United States and to foster interaction and lasting 
relationships between these partnered schools through reciprocal 
student and educator exchanges with strong academic content and through 
Internet connections. This initiative, begun in December 2000 as a 
pilot project, will support student participation in community affairs 
and will advance mutual understanding between the youth and teachers of 
the U.S. and China.
    The long-term goals of the principal program are to: (1) Develop 
lasting, sustainable institutional ties between U.S. and Chinese 
schools and communities; (2) support student involvement in community 
affairs; (3) advance mutual understanding between the youth and 
teachers of the U.S. and China; and (4) promote partnerships developed 
through governmental, educational, and not-for-profit sector 
cooperation that serve the needs and interests of the schools and 
    The program has several defining features to help the participating 
schools develop their partnership:
     Each partnership has a project theme and the students and 
teachers in the two schools work on a joint project throughout the 
school year related to this theme.
     The two schools develop a relationship over the course of 
an academic year, through the planning process and the work on their 
joint project, which is highlighted by exchanges of three to five weeks 
in duration. Exchanges take place while the host school is in session.
     The student and teacher exchanges must be reciprocal.
     The program includes educators (teachers and/or 
administrators) in order to involve them in all aspects of the 
partnership and to provide them access to resources for curriculum 
development and educational training.
    In 2000, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) 
provided a grant for a pilot project with two components: The 
recruitment and selection of schools and the implementation of a pilot 
partnership with a reciprocal exchange and joint project activity. 
Through this pilot project, an open recruitment process is underway in 
both the United States and China for applications from school and 
community representatives. Based on these applications, the grantee 
organization for this pilot project, in consultation with ECA, will 
select the top 25 applicants in each country, match the schools (unless 
they apply as partners), and rank order these selected schools. This 
list of selected schools will be available to all applicants in August.
    Since ECA and the U.S. Mission in China plan to expand this program 
incrementally over the next few years, the funding under this 
assistance award is expected to support seven partnerships, i.e., 
exchanges of about 75-80 students and teachers from each country. The 
grant is subject to renewal for the program's expansion, depending on 
the availability of funding and the grantee organization's performance.
    Partnerships will focus on a theme relevant to their communities; 
students will work together to complete a joint project related to that 
theme. Support for Internet connectivity and computer training is also 
an important component of the program so that the paired schools can 
communicate throughout the school year and work on these joint 
projects. The three- to five-week exchange visits to the partner 
community will involve studying at the host school, working on the 
thematic project, participating in cultural activities, and spending 
time with host families. An enhancement program will be provided for 
the Chinese participants.
    The recipient of this grant will be responsible for the oversight 
and coordination of all programmatic and logistical aspects, including 
coordination with partnering organizations, local committees, and 
school representatives; oversight of open, merit-based participant 
selection processes and of the orientations, facilitation of the 
academic content of the partnership activities, and management of the 
enhancement program.


    Dates: The grant will begin on or about November 15, 2001. 
Facilitation of communication between the partnered schools should 
begin immediately. The exchanges may take place in Spring 2002 and/or 
Fall 2002.
    As is the case with all Bureau exchange programs, actual funding 

[[Page 35495]]

future activities is contingent upon the Congressional Appropriation 
and Authorization Process and final availability of funds. Upon 
successful implementation of this portion of the program and pending 
the availability of funds, ECA reserves the right to amend the grant to 
support future program activities.
    Because future funding and other factors will limit the growth of 
this program, the rank-ordered list of the schools will be used as a 
guide in approaching schools for participation in subsequent years. ECA 
expects to work up to the participation of as many as 50 schools over 
the course of the initiative.
    Eligible applicant organizations will have the following:
     Experience working in China
     A demonstrated track record of conducting youth exchange
     Experience with managing international institutional 
linkages and/or experience developing the program content for short-
term exchanges
     An established partnership with an educational 
organization based in China or its own branch office there.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
Solicitation Package for further information.

    Important Note: The complete solicitation package includes a 
copy of the application form that schools/local committees are using 
to apply for participation in the program through the pilot project 
currently underway. Having this form will enhance the ability of 
organizations to respond to this solicitation. Please contact the 
Youth Programs Division as soon as possible to have a copy of this 
application form sent to you and to provide contact information. By 
providing complete organizational information and the name of a 
point of contact, we will be able to send you the list of selected 
schools once it is available. We expect to be able to provide this 
to applicants no later than August 20, 2001.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau expects to provide an assistance award in an amount not 
to exceed $475,000 to one organization to support the program and 
administrative costs required to implement this program. Organizations 
with less than four years of experience in conducting international 
exchange programs are not eligible for this competition.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. 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. The Bureau encourages 
applicants to provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from 
private sources in support of its programs.
    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/PE/C/PY-01-85.

PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, 301 4thStreet, SW., Washington, 
DC 20547, telephone (202) 619-6299; fax (202) 619-5311; e-mail address: 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 Officer Carolyn Lantz 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 at 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, on Friday, 
September 7, 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 seven copies of the application should be 
sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-01-85, 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 U.S. 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 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 Diplomacy section 
overseas, where appropriate. 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 Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational 
and CulturalAffairs. Final

[[Page 35496]]

technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Bureau's 
Grants Officer.


    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 through legislation.


    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: June 26, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-16611 Filed 7-3-01; 8:45 am]