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[Federal Register: October 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 202)]
[Page 52956-52958]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[Public Notice 3816]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: FREEDOM Support Act Undergraduate Program

SUMMARY: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
FREEDOM Support Act Undergraduate Program. Public and private non-
profit organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS 
regulations 26 CFR 1.501(c)(2)-1 through 1.501(c)(21)-2 may submit 
proposals to administer the placement, monitoring, evaluation, follow-
on, and alumni activities for the FY 2002 FREEDOM Support Act 
Undergraduate Program. Proposals should include provisions for the 
recruitment and selection of FY 2003 participants. Organizations with 
less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange 
programs are not eligible for this competition.

Program Information

    The FREEDOM Support Act Undergraduate Program (herein referred to 
as the FSAU Program) provides scholarships for one-year, non-degree 
study at U.S. institutes of higher education to outstanding students of 
the New Independent States (NIS). Scholarships are available in the 
fields of agriculture, American studies, business, computer science, 
economics, education, environmental management, international 
relations, journalism and mass communication, political science, and 
sociology. Scholarships are granted to students who have completed at 
least one year of study at an accredited university in their home 
countries. Students must be citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, 
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, 
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. FSAU participants 
will be enrolled in one-year, non-degree programs at both four-year 
colleges and universities, and community colleges. Students will 
enhance their academic education with participation in community 
service and an internship. Interested organizations should read the 
entire Federal Register announcement for all information prior to 
preparing a proposal. Programs must comply with J-1 Visa regulations. 
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further information. 
Awards will begin on or about May 30, 2002.

[[Page 52957]]

Budget Guidelines

    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. The level of funding for FY 2002 is uncertain, but is 
anticipated to be approximately $8,500,000. Based on this figure, 
applicant organizations should submit a budget which will fund no fewer 
than 335 participants. ECA anticipates awarding one or more grants 
under this competition. Applicant organizations are encouraged, through 
cost sharing and other methods, to provide for as many scholarships as 
possible based on approximated funding. 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 instructions. ECA grant guidelines state that 
organizations with less than four years experience in conducting 
international exchange programs are limited to $60,000 in Bureau 
funding. It is anticipated that the grant or grants awarded under this 
competition will well exceed $60,000. Therefore, organizations with 
less than four years experience per above, are not eligible under this 
    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, SA-44, 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 Sondra Govatski 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 Web site 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, December 21, 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 (8) 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-02-03, 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 Public Affairs Sections at US 
Embassies for review, with the goal of reducing the time it takes to 
get embassies' 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 Affairs Sections 
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 Assistant Secretary for Educational and 
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards 
cooperative agreements resides with the Bureau's 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 proposal evaluation:

1. Program Development and Management

    Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, 
innovation, and relevance to Bureau mission. Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the organization will meet the program's objectives. A 
detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive 
undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda and plan should adhere to 
the program overview and guidelines described above.

2. Multiplier Effect/Impact

    Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, 
including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term 
institutional and individual linkages. Proposals should also include 
creative ways to involve students in their U.S. communities.

3. Support of Diversity

    Proposals should demonstrate the recipient's commitment to 
promoting the awareness and understanding of diversity, and should 
include a strategy

[[Page 52958]]

for achieving diverse applicant pools for both students and host 

4. Institution's Record/Ability

    Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful 
exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full 
compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as 
determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past 
performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new 
applicants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be 
adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals.

5. Alumni Tracking and Follow-On

    Proposals should provide a plan for effective tracking of 
participants after the completion of the program. Proposals should 
include a plan for continued follow-on activity which insures that ECA 
supported programs are not isolated events.

6. Project Evaluation

    Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the program's success, 
both during and after the program. ECA recommends that the proposal 
include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a 
description of methodologies that can be used to link outcomes to 
original project objectives. Award-receiving organizations will be 
expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is 
concluded or quarterly, whichever is less frequent.

7. 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. Proposals 
should maximize cost sharing through other private sector support as 
well as institutional direct funding contributions.

    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 through FREEDOM Support Act 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: October 11, 2001.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
[FR Doc. 01-26121 Filed 10-17-01; 8:45 am]