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[Federal Register: June 20, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 119)]
[Page 42095-42097]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 4051]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Educational Advising Program for International Students From 
Hong Kong/China

SUMMARY: The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the Bureau 
of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for 
an Educational Advising Program for International Students from Hong 
Kong/China. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the 
provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 
501(c)(3) may submit proposals to provide information on U.S. higher 
education to prospective students and serve as country coordinator for 
Department of State-affiliated advising centers in China.

Program Information

    Overview: An ideal program should provide a state-of-the-art 
advising center in Hong Kong dedicated to providing information, 
orientation, and advice to Chinese students interested in studying in 
the U.S. The center should coordinate educational information resources 
with other Department of State-affiliated advising centers in the 
People's Republic of China. The centers are located at the U.S. embassy 
and consulates, and include universities, language institutes, 
libraries and Chinese Service Centers for Scholarly Exchange. The 
proposal should address the applicant's ability to do the following:
    1. Produce and disseminate advising information packets and 
materials about US higher education to advising centers in China;
    2. Recommend appropriate level of educational advising resource 
materials supplied by the Educational Information and Resources Branch 
(ECA/A/S/A) to advising centers in China;
    3. Develop and maintain a database of advising centers in China;
    4. Order books and materials for advising centers in China through 
ECA/A/S/A's web-based book ordering system;
    5. Ensure centers receive and provide information for surveys to 
    6. Provide feedback to ECA/A/S/A and Regional Educational
    Advising Coordinator on site visits, consultations, training 
activities, and advising needs/concerns after each site visit and upon 
request from ECA/A/S/A;
    7. Encourage communication and networking among advising centers 
within China.
    The center should work with the Regional Educational Advising 
Coordinator (REAC) to provide in-country and regional workshops and 
seminars, site visits, needs assessments and training for U.S.-
affiliated advising center personnel in China as requested.
    Guidelines: The Grant should begin on October 1, 2002 and end on 
September 30, 2003. The programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. 
Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information. The 
proposal should be presented in three parts.

I. Applicant's Background and Overview

    The first part of the proposal should contain an overview of the 
applicant's history and purpose. Evidence of previous experience with 
advising or educational exchange of international students and scholars 
must be included. The overview should indicate the total amount of 
funding requested with a justification as well as a budget presentation 
outlining the total project costs.
    A listing of names, titles, addresses, and telephone numbers of the 
executive officer(s) and of the person(s) ultimately responsible for 
the project, must be included in the proposal. Resumes or vitae of key 
personnel must be

[[Page 42096]]

provided. ECA/A/S/A also recommends the inclusion of brochures and 
general information concerning the applicant, e.g., websites, 
organizational charts, job descriptions, the names of board members (or 
similar groups), the number of employees, etc.

II. Advising Center Operation and Services

    The second part of the proposal should contain details on the 
advising center's proposed location and hours of operation, proposed 
staffing pattern (including the percentage of time each employee will 
devote to advising activities and a description of their functions and 
responsibilities), budget, and advising services to be provided. A 
resume or brief narrative explaining the qualifications of the person 
or persons who will have primary responsibility for conducting advising 
and/or providing oversight of the advising center staff should be 
included. The proposal should demonstrate the center's ability to 
provide the following educational advising services to international 
students and scholars:
    1. Information and guidance on U.S. educational institutions, 
systems, tuition and related costs, fields of study, specialized 
training, testing, etc.;
    2. Information and research on short-term institutional training in 
technical and professional fields;
    3. Information on English language training programs in the U.S.;
    4. Group and individual advising sessions, pre-departure 
orientation and reentry programs, as appropriate. The applicant should 
be willing to assist the embassy and consulates in China in support of 
educational outreach activities by developing a network of contacts 
with the local offices of the Ministry of Education, universities, U.S. 
government-affiliated advising centers, and other appropriate 

III. Provision of Resource Materials, Equipment and Training

    The third part of the proposal should address the extent to which 
the headquarters office will support this advising program through the 
provision of educational advising resource materials and professional 
development activities and training.
    Student access to a comprehensive university catalog collection, in 
print and/or computer software programs, and an extensive collection of 
current references on U.S. educational institutions and programs, 
through print or computer networks, is an integral component of an 
educational advising center and the applicant's ability to provide such 
should be made clear in this section.
    Office equipment that facilitates the processing of inquiries, such 
as electronic mail, internet and facsimile machines would be regarded 
as an asset to the advising function and mention of such equipment 
should be made in the proposal. The Bureau expects the advising center 
to be equipped with audio visual aids for students' use. Videos/CD-ROMS 
on U.S. study and life should complement the presentation and materials 
offered at group and individual advising sessions.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant not to exceed $90,000 
under this grant competition. Bureau grant guidelines require that 
organizations with less than four years experience in conducting 
international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. 
Therefore, organizations must demonstrate at least four years 
experience in conducting international exchanges to be eligible to 
apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to 
provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources 
in support of this program.
    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.
    Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    1. Salary and benefits
    2. Budget for travel and per diem
    3. Office supplies and expenses
    4. Rent and utilities
    5. Outreach and publicity
    6. Indirect costs
    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/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Educational Information and 
Resources Branch, ECA/A/S/A, Room 349, U.S. Department of State, 301 
4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone: 202-260-6936, fax: 
202-401-1433, 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 Dorothy Mora 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 Thursday, August 1, 2002. 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/ASA-03-04, 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

[[Page 42097]]

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 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 idea: Proposals should exhibit 
originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's 
    2. Program planning: 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 
    3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
    4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
    5. Support of diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities).
    6. Institutional capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals.
    7. Institutional 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.
    8. Follow-on activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that 
Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    9. Project evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives is recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is 
concluded or quarterly, whichever is less frequent.
    10. 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.
    11. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through 
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 
    12. Value to U.S.-partner country relations: Proposed projects 
should receive positive assessments by the U.S. Department of State's 
geographic area desk and overseas officers of program need, potential 
impact, and significance in the partner country(ies).


    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 13, 2002.
Rick Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-15611 Filed 6-19-02; 8:45 am]