[Federal Register: June 27, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 124)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 4056]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: Educational Advising in Mexico City
SUMMARY: The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the Bureau
of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition
to conduct educational advising in Mexico City about post-secondary
educational opportunities in the U.S. 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 for administering
educational advising activities in Mexico City, Mexico. The educational
advising effort in Mexico City would be part of the network of over 400
Department of State-affiliated advising centers worldwide. These
centers provide comprehensive and unbiased information and guidance to
all interested students and scholars about accredited study
opportunities in the U.S.
The size of the university population in Mexico City and its
proximity to the U.S. make it a critical location for providing
accurate, unbiased information about how to gain access to educational
opportunities in the U.S. Services provided by the center must include
group and/or individual advising informational sessions. The advising
center should provide accurate
information and advising on the following topics: U.S. colleges,
universities, and other accredited higher education institutions; the
application process to U.S. universities; majors and fields of study;
testing requirements; life in the U.S.; scholarship programs and
financial aid; and pre-departure orientation. Advisers will be eligible
for training opportunities sponsored by the Bureau, which will also
provide a limited selection of reference books and materials to the
The proposal should describe in detail the center's location,
facilities (including the size and capacity of its public spaces) and
hours of operation, staffing pattern (including percentage of time each
employee will devote to advising activities, and a description of their
functions and responsibilities), an estimated budget for the office,
and information delineating the services that will be provided by the
center. The center should be capable of serving approximately 4,000 or
more client inquiries per month, including visits, emails, faxes, and
phone calls. The proposal should also include a description of what
methods the center and its headquarters or sponsoring office will
pursue to find additional sources of funding to supplement ECA funding
for operating costs.
The proposal should also include information about any websites
that will be developed to support the overall educational advising
effort in Mexico.
In addition, the following elements should be addressed in the
The center is encouraged to reach a wider and more diverse audience
by organizing lectures and events outside the center. These outreach
activities should provide general information about study opportunities
in the U.S. and about the additional services and resources that may be
obtained by visiting the advising center. Proposals should include
outreach programs for the center and a detailed description of
activities along with a proposed schedule of visits. Outreach
activities should include emphasis on reaching diverse and younger
(secondary school age) populations.
The center must submit monthly statistics on the numbers of clients
served to the Mexico, Central American, and Caribbean (MCAC) Regional
Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC). The statistics should track
visitors to the center, phone calls, faxes, letters, emails, and
website hits. The center must also be responsive to special requests
for information from the MCAC REAC or the Bureau's Educational
Information and Resources Branch. The proposal should also explain how
the center will work with the Public Affairs and consular sections of
the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to collect information on the usage of
the center from applicants for student visas.
The proposal should explain what measures the advising center will
take to generate income and to reduce operating costs. A general
introduction to study opportunities in the U.S. and access to basic
resources must be available to all interested persons free of charge.
To help cover the costs of operation, the center may charge a fee for
specialized services (such as individual advising or test preparation
materials), that is reasonable by local standards to keep services
accessible to the majority of the population. Examples of cost-
defrayment strategies which centers are encouraged to implement include
using volunteers and charging for photocopying. The proposal should
clearly indicate how savings/income will be applied to the operating
costs of the advising center.
Coordination and Communication
The Mexico City educational advising center should help to
coordinate major events such as adviser training workshops and advising
fairs with other educational advising centers in the region to prevent
overlap and provide visiting representatives of U.S. institutions the
opportunity to participate in multiple advising fairs on the same trip.
The center should participate in appropriate listservs and maintain
contact with other educational advisers in MCAC and other regions.
Professional Standards, Guidelines and Development
Educational advisers should adhere to the OSEAS Standards of
Ethical Conduct adopted by NAFSA: Association of International
Pending availability of funds, the period of this grant is October
1, 2002 to September 30, 2003. Final awards cannot be made until funds
have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through
internal ECA Bureau procedures.
Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to
Solicitation Package for further information.
The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant in the amount of $70,000
to support program and administrative costs required to implement this
program. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of
cost-sharing and funding from private sources in support of its
programs. 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, not to exceed $70,000. There must be a summary
budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) Salaries and benefits
(2) Office supplies and expenses, including rent, communications,
postage and shipping
(3) Outreach and publicity costs
(4) 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/A/S/A-03-03.
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) 619-5434, fax (202)
401-1433, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Sharen Sheehan 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 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 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 6 copies of the application should be sent
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/S/A-03-03, 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 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 contents, to the
full 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 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 resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.
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 planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Plan
should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.
2. 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
3. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual
4. 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).
5. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Cost-effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components
of the proposal should be kept as low as possible. All other items
should be necessary and appropriate.
9. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding
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
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 20, 2002.
Rick A. Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-16155 Filed 6-26-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
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