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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: September 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 187)]
[Notices]               
[Page 60713-60715]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26se02-114]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 4140]

 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Educational Information Centers in Eurasia

    Summary: The Office of Global Educational Programs, Educational 
Information and Resources Branch of the Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for Educational 
Information Centers in Eurasia. Public and private non-profit 
organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code 
section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to operate educational 
information centers in the following cities in Eurasia: Yerevan, 
Armenia; Baku, Azerbaijan; Minsk, Belarus; Tbilisi, Georgia; Almaty and 
Astana, Kazakhstan; Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Chisinau, Moldova; 
Moscow, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok, Russia; Dushanbe, 
Tajikistan; Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; Kiev, Ukraine; and Tashkent, 
Uzbekistan. The educational information centers would be a part of the 
network of approximately 450 Department of State-affiliated centers 
worldwide. These centers provide comprehensive and unbiased information 
to interested students, scholars, and other individuals about study 
opportunities in the U.S.

Program Information

Overview

    The education information centers in Eurasia must provide access to 
comprehensive and unbiased information about study opportunities in the 
U.S. Services provided by the centers must include group informational 
sessions as well as individual advising. The centers should provide 
accurate information and advising on the following topics: all 
accredited U.S. colleges, universities, and other higher education 
institutions; accreditation issues; the application process to a U.S. 
university; majors and fields of study; testing requirements; life in 
the U.S.; scholarship programs and financial aid; visa requirements, 
and pre-departure orientation. Centers should also provide information 
on grant opportunities sponsored by the USG and other institutions and 
organizations. The Bureau will provide a selection of reference books 
and materials to each center. Educational advisers at the centers will 
be eligible to apply for Bureau-sponsored professional development 
opportunities and training events.

Guidelines

    Pending availability of funds, the period of this grant is January 
1, 2003 to December 31, 2003. Final awards cannot be made until funds 
have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through 
internal Bureau procedures. Please refer to Solicitation Package for 
further information.

Budget Guidelines

    Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years 
of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be 
limited to $60,000. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum 
levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources in support of 
its programs. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for each 
individual educational information center in the proposal. Applicants 
may submit a proposal for one, several, or all of the centers listed. 
Awards may not exceed the following amounts for each educational 
information center:


[[Page 60714]]


Yerevan, Armenia--$30,000;
Baku, Azerbaijan--$20,000;
Minsk, Belarus--$20,000;
Tbilisi, Georgia--$20,000;
Almaty, Kazakhstan--$22,000;
Astana, Kazakhstan--$17,000;
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic--$17,000;
Chisinau, Moldova--$12,000;
Moscow, Russia--$180,000;
Novosibirsk, Russia--$20,000;
St. Petersburg, Russia--$32,000;
Vladivostok, Russia--$20,000;
Dushanbe, Tajikistan--$15,000;
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan--$15,000;
Kiev, Ukraine--$50,000;
Tashkent, Uzbekistan--$25,000.

    All administrative and indirect costs must be included in the 
maximum award amount for each center. The budgets must provide a 
breakdown of administrative and program costs. Allowable costs for the 
program include the following:

    (1) Educational advising staff 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-03-07.
    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: 202-619-4731, fax: 
202-404-1433, http://exchanges.state.gov/education/educationusa 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 
Web site 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, October 
31, 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 5 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-03-07, 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 sections at 
the U.S. Embassies in Eurasia for their review.

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.

Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J VISA

    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is placing renewed 
emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J 
visa) Programs and adherence by grantees and sponsors to all 
regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, proposals should 
demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all requirements governing 
the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR 
part 62, including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate 
Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, 
provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, 
monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, 
record-keeping, reporting and other requirements.
    ECA will be responsible for issuing DS-2019 forms to participants 
in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://
exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office 
of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD--SA-44, Room 734, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: (202) 401-9810. 
FAX: (202) 401-9809.

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 
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 grants resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to

[[Page 60715]]

the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all 
carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. 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 
plan.
    2. 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 and program 
content.
    3. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals.
    4. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful international education 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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. Proposals are encouraged to 
include a plan for cost-defrayment and income generation, where 
possible.
    7. Cost-Sharing: 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.'' Partial funding for the program 
above is provided through the FREEDOM Support Act.

Notice

    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.

Notification

    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

    Dated: September 18, 2002.
C. Miller Crouch,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-24476 Filed 9-25-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P



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