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

[Federal Register: March 6, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 44)]
[Page 10762-10765]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 4289]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: FY2004 Vietnam Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange Program

SUMMARY: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition to 
administer the Vietnam Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange Program. 
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 administer the program.
    The Vietnam Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange Program was 
established by act of Congress in FY1992. The program aims to offer the 
highest quality training to Vietnamese professionals and potential 
leaders who have at least three to five years of work experience and 
are employed in areas critical to Vietnam's national development. The 
Vietnamese Fulbright students pursue master's degrees at U.S. 
universities in academic fields critical to Vietnam's national 
development and consistent with the primary goal of the Vietnam 
Fulbright program, which is to foster mutual understanding between the 
people of the United States and Vietnam through educational exchanges.

Program Information


    The Vietnam Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange Program is designed

[[Page 10763]]

to bring approximately twenty to twenty-five Vietnamese students per 
year to study in the United States. The students will pursue one- to 
two-year graduate degrees in a wide range of academic fields such as 
American studies, business, economics, environmental policy/studies, 
higher education, international relations, journalism, law, women's 
studies (e.g., gender and development), public health, public policy/
administration, and rural development. Your proposal should include 
program costs for two years, but administrative costs for only the 
first year. Your proposal narrative should provide detailed information 
on major program activities to be undertaken.
    The Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Department of State, 
works in partnership with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. 
Embassy in Hanoi to administer the Fulbright Program in Vietnam. The 
grantee must collaborate with both offices to carry out the programs 
and activities of the grant.


    Pending availability of funds, program administration activities 
should cover the time period from approximately October 1, 2003 to 
September 30, 2005. The projected grantee caseload is expected to be 
approximately 25 students. Program activities will include recruitment, 
selection, and placement of students in graduate programs, as well as 
arrangement of pre-academic English language training, enrichment 
seminars, and monitoring of students while on their grants. 
Orientations should also be provided for the students prior to their 
departure from Vietnam and by the host institutions upon arrival at the 
institutions. Applicants should plan to hold reentry seminars either 
before students leave the U.S. or after their return to Vietnam. When 
possible, alumni activities should be facilitated and supported.

    The grantee organization will be responsible for:
    [sbull] Tuition payment, monitoring, and supervision for 
students who begin programs in Summer 2003 (who were selected by the 
incumbent grantee organization);
    [sbull] Testing, interviewing, and final selection of a cohort 
to begin programs in Summer 2004 (who will have been recruited and 
initially screened by the incumbent organization); and
    [sbull] Recruitment and screening for a cohort of students to 
begin in Summer 2005.

    The incumbent organization will be responsible for monitoring and 
supervision during the second year of study for grantees who began 
programs in Summer 2002.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
Solicitation Package for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant of up to $1.8 million 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. 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 that 
cannot demonstrate at least four years experience in conducting 
international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition.
    There should be a clear justification of the need for any proposed 
sub-contracts. Subcontractors should bring unique skills or value to 
the process, and this should be demonstrated in the proposal.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. Awards may not exceed $1.8 million, and may be smaller if an 
overlapping grant with the incumbent organization is necessary to 
ensure a smooth program transfer. There must be a summary budget as 
well as specific 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) Program costs for students' grants (up to two years of 
graduate study plus up to six months of language training);
    (2) Staff salaries and benefits; and
    (3) Administrative costs including communication, overhead and 
indirect costs, travel and per diem expenses, etc.

    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 the following 
number: ECA/A/E/EAP-2004-Vietnam-02.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Mary Hanlon in the Office of Academic 
Exchange Programs, ECA/A/E/EAP, Room 208, U.S. Department of State, SA-
44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547; phone: 202-619-5406; 
fax: 202-401-1728; e-mail: to request a 

Solicitation Package if you are unable to download it from the internet 
(see instructions below). The Solicitation Package contains detailed 
award criteria, required application forms, specific budget 
instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please 
specify Bureau Program Officer Mary Hanlon on all other inquiries and 
    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 Thursday, May 1, 
2003. 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 10 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/EAP-2004-Vietnam-02, 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

[[Page 10764]]

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 
6Z, 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. The grantee 
organization 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://
 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 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 grants or 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. 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. 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.
    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 it unfolds 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 
    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 legislation.
    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

[[Page 10765]]

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: February 26, 2003.
C. Miller Crouch,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 03-5008 Filed 3-5-03; 8:45 am]

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