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[Federal Register: March 27, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 59)]
[Page 15032-15035]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 4322]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposal: Middle School Social Studies Pre-Service Education Curriculum 
Development Project for Azerbaijan

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs in the Department of State announces 
an open competition for an assistance award to support planning, 
implementing and evaluating a curriculum development project for the 
pre-service training of middle school-level social studies teachers in 
Azerbaijan. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the 
provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit 
proposals to cooperate with the Bureau in the administration of a 
three-year project to support the development and implementation of a 
teacher training curriculum that emphasizes new teaching methods and 
delivery mechanisms for the pre-service training of middle school-level 
social studies teachers in Azerbaijan.

Overview and Project Objectives

Program Information

    Overview: This project is designed to assist educators in 
Azerbaijan to develop pre-service teacher training courses that will 
lead to the improvement of social science teaching at the middle school 
level in Azerbaijan. The rationale for this project is that by 
introducing more interactive, student-centered teaching practices tied 
to relevant social studies coursework in Azerbaijan, educators will be 
preparing students to participate more actively as citizens in a 
democratic society. Although prior efforts in Azerbaijan have supported 
the training of in-service teachers in new approaches to classroom 
teaching, this project will introduce these approaches to pre-service 
teachers at an earlier, more formative stage in their careers. As part 
of the effort to promote cooperative relationships within a democratic 
society, the project should also prepare future teachers to interact 
productively with other members of the educational community including 

[[Page 15033]]

administrators, students, and persons responsible for educational 
Project Objectives
    Proposals should outline a practical strategy to assist faculty at 
pedagogical institutes to develop new curricular and instructional 
materials for the pre-service training of social studies teachers and 
to pilot test and disseminate the curriculum in pedagogical institutes 
and teacher training centers throughout Azerbaijan. (Please see the 
``Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation'' (POGI) for information 
on the pedagogical institutes in Azerbaijan). Proposals that introduce 
``standards-based'' curriculum development approaches are encouraged. 
For examples of standards-based curriculum see the National Council for 
Accreditation of Teacher Education ( or the 
National Council for the Social Studies ( 
This project will include the following three phases of activity: 
Recruiting and selecting Azerbaijan participants; coordinating a U.S.-
based training workshop; and testing and publishing the curricular 
materials. (Full details for each project phase are contained in the 
Selection of Topics
    Applicants should suggest in their proposal the process for 
selecting the specific topics to be developed by the Azerbaijan 
participants. Final determination of appropriate topics will be made in 
consultation with the Azerbaijan project participants before the start 
of the U.S. based curriculum development workshop. Proposals should 
include a detailed plan for collaboration with local Azerbaijan 
pedagogical institutes and should include a recruitment plan that 
encourages participation by faculty from all six major pedagogical 
    Proposals should demonstrate an understanding of the issues 
confronting social studies education in Azerbaijan as well as expertise 
in pre-service teacher education and curriculum development. The Bureau 
encourages applicants with the ability to coordinate and to monitor 
locally the implementation of all Azerbaijan-based, Phase III project 
activities (pilot testing, teacher training, dissemination and 
Project Planning and Implementation
    Grant Duration. Grant activities should begin on or around August 
1, 2003 and should last approximately thirty-six months.
    Planning. In Phase I, the grantee will undertake work in Azerbaijan 
over a period of 3-6 months to prepare for the subsequent phases of the 
project. The U.S. grantee organization will conduct a planning trip to 
Baku for initial consultations. The planning trip should not exceed two 
weeks in length. The U.S. grantee organization will communicate with 
local pre-service educators or representatives of a local NGO active in 
the education sector and the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy 
in Baku to coordinate recruitment and selection of Azerbaijan educators 
to serve on a curriculum development team. The U.S. applicant should 
specify in the proposal an NGO or other group of Azerbaijan educators 
with whom the U.S. applicant proposes to work. After the curriculum 
team has been selected, in consultation with specialists from the 
grantee organization and local Azerbaijan pre-service educators, the 
members of the curriculum development team will assess existing pre-
service education curricula, middle school social studies curricula and 
related teaching materials already used in Azerbaijan, and U.S. 
materials in the context of the needs of pre-service teachers in 
Azerbaijan. Based on the analysis of this information, the curriculum 
development team will select the topics to be covered in the curriculum 
to be developed.
    During the planning stage the grantee organization should consult 
with representatives of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education (See POGI 
for contact information) to negotiate the following assistance to all 
Azerbaijan participants: (1) Paid leave time for the Azerbaijan 
participants during their stays in the U.S. and during any subsequent 
training work in Azerbaijan; and (2) Facilitation of the logistics of 
training sessions to be conducted in Azerbaijan through appropriate 
signed agreements with the Ministry of Education or local education 
    Project Implementation. In Phase II of this project, members of the 
curriculum development team will spend approximately 10-12 weeks in the 
U.S. attending a curriculum development workshop organized by the U.S. 
grantee; observing relevant aspects of the U.S. educational system; and 
drafting curriculum and training materials in consultation with U.S. 
specialists. The grantee organization will develop workshop activities 
designed to introduce the Azerbaijan team to U.S. education specialists 
with appropriate expertise in pre-service teacher training, social 
studies education and curriculum development. Applicants should develop 
a timetable that incorporates significant time for writing curricular 
materials. The workshop should include field experiences that are 
relevant to the materials being produced (such as visits to schools, 
consultations with U.S. teachers and mentored attendance at 
professional meetings).
    In Phase III of each project, the grantee organization will plan 
and implement a program for testing, revising and publishing the 
materials developed in Phase II. Phase III project activities should 
emphasize outreach and training of local educators by the Azerbaijan 
curriculum development team members.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant in a total amount not to 
exceed $245,000 to support program and administrative costs required to 
implement this project. 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 are limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. 
Therefore, organizations with less than four years of experience in 
conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this 
competition. 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. The summary and detailed project and 
administrative budget should be accompanied by a narrative, which 
provides justification for the amount needed.
    Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    (1) Administrative costs, including salaries and benefits, of 
grantee organization.
    (2) Program costs, including general program costs and program 
costs for each participant from Azerbaijan in the U.S. based curriculum 
development workshop and the Azerbaijan-based pilot-testing activities. 
Please refer to the POGI for complete budget guidelines and formatting 
    Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau 
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/

[[Page 15034]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Humphrey Fellowships and 
Institutional Linkages Branch, Office of Global Educational Programs, 
U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
telephone: 202-619-5289; Fax: 202-401-1433; or, 
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 Marie Westbrook Grant 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 by the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, DC 
time on Friday May 2, 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 eight 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/U-03-16, 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.

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. ECA or the Grantee 
(program office: please specify which) 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
 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. The program office, as well as the 
Public Affairs Section overseas, where appropriate will review all 
eligible proposals. Eligible proposals will be forwarded to panels of 
Bureau officers 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 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 
mission and responsiveness to the objectives and guidelines stated in 
this solicitation. Proposals should demonstrate substantive expertise 
in curriculum development, social studies education and pre-service 
teacher training.
    2. Creativity and feasibility of program plan: A detailed agenda 
and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertaking, 
logistical capacity, and a creative utilization of resources and 
relevant professional development opportunities. The agenda and work 
plan should be consistent with the program overview and guidelines 
described in this solicitation.
    3. Ability to achieve project objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
    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

[[Page 15035]]

venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientation and 
wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up 
activities). The proposal should demonstrate an understanding of the 
specific diversity needs in Azerbaijan and strategies for addressing 
these needs in terms of the project goals.
    5. Institutional capacity and record: Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve 
the goals of the project. 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 the grants staff. The Bureau will 
consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated 
potential of new applicants.
    6. 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 are recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit intermediate program and financial reports after 
each project component is concluded or quarterly, whichever is less 
    7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support), which ensures 
that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    8. 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 
and should reflect a commitment to pursuing project objectives. 
Proposals should maximize cost sharing through other private sector 
support as well as institutional direct funding contributions.


    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 the Freedom for Russia and Emerging 
Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1993 (FREEDOM 
Support Act). Programs and projects must conform to Bureau requirements 
and guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. Bureau projects 
and programs are subject to the availability of funds.


    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 
    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: March 17, 2003.
C. Miller Crouch,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 03-7348 Filed 3-26-03; 8:45 am]