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[Federal Register: June 19, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 118)]
[Page 36862-36866]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 4383]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: FY 2004 Freedom Support Educational Partnerships Program 
With Eurasia

    Summary: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
Freedom Support Educational Partnerships Program with Eurasia. 
Accredited, post-secondary educational institutions meeting the 
provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 
501(c)(3) may submit proposals to pursue institutional or departmental 
objectives in partnership with foreign counterpart institutions with 
support from the Freedom Support Educational Partnerships Program with 
Eurasia. These objectives should directly support the overall goals of 
the Program: to support democratic systems and market economies in 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, 
Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, and to strengthen mutual 
understanding and cooperation between these countries and the United 
States. The means of achieving these objectives may include faculty 
exchange, curriculum development, and outreach to professionals and 
other members of the communities served by the participating 

Program Overview

    The Freedom Support Educational Partnerships Program with Eurasia 
provides grants to U.S. colleges or universities of up to $250,000 to 
support institutional linkages in higher education with partners in 
eligible countries. Other RFGPs for educational partnerships may also 
be published this fiscal year, with information available from:
    Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas 
during the proposal development process with the relevant program 
officer (please see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for contact 
details) who may be able to provide additional insight into priorities 
by country as well as background information on what types of projects 
are most competitive for funding.

Project Objectives

    The purpose of the program is to support the development or 
revision of courses, curricula, outreach programs and programs of study 
at participating institutions in ways that strengthen democracy and 
free markets in Eurasia as well as mutual understanding between the 
people of the United States and those of Eurasia. Applicants are 
invited to propose institutional objectives that support this purpose. 
Proposals should explain in detail how project activities will enable 
participants to achieve specific changes at the cooperating departments 
or institutions, whose objectives should be consistent with the 
Program's goal of supporting democratic systems based on market 
economies. While the benefits of the project to each of the 
participating institutions may differ significantly in nature and scope 
based on their respective needs and resource bases, proposals should 
outline well-reasoned strategies that are designed to meet specific 
objectives at each participatingU.S. and foreign department or 
institution as a whole. In most cases a proposal to pursue a limited 
number of related thematic objectives at each institution will be 
stronger and more coherent than a proposal addressing a large number of 
unrelated objectives.
    For example, proposals may outline the parameters and possible 
content of new courses; new teaching specializations or methodologies; 
new or revised curricula; and new programs for outreach to educators, 
professional groups, or the general public. Proposals should explain in 
substantial detail strategies to promote curriculum, faculty, and staff 
development, as well as administrative reform, at the foreign partner 
institution(s). Projects may result in the development of a new 
academic program or the restructuring of an existing program, and 
should equip institutions of higher education to contribute to 
democracy and/or open markets in the foreign partner country. Plans to 
extend the benefits of the project to larger audiences through outreach 
to foreign government, NGO, and business representatives are especially 
    Projects focusing on curricular reform at the foreign partner 
institution should describe the existing curriculum, the courses 
targeted for revision, and how the current content will be restructured 
to incorporate the new academic themes. The proposal should 
additionally describe the topics and content of any new courses or 
educational materials that will be developed and introduced. If the 
project proposes to develop a new degree or certificate program, the 
proposal should detail the steps being taken to apply for approval for 
the new program from the foreign partner's Ministry of Education (or 
other appropriate agency). The

[[Page 36863]]

proposal should also describe the target student audience that will be 
served by the creation of this program and the potential market for the 
    In addition to demonstrating how each participating institution can 
assist its partner(s) to meet institutional goals, proposals should 
also explain how this cooperation will enable each institution to 
address its own needs. Accordingly, applicants are encouraged to 
describe the needs and deficiencies as well as the capabilities and 
strengths of each participating department and institution, and how 
each institution will contribute to and benefit from the achievement of 
project objectives. Proposals that realistically assess institutional 
capacities will be better able to outline compelling objectives that 
address institutional needs and justify a request for support. To be 
competitive, proposals should demonstrate that the participating 
institutions understand one another and are committed to mutual support 
and cooperation in project implementation.
    Projects may include soundly planned distance learning activities. 
These activities should be directly linked to stated project goals and 
outcomes. Proposals with distance learning components should describe 
pertinent course delivery methods, audiences, and technical 
requirements in detail. Proposals should discuss not only the 
infrastructure at the partner institution, but also the level of access 
among the target population. Proposals that discuss distance-learning 
elements without addressing the technological access and capacity of 
the foreign partner institution will be considered less competitive.
    If the proposed partnership would occur within the context of a 
previous or ongoing project, the proposal should outline distinct 
project objectives and outcomes for the new project and explain how the 
request for Bureau funding would build upon the pre-existing 
relationship. Previous projects should be described, with details about 
the amounts and sources of support and the results of previous 
cooperative efforts.
    Institutions receiving partnership grant awards will be expected to 
submit periodic reports on the results of program activities. Proposals 
should describe and budget for a methodology for project evaluation. 
The evaluation plan should include an assessment of the current status 
of each participating department's and institution's needs at the time 
of program inception with specific reference to project objectives; 
formative evaluation to allow for mid-course revisions in the 
implementation strategy; and, at the conclusion of the project, 
summative evaluation of the degree to which the project's objectives 
have been achieved. The final evaluation should include indicators of 
the project's influence on the participating institutions and their 
surrounding communities or societies. The final evaluation should also 
include recommendations about how to build upon project achievements. 
Evaluative observations by external consultants with appropriate 
subject and regional expertise are especially encouraged.

Institutional Commitment

    A U.S. college or university must submit the proposal and must be 
prepared to serve as the grant recipient with responsibility for 
project coordination. Proposals must include letters of commitment from 
all institutional partners including the institution submitting the 
proposal. Each letter must be signed by an official who is authorized 
to commit institutional resources to the project. In addition, letters 
of support should explain why each institution is interested in the 


    The commitment of all partner institutions to the proposed project 
should be reflected in the cost-sharing, which they offer in the 
context of their respective institutional capacities. Although the 
contributions offered by institutions with relatively few resources may 
be less than those offered by applicants with greater resources, all 
participating institutions should identify appropriate contributions. 
These costs may include estimated in-kind contributions. U.S. 
institutions are strongly encouraged to contribute to the international 
travel expenses for U.S. participants as part of their institutional 
    Proposed cost-sharing will be considered an important indicator of 
the applicant institution's interest in the project and potential to 
benefit from it.
    The Bureau's support may be used to assist with the costs of the 
exchange visits as well as the costs of the administration of the 
project by the U.S. grantee institution. U.S. administrative costs that 
may be covered by the Bureau include administrative salaries, faculty 
replacement costs, other direct administrative costs, and limited 
indirect costs. The cost of administering the project at the foreign 
partner organization(s) is also eligible for the Bureau's support. 
Although each grant will be awarded to a single U.S. institutional 
partner, adequate provision in the proposal for the administrative 
costs of the project at all partner institutions, including the foreign 
partner(s), is strongly encouraged--especially if a foreign partner has 
relatively few resources. More information on partner institution 
eligibility in this competition is found in this RFGP under the 
headings ``U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility'' and ``Foreign 
Institution and Participant Eligibility.''
    The proposal may include a request for funding to reinforce the 
activities of exchange participants through the establishment and 
maintenance of Internet and/or electronic mail facilities at the 
foreign partner institution as well as through interactive technology 
or non-technology based distance learning programs.
    Projects focusing primarily on technology or physical 
infrastructure development are not eligible for consideration under 
this competition. Proposals that include Internet, electronic mail, and 
other interactive technologies in countries where these technologies 
are not easily maintained or financed should discuss how the foreign 
partner institution will cover its costs after the project ends.
    See the associated document entitled ``Project Objectives, Goals, 
and Implementation'' (POGI) for additional information on the funding 
the Bureau may provide and on restrictions and maximum amounts that 
apply to certain budget categories.
    Applicants may propose other project activities not specifically 
mentioned in this solicitation if the activities reinforce the impact 
of the project.
    Pending the availability of FY 2004 funds, the maximum award in the 
FY 2004 competition will be $250,000. The program awards grants for up 
to three years. Requests for amounts smaller than the maximum are 
eligible. Budgets and budget notes should carefully justify the amounts 
requested. Grants awarded to organizations with less than four years of 
experience in conducting international exchange programs will be 
limited to $60,000.

Foreign Country and Location Eligibility:

    Foreign partners from the following countries are eligible:

--Azerbaijan: Proposals which designate public universities are 

[[Page 36864]]

--Russia: Proposals for partnerships with institutions located in 
Moscow or St. Petersburg should clearly indicate how those partnerships 
would have an impact on other regions. Proposals which designate a 
partner institution in the Russian Far East and in Tomsk are especially 
--Tajikistan: There is currently a State Department warning advising 
U.S. citizens of potential danger in traveling in Tajikistan. This 
situation may change between the time this solicitation is issued and 
the time that a grant is implemented. Applicants may propose plans for 
travel by U.S. participants to Tajikistan, but such travel will be 
subject to prior approval by the Department of State.
--Ukraine: Proposals which designate partner institutions outside Kiev 
are encouraged;

    Partnerships including a secondary foreign partner in a country not 
included in the above list are eligible; however, with the exception 
noted below under the heading ``Central and Eastern European 
Partners,'' the Bureau will not cover the costs of overseas partners in 
countries that are not listed as eligible in this section.
    Central and Eastern European Secondary Partners: The Bureau 
encourages proposals that promote regional cooperation between Central 
European and Eurasian countries and that build upon collaboration 
between U.S. institutions and their existing partners in Central and 
Eastern Europe. Funds may be budgeted for the exchange of faculty 
between foreign partner institutions and institutions of higher 
learning in Central and Eastern Europe (applicants planning to submit 
proposals for trilateral partnerships with a partner from Central and 
Eastern Europe are encouraged to contact the program office).

Eligible Fields

    The following fields are eligible if proposed projects in these 
fields will support democratic systems and market economies in the 
eligible countries:

--The social, political, and economic sciences;
--Business, accounting and trade;
--Journalism and media studies;
--Public administration and public policy analysis;
--Library science;
--Education, continuing education, and educational administration, 
including Teaching English as a Foreign Language (please note, projects 
focusing on the Teaching English as a Foreign Language are not 
encouraged for Russia or Moldova).

U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility

    The lead institution and grant recipient in the project must be an 
accredited U.S. college or university. Applications from community 
colleges, institutions serving significant minority populations, 
undergraduate liberal arts colleges, comprehensive universities, 
research universities, and combinations of the above are eligible. The 
lead U.S. organization in a consortium or other combination of 
cooperating institutions is responsible for submitting the application. 
Each application must document the lead organization's authority to 
represent all U.S. cooperating partners. Secondary U.S. partners may 
include governmental or non-governmental organizations at the federal, 
state, or local levels as well as non-profit service, community, and 
professional organizations.
    With the exception of translators and outside evaluators, 
participation is limited to teachers, advanced graduate students, and 
administrators from the participating U.S. institution(s). Advanced 
graduate students at the U.S. institution(s) are eligible for support 
from the project as visiting instructors at a foreign partner 
institution. Applicants planning to submit proposals with advanced 
graduate students as participants are encouraged to contact the program 
office to discuss the rationale for these visits.

Foreign Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In eligible countries, participation as a primary partner is open 
to recognized institutions of post-secondary education. Secondary 
partners may include independent research institutes, relevant 
governmental organizations, and private non-profit organizations with 
project-related educational objectives. Except for translators and 
outside consultants reporting on the status of project objectives, 
participation is limited to teachers, administrators, researchers, or 
advanced students from the participating foreign institution(s). Any 
advanced student participant must have teaching responsibilities or be 
preparing for such responsibilities. Foreign participants must be both 
qualified to receive U.S. J-1 visas and willing to travel to the U.S. 
under the provisions of a J-1 visa during the exchange visits funded by 
this Program. Foreign participants may not be U.S. citizens. If 
proposed participants are alumni of previous partnership projects or 
other U.S. government funded programs, the proposal should discuss why 
their participation in this new program is important to the overall 
success of the project.


    A proposal will be deemed technically ineligible for consideration 
    (1) It does not fully adhere to the guidelines established in this 
document and in the Solicitation Package;
    (2) It is not received by the deadline;
    (3) It is not submitted by the U.S. partner;
    (4) One of the partner institutions is ineligible;
    (5) The foreign country or geographic location is ineligible.
    Projects must conform with the Bureau's requirements and guidelines 
outlined in the solicitation package for this RFGP. Proposals that do 
not follow RFGP requirements and the guidelines appearing in the POGI 
and PSI will be excluded from consideration due to technical 
    Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau 
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, contact the 
Humphrey Fellowships and Institutional Linkages Branch (Freedom Support 
Educational Partnerships Program with Eurasia); Office of Global 
Educational Programs; Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; ECA/
A/S/U, Room 349; U.S. Department of State; SA-44, 301 Fourth Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20547; phone: (202) 619-5289, fax: (202) 401-1433.
    Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate about 
their proposals with one of the following regional program officers: 
Jonathan Cebra (telephone: (202) 205-8379, e-mail: 
on all inquiries and correspondence regarding partnerships in the 
Central Asia or Caucasus regions; Michelle Johnson (telephone: (202) 
205-8434, e-mail: on all inquiries and 
correspondence regarding partnerships with institutions in Russia; Paul 
Schelp (telephone: (202) 205-8266, e-mail: on all 
inquiries and correspondence regarding partnerships with institutions 
in Belarus, Ukraine, or Moldova.
    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

[[Page 36865]]

with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet

    Projects must conform with the Bureau's requirements and guidelines 
outlined in the Solicitation Package for this RFGP. The Solicitation 
Package includes more detailed award criteria, all application forms, 
and guidelines for preparing proposals, including specific criteria for 
preparation of the proposal budget. The Solicitation Package includes 
the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (hereafter, POGI) and 
the Proposal Submission Instructions (hereafter, PSI). 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 Friday, December 
5, 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 complete application should 
be sent by the project's lead U.S. college or university to: U.S. 
Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Ref.: ECA/A/S/U-04-01, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.

Submission of Electronic Copies

    No later than one week after the deadline for receipt of the grant 
proposal, applicants must also submit the ``ProposalTitle Page,'' 
``Executive Summary,'' and ``Proposal Narrative,'' sections of the 
proposal as e-mail attachments in MicrosoftWord (preferred), 
WordPerfect, or as ASCII text files to the following e-mail address: In the e-mail message subject line, include 
the following: ECA/A/S/U-04-01 and the country or countries of the 
foreign partner(s) together with the names of the U.S. and foreign 
partner institutions. To reduce the time needed to obtain advisory 
comments from the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies overseas, 
the Bureau will transmit these files electronically to these offices.

Grant Duration

    Pending the availability of funds, grant activities should begin on 
or about September 1, 2004 and may continue for up to three years. 
Grant activities are expected to be completed within a three-year 

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. The Grantee 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. All eligible proposals will be 
evaluated by independent external reviewers. These reviewers, who will 
be professional, scholarly, or educational experts with appropriate 
regional and thematic knowledge, will provide recommendations and 
assessments for consideration by the Bureau. The Bureau will consider 
for funding only those proposals which are recommended for funding by 
the independent external reviewers.
    Proposals may be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Advisor or by 
other offices of the U.S. Department of State. In addition, U.S. 
Embassy officers may provide advisory comment. 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) will reside with the Bureau's grants 

Review Criteria

    All reviewers will use the criteria below to reach funding 
recommendations and decisions. Technically eligible applications will 
be reviewed competitively according to these criteria, which are not 
rank-ordered or weighted.
    (1) Broad and Enduring Significance of Institutional Objectives: 
Project objectives should have significant and ongoing impact on the 
participating institutions and their surrounding societies, 
communities, or countries by providing a deepened understanding of 
critical issues in one or more of the eligible fields. Project 
objectives should relate clearly to institutional and societal needs.
    (2) Creativity and Feasibility of Strategy to Achieve Project 
Objectives: Strategies to achieve project objectives should be feasible 
and realistic within the projected budget and timeframe. Proposals 
should contain detailed information on specific program

[[Page 36866]]

activities and concrete descriptions of how goals will be achieved.
    (3) Institutional Commitment to Cooperation: Proposals should 
demonstrate significant understanding by each institution of its own 
needs and capacities and of the needs and capacities of its proposed 
partner(s), together with a strong commitment by the partner 
institutions, during and after the period of grant activity, to 
cooperate with one another in the mutual pursuit of institutional 
    (4) Project Evaluation: Proposals should describe a methodology for 
determining the degree to which a project meets its objectives, both 
while the project is underway and at its conclusion. The final project 
evaluation should include an external component and should provide 
observations about the project's influence within the participating 
institutions as well as their surrounding communities or societies.
    (5) Cost-effectiveness: Administrative and program costs should be 
reasonable and appropriate with cost sharing provided by all 
participating institutions within the context of their respective 
capacities. The Bureau views cost sharing as a reflection of 
institutional commitment to the project. Contributions should not be 
limited to indirect costs.
    (6) Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity by explaining how issues of 
diversity are included in project objectives for all institutional 
partners. Issues resulting from differences of race, ethnicity, gender, 
religion, geography, socio-economic status, or physical challenge 
should be addressed during project implementation. In addition, project 
participants and administrators should reflect the diversity within the 
societies which they represent (see the section of this document on 
``Diversity,Freedom, and Democracy Guidelines''). Proposals should also 
discuss how the various institutional partners approach diversity 
issues in their respective communities or societies.


    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 has previously been provided through the Freedom for 
Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act 
of 1992 (FREEDOM Support Act) legislation. The President's budget 
request for Educational and Cultural Exchanges for Fiscal Year 2004 
includes funding for this purpose.


    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, 2003.
C. Miller Crouch,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 03-15529 Filed 6-18-03; 8:45 am]