Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Near East Asia-South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program, 78256-78260 [E6-22321]

Download as PDF 78256 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 249 / Thursday, December 28, 2006 / Notices seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236 of October 19, 1999, as amended, and Delegation of Authority No. 257 of April 15, 2003 [68 FR 19875], I hereby determine that the objects to be included in the exhibition ‘‘Dead Sea Scrolls’’, imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, California, from on or about June 29, 2007, until on or about January 15, 2008, and at possible additional venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. Public Notice of these Determinations is ordered to be published in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list of the exhibit objects, contact Wolodymyr Sulzynsky, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: (202) 453–8050). The address is U.S. Department of State, SA– 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Room 700, Washington, DC 20547–0001. Dated: December 20, 2006. C. Miller Crouch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E6–22319 Filed 12–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 5656] sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Near East Asia—South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ A/E/NEA–SCA–07–01. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000. Key Dates: Application Deadline: February 15, 2007. Executive Summary: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition to administer the FY2007 Near East and South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program. Consortia of accredited, postsecondary educational institutions and public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 27, 2006 Jkt 211001 section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) in the United States may submit proposals to organize and carry out academic exchange activities for students from underrepresented sectors in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (eligible countries and locales are listed below in the Purpose section). The grantee organization will be responsible for the following aspects of the program: placement of no less than 150 foreign students at accredited U.S. institutions for a semester or academic year, student travel to the U.S., orientation, enrichment programming, advising, monitoring and support, pre-return activities, evaluation, and follow-up with program alumni. It is anticipated that the total amount of funding for FY2007 administrative and program costs will be $3,000,000. I. Funding Opportunity Description 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 FulbrightHays 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. Purpose: The principal objective of the Near East and South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program (herein referred to as the ‘‘Undergraduate Program’’) is to provide a substantive exchange experience at a U.S. college or university to a diverse group of emerging student leaders from underrepresented sectors in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. In this context, the cooperating organization should ensure that participants are able to enroll full-time in courses at U.S. institutions alongside American peers, and provide the participants with opportunities to understand America and Americans inside and outside the classroom. Participants will return to their home countries at the conclusion of the exchange program to re-enter colleges and universities there, and re-integrate PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with their home societies. It is also an objective of the program to provide participants with tailored instruction in the academic skills and study habits required to be successful at the undergraduate level. The Undergraduate Program will provide no less than 150 scholarships: Approximately 40 scholarships for one academic year and 110 for one semester, at U.S. institutions of higher education to outstanding students from non-elite sectors from the Near East (countries/ locales may include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, West Bank/Gaza) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). Scholarships will be granted primarily to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in their home country. Participants may range from those about to enter university in their home country to those who have just completed their undergraduate degree, and those between these two stages. The cooperating organization will place onesemester program participants and academic-year participants in nondegree programs at both U.S. four-year colleges and universities, and community colleges. The cooperating organization should develop enrichment activities to enhance the participants’ academic education, including having students make local presentations about their countries, community service, and internships. All participants are required to return to their home countries immediately upon the conclusion of the program. Transfers of academic program or visa sponsorship of participants to another U.S. institution will not be considered. ECA will award one cooperative agreement for this program. Programs and projects must conform with Bureau requirements and guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. ECA programs are subject to the availability of funds. Programs must comply with J–1 Visa regulations. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further information. In a cooperative agreement, the Near East, South and Central Asia Branch of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/E/NEA– SCA) is substantially involved in program activities above and beyond routine grant monitoring. ECA/A/E/ NEA–SCA activities and responsibilities for this program are, but not limited to, the following: E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 249 / Thursday, December 28, 2006 / Notices 1. Participating in the design and direction of program activities; 2. Approval of key personnel; 3. Final selection of program participants; 4. Approval and input for all program agendas and timelines; 5. Final approval of all student placements; 6. Guidance in execution of all project components; 7. Arrangement for State Department speakers during workshops; 8. Assistance with participant emergencies; 9. Providing background information related to participants’ home countries and cultures; and 10. Liaison with Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies and country desk officers at the State Department. applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A–110, (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA’s contribution will be reduced in like proportion. Note: All materials, publicity, and correspondence related to the program must acknowledge this as a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. The Bureau will retain copyright use of and distribute materials related to this program is it sees fit. a. Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates awarding one grant, in the amount of $3,000,000 to support the program and administrative costs required to implement the program. Therefore, applicant organizations with less then four years experience in conducting international exchange programs are ineligible. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES II. Award Information Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. ECA’s level of involvement in this program is listed under number I above. Fiscal Year Funds: FY2007. Approximate Total Funding: $3,000,000. Approximate Number of Awards: 1. Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, the anticipated program start date will be April 2, 2007. Anticipated Project Completion Date: December 31, 2008. Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA’s intent to renew this grant for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again. III. Eligibility Information III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by accredited, postsecondary educational institutions and public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). III.2. Cost-Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 27, 2006 Jkt 211001 III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements IV. Application and Submission Information Note: Please read the complete 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. IV.1 Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please contact the Near East, South and Central Asia Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, ECA/A/E/NEA–SCA, Room 252, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 202–453–8096, Fax: 202–453– 8095 or AlamiLT@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/ E/NEA–SCA–07–01 located at the top of this announcement when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information. The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) document which consists of required application forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78257 It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition. Please specify Program Officer, Laura Alami and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/NEA– SCA–07–01 located at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence. IV.2. 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/menu.htm, or from the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. Please read all information before downloading. IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The application should be submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. ‘‘Application Deadline and Methods of Submission’’ section below. IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access http:// www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1– 866–705–5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF–424 which is part of the formal application package. IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal narrative and budget. Please refer to the solicitation package. It contains the mandatory Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional formatting and technical requirements. IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible. IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information when preparing your proposal narrative: E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 78258 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 249 / Thursday, December 28, 2006 / Notices IV.3d.1 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 the 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 prearrival 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 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) 203–5029, FAX: (202) 453–8640. Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information. IV.3d.2 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 your 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 27, 2006 Jkt 211001 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. IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project’s success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track participants or partners and be able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning as a result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the program, and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in which participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan should include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as well as substantive knowledge. Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation plan should include a description of your project’s objectives, your anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are ‘‘smart’’ (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP. Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes. We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in increasing order of importance): 1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange experience. PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding. 3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community members, and others. 4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational improvements. Please note: Consideration should be given to the appropriate timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, satisfaction is usually captured as a shortterm outcome, whereas behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-term outcomes. Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.) Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. IV.3d.4. Describe your plans for: i.e., sustainability, overall program management, staffing, coordination with ECA and PAS or any other requirements, etc. IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget: IV.3e.1. 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. IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following: E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 249 / Thursday, December 28, 2006 / Notices 1. Participant expenses. 2. Administrative costs. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission: Application Deadline Date: Thursday, February 15, 2007. Reference Number: ECA/A/E/NEASCA–07–01. Methods of Submission: Applications may be submitted in one of two ways: (1) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or (2) electronically through http:// www.grants.gov. Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF– 424 contained in the mandatory Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the solicitation document. IV.3f.1. Submitting Printed Applications. Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure to include one extra copy of the completed SF–424 form and place it in an envelope addressed to ‘‘ECA/ EX/PM’’. The original and eight (8) 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/NEA–SCA–07–01, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 27, 2006 Jkt 211001 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the ‘‘Executive Summary’’ and ‘‘Proposal Narrative’’ sections of the proposal in text (.txt) format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the appropriate Public Affairs Section(s) at the U.S. embassies for their review. IV.3f.2—Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the ‘‘Find’’ portion of the system. Please follow the instructions available in the ’Get Started’ portion of the site (http://www.grants.gov/ GetStarted). Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800–518–4726, Business Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern Time, e-mail: support@grants.gov. Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications. It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via the Grants.gov Web portal to ensure that proposals have been received by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. PO 00000 Frm 00132 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78259 IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 12372 does not apply to this program. V. Application Review Information V.1. Review Process The Bureau will review all proposals 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 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. 2. Ability to achieve program objectives: 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 above. Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan. 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 linkages. 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 wrapup sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities). 5. Institution’s Record/Capacity: Proposals should demonstrate an E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 78260 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 249 / Thursday, December 28, 2006 / Notices 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 Grants Staff. Proposals should demonstrate capacity to place students at geographically diverse, accredited small colleges and universities that can provide students personalized attention. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project’s goals. 6. Project Evaluation and Follow-on: 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. Proposals should also provide a plan for continued follow-on activity (with minimal Bureau support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events. 7. Cost-effectiveness/Cost-sharing: 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. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions. VI. Award Administration Information sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES VI.1a. Award Notices Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient’s responsible officer identified in the application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this competition. VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 27, 2006 Jkt 211001 VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the following: Office of Management and Budget Circular A–122, ‘‘Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.’’ Office of Management and Budget Circular A–21, ‘‘Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.’’ OMB Circular A–87, ‘‘Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments’’. OMB Circular No. A–110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations. OMB Circular No. A–102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments. OMB Circular No. A–133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Nonprofit Organizations Please reference the following Web sites for additional information: http:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants; http://exchanges.state.gov/education/ grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI. VI.3 Reporting Requirements You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports: 1. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; 2. Quarterly program and financial reports that should include record program activities from that period. Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information). All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document. Optional Program Data Requirements: Organizations awarded grants will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. As a minimum, the data must include the following: PO 00000 Frm 00133 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (1) Name, address, contact information and biographic sketch of all persons who travel internationally on funds provided by the grant or who benefit from the grant funding but do not travel. (2) Itineraries of international and domestic travel, providing dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences take place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be received by the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to the official opening of the activity. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Laura Alami, Near East, South and Central Asia Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, ECA/A/E/NEA–SCA, Room 252, ECA/A/E/NEA–SCA–07–01, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 202–453–8096 and Fax: 202–453–8095, http://www.exchanges.state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/E/ NEA–SCA–07–01. Please read the complete 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. VIII. Other Information 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 per section VI.3 above. Dated: December 21, 2006. Dina Habib Powell, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E6–22321 Filed 12–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 249 (Thursday, December 28, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78256-78260]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-22321]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 5656]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: Near East Asia--South Asia Undergraduate Exchange 
Program

    Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA-07-01.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
    Key Dates:
    Application Deadline: February 15, 2007.
    Executive Summary: The Office of Academic Exchange Programs of the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open 
competition to administer the FY2007 Near East and South Asia 
Undergraduate Exchange Program. Consortia of accredited, post-secondary 
educational institutions and public and private non-profit 
organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code 
section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) in the United States may submit proposals 
to organize and carry out academic exchange activities for students 
from underrepresented sectors in the Middle East, North Africa and 
South Asia (eligible countries and locales are listed below in the 
Purpose section). The grantee organization will be responsible for the 
following aspects of the program: placement of no less than 150 foreign 
students at accredited U.S. institutions for a semester or academic 
year, student travel to the U.S., orientation, enrichment programming, 
advising, monitoring and support, pre-return activities, evaluation, 
and follow-up with program alumni. It is anticipated that the total 
amount of funding for FY2007 administrative and program costs will be 
$3,000,000.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

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.
    Purpose: The principal objective of the Near East and South Asia 
Undergraduate Exchange Program (herein referred to as the 
``Undergraduate Program'') is to provide a substantive exchange 
experience at a U.S. college or university to a diverse group of 
emerging student leaders from underrepresented sectors in the Middle 
East, North Africa and South Asia. In this context, the cooperating 
organization should ensure that participants are able to enroll full-
time in courses at U.S. institutions alongside American peers, and 
provide the participants with opportunities to understand America and 
Americans inside and outside the classroom.
    Participants will return to their home countries at the conclusion 
of the exchange program to re-enter colleges and universities there, 
and re-integrate with their home societies. It is also an objective of 
the program to provide participants with tailored instruction in the 
academic skills and study habits required to be successful at the 
undergraduate level.
    The Undergraduate Program will provide no less than 150 
scholarships: Approximately 40 scholarships for one academic year and 
110 for one semester, at U.S. institutions of higher education to 
outstanding students from non-elite sectors from the Near East 
(countries/locales may include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, 
Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, 
Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, West Bank/Gaza) and South Asia 
(India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). Scholarships will be granted 
primarily to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate 
degree program in their home country. Participants may range from those 
about to enter university in their home country to those who have just 
completed their undergraduate degree, and those between these two 
stages. The cooperating organization will place one-semester program 
participants and academic-year participants in non-degree programs at 
both U.S. four-year colleges and universities, and community colleges.
    The cooperating organization should develop enrichment activities 
to enhance the participants' academic education, including having 
students make local presentations about their countries, community 
service, and internships. All participants are required to return to 
their home countries immediately upon the conclusion of the program. 
Transfers of academic program or visa sponsorship of participants to 
another U.S. institution will not be considered.
    ECA will award one cooperative agreement for this program. Programs 
and projects must conform with Bureau requirements and guidelines 
outlined in the Solicitation Package. ECA programs are subject to the 
availability of funds.
    Programs must comply with J-1 Visa regulations. Please refer to the 
Solicitation Package for further information.
    In a cooperative agreement, the Near East, South and Central Asia 
Branch of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs in the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA) is substantially 
involved in program activities above and beyond routine grant 
monitoring. ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA activities and responsibilities for this 
program are, but not limited to, the following:

[[Page 78257]]

    1. Participating in the design and direction of program activities;
    2. Approval of key personnel;
    3. Final selection of program participants;
    4. Approval and input for all program agendas and timelines;
    5. Final approval of all student placements;
    6. Guidance in execution of all project components;
    7. Arrangement for State Department speakers during workshops;
    8. Assistance with participant emergencies;
    9. Providing background information related to participants' home 
countries and cultures; and
    10. Liaison with Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies and 
country desk officers at the State Department.


    Note: All materials, publicity, and correspondence related to 
the program must acknowledge this as a program of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. The 
Bureau will retain copyright use of and distribute materials related 
to this program is it sees fit.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. ECA's level of involvement in 
this program is listed under number I above.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY2007.
    Approximate Total Funding: $3,000,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 1.
    Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, the 
anticipated program start date will be April 2, 2007.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: December 31, 2008.
    Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this 
program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is 
ECA's intent to renew this grant for two additional fiscal years, 
before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

    III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by 
accredited, post-secondary educational institutions and public and 
private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in 
Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
    III.2. Cost-Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this competition.
    However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels 
of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.
    When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the 
applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its 
proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost 
sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For 
accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs 
which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by 
the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis 
for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in 
accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23--Cost 
Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum 
amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's 
contribution will be reduced in like proportion.

III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements

    a. Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less 
than four years of experience in conducting international exchange 
programs will be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates 
awarding one grant, in the amount of $3,000,000 to support the program 
and administrative costs required to implement the program. Therefore, 
applicant organizations with less then four years experience in 
conducting international exchange programs are ineligible.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    Note: Please read the complete 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.


    IV.1 Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please 
contact the Near East, South and Central Asia Branch, Office of 
Academic Exchange Programs, ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA, Room 252, U.S. Department 
of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 202-453-
8096, Fax: 202-453-8095 or AlamiLT@state.gov to request a Solicitation 
Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/NEA-
SCA-07-01 located at the top of this announcement when making your 
request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information.
    The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission 
Instruction (PSI) document which consists of required application 
forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.
    It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation 
(POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria 
and budget instructions tailored to this competition.
    Please specify Program Officer, Laura Alami and refer to the 
Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA-07-01 located at the top of 
this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence.
    IV.2. 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/menu.htm, or from the 
Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov.
    Please read all information before downloading.
    IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all 
instructions in the Solicitation Package. The application should be 
submitted per the instructions under
    IV.3f. ``Application Deadline and Methods of Submission'' section 
below.
    IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative 
agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit 
identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. 
Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a 
DUNS number, access http://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-
5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the 
appropriate box of the SF-424 which is part of the formal application 
package.
    IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal 
narrative and budget.
    Please refer to the solicitation package. It contains the mandatory 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project 
Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional 
formatting and technical requirements.
    IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not 
received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three 
years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS 
within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation 
to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to 
do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible.
    IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information 
when preparing your proposal narrative:

[[Page 78258]]

    IV.3d.1 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 the 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.
    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 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) 203-5029, 
FAX: (202) 453-8640.
    Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information.
    IV.3d.2 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 your 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.
    IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Proposals must include 
a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's success, both as the 
activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends 
that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other 
technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes 
to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee 
will track participants or partners and be able to respond to key 
evaluation questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning 
as a result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the 
program, and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in 
which participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan 
should include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as 
well as substantive knowledge.
    Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting 
clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation 
plan should include a description of your project's objectives, your 
anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure 
these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are 
``smart'' (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and 
placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct 
the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link 
to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.
    Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish 
between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services 
delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important 
to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot 
substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the 
results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people 
trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, 
represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is 
usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and 
outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.
    We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, 
as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in 
increasing order of importance):
    1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange 
experience.
    2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, 
skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both 
substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.
    3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in 
work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic 
organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new 
knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community 
members, and others.
    4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and 
partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational 
improvements.

    Please note: Consideration should be given to the appropriate 
timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, 
satisfaction is usually captured as a short-term outcome, whereas 
behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-
term outcomes.

    Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be 
judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear 
descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when 
particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear 
description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., 
surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation 
plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] 
will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.)
    Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their 
evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All 
data collected, including survey responses and contact information, 
must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the 
Bureau upon request.
    IV.3d.4. Describe your plans for: i.e., sustainability, overall 
program management, staffing, coordination with ECA and PAS or any 
other requirements, etc.
    IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration 
when preparing your budget:
    IV.3e.1. 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.
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following:

[[Page 78259]]

    1. Participant expenses.
    2. Administrative costs.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: Thursday, February 15, 2007.
    Reference Number: ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA-07-01.
    Methods of Submission:
    Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:
    (1) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery 
service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. 
Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2) electronically through http://www.grants.gov.
    Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above 
Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the solicitation document.
    IV.3f.1. Submitting Printed Applications.
    Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. 
Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized 
shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via 
the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly 
recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or 
before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days 
after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under 
this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are 
ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not 
notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant's 
responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible 
tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the 
Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local 
courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will 
not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above 
will be considered.


    Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure 
to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and place it 
in an envelope addressed to ``ECA/EX/PM''.


    The original and eight (8) 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/NEA-SCA-07-01, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, 
Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the 
``Executive Summary'' and ``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the 
proposal in text (.txt) format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will 
provide these files electronically to the appropriate Public Affairs 
Section(s) at the U.S. embassies for their review.
    IV.3f.2--Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the 
option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov 
(http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available 
at Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the system. Please follow the 
instructions available in the 'Get Started' portion of the site (http:/
/www.grants.gov/GetStarted).
    Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could 
take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate 
staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP 
to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once 
registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to 
begin the submission process through Grants.gov. Direct all questions 
regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov 
Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726, Business Hours: 
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, e-mail: support@grants.gov.
    Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of 
the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been 
uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above 
deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the 
application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the 
grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible.
    Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon 
the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you 
upon receipt of electronic applications.
    It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via 
the Grants.gov Web portal to ensure that proposals have been received 
by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for 
data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
    IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 
12372 does not apply to this program.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Review Process

    The Bureau will review all proposals 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 
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.
    2. Ability to achieve program objectives: 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 above. Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
plan.
    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 
linkages.
    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. Institution's Record/Capacity: Proposals should demonstrate an

[[Page 78260]]

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 Grants 
Staff. Proposals should demonstrate capacity to place students at 
geographically diverse, accredited small colleges and universities that 
can provide students personalized attention. The Bureau will consider 
the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential 
of new applicants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources 
should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project's 
goals.
    6. Project Evaluation and Follow-on: 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. Proposals should also 
provide a plan for continued follow-on activity (with minimal Bureau 
support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated 
events.
    7. Cost-effectiveness/Cost-sharing: 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. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other 
private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 
contributions.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1a. Award Notices

    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. 
Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) 
from the Bureau's Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant 
proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the 
only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. 
Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, and 
mailed to the recipient's responsible officer identified in the 
application.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of 
the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this 
competition.

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements 
include the following:
    Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, ``Cost Principles 
for Nonprofit Organizations.''
    Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles 
for Educational Institutions.''
    OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian 
Governments''.
    OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher 
Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.
    OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.
    OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and 
Non-profit Organizations
    Please reference the following Web sites for additional 
information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants; http://
exchanges.state.gov/education/grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI.

VI.3 Reporting Requirements

    You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the 
following reports:
    1. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after 
the expiration of the award;
    2. Quarterly program and financial reports that should include 
record program activities from that period.
    Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their 
evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. 
(Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) 
above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information).
    All data collected, including survey responses and contact 
information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and 
provided to the Bureau upon request.
    All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program 
Officer listed in the final assistance award document.
    Optional Program Data Requirements: Organizations awarded grants 
will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and 
activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be 
shared with the Bureau as required. As a minimum, the data must include 
the following:
    (1) Name, address, contact information and biographic sketch of all 
persons who travel internationally on funds provided by the grant or 
who benefit from the grant funding but do not travel.
    (2) Itineraries of international and domestic travel, providing 
dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences take 
place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be 
received by the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to 
the official opening of the activity.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Laura Alami, Near 
East, South and Central Asia Branch, Office of Academic Exchange 
Programs, ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA, Room 252, ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA-07-01, U.S. 
Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
202-453-8096 and Fax: 202-453-8095, http://www.exchanges.state.gov.
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number ECA/A/E/NEA-SCA-07-01. Please read 
the complete 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.

VIII. Other Information

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 per section VI.3 
above.

    Dated: December 21, 2006.
Dina Habib Powell,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
State.
 [FR Doc. E6-22321 Filed 12-27-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P