Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, 65581-65586 [E9-29484]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy. DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6836] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ A/S/A–10–10. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.011. Key Dates Application Deadline: February 12, 2010. Executive Summary: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition to administer the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals for the purpose of administering a scholarship program for academic study by U.S. undergraduate students outside the United States. 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. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Purpose This program provides grants to enable U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such foreign study is intended to expand understanding of other countries and cultures among U.S. students, expose citizens of other countries to Americans from diverse backgrounds, and better VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 History Since the program’s inception in 2001, over 4,500 Gilman scholars from more 749 U.S. colleges and universities have studied in 106 countries around the world. Overview It is anticipated that, pending appropriation of funds, the Bureau will provide an assistance award of up to $10,420,000 for the purpose of recruiting, selecting, and issuing grants of up to $5,000 to eligible students to assist with the cost of up to one academic year of undergraduate study abroad. Supplements of up to $3,000 for the study of critical need languages will also be provided. The intent of the authorizing legislation for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is to broaden the U.S. student population that participates in study abroad by focusing on those students who would not otherwise study outside the U.S. due to financial constraints. The Bureau also seeks to encourage participating students and their institutions to choose non-traditional study-abroad locations, to study languages, and to help underrepresented U.S. institutions offer and promote study-abroad opportunities for their students. These objectives should be addressed in proposals. Guidelines Upon receipt of award notification, the administering organization should be prepared to conduct the following activities: • Disburse scholarship payments to students whose applications will have been screened by the incumbent organization for overseas study in fall 2010 (August–December 2010), and monitor their programs; • Announce the Gilman competition for overseas study in spring, summer and fall 2011; • Review applications for overseas study in spring, summer and fall 2011 (January–December 2011); • Disburse scholarship funds to students for the spring and summer of 2011, and monitor their programs. Student Eligibility To apply for a scholarship, an applicant must: • Be a citizen of the United States. Permanent residents of the United States are not eligible. • Be an undergraduate student in good standing at an institution of higher PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65581 education in the United States (including both two-year and four-year institutions). • Be a recipient of Federal Pell Grant funding during the academic term of his/her application. • Be applying to, or accepted for, a study abroad program of at least four weeks’ duration in a single country and eligible for credit from the student’s home institution. Scholarships for summer study abroad are restricted to students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM fields) in any eligible country or in the Southern Hemisphere (in any field). Proof of program acceptance is required prior to award disbursement. • Not be proposing to study in a country currently under a Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State or in Cuba. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid a certain country. To find a list of these countries, please see http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/ tw/tw_1764.html. Recruitment, Application, and Selection (1) The cooperating organization shall publicize the scholarship competition among accredited institutions of higher education in the United States through direct contacts with institutions and participation in major education conferences and events. Emphasis shall be on reaching out to a diverse range of institutions and programs within those institutions. (2) The selection process shall be carried out by a committee that includes representatives of a diverse mix of accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. (3) In ranking eligible applicants for scholarships, consideration should be given to academic excellence, financial need, diversity of the applicant pool, fields of study, proposed destination, plans for language study, and type and location of home institution. Preference should be given to applicants with no previous study abroad experience. Reporting Following the fall and spring selection panels, the cooperating organization will submit reports on the number of applicants, the number of participants selected, the names of the institutions of higher education in the United States that applicants and participants were attending at the time of application, the names of the institutions sponsoring the study programs abroad, the names and locations of the institutions of higher education outside the United States that E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 65582 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices participants were attending during their study program abroad, the award amounts for each participant, the fields and academic periods of study of that participants studied abroad. Because diversity is an important program goal, the cooperating organization should attempt to collect age, ethnic, gender, and disability data from scholarship applicants and recipients, while respecting Federal guidelines on the solicitation of such information. The cooperating organization shall also provide program information and data to be included in the program’s annual end-of-year report to Congress. Additionally, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs may request other periodic and ad hoc reports. These may include separate breakdowns for students studying in regions or countries of strategic interest and students studying critical need languages. In a Cooperative Agreement, the ECA program office is substantially involved in program activities above and beyond routine monitoring. ECA program office activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows: (1) Participation in the design and direction of program activities: (2) Approval of key personnel; (3) Guidance in execution of all program components; (4) Approval of decisions related to special circumstances or problems throughout duration of program; (5) Assistance with participant emergencies; (6) Liaison with relevant U.S. Embassies, Fulbright commissions and regional bureaus at the State Department. II. Award Information mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. Fiscal Year Funds: 2010. Approximate Total Funding: Up to $10,420,000. Approximate Number of Awards: 1. Approximate Average Award: Up to $10,420,000. Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 1, 2010. Anticipated Project Completion Date: September 30, 2011. 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 cooperative agreement for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 III. Eligibility Information III.1. Eligible Applicants Applications may be submitted by 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 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 experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates making one award of up to $10,420,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package Please contact Bahareh Moradi, Office of Global Educational Programs, ECA/A/ S, 4th Floor, U.S. Department of State, SA–5, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522–0504, tel 202–632–6350, fax 202–632–9479, MoradiBX@state.gov, to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/A–10–10 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 Bahareh Moradi and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/A–10–10 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/grants/ open2.html, 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.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. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices 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. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for ECA Federal assistance awards must include in their application the names of directors and/ or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one of the following ways: (1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ‘‘Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,’’ must include a copy of relevant portions of this form. (2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information above in the format of their choice. In addition to final program reporting requirements, award recipients will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived from their program reports, listing and describing their grant activities. For award recipients, the names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the onepage description of grant activities, will be transmitted by the State Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its USASpending.gov Web site as part of ECA’s FFATA reporting requirements. 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 IV.3d.1. Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically important emphases on the security and VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 proper administration of the Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by award recipients 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. 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, Office of Designation, ECA/EC/D, SA–5, Floor C2, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–0582. 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, socioeconomic status, and disabilities. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65583 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 recipient organization 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 E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 65584 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices 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.) Recipient organizations 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. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES IV.3e. Please Take the Following Information Into Consideration When Preparing Your Budget IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF– 424A—‘‘Budget Information—NonConstruction Programs’’ along with 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. Applicants should budget the maximum possible amount for scholarship and keep administrative and overhead costs to a minimum. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 IV.3e.2. Allowable Costs for the Program Include the Following (1) Administrative: Salaries and benefits and other direct administrative expenses such as postage, phone, printing and office supplies. (2) Program: Participant expenses, which may include institutional fees, travel expenses, tuition; expenses related to review panels, including travel and per-diem. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission Application Deadline Date: February 12, 2010. Reference Number: ECA/A/S/A–10– 10. 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., 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 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 extra copy of the completed SF–424 form and place it in an envelope addressed to ‘‘ECA/ EX/PM’’. The original and 7 copies of the application should be sent to: Program Management Division, ECA– IIP/EX/PM, Ref.: ECA/A/S/A–10–10, SA–5, Floor 4, Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522–0504. 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 Note: Due to Recovery Act related opportunities, there has been a higher than usual volume of grant proposals submitted through Grants.gov. Potential applicants are advised that the increased volume may affect the grants.gov proposal submission process. As stated in this RFGP, ECA bears no responsibility for applicant timeliness of submission or data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via Grants.gov. 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. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all phases/ aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the ‘‘For Applicants’’ section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices 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. Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various ‘‘application statuses’’ and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. 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 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards grants resides with the Bureau’s Grants Officer. Review Criteria Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to 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. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above. 3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan. 4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages. 5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau’s policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration (selection of participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientation and wrapup sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities). 6. Institutional Capacity and Institution’s Record/Ability: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project’s goals. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau awards (grants or cooperative agreements) as determined by the Bureau’s Office of Contracts. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. 7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events. 8. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity’s success, both as the activities PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65585 unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. Award-receiving organizations/institutions will be expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is concluded or quarterly, whichever is less frequent. 9. Cost-effectiveness and 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 costsharing 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 a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA 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 E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 65586 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices 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://fa.statebuy.state.gov. VI.3. Reporting Requirements You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus two copies of the following reports: (1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; (2) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This one-page report will will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to the public via OMB’s USAspending.gov Web site—as part of ECA’s Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements. (3) A SF–PPR, ‘‘Performance Progress Report’’ Cover Sheet with all program reports. Award recipients 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. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Bahareh Moradi, Office of Global Educational Programs, ECA/A/S, SA–5, 4th Floor, U.S. Department of State, 2200 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20522–0504, tel 202–632–6350, fax 202–632–9479, MoradiBX@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/S/A– 10–10. 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 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 4, 2009. Maura M. Pally, Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. E9–29484 Filed 12–9–09; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6838] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Office of Academic Exchanges Notice: An Amendment to a RFGP (Near East and South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program— NESA UGRAD). Summary: The United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, announces revisions to a RFGP announced in the Federal Register on November 5, 2009 (Federal Register Volume 74, Number 213): Revisions are as follows: (1) The semester-long program for 25 Pakistani participants has been cancelled and as a result, participant numbers will be decreased to no less than 90. (2) The program should be designed exclusively as an academic year program for the countries listed under ‘‘Purpose’’ (page 4) in the original solicitation. (3) As a result of the cancellation of the semester-long program component, it is anticipated, that pending availability of funds, the revised funding level will be decreased from $3.5 million to $3 million. (4) Please note: Pending availability of funds, it is anticipated that the Bureau will be issuing a separate RFGP at a later date in support of a Pakistani semesterlong program. Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Dated: December 4, 2009. Maura M. Pally, Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. [FR Doc. E9–29449 Filed 12–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–11–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6841] State-71, Post Capabilities Database BILLING CODE 4710–05–P PO 00000 All other terms and conditions of the original announcement remain the same. Additional Information: Interested organizations should contact Laura Alami, Near East Asia Programs Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, ECA/A/E/NEA, SA–5 Floor 4, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522–0504, 202–632–3270 and Fax: 202–632–9411. Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Department of State proposes to create a system of records, Post Capabilities Database, State-71, pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A–130, Appendix I. The Department’s report was filed with the Office of Management and Budget on November 25, 2009. It is proposed that the new system will be named ‘‘Post Capabilities Database.’’ It is also proposed that the new system will be utilized by medical and administrative personnel of the Office of Medical Services for making clearance decisions for individuals eligible to participate in the health care program and as a reference for local medical capabilities. Any persons interested in commenting on the new system of records may do so by submitting comments in writing to Margaret P. Grafeld, Director; Office of Information Programs and Services; A/GIS/IPS; Department of State, SA–2; 515 22nd Street, Washington, DC 20522–8001. This system of records will be effective 40 days from the date of publication, unless we receive comments that will result in a contrary determination. The new system description, ‘‘Post Capabilities Database, State-71,’’ will read as set forth below. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 236 (Thursday, December 10, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65581-65586]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29484]



[[Page 65581]]

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6836]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

    Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/S/A-10-10.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.011.

Key Dates

    Application Deadline: February 12, 2010.
    Executive Summary: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open 
competition to administer the Benjamin A. Gilman International 
Scholarship Program. Public and private non-profit organizations 
meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 
U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals for the purpose of administering 
a scholarship program for academic study by U.S. undergraduate students 
outside the United States.

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

    This program provides grants to enable U.S. citizen undergraduate 
students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. 
Such foreign study is intended to expand understanding of other 
countries and cultures among U.S. students, expose citizens of other 
countries to Americans from diverse backgrounds, and better prepare 
U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global 
economy.

History

    Since the program's inception in 2001, over 4,500 Gilman scholars 
from more 749 U.S. colleges and universities have studied in 106 
countries around the world.

Overview

    It is anticipated that, pending appropriation of funds, the Bureau 
will provide an assistance award of up to $10,420,000 for the purpose 
of recruiting, selecting, and issuing grants of up to $5,000 to 
eligible students to assist with the cost of up to one academic year of 
undergraduate study abroad. Supplements of up to $3,000 for the study 
of critical need languages will also be provided.
    The intent of the authorizing legislation for the Benjamin A. 
Gilman International Scholarship Program is to broaden the U.S. student 
population that participates in study abroad by focusing on those 
students who would not otherwise study outside the U.S. due to 
financial constraints.
    The Bureau also seeks to encourage participating students and their 
institutions to choose non-traditional study-abroad locations, to study 
languages, and to help under-represented U.S. institutions offer and 
promote study-abroad opportunities for their students. These objectives 
should be addressed in proposals.

Guidelines

    Upon receipt of award notification, the administering organization 
should be prepared to conduct the following activities:
     Disburse scholarship payments to students whose 
applications will have been screened by the incumbent organization for 
overseas study in fall 2010 (August-December 2010), and monitor their 
programs;
     Announce the Gilman competition for overseas study in 
spring, summer and fall 2011;
     Review applications for overseas study in spring, summer 
and fall 2011 (January-December 2011);
     Disburse scholarship funds to students for the spring and 
summer of 2011, and monitor their programs.

Student Eligibility

    To apply for a scholarship, an applicant must:
     Be a citizen of the United States. Permanent residents of 
the United States are not eligible.
     Be an undergraduate student in good standing at an 
institution of higher education in the United States (including both 
two-year and four-year institutions).
     Be a recipient of Federal Pell Grant funding during the 
academic term of his/her application.
     Be applying to, or accepted for, a study abroad program of 
at least four weeks' duration in a single country and eligible for 
credit from the student's home institution. Scholarships for summer 
study abroad are restricted to students studying science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics (STEM fields) in any eligible country or 
in the Southern Hemisphere (in any field). Proof of program acceptance 
is required prior to award disbursement.
     Not be proposing to study in a country currently under a 
Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State or in 
Cuba. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends 
that Americans avoid a certain country. To find a list of these 
countries, please see http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html.

Recruitment, Application, and Selection

    (1) The cooperating organization shall publicize the scholarship 
competition among accredited institutions of higher education in the 
United States through direct contacts with institutions and 
participation in major education conferences and events. Emphasis shall 
be on reaching out to a diverse range of institutions and programs 
within those institutions.
    (2) The selection process shall be carried out by a committee that 
includes representatives of a diverse mix of accredited institutions of 
higher education in the United States.
    (3) In ranking eligible applicants for scholarships, consideration 
should be given to academic excellence, financial need, diversity of 
the applicant pool, fields of study, proposed destination, plans for 
language study, and type and location of home institution. Preference 
should be given to applicants with no previous study abroad experience.

Reporting

    Following the fall and spring selection panels, the cooperating 
organization will submit reports on the number of applicants, the 
number of participants selected, the names of the institutions of 
higher education in the United States that applicants and participants 
were attending at the time of application, the names of the 
institutions sponsoring the study programs abroad, the names and 
locations of the institutions of higher education outside the United 
States that

[[Page 65582]]

participants were attending during their study program abroad, the 
award amounts for each participant, the fields and academic periods of 
study of that participants studied abroad. Because diversity is an 
important program goal, the cooperating organization should attempt to 
collect age, ethnic, gender, and disability data from scholarship 
applicants and recipients, while respecting Federal guidelines on the 
solicitation of such information. The cooperating organization shall 
also provide program information and data to be included in the 
program's annual end-of-year report to Congress.
    Additionally, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs may 
request other periodic and ad hoc reports. These may include separate 
breakdowns for students studying in regions or countries of strategic 
interest and students studying critical need languages.
    In a Cooperative Agreement, the ECA program office is substantially 
involved in program activities above and beyond routine monitoring. ECA 
program office activities and responsibilities for this program are as 
follows:
    (1) Participation in the design and direction of program 
activities:
    (2) Approval of key personnel;
    (3) Guidance in execution of all program components;
    (4) Approval of decisions related to special circumstances or 
problems throughout duration of program;
    (5) Assistance with participant emergencies;
    (6) Liaison with relevant U.S. Embassies, Fulbright commissions and 
regional bureaus at the State Department.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2010.
    Approximate Total Funding: Up to $10,420,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 1.
    Approximate Average Award: Up to $10,420,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 1, 
2010.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: September 30, 2011.

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 cooperative agreement for two additional fiscal years, 
before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

    Applications may be submitted by 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 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 experience in conducting international exchanges be 
limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates making one award 
of up to $10,420,000 to support program and administrative costs 
required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations 
with less than four years experience in conducting international 
exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau 
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and 
funding in support of its programs.

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 Bahareh Moradi, Office of Global Educational 
Programs, ECA/A/S, 4th Floor, U.S. Department of State, SA-5, 2200 C 
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0504, tel 202-632-6350, fax 202-632-
9479, MoradiBX@state.gov, to request a Solicitation Package. Please 
refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/A-10-10 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 Bahareh Moradi and refer to the Funding Opportunity 
Number ECA/A/S/A-10-10 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/grants/open2.html, 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.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.

[[Page 65583]]

    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. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for 
ECA Federal assistance awards must include in their application the 
names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, 
trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In 
fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one 
of the following ways:
    (1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ``Return of 
Organization Exempt From Income Tax,'' must include a copy of relevant 
portions of this form.
    (2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information 
above in the format of their choice.
    In addition to final program reporting requirements, award 
recipients will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived 
from their program reports, listing and describing their grant 
activities. For award recipients, the names of directors and/or senior 
executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as 
the one- page description of grant activities, will be transmitted by 
the State Department to OMB, along with other information required by 
the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and 
will be made available to the public by the Office of Management and 
Budget on its USASpending.gov Web site as part of ECA's FFATA reporting 
requirements.
    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
IV.3d.1. Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa
    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically 
important emphases on the security and proper administration of the 
Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by award recipients 
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.
    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, Office of Designation, ECA/
EC/D, SA-5, Floor C2, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0582.
    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 disabilities. 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 recipient organization 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

[[Page 65584]]

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.)
    Recipient organizations 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.3e. Please Take the Following Information Into Consideration When 
Preparing Your Budget
    IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A--``Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs'' along with 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. Applicants should 
budget the maximum possible amount for scholarship and keep 
administrative and overhead costs to a minimum.
IV.3e.2. Allowable Costs for the Program Include the Following
    (1) Administrative: Salaries and benefits and other direct 
administrative expenses such as postage, phone, printing and office 
supplies.
    (2) Program: Participant expenses, which may include institutional 
fees, travel expenses, tuition; expenses related to review panels, 
including travel and per-diem.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission
    Application Deadline Date: February 12, 2010.
    Reference Number: ECA/A/S/A-10-10.
    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., 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 7 copies of the application should be sent to:
    Program Management Division, ECA-IIP/EX/PM, Ref.: ECA/A/S/A-10-10, 
SA-5, Floor 4, Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20522-0504.
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 Note: Due to Recovery Act related opportunities, there 
has been a higher than usual volume of grant proposals submitted 
through Grants.gov. Potential applicants are advised that the 
increased volume may affect the grants.gov proposal submission 
process. As stated in this RFGP, ECA bears no responsibility for 
applicant timeliness of submission or data errors resulting from 
transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 
Grants.gov.

    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. In 
addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can 
take up to two business days.
    Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the 
application deadline to begin the submission process through 
Grants.gov.
    The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all 
phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive 
section on frequently asked questions, located under the ``For 
Applicants'' section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all 
potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in 
advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA 
bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or 
conversion processes.

[[Page 65585]]

    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: grants.gov">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.
    Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various 
``application statuses'' and the difference between a submission 
receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a 
validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an 
application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via 
Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly 
recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the 
submission process through Grants.gov. 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 
assistance awards grants 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. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda 
and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
above.
    3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
plan.
    4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
linkages.
    5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities).
    6. Institutional Capacity and Institution's Record/Ability: 
Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and 
appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals. Proposals should 
demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, 
including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all 
reporting requirements for past Bureau awards (grants or cooperative 
agreements) as determined by the Bureau's Office of Contracts. The 
Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the 
demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that 
Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    8. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include a draft 
survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a 
methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. 
Award-receiving organizations/institutions will be expected to submit 
intermediate reports after each project component is concluded or 
quarterly, whichever is less frequent.
    9. Cost-effectiveness and 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 a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) 
from the Bureau's Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with 
subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding 
authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The 
FAA 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

[[Page 65586]]

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://fa.statebuy.state.gov.

VI.3. Reporting Requirements

    You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus two copies of 
the following reports:
    (1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after 
the expiration of the award;
    (2) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program 
outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This 
one-page report will will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available 
to the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site--as part of ECA's 
Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting 
requirements.
    (3) A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover Sheet with all 
program reports.
    Award recipients 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.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Bahareh Moradi, 
Office of Global Educational Programs, ECA/A/S, SA-5, 4th Floor, U.S. 
Department of State, 2200 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20522-0504, tel 
202-632-6350, fax 202-632-9479, MoradiBX@state.gov.
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number ECA/A/S/A-10-10.
    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 4, 2009.
Maura M. Pally,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. E9-29484 Filed 12-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P