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Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant Proposals: Fulbright American Studies Institutes for Foreign University Faculty

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Request for Grant Proposals (RFGPs).


The Study of the U.S. Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, announces an open competition for five (5) assistance awards. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS regulations 26 CFR 1.501(c)(2)-1 through 1.501(c)(21)-2 may apply to develop and implement one of the following five post-graduate level American Studies programs designed for multinational groups of 18 to 30 experienced foreign university faculty and educators:

A. Religion in the United States

B. U.S. Foreign Policy: Foundations and Formulation

C. Contemporary American Literature

D. Immigration and Ethnicity: The American Experience

E. American Studies for Foreign Secondary School Educators

These programs are intended to provide participants with a deeper understanding of American life and institutions, past and present, in order to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States at universities abroad. Programs should therefore be designed to elucidate the topic or theme of the Institute as well as American civilization as a whole.

Programs are six weeks in length and will be conducted during the Summer of 2002.

The Bureau is seeking detailed proposals from colleges, universities, consortia of colleges and universities, and other not-for-profit academic organizations that have an established reputation in one or more of the following fields: Political science, international relations, law, history, sociology, literature, American studies, and/or other disciplines or sub-disciplines related to the program theme.

It is the Bureau's intention to fund one institute in each of the above five thematic areas, subject to the number and quality of proposals received and the availability of funding.

Applicant institutions must demonstrate expertise in conducting post-graduate programs for foreign educators, and must have a minimum of four years experience in conducting international exchange programs. Bureau guidelines stipulate that grants to organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are limited to $60,000. As it is expected that the budget for these programs will exceed $60,000, organizations that can not demonstrate at least four years experience will not be eligible to apply under this competition.

The project director or one of the key program staff responsible for the academic program must have an advanced degree in one of the fields listed above. Staff escorts traveling under the cooperative agreement must have demonstrated qualifications for this service. Programs must conform with Bureau requirements and guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. Bureau programs are subject to the availability of funds.

Program Information

Overview and Objectives

Fulbright American Studies Institutes are intended to offer foreign scholars and teachers whose professional work focuses on the United States the opportunity to deepen their understanding of American institutions Start Printed Page 52959and culture. Their ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the U.S. in universities abroad.

Programs should be six weeks in length and must include an academic residency segment of at least four weeks duration at a U.S. college or university campus (or other appropriate location). A study tour segment of not more than two weeks should also be planned and should directly complement the academic residency segment; the study tour should include visits to one or two additional regions of the United States.

All institutes should be designed as intensive, academically rigorous seminars intended for an experienced group of fellow scholars from outside the United States. The institutes should be organized through an integrated series of lectures, readings, seminar discussions, regional travel, site visits, and they should also include some opportunity for limited but well-directed independent research.

Applicants are encouraged to design thematically coherent programs in ways that draw upon the particular strengths, faculty and resources of their institutions as well as upon the nationally recognized expertise of scholars and other experts throughout the United States. Within the limits of their thematic focus and organizing framework, Institute programs should also be designed to:

1. Provide participants with a survey of contemporary scholarship within the institute's governing academic discipline, delineating the current scholarly debate within the field. In this regard, the seminar should indicate how prevailing academic practice in the discipline represents both a continuation of and a departure from past scholarly trends and practices. A variety of scholarly viewpoints should be included;

2. Bring an interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary focus to bear on the program content if appropriate;

3. Give participants a multi-dimensional view of U.S. society and institutions that includes a broad and balanced range of perspectives. Where possible, programs should therefore include the views not only of scholars, cultural critics and public intellectuals, but also those of other professionals outside the university such as government officials, journalists and others who can substantively contribute to the topics at issue; and,

4. Insure access to library and material resources that will enable grantees to continue their research, study and curriculum development upon returning to their home institutions.

Program Descriptions

A. Religion in the United States

This Institute is intended to provide foreign university faculty with an opportunity to increase their understanding of American civilization through an examination of the American religious experience. Employing a multi-disciplinary approach, the program should explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States; examine the ways in which religious thought and practice has influenced and been influenced by the development of American democracy; examine the intersections of religion and politics in the United States in such areas as elections, public policy, and foreign policy; and explore the sociology and demography of religion in the United States today, including a survey of the varieties of contemporary religious belief.

B. U.S. Foreign Policy: Foundations and Formulation

This program should examine the domestic institutional foundations—political, social, economic and cultural—of U.S. foreign policy with particular attention to the Post-Cold War era. Principal themes, critical policy debates, and contemporary issues in U.S. foreign policy should be examined in light of the history of U.S. international relations since World War II and within the larger framework of U.S. diplomatic history as a whole. An overarching goal of the program is to illuminate the relationships between U.S. policies and the political, social and economic forces in the United States that constitute the domestic institutional context in which such policies are debated, formulated and executed. The program should be structured to give attention to U.S. policy both globally and in particular geographic areas.

C. Contemporary American Literature

This program should focus on recent American literature and criticism. Its purpose is twofold: first, to explore contemporary American writers and writing in a variety of genres; second, to suggest how the themes explored in those works reflect larger currents within contemporary American society and culture. The program should explore the diversity of the American literary landscape, examining how major contemporary writers, schools and movements reflect the traditions of the American literary canon and, at the same time, represent a departure from that tradition, establishing new directions for American literature.

D. Immigration and Ethnicity: The American Experience

This program should examine the role that immigration and ethnicity have played in defining the nature of the American experience. The program should examine the history of immigration to the United States and explore the impact that various periods of immigration have had on the development of America's political, social, and cultural values and institutions. Throughout the program, the focus on immigrant groups and America's ethnic diversity should serve to illustrate the dynamism of the American experience, viewed both as a whole and as the sum of its diverse ethnic, religious and cultural parts.

E. American Studies for Foreign Secondary School Educators

This Fulbright American Studies Institute should provide a multinational group of up to 30 experienced foreign secondary school educators with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present. The institute should be organized around a central theme or themes in U.S. civilization and should have a strong contemporary component. Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, program content should be imaginatively integrated in order to elucidate the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined. The program should also serve to illuminate the contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society. The program's ultimate goal is to promote the development and improvement of courses and teaching about the U.S. at secondary schools and teacher training institutions abroad.

Program Dates

Ideally, the programs should be 44 days in length (including participant arrival and departure days) and should begin in mid to late June, 2002. However, the Bureau is willing to consider other program dates, based on the needs of the host institution.


As specified in the guidelines in the solicitation package, programs should be designed for groups of either 18 or 30 highly-motivated and experienced foreign university faculty and teacher trainers who are interested in Start Printed Page 52960participating in an intensive seminar on aspects of U.S. civilization as a means to develop or improve courses and teaching about the United States at their home institutions.

Most participants can be expected to come from educational institutions where the study of the U.S. is relatively well developed. Thus, while they may not have in-depth knowledge of the particular institute program theme, most will have had some experience in teaching about the United States. Many will have had sustained professional contact with American scholars and American scholarship, and some may have had substantial prior experience studying in the United States. Participants will be drawn from all regions of the world and will be fluent in the English language.

Participants will be nominated by Fulbright Commissions and by U.S. Embassies abroad. Nominations will be reviewed by the Study of the U.S. Branch. Final selection of grantees will be made by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Program Guidelines

While the conception and structure of the institute program is the responsibility of the organizers, it is critically important that proposals provide a full, detailed and comprehensive narrative describing the objectives of the institute; the title, scope and content of each session; and, how each session relates to the overall institute theme. The syllabus must therefore indicate the subject matter for each lecture or panel discussion, confirm or provisionally identify proposed lecturers and discussants, and clearly show how assigned readings will support each session. A calendar of all activities for the program must also be included. Overall, proposals will be reviewed on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.

Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further details on program design and implementation, as well as additional information on all other requirements.

Budget Guidelines

Based on groups of 18 participants, the total Bureau-funded budget (program and administrative) for programs one, two, three and four above should be approximately $182,000, and Bureau-funded administrative costs as defined in the budget details section of the solicitation package should not exceed $54,000. Based on a group of 30 participants, the total Bureau-funded budget (program and administrative) for program five above should be approximately $255,000, and Bureau-funded administrative costs as defined in the budget details section of the solicitation package should not exceed $57,000.

Justifications for any costs above these amounts must be clearly indicated in the proposal submission. Proposals should try to maximize cost-sharing in all facets of the program and to stimulate U.S. private sector, including foundation and corporate, support. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program, and availability of U.S. government funding.

Please refer to the “POGI” in the Solicitation Package for complete institute budget guidelines and formatting instructions.

Announcement Name and Number: All communications with the Bureau concerning this announcement should refer to the following titles and reference numbers:

Religion in the United States


U.S. Foreign Policy: Foundations and Formulation (ECA/A/E/USS-02-01B-Bate)

Contemporary American Literature


Immigration and Ethnicity: The American Experience


American Studies for Foreign Secondary School Educator


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To request a Solicitation Package containing more detailed program information, award criteria, required application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation, applicants should contact:

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Study of the U.S. Branch, State Annex 44, ECA/A/E/USS—Room 252/301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Attention: Richard Taylor.

Telephone number: (202) 619-4557.

Fax number: (202) 619-6790.

Internet address:

Please specify Senior Program Officer Richard Taylor on all inquiries and correspondence. Interested applicants should read the complete Federal Register announcement before addressing inquiries to the office listed above or submitting their proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition in any way with applicants until after the proposal review process has been completed.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at​education/​rfgps/​. Please read all information before downloading.

Deadline for Proposals: All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington DC time on Friday, January 11, 2002. Faxed documents will NOT be accepted, nor will documents postmarked January 11, 2002 but received at a later date. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that proposal submissions arrive by the deadline.

Submissions: Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and 13 copies of the complete application should be sent to:

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Reference: (insert appropriate reference number from above, e.g. ECA/A/E/USS-02-01x-xxxxxx) Program Management Staff, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, State Annex 44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.

Applicants should also submit the “Executive Summary” and “Proposal Narrative” sections of the proposal on a 3.5” diskette, formatted for DOS. This material must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) format with a maximum line length of 65 characters.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. “Diversity” should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the “Support for Diversity” section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do Start Printed Page 52961not 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 this goal in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.

Review Process

The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office. Eligible proposals will then be forwarded to panels of senior Bureau officers for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Advisor or by other Bureau elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards (grants or cooperative agreements) resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. More weight will be given to items one and two, and all remaining criteria will be evaluated equally.

1. Overall Quality

Proposals should exhibit originality and substance, consonant with the highest standards of American teaching and scholarship. Program design should reflect the main currents as well as the debates within the subject discipline of each institute. Program elements should be coherently and thoughtfully integrated. Lectures, panels, field visits and readings, taken as a whole, should offer a balanced presentation of issues, reflecting both the continuity of the American experience as well as the diversity and dynamism inherent in it.

2. Program Planning and Administration

Proposals should demonstrate careful planning. The organization and structure of the institute should be clearly delineated and be fully responsive to all program objectives. A program syllabus (noting specific sessions and topical readings supporting each academic unit) should be included, as should a calendar of activities. The travel component should not simply be a tour, but should be an integral and substantive part of the program, reinforcing and complementing the academic segment. Proposals should provide evidence of continuous administrative and managerial capacity as well as the means by which program activities and logistical matters will be implemented.

3. Institutional Capacity

Proposed personnel, including faculty and administrative staff as well as outside presenters, should be fully qualified to achieve the project's goals. Library and meeting facilities, housing, meals, transportation and other logistical arrangements should fully meet the needs of the participants.

4. Support for Diversity

Substantive support of the bureau's policy on diversity should be demonstrated. This can be accomplished through documentation, such as a written statement, summarizing past and/or on-going activities and efforts that further the principle of diversity within the organization and its activities. Program activities that address this issue should be highlighted.

5. Experience

Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange program activity, indicating the experience that the organization and its professional staff have had in working with foreign educators.

6. Evaluation and Follow-Up

A plan for evaluating activities during the Institute and at its conclusion should be included. Proposals should discuss provisions made for follow-up with returned grantees as a means of establishing longer-term individual and institutional linkages.

7. Cost Effectiveness

Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through direct institutional contributions, in-kind support, and other private sector support.

Overhead and administrative components, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible.


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 terms and conditions published in this RFP 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 this RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.


Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, and allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

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Dated: October 11, 2001.

Patricia S. Harrison,

Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 01-26122 Filed 10-17-01; 8:45 am]