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Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant Proposal: Fulbright American Studies Institute on U.S. National Security: American Foreign Policy Formulation in an Era of Globalization

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NOTICE:

Request for Grant Proposal (RFGP).

SUMMARY:

The Study of the U.S. Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, announces an open competition for an assistance award. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code Section 26 USC 501 (C)(3) may apply to develop and implement a post-graduate level Fulbright American Studies program designed for a multinational group of 15 experienced foreign educators and professionals entitled:

“U.S. National Security: American Foreign Policy Formulation in an Era of Globalization”

This program is 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.

The program will be four weeks in length and will be conducted during January and May of 2003.

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, and/or other disciplines or sub-Start Printed Page 22147disciplines related to the program theme.

It is the Bureau's intention to fund this program, subject to and contingent on both 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, teachers and other professionals whose work focuses on the United States the opportunity to deepen their understanding of American institutions and culture. Their ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the U.S. in universities abroad.

This program should be four weeks in length and must include an academic residency segment of at least three weeks duration at a U.S. college or university campus (or other appropriate location). A study tour segment of not more than one week 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.

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

Applicants are encouraged to design a thematically coherent program 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 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, religious leaders and NGO officials 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 Description

The Fulbright American Studies Institute on “U.S. National Security: American Foreign Policy Formulation in an Era of Globalization” is intended to offer a group of 15 educators and professionals an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the foundations and formulation of U.S. foreign policy, with specific reference to American views on what constitutes basic U.S. national security and defense requirements and how those views have evolved in the post-Cold War era. The program should be multi-disciplinary in its approach and should examine the various historical, geographic, economic, cultural, and political factors involved in the making of U.S. foreign policy. In considering U.S. security and defense issues in light of a changing international environment characterized by the increased flow of information and ideas, capital, and people, organizers may also wish to explore such sub-topics as (a) the role of both the nation state and non-state actors in national and international governance; (b) the implications for U.S. security of demographic changes in both developed and developing countries; (c) the impact of science and technology in such area as communications, health care, and the environment; (d) the growth and development of the global economy; and (e) changing patterns of international conflict, including the threat of terrorism, among others.

Program Dates: Ideally, the program should be 28 days in length (not including participant arrival and departure days) and should take place sometime between January 6 and May 31, 2003.

Participants: As specified in the guidelines in the solicitation package, this program should be designed for a group of 15 motivated and experienced foreign university faculty and professionals from institutions of higher education abroad, which may include national military academies. Educators will be specialists in international affairs; some may hold positions in government ministries, such as defense or foreign affairs. While the educational level of participants will vary, most will have graduate degrees and have substantial knowledge of foreign affairs. Some may have previously studied in the United States. All participants will be interested in participating in an intensive seminar in order to better understand American institutions and to develop and improve courses about the United States at their home universities. All 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 Start Printed Page 22148support 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, as stipulated in the Review Criteria cited below.

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 15 participants, the total Bureau-funded budget (program and administrative) should be approximately $150,000. Bureau-funded administrative costs as defined in the budget details section of the solicitation package should be approximately $47,000. 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 title and reference number:

U.S. National Security: American Foreign Policy Formulation in an Era of Globalization—(ECA/A/E/USS-02-54-Taylor)

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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: rtaylor@pd.state.gov.

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 website at http://exchanges.state.gov/​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 5:00 p.m. Washington DC time on Friday, June 21, 2002. Faxed documents will NOT be accepted, nor will documents postmarked June 21, 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: (ECA/A/E/USS-02-54-Taylor), 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 Guidlines: Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. “Diversity” should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the “Support for Diversity” section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,” the Bureau “shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.” Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of 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 or outside experts. 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 Start Printed Page 22149a 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 Followup

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.

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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.”

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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 this 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.

Notification: 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: April 25, 2002.

Rick A. Ruth,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 02-10905 Filed 5-1-02; 8:45 am]

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