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Notice

Discretionary Grant Programs Application Notice Establishing Closing Date for Transmittal of Certain Fiscal Year 2003 Applications

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AGENCY:

The Department of State invites applications from national organizations with interest and expertise in conducting research and training to serve as intermediaries administering national competitive programs concerning the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia. The grants will be awarded through an open, national competition among applicant organizations.

Authority for this Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union is contained in the Soviet-Eastern European Research and Training Act of 1983 (22 U.S.C. 4501-4508, as amended).

SUMMARY:

The purpose of this application notice is to inform potential applicant organizations of fiscal and programmatic information and closing dates for transmittal of applications for awards in Fiscal Year 2003 under a program administered by the Department of State. The program seeks to build and sustain expertise among Americans willing to make a career commitment to the study of Central and East Europe and Eurasia.

Organization of Notice: This notice contains three parts. Part I lists the closing date covered by of this notice. Part II consists of a statement of purpose and priorities of the program. Part III provides the fiscal data for the program.

Part I

Closing Date for Transmittal of Applications

Applications for an award must be sent by Express Mail, commercial courier (e.g. FEDEX, UPS, or DHL), or hand-delivered by February 14, 2003.

Applications must be addressed to Kenneth E. Roberts, Executive Director, Advisory Committee for Studies of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, INR/RES, Room 2251, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520-6510.

An applicant must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial center.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Department of State.

If any application is sent through the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of State does not accept either of the following as proof of mailing: (1) A private metered postmark, or (2) a mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

An applicant should note that the U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, an applicant should check with the local post office.

Late applications will not be considered and will be returned to the applicant.

Applications Delivered by Hand

An application that is hand delivered must be taken to Kenneth E. Roberts, Executive Director, Advisory Committee for Studies of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, INR/RES, Room 2251, 2201 C Street, NW., Washington, DC. Please use the entrance on 21st St., just north of the intersection with C St., and phone at (202) 736-4572 for pick up at the entrance.

The Advisory Committee staff will accept hand-delivered applications between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. e.s.t. daily, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

An application that is hand delivered will not be accepted after 4 p.m. on the closing date.

Part II

Program Information

In the Soviet-Eastern European Research and Training Act of 1983, the Congress declared that independently verified factual knowledge about the countries of that area is “of utmost importance for the national security of the United States, for the furtherance of our national interests in the conduct of foreign relations, and for the prudent management of our domestic affairs.” Congress also declared that the development and maintenance of such knowledge and expertise “depends upon the national capability for advanced research by highly trained and experienced specialists, available for service in and out of Government.” The program provides financial support for advanced research, training and other related functions on the countries of the region. By strengthening and sustaining in the United States a cadre of experts on Central and East Europe and the NIS, the program contributes to the overall objectives of the FREEDOM Support and SEED Acts.

The full purpose of the Act and the eligibility requirements are set forth in Pub. L. 98-164, 97 Stat. 1047-50, as amended. The countries include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia (including Kosovo and Montenegro), Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Start Printed Page 69799

The Act establishes an Advisory Committee to recommend grant policies and recipients. The Secretary or Deputy Secretary of State, after consultation with the Advisory Committee, approves policies and makes the final determination on awards.

Applications for funding under the Act are invited from U.S. organizations prepared to conduct competitive programs on Central and East Europe and Eurasia and related fields. Applying organizations or institutions should have the capability to conduct competitive award programs that are national in scope. Programs of this nature are those that make awards based upon an open, nationwide competition, incorporating peer group review mechanisms. Individual end-users of these funds—those to whom the applicant organizations or institutions propose to make awards—must be at the graduate or post-doctoral level, and must have demonstrated a likely career commitment to the study of Central and East Europe and/or Eurasia.

Applications sought in this competition among organizations or institutions are those that would contribute to the development of a stable, long-term, national program of unclassified, advanced research and training on the countries of Central and East Europe and/or Eurasia by proposing:

(1) National programs that award contracts or grants to American institutions of higher education or not-for-profit corporations in support of post-doctoral or equivalent level research projects, such contracts or grants to contain shared-cost provisions;

(2) National programs that offer graduate, post-doctoral and teaching fellowships for advanced training on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia, and in related studies, including training in the languages of the region, with such training to be conducted on a shared-cost basis, at American institutions of higher education;

(3) National programs that provide fellowships and other support for American specialists enabling them to conduct advanced research on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia, and in related studies; and those which facilitate research collaboration between Government and private specialists in these areas;

(4) National programs that provide advanced training and research on a reciprocal basis in the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia by facilitating access for American specialists to research facilities and resources in those countries;

(5) National programs that facilitate the public dissemination of research methods, data and findings; and those which propose to strengthen the national capability for advanced research or training on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia in ways not specified above.

Note:

The Advisory Committee will not consider applications from individuals to further their own training or research, or from institutions or organizations whose proposals are not for competitive award programs that are national in scope as defined above. Support for specific activities will be guided by the following policies and priorities:

  • Support for Transitions. The Advisory Committee strongly encourages support for research activities which, while building expertise among U.S. specialists on the region, also: (1) Promote fundamental goals of U.S. assistance programs such as helping establish market economies and promoting democratic governance and civil societies, and (2) provide knowledge to both U.S. and foreign audiences related to current U.S. policy interests in the region, broadly defined. This includes, but is not limited to, such topics as resolution of ethnic, religious, and other conflict; terrorism; security and defense reform; transition economics; media studies; women's issues and trafficking in persons; human rights; and citizen participation in politics and civil society. For on-site research, applicants are encouraged to think creatively about how individuals' work may complement democratization and marketization assistance activities in the region. Examples might include lecturing at a university or participating in workshops with host government and parliamentary officials, nongovernmental organizations, and other assistance target audiences on issues related to market and democratic transitions.

The Advisory Committee gives priority to programs on Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine and the Balkans, especially the former Yugoslavia, where gaps in knowledge exist. The Advisory Committee encourages research on Russia that focuses on regions and areas outside capital cities. Historical or cultural research that promotes understanding of current events in the region is acceptable if an explicit connection can be made to contemporary political and/or economic transitions. Research on such topics as musicology or mathematics generally is not appropriate for funding.

  • Promoting Federal Service for Title VIII Grant Recipients. Although the title VIII program does not have a federal service commitment for individuals receiving funding, the Advisory Committee would like grantees to explore ways to encourage end-users, where appropriate, to pursue U.S. Government career opportunities, internships, or short-term sabbaticals after completing their awards.

In this competition, the Advisory Committee welcomes proposals that promote opportunities for individuals in disciplines with Eurasian and/or East European studies concentrations to serve on a temporary basis as policy or other experts in U.S. Embassies and/or with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the region.

Publications. Funds awarded in this competition should not be used to subsidize journals, newsletters and other periodical publications except in special circumstances, in which cases the funds should be supplied through peer-review organizations with national competitive programs.

  • Conferences. Proposals for conferences, like those for research projects and training programs, should be assessed according to their relative contribution to the advancement of knowledge and to the professional development of cadres in the fields. Therefore, requests for conference funding should be directed to one or more of the national peer-review organizations receiving program funds, with proposed conferences being evaluated competitively against research, fellowship or other proposals for achieving the purposes of the grant.
  • Library Activities. Funds may be used for certain library activities that clearly strengthen research and training on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia and benefit the fields as a whole. Such programs must make awards based upon open, nationwide competition, incorporating peer group review mechanisms. Funds may not be used for activities such as modernization, acquisition, or preservation. Modest, cost-effective proposals to facilitate research, by eliminating serious cataloging backlogs or otherwise improving access to research materials, will be considered.
  • Language Support. The Advisory Committee encourages attention to the non-Russian languages of Eurasia and the less commonly taught languages of Central and East Europe. Support provided for Russian language instruction/study normally will be only for advanced level. Applicants proposing to offer language instruction are encouraged to apply to a national program as described above that has appropriate peer group review mechanisms. Start Printed Page 69800
  • Support for Non-Americans. The purpose of the program is to build and sustain U.S. expertise on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia. Therefore, the Advisory Committee has determined that highest priority for support always should go to American specialists (i.e., U.S. citizens or permanent residents). Support for such activities as long-term research fellowships, i.e., nine months or longer, should be restricted solely to American scholars. Support for short-term activities also should be restricted to Americans, except in special instances where the participation of a non-American scholar has clear and demonstrable benefits to the American scholarly community. In such special instances, the applicant must justify the expenditure. Despite this restriction on support for non-Americans, collaborative projects are encouraged—where the non-American component is funded from other sources—and priority is given to institutions whose programs contain such an international component.
  • Balanced National Program. In making its recommendations, the Committee will seek to encourage a coherent, long-term, and stable effort directed toward developing and maintaining a national capability on the countries of Central and East Europe and Eurasia. Program proposals can be for the conduct of any of the functions enumerated, but in making its recommendations, the Committee will be concerned to develop a balanced national effort that will ensure attention to all the countries of the area.
  • Cost-sharing. Legislation requires and this announcement indicates under Program Information of this section that in certain cases grantee organizations must include shared-cost provisions in their arrangements with end-users. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged, whenever feasible, in all programs.

Part III

Available Funds

Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds. Funding may be available at a level up to $5.0 million. The precise level of funding will not be known until legislative action is complete. In Fiscal Year 2002, the Congress appropriated to the program $5.0 million from the FREEDOM Support and Support for East European Democracies (SEED) Acts, which funded grants to 8 national organizations, with $3.4 million for activities on Eurasia and $1.6 million for those on Central and East Europe, including the Baltic states. The number of awards varies each year, depending on the level of funding and the quality of the applications submitted.

The Department legally cannot commit funds that may be appropriated in subsequent fiscal years. Thus multi-year projects cannot receive assured funding unless such funding is supplied out of a single year's appropriation. Grant agreements may permit the expenditure from a particular year's grant to be made up to three years after the grant's effective beginning date.

Applications

Applications must be prepared and submitted in 20 copies in Times New Roman font, 12 pitch in the following format: One-page, single-spaced Executive Summary; budget presentation with footnotes detailing line items; narrative description of proposed programs not to exceed 20 double-spaced pages; one-page, single-spaced vitae of key professional staff; and required certifications. Applicants may append other information they consider essential, although bulky submissions are discouraged and run the risk of not being reviewed fully.

Budget

Because funds will be appropriated separately for Central and East Europe (including the Baltic states) and Eurasia programs, proposals must indicate how the requested funds will be distributed by region, country (to the extent possible), and activity. Subsequently, grant recipients must report expenditures by region, country, and activity.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with Department of State grant regulations contained in 22 CFR part 145, “Grants and Cooperative Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations”; 22 CFR part 137, “Department of State Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-Procurement) and Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants)”; OMB Circular A-110, “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations”; and OMB Circular A-133, “Audits of Institutions of Higher Learning and Other Non-Profit Institutions”; and indicate or provide the following information:

(1) Whether the organization falls under OMB Circular No. A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions,” or OMB Circular No. A-122, “Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations”;

(2) A detailed program budget indicating direct expenses with clearly identified administrative costs by program element and by region (Eurasia or Central and East Europe), indirect costs, and the total amount requested. The budget should indicate clearly the total amount requested as the sum of the amount requested for Eurasia activities plus the amount requested for Central and East Europe activities. The budget also should reflect administrative costs as a percentage of the total requested funding. NB: Indirect costs are limited to 10 percent of total direct program costs. Applicants requesting funds to supplement a program having other sources of support should submit a current budget for the total program and an estimated future budget for it, showing how specific lines in the budget would be affected by the allocation of requested grant funds. Other funding sources and amounts, when known, should be identified.

(3) The applicant's cost-sharing proposal, if applicable, containing appropriate details and cross references to the requested budget;

(4) The organization's most recent audit report (the most recent U.S. Government audit report, if available) and the name, address, and point of contact of the audit agency. N.B.: The threshold for grants that trigger an audit requirement has been raised from $25,000 to $300,000.

(5) An indication of the applicant's priorities if funding is being requested for more than one program or activity.

All payments will be made to grant recipients through the U.S. Government-run Payment Management System (PMS).

Narrative Statement

The Applicant must describe fully the proposed programs, including detailed information about plans for advertising and recruiting for programs, peer review and selection procedures and identification of anticipated selection committee participants, estimates of the types and amounts of anticipated awards, and benefits of these programs for the Central and East European and Eurasian fields.

Applicants who have received previous grants from this State Department program should provide detailed information on the end-user awards made, including, where applicable, names/affiliations of recipients, and amounts and types of awards. Applicants should specify both past and anticipated applicant to award ratios. A summary of an organization's past grants under this State Department program also should be included. Start Printed Page 69801

Proposals from national organizations involving language instruction programs should provide, for those programs supported in the past year, information on the criteria for evaluation, including levels of instruction, degrees of intensiveness, facilities, methods for measuring language proficiency (including pre- and post-testing), indications of progress achieved by title VIII-funded students, instructors' qualifications, and budget information showing estimated costs per student.

Certifications

Applicants must include a description of affirmative action policies and practices and certifications of compliance with the provisions of: (1) The Drug-Free Workplace Act (Pub. L. 100-690), in accordance with appendix C of 22 CFR part 137, subpart F; and (2) section 319 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 101-121), in accordance with appendix A of 22 CFR part 138, New Restrictions on Lobbying Activities.

Technical Review

The Advisory Committee for Studies of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union will evaluate applications on the basis of the following criteria:

(1) Responsiveness to the substantive provisions set forth above in Program part II, Information (45 points);

(2) The professional qualifications of the applicant's key personnel and selection committees, and their experience conducting national competitive award programs of the type the applicant proposes on the countries of Central and East Europe and/or the Eurasia (35 points); and

(3) Budget presentation and cost effectiveness (20 points).

Further Information

For further information, contact Kenneth E. Roberts, Executive Director, Advisory Committee for Studies of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, INR/RES, Room 2251, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520-6510. Telephone: (202) 736-4572 or 736-4386, fax: (202) 736-4851 or (202) 736-4557.

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Dated: November 13, 2002.

Kenneth E. Roberts,

Executive Director, Advisory Committee for Studies of Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 02-29350 Filed 11-18-02; 8:45 am]

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