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Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; U.S. Summer Institutes for Pakistani Undergraduate Students

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Start Preamble

Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.

Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.0000.

Key Dates: Application Deadline: March 31, 2006.

Executive Summary: The Near East/South Asia Branch, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, announces an open competition for public and private non-profit organizations to develop and implement the U.S. Summer Institutes for Pakistani Undergraduate Students, to take place in the U.S. during the summer of 2006. The Bureau anticipates awarding two separate assistance awards to support two institutes for Pakistani undergraduate students. Each institute is intended to provide a minimum of 15-20 highly motivated second- and third-year undergraduate students from Pakistan with a six-week academic seminar, including a two-week U.S. travel component that will give the participants a deeper understanding of the program themes.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

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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.” The funding above is provided through legislation.

End Authority

Purpose: The Bureau is seeking detailed proposals for the U.S. Summer Institutes for Pakistani Undergraduate Students from U.S. 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, American studies, and/or other disciplines or sub-disciplines related to the study of the United States.

“The United States Today: Politics, Society and Culture” Summer Institutes are intended to provide two groups of 15-20 undergraduate students from Pakistan with an introduction to the main contours of contemporary American life and institutions. The Summer Institutes should be designed in such a way that the central institutions of the American experience political, economic, social, religious and cultural are explored through a series of lectures, debates, roundtable discussions, and site visits. While the general focus should be on the United States today, the program should be structured to provide an introductory overview on the evolution of American institutions throughout U.S. history. The program should therefore seek to introduce participants to the core values of the people of the United States in the 21st century as those values have evolved over time.

Among the many themes and topics that might be explored are: American constitutionalism; the American federal system; civil liberties and the rule of law; freedom of speech and the role of media, particularly broadcast media, in American society; the U.S. political economy and market economics; Start Printed Page 6124American foreign policy; the role of women; multiculturalism; ethnic pluralism; the demography of American religion; individualism and equality; national unity and diversity; and the role of popular culture, literature, music and the arts. The program may be organized in a variety of ways—historically, thematically, or topically, or through a combination thereof.

The grantee institution for each institute should take into account that the participants may have little or no prior knowledge of the U.S. and varying degrees of experience in expressing their opinions, and should tailor the curriculum and classroom activities accordingly. The grantee institution will be required to develop a program that provides ample time and opportunity for discussion, training and interaction, rather than standard lectures or broad survey reading assignments.

It is critical that the participants gain a more informed and coherent understanding of the United States and share their own culture and way of life. To accomplish this, each institute should include opportunities for participants to meet American citizens from a variety of backgrounds, to interact with peers, and to speak to appropriate student and civic groups about their experiences and life in their home countries.

Additionally, as grassroots ambassadors to the communities in which they will be studying, an important objective of the institutes is to develop the participants' leadership skills. In this context, the programs should include lectures, community service activities, group discussions, training, and exercises focusing on such topics as the essential attributes of leadership; teambuilding; effective communication and problem-solving skills; and management skills for diverse organizational settings.

The host institution for each institute will also be expected to provide participants post-program opportunities for further investigation and research on the topics and issues examined and discussed during each institute.

Each institute should be six weeks in length including a domestic travel component of not more than fourteen (14) days, of which 3-4 days should be spent in Washington, DC, at the end of the program. This travel component should directly complement the academic residency segment. It should include visits to cities and other sites of interest in the region of the host institution.

The project director or one of the key program staff responsible for the academic program must have an advanced degree in one of the following fields: Political science, history, art, sociology, American studies, and/or other disciplines or sub-disciplines related to the study of the United States. If the project director or key program staff does not have an advanced degree, the proposal will be considered technically ineligible.

Programs must conform with Bureau requirements and guidelines outlined in the Solicitation Package. Bureau programs are subject to the availability of funds.

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 expertise of nationally recognized scholars and other experts throughout the United States. Within the limits of their thematic focus and organizing framework, institutes should also be designed to:

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

2. 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 such as government officials, journalists and others who can substantively contribute to the topics at issue; and,

3. Ensure access to library and material resources that will enable grantees to continue their research and studies upon returning to their home institutions.

Participants: As specified in the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) guidelines in the solicitation package, each program should be designed for highly motivated second- and third-year undergraduates from colleges, universities, and teacher training institutions in Pakistan who have demonstrated leadership through academic achievements, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. Their major fields will be varied, including the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, business, and other professional fields. All participants will be conversant in English.

Please note:

The level of English among the students may vary. The host institution will be required to prepare lectures and discussions meeting the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for students with English as their second or third language.

The U.S. Embassy will make a particular effort to recruit participants from non-elite or underprivileged backgrounds and from both rural and urban sectors of Pakistan. All participants will be 22 years of age or younger; have completed their first or second year of undergraduate studies; be committed to returning to their home universities in the fall of 2006 following completion of their institute program; have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home countries; and be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and active educational travel program. As participants will be selected in large part on the basis of their demonstrated leadership capacity, it is expected they will utilize the experience derived from the program in positions of leadership upon return to their home countries.

Please note:

Special attention will be required on the part of the host institution to the students' limited knowledge of the U.S. and their varying levels of academic sophistication. Special sensitivity on the part of the host institution also will be required to the cultural traditions and religious practices of the participating students, who will represent a variety of Muslim or other religious traditions. Special requirements and restrictions regarding diet, daily worship, housing and medical care should be considered. The Bureau will provide guidance and assistance, as needed.

Program Dates: Ideally, the program should be 44 days in length (including participant arrival and departure days) and is anticipated to begin mid July 2006.

Program Guidelines: While the conception and structure of each 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. A syllabus must be included that indicates the subject matter for each lecture, panel discussion or other activity (e.g., group exercises), confirms or provisionally identifies proposed lecturers, trainers and session leaders, and clearly shows how assigned readings will support each session. A calendar of all program activities must also be included. Additionally, applicant institutions should describe their plans for public and media outreach in connection with the program.

Note:

In a cooperative agreement, the Bureau is substantially involved in program activities above and beyond routine grant monitoring. ECA activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows: ECA will participate in the selection of participants, exercise oversight with one or Start Printed Page 6125more site visits, debrief participants while they are in Washington and also engage in follow-up communications with the participants upon their return home. ECA may require changes in the content of the program as well as the activities proposed after the grant is awarded. The recipient will be required to obtain review and approval of significant agenda/syllabus changes in advance of their implementation.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under “Note” above. The numbers below reflect figures for each institute.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY-06.

Approximate Total Funding for each institute: $250,000.

Approximate Number of Awards: 2.

Approximate Average Award for each institute: $250,000.

Floor of Award Range for each institute: $225,000.

Ceiling of Award Range for each institute: $250,000.

Anticipated Award Date for each institute: Pending availability of funds, May 18, 2006.

Anticipated Project Completion Date for each institute: September 30, 2006.

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 cooperative 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 and cooperative agreement guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates awarding one cooperative agreement in an amount up to $250,000 for each institute to support program and administrative costs required to implement these exchange programs. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition.

(b.) Technical Eligibility: All proposals must comply with the following: The project director or one of the key program staff responsible for the academic program must have an advanced degree in one of the following fields: political science, international relations, law, history, art, sociology, literature, American studies, and/or other disciplines or sub-disciplines related to the program themes. Failure to meet this criterion will result in your proposal being declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process.

IV. Application and Submission Information

Note:

Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. ECA staff will be available to consult with prospective applicant institutions about program design and content up until the proposal submission deadline. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

IV.1 Contact Information to Request an Application Package

Please contact the Near East/South Asia Branch ECA/A/E/NEA-SA, Room Number 252, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone number (202) 453-8096 and fax number (202) 453-8095, e-mail KreiserJD@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP located at the top of this announcement when making your request.

Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information.

The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) document which consists of required application forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.

It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition.

Please specify Program Officer Joshua Kreiser and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP located at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence.

IV.2. To Download A Solicitation Package Via Internet

The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at http://exchanges.state.gov/​education/​rfgps/​menu.htm, or from the grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. Please read all information before downloading.

IV.3. Content and Form of Submission

Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and ten (10) copies of the application should be sent per the instructions under IV.3f. “Submission Dates and Times section” below.

IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access http://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF—424 which is part of the formal application package.

IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal narrative and budget. Please Refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional formatting and technical requirements.

IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible. Start Printed Page 6126

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 is placing renewed emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantees and sponsors to all regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, proposals should demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all requirements governing the administration of the Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR part 62, including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements. ECA will be responsible for issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.

A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA-44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203-5029, Fax: (202) 453-8640.

Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information.

IV.3d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines. Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. “Diversity” should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the ‘Support for Diversity’ section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,” the Bureau “shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.” Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.

IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track participants or partners and be able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning as a result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the program, and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in which participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan should include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as well as substantive knowledge.

Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation plan should include a description of your project's objectives, your anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are “smart” (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.

Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.

We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in increasing order of importance):

1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange experience.

2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.

3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community members, and others.

4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational improvements.

Please note:

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

Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., surveys, interviews, or focus groups).

Please note:

Because the cooperative agreements to be awarded under the terms of this RFGP are likely to be of less than one year's duration, prospective host institutions will not be expected to be able to demonstrate significant specific results in terms of participant behavior or institutional changes during the agreement period. Applicant institutions monitoring and evaluation plans should, therefore, focus primarily on the first and more particularly the second level of outcomes (learning). ECA will assume principal responsibility for developing performance indicators and conducting post-institute evaluations to measure changes in participant behavior as a result of the program, and effect of the program on institutions, over time.

Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. Start Printed Page 6127

IV.3d.4. Describe your plans for overall program management, staffing, and coordination with ECA. ECA considers program management, staffing and coordination with the Department of State essential elements of your program. Please be sure to give sufficient attention to these elements in your proposal. Please refer to the Technical Eligibility Requirements and the POGI in the Solicitation package for specific guidelines.

IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget:

IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. Awards for each institute may not exceed $250,000. 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. Separate budgets must be submitted if applicants intend to submit proposals for each institute.

Based on a group of 15-20 participants, the total Bureau-funded budget (program and administrative) for each program should not exceed $250,000, with Bureau-funded administrative costs as defined in the budget details section of the solicitation package accounting for no more than $85,000 of the total amount.

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.

IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following:

(1) Institute staff salary and benefits;

(2) Honoraria for Guest speakers;

(3) Participant 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: Friday, March 31, 2006.

Reference Number: ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP.

Methods of Submission:

Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:

(1.) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or

(2.) Electronically through http://www.grants.gov.

Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the solicitation document.

IV.3f.1 Submitting Printed Applications. Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant's responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered.

Important note:

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

The original and ten (10) copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/E/NEA-SA/06-001SIP, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.

IV.3f.2 Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov ­(http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the “Find” portion of the system. Please follow the instructions available in the “Get Started” portion of the site (http://www.grants.gov/​GetStarted).

Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.) of the closing date to ensure that their entire applications have been uploaded to the grants.gov site. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible.

Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications.

IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 12372 does not apply to this program.

Applicants must also submit the “Executive Summary” and “Proposal Narrative” sections of the proposal in text (.txt) format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. embassy for its review.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Review Process

The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for cooperative agreements resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:

1. Overall Quality of Proposal, Program Planning and Administration, and Ability To Achieve Objectives: Proposals should exhibit originality and substance, consonant with the highest standards of American teaching and scholarship, and be suitable for students with English as their second or third language. Program elements should be Start Printed Page 6128tailored for students with limited knowledge of the U.S. and with varying degrees of academic sophistication. Lectures, panels, and other interactive classroom activities, readings, community service, and site visits, taken as a whole, should offer a balanced presentation of issues, reflecting both the continuity of the American experience as well its inherent diversity and dynamism. Proposals should demonstrate careful planning. The organization and structure of each 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. Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and plan.

2. Institutional Capacity and Record/Ability: 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 participants. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange program activities, indicating the experience that the organization and its professional staff have had working with foreign students. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.

3. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. “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. Applicant should highlight instances of diversity in their proposal.

4. Project Evaluation and Follow-up: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to link outcomes to original project objectives is strongly recommended. Proposals should discuss provisions for follow-up with returned grantees as a means of establishing longer-term individual and institutional linkages.

5. 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.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1. Award Notices

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

Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this competition.

VI.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the following:

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, “Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.”

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.”

OMB Circular A-87, “Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments”.

OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.

OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.

OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Non-profit Organizations.

Please reference the following Web sites for additional information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants, http://exchanges.state.gov/​education/​grantsdiv/​terms.htm#articleI.

VI.3. Reporting Requirements

You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus two (2) copies of a final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the conclusion of the program.

Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3d.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.

VI.4. Program Data Requirements

Organizations awarded grants will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. As a minimum, the data must include the following:

(1) Name, address, contact information and biographic sketch of all persons who travel internationally on funds provided by the grant or who benefit from the grant funding but do not travel.

(2) Itineraries of international and domestic travel, providing dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences take place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be received by the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to the official opening of the activity.

VII. Agency Contacts

For questions about this announcement, contact: Joshua Kreiser, ECA/A/E/NEA-SA, Room Number 252, Ref. #: ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone number (202) 453-8096 and fax number (202) 453-8095, e-mail KreiserJD@state.gov.

All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/E/NEA-SA-06-001SIP.

Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP Start Printed Page 6129deadline 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.

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Dated: January 31, 2006.

C. Miller Crouch,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 06-1069 Filed 2-3-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-05-U