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Request for Grant Proposals: U.S-French Teachers-in-Training Program

Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement.

Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/S/X-06-12.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000

Application Deadline: May 31, 2006.

Executive Summary: The Fulbright Teacher Exchange Branch in the Office of Global Educational Programs of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/S/X) announces an open competition for the U.S.-French Teachers-in-Training Program. Accredited, U.S. post-secondary educational institutions meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to administer a three-month teacher exchange program for U.S. and French pre-service teachers. Post-secondary educational institutions may apply independently or in a consortium with other post-secondary institutions. The program will provide approximately 30-35 French pre-service teachers, who are expected to serve socio-economically disadvantaged students in France, with a three-to-four week orientation to American history, culture and society, provided through professional Start Printed Page 24896development seminars in an academic setting, and a two-month practical component, provided through practice teaching experience under the guidance of experienced mentor teachers at a U.S. school. Interested institutions should document strong contacts with local school districts in the United States in order to provide the practical student-teaching component for French pre-service teachers and a demonstrated ability to conduct a substantive seminar in an academic setting. The program will also provide a reciprocal program for U.S. pre-service teachers. In cooperation with the French Ministry of Education, with support from the Franco-American Commission for Educational Exchange (Fulbright Commission), the cooperating institution will recruit and select 30-35 U.S. pre-service or in-service teachers, and provide a pre-departure orientation and short-term French language training. The French partners will arrange an in-country orientation and a three-month student teaching internship for U.S. teachers. The total grant award for all program and administrative expenses will be approximately $350,000.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

I.1. Authority

Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is “to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.” The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.

I.2 Purpose

Overview

I.2a. Program Goals:

1. Contribute to mutual understanding between France, a key U.S. partner and ally, and the United States.

2. Provide French teachers in training, especially those who plan to teach in diverse schools, a better understanding of U.S. society, history, and culture.

3. Provide opportunities for students in French schools to learn first hand about U.S. society, history and culture from young American future teachers.

4. Expose U.S. student teachers to greater understanding of another culture and society.

5. Provide opportunities for schools in France and in the United States to develop long-lasting ties and to share educational best practices, including strategies for teaching in multi-cultural classrooms.

In the long-term, this program is expected to assist French and American educators as they prepare students to live in an increasingly interdependent world.

I.2b. French participants: French participants will be in their final year of post-baccalaureate training at one of six schools of education (Instituts Universitaires de Formation de Maitres): Orléans-Tours, Champagne-Ardenne, Paris, Midi-Pyrénées, Versailles, and Alsace. They will be in their first year of practice teaching and will be expected to pass their final practical examination in France in early June 2007. It is anticipated that all participants, early in their careers, will teach in schools that serve economically disadvantaged and/or diverse socio-economic sectors. The French Ministry of Education and the U.S. Embassy in France, with support from the Fulbright Commission, will recruit and select these students.

I.2c. U.S. participants: U.S. participants will be education students at the undergraduate or graduate level who are ready to begin student teaching. The cooperating institution will recruit and select U.S. participants in coordination with the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Branch, the U.S. Embassy in France and the French Ministry of Education. The French partners will organize an orientation in France with input from the cooperating institution and will place participants in teaching internships in French schools. Participants will teach in or conduct outreach activities in a variety of schools, including those in “priority education areas,” which are defined in terms of socio-economic backgrounds. Most U.S. participants will student teach in schools where U.S. history, geography and related subjects are taught and where English is used in the classroom. While fluency in French is not required, those teachers with some facility in the French language will be given preference. U.S. participants must reflect the diversity of American society (including, but not limited to geographic, gender, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity).

I.2d. Guidelines:

The cooperating institution should conduct a short planning visit to France to consult with representatives from the U.S. Embassy, the French Ministry of Education, the Fulbright Commission, and local educators. Based on assessments made during this planning visit, the cooperating institution will develop a detailed schedule and curriculum for the U.S.-based program and will discuss with French partners the development of the program for U.S. participants. The cooperating institution, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, should develop a process to assist French participants in receiving official recognition for their exchange, as well as a process for American participants to receive academic credit through the U.S. host institution.

I.2e. Program components for French participants:

  • Pre-departure orientation (2-4 days): The U.S. Embassy in France, in collaboration with the Fulbright Commission, will organize an orientation with substantial input and participation from the cooperating institution. The orientation will provide information about the program, the program's goals, and expectations of participants. At the orientation, organizers will seek input from the participants about the needs of local teachers, review comparative teaching practices, and address issues about participants' stay in the U.S.
  • U.S.-based seminar (3-4 weeks or the equivalent): The cooperating institution should design and conduct an academically sound seminar on U.S. history, culture and society to complement the school-based training. The seminar should have a strong contemporary focus and provide an introduction to the U.S. education system, American culture, including a cross-cultural adjustment seminar, and the U.S. government as it relates to education. It should include a basic introduction to American life and customs, particularly common practices in U.S. schools and efforts to eliminate educational inequity. While U.S. teaching methodology should not be the primary focus of this component, participants should be exposed to current issues in the U.S. including: federalism, diversity, the role of religion, politics, U.S. history, mass media, economics, literature, and fine arts.
  • Site visits to schools (2-3 days or the equivalent): School visits should expose participants to different levels and types of schools (public, private, Start Printed Page 24897charter, rural, inner city, ethnically and socio-economically diverse).
  • Internships in high schools (maximum 8 weeks): French teachers should be placed in small groups (5-10 people) at local schools, paired with experienced U.S. teachers whose academic specialization matches their own. Internship activities should immerse student teachers actively in the American classroom environment and may include: observing a variety of classroom activities (active classroom, group projects, etc.); working individually with a mentor teacher on curriculum development; and team teaching. French teachers must spend at least six hours per week conducting classes independently.
  • Exposure to local school governance: Teachers should attend faculty, board of education, and PTA meetings.
  • Final debriefing (1-2 days): Student teachers will share what they have observed and learned, perhaps through presentations they make to each other within the group. The debriefing will also offer a framework for integrating the training and its objectives into participants' previous background, and promote strategies for them to share their knowledge with professional counterparts and their own students on their return.
  • Curriculum development project: By the end of the program, the student teachers should complete a project incorporating an idea or concept that they will put into practice when they begin teaching.
  • Cultural experiences: The project should provide opportunities for participants to interact with the local community and non-school-based groups, including home stays, to experience activities reflecting the diversity of American society, and to make presentations to local schools or community groups about French society and culture.
  • Washington program (2-3 days): The participants should travel to Washington for a professional and cultural program to include meetings with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the French Embassy, and Department of Education representatives.

I.2.f. Cooperating institution's responsibilities for French student teachers:

  • Plan and implement the exchange program, including both the academic and practical components.
  • Identify school districts to host groups for internships (schools should submit a brief proposal outlining their interest, understanding of goals, examples of best practices, and commitment to mentoring). School districts should be within driving distance of the host university (and/or its partner universities). Schools should designate an experienced mentor teacher to oversee the day-to-day activities of the participants.
  • Assist with pre-departure orientation in France, conduct debriefing.
  • Prepare DS-2019 forms.
  • Administer logistics for French participants: transportation to local schools and training sites, enrollment in Bureau health insurance program, U.S. government forms—DS-2019, tax, social security, etc.
  • Arrange for housing, which should include a home stay for at least some portion of the exchange visit;

I.2g. Cooperating institution's responsibilities for U.S. student teachers:

  • Selection: Design application forms and publicity materials, recruit, and select U.S. participants in coordination with the Office of Global Educational Programs.
  • Pre-departure orientation (two to three days): Provide introduction to French society and culture, including diversity issues, government and education system and a cross-cultural adjustment seminar. Establish guidelines and expectations for U.S. participants.
  • Short-term language training in the U.S. (three to four weeks or equivalent): Depending on the language level of U.S. participants, provide an introduction to French vocabulary related to schools and education. Training may be conducted using distance education technology.
  • Travel of U.S. participants: Purchase airline tickets and enrollment in Bureau health insurance for U.S. grantees.

I.2.h. General Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with various partners, including the U.S. Embassy in France, the French Ministry of Education, the Fulbright Commission, and the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Branch in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs regarding all activities, reporting and evaluation. The proposal should address mechanisms for communication and coordination;
  • Monitor and evaluate the program;
  • Administer all financial aspects of the program and comply with reporting requirements;
  • Plan follow-on activities with host schools and participants.

Please note that international tickets for French participants will be arranged and funded by the French Ministry of Education. French participants will receive a stipend from the French Ministry of Education and will be responsible for their own meals and incidental expenses.

A strong proposal will address follow-on activities in conjunction with the Fulbright Commission and host schools in the United States and France to increase future impact and participant support.

The agreement will begin on, or about, September 1, 2006 and the cooperating institution should complete all exchange activities by June 30, 2008. The program for French teachers should be from January to March 2007. The U.S. group may be planned for spring or fall 2007. Please refer to additional program specific guidelines in the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) document. Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further information.

In a cooperative agreement, ECA/A/S/X will be substantially involved in the program activities mentioned above and beyond routine grant monitoring. ECA/A/S/X activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows:

  • Formulation of program policy;
  • Clearing texts and program guidelines for publication;
  • In cooperation with U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Commission, oversee selection of U.S. participants;
  • Oversight of the content for all orientations as well as review and approval of program schedules;

II. Award Information

Type of Award: New Cooperative Agreement. ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under number I above.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY 06.

Approximate Total Funding: $350,000.

Approximate Number of Awards: 1.

Approximate Average Award: Pending availability of funds, $350,000.

Anticipated Award Date: September 1, 2006.

Anticipated Project Completion Date: June 30, 2008.

Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA's intent to renew this agreement for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

Applications may be submitted by accredited, post-secondary educational Start Printed Page 24898institutions 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 grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's contribution will be reduced in like proportion.

III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements

(a) Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates awarding one grant, in an amount up to $350,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

IV. Application and Submission Information

Note:

Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

IV.1. Contact Information To Request an Application Package

Please contact the Office of Global Educational Programs, ECA/A/S/X, Room 349, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, tel. (202) 453-8897, fax (202) 453-8890, or e-mail Mosleypj@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/X 06-12 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 ECA/A/S/X Program Officer Catharine Cashner and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/A/S/X 06-12) 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 application should be submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. “Application Deadline and Methods of Submission” 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.

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 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. The Grantee 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, Start Printed Page 24899religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and disabilities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content.

Please refer to the review criteria under the “Support for Diversity” section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,” the Bureau “shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.” Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.

IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation

Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the 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 that evaluation plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.)

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.

IV.3d.4. Describe your plans for overall program management, staffing, and coordination with ECA/A/S/X. ECA/A/S/X 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. Describe your plans for: i.e. sustainability, overall program management, staffing, coordination with ECA and PAS or any other requirements etc.

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. The budget should not exceed $350,000 for program and administrative costs. 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.

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

(1) International Travel.

(2) Costs for U.S. Competition.

(3) U.S. Ground Transportation.

(4) Orientation and Professional Development Seminar (instruction, materials, logistics).

(5) Host schools (administrative costs).

(6) Participant lodging and per diem.

(7) Cultural Activities.

(8) Book Allowance/Shipping.

(9) Grantee Administrative Costs.

Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.

IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission

Application Deadline Date: May 31, 2006.

Reference No: ECA/A/S/X-06-12.

Explanation of Deadlines:

IV.3f.1. 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. Start Printed Page 24900

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.2. 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 eight copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/S/X-06-04, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.

Applicants submitting hard-copy applications 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 appropriate Public Affairs Sections at the U.S. embassies for their review.

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 application has 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 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.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Review Process

The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards 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. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive expertise in professional development for student teachers and logistical capacity. The agenda and plan should illustrate effective use of community and regional resources to enhance participants' educational and cultural experiences.

2. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and plan.

3. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages between U.S. and French schools.

4. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration (selection of participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities) both in the United States and in France.

5. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals.

6. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grants Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.

7. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.

8. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives is recommended.

9. Cost-effectiveness/cost sharing: The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate.

Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support, as well as institutional direct funding contributions.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1.a. 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 Start Printed Page 24901AAD 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 one copy of the following reports:

(1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award;

(2) Annual program report for the first year of the agreement.

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.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information.

All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request.

All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document.

VI.4. Optional 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: Catharine Cashner, ECA/A/S/X, Room 349, ECA/A/S/X 06-12, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, tel. (202) 453-8880, fax (202)453-8890.

All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/S/X 06-12.

Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

VIII. Other Information

Notice

The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above.

Start Signature

Dated: April 21, 2006.

C. Miller Crouch,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E6-6357 Filed 4-26-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-05-P