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Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: U.S. Professional Development Program for EducationUSA Advisers

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Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.

Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/S/A-11-05.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.432.

Key Dates: October 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 .

Executive Summary: The Educational Information and Resources Branch of the Office of Global Educational Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the U.S. Professional Development Program for EducationUSA Advisers in Fiscal Year 2011. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code Section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to cooperate with the Bureau in the administration of this program, which will focus on short-term professional development in the United States for EducationUSA advisers.

EducationUSA is the network of advising centers supported by the U.S. Department of State. These centers operate in a wide variety of institutional settings around the world, including binational Fulbright Commissions, Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies, independent binational centers, foreign universities, and the Start Printed Page 25026overseas offices of U.S. non-government organizations. The support of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for these centers varies by center and region, and ranges from support for educational resources and the professional development of advising staffs, to, in a limited number of locations, direct support for office operations. In addition, all EducationUSA centers receive specialized, highly tailored advice from Bureau-supported regional and country educational advising coordinators who are based in fourteen locations in every world region.

EducationUSA centers are catalysts for the enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities of students and scholars sponsored by the U.S. government and by other sponsors as well as students and scholars seeking U.S. study opportunities independently. The advising staffs at EducationUSA centers provide comprehensive, balanced advice about the complex range of higher educational opportunities in the United States to international students, parents, scholars, and foreign government officials. EducationUSA centers also assist U.S. institutions of higher education in their overseas outreach efforts. In addition, the EducationUSA network encourages study abroad by Americans and the development of study abroad opportunities by U.S. universities. EducationUSA advisers provide comprehensive information to foreign audiences about opportunities to study at accredited U.S. educational institutions, enabling prospective students and professionals to select appropriate U.S. educational programs. More information on the network and a current EducationUSA center list is located at http://www.educationusa.state.gov.

Professional development for EducationUSA advisers is a critical component of the Department of State's support for EducationUSA and includes a range of opportunities designed to deepen the advisers' understanding of U.S. higher education and of their role in U.S. public diplomacy. Advisers need to understand the complex offerings of the various sectors of U.S. higher education system, as well as the public diplomacy context for their work. The Department provides a continuum of professional development opportunities that include an on-line course for newly hired advisers, systematic mentoring by regional and country educational advising coordinators and regular access to their guidance, as well as periodic regional workshops that bring together advisers from each world region for sessions with Regional Coordinators, Bureau staff, representatives of U.S. colleges, universities, and educational associations, and other U.S. educational experts.

The U.S. Professional Development Program for EducationUSA Advisers will provide a series of professional development opportunities in the United States, which should complement opportunities that are offered overseas. Applicant organizations are encouraged to propose creative, innovative strategies for all components of the Program. More detailed information is provided under the Funding Opportunity Description, which follows.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

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.

Purpose: To expand the ability of EducationUSA advisers to facilitate the flow of international students to the United States, as well as their ability to expand the participation of U.S. students in academically sound study abroad programs in a widening range of international locations. The work of EducationUSA centers is critical to the Bureau's pursuit of these objectives, and the U.S. Professional Development Program for EducationUSA Advisers should equip advisers with skills and perspectives that will increase their effectiveness in their professional employment at EducationUSA centers around the world.

1. Participants

Participants will be nominated by the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies overseas, with the approval of the participants' employing organizations, and will be selected by the Bureau's program office in consultation with Regional Educational Advising Coordinators. They will be currently employed at a State Department-supported EducationUSA advising center and will have demonstrated competency in analyzing and discussing the U.S. and home country educational systems; the application processes that lead to individual enrollments in U.S. higher educational institutions; cross-cultural communication skills; and office management skills in an EducationUSA center. In addition, each participant will have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the educational advising profession.

2. Program Design

Proposals should outline creative, innovative strategies for developing and adapting four traditional program models that have been implemented in the past for EducationUSA advisers, with a sharpened focus on current issues in higher education and on the role of educational advising in public diplomacy. For each program component, proposals should include an overall project framework that identifies objectives, outlines an implementation plan and that anticipates measurable, specific outcomes. The amount that will be available for this program in FY2011 resources cannot be determined until FY2011 funds are appropriated. However, for planning purposes applicant organizations may submit program budgets, not including administrative expenses, that do not exceed the approximate amounts noted below.

Component A: For advisers with at least two years' experience in their positions: Two workshops each lasting approximately ten days to two weeks. Proposals must include a draft curriculum for each workshop, including topics of current concern. The curriculum should also include at least two full days of briefings by representatives of the Department of State. Final curricula will be subject to approval by the Bureau's program office. Funding not to exceed approximately $300,000 is anticipated for a total of two sessions of ten days to two weeks each, with each session accommodating approximately 20 to 25 participants.

Component B: For advisers with at least four years' experience in their positions: A seminar of approximately ten days to enable senior advisers to pursue projects that will enable them to serve more effectively as professional resources with specialized expertise. Proposals should illustrate how participants will gain access to specialized advice about a wide range of topics. At the seminar, participants will Start Printed Page 25027discuss their interests and approaches with one another in addition to engaging in specialized research and consultations. Provision should be made for on-going follow-up consultations with relevant experts after the seminar participants return to their EducationUSA workplaces and for enabling participants to share project results throughout the EducationUSA network and with relevant educational advising professionals outside the network. This seminar combines features of the Professional Advising Leadership (PAL) and the Professional Advising Leadership Expansion (PEP) programs. Funding not to exceed approximately $150,000 is anticipated for one session accommodating a total of approximately ten to fifteen participants.

Component C: For advisers who are new in their positions and who lack previous experience at a U.S. college or university: An orientation lasting two weeks, in which the advisers attend international student orientation sessions and experience campus life as an arriving international student at a specific host institution and consult with the international student affairs staff. Traditionally, this program component has been known as the Explore Program. Anticipated funding for one session for up to ten participants is $50,000.

Component D: For advisers with special interest in specific educational topics: Support for participating in relevant U.S. educational conferences or workshops of approximately ten days. To the extent possible, support will be provided to advisers who will make presentations at these events. Proposals should outline strategies for providing support and mentoring to ensure the active engagement of EducationUSA adviser participants with professional counterparts at these events. Anticipated funding for approximately 75 participants is $300,000.

In addition, the conferences or workshops should provide opportunities for active participation in sessions addressing issues of current interest to international educators and overseas advisers with strong emphasis on networking with other educational advising professionals.

The Bureau anticipates making one award for the administration of all components of this program.

3. Logistics

The recipient will be responsible for international and domestic travel arrangements for all participants, lodging and local transportation arrangements, orientation and debriefing sessions, preparing support material, identifying and providing honoraria to guest presenters and expert consultants, and identifying host institutions where participants will observe the operations of relevant educational offices through direct involvement in the administration of institutional practices and policies.

4. Evaluation/Follow-Up

The proposal must include a detailed evaluation and follow-up plan. Special emphasis should be given to designing a program which incorporates outcome measurement strategies that assess ultimate effectiveness.

5. Visa/Insurance/Tax Requirements

The program must comply with applicable visa regulations. Participant health and accident insurance will be provided to the EducationUSA adviser participants in all components except component D, who will obtain insurance through another mechanisms; the recipient organization will be responsible for enrolling participants in the Bureau's insurance program and providing any necessary assistance should medical care be needed. Administration of the program must be in compliance with reporting and withholding regulations for federal, state, and local taxes as applicable. Applicant organizations should demonstrate tax regulation adherence in the proposal narrative and budget.

6. Printed Materials

Drafts of all printed materials developed for this program should be submitted to the Bureau's program office for review and approval. All official documents should highlight the U.S. government's role as program sponsor and funding source. The Bureau requires that it receive the copyright use and reserves the right to distribute the copyrighted material.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

In a Cooperative Agreement, the Bureau's program office is substantially involved in program activities above and beyond routine grant monitoring. The Bureau's activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows:

  • Selection of program participants in coordination with Regional Educational Advising Coordinators and Public Affairs Sections at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas;
  • approval of adviser projects;
  • active participation in the design and direction of program activities;
  • approval of curriculum and program content;
  • conducting professional development sessions for which program office staff has appropriate expertise;
  • organization of meetings with Department of State representatives;
  • approval of program plans and agendas;
  • approval of key personnel;
  • approval of staffing requirements, travel plans, budgets, and policy guidance and direction;
  • guidance in the execution of all program components;
  • approval of all program publicity;
  • approval of host institutions and associations;
  • approval of decisions related to special circumstances and problems;
  • assistance with participant emergencies.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY2011.

Approximate Total Funding: $1,100,000 pending availability of FY2011 resources.

Approximate Number of Awards: 1.

Approximate Average Award: $1,100,000.

Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, October 1, 2010.

Anticipated Project Completion Date: December 30, 2011.

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 Cooperative Agreement for two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

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 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 Start Printed Page 25028for 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 making one award in an amount over $60,000 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 Educational Information and Resources Branch, ECA/A/S/A, SA-5, 4th Floor, U.S. Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0504, telephone (202) 632-6347, Fax: (202) 202-632-9478; e-mail DanzCB@state.gov or MoraDD@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/A-11-05 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 Bureau Branch Chief Caryn Danz and Program Officer Dorothy Mora and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/S/A-11-05 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/​grants/​open2.html, 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.

Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one of the following ways:

(1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,” must include a copy of relevant portions of this form.

(2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information above in the format of their choice.

In addition to final program reporting requirements, award recipients will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived from their program reports, listing and describing their grant activities. For award recipients, the names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the one- page description of grant activities, will be transmitted by the State Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its USASpending.gov Web site as part of ECA's FFATA reporting requirements.

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: The following is included for informational purposes only:

IV.3d.1 Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa:

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically important emphases on the security and proper administration of the Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by award recipients 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. 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, Office of Designation, ECA/EC/D, SA-5, Floor C2, Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0582.

Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information.

IV.3d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines: Pursuant to the Start Printed Page 25029Bureau'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 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 recipient organization 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.)

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

IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A—“Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs” along with a comprehensive budget for the entire program. 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.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. 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) Salaries and fringe benefits; travel and per diem;

(2) Other direct costs, inclusive of rent, utilities, etc.;

(3) Indirect expenses (except against participant program expenses), auditing costs;

(4) Participant program costs; i.e., international/domestic travel, visas, per diem, conference attendance.

(5) USBT Adviser Web site and support activities.

(6) Advising coordinator expenses for pre-conference campus visits.

(7) Campus coordinator costs for advising center visits; i.e., international/domestic travel, visas, 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, July 9, 2010.

Reference Number: ECA/A/S/A-11-05.

Methods of Submission:

Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:

(1) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service Start Printed Page 25030(i.e., 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 eight copies of the application should be sent to: Program Management Division, ECA-IIP/EX/PM, Ref.: ECA/A/S/A-11-05 SA-5, Floor 4, Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0504.

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 Note:

ECA bears no responsibility for applicant timeliness of submission or data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via Grants.gov.

Please follow the instructions available in the “Get Started” portion of the site (http://www.grants.gov/​GetStarted).

Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov.

Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the “For Applicants” section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726, Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, E-mail: support@grants.gov.

Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. 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.

Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications.

It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

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 cooperative agreements resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1a. 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 a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA 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:Start Printed Page 25031

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://fa.statebuy.state.gov.

VI.3. Reporting Requirements

You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus two copies of the following reports:

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

(2) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site—as part of ECA's Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements.

(3) A SF-PPR, “Performance Progress Report” Cover Sheet with all program reports.

Award recipients 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.

Optional Program Data Requirements:

Award recipients 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 agreement or who benefit from the award 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: ECA/A/S/A Branch Chief Caryn Danz or Program Officer Dorothy Mora, U.S. Department of State, Educational Information and Resources Branch, ECA/A/S/A, SA-5, 4th Floor, ECA/A/S/A-11-05, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0503. Telephone for Caryn Danz is (202) 632-6353; E-mail address: DanzCB@state.gov. Telephone for Dorothy Mora is (202) 632-6347; E-mail address: MoraDD@state.gov. Fax: 202-632-9478.

All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/A/S/A-11-05.

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.

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 27, 2010 .

Maura M. Pally,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2010-10725 Filed 5-5-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-05-P