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Applications for New Awards; Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program

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Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.




The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program, Assistance Listing Numbers 84.021A and 84.021B. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1840-0792.


Applications Available: January 14, 2021.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 15, 2021.

Pre-Application Webinar information: The Department will hold a pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants. Detailed information regarding this webinar will be provided on the Group Projects Abroad website at​programs/​iegpsgpa/​index.html. Additionally, for prospective applicants unfamiliar with grantmaking at the Department, please consult our funding basics resources at​documents/​funding-101/​funding-101-basics.pdf.


For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf.

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Cory Neal, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 258-12, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-6137. Email:

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

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Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Fulbright-Hays GPA Program is to promote, improve, and develop the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States. The program provides opportunities for faculty, teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students to conduct individual and group projects overseas. Projects may include either (1) short-term seminars, curriculum development, group research or study, or (2) long-term advanced intensive language programs.

This competition invites applicants to submit an application to request support for either a Fulbright-Hays GPA short-term project (GPA short-term projects 84.021A) or a Fulbright-Hays GPA long-term project (GPA long-term projects 84.021B). Applicants must clearly indicate on the SF 424, the Application for Federal Assistance cover sheet, whether they are applying for a GPA short-term project (84.021A) or a GPA long-term project (84.021B). Additional submission requirements are included in the application package.

There are three types of GPA short-term projects: (1) Short-term seminar Start Printed Page 3143projects of four to six weeks in length designed to help participants integrate international studies into an institution's or school system's general curriculum by focusing on a particular aspect of area study, such as the culture of an area or country of study (34 CFR 664.11); (2) curriculum development projects of four to eight weeks in length that provide participants the opportunity to acquire resource materials for curriculum development in modern foreign language and area studies for use and dissemination in the United States (34 CFR 664.12); and (3) group research or study projects of three to twelve months in duration designed to give participants the opportunity to undertake research or study in a foreign country (34 CFR 664.13).

GPA long-term projects are advanced overseas intensive language projects designed by the applicant that may be carried out during a full year, an academic year, a semester, a trimester, a quarter, or a summer. GPA long-term projects provide participants an opportunity for intensive advanced language training overseas and for using the language while experiencing the culture in the foreign country. Participants should have successfully completed at least two academic years of training in the language to be studied to be eligible to participate in a GPA intensive advanced language training program. In addition, the language to be studied must be indigenous to the host country and maximum use must be made of local institutions and personnel (34 CFR 664.14).

Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and four competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 664.32). Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and 2 are from the notice of final priorities and definitions published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2016 (81 FR 39196) (the 2016 NFP). Competitive Preference Priority 3 is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 664.32), and Competitive Preference Priority 4 is from the notice of final priorities published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010 (75 FR 59050) (the 2010 NFP).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2021 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Specific Geographic Regions of the World.

A group project that focuses on one or more of the following geographic regions of the world: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Western Hemisphere (Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean), Eastern and Central Europe and Eurasia, and the Near East.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2021, there are four competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award three additional points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; two additional points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2; two additional points for short-term projects or four additional points for long-term projects to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3; and two additional points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 4. Applicants for GPA short-term projects may address Competitive Preference Priorities 1, 3, and 4. Applicants for GPA long-term projects may address Competitive Preference Priorities 2 and 3. In the application narrative, an applicant must indicate the priority or priorities being addressed and provide a substantive description of how the proposed activities support the applicant's selected priority or priorities and provide documentation supporting its claims.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Applications for GPA Short-term Projects from Selected Institutions and Organizations (3 Points).

Applications for GPA short-term projects from the following types of institutions and organizations:

  • Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) (as defined in this notice).
  • Community colleges (as defined in this notice).
  • New applicants (as defined in this notice).
  • State educational agencies (as defined in this notice).

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Applications for GPA Long-term Projects from MSIs (2 Points).

Applications for GPA long-term advanced overseas intensive language training projects from MSIs.

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Substantive Training and Thematic Focus on Less Commonly Taught Languages (2 Points for short-term projects or 4 Points for long-term projects).

Applications that propose GPA short-term projects (2 points) or GPA long-term projects (4 points) that provide substantive training and thematic focus on any modern foreign language except French, German, or Spanish.

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Inclusion of K-12 Educators (2 Points).

Applications that propose short-term projects abroad that develop and improve foreign language studies, area studies, or both at elementary and secondary schools by including K-12 teachers or K-12 administrators as at least 50 percent of the project participants.


The following definitions are from the 2016 NFP to provide clarity for applicants addressing the competitive preference priorities.

Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education (IHE) (as defined in section 101 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent).

Minority-serving institution (MSI) means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the HEA.

New applicant means any applicant that has not received a discretionary grant from the Department of Education under the Fulbright-Hays Act prior to the deadline date for applications under this program.

State educational agency means the State board of education or other agency or officer primarily responsible for the supervision of public elementary and secondary schools in a State. In the absence of this officer or agency, it is an officer or agency designated by the Governor or State law.

Program Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2452(b)(6).


Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, and 86. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as Start Printed Page 3144adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 664. (e) The 2010 NFP. (f) The 2016 NFP.


The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration's budget request for FY 2021 does not include funds for this program. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process before the end of the current fiscal year, if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2022 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Available Funds: $3,532,000.

Estimated Range of Awards:

GPA short-term projects: $50,000-$100,000.

GPA long-term projects: $50,000-$250,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards:

GPA short-term projects: $80,059.

GPA long-term projects: $185,025.

Maximum Award: We will not make a GPA short-term award exceeding $100,000 for a single project period of 18 months. We will not make a GPA long-term project award exceeding $250,000 for a single budget period of 24 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 25.

GPA short-term projects: 10.

GPA long-term projects: 15.


The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period:

GPA short-term projects: Up to 18 months.

GPA long-term projects: Up to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (1) IHEs, (2) State educational agencies, (3) private nonprofit educational organizations, and (4) consortia of these entities.

Eligible Participants: Citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States, who are (1) faculty members who teach modern foreign languages or area studies at an IHE, (2) teachers in elementary or secondary schools, (3) experienced education administrators responsible for planning, conducting, or supervising programs in modern foreign language or area studies at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary levels, or (4) graduate students, or juniors or seniors in an IHE, who plan teaching careers in modern foreign languages or area studies.


If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing: (1) Proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual; (3) a certified copy of the applicant's certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or (4) any item described above if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.

2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 664.33. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 40 pages and (2) use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet or budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurance and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the biography, or letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 664.31 and are as follows:

(a) Plan of operation. (20 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application for information to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the project.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

(i) High quality in the design of the project;

(ii) An effective plan of management that insures proper and efficient administration of the project;

(iii) A clear description of how the objectives of the project relate to the purpose of the program;

(iv) The way the applicant plans to use its resources and personnel to achieve each objective; and

(v) A clear description of how the applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapping condition.

(b) Quality of key personnel. (10 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application for information to determine the quality of key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

(i) The qualifications of the project director;

(ii) The qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be used in the project;

(iii) The time that each person referred to in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section will commit to the project; and

(iv) The extent to which the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that Start Printed Page 3145its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapping condition.

(3) To determine the qualifications of a person, the Secretary considers evidence of past experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project as well as other information that the applicant provides.

(c) Budget and cost effectiveness. (10 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the project has an adequate budget and is cost effective.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

(i) The budget for the project is adequate to support the project activities; and

(ii) Costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.

(d) Evaluation plan. (20 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows the quality of the evaluation plan for the project.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows that the methods of evaluation are appropriate for the project and, to the extent possible, are objective and produce data that are quantifiable.

(e) Adequacy of resources. (5 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the applicant plans to devote adequate resources to the project.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows that the facilities, equipment, and supplies that the applicant plans to use are adequate.

(f) Specific Program Criteria. (35 points)

(1) In addition to the general selection criteria contained in this section, the Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the project meets the specific program criteria.

(2) The Secretary looks for information that shows—

(i) The potential impact of the project on the development of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in American education. (15 points)

(ii) The project's relevance to the applicant's educational goals and its relationship to its program development in modern foreign languages and area studies. (10 points)

(iii) The extent to which direct experience abroad is necessary to achieve the project's objectives and the effectiveness with which relevant host country resources will be utilized. (10 points)

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

For FY 2021, proposed GPA short-term projects will be reviewed by peer review panels with expertise on the world area focus of the application. All proposed GPA long-term projects will be reviewed by one peer review panel. The International and Foreign Language Education office will prepare separate rank order slates for GPA short-term projects and GPA long-term projects recommended for new awards in FY 2021. Each slate will include the peer reviewers' scores for all applications evaluated, from the highest score to the lowest score.

3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

5. In General: In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this notice inviting applications in accordance with—

(a) Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR 200.205);

(b) Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232) (2 CFR 200.216);

(c) Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (2 CFR 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341);

(d) Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR 200.322); and

(e) Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR 200.340).

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.Start Printed Page 3146

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20.

4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

5. Performance Measures: For the purposes of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and Department reporting under 34 CFR 75.110, the following measure will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the GPA short-term program: The percentage of GPA short-term project participants who disseminated information about or materials from their group project abroad through more than one outreach activity within six months of returning to their home institution. The following measure will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the GPA long-term program: The percentage of GPA long-term project participants who increased their reading, writing, and/or listening/speaking foreign language scores by one proficiency level. The efficiency of the GPA long-term program will be measured by considering the cost per GPA participant who increased his/her foreign language score in reading, writing, and/or listening/speaking by at least one proficiency level.

The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via the International Resource Information System (IRIS) will be the source of data for this measure. Reporting screens for institutions can be viewed at:​iris/​pdfs/​gpa_​director.pdf and​iris/​pdfs/​gpa_​participant.pdf.

VII. Other Information

Accessible Format: On request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONACT, individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format. The Department will provide the requestor with an accessible format that may include Rich Text Format (RTF) or text format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible format.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Start Signature

Christopher J. McCaghren,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 2021-00757 Filed 1-13-21; 8:45 am]