[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 17 (Thursday, January 25, 2001)]
[Pages 7831-7833]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-2189]



Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

[Public Notice 3556]

Business Management Curriculum Development and Faculty Training 
in Albania

ACTION: Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP).


SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs in the Department of State announces 
an open competition for an assistance award to develop and strengthen 
university-level business management education in Albania. The project 
will support the development of instructional materials and faculty 
training in business with emphasis on business management, business law 
and ethics, corporate governance, accounting, organizational 
management, finance, banking, and alternative conflict resolution in 
business. Accredited post-secondary institutions meeting the provisions 
described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals that 
address these objectives. The means for achieving these objectives may 
include mentoring, case study development, teaching, consultation, 
research, distance education, internship training and professional 
outreach to public and private sector managers and entrepreneurs.

Overview and Project Objectives

    The project is designed to support business management education at 
one or more post-secondary educational institutions in Albania and to 
address current issues affecting Albania's transition to a market 
economy, including the ethical dimensions of business practices and the 
factors that will encourage the development of a more favorable 
investment climate. The U.S. applicant should describe how it will work 
cooperatively with one or more post-secondary institutions in Albania. 
Applicants are encouraged to develop creative strategies to pursue 
these objectives.
    Bureau policy stipulates that awards to organizations with less 
than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are 
limited to $60,000. The Bureau anticipates awarding one or two grants 
for a total amount not to exceed $188,300. Funds will be awarded for a 
period up to three years to assist with the costs of exchanges, 
educational materials, and to increase library holdings and improve 
Internet connections. Up to 25% of the grant total may be used to 
assist with the costs of project administration. Indirect 
administrative costs are not eligible for Bureau funding under this 
competition, but may be presented as part of the U.S. institution's 
    The project should pursue its objectives through a strategy that 
coordinates the participation of junior and senior faculty, 
administrators, or graduate students for any appropriate combination of 
teaching, research, mentoring, internships, and outreach, for exchange 
visits ranging from one week to an academic year. Visits of one 
semester or longer for participants from Albania are strongly 
encouraged, especially for junior members of the Albanian faculty. 
Program activities should be tied to the goals and objectives of the 
project. The strategy

[[Page 7832]]

may include short but intensive English language training for selected 
participants whose English knowledge skills need to be strengthened or 
    If the proposed project would occur within the context of a 
previous or ongoing project, the proposal should explain how the 
request for Bureau funding would build upon the pre-existing 
relationship or complement previous and concurrent projects, which must 
be listed and described with details about the amounts and sources of 
external support. Previous projects should be described in the 
proposal, and the results of the evaluation of previous cooperative 
efforts should be summarized.

U.S. Institution and Participant Eligibility

    In the United States, participation in the program is open to 
accredited two and four-year colleges and universities, including 
graduate schools. Applications from community colleges, minority-
serving institutions, and consortia or other combinations of U.S. 
colleges and universities are eligible. Secondary U.S. partners may 
include governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as 
non-profit service and professional organizations. The lead U.S. 
university in the consortium or other combination of cooperating 
institutions is responsible for submitting the application. Each 
application must document the lead organization's authority to 
represent all U.S. cooperating partners.
    With the exception of outside consultants reporting on the degree 
to which project objectives have been achieved, participants 
representing a U.S. institution and traveling under the Bureau's grant 
funds must be teachers, advanced graduate students who are teaching or 
research assistants, or administrators from the participating 
institution(s). Participants representing a U.S. institution must be 
U.S. citizens. Advanced graduate students who are teaching or research 
assistants are eligible for Bureau-funded participation in this program 
only if they are working under the direction of an accompanying faculty 
participant or project director.

Albanian Institutional and Participant Eligibility

    Participation is open to recognized institutions of post-secondary 
education. Secondary foreign partners may include relevant governmental 
and non-governmental organizations, as well as non-profit service and 
professional organizations concerned with issues in business 
management, business law, business ethics, and alternative conflict 
resolution in business. Foreign participants must be citizens or 
permanent residents of Albania who are eligible to receive a J-1 visa.

Budget Guidelines

    Applicants may submit a budget proposing up to $188,300. The Bureau 
anticipates awarding one or two grants for this project. Requests for 
amounts smaller than the maximum are eligible. Budget notes should 
carefully justify the amounts needed. There must be a summary budget as 
well as a breakdown reflecting the program and administrative budgets 
including unit costs. Cost sharing will be considered an important 
indicator of institutional commitment.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete guidelines 
and formatting instructions.

Announcement Title and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs concerning this RFGP should reference the above title 
``Business Management Curriculum Development and Faculty Training in 
Albania'' and reference number ECA/A/S/U-01-16.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact the Humphrey Fellowships and 
Institutional Linkages Branch, Office of Global Educational Programs, 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; ECA/A/S/U, Room 349, SA-44; 
U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
phone (202) 619-5289, fax: (202) 401-1433, e-mail: 
[email protected] to request a Solicitation Package.
    The Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, and guidelines for preparing proposals, including 
specific criteria for preparation of the proposal budget. Please 
specify the above reference number on all inquiries and correspondence.
    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.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet

    The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's 
website at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps. Please read all 
information before downloading.

Deadline of Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington D.C. time on Friday, April 
20, 2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents 
postmarked by the due date but received on a later date will not be 
accepted. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure 
compliance with the deadline.

Approximate Program Dates

    Grants should begin on or about September 1, 2001.
    Duration: September 1, 2001-September 30, 2004.


    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and 10 copies of the application should be sent 
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Ref.: ECA/A/S/U-01-16, Program 
Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 
    All copies should include the documents specified under Tabs A 
through E in the ``Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation'' 
(POGI) section of the Solicitation Package. The documents under Tab F 
of the POGI should be submitted with the original application and with 
one of the ten copies.
    Proposals that do not follow RFGP requirements and the guidelines 
appearing in the POGI and PSI may be excluded from consideration due to 
technical ineligibility.
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' Sections of the proposal on a 3.5" diskette, 
formatted for DOS. This material must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will 
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs Office in 
Tirana for its review, with the goal of reducing time it takes to get 
the post's comments for the Bureau's grants review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
adhere to the

[[Page 7833]]

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 the total 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.

Review Process

    The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will 
review them 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 Affairs Section 
of the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. Eligible proposals will be subject to 
review for compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and 
guidelines and will be 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 (grants or cooperative agreements) resides with the 
Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    State Department officers in Washington, DC and overseas will use 
the criteria below to reach funding recommendations and decisions. 
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank-
ordered or weighted.

1. Broad Significance and Clarity of Institutional Objectives

    Proposals should outline clearly formulated objectives that relate 
specifically to the needs of the participating institutions. Project 
objectives should also have significant but realistically anticipated 
ongoing consequences for the participating institutions and demonstrate 
how these consequences will also contribute to the transition in 
Albania to a more transparent, market-oriented economy.

2. Creativity and Feasibility of Strategy To Achieve Project Objectives

    Strategies to achieve project objectives should demonstrate the 
feasibility of doing so during a three-year period by utilizing and 
reinforcing exchange activities realistically and with creativity.

3. Support of Diversity

    Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's 
policy on diversity by explaining how issues of diversity relate to 
project objectives and how these issues will be addressed during 
project implementation. Proposals should also outline the institutional 
profile of each participating institution with regard to issues of 

4. Institutional Commitment

    Proposals should demonstrate significant understanding of the 
institutional needs of the Albanian partner institution(s) and of the 
U.S. institution's capacity to address these needs while also 
benefiting from its involvement with the Albanian partner(s). Proposals 
should also demonstrate a strong commitment, during and after the 
period of grant activity, to cooperate in the pursuit of institutional 

5. Institutional Record/Ability

    Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of 
administering successful exchange programs, including responsible 
fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements 
for past Bureau grants as determined by the State Department's 
contracts officers. The Bureau will consider the past performance of 
prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. 
Reviewers will also consider the quality of exchange participants' 
academic credentials, skills, commitment and experience relative to the 
goals and activities of the project plan.

6. Project Evaluation

    The proposal should outline a methodology for determining the 
degree to which a project meets its objectives, both while the project 
is underway and at its conclusion. The final project evaluation should 
include an external component and should provide observations about the 
project's influence within the participating institutions as well as 
their surrounding communities or societies.

7. Cost-Effectiveness

    Administrative and program costs should be reasonable and 
appropriate with cost sharing provided as a reflection of the 
applicant's commitment to the project.


    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 cited above is provided through the Support for East European 
Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989.


    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.


    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

    Dated: January 17, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-2189 Filed 1-24-01; 8:45 am]