[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 78 (Friday, April 24, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18786-18792]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-9353]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6592]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: E-Teacher Scholarship Program and Professional 
Development Workshop

    Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/L-09-04.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
    Key Dates: (Pending award of funds).
    Anticipated Award Date: September 1, 2009.
    Anticipated Program Start Date: September 14, 2009.
    Anticipated Program End Date: December 31, 2010.
    Application Deadline: June 8, 2009.
    Executive Summary: The Office of English Language Programs of the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/L) announces an open 
competition for the E-Teacher Scholarship Program and Professional 
Development Workshop. Accredited U.S. post-secondary educational 
institutions or consortia of such institutions meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit 
proposals to implement the following two components: (1) Seven 
different ten- to twelve-week Online, university level English as a 
Foreign Language (EFL) professional development courses for a total of 
approximately five hundred EFL teachers from throughout the world, and 
(2) a three-week professional development workshop for approximately 
twenty-six EFL professionals from diverse geographic regions of the 
world. For the Online courses, participants will receive university 
level instruction in the most recent English language teaching methods 
and techniques as well as an introduction to U.S. educational values 
and will interact with U.S. experts via innovative distance learning. 
The professional development workshop will provide the participants a 
basis for their continuing contact with U.S. counterparts in order to 
promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other 
countries.
    Post-secondary educational institutions are encouraged to apply in 
a consortium with other post-secondary institutions, although they may 
apply independently. The E-Teacher Scholarship Program and Professional 
Development Workshop advance the U.S. Department of State's goals by 
improving the quality of English language teaching throughout the 
world.
    ECA will award one Cooperative Agreement for the administration of 
these two program components to be implemented during the academic year 
2009-2010. The total funding available for program and administrative 
purposes is anticipated to be approximately $750,000.

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

[[Page 18787]]

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: The E-Teacher Scholarship Program and Professional 
Development Workshop offer professional development for English 
language teaching professionals through Online courses provided by one 
or more U.S. universities. The courses introduce the most recent 
English language teaching methods and techniques, including English for 
Specific Purposes, offer the opportunity to engage in a distance-
learning program that employs the latest in modern technology, and 
provide direct access to U.S. experts with whom participants might not 
normally have the opportunity to interact. By creating a forum for 
international communication and by encouraging critical thinking and 
the active application of new information skills and other aspects of 
successful learning, the E-Teacher Scholarship Program and Professional 
Development Workshop foster the Bureau's goal of mutual understanding.
    Background: In FY-2004, the U.S. Department of State launched the 
E-Teacher Scholarship Program as a pilot program. ECA contracted with 
six U.S. post-secondary institutions to deliver five courses: 
Assessment for EFL, Teaching Critical Thinking, English for Business, 
English for Law, and Teaching English to Young Learners (primary school 
level). The Program is currently operating or has operated in the 
following 79 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, 
Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, 
Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, 
Egypt, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, 
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, 
Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, 
Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, 
Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, 
South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, 
Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab 
Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza, and 
Yemen. All participants are nominated through U.S. Embassies and 
selected by the Office of English Language Programs (ECA/A/L). In the 
past, the program was funded by ECA through purchase agreements. The 
FY-09 program will be funded for the first time through a Cooperative 
Agreement and will incorporate for the first time the professional 
development workshop component.
    Guidelines: In addition to providing practical and applicable 
information about using innovative English language teaching methods, 
the seven courses and the workshop are required to have adequate and 
appropriate content to give the participants insights into U.S. 
culture. Another important goal of the E-Teacher Scholarship Program 
and Professional Development Workshop is for participants to share the 
knowledge gained during the program with colleagues through workshops 
or professional presentations in their home countries. To best meet 
this latter goal, proposals should include some type of follow-on 
component, such as a final project or a module for the effective 
dissemination or application of the information provided in the 
program.
    Cooperative Agreement: In a Cooperative Agreement, ECA/A/L is 
substantially involved in the program activities, above and beyond 
routine grant monitoring, including the selection of the scholarship 
participants based on input from the U.S. Embassies. For the Online 
course component, ECA/A/L will also oversee the curriculum, make 
recommendations for program start dates, propose revisions in program 
format when necessary, and maintain close communication with the course 
provider(s) for proper program management. For the workshop component, 
ECA/A/L will consult with the provider on the content, design, and 
length of the program and recommend revisions when necessary.
    Cooperative Agreement Recipient Responsibilities: The recipient 
consortium or organization awarded the E-Teacher Scholarship Program 
and Professional Development Workshop Cooperative Agreement from ECA 
will be responsible for the following activities:
    1. Provide seven different ten- to twelve-week Online, university 
level English Language Teaching (ELT) professional development courses 
during the U.S. academic year 2009-2010. With a maximum of thirty 
students per class, the number of classes for each subject will depend 
on the demand for the courses and the capacity of the course 
provider(s). Each course could be offered in both the fall and spring 
semesters of the academic year. The courses will familiarize 
participants with U.S. student-centered teaching methods and the latest 
methods and techniques in teaching English as a Foreign Language. To 
build on and incorporate components of ECA/A/L's existing materials in 
``Shaping the Way We Teach English'' (see http://OELP.uoregon.edu/Shaping.html to view the materials), three of the courses should be 
Assessment, Teaching Critical Thinking, and Teaching English to Young 
Learners. Each course should include some of the materials in ``Shaping 
the Way We Teach English,'' specifically the video segments. The course 
provider should expand and update these materials, as appropriate, to 
create the full course. The remaining courses should be relevant to the 
professional development of English language teachers worldwide and may 
include, for example, Teaching Grammar Communicatively, General 
Methodology, or other essential aspects of English language teaching, 
as well as courses in English for Specific Purposes (ESP), such as 
English for Business or English for Law. These additional courses 
should incorporate a video component, similar to the format of the 
``Shaping'' modules, which may be used by ECA/A/L in its teacher 
training programs with English language teachers abroad. The proposal 
should include for each course projected dates and a syllabus of 
content. The award recipient must subsequently submit for each course 
an annotated bibliography of recommended titles related to each course 
(approximately fifteen to twenty titles per course). ECA/A/L retains 
the right to print, publish, repurpose, and distribute abroad the 
bibliography in all media, including electronic media, and in all 
languages and editions.
    2. Design and administer in collaboration with ECA/A/L one three-
week professional development workshop for twenty-six foreign English 
language teaching professionals nominated by the U.S. Embassies' Public 
Affairs Section with input from the Regional English Language Officer 
(RELO) and approved by ECA/A/L. The workshop, which will be implemented 
in the summer of 2010, will focus on methodology, linguistic 
enhancement, educational leadership, cultural interchange, and ``best 
practices'' in the classroom. The participants will be encouraged to 
develop a teacher-training project to implement in their home countries 
following the exchange program.

[[Page 18788]]

    The workshop should encompass the following elements:
    (a) Orientation upon arrival in the U.S.;
    (b) Intensive education in relevant topics and language teaching 
methodologies;
    (c) Cultural and community service activities to encourage 
interaction and mutual understanding.
    Applicant organizations should submit a narrative outlining a 
comprehensive strategy for the administration and implementation of the 
program. The narrative should include a design for the program, a 
syllabus of course content, and a plan for monitoring and evaluating 
the foreign English teachers' academic performance in the program.
    3. Submit intermediate and end-of-project reports of database 
information in Microsoft Word and Excel formats, as appropriate, to 
ECA/A/L.
    It is anticipated that the Cooperative Agreement will begin on or 
about September 1, 2009, and the recipient should complete all program 
activities by December 31, 2010. The program workshop will take place 
in the summer of 2010. Please refer to additional program specific 
guidelines in the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) 
document.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under number 1 
above.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2009.
    Approximate Total Funding: $750,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 1.
    Approximate Average Award: $750,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: September 1, 2009.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: December 31, 2010.
    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. Subsequent agreements 
may include activities to extend the Program to other countries 
throughout the world and may not include start up costs for certain 
activities described in this RFGP and the Project Objectives, Goals, 
and Implementation (POGI) as being completed in FY-2009.

III. Eligibility Information

    III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public 
or private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in 
Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3).
    III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this competition. However, ECA 
encourages applicants to provide the highest possible 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, the recipient organization must maintain written 
records to support all costs which are claimed as its 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 the 
recipient does 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:
    Cooperative Agreements awarded to eligible organizations with less 
than four years of experience in conducting international exchange 
programs will be limited to $60,000. ECA anticipates awarding one 
Cooperative Agreement in an amount up to $750,000 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 for this 
Cooperative Agreement. ECA 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 Federal Register announcement 
before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP 
deadline has passed, ECA 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 Michael Rudder, Program Officer in the Office of 
English Language Programs, ECA/A/L, Room 304, U.S. Department of State, 
SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone (202) 453-
8846, or fax (202) 453-8858 to request a Solicitation Package. When 
making your request, please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number 
ECA/A/L-09-04 located at the top of this announcement.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from the http://grants.gov">grants.gov Web site at http://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 Michael Rudder and refer to the Funding Opportunity 
Number ECA/A/L-09-04 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 the IV.3f. ``Application Deadline 
and Methods of Submission'' section below.
    IV.3a. Applicants 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. Applicants must have non-profit status with the IRS at the 
time of

[[Page 18789]]

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 the 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 the organization is a private non-profit organization which has 
not received a grant or Cooperative Agreement from ECA in the past 
three years, or if the organization received non-profit status from the 
IRS within the past four years, the necessary documentation to verify 
non-profit status as directed in the PSI document must be submitted in 
the application. Without this documentation, the proposal will 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 (ECA) places 
critically important emphasis on the security and proper administration 
of the 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, 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 award recipient organization 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-Visa) 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 the Solicitation Package for further information.
    IV.3d.2. Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines:
    Pursuant to ECA's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a 
non-political character and should be balanced and representative of 
the diversity of U.S. 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 the proposal. 
Public Law 104-319 stipulates 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 each proposal include a draft survey 
questionnaire or other evaluation/assessment technique plus a 
description of the methodology to be used to link outcomes to original 
project objectives. The Bureau expects that the recipient organization 
will track participants 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 the institutions in which the 
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. The evaluation 
plan should include a description of the project's objectives, 
anticipated project outcomes, and how and when the applicant will 
measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that these 
outcomes are ``smart'' (specific, measurable, attainable, results-
oriented, and placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be 
to conduct the evaluation. Applicants should also show how the project 
objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.
    The 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 the specific results a project is intended to achieve and are 
usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on both outputs and 
outcomes should be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.
    Applicants should 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

[[Page 18790]]

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 
behavioral and institutional changes are normally considered longer-
term outcomes.

    Overall, the quality of the 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 ECA upon request.
    IV.3e. Applicants should take the following information into 
consideration when preparing their budgets:
    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. ECA specifically 
recommends that applicants submit a plan and budget not to exceed 
$200,000 for the three-week workshop for twenty-six participants to be 
conducted under the terms of this Cooperative Agreement. ECA/A/L will 
closely supervise the Cooperative Agreement recipient's activities in 
the development of these plans and will have final approval authority 
of same.
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program, as outlined in detail in 
the POGI, include the following:
    (1) ECA's goal is to maximize the number of English language 
teaching participants and expects that approximately eighty-five 
percent or more of the funds provided through this Cooperative 
Agreement will be used for implementation of mandatory program elements 
described under Section 1 of this RFGP. Also, applicants should explain 
how they will ensure cost-effective arrangements based on non-credit 
enrollment and/or other methods according to formulas that can be 
protected from increases in tuition rates.
    (2) Administrative costs may include staff salaries, including 
staff to plan and conduct the workshop aspects/elements of the Program 
and the Program Monitoring and Evaluation requirements specified in 
IV.3d.3. of the RFGP.
    (3) The budget for designing and administering the workshop should 
include, but not be limited to, the following: The participants' 
international and domestic transportation, U.S. per diem, space rental, 
workshop materials, etc. For travel budgeting purposes, participants 
will come from around the world. Please refer to the Solicitation 
Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: June 8, 2009.
    Reference Number: ECA/A/L-09-04.
    Methods of Submission: Applications may be submitted in one of two 
ways:
    (1.) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery 
service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. 
Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2.) Electronically through http://www.grants.gov.

    Please Note:  ECA strongly encourages organizations interested 
in applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy 
applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1., below rather than 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is 
being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant 
proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov web portal as 
part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, 
ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from 
transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 
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

    Please Note:  ECA strongly encourages organizations interested 
in applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy 
applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1. above, rather than 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is 
being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant 
proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov web portal as 
part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, 
ECA bears no responsibility for 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).

    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 an applicant 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.
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package.

    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 15 copies of the application should be sent to: 
U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/A/L--09-04, 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) or Microsoft Word format on a PC-formatted 
disk. ECA will provide these files electronically to the

[[Page 18791]]

appropriate Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy for its 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 Note:  ECA strongly encourages organizations interested 
in applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy 
applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1. above, rather than 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is 
being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant 
proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov web portal as 
part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, 
ECA bears no responsibility for 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 an applicant's Internet 
connection. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via 
Grants.gov can take up to two business days.
    Therefore, we strongly recommend that an applicant 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: http://grants.gov">grants.gov">[email protected]http://grants.gov">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 
http://grants.gov">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 
http://grants.gov">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.3f. 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 U.S. Department of State's Assistant Secretary for 
Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for 
assistance awards Cooperative Agreements resides with the Bureau's 
Grants Officer.
Review Criteria
    1. Program Planning and Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: 
Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and 
relevance to the Bureau's mission. Detailed agenda and relevant work 
plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical 
capacity. Agenda and plan should adhere to the program overview and 
guidelines described above. Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, 
and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution 
will meet the program's objectives and plan.
    2. Multiplier: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual 
understanding, including maximum sharing of information and 
establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.
    3. Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate the recipient's 
commitment to promoting the awareness and understanding of diversity.
    4. Institutional Capacity and Track Record: Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve 
the program or project's goals. Proposed programs should include at 
least one staff member with a minimum of a Master's degree in the field 
of Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language or Applied 
Linguistics. 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 the Bureau's Office of Contracts. The Bureau 
will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the 
demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    5. Evaluation and Follow-on: Proposals should include a plan to 
evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at 
the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include 
a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a 
methodology to be used to link outcomes to original project objectives. 
Award-receiving organizations/institutions will be expected to submit 
intermediate reports after each project component is concluded or 
quarterly, whichever is less frequent. Proposals should provide a plan 
for continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) which insures 
that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    6. Cost Effectiveness and Cost Sharing: The overhead and 
administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and 
honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be 
necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing 
through

[[Page 18792]]

other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 
contributions.
    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.

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 an Assistance 
Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The AAD and the 
original Cooperative Agreement 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.1b. The following additional requirements apply to this project:
    A critical component of current U.S. government Iran policy is the 
support for indigenous Iranian voices. The State Department has made 
the awarding of grants for this purpose a key component of its Iran 
policy. As a condition of licensing these activities, the Office of 
Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has requested the Department of State to 
follow certain procedures to effectuate the goals of Sections 481(b), 
531(a), 571, 582, and 635(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as 
amended); 18 U.S.C. sections 2339A and 2339B; Executive Order 13224; 
and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6. These licensing 
conditions mandate that the Department conduct a vetting of potential 
Iran grantees and sub-grantees for counter-terrorism purposes. To 
conduct this vetting the Department will collect information from 
grantees and sub-grantees regarding the identity and background of 
their key employees and Boards of Directors.

    Note:  To assure that planning for the inclusion of Iran 
complies with requirements, please contact ECA/A/L Program Officer 
Michael Rudder at telephone 202-453-8846 or e-mail 
[email protected] for additional information.

    VI.2--Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Terms and 
Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the 
following:
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-122, ``Cost 
Principles for Nonprofit Organizations''
    OMB Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles for Educational Institutions''
    OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian 
Governments''
    OMB Circular A-110 (Revised), ``Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, 
Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations''
    OMB Circular A-102, ``Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments''
    OMB Circular 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:
    The Cooperative Agreement organization 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.) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program 
outcomes no more than ninety 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.
    The Cooperative Agreement recipient will be required to provide 
reports analyzing its evaluation findings to the Bureau in its 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. Additional Program Data Requirements: The Cooperative 
Agreement organization will be required to maintain specific data on 
program participants and activities in an electronically accessible 
database format that can be shared with ECA upon request. 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 Cooperative 
Agreement or who benefit from its 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 business days prior 
to the official opening of the activity.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Michael Rudder, 
Office of English Language Programs, ECA/A/L, Room 304, U.S. Department 
of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, (202) 453-
8846 and fax (202) 453-8858, [email protected].
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number ECA/A/L-09-04.
    Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or 
submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, ECA 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 ECA representative. Explanatory information 
provided by ECA that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment 
on the part of the Government. ECA reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of 
the program and the availability of funds. Awards will be subject to 
periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above.

    Dated: April 17, 2009.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. E9-9353 Filed 4-23-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P