[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 62 (Thursday, March 31, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17979-17985]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7628]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 7390]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: Timor-Leste and South Pacific Scholarship Programs

    Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.011.
    Application Deadline: May 12, 2011.
    Executive Summary: The Office of Academic Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition to 
administer the United States Timor-Leste (USTL) Scholarship Program and 
the United States South Pacific (USSP) Scholarship Program. Eligible 
applicants may submit a proposal to administer one or both of the 
scholarship programs. Public and private non-profit organizations 
meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 
U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to organize and carry out 
academic exchange program activities for approximately ten (10) 
students, i.e. approximately five (5) from Timor-Leste and five (5) 
from the sovereign island nations of the South Pacific (eligible 
nations are listed below in the Overview section). The recipient(s) 
will be responsible for all aspects of the programs, including 
publicity and recruitment of applicants; merit-based competitive 
selection; placement of students at an accredited U.S. academic 
institution; student travel to the U.S.; orientation; up to four years 
of U.S. degree study at the bachelor's or up to three years at the 
master's level (including one year of preparatory study); enrichment 
programming; advising, monitoring and support; pre-return activities; 
evaluation; and follow-up with program alumni. The duration of the 
cooperative agreement(s) will be up to five years, beginning 
approximately on August 1, 2011. These programs will be implemented 
pending the availability of FY 2011 funds.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is 
contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, 
Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. 
The purpose of the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United 
States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the 
United States and the people of other countries; to strengthen the ties 
which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and 
cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the 
United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the 
development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the 
United States and the other countries of the world.'' The funding 
authority for the program above is provided through legislation.
    Purpose: In response to Public Law 103-236, which directed the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide 
scholarships to students from Timor-Leste and from the sovereign

[[Page 17980]]

island nations of the South Pacific region, ECA created the USTL 
Scholarship Program and the USSP Scholarship Program for academic study 
at accredited colleges and universities in the United States.
    United States Timor-Leste Scholarship Program Overview: The goal of 
the USTL Scholarship Program is to identify and support undergraduate 
level study at accredited higher education institutions in the United 
States for a select cadre of academically talented Timorese who are 
expected to assume future leadership roles in Timor-Leste's 
development. An objective of the USTL program is to develop the human 
resource capacity of the Timorese people, especially in fields such as 
agricultural science, business, communications, economics, education, 
environmental science, international relations, political science, and 
psychology.
    The eligible academic fields of study were selected to emphasize 
the areas of critical development need in Timor-Leste. USTL 
scholarships are typically offered for four years total including up to 
one year of English language and pre-academic training followed by up 
to three years for the completion of the undergraduate degree in 
designated fields. In almost all cases, USTL students will have 
undergraduate credits for transfer from their home institutions.
    United States South Pacific Scholarship Program Overview: The USSP 
Scholarship Program was established by the United States Congress to 
provide opportunities for U.S. study to students from South Pacific 
nations in fields important for the region's future development. Public 
Law 103-236 authorized academic scholarships to qualified students from 
the sovereign island nations of the South Pacific region to pursue 
undergraduate and graduate study at institutions of higher education in 
the United States.
    This program supports increased mutual understanding between the 
people of the U.S. and those of the South Pacific Islands. Students 
from the following nations are eligible to apply for these 
scholarships: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New 
Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
    Fields of study under the program are based on recommendations from 
Department of State regional bureau representatives and Public Affairs 
Sections (PAS) at U.S. embassies abroad and include public 
administration, journalism, education, environmental studies, 
agriculture, political science, business and other fields. The 
recipient organization should arrange for the students' enrollment at 
accredited U.S. institutions of higher education where a full liberal 
arts curriculum (including social sciences, humanities and sciences) is 
available. Students selected for these scholarships enroll in four-year 
undergraduate degree programs, or in master's degree programs. South 
Pacific student applicants will not require pre-academic English 
training, but at the master's level, may benefit from up to one year of 
preparatory study in the U.S. prior to enrolling in a formal master's 
degree program.
    The requirements for administration of this program are outlined in 
further detail in this document and in the Program Objectives, Goals 
and Implementation (POGI) document. The proposal should respond to each 
item in the POGI.
    In a cooperative agreement, the Bureau is substantially involved in 
program activities above and beyond routine grant monitoring. Bureau 
activities and responsibilities for these programs include:
    (1) Participation in the design and direction of program 
activities;
    (2) Approval of key personnel;
    (3) Approval and input on program timelines and agendas;
    (4) Guidance in execution of all program components;
    (5) Review and approval of all program publicity and recruitment 
materials;
    (6) Participation in student interview and selection panels;
    (7) Review of selection decisions prior to offer of award;
    (8) Consultation on and approval of academic placement assignments;
    (9) Approval of changes to students' proposed academic field or 
institution;
    (10) Approval of decisions related to special circumstances or 
problems throughout duration of program;
    (11) Assistance with SEVIS-related issues;
    (12) Assistance with participant emergencies;
    (13) Liaison with relevant U.S. Embassies and country desk officers 
at the State Department.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under number I 
above.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2011.
    Approximate Total Funding: $1,000,000 (pending the availability of 
funds).
    Approximate Number of Awards: 1-2.
    Award Range: $500,000 for administration of one program; $1,000,000 
for administration of both programs.
    Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, on or about 
August 1, 2011.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: August 2016.
    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(s) for two additional 
fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

    III.1 Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public 
and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described 
in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
    III.2 Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau 
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and 
funding in support of its programs. When cost sharing is offered, it is 
understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of 
cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an 
approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable 
direct or indirect costs. For accountability, the grantee must maintain 
written records to support all costs which are claimed as your 
contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. 
Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value 
of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB 
Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23--Cost Sharing and Matching. In 
the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as 
stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's contribution will be reduced 
in like proportion.
    III.3 Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines 
require that organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau 
funding. ECA anticipates making one award, in an amount up to 
$1,000,000, or two awards of up to $500,000 each, to support program 
and administrative costs required to implement the exchange program(s). 
Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this 
competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels 
of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

[[Page 17981]]

IV. Application and Submission Information

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

    IV.1 Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please 
contact Julia Findlay, East Asia and Pacific Programs Branch, ECA/A/E/
EAP, SA-5, 4th Floor, U.S. Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20037, phone: (202) 632-9453, fax: (202) 632-9411, e-
mail: [email protected] to request a Solicitation Package. Please 
refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03 when making 
your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be 
obtained from grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further 
information.
    The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission 
Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application 
forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.
    It also contains the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation 
(POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria 
and budget instructions tailored to this competition.
    Please specify Julia Findlay and refer to the Funding Opportunity 
Number ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03 on all other inquiries and correspondence.
    IV.2 To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire 
Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at 
http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/open2.html, or from the Grants.gov 
Web site at http://www.grants.gov.
    Please read all information before downloading.
    IV.3 Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all 
instructions in the Solicitation Package. The application should be 
submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. ``Application Deadline and 
Methods of Submission'' section below.
    IV.3a You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative 
agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit 
identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. 
Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a 
DUNS number, access http://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-
5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the 
appropriate box of the SF-424 which is part of the formal application 
package.
    IV.3b All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal 
narrative and budget.
    Please Refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project 
Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional 
formatting and technical requirements.
    IV.3c All federal award recipients and sub-recipients must maintain 
current registrations in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) 
database and have a Dun and Bradstreet Date Universal Numbering System 
(DUNS) number. Recipients and sub-recipients must maintain accurate and 
up-to-date information in the CCR until all program and financial 
activity and reporting have been completed. All entities must review 
and update the information at least annually after the initial 
registration and more frequently if required information changes or 
another award is granted.
    You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for 
ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the 
names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, 
trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In 
fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one 
of the following ways:
    (1) Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ``Return of 
Organization Exempt From Income Tax,'' must include a copy of relevant 
portions of this form.
    (2) Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information 
above in the format of their choice.
    In addition to final program reporting requirements, award 
recipients will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived 
from their program reports, listing and describing their cooperative 
agreement 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 cooperative agreement 
activities, will be transmitted by the State Department to OMB, along 
with other information required by the Federal Funding Accountability 
and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made available to the public 
by the Office of Management and Budget on its USASpending.gov Web site 
as part of ECA's FFATA reporting requirements. If your organization is 
a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative 
agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization 
received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you 
must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as 
directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal 
to be declared technically ineligible.
    IV.3d Please take into consideration the following information when 
preparing your proposal narrative:
    IV.3d.1 Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa
    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically 
important emphases on the security and proper administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by award recipients 
and sponsors to all regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, 
proposals should demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all 
requirements governing the administration of the Exchange Visitor 
Programs as set forth in 22 CFR part 62, including the oversight of 
Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and 
selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information 
and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper 
maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other 
requirements. The award recipient will be responsible for issuing DS-
2019 forms to participants in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://exchanges.state.gov or from: Office of Designation, Private Sector 
Programs Division, U.S. Department of State, ECA/EC/D/PS, SA-5, 5th 
Floor, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20037.
    Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information.
    IV.3d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and disability. 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

[[Page 17982]]

specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. 
Public Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of 
educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not 
fully enjoy freedom and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take 
appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such 
programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.'' 
Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries 
described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection 
process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their 
program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
    IV.3d.3 Program Monitoring and Evaluation
    Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's 
success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. 
The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey 
questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to 
use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects 
that the recipient organization will track participants or partners and 
be able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction 
with the program, learning as a result of the program, changes in 
behavior as a result of the program, and effects of the program on 
institutions (institutions in which participants work or partner 
institutions). The evaluation plan should include indicators that 
measure gains in mutual understanding as well as substantive knowledge.
    Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting 
clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation 
plan should include a description of your project's objectives, your 
anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure 
these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are 
``smart'' (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and 
placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct 
the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link 
to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.
    Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish 
between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services 
delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important 
to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot 
substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the 
results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people 
trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, 
represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and are 
usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and 
outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.
    We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, 
as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in 
increasing order of importance):
    1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange 
experience.
    2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, 
skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both 
substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.
    3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in 
work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic 
organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new 
knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community 
members, and others.
    4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and 
partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational 
improvements.

    Please note:  Consideration should be given to the appropriate 
timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, 
satisfaction is usually captured as a short-term outcome, whereas 
behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-
term outcomes.

    Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be 
judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear 
descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when 
particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear 
description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., 
surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation 
plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] 
will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.)
    Recipient organizations will be required to provide reports 
analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular 
program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and 
contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years 
and provided to the Bureau upon request.
    IV.3d.4. Describe your plans for: i.e. sustainability, overall 
program management, staffing, coordination with ECA and PAS or any 
other requirements.
    IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration 
when preparing your budget:
    IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A--``Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs'' along with a comprehensive budget for the 
entire program. In addition, the proposal must include a comprehensive 
budget narrative demonstrating how costs were derived. The budget 
format should break out costs on a year-by-year basis. The total amount 
of funding requested from ECA may not exceed $1,000,000 if applying to 
administer both the USTL and USSP programs; or $500,000 if applying to 
administer one of the two programs. At this level of funding, 
applicants are expected to budget for not fewer than ten (10) students 
for degree study, i.e., approximately five (5) each under the USTL and 
USSP programs. It is anticipated that applicants submitting proposals 
for both programs may realize economies of scale that would allow for 
more than ten (10) participants. The number of participants that the 
organization proposes to sponsor should be clearly stated. ECA reserves 
the right to reduce, revise or increase the proposed budget in 
accordance with funding availability and the needs of the program. 
There must be a budget summary page that breaks out program and 
administrative costs. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for 
each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide 
clarification.
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    (1) Publicity, recruitment, selection, placement and communication 
with applicants and participants.
    (2) Travel for student participants between home and program 
location.
    (3) Tuition and fees, stipends for living costs, book allowances, 
and other necessary maintenance costs and expenses for the students.
    (4) Advising and monitoring of students.
    (5) Academic and cultural support and enrichment activities.
    (6) Pre-return activities and evaluation.
    (7) Staff and administrative expenses to carry out the program 
activities. Administrative and overhead costs should be as low as 
possible.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: May 12, 2011.

[[Page 17983]]

    Reference Number: ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03.
    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.
    Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above 
Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the solicitation document.
    IV.3f.1 Submitting Printed Applications
    Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. 
Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized 
shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via 
the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly 
recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or 
before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days 
after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under 
this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are 
ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not 
notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant's 
responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible 
tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the 
Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local 
courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will 
not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above 
will be considered.

    Important note:  When preparing your submission please make sure 
to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and place it 
in an envelope addressed to ``ECA/EX/PM''.

    The original and 10 copies of the application should be sent to: 
Program Management Division, ECA-IIP/EX/PM, Ref.: ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03, 
SA-5, Floor 4, Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20037.
    IV.3f.2 Submitting Electronic Applications
    Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically 
through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation 
packages are available at Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the 
system.

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

    Please follow the instructions available in the `Get Started' 
portion of the site (http://www.grants.gov/GetStarted). Several of the 
steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. 
Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their 
organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or 
determine their registration status with Grants.gov.
    Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an 
application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the 
size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. In 
addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can 
take up to two business days.
    Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the 
application deadline to begin the submission process through 
Grants.gov.
    The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all 
phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive 
section on frequently asked questions, located under the ``For 
Applicants'' section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all 
potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in 
advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA 
bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission on 
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: grants.gov">[email protected]grants.gov.
    Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of 
the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been 
uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above 
deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the 
application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the 
grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible.
    Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various 
``application statuses'' and the difference between a submission 
receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a 
validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an 
application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via 
Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly 
recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the 
submission process through Grants.gov. ECA will not notify you upon 
receipt of electronic applications.
    It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via 
the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received 
by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for 
data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
    IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 
12372 does not apply to this program.

V. Application Review Information

    V.1 Review Process: The Bureau will review all proposals for 
technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do 
not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the 
Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the 
program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where 
appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with 
Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau 
grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the 
Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final 
funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's 
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final 
technical authority for cooperative agreements resides with the 
Bureau's Grants Officer.
    Review Criteria: Technically eligible applications will be 
competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These 
criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the 
proposal evaluation:
    (1) Program Planning and Ability To Achieve Program Objectives: 
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. Each component of 
the program should be addressed. Objectives should be reasonable, 
feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the 
institution will meet the program's objectives and plan. Proposals 
should explain how objectives will be met through specific activities 
to be carried out in the U.S., and in Timor-Leste and/or the South 
Pacific region.
    (2) Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to

[[Page 17984]]

achieve the program or project's goals. Proposals should explain how 
the grantee organization will meet the requirements of students on this 
specific program. Proposals should describe the applicant's knowledge 
of or prior experience with, students from Timor-Leste, and/or the 
South Pacific nations, and/or other developing countries.
    (3) Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful exchange programs, including 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting 
requirements for past Bureau awards (grants or cooperative agreements) 
as determined by the Bureau's Grants Staff. The Bureau will consider 
the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential 
of new applicants.
    (4) Multiplier Effect/Impact and Value to U.S.-Partner Country 
Relations: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual 
understanding, including maximum sharing of information and 
establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages. 
Anticipated results of the program in Timor-Leste and/or the South 
Pacific region as well as in the U.S. should be addressed. Proposed 
projects should receive positive assessments by the U.S. Department of 
State's geographic area desk and overseas officers of program need, 
potential impact, and significance in the partner country(ies).
    (5) Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support for the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities). To the fullest extent possible, scholarship 
recipients for this program should be representative of diversity in 
the following categories: Country of origin/residence within 
country(ies); gender; ethnic community of origin within country(ies), 
where relevant; urban and rural regions (with emphasis on outreach 
beyond capital cities); and proposed fields of study within the general 
parameters outlined in this solicitation. Proposals should explain what 
efforts will be undertaken to achieve these goals. The U.S. study and 
enrichment programs should also incorporate and demonstrate the 
diversity of the American people, regions and culture. Efforts should 
be made to place eligible students in institutions of higher education 
that represent a broad cross-section of the United States.
    (6) Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives is recommended. The recipient(s) will be expected to 
submit quarterly program reports.
    (7) 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 other private sector support as well as institutional direct 
funding contributions.
    (8) Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that 
Bureau-supported programs are not isolated events.

VI. Award Administration Information

    VI.1 Award Notices: Final awards cannot be made until funds have 
been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal 
Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive a Federal 
Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The FAA and the 
original cooperative agreement proposal with subsequent modifications 
(if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between 
the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA will be signed by an 
authorized Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient's responsible 
officer identified in the application.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of 
the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this 
competition.
    VI.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements:
    Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements 
include the following:

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, ``Cost Principles for 
Nonprofit Organizations.''
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles for 
Educational Institutions.''
OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian 
Governments''.
OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, 
Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.
OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-
in-Aid to State and Local Governments.
OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Non-
profit Organizations.

    Please reference the following Web sites for additional 
information:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants
http://fa.statebuy.state.gov

    VI.3 Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy 
original plus 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 90 days after the expiration of the award. This 
one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to 
the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site--as part of ECA's Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting 
requirements.
    (3.) A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover Sheet with all 
program reports.
    (4.) Quarterly financial and program reports, the latter of which 
should include record and analysis of program activities from that 
period.
    Award recipients will be required to provide reports analyzing 
their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program 
reports. Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions 
(IV.3d.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. Program Data Requirements:
    Award recipients will be required to maintain specific data on 
program participants and activities in an electronically accessible 
database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. As a 
minimum, the data must include the following:
    (1) Name, address, contact information and biographic sketch of all 
persons who travel internationally on funds provided by the agreement 
or who benefit from the award funding but do not travel.

[[Page 17985]]

    (2) Itineraries of international and domestic travel, providing 
dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences take 
place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be 
received by the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to 
the official opening of the activity.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Julia Findlay, 
Program Officer, U.S. Department of State, East Asia and Pacific 
Programs Branch (ECA/A/E/EAP), SA-5, 4th Floor, ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03, 2200 
C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20037, phone: (202) 632-9453, fax: (202) 
632-9411, e-mail: [email protected]
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the title and number ECA/A/E/EAP-11-03.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.

VIII. Other Information

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

    Dated: March 23, 2011.
Ann Stock,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
State.
[FR Doc. 2011-7628 Filed 3-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P