U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) - Office of Academic Exchange Programs
Grant to a USA higher education institution or nonprofit organization to design and implement international student leadership programs. Applicants are advised that the registrations required to apply may take up to four weeks to complete. The successful applicant will host five-week institutes addressing the following things: women’s leadership, social entrepreneurship, and public policymaking.
The Study of the U. S. Branch (ECA/A/E/USS), Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), invites proposal submissions from accredited U.S. post-secondary education institutions (community colleges, liberal arts colleges, public and private universities) and other U.S. public and private nonprofit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) for the design and implementation of five (5) Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for Student Leaders from the Western Hemisphere to take place over the course of five weeks beginning in June 2018, pending the availability of FY 2018 funds. Each Institute should focus on one of the following three themes: Public Policymaking (1 Institute); Social Entrepreneurship (2 Institutes); or Women’s Leadership (2 Institutes). Four Institutes will be conducted entirely in Spanish, and one Institute will be conducted in English.
Each academic Institute will be five weeks in duration, which will include an approximately four-week academic residency at an academic institution and approximately one week on an integrated educational study tour, and should be organized for a group of 20 undergraduate students from the Western Hemisphere, primarily from indigenous, Afro-Latino, and underserved communities. The academic residency on a U.S. university or college campus should also include community service activities, leadership development sessions, and opportunities for interaction with American peers. The one-week study tour to another region of the United States should complement the academic residency. All programs will conclude in Washington D.C. with a stay of two to four days, including a one-day event (one in summer and one in winter), that will bring together participants in the concurrent Institutes. Three programs will take place in summer 2018 and two in winter 2019.
The award recipient will be responsible for planning and implementing the program including the oversight and coordination of all five Institutes and the oversight and management of performance of all subaward recipients under the award. Applicants may submit only one proposal under this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all submissions will be declared ineligible and receive no further consideration in the review process.
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.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders are intensive academic programs that provide groups of foreign undergraduate students with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, and institutions. Institutes include academic sessions, an integrated study tour, leadership training, community service activities, and opportunities to interact with a wide range of Americans.
The principal objective of the Institutes is to provide foreign student leaders an in-depth examination of a specific field of study, while also heightening their awareness of the history and evolution of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions, broadly defined. The Institutes should address the influence of principles and values such as democracy, the rule of law, individual rights, freedom of expression, equality, diversity, and tolerance, and should also incorporate a focus on contemporary American life.
Each program should be five weeks in length; participants should spend approximately four weeks at an academic institution and approximately seven days on an integrated educational study tour, including two to four days in Washington, D.C. The program should include a one-day event that will bring together up to 60 participants in summer and up to 40 participants in winter from the concurrent Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders from the Western Hemisphere. The event will be planned in conjunction with the ECA program officer for this grant. It will consist of speakers from the Department of State, participants’ final presentations and debriefings with participants.
The academic program should include group discussions, experiential learning activities, and exercises that focus on the theme and include aspects of leadership, teambuilding, collective problem-solving skills, effective communication, and management skills. Therefore, participants should gain both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
Institutes should also include a community service component in which the students participate in volunteer service and experience firsthand how not-for-profit organizations and volunteerism play a key role in U.S. civil society.
All programs should foster ECA’s mission to promote mutual understanding between citizens of other countries and citizens of the United States. Thus, the programs should include robust opportunities for participants to meet Americans from a variety of backgrounds, to interact with their U.S. peers, and to speak to appropriate student and civic groups about their experiences and life in their home countries. Please see the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) document for more information.
All Institutes should aim to enhance participants’ knowledge of U.S. history, government, institutions, society, and culture. In this context, the Institutes should incorporate a focus on American historical events as well as contemporary American life including current political, social, and economic debates in a pluralistic society.
a) The Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Public Policymaking will provide participants with an overview of the U.S. Federalist system of government as well as the role of non-governmental institutions such as civic organizations, the media, and the private sector in the creation of U.S. public policy and supporting effective democracies. Discussions will explore the responsibilities of local and state government, as well as the three branches of the U.S. government, the system of checks and balances, and the role of local and state governments in leading and innovating in various policy areas. Topics such as public finance, rule of law and democratic governance, education, public health, citizen security, and foreign policy will be included. One Institute on this theme is planned for summer 2018.
b) The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Social Entrepreneurship will provide participants with an overview of how entrepreneurial skills can address social issues. The Institute should review the development, history, challenges, and successes of social enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally. The Institute should give participants a foundation in how to employ entrepreneurial skills to address social issues and will provide unique opportunities to meet with diverse community leaders and social entrepreneurs. The Institute will address topics such as: organizational development and management, business ethics, negotiations, emerging markets and risk analysis, microfinance, corporate social responsibility, strategic business planning and innovation, and women and minorities in entrepreneurship. Two Institutes are planned on this theme, one in summer 2018 and one in winter 2019. See Section A. 4 for more details.
c) Study of the U.S. Institutes on Women’s Leadership for Indigenous and Afro- Latina Women will provide participants with an overview of the history and contributions of diverse women in public life in the United States to promote effective democracies. The Institute will focus on two major areas: (1) Developing participants’ leadership skills in areas such as critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and political advocacy; and, (2) Placing these abilities in the context of the history and participation of diverse women in U.S. politics, economics, culture, and society. The Institutes should examine the historical domestic progress towards women’s equality in the United States, the current domestic successes and challenges to women in a variety of fields, and current challenges in global women’s issues, especially issues related to indigenous and Afro-Latina women. Participants in these programs will all be female. Two Institutes are planned on this theme, one in summer 2018 and one in winter 2019.
Each Institute will host approximately 20 participants, for a total of approximately 60 foreign undergraduate students in summer and 40 foreign undergraduate students in winter.
ECA is seeking detailed proposals from accredited post-secondary U.S. higher education institutions (community colleges, liberal arts colleges, public and private universities) and other U.S. public and private non-profit organizations with established reputations in a field or discipline related to the specific program theme and meeting the eligibility requirements outlined below.
ECA intends to issue one cooperative agreement for the administration and implementation of five Institutes. The recipient may propose to administer all five Institutes through sub-awards or may propose to implement up to two of the five Institutes and administer sub-awards to two host institutions to conduct the remaining three Institutes. No institution will be permitted to host more than two programs in one fiscal year.
ECA anticipates that participation in the five Institutes will be organized as follows:
Summer Institutes in 2018
1) Public Policymaking: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - conducted in Spanish
2) Social Entrepreneurship: Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Haiti (Spanish Speakers), Panama and Venezuela - conducted in Spanish
3) Women’s Leadership: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica - conducted in Spanish
Winter Institutes in 2019:
1) Social Entrepreneurship: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay - conducted in English
2) Women’s Leadership: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay - conducted in Spanish
Please note: ECA reserves the right to amend or modify the list of participating countries should conditions change in the nominating country or if other countries are identified as U.S. priorities or for other reasons.
GrantWatch ID#: 182586
It is ECA’s intent to award one (1) cooperative agreement.
The estimated total award is $4,500,000, pending availability of funds and successful performance.
Fiscal Year Funds: 2018-base year, up to $1,500,000, pending the availability of funds; 2019-non-competitive continuation year one, up to $1,500,000, pending successful performance and the availability of funds; 2020-non-competitive continuation year two, up to $1,500,000, pending successful performance and the availability of funds.
All Institutes should last approximately 36 days (including arrival and departure days). Three Institutes for twenty participants each will take place in summer 2018 while an additional two programs for twenty participants each will be conducted in winter 2019.
Summer Institutes should begin on the same date and no sooner than June 1, 2018, and should conclude no later than August 15, 2018. Winter Institutes should begin on the same date and no sooner than January 2, 2019 and should conclude no later than March 31, 2019.
The anticipated award date is April 15, 2018. The anticipated project completion date is September 30, 2021. This date reflects the anticipated duration of the award – one base year plus two non-competitive continuation years.
Cooperative Agreements will be awarded for a period of 12 months (base year) with non-competitive continuations for a second and third period of 12 and 18 months, respectively, to ensure adequate time for post-Institute follow-on activities.
Applications may be submitted by U.S. post-secondary education institutions (community colleges, liberal arts colleges, public and private universities) and other U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3).
Other Eligibility Requirements:
1. Experience in Conducting International Exchange: ECA grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $130,000 in ECA funding. ECA anticipates making one award, in an amount up to $1,500,000 per year to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange programs. Therefore, organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition.
2. Technical Eligibility: All proposals must comply with the following or they will result in your proposal being declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process. It is ECA’s intent to award one (1) cooperative agreement to one applicant organization to administer a total of five (5) Institutes under this competition. ECA reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets, participant numbers, and the number of institutes based on program needs and the availability of U.S. government funding.
The application deadline date is Thursday, January 11, 2018.
Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov.
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José Marrero, Program Officer
Study of the U.S. Branch
ECA/A/E/USS, SA-5, Fourth Floor
U.S. Department of State
2200 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
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