Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI)

NIS College and University Partnerships Program (NISCUPP)

OFFICE OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS, SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS BRANCH

The POGI applies specifically to the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Office of Academic Programs; Advising, Teaching and Specialized Programs Division; Specialized Programs Branch for the NIS College and University Partnerships Program. Proposals must conform to the Federal Register announcement, the Guidelines stated in this document, and the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI). Applications not adhering to the conditions set forth herein may be deemed technically ineligible.

These guidelines are specific to the program mentioned above and are IN ADDITION TO the Standard Guidelines outlined in the PSI. In any instance that there is a perceived disparity between the standard or program specific Guidelines and the program information supplied in the accompanying Federal Register Request for Proposals, the RFP is to be the dominant reference.

I. STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES

NISCUPP supports institutional partnerships between a U.S. college, university, or other post-secondary educational institution(s) with foreign institution(s) of higher education in specified fields for the purpose of strengthening the curriculum at the NIS institution(s). Participating institutions exchange faculty and staff for a combination of teaching, lecturing, curriculum development, faculty development, administrative staff development, collaborative research, and outreach. Applicants may propose other project activities not listed above that are in keeping with the goals and activities of the NIS College and University Partnerships Program. NISCUPP grants may include relevant non-governmental organizations, non-profit service or professional organizations as secondary U.S. partners.

Proposed projects must be eligible in terms of country(ies)/regions and academic disciplines or themes as described in the section on "Guidelines" in the Request for Proposals (RFP). The program awards grants of up to $300,000 for a three-year period to defray the costs of travel and per diem with an allowance for educational materials and project administration. Grants awarded to organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be limited to $60,000.

Travel

NISCUPP grantee organizations must arrange all travel through their own travel agents.

Visa Requirements

Project participants traveling to the United States must obtain J-1 exchange visitor visas and comply with J-1 visa regulations. NIS College and University Partnerships Program grantee organizations are responsible for initiating J-1 visas for inbound participants. Applicant organizations must have J-1 visa authority or indicate in the proposal that they will seek it before a NISCUPP award is issued.

Health Insurance Requirements

The grant recipient, not the Bureau, is responsible for enrolling exchange participants in a health and accident insurance plan that meets the basic requirements of the J-1 visa during the period of time that a foreign exchange visitor is in travel status during the sponsor's exchange program.

The J-1 visa regulations require a minimum coverage of medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness; repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and a deductible not to exceed $500 per illness. Please refer to the J-1 visa rules and regulations for complete and up to date information.

Please note: Insurance costs for the foreign exchange participants, not those from the United States, are allowable under this program. Evacuation insurance for U.S. participants is an allowable expense.

II. PROGRAM SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

OBJECTIVES

NISCUPP's short-term goal is to provide partial funding of higher education linkages between U.S. and NIS institutions featuring exchanges of faculty and administrators for the purpose of teaching, lecturing, faculty and curriculum development, collaborative research, administrative development and modernization, and outreach.

NISCUPP's intermediate goal is the development or revision of courses, curricula, and programs of study at participating institutions and/or the institutionalization of legal clinics, economic development centers, business incubators, and similar outreach structures which provide practical applications for academic expertise.

The program's long-term goals are to:

1) Support the ability of academic institutions in the New Independent States to contribute, through the curricula and applied research capacities, to the creation of democratic institutions, rule of law, and an environment hospitable to foreign investment.

2) Advance mutual understanding between the U.S. and the NIS by supporting linkages which provide true reciprocity and significant mutual benefit.

3) Diversify and expand international educational exchanges by:

o Supporting linkages involving academic institutions in various locations throughout the U.S. and abroad;

o Increasing the participation of two-year/community colleges, small four-year schools, and schools with significant (over 25%) minority student enrollment; and

o Building on the individual lectureships, research and graduate study fellowships, and training programs available under Fulbright and other Agency auspices.

4) Foster post-secondary institutional academic development by supporting linkages which promise to develop appropriate expertise and advance scholarship and teaching.

5) Encourage long-term impact on all partner institutions by supporting linkages which promise sustainability beyond the three-year grant term.

6) Expand U.S. government/private sector cooperation by leveraging significant cost-sharing from U.S. and foreign partners, foundations, foreign government and non-governmental organizations and businesses.

GUIDELINES

The most competitive proposal is reciprocal, with mutual goals and benefits for all partner institutions. While the goals and benefits should be mutual, they do not need to be identical for each partner institution or precisely balanced among partner institutions. The Bureau expects that the NIS institution will benefit through the development of new and revised curricula and outreach programs, while the U.S. institution will benefit through the development of enhanced regional expertise.

The strong proposal includes a series of year-round, faculty and administrator exchange visits involving a well-reasoned combination of teaching, lecturing, faculty and curriculum development, collaborative research, and outreach. Team teaching is encouraged to promote the two-way exchange of knowledge and experience. Projects including soundly planned distance learning are encouraged. Proposals which include distance learning components should describe course delivery methods, audience, and technical requirements in detail. These activities should be directly linked to stated project goals and outcomes. The strong proposal has a well-developed evaluation plan which identifies performance measures to document progress towards goals and objectives. Activities should be designed to develop expertise, advance scholarship and teaching, and promote reliable, long-term communication between partner campuses. If appropriate, projects may also emphasize increased research capacity and its practical application to trade and investment promotion in collaboration with local government or the private sector. This may be achieved through the establishment of business incubators or economic development centers rather through than curriculum development. Library support and development should be included if deemed critical to the success and sustainability of the project. Where possible, the proposal should demonstrate that an Internet or e-mail communication link between partners has been planned or already established; applicants are welcome to request grant funds to initiate or enhance that link.

With the exception of planning visits, which may be for a shorter period, exchange visits in a competitive proposal should range from one month to an academic year in length, and should include at least one quarter- or semester-long visit from the U.S. partner. Exchange visits of two weeks or less should be fully justified in the narrative. Proposals featuring multiple visits (in both directions) of one quarter or semester in length will be more competitive. U.S. faculty in residence at the NIS institution may include senior graduate students qualified to teach at the Instructor level, or above, at the home institution. Visits by the U.S. and foreign project directors as well as other key exchangees should be identified and justified in the proposal narrative. A competitive project builds upon previous contacts and interaction between the proposed partners, such as individual faculty or student exchanges. Proposals must seek either to establish new institutional affiliations or expand the scope of existing partnerships and must not merely extend projects previously funded by USIA or other U.S. government linkage programs.

The strongest proposals also provide significant institutional support and cost-sharing from both the U.S. and foreign institution(s). Competitive proposals promise sustainability beyond the grant term. The U.S. institution(s) should collaborate with the foreign partner(s) in proposal preparation. When planning the project, U.S. and foreign institutions are strongly encouraged to consult with USIA.

Proposals for feasibility studies to plan partnerships will not be considered.

PROPOSAL CONTENTS

Applicants should take care to submit a carefully written proposal that describes their project in a convincing and comprehensive manner. Since there is no opportunity for applicants to meet with reviewing officials, applicants should relate the proposal to the criteria set forth in the solicitation and the Statement of Activities as clearly as possible.

Proposals should address succinctly, but completely, the elements described below and must follow all format requirements. Proposals should include the following items:

Application for Federal Assistance Cover Sheet - TAB A

Proposal Cover Sheet - TAB B

Include the following (a sample cover sheet is included in this Solicitation Package):

1. Names of all participating institutions.
2. Name(s) of foreign country(ies).
3. Names of all project directors and their addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses (if available).
4. List of academic field(s).
5. Beginning and ending date of the program.
6. Funding level requested from USIA, total program cost, total cost-sharing from applicant and other sources.

Executive Summary - TAB C

Within two double-spaced, single-sided pages, provide the following information about the project:

1. Project title.
2. Description of proposed academic field/theme.
3. Project goals and statement of need.

4. Brief roject summary and outline of specific proposed activities.

5. Briefly state anticipated results, mutual benefits, and long-term impact.
Narrative - TAB D

Within 20 double-spaced pages, provide a detailed description of the project addressing the areas listed below.

1. Statement of need, objectives, and anticipated benefits to participating institutions.

2. Description of participating institutions and relevant academic departments/schools and the rationale behind the choice of these partner institutions relative to the program goals. This should include a description of current department/school programs, needs and goals at the NIS partner institution. For the U.S. institution(s), indicate total student enrollment and percentage of minority enrollments.

3. A detailed description of the proposed partnership program activities (teaching, lecturing, faculty development, curriculum development, collaborative research, and outreach) over the three years, including:

o Identification of participating faculty/staff/administrators.

o Purpose and length of all proposed visits.

o How activities relate to the program objectives.

4. Names and qualifications of designated project directors. Include relevant credentials, skills, experience, and language proficiency (or plan for

language training if critical to the project).

5. A well-developed program evaluation plan which identifies anticipated outcomes and performance requirements clearly related to the program goals and activities. The evaluation plan should include procedures for ongoing monitoring and corrective action.

6. Description of prior interactions between all institutions.

7. A plan for continued, non-U.S. government support after the end of the grant and follow-on activities.

Calendar of activities/itinerary - TAB E

A chronology of exchange activities must be submitted for the three-year period, including who will travel when, where, for what purpose, and for how long.

Budget Submission - TAB F

Applicants must follow the format presented in this Solicitation Package. Applicants must submit a comprehensive, line-item budget for the entire program. There must be a summary budget as well as an annual breakdown reflecting both the administrative budget and the program budget.

Proposals should demonstrate substantial cost-sharing (dollar and in-kind) in both program and administrative expenses by both the U.S. and foreign partners.

Requested grant amount must not exceed a total of $300,000 for three years. All direct administrative costs associated with grant activities must not exceed 20% of the total grant amount. All indirect costs are unallowable. However, substantiated indirect costs can be included as part of an institution's cost- sharing.

Allowable costs:

1) International, economy-class airfare for participants. Participant is defined as faculty, administrator, or advanced student. By law, travel must be on U.S. flag carriers wherever such routes exist. Use of foreign carriers, when U.S. carriers are available, may result in the grantee organization being required to reimburse the Agency for the cost of such travel.

2) Domestic, economy-class travel to other academic institutions, libraries for research, and conferences while in the host country(ies), which are directly related to the project.

3) Local transportation allowance (e.g. car rental) which must be strongly justified in terms of need, length of visit, and cost savings.

4) Per diem for lodging, meals, and incidentals which may not exceed, but can be lower than, the published U.S. government allowance rates. Homestays, dormitory stays, hotel room sharing, and similar means of lowering the per diem rate are encouraged.

5) Educational materials, including but not limited to: the translation and publishing of educational materials; books; computer hardware and software, including that necessary to establish and maintain e-mail communication and/or distance education efforts. These costs should not exceed 25% of the total requested grant amount.

6) Health insurance for foreign participants only, while on project-related travel to the U.S. Please note: Health insurance is compulsory for all U.S. and foreign participants.

7) Salary replacement costs for U.S. faculty assigned overseas for two or more consecutive months, not to exceed 25% of the total amount requested from the Bureau. This category covers the cost of hiring temporary instructors to teach courses which would otherwise be taught by faculty assigned as faculty-in-residence at the NIS institution. (Please list these by position and pro-rated salary amounts.) The Bureau strongly encourages cost-sharing in this category and requires that salaries and benefits of all faculty and staff participating in the project be maintained. This line item may also be used to pay stipends of advanced graduate students assigned as faculty-in-residence at the NIS institution for two or more months if the participants would otherwise be eligible for teaching appointments at the U.S. institution.

8) Course development and research stipends for NIS teaching faculty. Stipends of up to $500/semester (in addition to their regular salary) may be awarded to NIS teaching faculty engaged in developing or revising course materials, teaching new or revised courses, or conducting research projects in cooperation with U.S. partners. Individual participants may receive up to three stipends over the course of the grant. Total costs for stipends may not exceed $10,000 over the course of the grant.

9) Membership in U.S. professional associations and fees for attendance at professional conferences in the United States for foreign participants.

10) Interpretation fees not to exceed 5% of the total budget. The Bureau encourages the use of students as interpreters if feasible.

11) Direct administrative costs not to exceed 20% of the total budget. The Bureau encourages budgets to include administrative support for both partner institutions. Administrative costs may include:
 

o Partial salary support for project directors or administrators (Please list these by position and pro-rated salary amounts).
o Communications (postage, fax, telephone)

o Office supplies
 

12) The Agency will consider funding project activities in addition to those listed in the RFP and in the POGI as long as they are not designated unallowable. Unallowable costs: 1) Travel and per diem for dependents.

2) Any participant costs for non-U.S. citizens from U.S. institutions. Only citizens and permanent residents of the host country of the partner institution will be funded.

3) Any costs associated with foreign, non-NIS, institutions/participants other than the costs of faculty exchanges between institutions in the NIS and Central and Eastern Europe.

4) Tuition or academic fees.

5) Indirect costs.

Please note that costs unallowable under USIA funding may be included as cost-shared budget items.

Budget Format:

All proposed expenditures should be listed individually in whole dollars. Each request for travel should specify round-trip, economy airfare and destination for each participant. Each per diem request should specify locality (city) and daily rate.

Applicants are encouraged to line-item all expenditures for at least the first two years of the project.
 

SAMPLE: FY00 NISCUPP THREE-YEAR SUMMARY BUDGET FORMAT
 
BUREAU

REQUEST

U.S. INSTITUTION

COST SHARE

FOREIGN

INSTITUTION

COST SHARE

TOTAL PROJECT COST
International Travel        
In-country Travel overseas

In-country Travel in U.S.

Local Transportation allowance

Per diem

Educational Materials 

(25% maximum)

       
Health Insurance

(foreign participants only)

Faculty Replacement Costs

(25% maximum)

NIS Faculty Stipends

($10,000 maximum)

Professional Memberships & Fees

(foreign participants only)

Interpretation Fees

(5% maximum)

Direct Administrative Costs:

20% maximum, as defined under "allowable costs"; list by line item)

       
         
GRAND TOTAL FOR 3-YEAR BUDGET        
         

 
SAMPLE: FY00 NISCUPP LINE ITEM BUDGET FORMAT FOR YEAR ONE
 
BUREAU REQUEST
U.S. INST.COST-SHARING
FOREIGN

INSTIT. COST-SHARING

TOTAL PROJECT COSTS
YEAR 1:

Participant Travel:

International Travel

In-country travel overseas

In-country travel in U.S.

Local Transportation

Per diem

Educational Materials

Health Insurance

(foreign participants only)

Faculty Replacement Costs

NIS Faculty Stipends

Professional Memberships & Fees

(foreign participants only)

Interpretation Fees

Direct Administrative Costs:

(as defined under Aallowable costs@; list by line item)

       
TOTALS        
YEAR 2: REPEAT SAME FORMAT        
YEAR 3: REPEAT SAME FORMAT        
GRAND TOTAL 3-YEAR PERIOD        

Resumes - TAB G

Resumes of all participating faculty and staff from all participating institutions should be included in the submission. No resume should exceed two, single-spaced, single-sided pages. All pages over the two-page limit will be recycled.

Resumes must include overseas experience, level of relevant language skills, knowledge of prospective partner country(ies), relevant scholarly and non-scholarly travel, publications, professional memberships, and research activities.

Resumes must also indicate citizenship for the U.S. participants and whether each foreign participant is a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the country of the foreign partner(s) for the foreign participants.

Letters of endorsement - TAB H

(a sample letter of endorsement is included in this Solicitation Package)

A signed letter of endorsement must be submitted from each participating institution (U.S. and foreign) from the institution's president, chancellor, or director making specific reference to the FY2000 NIS College and University Partnerships Program and committing their institution to maintaining their exchange participants on salary and benefits during the exchange. A general letter of support or an agreement between the institutions without reference to the maintenance of salaries and benefits will not fulfill this requirement.

Faxed copies of endorsement letter(s) from foreign partner institutions are acceptable. All endorsement letters should be included with the proposal.

Additional Information/Compliance Forms - TAB I

1. "Additional Applicant Organization Information" Form.

2. List any pending grant applications under other USIA programs.

3. Copy of IRS notification of current tax-exempt status.

4. Four Required Certification Forms.

Technical Format Requirements are included in the check list of the PSI.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

The RFP indicates the date the complete proposal submission is due and the address to which the submission must be sent.

There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this deadline of January 19, 2000.

For further information regarding this program or the competition, please contact the Advising, Teaching and Specialized Programs Division; Specialized Programs Branch (after October 1, 1999, the Institutional Linkages Branch; Telephone: (202) 619-5289 or (202) 619-4126; Facsimile: (202) 401-1433; Internet address: jcebra@usia.gov or affiliat@usia.gov.
 


FORMAT FOR LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

(TO BE SUBMITTED BY U.S. AND FOREIGN INSTITUTIONS

IN SEPARATE LETTERS)



 

(Date)


Dr. Paul Hiemstra, Chief

Humphrey Fellowships and Institutional Linkages Branch

United States Department of State

301 4th Street, S.W., Room 349

Washington, D.C. 20547

U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Hiemstra:

I am pleased to endorse the proposal for a linkage between (Name of U.S. institution) and (Name of foreign institution and country) under the terms of the United States Department of State's NIS College and University Partnerships Program.

(Name of U.S. institution/name of foreign institution) is committed to the conditions set forth in the proposal submitted to the Department of State for this program. This institution is committed to maintaining its faculty/staff on salaries and benefits for the duration of the exchange.

(Additional information is helpful, but optional)
 

Sincerely,
 
 
 
 

(Signature)

(Name of President, Chancellor,or Director)
(Title)
(Institution)



FORMAT FOR PROPOSAL COVER SHEET

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

2000 NIS COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAM

PROPOSAL FOR A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN:

U.S. INSTITUTION

AND

FOREIGN INSTITUTION

FOREIGN COUNTRY

(In the case of consortia please designate the lead

U.S. and foreign partner institutions)



 

Submitted by:   Name of U.S. Project Director
                Address
                Telephone Number
                Fax
                E-Mail Address


AND

                    Name of Foreign Project Director(s)
                    Address
                    Telephone Number
                    Fax Number
                    E-Mail Address
 
Academic Field(s) of Project:

Funding Amount Requested:

Number of U.S. Participants to be exchanged:

Number of Foreign Participants to be exchanged:

Date:


Proposal Submission Checklist for

Request for Proposals (RFPs) for NIS College and University Partnerships Program

(This checklist supersedes the checklist found in the PSI.)

Technical Format Requirements
1. Provide double-spaced, single-sided Executive Summary and Proposal Narrative;

2. Provide proposal budget per the guidelines in the RFP and POGI;

3. Provide completed Assistance Award Proposal Cover Sheet, "Additional Applicant Organization Information" Form, and Certification of Compliance;

4. Number all pages, including budget and addenda;

5. Use 8 2" x 11" paper for the package.

The original proposal and ten copies should be arranged in the following order:

Table of Contents (List all attachments)

TAB A Assistance Award Proposal Cover Sheet (found in PSI)

TAB B Proposal Cover Sheet

TAB C Executive Summary

TAB D Narrative (Not to exceed twenty pages)

TAB E Calendar of activities/itinerary

TAB F Detailed Budget (Four column, line-item budget)

TAB G Resumes and CVs (Key project participants; not to exceed two pages each)

TAB H Letters of endorsement

TAB I "Additional Applicant Organization Information" Form

List of any other applications pending at the Department of State

Copy of IRS notification of current tax-exempt status, as requested in "Additional Applicant Organization Information" form

Certification of Compliance

Other attachments, if applicable

*TAB I is only to be included in the original and one (1) copy of the proposal; the remaining copies of the proposal should only contain TABS A-H.
Please provide an extra copy of the Application for Federal Assistance Cover Sheet (TAB A) in an envelope marked "Attention: E/XE"
 


Summary of 1999 NIS College and University Partnerships Competition
 
Country Eligible Proposals Proposals Funded
Armenia 2 2
Azerbaijan 2 1
Belarus 3 1
Georgia 3 1
Moldova 5 2
Kazakhstan 8* 2
Kyrgyzstan 3* 1
Russia 18 7
Tajikistan 2* 1
Turkmenistan 2 1
Ukraine 12 6
Uzbekistan 3 1
Total 60* 26

*Note: One proposal was received for a partnership with partners in three countries.

On October 1, 1999, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will become part of the
U.S. Department of State. Bureau webpages are being updated accordingly. Thank you for your patience.