U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY ATHENS, PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: Ambassador’s Fund for Summer Work and Travel 2024
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-Athens-FY2023-02
Announcement Date: July 13, 2023
Deadline for Applications: August 16, 2023 (11:59 p.m. EST)
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement
Assistance Listing Number: 19.040
Total Amount Available: Up to $80,000 (pending funds availability)
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Athens Public Diplomacy Office (PDS Athens) announces a limited competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program that will facilitate the participation of selected Summer Work & Travel applicants in the 2024 summer season. Please follow all instructions below.
Priority Region: Greece.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Summer Work and Travel 2024 (SWT) offers a unique opportunity to enable youth with disadvantaged backgrounds to apply and participate in the Summer Work and Travel Program. In this context, the Ambassador’s Fund for SWT will provide an opportunity for select Greek youth to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the United States.
Selected participants prior to their SWT program will meet with Embassy diplomats, allowing them to learn about the United States and the U.S.-Greece relationship prior to their exchange. Additionally, by learning about the SWT program itself, participants will become advocates of the program among their peers.
In addition to enhancing English language skills during their exchange, participants will also gain a better understanding of the United States. They will learn to form an independent opinion and understanding of American culture and values, which will allow them to assess news and information about the United States through fresh eyes. Participants should return to their home country more confident and ready to participate more actively in their local communities. Upon their return, participants will be added to the USG alumni network, through which the Embassy offers ongoing support, programs, and networking opportunities to help alumni make positive contributions in their communities.
This fund will cover all major costs related to the SWT program for selected participants, including regional travel to Athens, as required. The selected SWT agency will use the funding available through this NOFO to provide support to as many SWT participants as possible.
This support includes but is not limited to:
a) In close cooperation with PDS Athens, definition of selection criteria and recruitment;
b) Providing a variety of offers to the SWT program applicants, including a broad range of job offers in various U.S. regions;
c) Purchasing flight tickets for the selected candidates and regional travel to Athens (ref. Fly America Act);
d) Covering insurance and other costs agreed upon with PDS;
e) Operational costs of the SWT agency.
Participants and Audiences:
The target audience is post-secondary school students enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree or other full-time course of study at an accredited classroom-based, post-secondary educational institution in Greece. Individuals should be between the ages of 18-25 and come from disadvantaged backgrounds which may include any of the following:
– Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds;
– Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment that prevent them from obtaining the desired knowledge and skills;
– Individuals who come from geographically disadvantaged areas such as small villages, towns in the rural areas of Greece;
– Individuals who had limited opportunities to pursue advanced English language studies.
Anticipated total number of participants: 20-25 students (final number will depend on final cost per participant, up to the total funding limit of $80,000)
Grantee should include in its planning, outreach, promotion, and implementation of the SWT exchange program all necessary provisions to ensure that the program is fully accessible to applicants and selected participants with disabilities. If the 2024 SWT slate includes participants with disabilities, grantee should coordinate with Embassy, ECA, and U.S. employers to ensure that participants receive all available support for their equal inclusion and participation in the program.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 12 months with possible extension, subject to COVID situation
Number of awards anticipated: 1 award
Award amounts: up to $80,000.00
Total available funding: Amount pending funds availability
Type of Funding: FY2023 Funds under Fulbright Hays; Source of funding TBD
Anticipated program start date: no later than October 30, 2023
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative agreement: the U.S. Embassy in Athens will be involved in the grant implementation, particularly with regards to definition of selection criteria, setting up the mechanism to identify the best candidates, and the final selection of the candidates.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
- Eligible Applicants
The following organizations are eligible to apply:
- U.S.-based non-profit J1/SWT organizations who recruited in Greece from 2017 to present.
- Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required but looked favorably upon.
- Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- Address to Request Application Package: N/A
- Content and Form of Application Submission: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
Content of Application
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars
- All pages are numbered
- All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
- All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
The following documents are required:
- Mandatory application forms
- Application Form (word document)
- Excel Budget Spreadsheet
- Mandatory Application Forms SF-424, SF-424A, Key Contact Form, and SAM.gov for Organizations (see the forms below pertaining to Organizations or Individuals)
Organizations (these forms can be found at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html)
1) SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
2) SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs
3) Key Contact Form
4) SAM.gov proof of active registration: email or screenshot that shows active registration
Individuals (these forms can be found at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html)
1) SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance –Individual
2) SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs –Individual
3) SF-424B Assurances Non-Construction Programs
4) Key Contact Form
- Short CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project (for proposals over $25,000).
- Letters of support from project partners, if any, describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner.
- Official permission letters if required for project activities with program partners, for instance.
- Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
- Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
- Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
- Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
- Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
- Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
- Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.
- Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
- Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
- Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
- Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
- Future Funding or SustainabilityApplicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
- Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate excel file to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.
- 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
- Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
- If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities
Applicants should submit all application materials directly to the following email:
Applicants must include the Funding Opportunity Title (Ambassador’s Fund for Summer Work and Travel 2023) in the subject of their email. After submission applicants will receive an email confirming their application has been received.
PDS Athens reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.
- Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge.
All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov (www.SAM.gov). A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
- Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
NCAGE Homepage: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx
NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):
An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:
- An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
- For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.
Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.
- Submission Dates and Times
The Public Diplomacy Section will review proposals according to the following schedule. Please note that while the deadline for submission of applications is firm, all of the review and response dates are approximate and are subject to change, based on availability of funds. All funding decisions are also subject to availability of funds at all times.
Applications are due no later than August 16, 2023 (11:59 p.m. EST)
Note: This opportunity is open for a short timeframe due to end of the fiscal year.
- Funding Restrictions
Only costs directly linked to the activities described in part A. of this NOFO are eligible. Award funds cannot be used for costs which are determined as unallowable in 2 CFR 200.
Other Submission Requirements
All application materials must be submitted by email to USEmbAthensGrants@state.gov
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.
Organizational Capacity and Previous experience with SWT – 20 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 20 points: The program idea is well developed, with detail about which SWT costs will be covered and which facilitations will be provided. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline as well as a reasonable proposal concerning the selection process of the SWT promo-Program participants.
Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 10 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Budget – 20 points: Effective use of funding to cover the costs for the maximum number of SWT program participants will be a key evaluation factor. The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
Monitoring and evaluation plan – 10 points: Applicant demonstrates it can measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 10 points: Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.
- Review and Selection Process
A review committee will evaluate all eligible applications.
- Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, FAPIIS)
i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- Federal Award Notices
The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.
Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities. Payment schedules will be determined by the Grants Officer and specified in the award document, according to program’s milestones and as needed to carry out the project activities.
- Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.
- 2 CFR 25 – UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER AND SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT
- 2 CFR 170 – REPORTING SUBAWARD AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION INFORMATION
- 2 CFR 175 – AWARD TERM FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
- 2 CFR 182 – GOVERNMENTWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE)
- 2 CFR 183 – NEVER CONTRACT WITH THE ENEMY
- 2 CFR 600 – DEPARTMENT OF STATE REQUIREMENTS
- S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following: NOTE:
- Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
- Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
- Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
- Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
- Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
- Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit program and financial reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: USEmbAthensGrants@state.gov
H. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.