FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Funding Opportunity Title: Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2023 & AEIF 2023 – TechCamp
Date Opened: Thursday, October 27, 2022.
Applications Deadline: Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
Funding type: Grants, Cooperative Agreements or Fixed Amount Awards
Authorization Legislation: Fulbright Hays-Act of 1961
Expected size of individual awards: Between $5,000 to $35,000.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year or less.
A – NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
- The U.S. Embassy and Consulates to Brazil announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2023).
- We seek proposals from teams of at least two U.S. government-sponsored exchange alumni or involvement of an alumni association that meet all program eligibility requirements below.
- Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2023 should submit proposals Brazilgrants@state.gov by February 28, 2023.
B - PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
- AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition.
- Pending availability of funds, AEIF will consider proposals between $5,000 and $35,000.
- This year, AEIF 2023 will support United States’ commitment to the Integrated Country Strategy Goals to Brazil.
- The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will accept public service projects that support themes such as:Mission Goal 1: The United States and Brazil Strengthen Democracy and Human Rights
Mission Objective 1.1: Strengthen democratic institutions that deliver for all citizens and create a platform for Brazil to serve as a leader on regionally and globally important priorities.
Mission Objective 1.2: Collaborate with Brazil to advance human rights for all, with an emphasis on historically marginalized and/or underserved communities.
Mission Objective 1.3: Strengthen the rule of law and increase efforts to counter corruption and promote good governance and transparency.Mission Goal 2: Deepen an Inclusive and Sustainable U.S.-Brazil Economic Partnership
Mission Objective 2.1: Expand bilateral trade and investment opportunities for U.S. companies through economic policy and regulatory reforms.
Mission Objective 2.2: Brazil expands reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy sources and technologies that create U.S. commercial opportunities and support Brazil’s inclusive, sustainable economic development.
Mission Objective 2.3: Brazil’s economy advances more inclusive and sustainable economic development through collaboration with industry, innovation, education, and entrepreneurship programs and partnerships.Mission Goal 3: Strengthen U.S.-Brazil Partnership to Ensure Our Citizens’ Security
Mission Objective 3.1: Enhanced security partnerships improve interoperability and regional stability.
Mission Objective 3.2: As a result of increased U.S.-Brazil cooperation on International Parental Child Abduction, crisis preparedness, and enforcement of international travel requirements, Brazil and the United States are safer for U.S. citizens.Mission Goal 4: Strengthen U.S.-Brazil Partnership on Climate Change to enhance Brazil’s efforts to implement Nationally Determined Contributions and deforestation targets in line with 1.5-degree Celsius pathways and with a climate-resilient world.
Mission Objective 4.1: Support Brazil’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and reduce food and water insecurity, particularly among underserved and vulnerable populations.
Mission Objective 4.2: Brazil conserves biodiversity and protects critical ecosystems through reductions in deforestation, forest fires, and illegal mining and promotes the capacity-building of enforcement agencies and local communities.
C - ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
- The following individuals are eligible to apply:
a. Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
b. Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni or with the involvement of an alumni association.
c. Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
d. Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
e. Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
- Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.
1. Grant Program Area:
a. Proposals must address Integrated Country Strategy Goals to Brazil.
b. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible.
c. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
- Other Eligibility Requirements:
a. If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number or be registered in SAM.gov.
b. However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (UEI), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.
c. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices regarding beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
D - APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- Application and budget templates are available at Grants Corner – U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Brazil (br.usembassy.gov)
- Content and Form of Application Submission
a. Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2023 application and budget forms.
b. 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.
- Please ensure:
a. The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
b. The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2023 application form.
c. All documents are in English.
d. The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2023 budget form.
e. All pages are numbered.
- Mandatory application forms:
a. SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals).
b. SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs).
c. SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs).
d. All forms can be found at the Grants.gov Website.
- Project Team Information:
a. At least two exchange alumni team members are required for a project to be considered for funding.
b. Applications need to provide the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project, and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role.
c. Applicants need to indicate what proportion of the team member’s time will be used in support of the project.
d. Proposal Summary: A short narrative which outlines the proposed project, including challenge/s to be addressed, project objectives, and anticipated impact
- Project Goals and Objectives:
a. The goal/s of the proposed project need to describe what the project is intended to achieve and include the objectives which support the goal/s.
b. Objectives should be specific, measurable, and realistically achievable in a set time frame.
- Project Methods, Design, Timeline and Project Partners:
a. A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal/s. This should include a description of the project’s direct and indirect beneficiaries as well as a plan on how to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
b. The proposed timeline for the project activities should include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
c. Applicants may also submit proposed workshop or training agendas and materials.
d. A list of partners who will support the proposed project, if applicable.
- Communication Plan:
a. The communication plan should include a communication and outreach strategy for promoting the proposed project. It may include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media intended to use to share information about the project to beneficiaries and the public.
b. Communications should include AEIF 2023, Exchange Alumni, and U.S. Embassy and Consulates to Brazil branding.
- Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:
a. The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal should outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives.
b. This should include any outcomes showing a change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc.
c. Proposals should also include how the grantee will measure the impact of planned activities.
- Budget Justification Narrative:
a. Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided.
b. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail.
c. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
- AEIF 2023 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
a. Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
b. Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
c. Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
d. Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
e. Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
f. Academic or scientific research
g. Charitable or development activities
h. Provision of direct social services to a population
i. Individual scholarships
j. Social travel/visits
k. Gifts or prizes
l. Duplication of existing programs
m. Institutional development of an organization
n. Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
o. Support for specific religious activities
p. Fund-raising campaigns
q. Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation
E - REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
- The U.S. embassy or consulate Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications.
- The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC.
- Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications:
|Relevance to Application Theme
The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e., not development or military).
|Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan
When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken. Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need? If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved? What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project? How many will participate? How will they be selected?
|Degree of Alumni Involvement
Projects must include the involvement of at least two
(2) exchange alumni. They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two. As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.
|Participation and Support from Local Partners
The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.
Evaluation and Impact of the Project
A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project
implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals. An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished. Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results. An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:
- Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators
- Clear approach to monitoring
- Adherence to SMART criteria
- Feasibility of baselines and targets
- Data quality plan
- Capacity to implement plan
|Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan
The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project. It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process if circumstances permit.
|Budget and Budget Narrative
The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently 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. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.
- This notice is subject to availability of funding.
a. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates to Brazil does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement.
b. Only successful applicants will be contacted.
F - FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- The grant award 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 6.6. 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: The U.S. Embassy will have the discretion of disbursing funding in multiple installments depending on the project. The Grants Officer will determine the payment schedule at the time of the award.
- 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. These include:
a. 2 CFR 25 – UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER AND SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT
b. 2 CFR 170 – REPORTING SUBAWARD AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION INFORMATION
c. 2 CFR 175 – AWARD TERM FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
d. 2 CFR 182 – GOVERNMENTWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE)
e. 2 CFR 183 – NEVER CONTRACT WITH THE ENEMY
f. 2 CFR 600 – DEPARTMENT OF STATE REQUIREMENTS
g. U.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:
a. 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:
i) 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),
ii) 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),
iii) 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),
iv) 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
v) 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).
- Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
- As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.
- Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.
- In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.
G - FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the Public Affairs Section in Brasilia at Brazilgrants@state.gov.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil will host a webinar to answer questions from potential applicants on January 18, 2023, at 14:00 (Brasilia time).
Pre- registration is required: