AMERICAN ELEMENT, DEIA, AND INITIATIVES
What is the American Element mentioned in the notice?
All projects must include an American element, such as, but not limited to, connections with American experts, organizations, or institutions that promote an increased understanding of United States (U.S.) policy and perspectives. It is a component that must mandatorily be included in the project and that concerns the strengthening of ties between the U.S. and Brazil and the promotion of shared values, such as democracy, transparency, accountability, diversity, social inclusion, human rights etc.
The proposal should detail how the project will:
- Promote values and norms shared by the United States and Brazil;
- Explain U.S. policy approaches to issues of mutual interest;
- Amplify experts, opinion leaders, institutions, or informational content that contributes to greater understanding in Brazil of the United States, its citizens, culture, and values.
Here are a few examples: U.S. specialist/speaker invited to speak virtually or in person; direct link between U.S. and Brazilian youth; English language teaching or programs that help people in Brazil understand U.S. values such as culture, history, foreign policy and/or explain the U.S. to the Brazilian people.
Is it mandatory that the proposed project incorporates a cross-cutting approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA)?
Yes, all proposals must include details of how the project will integrate DEIA issues into its objectives and activities. Proposals may advance equity and social justice by supporting populations who are vulnerable or marginalized due to characteristics such as (but not limited to): national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, etc. Proposals should consider local conditions and identify potential inequities in various aspects of the project, including target audiences, participant recruitment, program content, and intended implementing partners/stakeholder engagement.
Should the proposal correspond to a specific initiative? Should the proposed project be on a specific topic?
Yes, in addition to the American Element and promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA), the proposal must correspond to one (and only one) of the initiatives established by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil in section A.1 of this notice.
Will a proposal be eligible if it address more than one initiative? If it is in the nature of the project, can we put different initiatives together?
No, projects must not correspond to more than one of the initiatives nor put different initiatives together.
Who can apply? Which institutions are eligible?
Individuals and non-profit institutions are eligible. Committed and organized civil society organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, non-profit academic institutions, governmental institutions, international organizations. All applicants must be capable of receiving and managing grant funding. Individuals and institutions may be Brazilian, American or of any other nationality if the project is implemented in Brazil and meets the other requirements of this notice.
Who can NOT apply? Which institutions are NOT ELIGIBLE?
Commercial, for-profit companies, U.S. Embassy and Consulates employees and family members of employees are not eligible to apply.
I’ve had a project approved before. Can I submit a new project? If the institution already has a funded project in progress, is it possible to apply for a new project?
Yes, individuals or institutions that have had projects funded by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil before are eligible to submit new projects if they meet all other requirements of this notice. However, please note that re-submissions of proposals submitted in the previous 12 months to another notice of funding opportunity will not be considered.
Does the applicant (individual or institution) need to be Brazilian, or can be American? Are there any requirements related to applicant’s nationality?
It can be Brazilian, American or of any other nationality, if the program is carried out in Brazil and that it meets the other requirements of this notice.
Is it possible to apply without having a U.S. citizen on the team?
Yes, if the program is executed in Brazil and meets the other requirements of this notice.
Do proposals have to be submitted by alumni? Do I need to be enrolled in Alumni Exchange to be able to submit projects?
Can an individual submit a proposal on behalf of a larger team or on behalf of a group of individuals?
No. Grants should not be issued to one individual with the purpose of disseminating funding to other individuals. The regulation states that the amount received by an individual is not passed on to other individuals even for income tax reasons, since the entire amount will be deposited in an individual’s account. Individuals are allowed to buy goods and hire services from a legal entity. For example, an individual can rent a space for the program or hire a company for translation or any other type of service. The individual will not be able to hire other individuals to develop the project, but may hire support services (publications, dissemination, etc.).
Can individuals and institutions submit a project that is going to be carried out in partnership with a private for-profit company?
Yes. The proposing institution/individual that, if selected, will receive funding from the U.S. government must be non-profit, but may have one or more implementation partners and these may be for-profit.
Does the institution need to have a CNPJ? Does the institution need to be formalized?
Yes, and it must be an active CNPJ.
Is it possible for higher education institutions/academic institutions to apply to this notice?
If the institution is non-profit, yes.
Can Federal Universities submit projects?
Can foundations of federal institutions submit proposals?
Yes. In this case, the foundation must submit it and, if selected, the award will be on behalf of the foundation and must be signed and managed by it. The disbursement of funds will be made to an account in ownership (CNPJ and company name) of the foundation.
Are there any specific requirements for private universities?
It needs to be a non-profit institution.
Can academics/undergraduates participate?
Up to how many people can participate in the same project?
For institutional projects, there is no such predetermined limit. Now, for projects to be submitted by individuals, according to the regulation, grants should not be issued to one individual with the purpose of disseminating funding to other individuals, therefore, they must be proposed by a single person. Please note that the individual will not be able to hire other individuals to develop the project, but may hire support services (publications, dissemination, etc.).
What is an entity with ability to receive and manage grant funding?
A solid institution, which has established processes in the financial/accounting area and whose employees are able to implement the proposed project.
Is it possible for an institution based in one state apply to implement the project in another state?
Who can and should be the institution’s representative in the documentation?
Someone with legal responsibility to represent the institution.
Does the institution have to have a minimum period of establishment?
Can I submit projects to be implemented in more than one state? Can projects to be implemented in Municipalities, Cities or States of more than one regional jurisdiction or consular district participate?
Yes. Proposals intended for implementation in more than one regional jurisdiction or consular district will be reviewed by the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia in collaboration with the respective consulates.
Can nationwide projects participate?
Is it possible to submit more than one project per individual or institution?
Yes, and please keep in mind that while an applicant may submit multiple proposals, each proposal must address only one of the initiative areas listed in this NOFO. Applicants are only permitted to submit one proposal per initiative. As we intend to diversify our partners, we recommend that applicants focus on fewer and better projects.
How should the application/proposal be submitted?
The proposal submission procedure will be divided into three phases.
In the first phase, applicants will fill out and submit an online form. All questions are mandatory and must be answered in English and amount in U.S. dollars. Applicants who are unable to submit proposals via the platform should contact the United States Embassy in Brasilia at email@example.com.
Those who pass the first phase will be notified and will move on to the second phase, which consists of an online interview and presentation in their preferred language (English or Portuguese).
Those who pass the second phase will be notified and will move on to the third phase for submission of the complete proposal including SF-424 forms available at https://www.grants.gov/ and active registration on SAM.gov (institutions only).
Can the form be answered in Portuguese? Can the proposal be submitted in Portuguese?
No. The form must be responded and submitted in English.
Will the virtual interview and presentation (phase 2) be in English or Portuguese?
It will be in English or Portuguese – as the applicant prefers. Applicants whose project proposals are invited to advance to Phase 2 will have an opportunity to discuss their proposal and respond to questions in their preferred language (English or Portuguese).
Is it possible and allowed to attach a document to the registration form?
Yes. Applicants can attach a 30 seconds video in either English or Portuguese or up to 5 pictures that illustrate the proposed project.
What would be the difference between the interview process (phase 2) for an individual and for an institution?
There’s no difference. The presentation will follow the same structure.
Will unselected proposals be notified?
My proposal was not approved. Will I receive any brief feedback on the reason for the denial?
If requested, yes, but please note we will not go into details about any of the approved projects.
If the submitted proposal is incomplete or in Portuguese, will you notify the applicant to submit it correctly?
Is it possible and permissible to ask more specific questions about the project via email? For example, can the applicant explain the type of project to check if it is feasible?
Even by email, it is not possible or allowed to enter this level of detail for reasons of transparency, as we must treat all possible partners in the same way. We will answer more general and non-specific questions about the project.
Is it possible to have access to previously approved proposals?
For reasons of confidentiality, we cannot share proposals from other people/institutions in the same way that we will not share proposals received under this notice. However, if applicants would like to check projects previously funded, please refer to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates social media.
What is the project duration?
Maximum 12 months. Note that this is a maximum and projects can last less than 12 months.
If approved and funded, can the project implementation timeline be revised if necessary and due to unforeseen events?
Yes, if the project cannot be carried out within the originally planned timeframe. This type of review must be formally and previously approved by the official of the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the project.
What is the main difference between proposals from individuals and from institutions/organizations?
The main difference is the award amount ceiling. For individuals, we will accept projects up to US$ 5,000.00. For institutions/organizations, we will accept projects up to US$ 25,000.00.
Is there a preference for projects submitted by institutions over individual submissions? Are the chances of approval the same, or are the institutional proposals more likely to be accepted?
No, there is no such preference. The chances of being selected are the same.
Can the project be online/virtual?
Will the projects have to be fully funded by the U.S. or can they be split (funded from other sources)?
Sharing costs or funding by other institutions is acceptable and permitted.
Can projects that have already started to be funded participate? Can a proposal be submitted to expand an existing project? Can projects already started, but without formal funding, participate?
What is the difference between outcome indicators and output indicators?
Outcomes are what you want or need to achieve while outputs are the means necessary to achieve outcomes. The first are long-term indicators, such as behavioral changes, and the second are short-term indicators, such as the number of participants in a workshop.
Should the budget be submitted in U.S. dollars or in Brazilian reais?
In U.S. dollars.
Should costs be rounded up, approximate or accurate?
The initial budget must have rounded up values, but once approved, the report values must be accurate.
Can people involved in the project be paid for their services?
Yes, the people involved in the project can be paid for their services as long as funding is allocated within one of the budget categories and value is compatible with the market. The amount must be defined and specified in the proposal.
If there is an employment relationship between the person and the institution, it is possible to include the hours dedicated to the project as personnel and its fringe benefits are allowable as well. If there is no employment relationship, this cost falls into the category of contracts as outsourced services.
Is it possible to pay per diem for project participants?
Yes, it is possible to pay this allowance so that, for example, the participant can go to the place where the project is implemented or to have lunch at the project.
Can computers, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and mobile data be paid for? Do they need to be returned to the Embassy at the end of the project?
Yes, they can be paid for. No, they do not need to be returned and can remain with the institution.
What is the difference between supplies and equipment?
A unit of an item or good whose purchase price is equal or greater than US$ 5,000.00 and has a useful life greater than 1 year must be classified as equipment. If an item is less than US$ 5,000.00 it is classified as supply.
What is the difference between personnel and contractual?
Personnel costs refer to the salaries of the employees of the institution who will work on the project. The budget should indicate the base salary and the time each person will spend on the project. Personnel costs can be for current and new employees hired specifically to work on the program.
The contract category refers to costs whose purpose is to obtain goods and services to be used in the implementation of the project, such as translation, transportation, platform for virtual transmission, costs of advertising in social media, etc.
Is it possible to give prizes with grants funds?
It is an allowable cost under certain circumstances. For example, when the prize is a step to fulfilling a larger objective of the project it is possible to reward a book, a tablet, a course, a scholarship etc. Cash or vouchers are prohibited. An award to fund prizes alone is not allowed.
Can I allocate funds to translate reports? Can I allocate funds to pay for an accountant, for example? Are supplies, goods, third-party services, travel expenses included? Should the amount of any bank transfers and fees be included in the operating costs?
Can part of the budget be allocated to project management? Can be part of the budget be allocated to monitoring and evaluation?
Are expenses for support foundations, such as federal educational institutions, allowed?
What exchange rate may be used?
The Central Bank of Brazil exchange rate or any other reliable exchange rate found on the Internet.
Is there any exchange rate to be considered when converting the budget from Brazilian reais to U.S. dollars?
No. We recommend the use of the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Brazil or some other reliable rate found on the Internet.
What can be done if there is a difference in the exchange rate at the time the money is received and this has an impact on the project?
Cost increases for fluctuations in exchange rates are allowable costs. Therefore, you must notify the person responsible for your project at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to proceed with an adjustment. It is subject to the availability of funding and prior approval from the Grants Officer.
For more information on exchange rate and fluctuations, see https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=813bd738f00a7f69978fb3f48da763fb&mc=true&node=se2.1.200_1440&rgn=div8.
UNIQUE ENTITY IDENTIFIER (UEI) AND SAM.GOV
Should institutions obtain a UEI and register on SAM.gov before submitting the proposal in Phase 1?
Should institutions obtain a UEI and register on SAM.gov before submitting the proposal in Phase 3?
Yes, because, if the project is chosen, we will only be able to proceed with the issuance of the award for institutions that have an active registration on SAM.gov.
Do individuals also need to obtain a UEI and register on SAM.gov?
Will the institution be charged to obtain a UEI and register on SAM.gov?
No, it is free. Note that we have received some reports that institutions are being contacted by organizations that offer a renewal or registration service for a fee. These emails are not from the U.S. government and should be ignored and marked as spam.
Do institutions already registered need to make a new registration?
No, just make sure the registration is active. If expired, renewal is required.
How long does it take until an entity registration is considered active?
The timeframe for validating your entity and submitting a registration depends on whether there is a match for your entity information in SAM.gov and what additional steps you need to take to validate your entity. This can take 10 to 15 business days.
Does every institution, whether an NGO, a non-profit educational institution, or a federal university, need to obtain a UEI and register on SAM.gov?
Yes. Note only non-profit institutions are eligible, and individuals do not need this registration.
Do partners need active registration on SAM.gov?
No, but subrecipients must have a UEI.
What is the SAM.gov support desk contact? Who should I contact if I need help to register an institution?
Please refer to the Federal Service Desk (FSD) at https://www.fsd.gov/gsafsd_sp to access several articles and instructions. It is also possible to “create an incident” to solve a more specific issue. More help is available at https://sam.gov/content/help.
How to change the multifactor authentication for logging into SAM.gov?
Go to https://www.login.gov > click on “Sign in with Login.gov” > add the registered email and password > click on “Sign In”. In the left corner, there is a menu that reads “Your authentication methods”. In this menu, select which method you want to modify and/or add.
Can a person who is not the legal representative of the institution (ex: assistant director) create an account on SAM.gov to manage the institution’s account and include the legal representative?
Who should be the legal representative on SAM.gov?
Any person in the institution who has legal responsibility to sign on behalf of the institution.
Do I need to have a UEI and register on SAM.gov for each project?
No, registrations are per institution, not per project. Also, if the institution already has an active registration on SAM.gov, this must be used. If the institution has an inactive registration on SAM.gov, just update it to reactivate it.
There are several SF424 forms on grants.gov, which ones are needed in phase 3?
- For institutions: SF-424, SF-424 A, SF-424 B
- For individuals: SF-424 I, SF-424 A, SF-424 B
Remember that these forms should only be completed and submitted by proposals selected in previous phases.
PAYMENTS AND FINANCIAL REPORTING
How will individuals receive funds if selected?
It will be transferred/deposited to the individual’s checking account. The account must be linked to the CPF of the person.
How will institutions receive funds if selected? Will it be deposited to the institution’s account or to an account of a project coordinator?
It will be transferred/deposited to the institution’s checking account The account must be in ownership and linked to the CNPJ of the selected institution. If there are partners or contractors, any transfer will be made by the institution. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil transfer funds to the selected institution, which makes payments to partners or contractors or any other payments as in the approved budget.
If the applicant has an account in the USA, can funding be disbursed in U.S. dollars?
Yes, you can receive the payment in U.S. dollars in a U.S. bank account. Note that as the expenses will take place in Brazil, we do not pay a conversion fee.
Will funding be disbursed in a single or in multiple installments?
In multiple installments. Usually, we disburse in at least 2 installments, with the final one disbursed after submission and evaluation of final reports.
How is financial reporting done?
Depending on the instrument, institutions or individuals will be required to submit a financial form (SF-425) but will not be required to submit receipts. These, however, need to be kept for at least 3 years after the project ends. In addition, financial management can follow the rules and procedures that already exist in the institution. If individual, as you see fit.
Can receipts be digital?
Can receipts for products and services be manually prepared or made by an individual who provides service informally, or do they need to be formal invoices?
Does the U.S. Embassy and Consulates help with the institution’s or individual’s income tax return?
No, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates does not provide documents nor any statement or advice other than the award. We suggest that you look for an accountant of your choice or contact the Federal Revenue Service of Brazil.
Can expenses with taxes be included in the budget? Can we include taxes as our costs?
In general, yes, except income tax and taxes where exemptions are available. More information is available at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/subtitle-A/chapter-II/part-200/subpart-E/subject-group-ECFRed1f39f9b3d4e72/section-200.470
In the case of an individual, is the grant amount deposited in full or will income tax be withheld at source?
We don’t withhold tax at source.
How does Brazilian Income Tax retention and declaration work for Brazilian individuals who apply for projects?
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates does not provide documents nor any statement or advice other than the grant agreement. We suggest that you look for an accountant of your choice or contact the Federal Revenue Service of Brazil. The costs of hiring an accountant can be included in the budget, but income tax cannot be included in the budget.
Is prior approval from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates required for disclosure material?
Does the project need to maintain itself after the end of the grant?
It is not mandatory, but desirable.
In addition to the financial resource, is there support from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the implementation of the project?
Yes. Depending on the instrument we will use, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates may have substantial involvement in project implementation.