Notice of Funding Opportunity

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy Prague
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Call for Grant Applications is now: OPEN

Funding Instrument Type: Grant/Fixed Amount Award/Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Number: 19.040 — General Department of State Assistance
Date Opened: November 1, 2018
Deadline for Applications: December 15, 2018

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy in Prague announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out programs with outstanding merit that support the U.S. Government’s broad goals of fostering mutual cooperation between the United States and the Czech Republic with a focus on one or more of the Embassy’s priority themes and initiatives listed here:

  • Promoting security cooperation
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Countering disinformation and encouraging media literacy and transparency
  • Media freedom and journalism training
  • U.S.-Czech relations
  • Promoting democracy, good governance & rule of law
  • Strengthening of civil society
  • Promoting human rights & minority integration
  • Sports and Cultural programming
  • Educational initiatives
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-related projects
  • Gender equality
  • Energy security

Program Objectives

Grant submissions should include a clear description of program/project objectives, goals, activities (workshops, conferences, training, publications, performances, etc.) or programming components as well as an estimated budget.  Proposals linked to U.S. Embassy priority themes are given preference.

Participants and Audiences
Proposals should target participants or audiences located within the Czech Republic.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $3,000 to a maximum of $25,000
Type of funding: FY19 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds
Length of performance period: 1 to 24 months
Anticipated program start day: February 2019

Note: This notice is subject to availability of funding

C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Public and private educational institutions
  • Public international organizations and governmental institutions
  • Individuals

Please note that Embassy grants CANNOT be used to fund religious organizations or partisan political activities; individual trips abroad (i.e. out of the Czech Republic); trade activities; fundraising campaigns; charitable activities; humanitarian aid; commercial projects; scientific research; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development and operational costs of the organization; or representational expenses (lunch, alcoholic beverages, flowers, etc.).

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Please follow all instruction 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
Please ensure:

  • 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

The following Documents are required:

  • Grant Request Form (summarizes the SF-424 application information and includes detailed questions about the proposal for evaluation by the Embassy grant selection committee)
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals) – please follow the online instructions here to complete this form
  • SF-424A (Budget Information)

The Grant Request Form should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. Your proposal 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 Aim/Justification: A clear and concise statement of the overall aim) of the program and how it supports one or more of the Embassy’s priority themes and initiatives.
  • Program Audience: A statement about the target audience or group addressed by the proposal.
  • 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 Sustainability:Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

  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.

All proposals must be submitted electronically to grantsprague@state.gov by the deadline. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

The proposal deadline is: December 15, 2018 (midnight, local time in Prague)

All proposals must be complete (including a detailed budget) and submitted in English. We highly recommend using our most recent Grant Request Form.  Proposals not adhering to the instructions or that exceed the allowable character limits will not be considered.

Each applicant will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt within two working days.  If applicants do not receive a confirmation email, then the proposal was not received. In this event, applicants are invited to contact the Office of Public Affairs at grantsprague@state.gov  or +420 257 022 010.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants: 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.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results with the target audience(s).

Budget: 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: Applicant demonstrates it is able to 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: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A committee comprised of U.S. Embassy Prague staff will evaluate the grant applications which include the SF-424 (or SF-424I, if an individual), SF-424A (budget) and Grant Request Form.  When deciding which projects to support, the Embassy will give consideration to the full range and diversity of Czech organizations and will seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in the Czech Republic.  Proposals linked to the U.S. Embassy priority themes are given preference.  Projects incorporating an American speaker, artist, performer, author, etc., are often considered to be stronger.

Committee results will be announced via email on or before January 31, 2019.

F. OTHER REQUIREMENTS

If your proposal is selected for funding the following criteria must be met in order to receive an award:

Organizations must obtain a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) DUNS number and register in SAM (System for Award Management)* prior to being eligible to receive federal assistance funding.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

*mandatory for awards above $25,000.

As this can be a somewhat lengthy process we advise that organizations initiate the registration as soon as a project proposal has been approved.  Funding will be contingent upon successful completion of registration of the organization with SAM.

To obtain a DUNS number, go to http://www.bisnode.cz/produkt/duns-cislo/ (for local NGOs).
If you are a U.S.-based organization, go to: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/index.jsp
SAM registration is available at:  https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/##1

Important Notes to Applicants:

  • Applicants should use the same official information (organization official name, address, phone number, etc.) to obtain a DUNS number and register with SAM.
  • Obtaining a DUNS number and registering in SAM is free of charge. Any additional services offered during or after the registration process are not required, and the applicant is under no obligation to sign up for them.

G. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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 Notice of Funding Opportunity 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.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports within 90 calendar days of the end of the period of performance delineated in the award.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

We highly recommend using U.S. Embassy Prague’s FINAL REPORT template as a program report.

Financial records, supporting documents, and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the Final Report.

Applicants should be aware of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 CFR 200 Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Failure to comply with the reporting requirements may jeopardize eligibility for future awards or will result in suspension of any future payments under this award until such time as this deficiency has been corrected.

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact grantsprague@state.gov.