Notice of Funding Opportunity: UNVIE Space Exchanges 2022

Notice of Funding Opportunity: UNVIE Space Exchanges 2022

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. MISSION TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN VIENNA

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE

 Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement

Funding Opportunity Title: UNVIE Space Exchanges 2022

Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-UNVIE-PAS-FY21-01

CFDA Number: 19.040

Total Amount Available: $150,000.00

Deadline for Applications: September 1, 2021

CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or international 1-606-545-5035.
  2. For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE), via email at ViennaUNVIEgrants@state.gov.

IMPORTANT SUBMISSION INFORMATION

All application materials must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. Applications materials submitted via other means such as email will not be accepted.

Authorization to submit proposals through www.Grants.gov is a multi-step process that requires prior successful registration with four separate sites including DUNS, NCAGE, SAM, and www.Grants.gov. Please begin the registration process with each one immediately to ensure that the process is completed well in advance of the deadline for applications. The entire registration process can require up to six weeks for the registration to be validated and confirmed. See Section D: Submission Requirements for further details.

Thorough instructions on the application process are available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html (for the DUNS number application, NCAGE number application, and registration with SAM) and at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html (for registration with www.grants.gov as an Authorized Organization Representative).

Due to the volume of applicants and inquiries, the UNVIE Public Affairs Section (PAS) does not accept letters of intent, concept papers, or requests for meetings or phone calls prior to application.

NOTIFICATION

Applicants can expect to be notified of the status of their application within thirty (30) days of the submission deadline. Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the United States Government. It does not commit the USG to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. The USG reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE) has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Mission. 

 

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Executive Summary

The U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE) invites eligible organizations to submit proposals to implement two exchange programs related to the peaceful uses of outer space: the first is a youth exchange program to promote U.S. leadership in outer space and build closer relationships between the United States and the peoples of participating countries.  The youth exchange shall send up to 24 young leaders (ages 15-18 at the time of the program) and two chaperones from six countries (two youth from each country) to Washington, DC for space-themed programming and to the Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  Selection of the participants will be done in close collaboration with U.S. embassies in the participating countries.  The program will highlight U.S. support for STE(A)M education and expose the participants to American culture through science and cultural exchange.

The second exchange program aims to expose university students and young professionals to U.S. space policy and industry while also building a closer relationship between the participants and the United States.  The exchange will send three emerging leaders (ages 19-35) to Washington, DC for space-themed programming and, if possible, to Adult Astronaut Training, also at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  The selection of the participants will be done by the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna from a global pool of applicants; names and countries of residence of the participants will be passed to the implementing partner during the period of performance of the award, after the selection process is concluded.

Proposals should include plans for traditional and digital media coverage of the participants and their experiences in the United States, as agreed upon by the U.S. embassies in the participating countries and the awardee. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Participating Countries:

Youth and chaperone(s) will be from up to six countries in three different global regions, to be identified during the period of performance of the award.

Award amount and Duration:

Proposals should be submitted for a project duration of 12 months with an award ceiling of $150,000.00.

Proposed Project Timeline:

    • September 2021 – Awardee is selected. Paperwork signed before September 30, 2019.
    • October 2021 – In conjunction with U.S. embassies in the six participating countries, awardee begins the process of identifying youth and chaperone(s) for the youth exchange project.
    • February 2022 – Participants, alternates, and chaperone(s) of the youth exchange project are selected and announced.
    • March 2022 – Youth exchange participants apply for visas to the United States.
    • April – June 2022 – Awardee and U.S. embassies carry out media and publicity for project with selected youth exchange participants in their home countries.
    • June 2022 – Participants in the young professionals’ exchange are announced.
    • July to August 1, 2022 (exact dates TBD) – Youth exchange participants travel to Washington, DC for policy meetings and space tourism, as organized by the awardee, and to Huntsville, AL for meetings and Advanced Space Academy.
      1. Awardee arranges for media materials (photos, video) of participation that can be used to conduct publicity and media coverage of the participants and project.

Upon completion of the exchange, young exchange participants return to their home countries.  Awardee coordinates with U.S. embassies for follow-on publicity with participants.

  • Summer/Fall 2022 – Young professionals travel to Washington, DC for policy meetings and space tourism, as organized by the awardee, and to Huntsville, AL for meetings and Adult Astronaut Training.
  • Late Summer/Early Fall 2022 – Awardee introduces participants of both exchanges to U.S. State Department alumni network(s) and to UNVIE Public Affairs Staff. END OF PROJECT.

Public Diplomacy Goals

The goals of the UNVIE Space Exchanges 2022 include presenting an image of U.S. leadership in outer space and continued U.S. commitment to the peaceful exploration of outer space, which includes U.S. space policy and the activities of companies and organizations working in the public sector and the burgeoning private-sector space industry.  This message should be shared widely in the countries participating in the project, and to the extent possible, media should be engaged to share this message, in conjunction with public affairs staff from U.S. embassies in the participating countries.  The project should also highlight U.S. engagement on outer space through the United Nations system, including U.S. leadership in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, Austria.

Awardee Responsibilities:

The awardee will be expected to cooperate closely with UNVIE and the U.S. embassies from participating countries in the selection of participants and chaperone(s) for the project, as applicable, as well as for selecting participants who can participate fully in the project and complying with the terms of conduct established by the awardee.  Awardee is also expected to be the liaison between the exchange participants and their parent/guardian, and for making all necessary legal arrangements for participants in the program involving international travel of a minor, including visa arrangements.  Points of contact at the U.S. embassies in participating countries will be provided to the awardee.

The awardee will be responsible for all logistical arrangements for the program participants and chaperones for the duration of the program, including international travel from home countries to the United States.  This includes:

  • Making logistical arrangements for up to 248 minor students from six countries and a total of five adult participants to travel to Washington, D.C. and Huntsville Alabama for approximately 10 days on at least two different program occasions. These arrangements will include international travel, lodging, per diem (meals, and incidental expenses), local U.S. transport, resource materials for the participants, fees for speakers and presenters, and other administrative or programmatic expenses:  Providing flights for program participants from host country to Washington, D.C. and from Huntsville, AL back to the home countries.
  • Providing flights for program participants and chaperones from Washington, D.C. to Huntsville, AL.
  • Providing hotel accommodation to participants and chaperones in Washington, D.C.
  • Providing accommodation and meals to chaperones in Huntsville, AL, including for the duration of the Space Camp program (program participants will be living at camp but may also have time before/after camp in hotels).
  • Paying the tuition and other participation fees for the Advanced Space Academy and Adult Astronaut Training from the funds provided in the award.
  • Managing the U.S. visa application process for all applicants, including distribution of DS-2019 forms, reimbursement of visa fees, logistic arrangements in obtaining a visa, which may include transportation and/or lodging to visa interview centers where needed, and guidance on the process for participants and their parents/guardians.
  • Planning, coordinating, and executing activities on outer space, STEM education, and youth leadership for program participants in Washington, D.C. before travel to Alabama, including any necessary costs such as meals, transportation, and museum admissions.
  • The program should reflect that students come from varying backgrounds and may have vastly different amounts of background knowledge in this subject matter and experience outside of their home countries. All students will have excellent English abilities and an interest in STEM.
  • Procuring student supplies for the weeklong camp including, bath towels, pillows, and padlocks, and funds for snacks. More information on what participants need to bring can be found at the Space Camp website: https://www.spacecamp.com/help/faq/weeklong
  • Coordinating to provide video, photographic, and other material documenting the participants’ time in the United States for use in publicity and/or media engagements before, during, and after the Space Camp experience. Awardee must obtain the necessary legal permissions from the participants’ parents/guardians.  All material collected by the awardee during the project shall be shared with UNVIE and U.S. embassies in participating countries, and all rights for such materials will belong to the U.S. government.

Because conversational fluency in English will be a perquisite for selection into the project, translation services will not be required.

Awardees are encouraged to foster a strong sense of team among the exchange participants, and activities or the provision branded and promotional items that build strong team associations between the participants is encouraged.

During the program the awardee must maintain close communications with project chaperones and must serve as the primary point of contact and source of information for students and their families.

The awardee will work closely with UNVIE and the relevant U.S. embassies to make pre-departure and post-program arrangements. These activities will include:

  • Outreach to, review of, and selection of youth exchange program participants from each of the 6 target countries.
  • Designing and conducting a program orientation for participants (and their parents/guardians, in the case of minors) prior to their travel to the United States to review program logistics, agendas, and goals.
  • Providing a closing session to summarize and evaluate the program, prepare participants for their return home, and further prepare them for follow-on activities and alumni programs.

The awardee must demonstrate a plan to monitor the participants’ safety and well-being while in the United States, including proper staff supervision and mechanisms for resolving problems that might arise. Program staff and adult mentors should assist youth participants with cultural adjustment, provide context to enhance learning, and counsel students as needed. Criminal background checks, including a search of the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Registry, must be conducted for all program staff.

 Proposals should describe:

  • The applicant’s previous experience conducting short-term exchange or training tours for young professionals and underage students, to include arranging international travel and educational programs.
  • Experience with arranging travel for participants, to include providing assistance with securing visas to the United States and translation services.
  • Proof that the applicant or its proposed sub-grantee or contractor is a fully registered Designated Sponsor Organization (DSO) must be submitted as part of the application for this NOFO. Applications that do not include this proof will not be considered for an award.
  • As of Oct 1, 2018, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs within the U.S. State Department no longer processes DS-2019s for post-funded exchange programs. To be eligible for an award under this NOFO, the applicant must either:
  • Be a registered DSO, or;
  • Partner (through a sub-grant or contract) with a registered DSO. To find a registered DSO, go to: https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsor-search/
  • A sample schedule and agenda for time in Washington, D.C., to include proposed activities, sightseeing, tours, etc.
  • Key personnel or (if applicable) partner organizations – along with their requisite experience – who will help develop the program schedule and conduct trainings.
  • The applicant’s plan for pre- and post-training assessments to determine program effectiveness, benefit, and possible changes in any option years, as well a strategy for long-term engagement and follow up with the participants.
  • The applicant’s plan for capturing image and video content of students’ participation in activities in Washington, D.C. and at Space Camp for use in Public Diplomacy materials and social media accounts.

 

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 10 to 14 months

Number of awards anticipated: One award

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $80,000 to a maximum of $150,000.

Total available funding: $150,000.00

Type of Funding: FY21 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date: September 30, 2021

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative agreement.  Awardee should maintain close contact with both UNVIE and U.S. embassies in participating countries in the selection of participants and chaperone(s), in conducting public and media outreach for the exchange, in selecting and crafting teambuilding elements of the project, in planning the itinerary, and in developing alumni engagement, among other aspects of the exchange project.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in fourteen months or less, with participant travel to the United States occurring in 2022.  The U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Mission.

 

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  1. 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
  • Individuals
  • Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost share is not required but may be considered favorably in evaluating proposals.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov. 

 

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at on grants.gov.

  1. 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

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
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

*The SF-424B is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.

  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (four pages maximum): 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.
  • 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 achieve the stated goal(s).  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 timeframe 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?
  • Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  1. Attachments:
  • 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 NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
  • Official permission letters from partner and/or institutions to be visited, if required for program activities
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pd

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than September 1, 2021

  1. Funding Restrictions

Funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov.

 

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 points:  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 – 25 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.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget – 10 points: 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 – 15 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.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee at UNVIE will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  1. 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);
  2. 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;
  3. 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 §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

 

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

  1. Federal Award Notices

The 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 U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna 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 Mission.

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: Payment of funds will be made via electronic transfer to the account provided by the awardee.  Eighty percent (80%) of funds will be issued upon completion of the award paperwork.  The remaining twenty percent (20%) will be provided upon successful completion of the project and submission of the required close-out documentation by the awardee.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: 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:  2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions.  Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports every four months until close-out of the project.  The award document will provide additional information on the type of reports that must be submitted.

 

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact:

ViennaUNVIEgrants@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.