Notice of Funding Opportunity: U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy
A. Program Overview
The Embassy of the United States of America is offering multi-year funding for the organization and implementation of an annual, nationwide teacher training seminar for educators on the high school level, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, senior, junior, and future teachers, as well as textbook editors in Germany. The seminar will focus on subjects such as English, American Studies, history, and the social sciences. Special attention will be given to “Quereinsteiger” teachers, who will be teaching in the English-language classroom without rigorous university training in American Studies.
Input and materials should go beyond textbook content. They should significantly deepen the participants’ understanding of U.S. society and help them strengthen democratic values in the classroom. Expert speakers should focus on, for example,
(1) balanced and broad political, historical, and cultural content
(2) current developments in the U.S.
(3) issues and measures related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEIA) to foster an appreciation of individual differences
(4) innovative concepts to combat global challenges such as climate change and to modernize our educational, social, and economic systems
(5) concepts to strengthen the transatlantic partnership that involve the next generation.
Through their participation in the seminar, project participants should be empowered to provide their students with relevant, current, and profound insights into U.S. related content.
The successful applicant (the “implementer”) should have a deep understanding of Germany’s federal educational landscape and school curricula in 16 German Länder in subjects that cover U.S. related content, among them predominantly English as well as history and the social sciences. The implementer should serve as a bridge between schools and the university and should be able to update teachers on state-of-the art research in American Studies and pedagogy conducted on the University level.
The format of the teacher training seminar should include expert input via lectures, interactive workshops, and informed discussions. Participants should immerse themselves in an English-language environment as an alternative to an actual study tour to the U.S. The implementer should utilize technology where appropriate and state-of-the-art educational methods in conducting immersive and effective sessions. The implementer should look to integrate American voices into the program that cover a breadth of perspectives and experiences.
The implementer will be responsible for selecting an appropriate venue and target audiences in all German states (described above), conducting outreach, recruiting participants, and developing and implementing session curricula. The implementer will consult with the Public Diplomacy (PD) section of the U.S. Embassy on already established resources and frameworks for teacher training programs such as the national Teacher Academy and regional seminars.
The implementer should expand on existing expert networks and recruit speakers with a fresh and innovative viewpoint for the seminar. Speaker logistics will be administered by the implementer in cooperation with the Public Diplomacy (PD) section of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates. The implementer should also include designated measurement and evaluation procedures in their project design so the Embassy can continually assess project implementation quality and effectiveness.
Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding:
Funding authority rests in Smith-Mundt. The source of funding is FY2023 Public Diplomacy Funding.
Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines:
Programs, speakers, and participants should be representative of the diversity of political, social, and cultural life in the United States and abroad. ‘Diversity’ should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Proposals should demonstrate how diversity will enhance the program’s goals and objectives.
B. Federal Award Information
|Length of performance period||Up to 36 months|
|Number of awards anticipated||1|
|Award amounts||Up to $100,000|
|Total available funding||N/A|
|Type of funding||FY 2023 Smith-Mundt PD Funds|
|Anticipated program start date||2023|
|Funding Opportunity Title||U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy|
|Funding Opportunity Number:||BER-NOFO-FY23-002|
|Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number:||19.040|
|CFDA Title:||Public Diplomacy Programs|
|Announcement Type:||Notice of Funding Opportunity|
|Announcement Date:||February 15, 2023|
|Deadline for Submission of Proposals:||Application must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. UTC+1 on April 2nd, 2023|
|This notice is subject to availability of funding|
Funding Instrument Type
Cooperative Agreement. The U.S. Embassy has established robust networks and resources for teacher training programs in Germany, which will be leveraged in support of this project. The implementer will consult closely PD on the selection of seminar themes, speakers, and participants.
Program Performance Period
Proposed programs should be completed in 36 months or less. The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation agreements 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 U.S. Department of State.
C. Eligibility Information
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- One time study trips for school and university classes, travel to student conferences such as MUN
- All types of in-school programming
- Social welfare projects, charitable or development activities; fund-raising campaigns
- Any activities that appear partisan or that support individual or party electoral campaigns;
- Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
- Construction programs;
- Scientific or medical research and -studies;
- Production of media such as films, art, literature, music;
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
- Duplications of existing programs;
- Completion of activities begun with other funds (however, new activities that build from lessons learned as the result of an earlier project are acceptable);
PD considers applications from Germany, including:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations;
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions;
- Governmental institutions
Non-German organizations are required to partner with a German organization.
Cost Sharing or Matching
Applicants are not required to include third party funding in their project proposals, but applications with cost-sharing will be given special consideration during merit review.
Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via SAM.gov, as well as a valid registration on that platform.
D. Application and Submission Information
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. Proposals should address succinctly, but completely, the elements described below and must follow all format requirements.
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All pages are numbered
Mandatory Application Forms
Applicants must complete application forms SF424 and SF424a and enclose them with their application.
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.
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 Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
Budget Justification Narrative
Please 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 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
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:
- SAM.gov Unique Entity Identifier, replacing the DUNS number, which is no longer required
- www.SAM.gov registration
Any applicant with an exclusion 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.”
The Unique Entity Identifier (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. SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.
Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews its registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov. To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/. Organizations need to renew its sam.gov registration annually.
If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number). Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations prior to issuance of the award documents. Registrations are free of charge.
Submission Dates and Times
11:59 PM on April 2nd, 2023.
Applicants must submit their applications electronically by email to BerlinPDNOFODL@state.gov
E. Application Review Information
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea (20%)
The program idea is well developed, relates to our funding priorities, and contains details about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Program Objectives (20%)
Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan.
Applicant’s Record/Ability (25%)
Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of comparable successful projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for cooperative agreements.
Monitoring and Evaluation (10%)
Applicant demonstrates capability 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.
The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All items should be necessary and appropriate.
Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5%)
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
Grants Review Panel
All eligible applications will be reviewed against the criteria listed above. Applications are reviewed individually against the criteria and not against competing applications. The panel may provide conditions and/or recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed program.
Successful applicants will be notified in writing informing the applicant about the conditional selection for funding pending the GO’s review and evaluation of risk and pending the availability of Federal funds. PD may request a revised application or budget but may not request any changes that would fall outside of the scope of the original Notice of Funding Opportunity.
Applicants deemed ineligible will be informed as soon as the initial screening is complete. Upon request, unsuccessful applicants will be given a verbal-debrief explanation for the reason(s) for disapproval of the application. There is no appeal process for unsuccessful applicants. The unsuccessful applications will be maintained with the Department’s official records disposition schedule.
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 NO 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.
Recipients will receive funds via electronic funds transfer (EFT). These funds cannot be used to pay for alcoholic beverages. Any questions concerning the propriety of any particular expenditure from these grant funds should be referred to the grants officer (GO), ACAO Izaak Martin.
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. These include:
2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/pages/home.aspx
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. There will be at least one interim reporting deadline as well as a final report.
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
Questions and Answers will be posted on the Embassy website. The Embassy is not offering pre-application counseling to any potential applicant as a matter of policy.
Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State 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 total discretion of the Department of State.