Grants

Grant Opportunities

Agreement in which the Federal Government provides funding or a thing of value to support a public purpose authorized by public statute. The Government is not the recipient of the good or service and does not play a substantial role.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through the Embassy’s public diplomacy grants program for creative new ideas and projects that increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and North Macedonia and promote the bilateral relationship. Topic areas eligible for funding include:

  • entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • programs that support culture and the arts, including mutual appreciation of artistic work from both countries;
  • diversity and empowerment of youth and underserved communities;
  • democratic processes and values;
  • strengthening resiliency against disinformation; and
  • programs that support North Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Funding Opportunity Title: Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number: SMK800-20-PAS-02

Activities that are appropriate for funding through the Annual Program Statement include, but are not limited to:

  • Youth engagement, leadership, and education programs, including initiatives that establish exchanges between the youth of North Macedonia and the United States;
  • Bringing an American expert and/or performer to North Macedonia;
  • Conferences, workshops, forums, panel discussions, and master classes on American themes or issues of mutual interest;
  • Exhibitions of works by Americans or on American themes;
  • Cultural programs, particularly those that target youth and underserved communities;
  • Television and social media programming in support of the above objectives;
  • Programs that promote democratic processes and values;
  • Creative programs focused on identifying and countering the use of disinformation.

All programs must include an American element: either a cultural connection, utilization of American expert/s, organization/s or institution/s that will promote good and/or innovative practices in a specific field, etc.

Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:

Printing or promotion of books or manuscripts;
Travel to the United States for professional development;
Ongoing salary costs;
Office equipment;
Paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
Promotion of local arts scenes;
Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single-party electoral campaigns
Political party activities
Fundraising campaigns
Commercial or trade activities
Individual travel to conferences and meetings
Social welfare projects
Projects that support religious activities

Additional Guidelines
The most competitive proposals each:

  • Express clear objectives and activities;
  • Clearly identify a target audience;
  • Include a significant commitment to sharing of costs by other organizations through other funding sources and/or in-kind contributions of time, equipment, or supplies;
  • Limit expenses for staff time to include only reasonable direct and indirect staff expenses associated with the planned project activities.

Funding Instrument Type

Cooperative Agreement or Grant.  Cooperative agreements differ from grants in that Public Affairs staff are more actively involved in proposal execution and anticipate having moderate to substantial involvement once the award has been made.

Award Amounts

Most awards are expected to be around $10,000, with a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $20,000.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. Government.

Project and Budget Periods

Projects generally must be completed in one year or less.  The Public Affairs Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State.

Eligibility Information

The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from local non-governmental organizations. U.S. NGOs may apply, but preference is given to partnerships that develop the capacity of NGOs in North Macedonia and include plans to transfer programs to sustainable local management.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations whose proposals were selected must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.   SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/SAM/.

Required Documents

Applicants must include the following in the proposal submission. All submissions must be in English.

Submission Dates and Times

The Embassy will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year until August 1, 2020. The panel will review proposals, subject to the availability of funds, on a monthly basis at the end of each month.

Public Affairs will notify you upon receiving your application.  Proposals (in English only) will not be considered until all information is received.  Questions should be addressed to SkopjeGrants@state.gov.

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact +389 2 310-2121 or SkopjeGrants@state.gov.

The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for the administration of two (2) legal clinics in law schools in North Macedonia.  The legal clinics will provide an opportunity for law school students to obtain trial and case practice before they graduate and take the bar exam.    The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), U.S. Department of State, is overseeing this grant opportunity.  The full text of the Notice of Funding Opportunity and supporting documents can be found here:  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=311960

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020

Public Affairs Section
U.S. Embassy, Skopje, North Macedonia

Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Skopje and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the 2020 call for proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

The Fund was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures.  Since its inception in 2001, the Fund has helped preserve cultural sites, practices, and objects that are historically or culturally significant in North Macedonia and around the world.  Project proposals are due on December 5, 2019.

FUNDING AREAS:  Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following areas:

A. CULTURAL SITES include (but are not limited to) historic buildings and archaeological sites.

Examples are restoration of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.

B. CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS from a museum, site, or similar institution include archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs. Examples are conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection’s condition and strategies for improving it; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.

Top priority is given to project activities that are appropriate and in keeping with international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage.  An appropriate preservation activity is one that protects the values of the site, object, or collection, or form of traditional cultural expressions as they are understood by stakeholders.  Stakeholders may include national, regional, or local cultural authorities, the local community, and others with vested interests in the site and the outcome of a project.  Note that only North Macedonia’s entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, Ministry of Culture, or similar institutions and organizations are eligible to apply for the Fund.

The Fund can NOT be used to support the following: 

(1) Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of proposal submission;
(2) Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils);
(3) Preservation of hominid or human remains;
(4) Preservation of news media (newspaper, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
(5) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
(6) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
(7) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
(8) Archaeological excavations or surveys for research purposes;
(9) Historical research, except in cases where historical research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
(10) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
(11) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
(12) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
(13) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
(14) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
(15) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
(16) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
(17) Digitalization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
(18) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
(19) Cash reserves, endowments or revolving funds; funds must be expended within the grant period (up to five years) and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund;
(20) Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
(22) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous fees;
(23) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer;
(24) International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
(25) Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
(26) Individual project costing less than US$10,000 or more than $200,000; or
(27) Independent U.S. projects overseas.

AWARD INFORMATION: Funding Instrument Type: Grant (Program Authority: Fulbright Hays Section 102(b)(5), as amended).  Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $200,000 per project.  In FY 2019, awards ranged from US $25,000 to US $200,000.

HOW TO APPLY:  guidelines for proposal preparation and information to be provided are here.
Each project proposal must be in English and should be emailed to TaneskaB@state.gov.

APPLICATION RATING CRITERIA: Using a point-based system, the Embassy will rate all applications based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; and the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of culture.

PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERABLES: AFCP 2020 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.

DUNS NUMBER AND SAM REGISTRATION: Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.   SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/SAM/.

COST SHARING AND OTHER FORMS OF COST PARTICIPATION: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition.  When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement.  The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200.  Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

DISCLAIMER: Explanatory information provided by the U.S. Embassy that contradicts published language is not binding.  Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Government.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds.  Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements as specified above and in the Notice of Award.

For more information, please contact Ms. Borka Taneska, Experiential Learning Coordinator, U.S. Embassy, at tel. 02-310-2121 or TaneskaB@state.gov.

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia
Notice of Funding Opportunity for USG Alumni Only

The Embassy of the United States in North Macedonia announces a limited competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2020 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2020).  We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below.  Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2020 should submit proposals with subject title “AEIF Project Proposal” to IlaziG@state.gov and ZakulaN@state.gov by February 21, 2020.

 A. 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.  This year, AEIF 2020 will support United States’ commitment to working with our partners around the world to advance the essential role of women in peace, security, and governance.

The U.S. Embassy North Macedonia will accept public service projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support themes such as:

  • Strengthen the role of women in peace, security, and governance;
  • Engage women as partners in preventing terrorism and countering radicalization and recruitment;
  • Promote protection of women and girls from violence, abuse, and exploitation; or
  • Support women’s political and civic participationB. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement posted:  January 6, 2020
Closing date for applications: February 21, 2020
Funding type:  Small grant awards
Decision date by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs: July, 2020

Expected size of individual awards:  Between $5,000 to $25,000.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in the period of August 2020-August 2021 with a possibility for a no-cost extension if justified.

 C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

1. Eligible Applicants:

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • 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.

 2. Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.

3. Grant Program Area:

Proposals must address women in peace, security, and governance.  Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible.  All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.  

4. Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization 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.  Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Address to Request Application Package 

To apply, please fill out the following templates: application and  budget. For reference, please use the following guidance .

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2020 proposal and budget forms.

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:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2020 proposal form;
  • All documents are in English
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF budget form;
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

1. 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)

 2. Proposal: The proposal should contain enough information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the alumni team wants to do. 

Proposals include the following:

Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact. 

Alumni Team Information: There must be at least two exchange alumni team members for a project to be considered for funding.  Along with 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.  Indicate what proportion of their time will be used in support of the project. 

Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed. 

Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals.  These should be achievable and measurable. 

Local Program Partners:  List partners who will support your project.  Please note if you have an existing relationship with your partner organization(s) and describe their role in the project.  If you do not have an existing relationship, explain how you anticipate establishing a partnership with the organization(s). 

Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  

Proposed Project Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the project activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. 

Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal will outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives (listed above).  A strong proposal will include: 

  • Any outcomes the grantee expects to occur because of their program. Outcomes could include: change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc.  Proposals should also include how the grantee will know those outcomes are occurring (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.).
  • For example: If the program expects that a teacher-training program will improve the skills of a teacher, a proposal may explain the skills the teacher would gain and plan to perform a survey before the program and a survey following the program that would show a change in understanding due to the program.
  • A plan to include the grantee’s reflection of how their program contributed to the program’s goals. As applicable, a strong final report would include success stories, behaviors changed, lessons learned, and results obtained. 

Sustainability: Explain how you plan to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable. 

Communication Plan:  Explain how you will promote your project.  Include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media you intend to use to share information about your project to beneficiaries and the public.  Communications should include AEIF 2020 and U.S. Embassy branding.  These include training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement.  Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions.  If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable especially in the case where branding would adversely affect the safety and security of the beneficiaries. 

3. Budget Justification Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided.  Line item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail.  Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.

Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2020 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:

  • Airfare to or from the United States and its territories
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Sustained staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses exceeding 10% of total operational costs
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
  • Academic or scientific research
  • Charitable or development activities or the provision of direct social services to a population
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Programs that support specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project
  • Individual scholarships
  • Personal development
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.E. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Evaluation Criteria:  The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications.  After this initial review, the Public Affairs Section will submit the top proposals from the country to the global AEIF 2020 competition.  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.

Purpose and summary, description, and implementation plan:  20 points
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 people will participate and how will they be selected?  

Relevance of the project to women, peace, and security:  10 points
AEIF 2020 will provide resources for alumni-led projects around the world that advance women’s and girls’ safety and their meaningful participation in peace and security processes.  Throughout the proposal, applicants will need to demonstrate how your project will strengthen the role of women as agents of peace, reconciliation, development, growth and/or stability.  In developing the project, applicants should keep in mind the safety of alumni and project beneficiaries, including unintended impacts the project may have on their security.

Degree of alumni involvement:  10 points
Projects must include at least two (2) alumni team leaders.  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 reliable local partners:  10 points
A successful application will demonstrate buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place.  The involvement of local partners 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:  10 points
Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project’s success, both as the activities take place and at the end of the project.  Overall, the quality of monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it 1) specifies the intended outcomes and how these outcomes will be achieved, 2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured, 3) identifies when the outcomes will be measured, and 4) explains how outcomes will be collected (such as surveys, interviews, or focus groups).  Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes and consider potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success.  Interim and final reporting is required for winning AEIF projects and winning applicants should have a reporting plan to share information about the success/impact of the project.

Sustainability:  10 points
Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Communication, media and outreach plan:  10 points
The project includes a plan to share information about the project.

Budget and budget narrative 20 points
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.

Total: 100 points 

Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding.  U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement.  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 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 Recipient must request payment under the award by completing form SF-270—Request for Advance or Reimbursement and submitting the form to the Grants Officer.  Unless otherwise stipulated in the award, the Recipient may request payments on a reimbursement or advance basis.  Advance payments must be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the Recipient in carrying out the purpose of this award.  The timing and amount of advance payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the Recipient for direct program or project costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs.

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports on quarterly basis.  All reports must be signed and certified by an authorized representative of the Recipient organization.  All financial reports must be submitted using form SF-425–Federal Financial Report.  As appropriate, performance reports must contain: a comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives of the federal award established for the period; the reasons why established goals were not met; and additional pertinent information including an analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.  The award document will specify additional reporting requirements.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: Gazmend Ilazi at IlaziG@state.gov and Nadica Zakula at ZakulaN@state.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy Skopje, Public Affairs Section
Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:          Annual Program Statement for Democracy Commission Small Grants Program 2020
Funding Opportunity number:    SMK800-20-PAS003
Deadline for Applications:          June 1, 2020
CFDA Number:                             19.900 – Assistance to Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Total Available Funding:             $260,000
Type of Funding:                          FY19/20 Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA)
under the Foreign Assistance Act
Anticipated Award Date:             May/September 2020
Funding Instrument Type:          Grant, Fixed Amount Award, Cooperative Agreement
Length of Performance Period: 12 months
Number of Awards Anticipated: At least 15 depending on amount of each grant
Award Amounts:                          Awards may range from $1,000 to $24,000

THIS NOTICE IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY OF FUNDING.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the funding opportunity through its Democracy Commission Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Abstracts/executive summaries may be submitted at any time for consideration before the closing date of this annual program statement on June 1, 2020.  Awards will be made on a rolling basis, pending the availability of funds.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Background
The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Skopje is soliciting proposals for grants from non-for-profit, non-governmental organizations and independent media in North Macedonia that focus on one of the priority areas specified below.

Grant Priority Areas
Funding will be available for projects that address the priority areas below:

Rule of Law and Government Accountability – These projects should address improving the rule of law, judicial independence, good governance, and the fight against corruption.  By addressing these issues, projects should contribute to a more robust citizen-responsive government with strong democratic institutions.

Citizen Participation – These projects should support strengthening of democratic institutions in North Macedonia, including increasing the participation and representation of citizens from all different backgrounds in civic life.

Cybersecurity and Disinformation – These projects should promote cybersecurity, media literacy, and countering propaganda and disinformation efforts.

Youth Development and Women Empowerment – These projects should support activities aiming to prepare young people and especially women to start their own businesses, combat youth emigration, and promote greater minority participation in North Macedonia’s economy.  By addressing these issues, projects should contribute to improved business climate and economic policies, promote private sector growth and entrepreneurship, attract foreign investors, and create jobs.

The abstracts/executive summaries will be reviewed in three rounds: received by April 1, 2020; received by May 1, 2020; and received by June 1, 2020.

What projects are not funded?
The Democracy Commission Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Projects supporting partisan political activity;
  • Humanitarian/social aid and charities or charitable activities;
  • Professional development for individuals, including conferences and trips abroad;
  • Commercial or trade activities;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Scientific research;
  • Institutional development or support of an organization;
  • Activities that duplicate existing projects; and
  • Individuals or organizations from outside of North Macedonia.

Evaluation criteria
The Democracy Commission will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic
  • Clarity in goals, activities, and target group
  • Please explain how you will measure success.  What are the expected outcomes of your project?
  • Sensible budgeting
  • Longer-term sustainability, where applicable
  • The ability of the applying organization to successfully carry out the project aims.

What is the maximum amount of a grant?
The maximum Democracy Commission grant is $24,000.

How do organizations apply for grants?

Pre-application phase,
All interested organizations must send an abstract/executive summary and a simple budget by the due date listed above.  The summary must be no longer than 400 words and should contain basic information on the project audience, locations, activities, and expected outcomes.

Herewith is a sample of a pre-application submission:

  1. Name of the organization:
  2. Point of contact:
  3. Contact information:
  4. Summary of the project (400 words or less):
 

Description of the project activities: …

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

  1. Period of implementation:
  2. Potential partners:
  3. Budget:
Type of cost Description of the cost Amount in $
1 Personnel
2 Supplies and equipment
3 Contractual
4 Other
Total

The successful applicant will be informed by email and invited to send full application. Full instructions will be given at that stage of application. The applicant will have three weeks to prepare a full application.

Please email one (1) copy of your abstract electronically to: DemComSkopje@state.gov;
Subject: Democracy Commission Application/ The topic of the project

Phone: +389 2 310-2082 POC Nadica Zakula

e-mail: Public Affairs Section

What happens when the project is completed?
Upon completion of the project, all grantee organizations must submit progress reports as well as a final narrative with a complete accounting of all grant funds. The grantee will be asked to send narratives about the outcomes of the project over the course of three years after the implementation is completed. If required, the grantee is obligated the conduct surveys, focus groups and forms of after-action reporting

 

Department of State – U.S. Embassy, Skopje

Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Skopje, North Macedonia
Funding Opportunity Title: Establishment of an Academic Partnership in Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Human Resource Management Studies with the Faculty of Economics at Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, North Macedonia
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement
Funding Opportunity Number: SMK80020PAS004
Deadline for Applications: May 8, 2020, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
CFDA: 19.900 – AEECA/ESF PD Programs
CONTACT INFORMATION
A) For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
B) For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact Nadica Zakula, Public Engagement Specialist, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Skopje at:
Email: ZakulaN@state.gov (Preferred method of communication)

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Skopje announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to establish an Academic Partnership in Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Human Resource Management Studies between a U.S. educational institution and the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University (UKIM) in Skopje, North Macedonia.  Accredited U.S. four-year colleges and universities meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to pursue institutional or departmental objectives in partnership with the Saints Cyril and Methodius University.  The objective for this partnership is to rebuild the MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management program through enriching the existing courses with content pertaining to U.S. business practices, U.S. teaching styles, U.S. research approaches and greater knowledge and capacity exchange with the United States.  Activities will include collaborative research, curriculum reform and development, faculty exchanges, capacity building, and professional development.  The duration of faculty exchanges can be managed according to the time required for the specific task or activity of their exchange.  The Faculty of Economics has indicated the primary focus area should be the business management and human resource capacity building programs.  The means of achieving these objectives is purposefully left broad to encourage the submission of innovative proposals tailored to the education and research goals of both institutions.  Applicants should consult the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University when developing their proposal.  The timeframe for achieving the objectives must be clearly outlined in the proposal funding request.  The project implementation period should be 24 months, with option for renewal.

A successful proposal will address needs of the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University (UKIM) through a cost-effective project that includes curriculum development, collaborative research, professional development for faculty by U.S. counterparts, and faculty exchange.  Prospective candidates are also strongly encouraged to incorporate Faculty of Economics at UKIM’s Campus in their project proposal.

Administration

The U.S. Government, through the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Skopje, is providing resources to promote increased, long-term people-to-people ties through a wide range of public diplomacy programs.  These resources promote cultural, educational, and professional relations between the people of North Macedonia and the United States.  University partnerships focused on the arts, liberal arts and humanities are one of several programs implemented by the Embassy.

II. BACKGROUND

Saints Cyril and Methodius University (UKIM), Skopje

The Ss. Cyril and Methodius University (UKIM) in Skopje is the first state university in the Republic of North Macedonia, founded in 1949, initially with three faculties.  At the moment, the University represents a functional community of 23 faculties, five research institutes, four public scientific institutions – associate members, one associate member – other higher education institution and seven associate members – other organizations.  Its activities are stipulated by the Law on Higher Education and the Statute of the University.

The Ss. Cyril and Methodius University develops study programs in all scientific fields – natural sciences and mathematics, technical and technological sciences, medical sciences and health, biotechnical sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts.  Except for the faculties, the research work also is carried out in the independent research institutes as an integral part of the University.

Nowadays, the illustration of UKIM through figures is as follows: over 60,000 enrolled students from Republic of North Macedonia in the first and second cycle of studies, as well as over 700 foreign students.  The third cycle – doctoral studies is realized within the School of Doctoral Studies, with a total of 655 students.  Over 3,100 teaching, research, associate, as well as administrative staff participate in the realization of the teaching and scientific process at the faculties and institutes.

The University has produced around 150,000 graduated high-professional staff (with obtained Bachelor’s degree); 10,000 candidates obtained Master’s and Specialist’s degree; and around 4,000 candidates obtained the doctoral degree in all teaching and scientific fields.

The overall activities of the University also include sport, artistic, informative, recreational and other activities organized within many associations, clubs etc.

The vision of UKIM is to grow into a university of high international reputation in the field of education and science, as a respectable member of the family of European universities.

The mission of UKIM is to be:

  • an autonomous, higher educational institution which provides teaching, scholar and applied activities in technical, natural sciences and mathematics, bio-technical, artistic, medical and social sciences;
  • a university dedicated to the cherishing as well as international recognition of the traditional features and values of the people of the Republic of North Macedonia (the Macedonian language, history, literature and culture) and at the same time to the nurturing of the cultural values of the other ethnic communities in the Republic of North Macedonia;
  • a university open to all students on the basis of equality and their academic results regardless of their ideological, political, cultural and social origin;
  • a university that coordinates its academic offer to the needs of the social surrounding, and has continuously dynamic relation towards it;
  • a university that creates stimulative environment for its employees, providing them a progress of their abilities in order to accomplish its mission;
  • a university which develops long-life and continuing education;
  • a university determined to achieve the European norms and standards in all spheres of its activities.

Among the key strategic goals of UKIM is modernization of the existing study programs and creation of new ones in line with the needs of the labor market and the business community, as well as application of modern teaching methods and inclusion of the latest findings; and increase of the international cooperation and higher teaching staff and student mobility.

Faculty of Economics

The Faculty of Economics –Skopje that operates within the integrated state university “Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje” was founded in 1950 and it is the biggest educational and research institution in the field of economics and business in the Republic of North Macedonia.

Within its 70 years of existence and operation, the Faculty has been remarkably engaged into the realization of activities in the following fields:

  • Undergraduate studies (first cycle of studies)
  • Postgraduate studies (second cycle of studies)
  • Doctoral studies (third cycle of studies)
  • Scientific and research activities (domestic and international projects of fundamental, developing and applicable nature)
  • Publishing activity (textbooks, proceedings, monographs, scientific and professional literature, etc.).

The Faculty’s mission is to provide continuous education of highly qualified professionals capable of meeting the challenges of the new millennium and of strengthening the international competitiveness of North Macedonia’s companies by offering high quality programs in business and economics.  The Faculty also provides professional services and research projects for both private companies and the public sector.

Faculty’s Vision

In the coming decade, the Faculty of Economics hopes to achieve the following:

  • To retain its position as the leading institute for education in the field of economics and business in North Macedonia.
  • To be one of the top five institutions of its kind in South-Eastern Europe.
  • To bring its syllabus even closer to the needs of the economy and the public sector.
  • To strengthen its cooperation with eminent universities abroad.
  • To contribute fully to the country’s international integration.
  • To acquire international accreditation.

Core Values

The Faculty is deeply committed to:

  • Providing high quality teaching, research and applicative activities;
  • Promoting an inclusive multicultural milieu, respecting the values of all ethnic groups;
  • Responding to the changing needs of the economy and the state administration;
  • Innovating and introducing new study programs to ensure the curriculum is responsive;
  • Providing efficient and responsible administration of the Faculty’s services and activities;
  • Respecting the highest ethical standards;
  • Promoting freedom of creativity and expression of personal opinions;
  • Encouraging innovation and flexibility in the teaching process;
  • Fostering a congenial working environment;
  • Providing a stimulating atmosphere for individual professional development;
  • Making use of the latest educational technology;
  • Ensuring maximum objectivity and correctness in student evaluation;
  • Building market recognition of the Faculty in the country and abroad;
  • Providing unbiased, independent and transparent information to the public.

MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management Studies

The current post-graduate studies in MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management are organized in three semesters, out of which two are focused on classes and one on preparation and registration of the master thesis.  The studies consist of seven courses (three of them are electives), for which classes, permanent assessment and examination of the students are required.  The number of hours for regular and mentor/supervisor classes are determined by the number of registered students for the studies.

Educational goals of the postgraduate studies on Strategic Human Resource Management are:

  • Education of highly skilled Human Resources professionals and Managers to respond to the needs and challenges of the market from the perspective of people management;
  • To embrace change as the most effective way of generating competitive advantages;
  • To develop an authoritative, ethical and respectable professionals with leadership abilities aware of the new findings in the fields of strategies, human resource management, and organizational behavior.
  • Upgrading the management level in enterprises with introduction and development of modern management and capacity building of young experts for managers in enterprises;
  • Education and personnel capacity building for managers of modern profile: entrepreneur, ready to take actions and risks as well that are related to each initiative, flexible, resolute and courageous individuals.

Professional goals of the postgraduate studies on MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management are to develop professionals with:

  • Ability of developing, attracting and retaining talent in the organizations
  • Ability of implementing and developing different methods for upgrading the quality of the work processes;
  • Ability to enable, alleviate, and boost the organizational learning and development of the employees and to implement an active approach in managing the knowledge in the organization;
  • Ability to measure, manage, and reward the performances of the employees – to keep a track successfully of the employees’ results by choosing an appropriate and advanced method of measuring their performance.
  • Education of highly skilled professional management personnel with leadership abilities to face the challenges of the new millennium;
  • Creating managers with new views and ways of reasoning, development of abilities to predict future and accept the challenges and opportunities offers in running business in the 21-st century.

Objectives

The purpose of this project is to rebuild the MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management program provided by the Faculty of Economics under UKIM.  Through the partnership, The Faculty of Economics will enrich existing courses with content pertaining to U.S. business practices, U.S. teaching styles, U.S. research styles and U.S. graduate students mentoring, and greater exchange with the United States.

Applicants are invited to propose activities that support these purposes.  Proposals should explain in detail how project activities will enable participants to achieve specific changes at MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) program as a whole and the cooperating departments or institutions under UKIM.  Proposals should outline well-reasoned strategies designed to meet specific objectives at the participating department or institution as a whole.  In most cases, a proposal to pursue a limited number of related thematic objectives at the institution will be stronger and more coherent than a proposal addressing a large number of unrelated objectives.  For example, proposals may outline new or revised curricula; new teaching methodologies; and preforming joint scientific research.  Proposals should explain in substantial detail strategies to promote MBA in Strategic HRM curriculum and further program development at the Faculty of Economics under UKIM.

A successful proposal will address the needs of the UKIM’s Faculty of Economics through a cost-effective project that includes collaborative scientific research, curriculum reform and development, graduate students mentoring, faculty exchanges, capacity building, and professional development.  The proposal should address sustainability and the long-term commitment of the U.S. institution to the partnership.  Ideally, this NOFO will seed a lasting relationship between the U.S. partner institution and UKIM’s Faculty of Economics.

Applicants should consult the Faculty of Economics at UKIM when developing their proposal.  Designated points of contact at the Faculty of Economics are: Dean Predrag Trpeski (predrag@eccf.ukim.edu.mk) and Assoc. Prof. Mijalche Santa (Mijalche.Santa@eccf.ukim.edu.mk).  It is incumbent upon the applicant to discuss their project ideas with the points of contact before submitting a proposal.  If applicants have any difficulties in communicating with the points of contact, they should notify Nadica Zakula so that she can assist.

Additional Information

Project segments focusing on curriculum reform should describe the existing curriculum, the courses targeted for revision, and how the current content will be restructured to incorporate the new academic themes and meet international accreditation criteria.  The proposal should describe the topics and content of any new courses or educational materials that will be developed and introduced for use by UKIM’s Faculty of Economics.

This NOFO neither supports the creation of new degree programs, nor supports academic degrees for faculty, staff or students.

In planning exchanges for participants from North Macedonia, U.S. institutions must allow approximately four-six weeks from the date of the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje to the date of travel.  U.S. visas are not guaranteed for the purposes of this program.  Applicants must provide appropriate health insurance for all participants from North Macedonia and the United States during their exchange programs.

Knowledge of working conditions in North Macedonia can be important for a successful proposal and project.  Universities that do not have experience in North Macedonia are encouraged to discuss or partner with universities that have experience in-country.

III. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Eligibility for U.S. institutions is limited to not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code.
  • The lead institution and funding recipient in the project must be an accredited four-year U.S college or university.
  • The lead institution must be registered in the System for Award Management SAM located at www.sam.gov prior to submitting an application or plan; and maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by an agency.
  • Organizations that do not have active U.S. government-funded university linkages in North Macedonia are strongly encouraged to apply under this announcement. Applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Human Resource Management.
  • The primary participant in North Macedonia will be the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
  • Secondary partners may include independent research institutes, relevant governmental organizations, and private non-profit organizations with project-related educational objectives.

Cost Sharing or Matching

  • This program requires cost sharing. The U.S. and/or North Macedonia’s institution may make in-kind contributions towards cost-sharing.

U.S. INSTITUTION AND PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:

  • The lead institution and funding recipient in the project must be an accredited four-year U.S. college or university. Expertise working in North Macedonia and established relationships with North Macedonia’s universities and/or local officials in North Macedonia will be considered favorably but is not required.  The lead U.S. organization in a consortium or other combination of cooperating institutions is responsible for submitting the application.  Each application must document the lead organization’s authority to represent all U.S. cooperating partners.  With the exception of outside evaluators, participation is limited to administrators, faculty and students from the participating U.S. institution.

FOREIGN INSTITUTION AND PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY:

  • The Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje will be the primary foreign partner. With the exception of outside evaluators, participation is limited to administrators, faculty and students from the participating foreign institution.  Foreign participants must be both qualified to receive U.S. J-1 visas and willing to travel to the U.S. under the provisions and restrictions of a J-1 visa during the exchange visits funded by this program.  Foreign participants may not be U.S. citizens.

INELIGIBILITY:

A proposal will be deemed technically ineligible for consideration if:

  • It does not fully adhere to the guidelines established in this document and in the Solicitation Package;
  • It is not received by the deadline;
  • It is not submitted by the U.S. partner;
  • One of the partner institutions is ineligible;
  • The primary foreign partner is not the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje
  • The project is focused primarily on technology or physical infrastructure developmentIV. SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Award Period: 24 months with option for renewal.
Number of Awards Anticipated: One (1)
Award Amount:  The award floor is set at $220,000.  The award ceiling is set at $250,000.

Application Deadline:  All applications must be received on or before May 8, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.  Applications received after 11:59 p.m. will be ineligible for consideration. Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early, as this will allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise in advance of the deadline.  There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.

Question Deadline: For questions on this solicitation please contact Nadica Zakula, Public Engagement Specialist at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Skopje at:

Email: ZakulaN@state.gov (Preferred method of communication).

Written questions may be submitted at any time, and will be answered as they are received.  Questions must be received on or before April 27, 2020, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time.  Answers to questions will be posted at http://www.grants.gov.

Application Submission Process:

  • Applications must be submitted electronically using Grants.gov. Thorough instructions on the Grants.gov application process are available at www.grants.gov.  For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or go to https://www.grants.gov/support.html.  Please note that ZakulaN@state.gov is unable to assist with technical questions or problems applicants experience with Grants.gov.

Begin the application process early, as this will allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise in advance of the deadline.  There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.

All applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application.  Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it could take as long as two weeks to have the registration validated and confirmed.  Please begin the registration process immediately to ensure that the process is completed well in advance of the deadline for applications.  Until that process is complete, you will not be issued a user password for Grants.gov, which is required for application submission.

There are four steps that you must complete before you are able to register:

  1. Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)
    1. 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
    2. NCAGE application: Application page here (but need to click magnifying glass and then scroll down to click new registration) https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
      1. Instructions for the NCAGE application process:https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf
        1. For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
        2. For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
      2. Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code. After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov/
    3. Step 2: Once DUNS and NCAGE are obtained, continue to SAM registration on SAM.gov
    4. Step 3: Once SAM registration is confirmed, continue to Grants.gov organization registration http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.Organizations must maintain an active SAM registration (SAM.gov) with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or an application under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. SAM registration must be renewed annually.  Given the volume of applications, review may take up to 90 days, and we are unable to individually confirm receipt of proposals.
    5. Step 4: Register yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and be authorized as an AOR by your organization on grants.gov

For more information, go to www.grants.gov.  Please note that your SAM registration must be annually renewed.  Failure to renew your SAM registration may prohibit submission of a grant application through Grants.gov.

Timely receipt requirements and proof of timely submission
Applicants will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application.  When PAS successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov and acknowledges the download of submissions, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt to the email address of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR).

V. APPLICATION CONTENT

Applicants must follow the NOFO instructions and conditions contained herein and supply all information required.  Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements will result in disqualification from the competition.  Applicants must set forth full, accurate, and complete information as required by this NOFO.  The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.1001.

Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.  Proposals may not exceed 18 double-spaced pages in 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.  Shorter applications are encouraged.  Longer applications will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.  This requirement excludes the allowable appendices, which are identified in Section 6 below.  The proposal must consist of the following:

Section 1 – Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) and SF424A:
The SF424 is the standard cover sheet for grant applications.  The SF424A is a budget summary sheet for grant proposals.  Please refer to page 11-13 for a description of budget categories.  Both these forms can be found on-line at: https://www.grants.gov/forms/sf-424-family.html.

Section 2 – Abstract:
The abstract is limited to 300 words in length.  It must provide a summary of the project to be undertaken, expected timeline, and cost.

Section 3 – Implementation Plan:
The applicant must specify the goals and objectives of the project.  Goals are general statements of intent; Objectives define a specific problem or task to be accomplished.  The objective should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-framed).  The applicant should describe in detail the steps which will be taken to achieve these goals.  This description should include all components of the proposed project including, as needed, design, procurement, installation, and training.  The proposal should clearly demonstrate how each of these project components directly relates to the project’s stated goals. — This section should also describe how success will be measured, and should propose specific performance indicators which can be used to track progress and determine the project’s success.  This section must include a time-task plan that clearly identifies the timeline for carrying out the project’s major activities.

Applicants are recommended to present the following for each project component:

  • An overview of the proposed project component and its respective activities.
  • A description of how the project component supports the overall goal of the project.
  • A detailed outline of the methodology that will be used to implement the proposed component.
  • An analysis of anticipated implementation risks and challenges.
  • A summary of expected outputs with their expected impact, using performance indicators that will be used to track progress towards the anticipated results.

The proposal should also describe the applicant’s sustainability plan and what measures will be taken to ensure that the benefits of the proposed project continue to be realized after the completion of grant performance.

Section 4 – Organizational Capability:
Applications must include a clear description of the applicant’s management structure, previous experience working in North Macedonia, experience working with government institutions of North Macedonia (if applicable), previous experience with U.S. Government grants, and the organizational experience and background in North Macedonia related to the proposed activities.  Besides information about the organization as a whole, this section must also identify the proposed management structure and staffing plan for the proposed project.  The applicant should describe how its previous experience relates to the proposed project.

Section 5 – Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:
Applications must include a monitoring and evaluation plan (M&E plan), sometimes also referred to as a performance monitoring or performance management plan.  The M&E plan is a systematic and objective approach or process for monitoring project performance toward its objectives over time.  The plan consists of indicators with baselines and targets; means for tracking critical assumptions; plans for managing the data collection process; and regular collection of data.  Evaluations should be scheduled and carried out throughout the course of the program.  More information on M&E plans is located http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c35797.htm.

Section 6 – Appendices:
The proposal submission must include four appendices.  The appendices do not count toward the 18-page proposal limit.  Only the appendices listed below may be included as part of the application:

  1. Budget Detail (Required) Applications will not be considered complete unless they include budgets that respond to the solicitation guidelines. Complete budgets will include detailed line-items outlining specific cost requirements for proposed activities.  Applicants must adhere to the appropriate regulations found in 2 CFR 220 (previously OMB circulars A-21, cost principles for education institutions) and 2 CFR 230 (previously OMB circular A-122, cost principles for non-profits).

Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet format) that delineates funds requested from the Embassy and cost-share (see below for more information on budget format).  Costs must be in U.S. Dollars.  The budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories: personnel; fringe benefits; travel; equipment; supplies; consultants/contracts; other direct costs; and indirect costs.  There is no page limit for this appendix.  The following provides a description of the types of costs to be included in each budget category.

A. Personnel – Identify staffing requirements by each position title and brief description of duties. For clarity, please list the annual salary of each position, percentage of time and number of months devoted to the project. (e.g., Administrative Director: $30,000/year x 25% x 8.5 months; calculation: $30,000/12 = $2,500 x 25% x 8.5 months = $5,312.).

B. Fringe Benefits – State benefit costs separately from salary costs and explain how benefits are computed for each category of employee – specify type and rate.

C. Travel – Staff and any participant travel
1. International Airfare
2. In-country Travel
3. Domestic Travel in the U.S., if any
4. Per diem/maintenance: Includes lodging, meals and incidentals for both participant and staff travel. Rates of maximum allowances for U.S. and foreign travel are available from the following website: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates.  Per diem rates may not exceed the published U.S. government allowance rates; however, institutions may use per diem rates lower than official government rates.  Please explain differences in fares among travelers on the same routes.  Please note that all travel, where applicable, must be in compliance with the Fly America Act.

D. Equipment – Please provide justification for any equipment purchase/rental, defined as tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more.

E. Supplies – List items separately using unit costs (and the percentage of each unit cost being charged to the grant) for photocopying, postage, telephone/fax, printing, and office supplies (e.g., Telephone: $50/month x 50% = $25/month x 12 months).

F. Contractual –
1. Sub-grants and sub-contracts. For each sub-grant/contract please provide a detailed line item breakdown explaining specific services.  In the sub-grant budgets, provide the same level of detail for personnel, travel, supplies, equipment, direct costs, and fringe benefits required of the direct applicant.
2. Consultant Fees. For example lecture fees, honoraria, travel, and per diem for outside speakers or independent evaluators: list number of people and rates per day (e.g., 2 x $150/day x 2 days).

G. Construction – For this solicitation, construction costs are not applicable.

H. Pre-award Costs: Any costs incurred prior to the award start date in the Federal Notice of Award are incurred at the recipient’s own risk. Approval of these costs require authorization of the Grants Officer to be considered allowable, will only be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will only be authorized in extraordinary circumstances.  Applicants should assume that any costs incurred before the start date on the Federal Notice of Award will not be authorized.

I. Other Direct Costs – these will vary depending on the nature of the project. The inclusion of each should be justified in the budget narrative.

 J. Indirect Costs – See OMB Circular A-122, “Cost Principles for Non-profit Organizations or the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR part 31”

  1. If your organization has a negotiated indirect cost-rate agreement (NICRA) with the U.S. Government, please include a copy of this agreement. This does not count against submission page limitations.
    2. If your organization is charging an indirect cost rate, please indicate how the rate is applied–to direct administrative expenses, to all direct costs, to wages and salaries only, etc.

Cost-Effectiveness/ In-Kind Contributions – There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost sharing required for this competition.  However, the Embassy encourages applicants to provide the highest possible levels of cost sharing in support of its projects.  Cost sharing demonstrates the applicant’s commitment to the project, belief in the achievability of its goals, and prospects for long-term sustainability.  When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its application and later included in an approved grant agreement.  Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.  For accountability, written records must be maintained to support all costs which are claimed as contributions, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government.  Such records are subject to audit.  The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching.

2. Budget Narrative (Required) – The purpose of the budget narrative is to supplement the information provided in the budget spreadsheet by justifying how the budget cost elements are necessary to implement project objectives and accomplish the project goals. The budget narrative is a tool to help the Embassy staff fully understand the budgetary needs of the applicant and is an opportunity to provide descriptive information about the costs beyond the constraints of the budget template.  Together, the budget narrative and budget spreadsheets should provide a complete financial and qualitative description that supports the proposed project plan and should be directly relatable to the specific project components described in the applicant’s Implementation Plan.  The description provided on the budget spreadsheets should be very brief. There is no page limit for this appendix.

  1. Resumes (Required) – a resume, not to exceed one page in length, must be included for the proposed key staff, such as the Project Director. If an individual for this type of position has not been identified, the applicant may submit a one-page position description, identifying the qualifications and skills required for that position, in lieu of a resume.
  • Letters of Intent (Optional) – this project may have local partnerships, and letters of intent should be included with the concept paper. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership.  This requirement excludes the Faculty of Economics at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University (UKIM) as the primary partner in North Macedonia who will benefit from this project; no letter shall be included or requested from UKIM.  The individual letters cannot exceed one page in length, and applicants are limited to submitting up to five letters per proposal.VI. AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA

U.S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs will review all proposals for eligibility.  Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance of Federal regulations and guidelines and may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.

Proposals will be funded based on an evaluation of how the proposal meets the solicitation review criteria, U.S. foreign policy objectives, and the priority needs of the U.S. Embassy.  An Embassy Review Committee will evaluate eligible proposals submitted under this request.  Committee members may make conditions and recommendations on any given proposal in order to enhance the proposed program.

Proposals will be scored based on the applicants’ response to each Review Criteria listed below. Review criteria will include:

1. Quality of the program idea and program planning (20%): The proposed project should be well developed, respond to the design outlined in the solicitation and demonstrate originality. The project should have clear goals and objectives and metrics for determining whether the project goals were met. It should be clearly and accurately written, substantive and with sufficient detail.  The program plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above, and should reference the applicant’s capacity to meet all needs specified in the NOFO.

2. Ability to achieve program objectives (20%): Objectives should be reasonable and feasible. Applications should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan. Proposed personnel, institutional resources and partner organizations should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program goals.

3. Institution’s record and capacity (20%): The application should demonstrate an institutional record, including successful programming, responsible fiscal management, and compliance with reporting requirements, especially for U.S. Government grants.

4. Sustainability (20%): Proposed project should address the applicant’s strategy for ensuring that the project benefits will continue to be realized on a long-term basis after the conclusion of the period of performance of the grant.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation (20%): Applications should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in impact assessments and providing objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes. The applicant should describe its plan for monitoring and reporting project outcomes.

6. Cost-effectiveness (Acceptable or Not Acceptable): The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be consistent with prevailing market rates in North Macedonia. All other items should be necessary, appropriate, and directly relatable to the project’s goals and objectives.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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.  Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.

Anticipated Time to Award: Applicants should expect to be notified if their proposal has been selected for award within 90 days after the submission deadline.  PAS Skopje will provide information at the point of notification about any modification to the proposal or plan of work that will be required to finalize the cooperative agreement.

The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement.  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.  The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award in excess of the award ceiling.

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, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm

Reporting Requirements: Grantees are required to submit quarterly program progress and financial reports throughout the project period.  Progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period.  Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.

Branding and Marketing Requirements: As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.  Sub-recipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the sub-recipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement.

Copyrights and Proprietary Information: If any of the information contained in your application is proprietary, please note in the footer of the appropriate pages that the information is Confidential – Proprietary.  Applicants should also note what parts of the application, program, concept, etc. are covered by copyright(s), trademark(s), or any other intellectual property rights and provide copies of the relevant documentation to support these copyrights.

VIII. TRAVEL TO NORTH MACEDONIA

U.S. citizens who travel to North Macedonia are encouraged to enroll with the Embassy in Skopje (https://mk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/).  This enrollment can also be completed online through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) available on the State Department website (https://step.state.gov/step/).  Enrollment enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within North Macedonia via the emergency alert system.

IX. DISCLAIMER

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.

X. AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS

This NOFO is subject to funds availability.  Awards will be granted only if appropriated funds are allocated to the United States Embassy in Skopje by Department of State central budget authorities.

U.S. Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia

Notice of Funding Opportunity

 Program Office:  Public Affairs Section (PAS)

Title:  Media Mentorship Program 2020

Opening date:  March 30, 2020

Opportunity number:  SMK800-20-PAS005

Application Deadline:  May 30, 2020

Summary of Award Information

Type of Award Cooperative Agreement/Grant
FY 20
Approximate total funding $100,000
Approximate number of awards 1
Anticipated Award Date July 2020
Anticipated Project Completion Date September 2021, with option for renewal

 

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Summary:
The U.S. Embassy in Skopje Public Affairs Section invites non-profit/non-governmental organizations to develop and implement a series of workshops for young journalists from the Republic of North Macedonia.

Demonstrated expertise in developing and implementing media training programs is required.  A broad pool of media contacts and established relationships with potential media trainers/coaches will be considered favorably.

Program Description and Requirements:
The U.S. Embassy seeks media program proposals that promote a strong, free and independent media by achieving the following Program Objectives:

  • Introduce journalists to new skills and trends in reporting;
  • Strengthen the ability of journalists to identify disinformation tactics and build skills to expose disinformation;
  • Expose participants to digital tools and educate them about digital security;
  • Analyze challenges and explore opportunities created by new media;
  • Encourage creation of original and high-quality content; and
  • Present journalists with case studies and hands-on experiences to encourage critical analysis and train them to become fluent storytellers.

The program should include selection of a cohort of 15-25 journalists under the age of 35.  The grantee should plan 9 to 12 workshops in North Macedonia for this cohort, with a total mentoring program period of 9-15 months.

Cost amendments or option years are subject to the availability of funding.

Workshops should be in-person, with virtual or in-person speakers from North Macedonia, the region and the United States who are experts on the given topic of the workshop.  Possible speakers include, but are not limited to, alumni of U.S. government-sponsored media programs in North Macedonia.

The grantee is expected to plan and implement a capstone event at the end of the program to reach a larger audience.

The program timeline will be developed in coordination with U.S. Embassy Skopje.

Proposals must demonstrate a commitment towards the support and inclusion of marginalized communities (including disability status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether they live in a rural or urban setting, etc.).  Proposals from U.S. institutions should identify potential local sub-grantees.

The application should:

  • Address how the project will contribute to the objectives listed above;
  • Enumerate specific outputs and outcomes to be achieved by the end of the grant period;
  • Describe American content and/or involvement in the project;
  • Clearly specify the audiences to be reached and the geographic locations of program activities, and proposed programs in multiple locations, should explain how that will be accomplished;
  • Explain how programs and activities will be monitored and evaluated;
  • Describe how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect or be sustainable beyond the life of the grant;
  • Include a traditional and/or social media plan for marketing or advertising program activities and outcomes; and
  • Demonstrate competency to manage all financial and oversight aspects of the project, including participant costs and transparent arrangements of sub-grant relationships with partner organizations, if applicable.

Eligible Applicants:
Eligibility is limited to non-profit/nongovernmental organizations.  For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

Technically eligible submissions are those which:

  • Arrive electronically to SkopjeGrants@state.govby the designated deadline;
  • Have heeded all instructions contained in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and the Application Guidelines, including length and completeness of submission; and
  • Do not violate any of the guidelines stated in the solicitation and this document.

Unique entity identifier (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM):

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations whose proposals were selected must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.   SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/SAM/.

 Cost share:
Cost share is not required for this application.

Required Documents
Applicants must include the following in the proposal submission. All submissions must be in English.

 

Content and Form of Application Submission:
Any prospective applicant who has questions concerning the contents of this NOFO should submit them by email to the Embassy Skopje Grants Team at SkopjeGrants@state.gov.  Please clearly refer to the funding opportunity number in the email’s subject line (SMK800-20-PAS005) and submit the application at SkopjeGrants@state.gov.  Any updates about this NOFO will also be posted on www.grants.gov.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Include a theory of change and clearly define expected outcome indicators.
  • Discuss how progress towards the expected outcomes will be measured.
  • Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project.