Grants

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY NICOSIA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

 

Funding OpportunityTitle: Strengthening ties between the U.S. and Cyprus

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-CY600-FY21-001

CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Deadline for Applications:   July 10, 2021

Total Amount Available:  $90,000

Maximum for Each Award: $15,000

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Cyprus is pleased to announce an open competition for Federal Awards (Grants) through the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program, aiming to support the strengthening of ties and advancing relations between the U.S. and Cyprus.  This notice is an Annual Program Statement, outlining the Embassy’s funding priorities, strategic goals, and procedures for submitting funding proposals.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives: 

PAS invites proposals that strengthen ties and advance relations between the U.S. and Cyprus through programs in priority areas that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation.

Priority Program Areas:

To achieve the objective of the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program, grant proposals that advance the following themes will be considered:

  • Academic collaboration: Promoting and facilitating linkages between U.S. and Cypriot educational institutions;
  • Countering disinformation, enhancing media literacy, supporting excellence in journalism: Supporting investigative journalism and/or strengthening media and civil society’s ability to counter disinformation;
  • Cultural exchanges: Promoting the exchange of culture between the United States and Cyprus;
  • English language proficiency: Supporting English language teaching and learning among students and professionals;
  • Science and technology cooperation: Enhancing cooperation in climate/environment, science, and STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs, especially for women and youth;
  • Social inclusion: Promoting and safeguarding equal rights and opportunities for immigrants, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, and racial minorities;
  • Strengthening democratic institutions: Fortifying democratic processes, addressing transnational issues, and increasing civic education and participation.
  • Support post-pandemic economic revival efforts: Enhancing business and entrepreneurial skills using U.S. models, creating new U.S.-Cyprus partnerships and opportunities for start-up companies, supporting social impact investment, and empowering women and young entrepreneurs;

COVID-19 special announcement to all potential applicants: In light of the restrictive travel and public gathering environments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, where applicable, proposals are expected to include a primary or alternate plan for executing project goals through virtual engagement, as a substitute for travel or in-person gatherings.  Where necessary, applicants may submit an alternate budget to correspond to virtual engagement programs.

Participants and Audiences:

The Public Affairs Section will give consideration to the full range and diversity of U.S. and Cypriot non-profit organizations.

For-profit institutions, such as those registered as commercial and/or private businesses, are not eligible to receive funding.

Priority will be given to:

  • U.S. and Cypriot individuals and institutions with a proven track record of executing events exchanges, and programs;
  • Proposals that demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the project and/or outcomes.
  • Proposals that address gender parity among participants/target audiences and include engagement with underserved communities (including, but not limited to, immigrants, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities.

Categories that are not eligible for funding under this NOFO:

  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of an organization, social welfare projects, acts of charity, or international development projects;
  • Investments primarily benefiting only one or a small number of businesses or individuals;
  • Scholarships for the study of English outside specific Department of State programs;
  • Exchange programs with countries other than the U.S. and Cyprus;
  • Programs or exchanges focused on children under 16 years of age; and
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding: 

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt.
Source of funding is FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Length of performance period:  2 to 24 months

  • Number of awards anticipated: 10awards (dependent on amounts).
  • Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $15,000
  • Total available funding:  $90,000
  • Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2021 Public Diplomacy Funding
  • Anticipated program start date: July 30, 2021
  • Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement.  Federal Awards glossary and definitions of each type of award are available on the ECFR.gov website.

Federal award terminology and definitions are available on the Grants.gov website.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 24 months or less.

PAS will consider applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

1. Eligible Applicants 

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: While cost sharing is not required, it is encouraged and may be taken into consideration during the proposal assessment and selection.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Applicants are only allowed to submit up to two proposals per organization or individual for this specific funding opportunity for the period ending July 10, 2021. If more than two proposals are submitted from an organization or individual, all proposals from that institution or individual will be considered ineligible for funding.  Organizations applying for awards must register for a DUNS number, an NCAGE/CAGE code, and a valid registration from SAM.gov.  Please see Section D part (3) below for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1. Address to request information package: This NOFO document and any amendments can be found at www.grants.gov and https://cy.usembassy.gov/grants/.

All application forms required below are available for download at https://cy.usembassy.gov/grants/.  In case you are unable to download the packages online, please contact us via telephone +357-22393939 or email grantsnicosia@state.gov and we can forward all forms via email or in paper copy via regular mail to:

Public Affairs Section (Grants)
Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets
2407 Engomi, Nicosia
Cyprus

Please follow all instructions below carefullyProposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will not be considered for funding.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: The following documents are required for applications from both organizations and individuals:

i. Mandatory SF424 application forms:

ii.  A Proposal document using the provided Embassy proposal template Proposal requirements and guidelines (pdf 209kb) including:

Summary Cover Page: Stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, proposed start and end dates, program locations, requested amount and brief purpose of the program.

Proposal Information: The proposal should contain sufficient information to allow anyone to understand the project specifics and objectives.   

  • Proposal Summary: A short narrative outlining the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Applicant background and project justification: A short description of the applicant (organization or individual), its past and present operations, indicating an ability to carry out the program. Include information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. Government agencies.  A clear, concise, justification of the problem to be addressed, explaining why the proposed program is needed.
  • Program Goals and Objectives: Goals should describe what the program intends to achieve. Objectives should refer to the intermediate accomplishments leading to goals.  Both should be achievable and measurable.
  • Project monitoring and evaluation: Describe the program activities, timeline and how progress will be monitored to achieve the objectives.
  • Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks associated with the project that could keep the grantee from concluding the project as described and include a plan of action in case these risks become a reality.
  • Budget: After filling out the SF-424A, please provide a budget breakdown (in U.S. Dollars) using the provided Budget template (xlsx – 22kb).  Government authorized costs can be found at Cost principles for Federal Awards.  Where applicable, the budget should include contributions from other sources.

Applicants must ensure:

  • The proposal responses in the Project Narrative clearly address the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
  • All documents are in English.
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars.

All mandatory forms required for application are available at https://cy.usembassy.gov/grants/.  Mandatory forms must be filled out and submitted to grantsnicosia@state.gov before they can be reviewed for eligibility.

3.  Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants must obtain the following registrations.  All are free of charge.  Individuals do not need to obtain these registrations.

Please note the U.S. Embassy cannot assist applicants with registering.  These organizations are independent of the Department of State.

The entire registration process can require up to five weeks for the registration to be validated and confirmed.  Please begin the registration process immediately to ensure that you can be eligible to receive USG funds.

4.  Submission Dates and Times: Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of July 10, 2021.  No proposals will be accepted after that date. Successful applicants will typically receive a notice within 2 weeks of the corresponding deadline, or as funds become available.

The time required to finalize an award and disburse funds after a proposal is selected for funding ranges from one to two months.  Applicants are, therefore, encouraged to apply four to six months before the start date of the proposed activity. 

5.  Intergovernmental Review: N/A

6.  Funding Restrictions:  Award funds cannot be used for purchasing alcoholic beverages, construction, vehicle purchases, or property, etc. as described under Section A of this Notice. Federal Award funds cannot be used for reimbursement of expenses incurred before the start of the award period.

7.   Other Submission Requirements: All mandatory forms must be filled out and submitted via email to grantsnicosia@state.gov before they can be reviewed for eligibility.

E.  APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1.  Criteria:  Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success.

 Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. (10%)

  • Embassy priorities: Applicant clearly explains how goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Cyprus priority areas or target audiences.  (20%)
  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea: The program idea is well developed, containing detailed descriptions of events and activities through a reasonable implementation timeline. (15%)
  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: U.S. Embassy Cyprus can assess the organization’s expertise in its stated field and its ability to undertake the program, including a financial management of award funds.  (10%)
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates a plan for monitoring, evaluating, and measuring impact and results of the proposed project, in line with the project objectives and goals. (10%)
  • Marketing and Media Plan: Application includes a press and social media plan how the activities and U.S. support of the program.  (10%)
  • Budget and narrative justification: The budget should be detailed and narrative justification be complete and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The cost estimates are realistic.  (15%)
  • Sustainability: The application clearly communicates the applicant’s strategy for ensuring that the project benefits will continue to be realized after the conclusion of the period of performance of the award. The applicant presents a feasible approach to sustainability.  (10%)

2.  Review and Selection Process: A technical review panel will review the proposal based upon the criteria noted in Section E part (1) above.  A determination will be made regarding the program’s proposed area of activity and the Mission’s strategic goals, and those proposals that are the best fit will be given additional consideration.

If an applicant fails to adhere to the application instructions or eligibility requirements or if an application is incomplete, the application will be considered technically ineligible, and the application will not be considered by the merit review panel for possible funding.

F.  FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

1.  Federal Award Notices: The Federal 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 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.

2.  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:

3.  Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports, performance progress reports, and program evaluation reports via email to the Grants Officer or Grants Officer Representative, using the templates provided at https://cy.usembassy.gov/grants/. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

G.   FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the Public Affairs Section through grantsnicosia@state.gov.

Note: PAS does not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO.  Once an application has been submitted, Department of State officials and staff – both in the U.S. and at U.S. Embassies overseas – may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.  Questions may be directed to grantsnicosia@state.gov.

H.  OTHER INFORMATION

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is an Annual Program Statement dependent on availability of funds.  The Federal Government is not obligated to make any Federal Award as a result of this announcement.  Only certified Grants Officers can bind the Federal Government to the expenditure of funds.  All U.S. Embassy Cyprus Federal Award funding opportunities and amendments are publicized at https://cy.usembassy.gov/grants.  The webpage also includes links to U.S. Federal Award regulations, necessary forms, and guides.

Guidelines for Budget Categories:

  • Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
  • Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
  • Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
  • Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
  • Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
  • Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
  • Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
  • Cost Sharing refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

 Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

(You can also download the step-by-step guide here – pdf 20kb)

  1. To prepare a proposal, review the Proposal requirements and guidelines (pdf 209kb) and the budget template (xlsx – 22kb).
  2. Fill in the application form Request for Federal Assistance SF-424 (pdf-144kb) – Filing Instructions (pdf-327kb) and SF-424B (pdf-72kb) – Filling Instructions (pdf-268kb).
  3. If you are a first-time grantee, register for a Data Universal Number System (DUNS number) – Filling Instructions (pdf-205kb).
  4. Email the proposal, the budget, and the SF424 form to grantsnicosia@state.gov.
  5. If you are a first-time grantee,  register on the NATO Commercial And Governmental Entity (NCAGE) – Filling Instructions (pdf-205kb).
  6. If you are a first-time grantee,  register on the System Award Management SAM.gov – Filling Instructions (pdf-205kb).

If your proposal is selected for funding:

(You can also download the step-by-step guide here – pdf 29kb)

  1. To prepare a proposal, review the Proposal requirements and guidelines (pdf 209kb) and the budget template (xlsx – 22kb).
  2. Fill in the Request for Federal Assistance form SF-424I (pdf-95kb) – Filling Instructions (pdf-310kb).
  3. Email the proposal, the budget, and the SF424i to grantsnicosia@state.gov.

If your proposal is selected for funding:

Please note that the PDF forms are fillable but cannot be submitted online. They have to be printed, signed, and scanned in order to be sent via email to grantsnicosia@state.gov

Award


Post Award
 (Interim/Quarterly reports and payment requests)


Closeout
 (Final reports and payment requests)

Please send any questions, comments, and suggestions to grantsnicosia@state.gov.