U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE U.S. EMBASSY TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Overview of the Small Grants Program
The United States Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom offer small grants for outreach activities that enhance the understanding of the United States in the United Kingdom.
Applicants need to show how they intend to actively promote an understanding of the United States and how they will engage with UK audiences.
Annual Grants Programs
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy to the United Kingdom Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-London-PD-2021-XX
Deadline for Applications: April 30, 2021, 17:00 British Summer Time (GMT+1)
June 30, 2021, 17:00 British Summer Time (GMT+1)
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
A. Program Description
The U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This Annual Program Statement outlines our funding priorities, our strategic themes of focus, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. Please carefully follow all instructions below. Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Purpose of Small Grants:
PAS invites proposals from individuals, non-governmental/nonprofit/civil society organizations, think tanks, government institutions, and academic institutions for projects that strengthen the bilateral ties between the United States and the United Kingdom. All programs must promote at least one U.S. Embassy priority program area (listed below) and include a U.S. element or connection. Programs can include U.S. experts, organizations, or institutions in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives. Special consideration will be given to proposals that highlight the diversity of the United States and programs whose experts represent diverse backgrounds.
Examples of small grants program projects include but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions;
- Professional and academic exchanges and projects; and
- Professional development workshops and training.
We encourage applications for virtual and in-person speaker programs, seminars, or exchanges. All proposed programs must include a public-facing element, targeting audiences across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Priority Program Areas:
- Science, Technology, and Innovation: activities that support cooperation in such areas as climate/environment (with a specific focus on activities around COP26), sustainability, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and space exploration.
- Prosperity, Trade, and Investment: activities that support the expansion of U.S. exports and investments, improve the connections between U.S. and UK businesses, and/or expand economic opportunities for women, youth, and underserved populations.
- Security and Defense: activities that promote transatlantic security; combat transnational challenges, including cybersecurity, terrorism, and violent extremism; and encourage resistance to malign influence and disinformation from hostile state actors.
- Shared Values and Interests: activities that promote the U.S.-UK Special Relationship and build people-to-people ties, including but not limited to activities that focus on alliances, open societies, and shared democratic values.
Participants and Audiences:
All applicants for awards must specify the program’s target audience (noting any emphasis on diverse audiences) and estimate the expected audience reach through direct contact and, if possible, through indirect contact (via social media or traditional media).
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Programs relating to partisan political activity;
- Charitable or development activities;
- Construction programs;
- Programs that support specific religious activities;
- Fundraising campaigns;
- Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
- Scientific or academic research;
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of an organization; or
- Programs that duplicate existing programs supported by the U.S. Embassy.
Authorizing Legislation and Funding Type/Year:
Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act. The source of funding is FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding.
B. Federal Award Information
Length of Performance Period: one to 12 months
Number of Awards Anticipated: three to 30 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award Amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $3,000.00 to a maximum of $15,000.00
Type of Funding: FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated Program Start Date: Rolling
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant, fixed amount award, or cooperative agreement, to be determined by the U.S. Embassy’s Grants Officer. Cooperative agreements are different from grants and fixed amount awards in that Embassy staff are actively involved in the grant implementation.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less. PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the UK.
C. Eligibility Information
- Eligible Applicants
The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from the United States and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland):
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience;
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions; and
- Governmental institutions.
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
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. PAS encourages, but does not mandate, that applicants include cost-sharing elements from additional sources in support of their proposals.
D. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package
Application forms required below are available at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/forms-repository.html.
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible. Applications must include all of the information listed in the U.S. Embassy grant proposal template.
Content of Application
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars
The following documents are required:
1. Mandatory application forms at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/forms-repository.html
· SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
· SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
· SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs)
2. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
3. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, or the template provided above, but it must include all the items below.
- Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
- Introduction to the Organization or Individual Applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy in London and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
- Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
- Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
- Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
- Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
- Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
- Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
- Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
- Future Funding or Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
4. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget, use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
- One-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
- Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities
- Documentation of non-profit or non-commercial status
3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
- NCAGE/CAGE code
- www.SAM.gov registration
Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)
DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/request-new-cage
For UK entities, please use the following link: https://www.ncb.mod.uk/csisapp/navigate.do
Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf
For help from within the United States, call 1-888-227-2423.
For help from outside the United States, call 1-269-961-7766.
Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.
Details entered in NCAGE and Dun & Bradstreet must match exactly. For UK entities, it is recommended to check the NCAGE registration before requesting a DUNS number.
Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov. SAM registration must be renewed annually.
Proposals that do not meet the requirements above will not be considered. The details entered in www.SAM.gov must match those entered in NCAGE and Dun & Bradstreet.
4. Submission Dates and Times
PAS will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule, which is subject to change at the U.S. Embassy’s discretion:
- Proposals received by 17:00 British Summer Time (GMT+1) on April 30, 2021, will be reviewed by May 28, 2021 (last business day of the month).
- Proposals received by 17:00 British Summer Time (GMT+1) on June 30, 2021, will be reviewed by July 30, 2021 (last business day of the month).
5. Other Submission Requirements
All application materials must be submitted by email to LondonGrants@state.gov.
E. Application Review Information
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Embassy Priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy London’s priority areas or target audiences.
Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
2. Review and Selection Process
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.
3. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)
The U.S. Embassy in London is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313).
An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a U.S. government awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.
The U.S. Embassy in London will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
F. Federal Award Administration Information
1. Federal Award Notices
The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Embassy in London 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 U.S. Embassy in London.
Issuance of this notice of funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Embassy in London, nor does it commit the U.S. Embassy in London to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. Embassy in London reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
Payment Method: The U.S. Embassy in London will provide up to 80% of the total award up front to the successful applicant, or the equivalent of immediate cash needs, to start the program. The remaining 20% will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the program. The U.S. Embassy in London reserves the right to amend the final amount to be reimbursed after reviewing the final progress and financial reports.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications that 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. Note the U.S flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at LondonGrants@state.gov.
Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Once an application has been submitted, U.S. Embassy London staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.
H. Other Information
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
“Cost sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.
Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO)
Notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) are used by the U.S. Embassy to request grant applications for a well-defined, specific program area or program activity. NOFOs may include exchange programs.
All available NOFOs may be found here. If nothing is listed at that link, then we are not currently advertising any NOFOs.