Notice of Funding Opportunity


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S.-Rwanda Training Program and Mentorship Exchange on University Advancement and International Partnerships

Funding Opportunity Number: SRW-600-FY20-03

Deadline for Applications: June 30, 2020

CFDA Number: 19.040 Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available: $250,000

The U.S. Embassy Kigali of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications for a cooperative agreement to organize a training program and mentorship exchange on university advancement and international partnerships for mid-career Rwandan higher education administrators during the 2020-21 academic years. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives:

The U.S. Embassy in Kigali, through the Bureau of African Affair’s University Partnership Initiative (UPI), will fund a cohort-based training and mentorship exchange program for emerging higher education administrators in Rwanda during the 2020-21 academic year, focused on university advancement and international partnership.

There is no shortage of interest among U.S. higher education institutions in establishing partnerships in Rwanda. While U.S. institutions and Rwandan colleges and universities make many initial connections and agree to a good number of formal collaborations, most of these MOUs “quickly start gathering dust,” in the words of one local administrator. Rwandan institutions describe difficulties identifying, cultivating, and sustaining the right type of international partnerships. They also express difficulties mobilizing resources for all campus operations, including in support of international partnerships.

Early to mid-career administrators hold the keys not just to international collaboration in higher education, but also to better student outcomes and ultimately the success of the country’s ambitious transformation into a knowledge-based economy. Emerging administrators in Rwanda often do not have the practical know-how or support to take full advantage of the United States’ status as Rwanda’s preferred partner in higher education and the strong interest by many U.S. institutions, which often see Rwanda as an ideal learning environment across a variety of fields. If we can modernize the approach of Rwandan administrators toward university advancement and international partnerships, then these influential partners will be primed to make connections that will benefit students, schools, and society at large in both Rwanda and the United States.

In coordination with Embassy Kigali, grant recipient will design and implement a training program and mentorship exchange for no less than six (6) emerging Rwandan higher education administrators, selected to create a diverse cohort representing both public and private institutions. Programming components may include but are not limited to the following:

The cohort will participate in workshops in Kigali, focused on exploring best practices in university advancement and international partnerships. Local experts and visiting academics will lead focused conversations. Virtual exchanges will be one priority topic in order to tailor the program to the realities of the covid-19 era.

Site visits will illustrate a variety of existing models, and highlight ongoing U.S.-Rwandan collaborations including CMU Africa, the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), and the University of Nebraska’s connection with the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA).

Up to six U.S.-based higher education administrators will be selected to mentor the Rwandan participants individually or in small groups. Mentors will have experience and connections in both university advancement and international partnerships. Mentor selection will prioritize a diverse range of U.S. institutions. In the event that international travel continues to be impractical, the selection of mentors with first-hand experience in Rwanda or similar settings will be prioritized. If global conditions allow, mentors will visit Rwanda for one week to learn about their partner’s institution(s) and to speak with the full cohort. Visits will be scheduled non-concurrently over the academic year to maximize impact. Mentors will connected electronically with their partner(s) throughout the year and host their partner’s fellowship.

In 2021, the Rwandan administrators will visit their mentor’s campus for a two-week fellowship. The program will focus on advancement and partnership best practices in action and be individualized to each administrator’s unique needs. The cohort will reunite to pitch partnership deals at a relevant opportunity, including NAFSA, AIEA, etc. Participants will be able to request program funding for a senior administrator from their institution to join them for a few days at their mentor’s campus and/or at the convention event.

Upon return to Rwanda, the cohort will organize a one-day symposium on university advancement and international partnership in Kigali in fall 2021. The cohort will author and present a white paper on working-level best practices and higher-level policy and planning recommendations within the Rwandan higher education system. This paper should be prepared for eventual publication.

Throughout the program, Rwandan administrators will receive training on grant writing and have the opportunity to compete for funding of up to $10,000 per project for proposals that either directly or indirectly facilitate a new U.S.-Rwanda higher education partnership.

Participants and Audiences:

Jointly with grantee, U.S. Embassy Kigali will participate in selecting a diverse cohort of mid-career administrators representing a variety of Rwandan higher education institutions. This program will also actively engage senior administrators within the Rwanda higher education system and U.S. HEIs.


Length of performance period: 12-16 months

Number of awards anticipated: 1 award

Award amounts: maximum of $250,000

Total available funding: maximum of $250,000

Type of Funding: FY20 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date: October 15, 2020

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative agreement. Please note that cooperative agreements are different from grants in that embassy staff are actively involved in the grant implementation, including program design, participant selection, etc.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed before December 31, 2021, but flexibility may be required because of public health considerations.


Eligible Applicants

U.S. or Rwandan not-for-profit organizations and U.S. or Rwandan public or private educational institutions are eligible to apply. For-profit organizations are not eligible for this grant.

Cost Sharing or Matching

No specific cost-share is expected in the grant application process. Some U.S. or Rwandan higher education institutions may be able to provide some measure of cost sharing through the execution of the program.

Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on U.S. based organizations MUST have a 501(c)3 designation. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations. Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization.


Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at and

Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity

All documents are in English

All budgets are in U.S. dollars

All pages are numbered

All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and

The following documents are required:

1. Mandatory application forms

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)

SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)

SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

2. Summary Page: 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, but it must include all the items below.

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

Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.

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

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

Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.

Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.

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

Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?

Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.

Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?

4.Itemized Budget and Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

5. Attachments:

1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program

Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner

If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (

Required Registrations:

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

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

Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)

NCAGE/CAGE code 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

NCAGE application: Application page here:

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

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

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

Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

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

Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than June 30, 2020.

Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to



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

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.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

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

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 provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee at U.S. Embassy Kigali will evaluate all eligible applications. Selected application(s) will also be reviewed by the Bureau of African Affairs.

Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

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

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.


Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this 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: Electronic payments will be made at appropriate periodic intervals, after submission of all required paperwork.

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, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at: Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.


Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit quarterly financial reports and program reports. The award document will provide additional details on how often these reports must be submitted.


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


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.