SUMMARY: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency announces a program of support for the establishment of an American Institute at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhniy Novgorod (IFLNN) in Russia. The purpose of this program is to significantly improve the Russian Federation's teaching capabilities in English language and American business practices/ culture. The IFLNN is a recognized leader throughout the New Independent States in producing language specialists and providing in- service teacher training for students and specialists from throughout the former Soviet Union. The IFLNN is working to develop interdisciplinary specialization in international business and American studies to train a cadre of language-qualified business professionals. The IFLNN seeks an American partner to assist them in this endeavor. DATES: Deadline for proposals: Proposals must be received at the United States Information Agency by 5 p.m. Washington, DC time on May 6, 1994. Proposals received after this deadline will not be eligible for consideration. Faxed documents will not be accepted, nor will documents postmarked on May 6, 1994 but received at a later date. It is the responsibility of grant applicants to ensure that their proposal is received by the above deadline. ADDRESSES: Three originals, containing Tabs A-U (see ``Application Checklist'' in program guidelines packet), and 12 copies, containing Tabs A-D of the proposal, are to be submitted by the deadline to: U.S. Information Agency, Ref.: USIA IFLNN Program, Office of Grants Management, E/XE, room 357, 301 4th Street SW, Washington, DC 20547. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information and requests for application packets, which include all necessary forms and guidelines for preparing budgets, interested institutions should contact Ms. Robin Kline or Ms. Deborah Trent at (202) 619-5289, or write to the following address: Specialized Programs Unit (E/ASU), Office of Academic Programs, rm. 349, U.S. Information Agency, 301 4th Street SW, Washington, DC 20547. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The IFLNN program is authorized by the Freedom Support Act of 1992 and funded under the Foreign Appropriations Bill of 1994. Pursuant to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social and cultural life. Overview The American Institute at the IFLNN will expand the pool of Russians qualified in English and familiar with Western business practices, finance, management, commercial transactions, and the American political and economic system as an environment for business. This program will provide up to $500,000 to support an institutional linkage with the IFLNN for three (3) years; start date for the program should be September, 1994, with faculty in place in Nizhniy Novgorod not later than October 1, 1994. The U.S. partner institution will assist with the development of faculty and curriculum in the fields of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), business, and American studies. Program activities will include faculty and post-graduate student exchanges (post-graduates must be on a ``faculty track,'' involved with teaching at participating institutions), and some outreach to the U.S./ Russian business communities to involve them in developing appropriate business curricula. The U.S. partner must dedicate significant staff and faculty time to the project. The program will be implemented primarily through a grant to an accredited four-year U.S. post- secondary institution or consortium of accredited institutions and scholarly/professional associations. Nizhniy Novgorod has been the setting for key economic and democratic reform in Russia. U.S. presence in the area is growing, including Peace Corps volunteers, U.S. business interests, and visiting USG officials. The focus of the U.S. effort has been to build a ``critical mass'' for reform among regional and local government officials, business leaders and educators. One element of this critical mass includes English language training for Russians which can be used in their professional fields. To this end, the IFLNN program will help train a pool of language-qualified professionals, enabling them to take advantage of expanded opportunities for technical assistance, bilateral exchanges, other government and private sector training programs, and commercial relations. Program Objectives The IFLNN program has three principal objectives: (1) To focus additional resources in support of democratic and market reform in Nizhniy Novgorod. English language teaching and American studies will be used as vehicles to teach business English and American business practices, and American forms of government. (2) To establish a training center for faculty from other institutes of higher education. IFLNN's program will ``train the trainers,'' emphasizing curriculum development, teacher training, and educational testing. (3) To facilitate the creation of a linkage between IFLNN and U.S. institutions of higher learning that will continue to flourish after U.S. Government funding has ceased to be available. Grant Activities To achieve program objectives, the grantee institution/consortium will: (1) Help develop a structure for interdisciplinary training programs in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), business and management practices, and American studies at the IFLNN. (2) Conduct faculty and post-graduate student* exchanges in EFL, business, and American studies. Each exchange of persons must be a minimum of one month; however, longer visits, especially those involving faculty, are encouraged and are an important competitive factor. (*Post-graduate students must be on a faculty track and must not exceed 25% of all participants). (3) Provide for a U.S. faculty member who must be in residence in Nizhniy Novgorod for the duration of the program as program director to ensure everyday oversight of program details. (4) Arrange exchanges of other university personnel, including library and administrative officials. (5) Implement exchanges of library materials. (6) Develop new curricula and teaching materials, emphasizing content-area language instruction and EFL methodology developments. (7) Develop testing methods. (8) Advise IFLNN administrators on management, budget, fundraising skills, and other areas needed to operate in a decentralized environment. (9) Undertake the translation and publication of texts, as well as the distribution of relevant publications. Under Separate Funding, USIA Will Supplement Activities Conducted by the Grantee Institution and IFLNN With (1) An English Foreign Language Fellow (EFLF), assigned by the USIA office in Moscow, who will serve for two years as coordinator of U.S. Government-funded programs at IFLNN, including general oversight and monitoring. The EFLF will serve as the U.S. Information Agency presence at, and liaison between departments within, the IFLNN. University representatives must regularly consult with the EFLF regarding IFLNN activities. (2) Fulbright lecturers, academic specialists, and other support for the IFLNN. (3) The rights to Western texts which could be published locally. (4) Support for a student advising office, to provide interested students with information about admissions, courses of study, and other data regarding possible study in the United States, as well as information about other USG-funded exchanges and training programs. (5) An information center, which the USIA office in Moscow is in the process of establishing. Guidelines Eligibility In the U.S., participation in the program is open to accredited four-year colleges and universities with established American studies and business programs. Consortia of four-year colleges and universities are also eligible. Colleges/universities applying under this program may collaborate with U.S. scholarly, professional, or international educational associations and organizations. Proposals from institutions with experience working in Russia will receive preference. Proposals from a consortium must be submitted by a single member institution with authority to represent the consortium. The Agency encourages proposals from, and consortia including, eligible Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other institutions in the U.S. with significant minority student enrollment. U.S. institutions are responsible for the submission of proposals and must collaborate with the IFLNN in planning and preparing proposals. U.S. and Russian institutions are encouraged to consult about the proposed project with U.S. Information Service (USIS) offices in Moscow. Institution Representatives Participants representing U.S. institutions and traveling under USIA grant support must be U.S. citizens. Participants representing the IFLNN must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of Russia. Projects must comply with J-1 visa regulations and must refer to this requirement in the proposal narative. Ineligibility A proposal will be deemed technically ineligible if: (1) It does not fully adhere to the guidelines established herein and in the application packet, including budgetary requirements. (2) The U.S. applicant is not an accredited four-year college or university. (3) The project includes profits or fees. (4) The project does not constitute a direct partnership with the IFLNN. (5) The project does not provide for in-country presence of American faculty. Proposed Budget A comprehensive line item budget must be submitted with the proposal by the deadline. Funds requested from the Agency must not exceed $500,000 for a program not less than three years in duration. The Agency reserves the right to reduce, increase, or otherwise modify proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program. Specific guidelines for budget preparation are available in the application packet. Allowable Costs Program Costs --Travel: International and domestic (via American flag carriers). May include one planning trip with one American and one IFLNN participant. --Per diem and maintenance (one month minimum): Including lodging, meals and incidental expenses. --Salaries and benefits for U.S. participant(s) while in residence in Nizhniy Novgorod. --Honoraria or compensation for in-country work, not to exceed $100 per day per person. --Student exchanges (not to exceed 25% of all exchanges): Travel, per diem/maintenance, memberships and conferences (IFLNN students only), educational materials, medical insurance, and other direct program costs for post-graduate faculty-track student exchanges. Tuition fees are not an eligible cost under this program. --Membership in U.S. professional associations and fees for attendance at professional conferences in the U.S. for foreign participants. --Educational materials, including but not limited to: Translation and publication of instructional materials; collections to be placed in the IFLNN information center; electronic communications; other equipment as needed. These costs may not exceed 25% of the total requested grant amount. --Medical insurance for foreign participants during U.S. visits. Medical insurance is mandatory for all participants in J-1 visa exchange programs. Administrative Costs (Not to Exceed 20% of Requested Budget) --Salaries and benefits. --Communications (telephone, facsimile, postage, etc.) --Office supplies. --Other direct costs. Indirect costs or overhead costs are not eligible for funding under this program. Special Note on Cost-Sharing Cost-sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. The recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs which are claimed as being its contribution to cost participation, as well as cost 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 A110, Attachment E. Cost-sharing and matching should be described in the proposal. In the event the recipient does not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the recipient's budget, the USIA contribution will be reduced in proportion to the recipient's contribution. The recipient's proposal shall include the cost of an audit that: 1. Complies with the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of Institutions of Higher Education and Other Nonprofit Institutions; 2. complies with the requirements of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Statement of Position (SOP) No. 92-9; and. 3. includes review by the recipient's independent auditor of a recipient-prepared supplemental schedule of indirect cost rate computation, if such a rate is being proposed. The audit costs shall be identified separately for: 1. preparation of basic financial statements and other accounting services; and. 2. preparation of the supplemental reports and schedules required by OMB Circular A-133, AICPA SOP 92-9, and the review of the supplemental schedule of indirect cost rate computation. Application Requirements Proposals must be submitted by the deadline and must conform to the eligibility requirements identified in this announcement and in the application packet. 1. A proposal cover sheet (in addition to the Bureau cover sheet) with names of institutions, project directors, their addresses, telephone and fax numbers. A sample cover sheet format is included in the application packet. 2. A comprehensive line item budget outlining specific expenditures and anticipated funding sources. Detailed information concerning eligible and ineligible items and required budget format is available in the application packet. The proposed budget must conform with the allowable costs described in this document and the guidelines found in the application packet. Budget items requiring additional explanation should be contained in a brief budget narrative. 3. Documentation of institutional support for the proposed program, including signed letters of endorsement from the president, chancellor, or director of the U.S. institution(s) and the IFLNN, making specific reference to the IFLNN program. The letter from the IFLNN must include a commitment by the IFLNN to maintain their faculty/staff exchange participants on salary and benefits during the exchange. A general letter of support or an agreement between the participating institutions without reference to the IFLNN program will not fulfill this requirement. This document must be received at USIA by 5 p.m. Washington, DC, time on May 20, 1994. A sample letter of endorsement and commitment is included in the application packet. Review Process The IFLNN program review process will be comprised of technical and Agency reviews. Proposals will be deemed technically eligible only if they adhere to the guidelines established herein and in the application packet. Technically eligible proposals will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Programs, appropriate geographic area offices, and budget and contract offices. Funding decisions are at the discretion of the Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for grant awards resides with USIA's contracting officer. Review Criteria Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the following criteria: 1. Soundness of proposal indicating academic and professional quality, as reflected by a clear statement of program goals and means to accomplish the goals, and detailed description of project with statement on how the proposed project will be implemented and evaluated. 2. Probable impact of the proposed partnership in achieving the goal of reforming educational administration and curricula at the foreign partner institution. 3. Feasibility of the program plan as it relates to stated goals and activities of the RFP. 4. Quality of scholarly and professional credentials/experience of participants in relation to the goals of the proposed exchange plan, including language proficiency. 5. Appropriateness of length of exchange visits, given project goals. 6. Evidence of strong institutional commitment by participating institutions, demonstrated in part by cost-sharing and letters of institutional support. 7. Evidence of mutual advancement of cultural and political understanding of Russia and the U.S. through development of individual and institutional ties. 8. Evidence from U.S. institutions of prior experience in the region. 9. Promise of long-term impact in achieving Agency/legislative objectives. 10. USIA overseas post assessment of feasibility. 11. Cost-effectiveness. 12. Sustainability of project/follow-on activities subsequent to Agency funding. Notice The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may not be modified by any USIA representative. Explanatory information provided by the Agency that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. Final award cannot be made until funds have been fully appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal USIA procedures. Notification All applicants will be notified of the results of the review process on or about August 1, 1994. Awarded grants will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements. Dated: March 12, 1994. Barry Fulton, Acting Associate Director, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. [FR Doc. 94-6264 Filed 3-16-94; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8230-01-M
American Institute at the Institute of Foreign Languages at Nizhniy Novgorod (IFLNN)
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency announces a program of support for the establishment of an American Institute at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhniy Novgorod (IFLNN) in Russia. The purpose of this program is to significantly improve the Russian Federation's teaching capabilities in English language and American business practices/ culture. The IFLNN is a recognized leader throughout the New Independent States in producing language specialists and providing in- service teacher training for students and specialists from throughout the former Soviet Union. The IFLNN is working to develop interdisciplinary specialization in international business and American studies to train a cadre of language-qualified business professionals. The IFLNN seeks an American partner to assist them in this endeavor.