American Institute at the Institute of Foreign Languages at Nizhniy Novgorod (IFLNN)

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.

Full text

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  

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