All U.S. Government exchange program alumni are invited to submit their proposals and compete for an award of up to US$35,000 to make their community project idea a reality and implement their program within their community!
Read on for more details.
GENERAL PROJECT PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DETAILS
Proposals generally should be in the range of US$5,000 to US$35,000 Alumni applicants must submit their proposals and budgets to: SingaporePASCultural@state.gov
To submit proposals, all alumni applicants must submit the official AEIF proposal (in MS Word) and budget (in MS Excel) forms by Thursday, February 8, 2024.
When submitting, please follow the following naming convention or the title of the required documents:
- AEIF 2024 Proposal Form: AEIF2024_SGP_Your Project Title.docx
- AEIF 2024 Budget Form: AEIF2024_SGP_Your Project Title.xlxs
All proposals must include a short project summary (200 words max.) describing the scope of the project and the estimated budget request.
(Optional) Additional support materials like workshop agendas, curricula, or previous pilot projects connected to your project submission.
- Each alumni team must use the official AEIF proposal (in MS Word) and budget (in MS Excel) forms to submit its respective project application
- Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. Government-funded or sponsored exchange program or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (check: for instance, Fulbright, IVLP, YSEALI, SUSI, CSP, GES, etc. Refer here for a full list: https://j1visa.state.gov/). No other organizations are eligible to apply. Exchange alumni can partner with not-for-profit or non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions to implement project activities. The grant can be issued to the individual alumni or the partner organization.
- Each project proposal must include the involvement of at least two alumni from any U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs or an identified team lead from an alumni association
- Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
- Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries
- Applications from Alumni Associations will need to specify a team lead
- Proposals may request from $5,000 up to $35,000
- Items valued at $200.00 or more must be itemized. Related costs should NOT be lumped together (i.e., lodging, meals, and per diem should be separate line items)
Submitted proposal must:
- Include a clear explanation of how the project advances the U.S.-Singapore relationship by enhancing shared safety and security through a strengthened U.S. and Singaporean partnership; promoting economic growth, prosperity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and/or promoting mutual understanding and people-to-people ties between Americans and Singaporeans.
- Take place outside of the United States and its territories
- Include foreign alumni in the project; U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members but cannot be team leads on projects. Projects may include alumni from different exchange programs and different countries
- Identify the alumni involved in the project (alumni’ names, which exchange program(s) attended, and when – MM/YYYY). For instance: John DOE, Fulbright Foreign Student Program, April 2021 to March 2022 or Jane Doe, YSEALI WLA Workshop, June 2022
Cost sharing is encouraged, though not required. Examples include in-kind support (services, labor, supplies/equipment, or volunteers), a business contributing food, an organization offering a venue at a discount or free of charge, an NGO sponsoring an activity, an expert donating time to facilitate a seminar, etc.
A note on Reasonable Costs:
- Project management costs should not be more than 30% of the total requested budget amount • Project management costs include fees for speakers, trainers, and consultants
- We strongly encourage alumni to rent versus if it is more cost-efficient [Calculate costs for renting space for project-related activities such as workshops or other training activities. Consider looking for donated space first. If donated space is not possible, costs should be reasonable based on the local environment. All expenses must be itemized and explained.]
- Lodging costs should be for program activities during the project and not for long-term rent for project team members
- Travel costs need to take into account the most economic means of travel
ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES AND COSTS
AEIF 2024 can support the following budget items:
- Intra-regional or in-country transportation • Rental of venues for project activities • Meals/refreshments integral to the project (i.e. one working lunch for a meeting) [Include reasonable costs for snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and meals if essential to the project. Break down meals by the cost per person per meal. All expenses must be itemized and explained.]
- Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (i.e. subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services, etc.)
- Trainer or speaker honoraria expenses (i.e. maximum $200/day fee, travel, lodging, per diem) [Speaker: Maximum of $250 per day for full programming. Trainer: Maximum of $250 per day or $25 per hour. Consider asking fellow Alumni with expertise to cost-share speaker/training fees. Consultant: A reasonable consultant fee may be included by Alumni for project management and oversight. However, consider cost-sharing as the AEIF cannot provide salary type expenses. All expenses must be itemized and explained.]
- Reasonable equipment and materials [Include general office supplies, computer software, consumable automotive supplies (i.e. fuel), small equipment such as laptops, projector, etc., and expendable materials (i.e. paper, paint). Rent equipment rather than purchase if it is more cost-efficient. All expenses must be itemized and explained
- Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements [These items aim to amplify your project. All requests should be reasonable and relevant to the project. All expenses must be itemized and explained.]
UNALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES AND COSTS
AEIF 2024 will NOT support the following budget items:
- Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
- Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments not integral to the project, or entertainment • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
- Individual scholarships
- Social travel/visits
- Gifts or prizes
- Duplication of existing programs
- Institutional development of an organization
- Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
- Support for specific religious activities
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation
- Academic or scientific research
- Charitable or development activities
- Provision of direct social services to a population
Some examples of successful AEIF 2023 projects are listed below:
- Example #1: South Sudan: Strengthening the Capacities of Young Leaders to Promote Peace, Democracy, and Good Governance will educate and enlighten high school students in Juba, Wau, and Bor about the ongoing constitution-making process in South Sudan, along with key provisions of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. The ultimate goal is to prepare the students for the upcoming elections and equip them with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.
- Example #2: Jordan: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Jordan through Digital Media aims to empower women-owned small businesses in southern Jordan, specifically in rural and underserved areas. Through training young men and women in digital marketing, the project seeks to improve the branding, marketing, and online reach of these businesses and thus enhance the marketing and visibility of women-owned businesses in four southern governorates to ensure a more prosperous and equitable society.
- Example #3: Tajikistan: Alumni-Community Mix It Up will increase networking between U.S. government alumni and community members by organizing Mix It Up innovative events to support joined contributions to social issues, educate the community about the USG exchange programs, and provide them with opportunities to learn from the alumni experience.
- Example #4: Kosovo: House of STEM will equip girls from Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro with STEM skills and knowledge, encouraging them to pursue STEM fields by providing resources, support and mentoring. House of STEM will foster interethnic and regional collaboration and assist participants with opening school STEM clubs in their communities to grow interest and access for girls to STEM education.
- Example #5: Mongolia: MapAbility: Creating Accessible Communities for All will engage Mongolians with disabilities in open-access mapping, allowing them to apply their unique perspectives to help identify barriers and resources to accessibility within their local communities. This project will advance accessibility advocacy and awareness and expand much-needed employment opportunities for people with disabilities who may not have access to traditional job markets.
- Example #6: Suriname: Leadership R3 – Changing our Habits through ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ aims to foster environmental responsibility through an awareness campaign led by university students trained in leadership and the concept of reduce, reuse, recycle (RRR). College students empowered with communication skills, civic education, and knowledge of sustainable environmental practices will increase their knowledge of RRR exponentially and take active roles in schools, homes, and their communities to raise awareness of climate issues and promote individual and collective accountability for protecting the environment.
2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund Proposal Form
- About your Project: Please provide information on the title of your project, the requested budget total, and the primary location of the project. Projects need to take place outside of the U.S. or its territories.
- Project Team Information: At least two exchange alumni team members are required for a project to be considered for funding. Applications need to provide the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project, and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role. Applicants need to indicate what proportion of the team member’s time will be used in support of the project.
- Problem Statement: A short narrative which outlines the proposed project, including challenge/s to be addressed, project objectives, and anticipated impact.
- Project Goals and Objectives: The goal/s of the proposed project need to describe what the project is intended to achieve and include the objectives which support the goal/s. Objectives should be specific, measurable, and realistically achievable in a set time frame.
- Project Methods, Design, and Timeline: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal/s. This should include a description of the project’s direct and indirect beneficiaries as well as a plan on how to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable. The proposed timeline for the project activities should include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. Applicants may also submit proposed workshop or training agendas and materials.
- Project Timeline: A timeline of your project activities.
- Beneficiaries: An estimated number of direct and indirect beneficiaries of your proposed project.
- Local Project Partners: A list of partners who will support the proposed project, if applicable.
- Communication Plan: The communication plan should include a communication and outreach strategy for promoting the proposed project. It may include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media intended to use to share information about the project to beneficiaries and the public. Communications should include AEIF 2024, ExchangeAlumni, and U.S. Embassy branding.
- Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal should outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives. This should include any outcomes showing a change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc. Proposals should also include how the grantee will measure the impact of planned activities.
- 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund Budget Form with Budget Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
Key Dates for AEIF 2024:
- November 1, 2023: AEIF 2024 application cycle opens
- November 2023: Regional virtual training sessions on AEIF 2024 best practices for Missions overseas
- February 8, 2024: Deadline for submission of AEIF 2024 proposal packages to the Public Diplomacy Section (PDS)/ U.S. Embassy Singapore
- May 2024: Final funding decisions will be announced