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Grant Opportunity 2020/2021: Statement of Interest
October 20, 2020

Public Notice for Statements of Interest  

CFDA Number:  19.040 - Public Diplomacy Programs for Valletta
Funding Opportunity:  4216-21-001
Federal Agency Contact:  U.S. Embassy, Valletta
Email: usembmalta@state.gov

A. Requested Objectives for Statements of Interest (SOI) 

The U.S. Embassy in Malta of the U.S. Department of State announces that it will accept proposals for funding under the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Grants program from October 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.  The submission of a Statement of Interest (SOI) is the first step in a two-part process.  A SOI is a concise concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application.  The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for evaluation prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications.  Upon review of eligible SOIs, the U.S. Embassy Valletta will inform selected applicants through a Notice of Award and invite them to comply with the full Grants Application Process.

Please carefully follow all the instructions below.

Statement of Interest Program Objective:   Funding will support projects that:

1. Encourage the fullest participation, especially of women and youth, in government, business and civil society;
2. Promote bilateral cooperation in regional security;
3. Promote empowerment of minorities by strengthening the bridge of mutual understanding and shared values between the United States and Malta, in particular diversity and the integration of refugees/migrants into Maltese society;
4. Promote freedom of the press and strengthen the role of independent media;
5. Enhance rule of law, and standards of good governance and ethics; and,
6. Promote innovation in bilateral investment and commercial cooperation.

Local grant proposals must have a connection to U.S. society, culture, and values or should be directed to increasing understanding in Malta of U.S. society, culture, and values.

Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:

• projects that give a voice to minorities and/or promote inclusive societies, including the integration of migrants;
• women leadership and empowerment programs;
• youth leadership and education programs;
• youth community service projects that highlight democratic processes and encourage volunteerism;
• civic education projects that promote democratic processes and human rights;
• projects that develop strong, capable, and independent journalists;
• partnerships that promote innovation and entrepreneurship;
• arts and culture programs that include masterclasses, lectures, media engagement, and other message amplification efforts.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions, the U.S. Embassy will consider costs related to virtual programming.

Activities that are typically NOT funded include, but are not limited to:

• Cultural activities that do NOT target youth and minority audiences;
• One-off conferences or events; and
• Projects that do NOT have a significant connection to U.S. Embassy mission goals, namely:  regional security, commercial diplomacy, empowerment of women and minorities, human rights protections, democracy, and rule of law.
• Receptions/Parties.  In some circumstances, tea/coffee breaks that are an integral part of a program may be considered.  Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in all cases.

Participants and Audiences:

Maltese-based individuals and non-federal entities - including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), not-for-profit think tanks, and academic institutions - are eligible to apply.

Timeline of Proposals:

Proposals may be sent to the U.S. Embassy at any time.  However, the U.S. Embassy will review proposals and make decisions on a quarterly basis.

Applications received in October, November, or December will be reviewed in January 2021.  Notifications will go out o/a January 31, 2021.
Applications received in January, February, or March will be reviewed in April 2021.  Notifications will go out o/a April 30, 2021.
Applications received in April, May, or June will be reviewed in July 2021.  Notifications will go out o/a July 31, 2021.

Please contact the Public Affairs Section (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information and to receive required standard forms to apply .

B. Federal Award Information 

Length of performance period:  Varies.
Number of awards anticipated:  5 awards per quarter (dependent on amounts requested)
Award amounts:  Awards may range from approximately $500 to approximately $10,000.

This notice is subject to availability of funding. 

Funding Instrument Type:   Grant, Fixed Award Amount.

The U.S. Embassy in Malta reserves the right to refuse requests in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.  The U.S. Embassy in Malta reserves the right to award less or more than the amount requested by the applicant.

Program Performance Period:

Proposed programs should be completed by December 31, 2021.  Program length can vary.  In the event that a project cannot be completed by the stipulated time, grantees must contact their Grants Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Malta prior to the expiry of the grant to discuss a no-cost extension.

The U.S. Embassy in Malta will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the United States Government.

C. Eligibility Information 

1. Applications are encouraged from all sectors:  committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, NGOs, academic institutions, and individuals.  Applicants must be based in Malta, have a Malta-based headquarters, or identify a Malta-based partner to carry out their project.

2. Cost-sharing or matching:  Cost-sharing is not required but applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding or in-kind participation, if applicable.

3. Other eligibility requirements:  In order to be eligible to receive an award, organizations that have received Notice of Award must apply for a NCAGE code and register in Sam.gov (www.SAM.gov).  Upon registration in SAM.gov, the organization will be assigned a unique entity identifier. Individuals are not required to have a NCAGE code, unique entity identifier, or be registered in SAM.gov.

D. Statement of Interest Application and Submission Information 

Please contact the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information on the relevant documents required.  Once all the documents are complete, please send them to the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov).

Mandatory Application Forms available from Grants.gov:

• SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals).
• Local Partner Grant Request Form
• SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)

1. 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
• All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font.

A Grants Committee will review the preliminary proposal and budget outline to determine eligibility.  The U.S. Embassy will inform the applicant of the status of application for funding through a Notice of Award.  If successful, the applicant will complete the full grants package.

2. Funding Restrictions 

The U.S. Embassy is restricted from funding:
• projects that do not have a business plan for sustaining the activity or monitoring results;
• social welfare projects;
• paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
• projects that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
• international travel, unless specifically justified within the project;
• U.S. citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
• projects that are mainly designed to pay organizational salaries or to cover only logistical costs (e.g., room/chair rental, coffee breaks, etc.).

3. Other Submission Requirements 

All application materials must be submitted by email to usembmalta@state.gov.

Review and Selection Process 
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications and reserves the right to request additional information or refuse applications.

• Other Information 

Guidelines for Budget Justification 
Alcoholic Beverages:   Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

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.  Bookings on a U.S. carrier, or U.S. code-shared airlines are obligatory for travel to and from the United States, with some exceptions:  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Malta for information, prior to purchasing tickets.  In light of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the U.S. Embassy will support costs for virtual programs, if applicable.

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.