The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy Bern is pleased to announce an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2023). We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements. Pending availability of funds, AEIF will consider proposals between USD 5,000 and USD 35,000. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2023 should submit proposals to email@example.com by 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. All proposals should be submitted in English.
AEIF is designed to increase the impact of the U.S. government’s investment in exchange participants and programs by helping alumni develop and implement projects that support U.S. foreign policy objectives, promote shared interests, and benefit local communities. Proposals must address one of the themes listed above. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All AEIF projects must address at least one of the following:
- Bring alumni together from different exchange programs to build or expand an alumni network capable of working together on common interests and increase regional and global collaboration of alumni.
- Strengthen the relationship between alumni and the U.S. government to work together on activities that address mutual goals and challenges.
- Support alumni as they develop their leadership capacity and implement projects in their communities.
AEIF 2021 Project Examples: Please find several examples of successful AEIF 2021 projects below. Visit https://alumni.state.gov/aeif/congrats-2021-aeif-competition-winners to read more about these projects.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed between April 2023 to March 2024.
- Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program.
- The proposed project involves at least two U.S. Government-sponsored exchange program alumni and needs to specify a team lead. Any non-alumni team members need to be included as well.
- Applications from Alumni Associations will need to specify a team lead.
- Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project, however, the team must have at least two non-U.S. citizen exchange program alumni.
- All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
- Proposals should be in the range of USD 5,000 to USD 35,000.
- The proposed project identifies and supports Mission priorities through public service-oriented activities.
- Inclusion of cost share is encouraged for this opportunity.
Mandatory application forms for you submission:
Only proposals submitted using the official forms will be considered for funding.
Forms should be submitted in the format provided here (PDF and Excel) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. All proposals should be submitted in English.
Proposals may request funds from USD 5,000 to USD 35,000. The template incorporates sections for the budget justification narrative as well as a second tab providing instructions on what to include in the various budget categories. The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2023 budget form.
Cost Share: 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. We encourage all proposals to include some form of cost sharing.
A note on reasonable costs: During the development and review of proposals at post, please make sure cost categories are reasonable. 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. 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.
SUPPORTED ACTIVITIES AND COSTS
AEIF 2023 can support the following budget items:
- Intra-regional or in-country transportation
- Rental of venues for project activities
- PPE and sanitizing equipment
- Meals/refreshments integral to the project (i.e., working lunch for a meeting)
- Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (i.e., subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services, etc.)
AEIF 2023 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
- Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
- Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
- Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
- Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
- Academic or scientific research
- Charitable or development activities
- Provision of direct social services to a population
- 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
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
A note on COVID-19 and participant safety: Please remember to prioritize the safety of alumni and the feasibility of the project activities, including unintended impacts such grants may have on their security. Consider the status of COVID-19 when planning your project to accommodate for any restrictions (i.e., curfews, lockdown, purchase of PPE or reasonable technology costs for virtual programming, etc.). If projects cannot be sustained upon the completion of the grant, they should be able to wind down without harming beneficiaries.
Only one proposal per group allowed.
Questions about the grant application process and/or submission of proposals should be directed to email@example.com