Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy to Bern and Liechtenstein PDS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: Bern-PDS-FY23-01
Deadline for Applications:
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis. Submission deadlines will be 11:59 p.m. on January 15, April 15, and July 15 and August 30.
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $60,000
Maximum for Each Award: $20,000


The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy to Switzerland and Liechtenstein is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, strategic themes, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

The U.S. Embassy invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Switzerland or Liechtenstein through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation and dialogue. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with an American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Examples of PDS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions;
  • Professional and/or academic exchanges and programs;
  • Programs that promote entrepreneurship or strengthen economic relations;
  • Sports diplomacy programs
  • Hackathons

The programs outlined above should be connected to one or more of our strategic priorities:

  • STEM education
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Climate change, sustainability, and energy security
  • Strengthening cyber-security
  • Countering disinformation and malign influence
  • Promotion of Human Rights
  • Innovation and new technologies

Participants and Audiences:

Programs should be directed at Swiss and/or Liechtenstein audiences. PDS seeks to address a wide variety of people in Switzerland and Liechtenstein through its programs and we welcome proposals geared towards any type of audience. However, applicants should clearly state what audience(s) they aim to reach and should define the intended audience.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Length of performance period: Up to 36 months
Number of awards anticipated: 5-10 (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $20,000
Total available funding: $60,000 (depending on final confirmation of funds)
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funding, authorized under Fulbright-Hays
Anticipated program start date: No later than September 2023

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PDS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 36 months or less. PDS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

1. Eligible Applicants

We encourage applications from the United States, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein from the following entities:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience;
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions and;
  • Governmental institutions;

NOTE: For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  

2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost-sharing is not mandatory, but highly encouraged.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must be prepared to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via as well as a valid registration on Please see Section D.3 for more information. Organizations do not need to obtain a UEI or a SAM registration before applying, but are encouraged to do so.

1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

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

The following documents are required:

a. Mandatory application forms

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)

–> Find instructions for SF-424 here

SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)

–> Find instructions for SF-424A here

b. Summary Coversheet

Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

c. Proposal: 

The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the following items:

  • Proposal Summary: A short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The goals describe what the program is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Switzerland/Liechtenstein will be improved? The objectives should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

d. Budget Justification Narrative

After filling out the SF-424A Budget (see above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

e. Attachments

Applicants may include additional information as attachments to support their application

2. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants must be prepared to obtain these registrations, at the latest when they have been selected for funding.  Registration is free of charge.

  • registration which will generate a UEI
  • NCAGE/CAGE code

Any applicant with an exclusion in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements.  OMB designated as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance.  Under the law, it is mandatory to register in

US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organizations registers in CAGE must be renewed every 5 years.  Site for CAGE: Grantees may be asked for more information to finalized and must comply.

Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NCAGE code before registering in Go to: to apply for a NCAGE code.  NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.

If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number).  Those entities can register for a UEI only at

3. Submission Dates and Timeline

The Public Diplomacy Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals on a rolling basis. Submission deadlines will be 11:59 p.m. on January 15, April 15, July 15, and August 30. Notifications will be sent to no later than two weeks after the submission deadline.

4. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to

1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely considered in judging the overall quality of an application.

Completeness of proposal and quality (25): The applicant has submitted a proposal following the guidelines above, which includes all mandatory documents and information. The proposal clearly states the program goal, audiences, and objectives. The program idea and timeline are well developed, with details about how program activities will be carried out.

Feasibility and Relevancy of Program (25): The proposal states the project activities and how they will be implemented. The program ideas are relevant to the Swiss or Liechtenstein context and tie into the Embassy’s strategic priorities. The project includes U.S. components.

Budget (10): The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Organizational Capacity (15): The organization has expertise in its stated field and PDS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. The key staff involved in the program have subject matter expertise and the organization has experience managing similar projects. The organization has internal control mechanism in place to manage federal funds.

Implementation and Evaluation (15): The proposal includes a schedule for when the activities will occur and defines expected milestones, outputs, and outcomes. The applicant specifies how performance data will be evaluated and presents a reporting plan, including a schedule for interim reports and a final report.

Sustainability (10): The application details how program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

2. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications no later than two weeks after the above identified submission deadlines.

1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions:
Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:

2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

3. Reporting
Reporting Requirements:
Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and/or program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at:

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

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.

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