U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Dialogue Program

Request for Applications 2019-2020

SUMMARY

Through this Request for Applications (RFA) and with the support of the U.S. Department of State, EF invites project applications from nonprofit organizations and institutions seeking to expand U.S.-Russian communication and cooperation. EF will fund innovative projects promoting U.S.-Russian collaboration in professional and cultural areas of mutual interest to the United States and Russia, including but not limited to entrepreneurship, social inclusion, public health, community service, volunteerism, science and technology, and the arts.

Applicants may request up to $75,000 per project with the goal to create or expand U.S.-Russian ties. All project’s activities and deliverables should be completed within 12 months. Projects proposing U.S.-Russia partnerships between previously unaffiliated organizations will be given priority consideration.

While universities and other research institutions are eligible to apply to the P2P program, funded projects must expand beyond pure research. Specifically, all P2P projects should include or culminate in concrete deliverable or deliverables, including but not limited to offering newly-developed training sessions, lectures, conferences, video/music productions, art exhibits, performances, etc.

EF will not fund projects that engage in political activism or lobbying, support public policy reform movements, or seek to sway public opinion about policy. Rather, competitive projects will seek out project topics that can lead to productive international partnership and have potential to spark long-term peer-to-peer relationships.

PROJECT DESIGN

Projects should emphasize U.S.-Russian collaboration and knowledge exchange in their design. While conducting the funded project, implementers should have varied and plentiful opportunities to substantively engage with their international partners. Engagement can be achieved through co-hosted webinars, joint events in the U.S. and Russia, bilateral presentations, international volunteer engagement, collaborative performances, or through other creative activities.

In addition to the inclusion of internationally collaborative elements into project design, EF also encourages applicants to hone their project to address one or more of the following technical areas: entrepreneurship, social inclusion, public health, community service, volunteerism, science and technology, and the arts. Projects falling outside these technical areas will also be considered for funding if focused on a topic of mutual interest in the U.S. and Russia that will facilitate greater understanding of shared values.

Applicants are encouraged to include innovative methodologies and technologies to accomplish program goals and collaboration between U.S. and Russian peers. Successful projects will result in a tangible deliverable or outcome that enhances interaction and understanding between U.S. and Russian society well beyond the project end date.

Travel between the U.S. and Russia can be a valuable component of P2P projects and is allowable as part of project activities. When including project-related travel in a P2P proposal, efficiency is key. All P2P-related travel should include multiple activities and should reach beyond common metropolitan areas in the U.S. (e.g., New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C.) and Russia (e.g., Moscow, St. Petersburg). Implementers are responsible for making all travel arrangements associated with the project, but EF will provide support and guidance regarding acquisition of Russian and U.S. visas.

All applicants are encouraged to include at least one project component that shares cultural and professional skills in the project’s technical areas. This exchange of information and skill can be achieved through invite-only lectures, widely distributed publications, internal meetings, or in a variety of other ways.

Applicants are advised that P2P funding may not be used to directly benefit (monetarily or non-monetarily) the Government of the Russian Federation at any level, including Russian government entities including but not limited to state and regional universities, research institutions, libraries, medical centers, public schools, cultural centers, museums, and their employees. Additionally, Russian government officials or employees from Russian governmental organizations, including but not limited to the examples above, are not eligible to participate in P2P-funded activities as active participants. 

Projects that receive funding may vary in duration but must be completed within 12 months of launching.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Organizations must submit all application documents using EF’s online funding management system.

If this is the first time that an applicant has applied to an EF funding opportunity using the online funding management system, a staff member from the applicant organization must create an account on the funding management system. Instructions for account creation are located on the right of the login page linked above. If an applicant already has an account, they may simply log in without creating a new account.

Before being invited to submit a full funding application, all prospective applicants must provide a concept note using EF’s online funding management system. Concept notes should not exceed two single-spaced pages using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and including all non-text elements (i.e., pictures, graphics, charts). Margins should be one inch or greater. While you may determine the concept note’s format, please ensure that all the following questions are addressed:

1.       What is the main issue/problem to be addressed?

2.       What is the project’s main objective and some key activities that will help achieve it?

3.       Who will be the project’s main implementing organization and all partners?

4.       How is the applicant organization (and partners) equipped to implement the initiative?

To be considered for funding, applicants must submit their concept notes using EF’s online funding management platform by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 15, 2019.

In consultation with the U.S. Embassy Moscow, EF will only invite organizations with the most prospective concept notes to complete a full application form.

If selected to complete a full application form, prospective applicants must provide the following documents:

  • Project narrative (detailed instructions below);

  • Letter of commitment from the lead organization in the other country, confirming active participation in the project;

  • Resumes for all key personnel (not to exceed one page each);

  • Project budget form (available on the funding management system);

  • Application certification form signed by an authorized representative of the U.S. organization (available on the funding management system);

Your project narrative is a key component of your application. The document should not exceed six single-spaced pages using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and including all non-text elements. Margins should be one inch or greater. While you may determine the project narrative format, please be ensure that the following questions are addressed:

  1. What is the main issue/problem to be addressed?

  2. Why is it significant?

  3. What are the key activities under the project and how will the applicant successfully carry them out?

  4. Who are the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project?

  5. How is the project original and innovative?

  6. What are the anticipated outcomes or results of the project?

All materials and documents submitted in connection with this competition will be retained by Eurasia Foundation during the review process and will not be returned to the applicant. The U.S. Embassy Moscow, will conduct a final review of all applications and will ultimately make all funding decisions. Applicant data will not be used for purposes other than review and will not be made public or otherwise distributed, except in such cases where it is ordered by U.S. law.

If you encounter any difficulties during the application process, please contact p2p@eurasia.org immediately for assistance.

FUNDING AND COST SHARE

Applicants may request up to $75,000 per project. Use of funds throughout the project must be consistent with the implementers’ application budget. Furthermore, project funding may only be used for activities directly connected with the implementation of the project, such as:

  • Direct costs of project-related events (e.g., organizing meetings, rental of conference facilities, translation services);

  • Communication between partner organizations (e.g., phone, email, web conferencing);

  • Travel expenses associated with the project (e.g., transportation, accommodation, per diem, health insurance, visa fees, interpretation, and other related expenses);

  • Funds used to conduct outreach and marketing activities, and dissemination of project deliverables (e.g., publications, email marketing, social media promotion, website maintenance costs);

  • Prorated portion of salaries for project team members;

  • Modest honoraria for key project experts;

  • Other expenses, including indirect costs, directly related to project implementation.

In accordance with EF policy, funding may not be used for the following costs:

  • Ongoing organization expenses;

  • Construction expenses;

  • Purchase of real estate, alcoholic beverages, entertainment, and business/first-class travel;

  • Disbursements to organizations or institutions funded by the Russian government;

  • Service/Repayment of debts.

Each application must also include a cost share component beyond the EF funding amount. Applicants are required to contribute at least 10% of the requested sum in monetary and in-kind contributions. Applicants are encouraged to seek ways to expand their cost share above 10% of the total project budget, including pro-bono work, in-kind contribution, and corporate sponsorship.

CRITERIA FOR PROJECT EVALUATION AND SELECTION

The following criteria will be used to evaluate project applications:

  1. Quality of the Project Idea: Need for the project must be clearly annunciated and well supported. All goals and activities must be concrete, relevant, realistic, and non-political in nature.

  2. Project Planning: Partners, project participants, beneficiaries must all be clearly defined. The project timeline must be realistic and allow for sufficient project monitoring.

  3. Institutional Capacity: Implementers experience should be clearly linked to the topic of their proposed project. Implementers must also demonstrate a clear capacity to successfully administer the funding and achieve all proposed objectives.

  4. Cost Effectiveness: All budgeted funds are reasonable and efficient. Overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honorarium, should be kept as low as possible.

ELIGIBILITY

All public and private organizations registered in the U.S. at the time of application are eligible for funding. This includes nonprofit and for-profit organizations, higher education institutions, schools, and other entities. Experience working directly with Russian partners in the past is not required for this funding opportunity.

Russian NGOs registered in Russia at the time of application are also eligible to apply for funding. Russian federal, regional, state, and local government bodies; government-funded social institutions (e.g., orphanages, nature preserves); NGOs receiving funding from Russian government; as well as federal academic and research institutions are not eligible to serve as project partners or apply for funding. Student groups at Russian public institutions may still apply and serve as project partners.