U.S.-Cabo Verde University Partnership Initiative


Title: U.S.-Cabo Verde University Partnership Initiative
Funding Opportunity Number: AFPRA-20-05
Announcement type: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Number: 19.040
Deadline for Applications: August 7, 2020
Total Expected Funds: $250,000
Contact: For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518- 4726.

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, please contact the U.S. Embassy Cabo Verde Grants Administrator: PraiaGrants@state.gov.


The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy Praia of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program focused on strengthening existing ties and fostering new collaboration between U.S. and African universities. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Priority Region: 

Project activities must take place in Cabo Verde and the United States, and be directed at Cabo Verdean audiences/participants.

Program Objectives: 

The goal of the U.S.-Cabo Verde University Partnerships (USCVUP) Initiative is to strengthen existing ties and foster new collaboration between U.S. and Cabo Verdean universities. Focus areas include promoting faculty and student exchanges, facilitating joint research, building administrative capacity, and creating public-private partnerships. Program proposals should address how relationships between institutions will be sustained after U.S. government funded efforts are concluded.

Specific Program Objectives: 

  • Promote U.S.-Cabo Verde faculty and student exchanges, particularly the development of programs that have Cabo Verdeans complete their studies in their home country and address Cabo Verde’s shortage of qualified academic staff.
  • Facilitate joint research, especially in creative industries, entrepreneurism, and STEM. Particular STEM fields of interest include: agriculture, hydrology, oceanography, ICT, aviation, meteorology, as well as medicine and public health. Other academic topics of interest include hospitality, tourism, ecotourism, and English for Specific Purposes.
  • Provide training and transfer skills in all aspects of university administration through subject-matter exchange programs.
  • Explore public-private partnerships with universities, with an emphasis on commercialization, technology transfer, and job creation.
  • Increase capacity of university partners in the United States and Cabo Verde to facilitate virtual exchanges and collaboration in order to address institutional impacts caused by travel restrictions and COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, including some virtual exchange components are a requirement for consideration.

Participants and Audiences: 

The intended audience is community college and university students, university administrators, corporations, the NGO sector, and USG alumni. Proposals that address linkages between Cabo Verdean universities and their U.S. counterparts are strongly encouraged. Programs that create or grow linkages between academia and commerce are also encouraged.

Length of performance period: 24 months with the option to renew dependent on performance
Number of awards anticipated: approximately one to two awards
Award Amounts: awards may range depending on funding availability
Total expected funding: $250,000
Type of expected funding: FY19 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date: September 15, 2020

This notice is subject to availability of funding. 

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative agreement – Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. The grantee will be expected to continuously liaise with the Program Officer and the Grants Officer and ensure agreement on specific arrangements pertaining to program management

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 24 months, with the option to renew.

The Department of State 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 

The following United States and Cabo Verdean organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations;
  • Public and private non-profit educational institutions.

Please note that applications from for-profit organizations will not be considered by the Grants Review Committee.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching 

Cost-sharing is not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet and CAGE/NCAGE number, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Applications from organizations that have not applied yet for DUNS number and CAGE/NCAGE code will not be considered by the Grants Review Committee. Awards cannot be given to organizations without an active SAM.gov registration.

For information about SAM registration, please contact SAM supporting Federal Service Desk at www.fsd.gov, or by telephone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828 (internationally), for free help. DUNS, CAGE/NCAGE, and SAM registration are no-fee registration processes. No payment is required. The Embassy of the United States in Cabo Verde are unable to provide guidance or technical support with these registration processes.

SAM supporting Federal Service Desk can help with:

  • Creating an account
  • Assigning roles to an account
  • Entity Registrations
  • Exclusions
  • Searching for data in SAM

Please see Section D below for additional requirements.


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. The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.1001.

All application materials must be submitted electronically to PraiaGrants@state.gov. Files should not exceed 10 MB or they may be rejected by the Embassy’s server. Paper applications mailed to the Embassy or documents submitted by disc, portable hard drive, cloud-based file sharing service, or other mechanisms will not be accepted for this funding opportunity.

Applicants must ensure:

  • All documents are in English.
  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars.
  • All pages are numbered and should not exceed ten (10) pages.
  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

The following application forms are mandatory, and the Grants Review Committee will not consider applications without them:

  • SF-424 (application for federal assistance – organizations).
  • SF-424A(budget information for non-construction programs).

The SF-424B (assurances – non-construction programs) is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.

SF-424 forms are available at https://www.grants.gov/.

Proposal Guidelines: 

summary page, stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program, is useful.

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 should include all the items below.

  • Proposal Summary: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.
  • Goals and Objectives:The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • American Element:How will the project promote a better understanding of United States culture and values or enhance ties between the U.S. and Cabo Verde through programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American experts, organizations, or institutions in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.
  • Activities:Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Locations of all project activities.
  • Target Audiences and Participants. 
  • Project Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: 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. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Project Partners:If applicable, list the names and type of involvement of any key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame 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?
  • Media Outreach Plan:A media outreach plan that takes into consideration amplifying the organization’s partnership with the U.S. Mission; details on how any promotional materials will include U.S. Mission branding; and details on anticipated cooperation with the U.S. Embassy PAS Praia.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability:If applicable, applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources.

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


  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program.
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner.
  • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file (this only pertains to U.S. based organizations).
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities.

Required Registrations: 

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) 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.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • www.SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code and DUNS number, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.

SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times 

Applications are due no later than Friday, August 7, 2020.


  1. Criteria 

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 40 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Applicants must demonstrate their capacity for:

  • Project management
  • Communication – written and oral
  • Monitoring and evaluation processes
  • Financial integrity
  • Appropriate staffing

The United States Department of State strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. The U.S. Embassy seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs and other activities and in its workforce and workplace. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Embassy is committed to fairness, equity and inclusion. Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of diversity and describe how diversity will be integrated into all aspects of the program. Applicants should demonstrate readiness to accommodate participants with physical disabilities.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives and Project Sustainability– 20 points:

Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. There is a clear plan for ensuring the project is sustainable beyond the period of performance.

Budget – 20 points: 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.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – 20 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

  1. Review and Selection Process 

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) 

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself 7 that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

  1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates 

Applicants should expect to be notified if their proposal has been selected for award within 30 days of the submission deadline. The Embassy will provide information at the point of notification about any modification to the proposal or plan of work that will be required to finalize the award.


  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. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient through email. The recipient may only incur obligations against the award beginning on the start date outlined in the DS-1909 award document that has been signed by the Grants Officer. See Section E for more information on pre-award costs. Organizations whose applications are not selected for funding will also be notified via email. Please refer to the anticipated time to award information in Section E.

  1. Terms and Conditions 

Recipients will be held to the applicable terms and conditions found at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Pages/TermsandConditions.aspx.

It is the Recipient’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable terms, conditions, and OMB guidance and requirements. Those organizations found to be in non-compliance may be found ineligible for funding or designated as high risk. 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Costs Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: All applicants must adhere to the regulations found in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Costs Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

  1. Branding Requirements 

As a condition of receipt of a grant award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, and backdrops, podium signs, etc., must be marked appropriately with the standard, rectangular U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity. Remarks, media interviews, and all public communications about program activities must acknowledge U.S. Embassy support for the project. Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable.

  1. Evaluation 

In line with the Department of State’s Evaluation Policy, the U.S. Embassy Praia may include this award in its program evaluation efforts. When applicable and feasible, the recipient shall cooperate with the Grants Officer (GO) and Grants Officer Representative (GOR) requests to contribute data on specific performance measures and indicators; consider GO and GOR input on design and methodology of Recipient-led evaluation efforts; provide any evaluation reports produced under the award to the GO and GOR for review; incorporate the project into any third-party evaluations that PAS Praia may initiate.

  1. Reporting Requirements 

Recipients are required to submit quarterly (calendar year) program progress and financial reports throughout the project period. Progress (SF-PPR, narrative) and financial reports (SF-424 and a detailed financial expenditure report) are due 30 days after the reporting period. Final certified programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period. All reports are to be submitted electronically.


For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518- 4726. or send them an email on support@grants.gov. Embassy Praia is unable to assist you with such questions.

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, please contact the U.S. Embassy Cabo Verde Grants Administrator: PraiaGrants@state.gov.


Guidelines for Budget Justification:

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: 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, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. 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.


The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement. 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. The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award in excess of the award ceiling.

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

This NOFO is subject to funds availability. Awards may be granted only if appropriated funds are allocated to the United States Embassy in Praia by Department of State central budget authorities.

Applicants should be familiar with the U.S. Department of State’s guidance on travel to Praia available at http://travel.state.gov.