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FY 2020 United States South Pacific (USSP) Scholarship Program and FY 2020 United States Timor-Leste (USTL) Scholarship Program

Cooperative Agreements to USA Nonprofits to
Administer Foreign Exchange Programs at IHEs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) - Office of Academic Exchange Programs

Deadline Date:

06/08/20 Midnight (12:00 AM) Washington, DC Time


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Cooperative agreements to USA nonprofit organizations to administer exchange programs for foreign students to attend higher education institutions in the United States. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. The program is an open competition for an assistance award to administer the FY 2020 United States South Pacific (USSP) Scholarship Program and the FY 2020 United States Timor-Leste (USTL) Scholarship Program. Eligible applicants may submit a proposal to administer one or both of the scholarship programs.

United States South Pacific Scholarship Program Overview: The USSP Scholarship Program was established by the United States Congress to provide opportunities for U.S. degree study to students from South Pacific nations in fields important for the region’s future development. Public Law 103-236 authorized academic scholarships to qualified students from the sovereign island nations of the South Pacific region to pursue undergraduate and graduate study at institutions of higher education in the United States. Students from the following nations are eligible to apply for these scholarships: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Fields of study are based on recommendations from U.S. Department of State regional bureau representatives and Public Affairs Sections (PAS) at U.S. embassies in the region and include public administration, public health, STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), education, environmental studies, agriculture, business, NGO management, political science, gender studies, journalism, and others. Students selected for these scholarships enroll in undergraduate degree programs or in master’s degree programs. South Pacific student applicants will not require pre-academic English training, but at the master’s level may benefit from up to one year of preparatory study in the U.S. prior to enrolling in a formal master’s degree program if they possess the three-year baccalaureate degree commonly offered in the Pacific Islands region.

United States Timor-Leste Scholarship Program Overview: The goal of the USTL Scholarship Program is to identify a select cadre of academically talented Timorese who are expected to assume future leadership roles in Timor-Leste’s development and support their undergraduate level study and degrees at accredited higher education institutions in the United States. An objective of the USTL program is to develop the human resource capacity of the Timorese people, especially in fields such as agricultural science, business, communications, economics, education, environmental science, international relations, political science, psychology and sociology. The eligible academic fields of study were selected to emphasize the areas of critical development need in Timor-Leste. Students selected for these scholarships pursue undergraduate degree programs plus up to one year of pre-academic English training. In almost all cases, USTL students will have undergraduate credits for transfer from their home institutions. 

Working closely with U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Sections in the region, the award recipient(s) will be responsible for the administration of the programs, including publicity and recruitment, review of academic credentials, convening review panels and assisting with merit-based competitive selection and nomination, placing students at appropriate U.S. institutions for academic degree study leading to a bachelors or masters degree, facilitating student travel to the United States, providing orientation, enrichment activities, and pre-return activities, providing monitoring and support services, conducting on-going evaluation and follow-up with program alumni.

Allowable costs for the program include the following:

  1. Publicity, recruitment, selection, placement and communication with applicants and participants.
  2. Travel for student participants between home and program location.
  3. Tuition and fees, stipends for living costs, book allowances, and other necessary maintenance costs and expenses for the students.
  4. Advising and monitoring of students.
  5. Academic and cultural support and enrichment activities.
  6. Pre-return activities and evaluation.
  7. Staff and administrative expenses to carry out the program activities. Administrative and overhead costs should be as low as possible.

For details on project objectives, goals, and implementation, see the POGI document in Supporting Documents below. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 189305

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $700,000
Award Floor: $350,000

Term of Contract:

The duration of the cooperative agreement(s) will be up to five years, beginning approximately on August 1, 2020 and ending on July 31, 2025.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit applications for this competition. Applicants must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. Please see the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for additional information.

Organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline Date: Monday, June 8, 2020; Applicants have until midnight (12:00 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the site.

Method of Submission: Applications may only be submitted electronically through (

Eligible organizations should follow the instructions available in the ‘Get Started’ portion of the site (

Required Registration with the System for Award Management (SAM): All federal award applicants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database in order to submit a proposal in response to an open competition on All federal award recipients must maintain a current registration in the SAM database. Recipients must maintain accurate and up-to-date information in until all program and financial activity and reporting is completed on any issued award. Recipients must review and update the information at least annually after the initial registration and more frequently if required information changes or another award is granted. There is no cost associated with registering or updating accounts. Failure to register in will render applicants ineligible to receive funding.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to:

Instructions and Mandatory Application Forms:

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For questions about this announcement, contact Anita Chan, U.S. Department of State, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, East Asian and Pacific Programs Branch (ECA/A/E/EAP), SA-5, 4th Floor, 2200 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, by telephone (202) 632-3212, or email

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