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Embassy Announcements

ESF Funding Opportunity - University Partnership

Issuance Date:  Monday, March 21, 2011
Closing Date:  Friday, May 27, 2011
Closing Time:  16:00 local Tunis time (11 AM EST)

Subject:  American –Tunisian University collaboration in fields related to:

  • Comparative Political Science and Public Administration
  • English Language Teaching at the Elementary Level 

Program descriptions below

The United States Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, is seeking applications (proposals for funding) to support U.S. academic institutions that seek to engage with higher education institutions in Tunisia. (Eligible Applicants: All members of the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and other regionally accredited, degree-granting, U.S. higher education institutions.)  Applicant institutions with previous project or exchange experience in Tunisia are preferred.

The selected recipient will be responsible for ensuring achievement of program objectives that enhance mutual, fully collaborative relationships between Tunisian and U.S. higher education institutions and their public and private sector partners in both countries. 

It is USG policy not to award profit under assistance instruments.  However, all reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the program and are in accordance with applicable cost standards (22 CFR 226, OMB Circular A-21 for universities, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation  Part 31 for for-profit organizations), may be paid under the award.

Subject to the availability of funds, US Embassy Tunis plans to provide up to $250,000 in Economic Support Funds (ESF) for one or more grants for a program not to exceed two years, but with the possibility of no-cost limited extensions. The US Embassy reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.  Although it is planned to make an award of one cooperative agreement under this RFA, the US Embassy in its discretion may make awards to more than one organization.

For the purposes of this program, this RFA is being issued and consists of this cover letter and the Full Application including following: 

  1. Section A - Application Format;
  2. Section B - Selection Criteria;
  3. Section C - Program Description;
  4. Section D - Certifications, Assurances, and Other Statements of Applicant/Recipient
  5. Section E - Attachments to Program Description (attachments 1, 2, and 3)

To be eligible for an award, the applicant must provide all required information in its application, including the requirements found in any attachments.  Applicants must submit the full application package in compliance with the method indicated in this cover letter and in Section A of this RFA (please open attachments with Explorer only and not with Mozilla).

For the purposes of this RFA, the term "Grant" is synonymous with "Cooperative Agreement"; "Grantee" is synonymous with "Recipient"; and "Grant Officer" is synonymous with "Agreement Officer".

Any questions concerning this RFA should be submitted in writing to John Berry, via email to and Pete Davis with cc to .  Applications must be received by the closing date and time indicated at the top of this cover letter. 

Faxed proposals will not be accepted.  Applicants should submit their applications by e-mail attachment formatted in Microsoft Word (up to 2MB limit per email.  PDF files are acceptable). 

Applicants will be informed that their electronic submissions (via email) were successfully received by the required due date. 

Awards will be made to that responsible applicant(s) whose application(s) best meets the requirements of this RFA and the selection criteria contained herein.

Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of US Embassy Tunis, nor does it commit the Embassy to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.  Further, US Embassy Tunis reserves the right to reject any or all applications received.  In addition, final award of any resultant cooperative agreement(s) cannot be made until funds have been fully appropriated, allocated, and committed through internal procedures.  While it is anticipated that these procedures will be successfully completed, potential applicants are hereby notified of these requirements and conditions for award. All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant's expense.

Applicants should retain for their records one copy of all enclosures which accompany their application.

Thank you for your interest in US Embassy Tunis activities.

Grant Package (Attachments) please open attachments with Explorer only and not with Mozilla

Project Descriptions

1- Enhance research on Comparative Political Science and Public Administration

This Grant would fund the creation of a Research Center in Comparative Political Science and Public Administration aiming at providing legal and political training to research students and politically active citizens from underserved areas, and their initiation to public life at the national level, and to public administration at the regional and local levels. The Center will work in the framework of a comparative approach mainly based on the exploration of democratic transition experiences in Latin America, Southern Europe and Africa. The project’s desired outcomes may include some or all of the following:

  • Constitution of a documentary platform, a space for the exchange of experiences and lessons learnt to support democratic transition by training researchers/students in the field of compared political systems and administrations, 
  • Set up mechanisms for the exchange of experiences, researchers, and students between the American and Tunisian partner Universities, and provide the library of a Tunisian Faculty of Law and Political Sciences with resources related to comparative studies;
  • Enhance participants’ awareness about the democratic culture enabling them to actively contribute to their community, to national politics and to regional and local public administrations. 
  • Organize workshops to explore and discuss topics related to classical and transitional democratic models, conduct research studies and doctoral theses on comparative political systems and administrations, publish research articles and proceedings of workshops and explore the main cognitive concepts of various pluralistic societies, mainly those with successful democratic transition;
  • Design simplified manuals in Arabic, including one on regional and local administrations; enable the transmission of democratic values in various regions through practical training of common citizens selected from remote and underserved areas outside the capital, and simulation of electoral campaigns, the operation of representational bodies and parliaments at various levels.

2- English Language Teaching at the Elementary Level

This Grant would support a US-Tunisia University Linkage aimed at creating and implementing a comprehensive multi-year young learner ELT program to support teaching and learning of English at Tunisian primary schools. The selected recipient will be responsible for implementing projects that take into account the local academic context, level assessment and available resources in order to undertake projects that include but are not limited to:

  • Train teachers and Teachers’ Trainers: the selected recipient will be responsible for for developing a comprehensive university level program to develop, enhance and improve the teaching of English as a foreign language to young learners in the public schools. The American institution will provide workshops, videos, and manuals to train a corps of teacher trainers in the most effective ELT methodologies.  The people that it subsequently trains will be sent to elementary schools all over Tunisia where they will observe EFL courses and advise on their improvement. 
  • Design a curriculum for teachers and learners of English at the primary schools in Tunisia. This curriculum needs to take into consideration the local academic context of Tunisia and previous young learner ELT programs. 
  • Design a text book for English teachers and students at Tunisian primary schools. By law, Tunisian schoolbooks must be produced locally. Therefore, the selected recipient will be responsible for working with and guiding Tunisian officials and ELT prominent figures towards the production of a comprehensive and appropriate text book.