A. Proposal Deadline: Friday, January 13, 2017 by 6:00 pm EST (Washington, DC time)
B. Application Submission
All proposals must be submitted online Click here to Apply online
Email and paper submissions are not accepted. All submissions must be complete – no revisions or resubmissions are permitted, and no extensions to the application deadline will be granted.
C. Proposal Preparation Instructions
The text of the proposals should be in single-spaced 12-point type font. Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch. Use standard paper size (8 1/2" x 11). Use at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No information should appear in the margins. Tables and lists in the project description may be in smaller but readable type.
Proposals must be submitted using the required format. Instructions for completing each section of the application form are included below, and the application packet (in Word format) may be downloaded at:
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/Pakistan/PGA_167383 or PAKUS-STCP-Proposal-Template.
The proposal must include the information requested. Successful proposals will address the Selection Criteria listed in Section VII and will include clear statements of the project goals and explanations of how these goals will be addressed.
(1.) Cover sheets. Complete all pages making sure all the required signatures are obtained. For planning purposes, August 2017 should be shown as the start date.
(2.) Project summary (500 words max). The summary should be succinct and clearly state the goals and resulting outcomes of the project. It should be informative to specialists in the same or related fields as well as understandable to a well-informed, non-technical reader. Include the title of the project, the names of the co-principal investigator(s), and the names of the U.S. and Pakistani partner institutions at the top of the page. Include a clear description of the project, stating its specific aims and long-term goals. Briefly indicate the unique aspects of the project and interdisciplinary composition (if any).
(3.) Project description (ten pages max). The project description (sections 3.a through 3.j described below) is limited to the equivalent of 10 printed pages including all figures, tables, and charts but not including lists of additional participants, advisors, and supporters (if any). All applicants must use the standard proposal forms provided. The project description should be prepared with reference to the review criteria and the guidance provided in this and the preceding sections of this solicitation. Incomplete proposals, those not submitted on the standard forms, and those exceeding the established page limits may not be considered.
(3.a) Background and rationale. Provide the background of, and context for, the proposed activity. Where relevant, present a critical and comparative summary review of pertinent literature, justifying the activity proposed.
(3.b) Problem statement. Describe accurately the problems to be addressed and/or opportunities to be pursued by the proposed project.
(3.c) Team experience/capability. Describe relevant prior efforts by applicants to address the problems identified. If you and/or your team have preliminary results, please discuss them in this section. Illustrate how the proposed work will build upon existing expertise, if applicable. Proposals intended to improve the capacity of Pakistani institutions to support technology commercialization or industry competitiveness should also explain the role that industry representatives played in developing the proposal and articulate how the proposed project builds upon other measures undertaken by industry to improve competitiveness.
(3.d) Scope and objectives. Specify the scope of the project accurately and list the specific aims of the project. It is important that the specific aims be compatible with the requested proposal duration. The proposal should demonstrate that a project's objectives are feasible to achieve within the requested project duration.
(3.e) Methods. Describe the project design, conceptual framework, procedures, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. The proposals should describe a methodology for determining the degree to which a project meets its objectives, both while the project is underway and at its conclusion. If relevant, include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any data-sharing plan. Describe any new methodology and its advantage over existing methodologies. Describe any novel concepts, approaches, tools, or technologies for the proposed activity. Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims. Describe proposed strategy for encouraging and ensuring the participation of women in the project. As part of this section, provide a tentative sequence or timetable for the project.
(3.f) International cooperation. Explain in detail which elements of the project will be carried out by which counterpart involved and why such a division of labor is appropriate both for the project and for the overall program goals of promoting capacity building in Pakistan. Activities should be designed to develop expertise, advance scholarship and teaching, promote reliable, long-term research collaboration between partner institutions. Where appropriate and to the extent possible, applicants are strongly encouraged to include participation by underrepresented groups. Applicants are encouraged to reflect all relevant forms of diversity. "Diversity" should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, caste, religion, geographic location, social-economic status, and physical challenges. This criterion should be equally important for the U.S. side and the Pakistani side. To be competitive, proposals should demonstrate that the participating institutions are committed to mutual support and cooperation in project implementation. If the proposed partnership would occur within the context of a previous or ongoing project, the proposal should outline distinct objectives and outcomes for the new project and should explain how new funding would build upon the previously funded activities.
(3.g) Relevance. Indicate which of the three (may be more than one) program objectives listed in Section IB will be addressed through the project. Discuss the potential for uptake of research outputs through policy decisions, commercialization, or other means.
(3.h) Results statement. Clearly and concisely state the final results expected from the activity. The ability of the project to positively impact the goal area should be obvious.
(3.i) Additional benefits. Explain any other anticipated scientific, technological, or economic benefits that will accrue to Pakistan besides those already articulated in the Results Statement.
(3.j) Executive matters/Budget requirements. Provide a timetable for execution of the project and budget justification. The proposal should explain how project activities will be administered both in Pakistan and the U.S. in ways that will ensure that the project maintains a focus on its objectives while adjusting to changing conditions, assessments and opportunities.
Please ensure sections of your budget are well justified. Value for the investment will be an important consideration in proposal evaluation and selection.
Equipment: Provide a detailed justification for each piece of equipment or service to be purchased for which the expected cost is more than US $2,000. In other words, why is the equipment needed and how many users do you anticipate for the equipment? Also include plans for on-going maintenance of purchased equipment.
Travel: Provide the duration, location, timing, and justification for any project-related trips planned by project participants on either side. Travel costs for U.S. participants may be included on the U.S. side of the budget only. It is strongly recommended that travel costs for Pakistani participants be included on the Pakistani side of the budget only. The strategy for achieving project objectives could include exchange visits in both directions, but no single formula is prescribed for the duration, sequence, or number of these visits. Although strong budgetary and programmatic emphasis may be given to visits in one direction over another, the benefits of all these visits to the sending as well as the receiving sides should be clearly explained. Exchange visits for the purpose of attending conferences are not allowed except in combination with other grant activities and in support of specific educational objectives at one or more of the participating institutions. Any U.S. funds used for international travel should abide by the Fly America Act http://www.omegatravel.com/government-travel/fly-america-act.asp. Pakistani travelers should adhere to Government of Pakistan travel guidelines.
Construction: As noted above, capital costs for building construction and renovations are not to be included.
Compensation: Remuneration for PIs and co-PIs on the two sides is discouraged; however if necessary U.S. PI and Co-PI salary costs must not exceed 10% of the total U.S. budget and must be thoroughly justified if requested. Remuneration for other researchers, technical personnel, and students working on the project is allowed. For Pakistani PIs, renumeration cannot exceed US $1000 per year and for Pakistani co-PIs, renumeration cannot exceed US $1000 total (all project years combined).
Administrative/Overhead: In addition, contingency costs are not allowed as line items on either side of the budget. U.S. institutions with a federal Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) can use this rate when calculating indirect costs. U.S. institutions without a federally-negotiated NICRA may elect to charge a de minimus rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). On the Pakistani side, indirect costs are limited to 15 percent if the applicant's university has an Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) functional as per HEC criteria, or 2 percent if the university has no ORIC. (Indirect costs, also known as overhead expenses, are costs supporting overall operations and management of an institution—for example accounting and auditing fees and general institutional management.) For further details on allowable costs on the Pakistani side of the budget, Pakistani applicants are advised to refer to HEC's standard financial guidelines (Appendix I, p. 11 of this RFP).
(3.k) Budget forms (four pages max). Provide an itemized budget for the project separately for U.S. and Pakistani partners, using the budget forms provided. Projects may last no more than three years. The total combined budget should not exceed $ 500,000 for a maximum of 3 years. Proposals for multi-year projects must provide separate budgets detailing the resources required for each year of implementation. Failure to do so will result in the proposal being returned without review.
Co-funding, Fund Leveraging, In Kind Donations, etc.: If applicable: please indicate any other sources of funding for the project. Please discuss if these funds are provided as co-funding, in kind contributions, or as leveraged funds to ensure the funding for this research does not duplicate other efforts.
(3.l) Facilities and Other Resources (two pages max). This information is used to assess the capability of the organizational resources available to implement and/or develop your project. Identify the facilities to be used (Laboratory, Animal, Computer, Office, Clinical and Other). If appropriate, indicate their capacities, pertinent capabilities, relative proximity and extent of availability to the project. Describe only those resources that are directly applicable to the proposed work.
(3.m) Curricula vitae (one to two pages per investigator max). Provide brief CVs (no more than 2 pages each) for all Pakistani and U.S. Principal Investigators, co-Principal Investigators, and project personnel. Please do not include extended CVs, lengthy publications lists, or copies of publications as they will not be forwarded to reviewers. Failure to comply with this may result in your proposal being disqualified from funding considerations.
(3.n) Bibliography and References Cited (as needed). Provide a bibliography of any references cited in the Research Plan. Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. Make sure that only bibliographic citations are included. Be especially careful to follow scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the application.
(4.) USAID Environmental Compliance Checklist
USAID must ensure that environmental factors and values are integrated into the decision making process to make awards and fund development activities. USAID procedures for reviewing environmental impacts of Agency actions are detailed in Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 216 (22 CFR 216). All proposed funded actions in the Pakistan - U.S S&T program must undergo an environmental review pursuant 22 CFR 216 and may also be reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act for USAID funded activities that occur domestically.
USAID undertakes an environmental compliance review of all program-funded activities. The environmental consequences of the proposed activities will be considered in the decision to grant an award for an activity. All applicants must complete the USAID Assessment of Environmental Consequences form included in the application packet, regardless of the proposed area of study as part of the request for award package.
(i) Environmental Assessment Projects that result in an adverse environmental impact may require environmental mitigation in order to compensate for the environmental impact. Environmental mitigation may include measures that protect and enhance the natural and human environment. Monitoring of environmental mitigation measures is required to assess the progress and efficacy of any required environmental mitigation measures. Explanations of anticipated environmental consequences and impacts as well as proposed mitigation and monitoring measures must be included in the USAID environmental compliance checklist included as part of the application packet.
Applicants are encouraged to budget for proposed mitigation activities, including environmental monitoring and generation of monitoring reports as they may incur additional costs. These additional costs must be included in the budget justification and reflected in the overall budget.
Projects that (a) incur large, substantial, and/or significant environmental impact; (b) involve the procurement or use of pesticides; and (c) involve genetically modified organisms will undergo special internal review procedures requiring more substantial environmental review in order to assess environmental impact. Such projects will undergo supplemental Environmental Assessment, and specific conditions will be developed for specific activities as appropriate including a requirement for compliance with applicable Pakistan and U.S. environmental laws and policies.