32 CFR 206.4 - Proposal development and review.
The purpose of this section is to explain the NSEP review process. [Note: A number of important approaches to proposal development and review have been adapted from guidelines developed by the Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education for its “Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)”.] This information if intended to aid institutions in the development of proposals and to provide guidance concerning the criteria that may be used in reviewing and evaluating proposals.
(a) The grants to institutions program will be administered by the National Security Education Program Office (NSEPO). However, the NSEPO will function as an administrative office much in the same manner as the Institute of International Education and the Academy for Educational Development function in administering NSEP scholarship and fellowship programs, respectively. The NSEPO will not review or evaluate proposals. The proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by national screening panels.
(b) The NSEP will use a two-stage review process in order to evaluate a broad range of proposal ideas. In the first stage, applicants will submit a five-page summary (double-spaced) of their proposal. An institution may submit more than one proposal, but each proposal should be submitted and will be evaluated separately and independently.
(c) NSEP expects competition for grants to be intense. By implementing a two-stage process, potential grantees are given an opportunity to present their ideas without creating a paperwork burden on both the proposal authors and the reviewers.
(d) The preliminary review process. The review of preliminary proposals will be undertaken by panels of external reviewers, not members of the NSEPO. Panels of not less than three will be assembled to review preliminary proposals. Panel members will be drawn primarily from faculty and administration in higher education but might also include representatives from the research, business, and government communities. Every effort will be made to ensure balance (geographical, ethnic, gender, institutional type, subject matter) across the entire competition.
(e) Panel members will reflect the nature of the grants program. Each panel will include a recognized expert in a field of international education. Other panelists may include experts in area studies, foreign language education, and other fields and disciplines with an international focus.
(f) Preliminary proposals will be reviewed according to a set of criteria developed in consultation with representatives from higher education, and provided to the panels. The applicant shall, at a minimum, deal with the following issues in the preliminary proposal:
(1) How the proposal addresses issues of national capacity in international education.
(2) What area(s), language(s), and discipline(s) the proposal addresses and the importance of these to U.S. national capacity.
(3) What the applicant is proposing to do.
(4) How the proposal deals with the key characteristics of the NSEP.
(5) Demonstration of thorough knowledge of the state of the art in the particular area of the proposal and how this proposal develops or builds capacity, not duplicates existing capacity.
(g) The applicant must also include a budget estimate. This budget estimate, for the first year of the proposal, must include the following:
(1) A summary of anticipated direct costs including professional salaries, funds for students, travel, materials and supplies, consultants, etc., and how or why these costs are needed.
(2) An estimate of institutional indirect costs. The budget estimate must also indicate whether funding is also being requested for a second year and, if so, an estimate of the amount to be requested.
(h) Panelists will review and rank proposals and forward their recommendations to the NSEPO. NSEPO will review and analyze these recommendations and inform all applicants of decisions.