32 CFR 206.5 - Final proposal process.
NSEPO will provide detailed comments on proposals to all applicants who are invited to prepare a final proposal.
(a) Final proposals should be limited to no more than 25 double-spaced pages. Proposals will be reviewed by national panels constructed similarly to those designed to review preliminary proposals. In addition to a field review process, panelists will be assembled in Washington D.C. to discuss and review the independent and competing merits of proposals.
(b) Proposals will be evaluated in two basic categories:
(1) Proposals that address study abroad infrastructure and
(2) Proposals that address domestic infrastructure. Should proposals deal with both of these issues, they will be evaluated in a third category. This grouping of proposals will ensure that all categories of proposals receive funding consideration.
(c) In general, final proposals will be considered on the following selection criteria:
(1) Importance of the problem. Each proposal will be evaluated according to the merit of how it addresses issue(s) of national capacity. The proposal must articulate the importance of the problem it addresses, how the proposal addresses issues of national capacity in international education, and how it is consistent with the objectives of the NSEP.
(2) Importance of proposed foreign language(s), foreign area(s), field(s) or discipline(s). The proposal will be evaluated according to how well it articulates the need for programs in the proposed areas, languages, fields, or disciplines.
(3) Identification of need and gaps/shortfalls. The proposal will be evaluated according to its persuasiveness in identifying where the needs exist and where serious shortfalls exist in the capacity to fill the need. The proposal should clearly identify why these gaps exist and provide a strong indication of familiarity with the state of the field in the proposal area.
(4) Cost effectiveness. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of “educational value for the dollar.” NSEP is interested in funding proposals in areas where other funding is limited or in areas where NSEP funding can significantly augment or complement other sources. NSEP is not interested in replacing funds available from other sources or in duplicating other efforts. Also, NSEP is interested in projects whose dollar levels and long-range budget plans provide for realistic continuation by the grantee institution and adaptation by other institutions. NSEP is interested in proposed approaches to leveraging other funds against the proposed project.
(5) Evaluation plans. Proposals will be evaluated on their approach to measuring impact. What impact will the proposed program have on national capacity? How will the proposed program deal with assessing language and foreign cultural competency? In the case of study abroad programs, how will the success and impact of study abroad experiences be assessed. Proposals should not defer the consideration of these issues to a latter stage of the effort. Evaluation and assessment should be an integral part of the entire proposal effort.
(6) Prospects for wider impact. Proposals must address national needs and will be evaluated according to how well they are likely to address these needs. What component of the higher education community does the proposal address? How diverse a student population will the proposed program address? What applications to other institutions will be made available, either directly or indirectly, because of the proposed program?
(7) Capacity and commitment of the applicant. The proposal will be evaluated according to the evidence provided on the commitment of the institution, and other institutions, to the proposed project. What other institutions are involved and what is their commitment? If there are commitments from foreign institutions, what is the evidence of this commitment? Are their plans for the institution to integrate the efforts of the proposed program into the educational process? What plans are there for eventual self-support? As with many other similar programs, NSEP is particularly interested in the degree to which the institution is willing to bear a reasonable share of the direct and indirect costs of the proposed project.
(d) Applicants should also indicate if they currently receive or are seeking support from other sources. Applicants should indicate why support from NSEP is appropriate, if other sources are also being sought.