Saudi-American Educational and Cultural Initiative Grants support innovative forms of collaboration between Saudi and U.S. non-governmental and community organizations, universities, entrepreneurs, cultural organizations and qualified individuals to expand the diversity of activities in the U.S.-Saudi partnership and develop the next generation of leaders, especially among youth, young professionals and women, to promote mutual understanding and respect through long-term partnership and cooperation between our two countries.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now accepting proposals from Saudi and U.S. non-governmental and community organizations, universities, entrepreneurs, cultural organizations or qualified individuals who propose to work together to develop or expand educational, professional and cultural exchange activities and promote dialogue and partnership between the people of the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Embassy is especially interested in identifying and supporting U.S-Saudi partnerships that include a focus on the development of exchanges, projects and partnerships between U.S. and Saudi youth or women; or that involve the development of professional linkages in business, or media, including social media; or that build on Saudi efforts to modernize and build a knowledge-based economy; or that expand Saudi-U.S. educational partnerships; or that are submitted by or involve alumni of exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. or Saudi governments.
Projects may include, but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation projects;
- Cultural, professional and academic exchanges and projects;
- Professional development workshops and training.
Requests for funding provided by the U.S. Embassy should be at least $15,000 and not more than $50,000; the most competitive proposals will include significant funding from other sources as cost-share in the project budget.
Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis from qualified U.S. or Saudi individuals and organizations and are based upon the availability of funds. Proposals must include a letter of support from the proposed U.S. or Saudi partner, whether a qualified individual or organization. The proposal or letter of support from the Saudi partner must confirm the ability and willingness of the Saudi partner to sponsor the visa(s) for the U.S. partner, if necessary, and to assume responsibility for all travel and logistics within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia is not able to assist with visas or travel arrangements funded through the grant.
Proposals will be evaluated for funding by an Embassy committee on a bi-monthly basis. The committee will identify projects with outstanding educational, artistic, or cultural merits for funding. In deciding which projects to support, the committee will give consideration to the full range and diversity of American and Saudi educational and cultural traditions and seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences. Projects that involve direct, in-depth professional interaction, with the potential for sustained collaboration and that show evidence of professional accomplishment and innovation will receive priority.
The proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- The proposal demonstrates that the Saudi and U.S. individuals and/or organizations have sufficient expertise, skills and capacity to implement the project.
- The project will make a substantive contribution to the expanding types of partnerships between Saudi and U.S. individuals, organizations and institutions.
- The individuals and/or organizations demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the topic or issue that the project is aiming to address.
- The individuals and/or organizations have identified appropriate beneficiaries or target groups to maximize project outputs and outcomes and the project has a clear focus and manageable scope.
- The project idea and approach is innovative yet proposed project activities are concrete and detailed and supported by a work plan.
- The project budget is well-organized, detailed and reasonable. There are no budget lines labeled “miscellaneous expenses.” The budget demonstrates that the individual or organization has devoted time to plan for and assess actual expenses associated with the project instead of providing rough estimates. The proposal clearly articulates how the partners will assess and measure performance throughout the project implementation phase using quantitative and qualitative assessment tools.
- The proposal describes clearly the approach that will be used to ensure the sustainability of the project or partnership.
The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:
- Requests by organizations and individuals who are neither Saudi nor American;
- those relating to partisan political activity;
- humanitarian or charitable activities;
- conferences and individual trips abroad;
- trade activities;
- fund-raising campaigns;
- commercial projects;
- scientific research;
- projects aiming only at primary institutional development of the organization; or
- projects that duplicate existing projects.
How to Apply
Qualified Saudi and/or American organizations and individuals may submit proposals to the U.S. Embassy on a rolling basis. Proposals are reviewed on a bi-monthly basis. Proposals approved for funding will be processed and funded based upon the availability of funds.
Proposals will not be considered until all information is received. Proposals should be completed in English. Supporting documents may be in Arabic. All proposals must have a letter of agreement between the Saudi and U.S. partner stipulating the terms of collaboration.
The proposals should be submitted via email to RiyadhGrants@state.gov and should include a written narrative in English, and follow these guidelines:
- Name of the organization, address, phone/fax number/e-mail address, name and title of director (or person who is to sign the grant) and other significant staff members, particularly those who will be involved in the project and budget specifics.
- Types and amounts of funding your organization has received for the current project including other partners. Also, please include all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Program Description/Executive Summary. What is the nature of the project? The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. The more specific, detailed, and clear the program description, the better. Please do not exceed one page.
- Project Goals and Objectives. This section specifies what the project is intended to create at its completion or its Goal. How will it further the collaborative relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? The Objectives refer to the intermediate accomplishments and should be able to be achievable and measurable.
- Project Activities refers to activities the project will have that will accomplish the objectives.
- Monitoring and evaluation. This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
- Project justification. This is a very important aspect of the proposal and applicants should pay particular attention to it. What are the unique merits of the project? What new or underrepresented aspect of the U.S-Saudi partnership is the focus? Why is it innovative?
- Proposed dates and venues. Please include precise dates, times, and locations of planned program or events.
- A detailed budget. In order to be sure that the Embassy understands why there is a need for money, the applicant should prepare a line-by-line list of expenses that will be generated by this project. The budget should be prepared in a logical manner and offer enough detail that a reviewer will be able to understand exactly what the figures mean and how they were determined. Budgets must be calculated in Saudi Riyal (Saudi applicants) or U.S. dollars (U.S. applicants). Please note that the Fly America Act requires that anyone whose air travel is financed by U.S. Government funds to utilize the economy class services of a U.S. flag carrier.
- In addition, all applicants must fill out the form SF-424 parts A, B, and C located on the Grants.gov website or on a link at the US Embassy Riyadh website.