U.S. Mission Saudi Arabia PAS Small Grants FY2021

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Mission Saudi Arabia PAS Small Grants FY2021

Funding Opportunity Number: 21-XXX-APS

Deadline for Applications: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

CFDA Number:19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Maximum for Each Award: $75,000



We are pleased to announce that U.S. Mission Saudi Arabia is considering proposals for the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.  This announcement is an Annual Program Statement for Mission-wide Public Affairs programs, including Public Affairs Sections (PAS) at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, and U.S. Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, outlining funding priorities, key strategic themes, and the procedures for submitting proposals.  Please read this document carefully and follow all instructions.  This notice is subject to availability of funding.

PAS invites proposals for projects, including virtual programs, that strengthen ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States through programs, which promote bilateral cooperation and enhance mutual understanding. All programs must include an American cultural element or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives.


Examples of PAS Small Grants Program include, but are not limited to:


  • U.S. experts conducting speaking tours/public talks, roundtable discussions, workshops, etc.;
  • Academic and professional lectures and seminars;
  • Cultural and arts programs/workshops/performances and exhibitions;
  • Development of initiatives aimed at maintaining contacts with alumni of our exchange programs;
  • Environmental and Energy Conservation;
  • Entrepreneurship Initiatives; and
  • Youth and Women Sports Initiatives.



Priority Program Areas

Priority will be given to project proposals that further one or more of the U.S. Mission’s goals, including:

  • Programs that enhance U.S.-Saudi Arabia security cooperation, including reducing the threat of terrorism, encouraging peaceful resolution of disputes, and advancing peace and stability in conflict-affected areas.
  • Programs that foster greater bilateral trade and investment between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
  • Programs that develop stronger linkages between the United States and Saudi Arabia in terms of an engaged citizenry, entrepreneurship and job skills, interfaith dialogue, women’s empowerment, sports, art, and the entertainment industry.


  • Programs that support increased transparency and good governance, as well as respect for the rule of law and civil society.


  • Programs that involve Saudis both in and outside of the major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran.


Participants and Audiences:


PAS’s primary audiences include national and regional media; public-private organizations, foundations, and think tanks; government officials (state, district, and municipal officials; policy makers, civil servants); cultural and educational leaders; next generation leaders (e.g., innovators, digital influencers);  underserved communities; and academic institutions.


Please note that the following types of programs are not eligible for funding:


  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable, humanitarian, or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns or programs charging a fee for participation;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of an organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.


  • Length of performance period is 6 to 12 months.
  • Award amounts may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $75,000.
  • Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and reviewed periodically.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative Agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff is more actively involved in the grant implementation.  

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs are usually completed in one year or less but may be extended in special circumstances.  PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.
PAS encourages applications from the United States and Saudi Arabia. Individuals and registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, civil society/non-governmental organizations with relevant programming experience are encouraged to apply.  For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.

Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time on or before the closing date of this funding opportunity.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

All organizations are required to register for identification codes with DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM.  (Note: This requirement does NOT apply to individuals.) To register:

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number

Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Step 2: Apply for an NCAGE number

Obtain an NCAGE code by visiting https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

Phone: 1-888-227-2423 (within the U.S.) or 1-269-961-7766 (outside of the U.S.)

Email: NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil

Step 3: Register for SAM

After you have received your NCAGE Code, you may register in SAM.  Log on to https://www.sam.gov/SAM/. SAM registration must be renewed annually.


Instructions: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements may lead to the application’s disqualification for consideration. Applicants must set forth accurate and complete information as required by this Annual Program Statement.

Step 1: Fill out the mandatory federal assistance forms

  • Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) [V2.1]
  • Budget Narrative Attachment Form [V1.2]
  • Project Narrative Attachment Form [V1.2]
  • Budget Information for Non-Construction programs (SF424A) [V1.0]
  • Assurances for Non-Construction programs (SF-424B) [V1.1]
  • All forms are available as part of the grants package on grants.gov

Step 2: Create a coversheet

The cover sheet includes the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, and a proposed start and end date.  It should also include a very brief synopsis of the goals to be achieved through the program.

Step 3: Attach the optional forms

Submit the optional forms if they apply to your proposal. (Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, SF-LLL V1.2 and Attachments V1.2) Feel free to submit additional information as you think necessary.

Step 4: Carefully read the terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions that apply to this award.  Funded proposals are expected to fully comply with these terms and conditions, including:

Complete a final review of your documents.  Ensure that:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • All documents are in English;
  • All budgets are submitted in U.S. dollars;
  • All pages are numbered;
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper;
  • All materials are submitted in .pdf format.

When these steps are complete, you may submit your application package through Grants.gov or via email to RiyadhGrants@state.gov.


  1. Criteria. Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the criteria enumerated in Section F below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success.


  1. Acknowledgement of receipt. Applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt of their proposal.


  1. Review. A panel will review the proposal based upon the criteria noted in Part F. A determination will be made regarding the program’s proposed area of activity and the Mission’s strategic goals. Proposals that are the best fit will be given additional consideration.


  1. Follow up notification. Applicants will generally be notified within 90 days after the submission deadline regarding the results of the review panel.


Professional capacity and record on previous grants: The organization or individual has expertise in its stated field and has demonstrated its ability to implement the program, including strong financial management and appropriate personnel. (10 points)

Quality, feasibility, and clear American connection: The program idea is well developed with details about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. The proposal includes an American cultural element or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives. (20 points)

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and the program’s approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. (10 points)

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Mission Saudi Arabia priority areas or target audiences. (20 points)

Budget: The budget justification details reasonable and appropriate costs in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed goals and objectives. (20 points)

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when they will be measured. (10 points)

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have a positive impact after the end of the program. (10 points)

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email.  The recipient may only start incurring program expenses after the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.  Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact RiyadhGrants@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application-related questions. Once an application has been submitted, staff will not discuss the competition until the entire proposal review process is completed.


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other property that is required to implement the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, put it in the budget under “Equipment.”

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA document. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

Cost Sharing: “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.