Serbian-American Cooperation Grants Program Funding Opportunity 2022

Deadline: March 31, 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade announces an open competition for individuals and organizations to submit applications for the Serbian-American Cooperation Grants Program.

Program Objectives:

PDS welcomes proposals for creative, engaging projects that align with the U.S. Embassy’s main objectives. That includes strengthening the Serbian-U.S. relationship and explaining U.S. culture, society, values, and policies to Serbian audiences. The Embassy is also working with Serbia’s government, civil society, business community, and other partners on promoting economic development and fighting brain drain; strengthening democracy, including through supporting civic participation; encouraging a free press and human rights; and advancing regional stability and cooperation. Progress in those areas should assist Serbia on the path toward its stated goal of European Union (EU) membership.

Projects funded through this NOFO must include an American element. That could involve a connection or partnership between Serbian and American organizations or institutions; inviting an American expert to take part, in person or virtually, in your project; hosting a program to examine shared Serbian-American values, national interests, etc.; or incorporating a U.S. approach or method for addressing a challenge facing your community, institution, or profession.

Grant activities may take the form of academic competitions, summer camps (focused on language study, sports, etc), cross-border exchanges, conferences, workshops, courses, curriculum development, exhibits, hackathons or app development, online projects, mock trials or moot court competitions, simulations and role-playing activities (e.g., Model Congress, Model United Nations), film or theater festivals, performances, or other activities.

Projects should begin no earlier than 1 July 2022 and no later than 1 July 2023. All activities and your evaluation or assessment of the project should be completed within 18 months. Activities should focus on audiences in Serbia. However, applicants may include participants or partners from neighboring countries of the Western Balkans, if it is in support of the project’s objectives. (See “Participants and Audiences” below.)

Serbian-American Cooperation (SAC) grants proposals should be crafted with a S.M.A.R.T. logic model.  The objective of your activity should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to the problem or challenge, and Time-based, meaning that you will meet them by a certain date.

In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, proposals should demonstrate how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The proposal should also demonstrate how the program will further engagement in underserved communities and with individuals from underserved communities. Proposals should demonstrate how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants.

In light of social distancing measures, and to limit the spread of COVID-19, we welcome proposals that utilize video conferencing, distance learning tools, etc.  If your proposal includes in-person activities, please consider the inclusion of contingency plans, if the health situation requires that social distancing measures be implemented during the grant period.

Grantees are expected to: publicize your activities, including through social media and/or traditional press outlets; and highlight U.S. Embassy support, with our logo included on project-related materials.

Program Themes

The Embassy seeks applications focusing on the themes below.  We have included ideas about what your project could do, but we welcome creative approaches and activities.

  • Fighting Brain Drain: Through Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and/or Tourism Promotion.
    • Leveraging Serbia’s historic and cultural sites, including past beneficiaries of Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) grants, and/or its natural treasures (e.g., parks, rivers, mountains, farmlands, vineyards, etc.) to attract more tourists and promote local economic development.
    • Promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation, the study of STEM subjects (science, technology, environment, and math), and business development skills, including activities focused specifically on women, youth, minorities, members of other disadvantaged groups, and/or underserved communities, particularly in smaller towns and in rural areas.
    • Protection of intellectual property rights to help entrepreneurs, inventors, and artists generate income through their ideas, innovations, inventions, and works.
    • Practical, helpful, and realistic strategies and approaches to assist Serbian businesses and communities to recover economically in the post-coronavirus period.
  • Equal Opportunity for People With Disabilities (PWDs): Inclusion and Advocacy in Education, Workforce, Civic Participation, and Social Interaction.
    • Generation of broader awareness and discussion about the challenges faced by the disabled community by publicizing activities and successes of the disabled community in Serbia; showcasing best practices of NGOs, government offices, schools, institutions, and unions; or drawing lessons from the U.S. struggle to expand the rights of PWDs that can be adapted and applied in Serbia.
    • Advocating for greater PWD access to opportunities in education, employment, sports, civic engagement, public policy debates, culture, and other fields including teachers and schools who provide quality instruction to children with learning disabilities; and communities that minimize or remove physical barriers to PWDs and provide easier access for the deaf/hard of hearing and the blind/visually impaired.
  • Human Rights. PDS welcomes projects focused on women’s rights and on promoting equality for ethnic and religious minorities, the LGBTQI community, refugees and migrants, and other disadvantaged or vulnerable populations.
  • Serbian-American Ties. PDS welcomes projects that inform and educate audiences in Serbia about historical, cultural, scientific, and people-to-people ties between our two countries.
    • Highlight cooperation and the contributions of citizens from both countries in different sectors (economic, governance, security, health, science, education, culture, etc.), either in the past or currently;
    • Publicize joint efforts to combat global problems such as climate change, disease, terrorism human trafficking, international crime;
    • Explain and foster debate about current U.S. policies toward Serbia, the region, and Europe;
    • Explore the intersection of Serbia’s and America’s national interests;
    • Examine the benefits of past and current cooperation and coordination with the U.S. and western institutions (including the EU), U.S. assistance, and/or investments in Serbia; examine the impact of people-to-people contacts on our two countries, including through immigration and/or exchange programs;
    • Underscore our common attitudes and shared values, including our faith in democracy, commitment to academic inquiry, etc.
  • Regional Cooperation / Finding Joint Solutions to Common Problems.
    • Identify joint approaches in solving problems or challenges currently facing the Balkan region, e.g., in education, environmental protection, in combating brain drain, in tourism promotion, in crisis planning, in human rights protection, etc;
    • Expand and strengthen ties of Serbian professional societies and civil society organizations with their counterparts in the Balkan region;
    • Promote mutual understanding, tolerance, and respect among peoples of the Western Balkans;
    • Support the normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade, including projects focused on education, the environment, economics, etc.
  • Promotion of innovative or interactive teaching methods, student-based or project-based education, inside or outside the classroom, and/or development of educational TV, radio, online, and video game programs, that focus on:
    • civic education
    • promoting active engagement by citizens, including young people, in the democracy process;
    • expanding students’ understanding of governmental structures at the central and local level, policy-making, representational government, and their rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democratic society;
    • examining the role of non-governmental institutions, including the media, business, and civil society, in policy-making;
    • involving students in debates on matters of public interest;
    • examining the role Serbia does or can play in diplomacy, promoting regional and global stability, and/or combating global problems, such as crime, terrorism, human trafficking, disease, etc.
    • combating anti-Semitism through Holocaust education.
    • promotion of tolerance and understanding of individuals from different ethnic or religious backgrounds, who are disabled, from the LGBTQI community, or from some other disadvantaged or vulnerable population.
    • promotion of gender equality.
    • ensuring children from disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, or from more remote areas of the country, have equal educational opportunities.
    • strengthening academic integrity and combating corruption in education.
    • establishing or strengthening of linkages between American and Serbian academic institutions, including faculty, staff, and/or students.

For all the information and detailed instructions on how to apply, please download and read Serbian-American Cooperation Grants Program Funding Opportunity 2022. Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.