International Research and Studies Program

   Current Section
 Office of Postsecondary Education Home
Frequently Asked Questions

  Select a link below to jump to the relevant page section.
  1. What is the purpose of the International Research and Studies (IRS) program?
  2. What kinds of activities can be supported with grant funds?
  3. How often are competitions generally held?
  4. What is the duration of the average grant?
  5. What is the average annual grant amount?
  6. Is there a cost matching requirement? If so, are in-kind contributions acceptable as part of the grantee’s match?
  7. What are the reporting requirements for grantees? What kind of records and data should be maintained or collected in order to complete required reports?
  8. What are the requirements for the evaluation of funded projects?
  9. Are there program-wide performance measures?
  10. What are a few concrete examples of allowable activities?
  11. What is the indirect cost rate for the program?

1. What is the purpose of the International Research and Studies (IRS) program?

The purpose of the IRS program is to award grants that support surveys, studies, and development of instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields.

 TOP


2. What kinds of activities can be supported with grant funds?

Grant funds can support salaries, fringe benefits, travel related to the project, supplies, consultant costs, evaluation costs, production of the materials, etc. Funds awarded for IRS projects may not be used for the training of students and teachers.

 TOP


3. How often are competitions generally held?

The International Research and Studies program competes annually.

 TOP


4. What is the duration of the average grant?

The average grant duration is three years.

 TOP


5. What is the average annual grant amount?

The average annual grant amount is $170,000 per year. The maximum amount per award year is $225,000.

 TOP


6. Is there a cost matching requirement? If so, are in-kind contributions acceptable as part of the grantee’s match?

Cost matching is not required for this program.

 TOP


7. What are the reporting requirements for grantees? What kind of records and data should be maintained or collected in order to complete required reports?

Grant recipients are required to submit an interim report in the fall and an annual performance report in the spring through the International Resource Information System (IRIS). Grantees are expected to report on the following categories:

  • Objectives and Accomplishments
  • Adjustments to Project
  • Exemplary Activities
  • Priorities
  • International Travel
  • Projects Conducted
  • Adoption of Outcomes
  • Publications
  • Outreach Activities
  • Sources of Funding
  • Budget – Use of Funds and Expected Use
 TOP


8. What are the requirements for the evaluation of funded projects?

All funded projects must have an evaluation plan for their grant and report on evaluation activities in accordance with that plan through the International Resource Information System (IRIS).

The evaluation plan should discuss goals, objectives, performance measures to monitor progress, data gathering techniques, funding, and personnel. Activities should focus on both formative and summative evaluation. The formative evaluation will provide feedback to you on your progress in meeting goals and objectives and reveal areas for improvement. The summative evaluation should focus on outcomes and should be completed by an independent evaluator that does not have a relationship with your project.

 TOP


9. Are there program-wide performance measures?

The objective for the IRS program is to support surveys, studies, and the development of instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. The Department will use the following measures to evaluate the success of the IRS program:

Performance Measure 1: Percentage of IRS program projects judged to be successful by the program officer, based on a review of information provided in annual performance reports.

Performance Measure 2: Number of outreach activities that are adopted or disseminated within a year, divided by the total number of IRS program outreach activities conducted in the current reporting period.

Efficiency Measure: Cost per high-quality, successfully-completed IRS program project.

 TOP


10. What are a few concrete examples of allowable activities?

A few examples of allowable activities include the following:

  • travel (Fly America approved flight, per diem, and lodging) to China to collect data for a study abroad project
  • printing of textbook for instructional materials project
  • attendance at a conference where the results of a survey will be presented for a research, surveys and studies project
  • travel for an evaluation expert to perform the final evaluation for a completed project
 TOP


11. What is the indirect cost rate for the program?

The IRS program does not have a set indirect cost rate. The U.S. Department of Education's training rate of eight percent does not apply because training is not a component of the IRS program.

IFLE Home

 TOP


Print this page Printable view Bookmark  and Share
Last Modified: 09/30/2011