- What is the Business and International Education (BIE) Program?
- Who is eligible to apply?
- How will applicants be selected to receive grants?
- Is there a limitation on the amount of the indirect costs that grant recipients may charge to a BIE grant?
- Can BIE funds be used to support students in a study abroad or internship program?
- Is there a page limitation for the application?
- Are appendices to the grant application allowed?
- What types of projects can be funded?
- Does the BIE program have priorities?
- Do the provisions of the “Fly America Act” apply?
- What techniques are helpful in preparing an application narrative and other important information for the program?
- Am I required to submit my application electronically?
- When will applicants be notified of their status?
- What date should an applicant list as the proposed start date for the project?
- Can we include foreign partners in our agreement?
- I know we cannot use unclaimed indirect for match. However, can we take the 8% on match expenses?
- Do you still require an evaluation plan narrative or just the evaluation form?
- Do we write the matching funds into the budget? I.e., if we ask for $90,000 per year for the grant, do we also write $90,000 associated cost into the project? Do we need a line for line budget?
- May the budget include travel, housing, and scholarships to host international students on our campus in a bilateral exchange program? If so, is there a cap on this expense?
- What countries can we consider as a student internship opportunity under the BIE program?
- Where is the Program Profile Form located on grants.gov?
- Who provides letters of support and how many are appropriate?
- Just to clarify, the evaluation plan needs to be incorporated into project narrative, correct?
1. What is the Business and International Education (BIE) Program?
The Business and International Education program provides grants to enhance international business education programs and to expand the capacity of the business community to engage in international economic activities.TOP
2. Who is eligible to apply?
Institutions of higher education that enter into agreements with business enterprises, trade organizations or associations that are engaged in international economic activity--or a combination or consortium of these enterprises, organizations, or associations--for the purposes of pursuing the activities authorized under this program.TOP
3. How will applicants be selected to receive grants?
Grantees will be selected through a rigorous peer review process. Selection will be based upon the selection criteria stated in the application and published in the Federal Register.TOP
4. Is there a limitation on the amount of the indirect costs that grant recipients may charge to a BIE grant?
Consistent with section 75.562 of Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), all grant recipients are limited to a maximum indirect cost of eight percent (8%) of a total direct cost base. Note: Unrecovered indirect cost cannot be included in your cost match on the grant.TOP
5. Can BIE funds be used to support students in a study abroad or internship program?
Yes. Applicants can use federal and matching funds to support study abroad and internship opportunities. We recommend linking these opportunities to a program that is closely linked to a developed or enhanced program.TOP
6. Is there a page limitation for the application?
We recommend that you limit the application narrative to no more than 35-pages for the Program Narrative portion of the application. The FR notice contains the specific standards for preparing the Program Narrative.TOP
7. Are appendices to the grant application allowed?
Yes, appendices are allowed. However, an applicant must be mindful to submit only what is what would be considered supporting documentation of the narrative. Please see the BIE Program FY 2021 Application Checklist for is required and recommend.
Examples include: (1) a line-item budget for each budget year; (2) Agreement(s)/MOUs with eligible partners (see eligibility criteria) (3) letters of support from appropriate administrators, deans, etc.; (4) two-page curricula vitae for all project personnel and participants (meaning the project director(s), faculty participants, external evaluator, consultants, etc.); and (5) course listings, timelines, or other pertinent useful information.TOP
8. What types of projects can be funded?
The activities that the Secretary may assist institutions of higher education to conduct under this program, include but are not limited to--
(a) Innovation and improvement of international education curricula to serve the needs of the business community
(b) Internationalization of curricula at community colleges, and at undergraduate and graduate schools of business;
c) Development of area studies programs and interdisciplinary international programs;
(d) Developing of export education programs through cooperative arrangements
(e) Research for and development of teaching materials relating to international education, including language materials, and facilities appropriate to business-oriented students;
(f) Establishment of student and faculty fellowships and internships for training and education in international business activities;
(g) Development of research programs on issues of common interest to institutions of higher education and private sector organizations and associations engaged in or promoting international economic activity;
What is important is for the applicant to conduct an internal assessment to determine what their institutional and outreach needs and how BIE funds an assist in addressing programmatic gaps in their international business programs.TOP
9. Does the BIE program have priorities?
Yes. For FY 2021, BIE has announced two invitational priorities which may change from one fiscal year to the next. We recommend referring to the Notice Inviting Applicants (NIA) in the Federal Register for the priorities for that fiscal year competition.TOP
10. Do the provisions of the “Fly America Act” apply?
Yes. The Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118) generally provides that foreign air travel funded by Federal government money may only be conducted on U.S. air carriers. Airline tickets for grantees traveling on federal funds must be ticketed with a U.S. flag carrier code. We understand that U.S. flag carriers are not always available to the destination; however, a U.S. flag carrier must be used to the furthest destination possible. Additionally, a grantee must fly on a U.S. airline even if a foreign airline would be less expensive, provide preferred routing, or be more convenient. There also are exceptions to the Act, in which federal funding could be used for non-U.S. carriers. If grantees choose to use non-federal funds for international travel, they do not need to comply with the Fly America Act.TOP
11. What techniques are helpful in preparing an application narrative and other important information for the program?
It may be helpful to first read over program materials before you begin proposal development. Once you have become familiar with the program, and if you have questions, please reach out to program staff for clarification.TOP
12. Am I required to submit my application electronically?
Yes. You must submit your application through Grants.gov. If an applicant experiences technical difficulties or has questions regarding the Grants.gov system, he/she should contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-516-4726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.TOP
13. When will applicants be notified of their status?
It could take anywhere from 4-5 months after submission before notification will take place.TOP
14. What date should an applicant list as the proposed start date for the project?
October 1,2021 – September 30, 2022 is the proposed performance date for all fiscal year 2021 applicants. Based on the date of funding approvals, starting dates may change.TOP
15. Can we include foreign partners in our agreement?
Although you can work with foreign partners on international business activities, to be eligible for funding under the BIE program, applicants must enter into agreements with U.S. business enterprises, trade organizations or associations that are engaged in international economic activity.TOP
16. I know we cannot use unclaimed indirect for match. However, can we take the 8% on match expenses?
Yes. You can claim 8% indirect cost on both the federal request and matching side.TOP
17. Do you still require an evaluation plan narrative or just the evaluation form?
To be competitive, each applicant must address both the evaluation plan criterion, and respond to the performance measure form (PMF). Both components are essential to the application process as it is outlined in the Federal Register Notice.TOP
18. Do we write the matching funds into the budget? I.e., if we ask for $90,000 per year for the grant, do we also write $90,000 associated cost into the project? Do we need a line for line budget?
In your overall budget narrative, you must provide a dollar for dollar (1 to 1 match). Please keep in mind, the federal funds are only meant for ½ of the total project cost. The applicant must meet the matching requirement with the remaining ½ of the total project cost. Applicants can use a combination of institutional and non-institutional cash or in-kind contributions from their Agreement partnerships, private sector corporations or foundation contributions. Your line-item budget must reflect the budget narrative and vis versa.TOP
19. May the budget include travel, housing, and scholarships to host international students on our campus in a bilateral exchange program? If so, is there a cap on this expense?
Any financial resources directed toward international students should come from the matching side. Applicants can match as much as they need both in resources and actual cash support. You can use a third-party contribution to cover cost related to a bilateral exchange program.TOP
20. What countries can we consider as a student internship opportunity under the BIE program?
All areas are up for consideration for study abroad except those areas that have been identified by the Department of State as closed for travel. Please visit www.travel.state.gov for more information.TOP
21. Where is the Program Profile Form located on grants.gov?
All required program standard forms can be found at www.grants.gov. The BIE program profile form is in the FY 2021 is a form unique to the BIE program and can be found in the application instructions located on www.grants.gov. The profile form should be saved as a PDF and uploaded in your application under appendices section.TOP
22. Who provides letters of support and how many are appropriate?
We recommend no more than 5 support letters address. Please note, a “support letter” is not an “agreement” as stated in the applicant eligibility section. Please check the BIE checklist for more information located in the FY 2021 application instructions.TOP
23. Just to clarify, the evaluation plan needs to be incorporated into project narrative, correct?
Yes. The evaluation plan criterion should be included in your program narrative section of the application. Please see the application instructions (booklet) for more information. All application materials can be found on www.grants.govTOP