University Capacity Building Program, UCBP

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U. S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, is pleased to announce an open competition for a University Capacity Building Program (UCBP).

U. S. non-profit, non-governmental organizations and accredited American higher education institutions

may submit proposals to manage a 12-to-18-month professional development program for Georgian university administrators, development and grant officers, as well as higher education decision-makers/government officials responsible for higher education management and administration.

The proposed University Capacity Building Project, UCBP, will take a comprehensive approach to assist Georgian universities in building a functioning research administration and development infrastructure.

UBCP will help higher education institutions (HEIs) build or expand the foundations of research administration and development at their institution and support their diffusion throughout Georgia.

Further, the activities will provide participants with best practices on how to leverage and integrate the contributions from universities in this area to promote innovation and collaboration with various stakeholders, ranging from industry to government entities, to improve the economy of Georgia.

The activities will be divided into four phases that will include a mixture of online classes/presentations/webinars, a two-week study tour, follow-up online consultations with a grantee and/or selected US host universities aimed at identifying common area/s of interest for development of a joint research proposal/project and a reciprocal visit of US instructors to Georgia.

The program phases include:
1. Needs assessment of the capacities of research administration and development offices of UCBP participant universities in Georgia; 2. Increase Georgian HEIs research capacity and deepen US-Georgian university partnership through online mentoring sessions and practical workshops on effective grant writing/ proposal development, strategic communication with donors, alumni engagement, and fundraising); 3. U. S. Study Tour (14 days including travel) including Washington, DC and non-coastal cities for developing joint research initiatives, alumni engagement strategies and effective donor communication plans; and 4. US experts’ reciprocal visit (10 days including travel) to Georgia aimed at establishing and enhancing the community of US-Georgian researchers and university administrators.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES The UCBP seeks to better leverage and integrate the various missions – education, research, and engagement – in order to increase the contribution of higher education and public research institutions to innovation and economic growth and develop the commercial and entrepreneurial aspects of Georgian academia by presenting successful American models.

University administrators responsible for research, sponsored programs, and external affairs will learn how to enhance the university organizational environment.

This can be accomplished by sharing successful and collaborative grant office and faculty department structures and training and supporting university grant teams to improve their grant funding efforts.

The proposed study tour will assist university leaders in learning how to optimize best practices and organizational structures to cope with the pressures of external forces like limited funding and increased demand for research in the competitive higher education marketplace.

Cooperation with universities in non-coastal cities in the United States is encouraged.

The project will:
· help participants understand the foundational infrastructure necessary for success, including university support offices, effective research development activities, successful grant writing, effective alumni engagement strategies, strategic communication with donors and fundamentals of fundraising.

These objectives will be realized through intensive online webinars and practical workshops; a study tour of U. S. universities; and reciprocal visits by experts to Georgia to support the project implementation.

· Help to institutionalize research development/grant offices in universities to liaise with local private sector entities, through various means, including online platforms.

Such linkages would provide platforms for exchange of ideas, imagining of opportunities, and establishing networks; · Establish a network of professionals from various universities, government agencies, and professional associations that work together on enhancing the university-private sector-innovation triangle; · Help to create a common agenda for regular discussions between academics and entrepreneurs by nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems at universities.

Following topics/activities (the list can be further expanded) may be supported:

Research Administration in a United States University:
Organization and Function b.

Identifying Requests from Sponsors (Private vs Government; Domestic vs International, US vs Non-US models) c.

Responding to requests for proposals d.

Effective grant writing e.

Budgeting effectively (direct and indirect costs) f.

Administrative support i.

Pre-award support ii.

Proposal development g.

Partnering with other universities on elaboration of joint research proposals/projects h.

Developing and executing effective alumni engagement strategies i.

Effective strategic communication with donors j.

Fundraising principals and fundamentals of successful fundraising campaigns Applicants may propose other activities not specifically mentioned in this solicitation if the activities reinforce the impact of the project.

A detailed program timeline for the entire grant period that outlines how components unfold and complement each other must be included in the proposal.

The names of proposed Georgian participants must be reviewed and approved in advance of U. S. travel by the Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U. S. Embassy in Tbilisi.

PDS anticipates that the majority of Georgian participants will not have working-level competency in English and high-quality (preferably simultaneous) translation will need to be budgeted in the grant, as should airfare, hotel, international travel insurance, the B1/B2 visa fee, and meals and incidental expenses for study tour participants.

For monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) purposes, the PDS Grant Officer Representative (GOR) will serve as a facilitator for the study tour.

GOR expenses will be covered by the U. S. Embassy.

EXPECTED RESULTS The project’s aim is to provide a foundation of knowledge and capacity to grow and sustain a modern research administration and development office.

This may be occurring the following ways:
1. Provide partner institutions with the understanding of the importance of developing a successful Research Administrative and Development Office.

2. Provide the knowledge base necessary for participants to set up their Research Administrative and Development Office that can become a highly functioning part of their institution.


Develop understanding of the functions and importance of research administration and development.


Teach participants how to respond effectively to funding opportunities – US and non-US, as well as EU funding sources.


Teach participants how to identify appropriate funding opportunities.


Train participants to become a trainer (TOT model) who can effectively pass this knowledge base on to their peers in grant writing and fundraising.

3. Develop greater research capacity for each partner university, collaborate on producing joint research proposals/projects/programs.

4. Allow Georgian and US universities to establish strong international partnerships that could lead to multi-directional programming and collaborative research.

5. Collaborate with US partner universities on elaboration and adoption of an Alumni Engagement Strategy and mutually acceptable action plan.

6. Introduce best working models of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and establish institutionalized ties between the universities and business associations, thus contributing to Georgian universities’ more effective collaboration with potential employers in private sector and government.

Participants and Audiences:
Audiences for the proposed project would include university research administrators and development officers, higher education administrators, researchers and relevant policy makers.

Agency: Department of State

Office: U.S. Mission to Georgia

Estimated Funding: $87,800,000

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Public Housing Agencies with the legal authority to develop, own, modernize, and operate a public housing project in accordance with the Act are eligible.

PHAs participating in the Moving to Work Demonstration Program (MTW) are eligible to apply.

PHAs that are troubled are eligible for funding if the agency is in compliance with any current Memorandum of Agreement or Recovery Agreements.

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.

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