Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Professional Fellows Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA or “the Bureau”) invites proposal submissions for the FY 2021 TechWomen program to empower, connect, and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The exchange program uses a mentorship model to support emerging STEM leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. Organizations applying for this federal award should demonstrate the capacity to recruit, select, and place in mentorship experiences a total of approximately 100-110 women from select countries in these regions to participate in a five- to six-week intensive peer-mentoring program in the United States.

Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is "to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations...and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world." The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.


The goals of the program are to:

  • Empower emerging women leaders (“participants”) to advocate for their rights and reach their full potential in the science and technology industries;
  • Create and maintain a sustainable professional network of support for women in the STEM fields in the United States and participating countries;
  • Develop the field of technology, explore the role of the tech industry in economic stability, increase the trade capacity of the participating countries, and promote economic advancement;
  •  Build an understanding of technology’s integral relationship with the professional world and increase participants’ understanding of how Americans drive development in science and technology;
  • Enhance U.S. science and technology companies’ understanding of challenges in other countries, providing them opportunities to hear first-hand from the international participants about the STEM and market climates overseas;
  • Provide women in the STEM fields with tools not only to advance their careers and encourage innovation, but also to become role models for women and girls in their communities;
  • Expand girls’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models; and
  • Increase mutual understanding between key networks of professionals in different parts of the world.

Eligible Countries and Participants

The below countries/territories are expected to participate in the FY 2021 techwomen program. ECA reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposed project configurations, budgets, and participant numbers in accordance with the program’s needs and availability of funds. In addition, the Bureau reserves the right to adjust and/or add additional countries and/or regions should conditions change in a partner country and/or if other countries and/or regions are identified as viable alternatives and/or Department priorities.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa (AF): Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
  • South and Central Asia (SCA): Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
  • Middle East and North Africa (NEA): Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia

Funding Information

  • Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. ECA’s level of involvement in this program is listed under A. Program Description above.
  • Fiscal Year Funds:
    • FY 2021- $3,080,000 pending the availability of funds (base year);
    • FY 2022- $3,080,000, pending successful performance and the availability of funds (noncompetitive continuation year one);
    • FY 2023- $3,080,000 pending successful performance and the availability of funds (noncompetitive continuation year two),
  • Approximate Total Funding: $9,240,000. This figure represents base year plus two Non-Competitive Continuation years, pending successful performance and the availability of funds.
  • Approximate Number of Awards: One
  • Approximate Average Award: $3,080,000 pending the availability of funds.
  • Floor of Award Range: None
  • Ceiling of Award Range: $3,080,000, pending the availability of funds.
  • Anticipated Award Date: August 31, 2021, pending the availability of FY 2021 base year funds.
  • Anticipated Project Completion Date: April 30, 2025. This date reflects the anticipated duration of the award – one base year plus two non-competitive continuation year

Eligible Applicants

U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit applications for this competition. Applicants must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. Please see the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for additional information. 

Post Date - 19-Nov-2020

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