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Notice of Funding Opportunity – U.S. Embassy KL PAS Annual Program Statement
December 9, 2021

Notice of Funding Opportunity


Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy KL PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: SMY300-FY2022-PASKL
Deadline for Applications: applications accepted throughout the year, up to September 19, 2022
CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Maximum for Each Award: $99,000


The U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants:
PAS Kuala Lumpur invites proposals for programs that further U.S. government objectives and promote bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding between the U.S. and Malaysia. All programs must include a substantive American element, such as connections with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will result in increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives.

Examples of PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Subject-matter experts, academic lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Education and cultural programs, workshops, exhibitions and clinics;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs;

Priority Program Areas:

  • Promotion of regional security cooperation, including countering violent extremism, countering disinformation, cybersecurity, and transnational threats.
  • Fostering shared interests in good governance and rule of law, including strengthening civil society, media freedom, human rights, and media literacy.
  • Advancing U.S. and Malaysian prosperity through advancing and deepening our bilateral economic and commercial partnership. Program could focus on topics such as trade and investment issues, environment and climate change, women/youth empowerment and technology/innovation.
  • Programs that advance mutual understanding of policies, values and perspectives.


The following types of programs are not eligible for funding through this announcement:

  • Requests with no connection to Malaysia;
  • Programs that do not contain a U.S. component;
  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction projects or programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Individual’s academic or scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or-
  • Programs for individual personal enrichment


Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:
Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948.
The source of funding is FY2022 Public Diplomacy Funding (subject to availability of funding).


Number of awards anticipated: 30 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $99,000
Total available funding: $500,000
Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2022 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date: generally six to eight weeks from when the project is selected for funding
This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. 

Program Performance Period: Generally proposed programs should be completed within a year, however, on an exception basis programs that last to a maximum of two years will be considered.



  1. Eligible Applicants
    The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Malaysia:
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions
  • Individuals

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching is not required.
  2. Other Eligibility Requirements
    In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.



  1. Address to Request Application Package
    Application forms required below are available at www.grants.gov and  https://my.usembassy.gov/
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
    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.

Content of Application
Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered

The following documents are required:

A. Mandatory application forms

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or
  • SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance-individuals)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs-for individuals only)

B. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

C. Proposal (5 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Malaysia will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

D. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

E. Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.


  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code

SAM.gov registration
Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)


DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

For technical difficulties on D-U-N-S, contact csc@dnb.com.my  

NCAGE application: Application page here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf (PDF 1.2KB)

For technical difficulties on NGACE, email ncage@nspa.nato.int

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times
    Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the final closing date of September 20, 2021. No applications will be accepted after that date.
  2. Other Submission Requirements
    All application materials must be submitted by email to PublicAffairsKL@state.gov.


  1. Criteria
    Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur’s priority areas or target audiences.Budget: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

    Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.


  1. Review and Selection Process
    Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as funding becomes available. A grants review committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Applicants can expect to hear back on the status of their applications within four weeks after submission.
    For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.



  1. Federal Award Notices
    The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.
  2. Administrative and National Policy RequirementsTerms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include:2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
  3. Reporting
    Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.



If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: PublicAffairsKL@state.gov

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff – both in the Department and at embassies overseas – may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.


Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel: Describe the salaries and wages for all temporary or permanent staff who will be working on the project. The budget narrative should indicate the base salary and time each person will spend on the project. The narrative should also include any method used to arrive at the requested amount.

The recipient organizations may include personnel costs to cover salaries of current employees, if the time charged to the program is deemed reasonable. Personnel costs included in assistance awards are not limited to new personnel hired specifically to work on the program.

Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits are allowances and services provided by employers to their employees as compensation in addition to regular salaries and wages. Fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, the costs of leave (vacation, family-related, sick, or military), employee insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefit plans. These costs may be derived from historical costs or calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages. If the costs are calculated as a percentage of salaries and wages, this percentage will need to be justified by the entity’s written internal policy or documented on their Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA).

Travel: This includes both domestic and international travel costs. The budget narrative should indicate who will travel, where, and why, and should include estimated air fare (or other mode of transportation), accommodations, meals and incidental expenses, and other costs such as conference fees, visa expenses, and inoculations. If the travel locations are not yet finalized at the time of application, the GO may use discretion in accepting a notional budget, to be finalized during the period of performance once the locations are identified.

Equipment: Equipment is defined as tangible personal property with a purchase price of $5,000 or more and having a useful life of more than one year. If equipment is on the proposed budget, it is important to determine if it is necessary to the project, if it is reasonable to purchase instead of rent the equipment, and if the entity has adequate internal property standards. The recipient must, at a minimum, provide the equivalent insurance coverage for real property and equipment acquired under a grant with Federal funds as the recipient does for its own property/equipment.

Supplies: This category includes all tangible personal property other than those described as equipment. A computing device is a supply if the acquisition cost is less than $5,000, regardless of the length of its useful life. It is important to confirm that the proposed supplies are necessary to the project and if the entity has adequate internal property standards. During the grant period, as long as the Department retains an interest in the supplies, including materials and computing devices, the recipient must not use supplies acquired under a Federal award to provide services to other organizations for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services, unless specifically authorized by Federal statute.

Contractual: This includes both contracts and subawards. It is necessary to determine that the contracts or subawards are necessary for the award and if the entity has adequate capability and internal policies to manage subawards. It is also important to understand the difference between a contract and a subaward. The recipient should include the budget breakdown for any proposed subawards or contracts for the GO’s review.

  • A contract is for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for the non-Federal entity’s own use and creates a procurement relationship with the subrecipient. A consulting agreement with a consultant or contractor is generally considered a contract.
  • A subaward is provided to a subrecipient for the purpose of carrying out a portion of the Federal award. A beneficiary of a program is not considered a subrecipient. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the prime recipient entity considers a contract.

Construction: Department policy restricts the use of Federal awards for construction purposes.

Other Direct Costs: Other directs costs are any costs not included in the other categories. This category may include the entity’s operating expenses that are directly linked to the award but not included as an indirect cost.

All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs: Are those costs that have been incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be readily identified with a final cost objective. Indirect costs are not allowable costs for Federal financial assistance awarded directly to individuals. All allowable costs for awards to individuals must be direct costs only. Indirect costs do not generally include the costs of personnel who work for the recipient organization and are working directly on the project.

Indirect costs, often called overhead, or facilities and administrative costs, may only be charged to a Federal award that is subject to 2 CFR §200, Subpart E when:

  • The applicant has a current Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) from a Federal agency
  • The applicant elects to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC), which is allowable if the entity has never received a NICRA. The MTDC base excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. 10% of MTDC is the maximum allowable, but anything below 10% is acceptable.

If the recipient does not have a NICRA and elects not to use the de minimis rate, identified “overhead costs” may be broken out by individual line item (e.g., electricity, accountant fees, etc.) and charged as direct costs. However, these must be on a cost allocated basis: for example, if the award project accounts for 20% of the organization’s work, only 20% of the electricity, accountant fees, etc. should be charged as a direct cost to the grant.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.