Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2022

The Embassy of the United States in Finland is pleased to announce an open competition for past participants (alumni) of U.S. government- sponsored exchange programs to submit applications for the 2022 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2022). The proposal must include at least two (2) alumni or involvement of an alumni and an alumni association and meet all program eligibility requirements detailed below.  Pending availability of funds, the AEIF will consider proposals between $10,000 and $40,000.  Proposals can be submitted at two times during the application cycle. The first submission deadline is February 7, 2022, and the second is April 11, 2022.  Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2022 should submit proposals to USHelsinkiAlumni@state.gov email address by 11:59 p.m. (Helsinki time) on either of the above noted days. 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored exchange programs with funding to expand skills gained during their exchange to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community.  

The U.S. Embassy Finland will accept projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni or alumni and alumni associations that support themes such as: 

  • Increasing cooperation between Arctic states and communities 
  • Addressing climate change and increasing awareness for environmentally friendly solutions 
  • Addressing media and digital literacy in the age of disinformation 
  • Increasing collaboration and exchange between American and Finnish students and teachers 
  • Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Promoting economic prosperity, entrepreneurship, and innovation 
  • Addressing global security challenges and increasing understanding of NATO policy 

 All AEIF projects must also address at least one of the following: 

  1. Bring alumni together from different exchange programs to build or expand an alumni network capable of working together on common interests and increase regional and global collaboration of alumni. 
  1. Strengthen the relationship between alumni and the U.S. government to work together on activities that address mutual goals and challenges. 
  1. Support alumni as they develop their leadership capacity and implement projects in their communities. 

AEIF 2021 Project Examples:  Please find several examples of successful AEIF 2021 projects below.  Visit https://alumni.state.gov/aeif/congrats-2021-aeif-competition-winners to read more about these projects. 

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION 

Announcement posted: January 7, 2022

Deadlines: 

Cycles:  Closing date for applications:  Decision date: 
2022 Cycle 1  February 7, 2022, 11:59 P.M.  No earlier than February 25, 2022 
2022 Cycle 2  April 11, 2022; 11:59 P.M.  No earlier than May 06, 2022 

 

Length of performance period: Proposed projects should be completed in 12 months or less.  

Expected size of individual awards: Between USD 10,000-USD 40,000 

This notice is subject to the availability of funding. 

ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION 

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/). 
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) or more alumni or involve an alumni and an alumni association.   
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project. 
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries. 
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni.  Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities. 
  • All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories. 

Mandatory application forms for you submission: 

Only proposals submitted using the official forms will be considered for funding. 

Forms should be submitted to USHelsinkiAlumni@state.gov by 11:59 P.M. on February 7, 2022, for the first cycle and by 11:59 P.M. on April 11, 2022, for the second cycle.  

Budget 

Proposals may request funds from U$10,000 to U$40,000. The Budget Form template incorporates sections for the budget justification narrative as well as a second tab providing instructions on what to include in the various budget categories. The budget should be completed in U.S. dollars using the designated AEIF 2022 budget form. 

Cost Share: Cost share refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.  Examples include in-kind contributions (services, labor, supplies/equipment, or volunteers), a business contributing food, an organization offering a venue at a discount or free of charge, an NGO sponsoring an activity, an expert donating time to facilitate a seminar, etc. While not a requirement, we encourage all proposals to include some form of cost sharing.   

Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2022 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible: 

  • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories 
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories 
  • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses 
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs 
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment 
  • Academic or scientific research 
  • Charitable or development activities 
  • Provision of direct social services to a population 
  • Individual scholarships 
  • Social travel/visits 
  • Gifts or prizes 
  • Duplication of existing programs 
  • Institutional development of an organization 
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project 
  • Support for specific religious activities 
  • Fund-raising campaigns 
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation 

Please contact USHelsinkiAlumni@state.gov with any questions regarding the application process.