The Embassy of the United States in Finland is pleased to announce an open competition for past participants (alumni) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications for the 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2024). The project proposal must include the involvement of at least two (2) alumni or an alumni association and meet all the program eligibility requirements detailed below. Pending availability of funds, the AEIF will consider proposals between $5,000 and $25,000. Exchange alumni interested in participating in the AEIF 2024 should submit proposals to USHelsinkiAlumni@state.gov no later than by 11:59 p.m. (Helsinki time) on March 1, 2024.
AEIF provides alumni of U.S. government-sponsored and facilitated 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 in Finland will accept projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni or an alumni association that support themes such as:
- Addressing the Arctic and increasing cooperation between Arctic states and communities
- Addressing climate change and changing environmental conditions
- Addressing media and digital literacy in the age of disinformation
- Increasing collaboration and exchange between American and Finnish students and teachers
- Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA)
- Promoting economic prosperity, entrepreneurship, and innovation
- Addressing global security challenges and increasing understanding of NATO, including programs in support of Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiatives
All AEIF projects must also address at least one of the following:
- 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.
- Strengthen the relationship between alumni and the U.S. government to work together on activities that address mutual goals and challenges.
- Support alumni as they develop their leadership capacity and implement projects in their communities.
AEIF 2023 Project Examples: Please visit https://alumni.state.gov/aeif/congrats-2023-alumni-engagement-innovation-fund-winners-0 to read more about successful AEIF 2023 projects.
FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Announcement posted: November 13, 2023
Closing date for applications: March 1, 2024
Decision date: No later than May 15, 2024
Length of performance period: Proposed projects should be completed in 12 months or less.
Expected size of individual awards: Between USD 5,000-USD 25,000
This notice is subject to the availability of funding.
- 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) alumni.
- Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project; however, the team must have at least two non-U.S. citizen exchange program alumni. U.S. citizen alumni cannot be team leads on projects.
- Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
- Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni or alumni associations of USG 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 your submission:
Only proposals submitted using the official AEIF 2024 forms will be considered for funding.
Forms should be submitted to USHelsinkiAlumni@state.gov by 11:59 P.M. on March 1, 2024.
Proposals may request funds from $5,000 to $25,000. 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 2024 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 2024 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 not integral to the project, 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 the 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.