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Limited Submission: FY 2022 Critical Language Scholarship Program

The CLS Program is designed to increase the number of Americans who learn critical foreign languages in support of the U.S. foreign policy goals of increasing national security and promoting economic competitiveness.


The CLS Program is designed to increase the number of Americans who learn critical foreign languages in support of the U.S. foreign policy goals of increasing national security and promoting economic competitiveness. Global competencies for Americans, especially foreign language skills, are essential in engaging foreign governments and peoples, especially in critical world regions, in order to promote mutual understanding, solve complex multi-national issues, and advance American interests abroad. The ability of Americans to succeed individually and collectively in a global economy is enhanced through their understanding of critical languages and cultures across the globe. The CLS Program accelerates and advances participants’ language skills through a combination of structured classroom language instruction and less formal interactive and applied learning opportunities.

Applicants may submit a proposal to either administer the entire CLS program, including overseas language institutes in and across all language groups (Option One), or to administer overseas language institutes for no more than two regional language groups (Option Two). Applicants submitting proposals under Option One below must also submit a plan for CLS Virtual Institutes for an approximate minimum of 75 additional participants according to guidance provided in this solicitation. Applicants submitting proposals under Option Two below have the option of also submitting a plan for the CLS Virtual Institutes.

  • Option One: Administrative Components, Implementation of Language Institutes, and CLS Virtual Institutes.
    • Submit one proposal to implement the following: a) Administrative Components including overall program administration, preprogram recruitment and selection of participants, guidance and coordination for all summer institutes, annual meetings, and post-program follow-up activities including programs for alumni of all program years, and b) Implementation of Language Institutes for all of the regional language groups for a minimum of 500 participants as described in this solicitation and c) CLS Virtual Institutes for an approximate minimum of 75 additional participants as described in this solicitation.
  • Option Two: Implementation of Language Institute(s) only.
    • Submit one proposal to implement summer language institutes for no more than two of the regional language groups listed below. Applicants under Option Two may also choose to submit a plan to implement one or more CLS Virtual Institutes as described in this solicitation, although it is not required. Participants in the CLS Virtual Institutes do not count toward the minimum target numbers outlined below.
    • CLS Regional Language Groups with minimum target numbers of participants:
      • Near East and North Africa Region – Arabic Institutes (94 participants)
      • East Asia and Pacific Region – Chinese (Mandarin), Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean Institutes (187 participants).
      • Europe Region – Azerbaijani, Russian, and Turkish Institutes (91 participants).
      • South Central Asia Region – Persian, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu Institutes (77 participants).
      • Sub-Saharan Africa Region AND Western Hemisphere Region – Swahili and Portuguese Institutes (51 participants).

Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • $9,000,000, pending the availability of funds.
  • Anticipated Award Date: October 1, 2021, pending the availability of FY 2022 funds.
  • Anticipated Project Completion Date: September 30, 2023


  • 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.

Selection Criteria

  1. Quality of the Program Idea: Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to ECA’s mission.
  2. Program Planning and Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: A detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s goals and objectives. The program plans should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Emergency or contingency plans should be clearly articulated and comprehensive.
  3. Institutional Capacity and Institution’s Record/Ability: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project’s goals. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past ECA awards (grants or cooperative agreements) as determined by ECA Grants Staff. ECA will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
  4. Support of Diversity: Proposals should show substantive support of ECA’s policy on diversity. Proposals should demonstrate how diversity will be achieved in the different aspects of program administration and of program design, content and implementation, including participant recruitment, selection and placement. It is important that proposals have a clearly articulated diversity plan and not simply express general support for the concept of diversity.
  5. Participant Monitoring: The safety and well-being of CLS Program participants is of highest priority. Proposals should include a plan for ensuring and monitoring the safety and well-being of CLS participants while on program. The plan should clearly address protocols for emergencies for both individuals and groups.
  6. Follow-on/Alumni Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for continued contact with alumni to ensure that they are tracked over time, engaged in appropriate alumni activities, and provided opportunities to reinforce the knowledge and skills acquired on the CLS Program.
  7. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity’s success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. ECA recommends that the proposal include draft survey questionnaires or other techniques plus a description of proposed methodology to link outcomes to original project objectives. Proposals should include a plan to assess the performance of organizations implementing CLS Institutes overseas. A chart describing evaluation objectives, outcomes, indicators, data sources, instruments, and time line is recommended. Award-receiving organizations/institutions will be expected to submit intermediate reports.
  8. Cost-effectiveness and Cost-sharing: The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should demonstrate a quality, cost-effective program. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions.

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit one proposal for either Option One or Option Two.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
    • Indicate whether or not you have submitted to this program in the past. If so, please provide a copy of the review at the end of the internal application.
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary that addresses the program’s specific selection criteria.
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • Curriculum vitae

Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:

Carol Radomski, U.S. Department of State, Office of Global Educational Programs, ECA/A/S/Q, SA-5, 4- AA17, 2200 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, Telephone (202) 664-3248, Email:

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