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Limited Submission: FY2021 Online Professional English Network (OPEN) Program

This program offers foreign English teaching professionals and language learners the opportunity for professional development through high-quality virtual programming.


This program offers foreign English teaching professionals and language learners the opportunity for professional development through high-quality virtual programming, including online university-level Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) methodology courses, online English language learning courses, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, communities of practice, social media, virtual exchanges, and other types of engaging and innovative virtual learning. In cooperation with ECA/A/L, the recipient will manage the selection, development, and delivery of appropriate online learning courses in the field of TESOL which will be offered to English language educators or learners on an easily accessible online Learning Management System (LMS). Courses, webinars, and other virtual programming may be offered globally, regionally, or to specific countries at the request of U.S. embassies. Courses and webinars will be developed by U.S. higher education institutions and/or U.S.-based TESOL professionals and will primarily include courses and content for English as a foreign language (EFL) educators to familiarize participants with U.S. student-centered teaching methods, introduce current methods and techniques in TESOL, and prepare participants to formally disseminate the newly acquired knowledge to their colleagues. Courses will also include topics for English language learners in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) topics, according to global and regional goals and priorities.

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

Award Amount

  • Approximate Total Funding: $8,000,000, pending the availability of funds
  • Approximate Number of Awards: One
  • Approximate Average Award: $8,000,000, pending the availability of funds
  • Floor of Award Range: None
  • Ceiling of Award Range: $8,000,000, pending the availability of funds


  • 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.
  • Technical Eligibility: All proposals must comply with the requirements stated in the NOFO and the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI); non-compliance will result in your proposal being declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process
  • Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost sharing required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs

Selection Criteria

  • Program planning and ability to achieve program objectives: A detailed and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity.  The work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.  Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible.  The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan.
  • Multiplier effect/impact and follow-on activities: The proposed activities should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.  The proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity and alumni engagement, which insures that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
  • 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. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. Award-receiving organizations/institutions will be expected to submit intermediate reports.
  • Support of Diversity: Proposals should show substantive support of the Bureau’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 individual grantee/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.
  • Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program’s goals.
  • 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.  The proposal should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions.

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit one proposal.

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:

Katherine Bain, U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs, ECA/A/L, SA-5,Floor 4,2200 C Street, NW, Washington, DC20037. Call 202-632-9275 or email:

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