The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona (known collectively as PD Spain) of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit proposals to design, manage, and implement “Defensa y Yo 4.0,” a program promoting security and defense issues among Spanish public university students. In 2021, working with a local partner organization, Mission Spain established "Defensa y Yo" (DyY) a program promoting security and defense issues among Spanish youth. The program includes three elements: 1) Lectures by U.S. experts in select Spanish public universities on a variety of topics related to security and defense. 2) Attendees can then participate in a competition where they submit a project on one of the topics covered in the lecture series. 3) A winner is selected from each university, with winning students traveling to Brussels to visit NATO headquarters and other security and defense institutions. For this fourth edition of the Defensa y Yo program, Mission Spain welcomes creative proposals to continue the program in sixteen selected universities, strengthen the relationships with both the university administrators and professors, and engage the network of participants from the three previous editions. The specific objectives for the program are: Objective 1: Spanish public university students gain knowledge and tools to discuss and share accurate information on security and defense issues with their peers and become better informed future leaders. Objective 2: Strong relationships are formed with both the university administrators and professors. Objective 3: Mentorship relationships are formed between participating students of all four editions of DyY and the alumni association GeoSeDe. A.3. Recipient Responsibilities The applicants of this NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) must: 1. Develop and implement a program consisting of a series of lectures (in-person or virtual, when necessary) on security and defense themes featuring a U.S. expert (i.e. representatives from academia, civil society, international organizations, think tanks, U.S. government, etc.). These lectures will take place at sixteen selected Spanish public universities - one session per university from February 2024 to May 2024. Ideally, the grantee will invite a total of four speakers, one per month. Each speaker would reach four of the participating universities during the course of one week. These U.S. speakers will be selected by the grantee in collaboration with PD Spain. 2. Create program guidelines and other relevant materials for professors of the participating Defensa y Yo universities. 3. Conduct a formal registration of all attendees of the Defensa y Yo sessions at the sixteen participating universities. Design and conduct qualitative and quantitative research pre and post program via survey, focus groups, etc. to measure the program’s effect on the participants as well as general trends, mindsets, and knowledge of the target audience on security and defense issues. 4. Design, launch, and support a mobile-friendly program website to convey program information and highlights with featured editorial space on the grantee's website. 5. Develop and implement a media and social media plan, with a specific emphasis on promoting the program and highlighting program impact in the sixteen universities. The press and social media campaign should be coordinated with the communications departments of the participating universities and PD Spain. 6. Develop a competition for lecture attendees (students) that identifies the best project per University around a chosen theme related to security and defense issues. Pieces should be submitted by the student participants of the Defensa y Yo program who have registered and attended the Defensa y Yo sessions; 7. Develop a transparent review process that involves PD Spain to evaluate competition applicants (one selected candidate from each one of the participating universities) for the exchange program in Brussels. 8. Conduct a pre-departure orientation (in-person, in Madrid) for Defensa y Yo Fellows before their departures from the city where their university is located to Madrid and Brussels; 9. Create program materials (both electronic and print) to assist finalists in preparing for their fellowship in Brussels, and answer questions on programmatic issues, including, but not limited to, program responsibilities and expectations, travel, accident and sickness benefits, lodging and meals and incidentals, leadership development, etc.; 10. Arrange and cover via award the cost of all appropriate program-related travel for Defensa y Yo Fellows to participate in a 4-day exchange program in Madrid and Brussels in the fall of 2024, including but not limited to transportation, lodging, and meals and incidental expenses, etc.; 11. Develop and implement a social media plan during the exchange program in Brussels, with a specific emphasis on the student winners participating in the program; 12. Manage financial aspects of the program including timely disbursement of participant meal and incidental stipends, lodging and travel allowances, etc. and promptly report any irregularities in the budget or spending to PD Spain both for participating speakers, participating professors, and selected student winners during their exchange program; 13. Participate in regular program reviews and meetings with PD Spain (in person or by telephone) that provide general updates on program implementation and matters of concern including but not limited to a review of the effectiveness of past activities, progress on anticipated programmatic activities, and issues that may impede the implementation of planned programming; 14. Respond fully and promptly to requests for program or statistical information from PD Spain, including but not limited to providing information through spreadsheets and databases; 15. Ensure compliance with the terms of this NOFO, including but not limited to submitting timely financial and program reports and proper budget oversight. A.4 Participants and Audiences: Project should involve at least 500 Spanish public university undergraduate students (18-25) enrolled in International Relations, Law, Journalism, and Business Administration programs at sixteen universities, and a network of professors of all sixteen selected universities. Further information and application instructions can be found on the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Spain and Andorra website: https://es.usembassy.gov/grants-programs/ as well as an attachment on this posting. Any questions about the opportunity or the application should be directed to SpainPDGrants@state.gov.
U.S. Mission to Spain