University Research Program (University Capacity Building Program, UCBP)

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, is pleased to announce an open competition for a University Capacity Building Program (UCBP). U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organizations and accredited American higher education institutions may submit proposals to manage a 12-to-18-month professional development program for Georgian university administrators, development and grant officers, as well as higher education decision-makers/government officials responsible for the Knowledge Exchange (KE) and university-business-government triangle. The aim of the project is to better leverage and integrate the various missions – education, research and engagement – in order to increase the contribution of higher education research institutions to promote innovation and economic growth. Proposals should feature a robust professional study tour to a variety of universities and/ or other organizations in the United States that support knowledge transfer between higher education and business/government. Participants also should be exposed to the work of governmental entities such as the National Science Foundation and higher education advocacy organizations through site visits and demonstrations of successful programs.The UCBP aims to improve the entrepreneurial capacity of Georgian higher education institutions (HEIs) by strengthening strategic skills and overall knowledge of university administrators and research development officers. In the “knowledge triangle” between government, academia, and the private sector, Georgian HEIs seem to be the weak link. Georgian universities produce graduates in academic programs that are disconnected to market demands. The UCBP will invest in HEIs to improve the university organizational environment and support effective operation of research development offices. By supporting grant programs and university grant team project management, the program will help to ensure that the research development function in universities does improve grant funding success and also helps universities achieve their research goals. The proposed study tour will assist university leaders in learning how to optimize best practices and organizational structures to cope with the pressures of external forces like limited funding and increased demand for research in the competitive higher education marketplace. The program seeks to foster an entrepreneurial culture in academia that links practical research output to industry development, for example, by directing governmental funding to market-oriented research and creating clear infrastructure and pathways to commercialize research. The successful proposal shall foster capacity building of university administrators and research development officers with the purpose to help put the “knowledge triangle” in the center of the government-business-academia relationship and establish an entrepreneurial climate among HEIs in Georgia.The grant recipient will work closely with PAS throughout the grant period to identify appropriate Georgian participants. The project will award $200,000 to defray the costs of a two-week intensive study tour to the United States for up to 12 education administrators, education decision makers, and/ or those responsible for managing grants. The project should also touch on follow up sustainability measures for the participants to apply gained knowledge at their home institutions. Micro fund that will be allocated within the award as part of sustainability measures for participants should enable program beneficiaries to produce desired outputs. The award will also sponsor reciprocal visits of American experts to Georgia to support the project implementation by providing a series of workshops on research development, grant writing, project management, etc. Applicants should include provisions for non-English speaking participants and secure international travel insurance for the duration of the study tour.

Competition Opens: 
Competition Closes: 
U.S. Mission to Georgia