IDEAS Grant Competition

To expand international education opportunities for American students, the U.S. Department of State announced that 37 grants totaling nearly $1.3 million were awarded to U.S. colleges and universities through the 2024 Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program grant competition. Read more about the 2024 grantees here.

The 2025 IDEAS grant competition is slated to open in fall 2024, pending funding from the U.S. Government.
The information below provides an overview of the 2024 IDEAS grant competition.
For full details, please review the 2024 Request for Proposals and 2024 Phase Two Guidelines

General Application Information

Eligibility Criteria:
  1. The grant competition is open to accredited U.S. colleges and universities physically based in the United States or its territories with a broad range of capacity to administer study abroad programs. This includes institutions that currently have limited or no experience administering study abroad programs as well as those with established programs;
  2. Proposals must support primarily U.S. undergraduate student mobility abroad, although graduate student participation in programs is allowed. Proposals do not need to support the creation or expansion of a specific study abroad program. The IDEAS Program welcomes innovative ideas for how to build (or rebuild) study abroad capacity on campus or nationally, for example, through the development of resources supporting underrepresented student groups or the development of virtual activities to complement in-person exchanges;
  3. Funding may not be used to support direct outbound or inbound student costs, including but not limited to scholarships, travel, passports, tuition, or meals for U.S. or foreign students. Funds may be used to support U.S. faculty and/or staff travel overseas as well as travel for foreign faculty and/or staff to come to the United States to support program development; note that all travel must comply with the Fly America Act;
  4. While an institution as a whole may submit more than one proposal, individual units within an institution (i.e., schools, colleges, offices) may submit only one application each. If an institution is organized into a single school or college, it may only submit one proposal. Individual campuses within wider university systems will be considered separate institutions.
    1. Example 1: the School of Business of X University and the School of Nursing at the same X University may each submit separate proposals.
    2. Example 2: within the School of Business of X University, the Marketing Department and Finance Department may only submit one proposal total.
    3. Example 3: the School of Business of X University – City A and the School of Business of X University – City B may each submit separate proposals.
  5. IDEAS grants can support the development of in-person U.S. study abroad programming in foreign locations with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 1, 2, or 3. Development of in-person programming in foreign locations with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 is not permitted.
    1. In the event that a proposal is selected for an IDEAS grant and the destination changes to a Level 4, the recipient may be required to change their program location or other planned program activities to align with U.S. Department of State travel policies.
    2. The U.S. Department of State reserves the right to request program changes for specific countries or areas if deemed necessary during any stage of the application, selection process, or program period. Final awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the security situation in-country. Furthermore, grant-funded overseas travel and in-person activities abroad may be suspended in consultation with the U.S. Embassy in-country during the course of the program.
    3. Note: If selected for an IDEAS grant, institutions using funds to support travel to foreign locations will be required to share travel and safety information with the IDEAS Program, and those traveling to Level 3 locations will need to provide additional safety details. More information will be provided on this following award issuance.
  6. IDEAS grants can support the development of virtual U.S. study abroad programming in all foreign locations, regardless of their U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory level.
2024 Foreign Policy Goals

All institutions applying for an IDEAS grant must substantively address one or more of the following U.S. foreign policy goals through their program activities. Competitive proposals will consider these goals in the context of travel and activities abroad as well as potential impact on U.S. communities and students’ career readiness. Examples of potential program themes are provided, but applicant institutions will want to demonstrate creativity in selecting topics that are authentic to their institutional mission and goals. Further examples of project ideas categorized by foreign policy goals can be found in Appendix C: Foreign Policy Goals in Action of the 2024 Request for Proposals.

  • Civil Society, Journalism, and Education
    • Example programming could focus on the role civil society, journalism, and/or education play in shaping public knowledge, social movements, and governance.
  • Climate, Energy, and the Environment
    • Example programming could focus on addressing the climate crisis, conserving nature, economic promise of climate action, food security, ocean and polar affairs, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Democracy and Human Rights
    • Example programming could focus on governance, human trafficking, immigration, refugees, and women’s empowerment.
  • Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
    • Example programming could focus on business, closing skills gaps in local communities, human resources, infrastructure, resource development, and trade.
  • Global Health
    • Example programming could focus on combating drugs, contagious and infectious diseases, COVID-19 recovery, nursing, and public health policy and management.
  • Technology and Innovation
    • Example programming could focus on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, critical and emerging technologies, digital engagement and policies, engineering, and technology cooperation.

NOTE: In both phases of the grant proposal, applicants will be asked to indicate which U.S. foreign policy goal(s) their proposed projects plan to address and how they will seek to address it. Applicants may address more than one foreign policy goal but should identify a primary foreign policy goal of focus.

TIP: Proposals that request funding to support the development of resources targeting specific student groups or to create an institution’s first study abroad program may fit best under the Economic Development and Entrepreneurship foreign policy goal. The proposal may then detail how the international experience related to the proposed program activities will help students to develop global career skills that they can use to support their future careers or economic development in their local community.

2024 Phase One Proposal Components

In the Concept Phase, applicants briefly describe the concept and general components of their proposed projects, including alignment with U.S. foreign policy goals. Following a peer review, semi-finalists are selected to submit a full application at the Proposal Phase.

A complete Phase One application should not exceed 750 words and should include all information described below and in the Request for Proposals. All information will be entered directly into the IDEAS Grant Competition Application Portal. No documentation will be uploaded, and no additional information should be submitted as it will not be considered by the scoring panel. A template of the Phase One application is included in Appendix B of the RFP for reference to assist applicants in developing their Phase One application.

  1. Institutional Description/ Statement of Need (150 words)
  2. Proposed IDEAS Project (300 words)
  3. Foreign Policy Goal Alignment (150 words)
  4. Budget Estimate (total amount of funding requested + 150-word summary)
2024 Phase Two Proposal Components

In the proposal phase, selected semi-finalists provide additional details on their project idea, including a calendar of activities, monitoring and evaluation plan, and other components. The Phase Two Guidelines outline the full details and requirements of Phase Two for selected semi-finalist applicants. An overview can be found below. The IDEAS Program holds several informational webinars for semi-finalists on best practices in drafting these technical pieces of their proposals. Recordings of those trainings will be made available to the public following the live sessions.

Semi-finalists invited to Phase Two of this grant competition must submit a full grant proposal via the application portal. A complete grant proposal must not exceed 22 pages and must include a technical proposal and budget documents as listed below. No other documentation should be submitted as it will not be considered by the selection committee.

  1. Proposal Narrative (maximum 15 pages)
    1. Cover Page (1 page)
    2. Table of Contents (1 page)
    3. Executive Summary (1 page)
    4. Program Description (4-6 pages)
      1. Statement of Need
      2. Capacity Building Plan
      3. Project Activities
      4. Project Management Plan
    5. Foreign Policy Goal Alignment (1 page)
    6. Sustainability Plan (1 page)
    7. Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (1 page)
    8. Budget Narrative (2-3 pages)
  2. Proposal Attachments
    1. Calendar of Activities (1 spreadsheet, template provided)
    2. Logic Model (1 page, template provided)
    3. Key Staff Resumes (2 pages, 1 document)
    4. Budget Spreadsheet (1 spreadsheet, 2 tabs, optional template provided)
      1. Budget Summary
      2. Detailed Budget
2024 IDEAS Consortium Grant, Community College Consortia

The information below outlines information for the 2024 IDEAS Consortium Grant. Information for the 2025 IDEAS Consortium Grant will be provided upon opening of the 2025 IDEAS grant competition, slated for October 2025, pending U.S. Government funding.

In support of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the IDEAS Program will award approximately one grant of up to $50,000 under the 2024 IDEAS grant competition to a consortium of at least two U.S colleges and/or universities to collaborate on building study abroad capacity, programs, and resources at U.S. community colleges that will prepare students for careers in STEM, technical, and/or vocational fields. Community college students have been historically underrepresented in study abroad, and through this consortium grant, the IDEAS Program aims to:

  1. Encourage collaboration and resource-sharing within U.S. higher education with the goal of increasing study abroad capacity and programs at community colleges,
  2. Share best practices on engaging community colleges students with the wider U.S. higher education community, and
  3. Provide expanded opportunities for community colleges and their students to participate in global STEM, technical, and/or vocational education opportunities, preparing them to participate in good-paying skilled jobs.

Consortium grant activities under this initiative can engage and benefit all students, but applicants should detail how their proposed projects will be inclusive of and engage students in STEM, vocational, and/or technical fields at community colleges, as well as community college faculty and staff.

At least one institution in the consortium must be officially recognized as a community college, which will be defined using the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to include Associate’s Colleges, which are institutions at which the highest-level degree awarded is an associate’s degree, as well as Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges, which confer more than 50% of degrees at the associate’s level.

As with all IDEAS grant applications, consortium grant applicants may propose a variety of project activities as outlined in Section 1b of the RFP that aim at building study abroad capacity on their specific campuses or across community colleges more broadly. Regardless of the programming proposed, all consortium grant applicants must allocate at least $5,000 of their budgets to developing and sharing resources with the wider U.S. higher education community.

For full details on the IDEAS consortium grant, please review section 2c of the Phase One Request for Proposals. Example of how IDEAS grantees are addressing this goal can be found here.

Applications for an IDEAS consortium grant may also be considered for a $35,000 IDEAS grant, pending availability of funding.

2024 Application Timeline

The 2025 IDEAS grant competition is slated to open in October 2025, pending U.S. Government funding. It is anticipated that the application timeline will follow a similar cadence as the 2024 competition outlined below.

October 11, 2023: Phase One opens
October 24, 2023: IDEAS Grant Competition Informational Webinar (Recording)
November 9, 2023: Ask A Grantee Webinar (Recording)
November 30, 2023: Deep Dive: Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities Webinar (Recording)
December 13, 2023: Phase One closes
January 2024: Phase One applications reviewed by study abroad professionals
February 7, 2024: Semi-finalist selection announced; Phase Two begins
February 20, 2024 Semi-finalist Training: General Proposal Writing (Recording)
February 28, 2024 Semi-finalist Training: Budget Proposal Development (Recording)
March 7, 2024 Semi-finalist Training: Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Development (Recording)
April 4, 2024: Phase Two closes
April – May 2024: Phase Two applications reviewed by study abroad professionals
June 2024: Finalists Announced
September 1, 2024 – February 28, 2026: Grant period of performance (up to 18 months)



Grant Competition Resources

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2024 IDEAS Grant Competition – Frequently Asked Questions

Please review this document for frequently asked questions related to the IDEAS grant competition: updated October 10, 2023.

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Request for Proposalsrfp
2024 IDEAS Grant Competition – Phase Two Guidelines

Please review this document for details on Phase Two of the 2024 IDEAS grant competition, open only to selected semi-finalists.

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Request for Proposals2024 Grant Competitionrfp2024-grant-competition
2024 IDEAS Grant Competition – Request for Proposals

Please review this document for details on Phase One of the 2024 IDEAS grant competition.

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Request for Proposalsrfp
2024 IDEAS Grant Competition Calendar of Activities Template

Selected semi-finalist should use this template to draft their proposed Calendar of Activities.

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Templates2024 Grant Competitiontemplates2024-grant-competition
2024 IDEAS Grant Competition Consortium Grant Annex

Please review this document for supplemental details for 2024 consortium grant semi-finalist applicants.

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Request for Proposals2024 Grant Competitionrfp2024-grant-competition
Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities Webinar: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 30, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities Webinar: Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording from the Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 30, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities Webinar: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the Aligning Your Proposal with U.S. Department of State Priorities webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 30, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
Ask A Grantee: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the Ask a Grantee webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 8, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
Ask A Grantee: Recording – 2024 IDEAS Grant Competition

Recording from Ask a Grantee webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 9, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
Ask a Grantee: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the Ask a Grantee webinar for the 2024 grant competition on November 9, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
Budget Development: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the Budget Development semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 28, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
Budget Development: Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording from Budget Proposal Development semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 28, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
Budget Development: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the Budget Proposal Development semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 28, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
Foreign Policy Goals in Action

Review this documents for examples of how IDEAS grantees have incorporated U.S. foreign policy goals into their grant projects.

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Request for Proposalsrfp
General Proposal Writing: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the General Proposal Writing semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 20, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
General Proposal Writing: Recording – 2024 IDEAS Grant Competition

Recording from General Proposal Writing semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 20, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
General Proposal Writing: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the General Proposal Writing semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on February 20, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
IDEAS for Community Colleges

Click here to learn how IDEAS grantees are expanding study abroad access to community college students, preparing them for careers in STEM, technical, and/or vocational fields.

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Request for Proposalsrfp
IDEAS for Indigenous Inclusion

Click here to learn how IDEAS grantees are expanding study abroad access to Indigenous students.

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Request for Proposalsrfp
IDEAS Grant Competition Budget Template

Select semi-finalist applicants are invited to use this optional template to draft their proposed IDEAS grant budget.

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Templatestemplates
IDEAS Grant Competition: Shipley Proposal Process

Proposal development resource

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Instructions, Request for ProposalsTemplateinstructions rfptemplate
Information Session: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the information session webinar for the 2024 grant competition on October 24, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
Information Session: Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of the information session webinar for the 2024 grant competition on October 24, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
Information Session: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the information session webinar for the 2024 grant competition on October 24, 2023.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
Logic Model Sample

An example of a completed logic model

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TemplatesTemplatetemplatestemplate
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: ASL Interpretation Recording – 2024 Grant Competition

Recording of ASL interpretation from the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on March 7, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, ASL Recording, Grant Competition Webinarinstructions2024-grant-competition asl-recording grant-competition-webinar
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Recording – 2024 IDEAS Grant Competition

Recording from Monitoring and Evaluation Plan semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on March 7, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Recordinginstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar recording
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Slides – 2024 Grant Competition

Slides from the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan semi-finalist training webinar for the 2024 grant competition on March 7, 2024.

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Instructions2024 Grant Competition, Grant Competition Webinar, Slidesinstructions2024-grant-competition grant-competition-webinar slides
Phase One Application Instructions – 2024 IDEAS Grant Competition

Please review this document for details on how to submit your 2024 Phase One IDEAS grant competition application.

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Instructions, Request for Proposalsinstructions rfp
Phase One Application Template – 2024 IDEAS Grant Competition

Download this template to draft your 2024 Phase One IDEAS grant competition application.

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Request for Proposals, Templatesrfp templates
Phase Two Calendar of Activities Template

Template to Phase Two semi-finalist application calendar of activities

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Instructions, Request for ProposalsTemplateinstructions rfptemplate
Phase Two Logic Model Template

Template to develop Phase Two logic model

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Instructions, Request for Proposals, TemplatesTemplateinstructions rfp templatestemplate

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