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Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF)
December 19, 2022

Blue graphic with white text reading 2023 Alumni engagement innovation fund

The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan announces a call for proposals from past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2023).  We seek proposals from teams of at least two (2) alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below.  Exchange alumni interested in participating should submit proposals to kazakhstanalumni@state.gov by February 17, 23:59 Astana time. 


AEIF provides alumni of U.S. government-sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition.

U.S. Mission Kazakhstan will accept projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support the following themes:

Theme 1: Support the advancement of women’s participation in the economy, with an emphasis on leadership positions.  Competitive proposals will support women’s economic empowerment in high-growth, innovative industries and for women rising into executive or leadership positions.  Men’s role as allies and support in this is critical, and welcome.  Proposals may include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Capacity or skills-building programs that will support emerging or existing women leaders to pursue, attain, and thrive in leadership positions.
  • Mentorship programs that will provide women with tools and networking opportunities to connect with near-peer and senior-level professionals which will help them reach the next steps in their career. This could include transforming small businesses into medium or large-scale enterprises.
  • Building upon or replicating U.S. exchange experience.

Target audiences (including alumni and non-alumni):

  • USG alumnae, such as SABIT, TechWomen, TechGirls, SUSI Women Leadership Program participants, IVLPs, PFP, or other women alumnae with relevant backgrounds.
  • Professional women with well-defined career goals.
  • Men as allies in supporting women’s economic empowerment and success in leadership positions.
  • Participants from all over Kazakhstan.

Theme 2: Support public resiliency to disinformation, including through increased access to accurate information.  Proposals may include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Increasing the use of objective, editorially diverse information sources, especially by those teaching or informing others (i.e. journalists, librarians, teachers, professors).
  • Support civil society, opinion leaders, influencers, and emerging leaders to address and counter common threads of disinformation.
  • Promote the use of authentic and objective sources of English-language information with English-speaking Kazakhstani audiences.

Target audiences (including alumni and non-alumni):

  • Journalists, citizen journalists, influencers
  • Librarians who work closely with the public
  • Professors, teachers, trainers
  • Participants from all over Kazakhstan.


Announcement posted:  December 15, 2022
Closing date for applications:  February 17, 2023
Funding type:  Small grant awards
Expected size of individual awards:  Between $25,000 to $35,000.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or fewer. Anticipated start of implementation – August 2023.


Application period:  Open until February 17, 2023

March 2023:  U.S. Mission submits short-listed project proposals to ECA’s Alumni Office in Washington, D.C.

April 2023:  Review of applications by ECA Alumni Office

Late June/early July 2023:  Notification of proposal selection for funding

For more details on AEIF 2023, visit:  https://alumni.state.gov/aeif


  1. Eligible Applicants: 

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded or sponsored exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni or alumni associations of USG exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
  1. Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.

  1. Grant Program Area:  

Proposals must address themes identified above. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place inside Kazakhstan, outside of major cities of Astana and Almaty.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a UEI (Unique Entity ID) number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a UEI, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal.


Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: Ainur Sembayeva at SembayevaA@state.gov and Zhanna Toktarova ToktarovaZ@state.gov.

Questions and Answers or FAQ will be posted on Embassy and Consulate social media, and a Proposal Submission Training will be announced on U.S. Mission Social media to answer questions from all potential applicants.